As I prepare to majorly geek out over the next couple of months, let’s take a look back at what September brought with it!
I have been doing, or planning to do, Actual Adult Things this month. Things that require not frivolously spending all my money (says the woman who got herself her very first credit card just last month). But on the upside, the end result could involve a more aesthetically pleasing habitat. Also some important improvements to my general health and wellbeing, including the possibility of joining a gym? But we shall see. I am, historically speaking, perhaps not terribly committed to active exercise. But if I find something that works for me, that may change! Updates as they happen.
Or, the part where I talk about the bookish stuff that you all actually came here for!
The Defiant Heir (Swords and Fire #2), by Melissa Caruso – 5/5
I read The Tethered Mage, the first book in this series, on the recommendation of a friend – and she was so right to be in love with it. I practically devoured both books in a short space of time; in fact I went out and bought this book before I’d even finished the first one. That’s how good they are. It’s ‘classic’ Renaissance-inspired fantasy, but with enough twists, turns and deeply fascinating characters (and swoon-worthy romance) to be immensely pleasing to me. I cannot wait for the next book!
Final Girls, by Mira Grant – 4/5
The SF/horror alter ego of Seanan McGuire has a body of work that, to be perfectly honest, I tend to approach with some caution; some of it has amazed me, and some – particularly the more ‘hard SF’ stuff like her Parasitology series – has been more polarising, but ultimately (sadly) left me bouncing off it. But that’s on me, and the stuff that is good is really freaking good. Stuff like this novella. Love it or hate it, one thing that ‘Mira’ does really well is creep you out, and this story definitely creeped me out. This is deeply unnerving stuff, and while I’m admittedly not always in the mood for it, it certainly scratched an itch for the horror fan in me. So if, like me, you like your horror to be of the psychological variety (but aren’t averse to a bit of blackly comedic gore alongside it), you should try this.
Night and Silence (October Daye #12), by Seanan McGuire – 4/5
A new October Daye book is something I never fail to look forward to. It’s my absolute favourite urban fantasy series so far, because it checks all my favourite UF boxes. It’s got fairies and Fae creatures, proper dark and disturbing mythology, an epic-level family saga mystery going on, and plenty of Shakespearean flavour. Heck, every book’s title comes from a Shakespeare quote that somehow ties into the story.
And it has a sea witch. A SEA WITCH. You will never talk me out of my love for this series. IT HAS A SEA WITCH.
Sparrow Hill Road (Ghost Roads #1), by Seanan McGuire – 4/5 (Review coming soon!)
The Woman Who Rides Like A Man (Song of the Lioness #3), by Tamora Pierce – 2/5
Oh boy. This series. … Yeah.
It began so well, you guys. It came recommended by someone who loved them in her younger years, so we’ve been reading them together, but … Good lord, it all fell apart so fast. Book 1 was great! Then Alanna – the character that these books were supposed to be all about, the primary character – somehow became a puppet in her own story, because there must be romance at any cost, I guess? Even if readers aren’t buying into it, which I most certainly am not? Even if at least one suitor turns out to be an absolute thundering assbag, which he most certainly did? Even if that whole shoehorned ‘plot’ is distracting from things that might actually be more interesting, which … you get the picture, I’m sure.
I’m just disappointed. So much so that there’s been serious talk of not bothering to continue reading the series…
Implanted, by Lauren C. Teffeau – 3/5 (Review also coming soon!)
IT’S BACK. This month saw the final season of Tremontaine, my most beloved serial from Serial Box, kick off, and you can follow my weekly reviews of each episode here. CAUTION: These reviews will be spoilery!
I am not ready.
Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz – I was so pleased when this got a UK release that I snapped up the paperback immediately when I found it in my local bookstore. YES PLEASE.
Sword and Sonnet (anthology) – Battle poets, you guys. Battle. Poets.
The Girl in the Green Silk Gown (Ghost Roads #2), by Seanan McGuire – I need more Rose Marshall in my life. MORE ROSE.
The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut #1), by Mary Robinette Kowal – It’s been a while since I read anything of Mary’s, so it’s high time I corrected that! Can’t wait to dive into this one.
City of Ghosts, by Victoria Schwab – It’s a ghost story and it’s set in Edinburgh. Of course I bought it. Halloween is right around the corner, after all.
A Blade So Black, by L.L. McKinney – Look. It’s a shiny new modern take on Alice in Wonderland. Again – of course I bought it!
Rosewater, by Tade Thompson – I’ve had this on my radar for a while, thanks to all the hype it’s been getting – though I’m normally wary of paying too much attention to a lot of hype in case I end up feeling let down. But we’ll see how this one does!
So glad you asked! In case you missed the announcement posts, there are a couple of fun events in the works, with myself and my fine co-hosts Jorie and imyril at the helm. First up is a Halloween special edition, if you will, of Wyrd and Wonder – an online celebration of fantasy that had its first run back in May, before I moved house to this website. Spooktastic Reads is a mini-event: 13 days of spooky fantasy goodness. The premise is simple – select some fantasy stories that have a spooky twist, read them, review them, chat about them online. You can even go dark and include some horror, so long as there’s a fantasy element. Heck, you don’t even have to stick to books – movies or TV shows are great too, if they fit the bill! I’m using it as an excuse to whittle down my TBR pile a little, and so far I’ve got the Ghost Roads books by Seanan McGuire lined up (see above!) to review. And there may be more besides…
There’s no official sign-up required for this, but we’ll be sharing a lot of our enthusiasm and boosting various signals over on Twitter, so check out the hashtag #SpooktasticReads and/or follow the @wyrdandwonder account for more!
ALSO. As if that wasn’t enough for us to be doing this season, we’ve got the return of Sci-Fi Month in November! imyril and I are super-excited to be able to keep this event going after the departure of its creator, Rinn, for other nerdy shores. Whether we’re taking part or hosting, it’s been a delight to be involved with this event over the last few years as bloggers, and we want to keep it alive for all the other wonderful geeks who enjoy it as much as we do. So, as always, check out our Twitter account @SciFiMonth for more, and watch the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth for chats and signal boosts from around the blogosphere. And if you want to sign up to take part, the sign-up form is now live!
Ooof. That’s a lot of bookishness! And I have so much to do! So on that note, I’m going to sign off for now and get cracking on. The next two months are going to be stupidly fun. Hope you join me! And (since I promised myself I’d do more to promote this) if you enjoy what I do here and wouldn’t mind supporting me, I have a Ko-fi page! You can be responsible for my caffeine levels! Don’t worry, I caffeinate responsibly.
Mostly. Mostly responsibly.
Peace out, nerds.