Welcome to my monthly check in where I look at my review copy TBR pile to hold myself accountable to my personal target of keeping it under 5 review copies at any one time! I’m not starting off on the BEST foot for that target, but I’ll get there!
My Netgalley shelf: 16 TBR!
The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Release date: 20 August 2020!
Summary: Lee was chasing rumours of monsters with her best friend when Mal went missing, four years ago. But now she’s back, and Lee wants to know where she’s been and who she’s working for.
When Kay Amal Khan is attacked, MI5’s Julian Sabreur is led into terrifying new territory where he clashes with agents who might not even be human.
Khan’s extradimensional research had always been theoretical, until it isn’t, and who knows what might crawl through the cracks between Earth and… parallel Earths where monsters live.
The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis
Release date: 4 August 2020!
Summary: First Sister has no name and no voice. When her former captain abandons her, First Sister’s hopes for freedom are dashed when she is forced to stay on her ship with no friends, no power, and a new captain she knows nothing about. She is commanded to spy on Captain Ren by the Sisterhood, but discovers that working for the war effort is harder to do when you’re falling in love.
Lito val Lucius climbed out of the slums to become an elite soldier of Venus, but was defeated in combat, resulting in the disappearance of his partner, Hiro. When Lito learns that Hiro is both alive and a traitor, he has a shot at redemption: track down and kill his former partner. But ultimately, he must decide between following orders and following his heart.
All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace
Release date: 4 August 2020!
Summary: As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer – the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic. When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic. But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder – and more peril – than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.
The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
Release date: 22 September 2020!
Summary: Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost ― one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumoured to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.
A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe
Release date: 13 October 2020!
Summary: Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone, but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness. While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of a revolution looming, Thea is sent to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists. But there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.
Witch by Finbar Hawkins
Release date: 1 October 2020!
Summary: After witnessing the brutal murder of her mother by witch-hunters, Evey vows to avenge her and track down the killers. Fury burns in her bright and strong. But she has promised her mother that she will keep Dill, her little sister, safe.
As the lust for blood and retribution rises to fever pitch, will Evey keep true to the bonds of sisterhood and to the magick that is her destiny?
The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
Release date: 10 September 2020!
Summary: The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.
Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.
Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people.
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
Release date: 15 October 2020!
Summary: In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive. There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.
The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery
Release date: 3 September 2020!
Summary: When Col’s childhood imaginary friends come to life, he discovers a world where myths and legends are real. Accompanied by his guardians – a six-foot tiger, a badger in a waistcoat and a miniature knight – Col must race to Blitz-bombed London to save his sister.
But there are darker forces at work, even than the Nazi bombings. Soon Col is pursued by the terrifying Midwinter King, who is determined to bring an eternal darkness down over everything.
When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten
Release date: 1 October 2020!
Summary: Twelve-year-old Clara lives on an island that visitors call exotic. But there’s nothing exotic about it to Clara. She loves eating ripe mangos off the ground, running outside in the rain with her Papa during rainy season, and going to her secret hideout with Gaynah–even though lately she’s not acting like a best friend.
The only thing out of the ordinary for Clara is that something happened to her memory that made her forget everything that happened last summer after a hurricane hit. Sometimes things come back to her in drips like a tap that hasn’t been turned off properly. Other times her Mama fills in the blanks…only she knows those aren’t her memories and it is hard feeling like she is not like everybody else. But this summer is going to be different for Clara. Everyone is buzzing with excitement over a new girl in the village who is not like other visitors. She is about to make big waves on the island–and give Clara a summer she won’t forget.
Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass
Release date: 15 September 2020!
Summary: Connor Major’s summer break is turning into a nightmare. His SAT scores bombed, the old man he delivers meals to died, and when he came out to his religious zealot mother, she had him kidnapped and shipped off to a secluded island. His final destination: Nightlight Ministries, a conversion therapy camp that will be his new home until he “changes.”
But Connor’s troubles are only beginning. At Nightlight, everyone has something to hide from the campers to the “converted” staff and cagey camp director, and it quickly becomes clear that no one is safe. Connor plans to escape and bring the other kidnapped teens with him. But first, he’s exposing the camp’s horrible truths for what they are— and taking this place down.
The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass by Adan Jerreat-Poole
Release date: 6 October 2020!
Summary: Eli isn’t just a teenage girl — she’s a made-thing the witches created to hunt down ghosts in the human world. Trained to kill with her seven magical blades, Eli is a flawless machine, a deadly assassin. But when an assignment goes wrong, Eli starts to question everything she was taught about both worlds, the Coven, and her tyrannical witch-mother.
Worried that she’ll be unmade for her mistake, Eli gets caught up with a group of human and witch renegades, and is given the most difficult and dangerous task in the worlds: capture the Heart of the Coven. With the help of two humans, one motorcycle, and a girl who smells like the sea, Eli is going to get answers — and earn her freedom.
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
Release date: 16 June 2020!
Summary: Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.
Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?
Warmaidens by Kelly Coon
Release date: 20 October 2020!
Summary: Just a few moons after escaping the tomb in Alu, Kammani and the other runaway maidens have found refuge in the city-state of Manzazu. There, Kammani has become a respected healer, especially among the warriors she’s brought back from the brink of death. Now that the nightmares of Alu are fading, she can finally decide whether or not to take Dagan’s hand in marriage.
But when an assassin murders a healer he believes is Kammani and attempts to kill the displaced queen of Alu, the maidens realize they’ve been found.
Hungry for revenge, Manzazu’s queen wants to strike back at Alu with her fiercest weapons—her scorpion warrior maidens—but Kammani knows that war harms more than it heals. To save the innocents and any chance of a future with Dagan, Kammani must take down Alu’s ruler before their lives burn up in the flames of war.
Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos
Release date: 1 September 2020!
Summary: Caroline Lawson is three months away from freedom, otherwise known as graduation day. That’s when she’ll finally escape her rigid prep school and the parents who thought they could convert her to being straight. Until then, Caroline is keeping her head down, pretending to be the perfect student even though she is crushed by her family and heartbroken over the girlfriend who left for California.
But when her best friend Madison disappears, Caroline feels compelled to get involved in the investigation. She has her own reasons not to trust the police, and she owes Madison — big time. Suddenly Caroline realizes how little she knew of what her friend was up to. Caroline has some uncomfortable secrets about the hours before Madison disappeared, but they’re nothing compared to the secrets Madison has been hiding. And why does Mr. McCormack, their teacher, seem to know so much about them?
It’s only when Caroline discovers other missing girls that she begins to close in on the truth. Unlike Madison, the other girls are from the wrong side of the tracks. Unlike Madison’s, their disappearances haven’t received much attention. Caroline is determined to find out what happened to them and why no one seems to notice. But as every new discovery leads Caroline closer to the connection between these girls and Madison, she faces an unsettling truth.
There’s only one common denominator between the disappearances: Caroline herself.
The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry
Release date: 8 September 2020!
Summary: When the bodies of two girls are found torn apart in the town of Smiths Hollow, Lauren is surprised, but she also expects that the police won’t find the killer. After all, the year before her father’s body was found with his heart missing, and since then everyone has moved on. Even her best friend, Miranda, has become more interested in boys than in spending time at the old ghost tree, the way they used to when they were kids.
So when Lauren has a vision of a monster dragging the remains of the girls through the woods, she knows she can’t just do nothing. Not like the rest of her town. But as she draws closer to answers, she realizes that the foundation of her seemingly normal town might be rotten at the center. And that if nobody else stands for the missing, she will.
My physical stack: 3 TBR!
We Are Totally Normal by Rahul Kanakia
Release date: 31 March 2020!
Summary: Nandan’s got a plan to make his junior year perfect. He’s going to make sure all the parties are chill, he’s going to smooth things over with his ex, and he’s going to help his friend Dave get into the popular crowd—whether Dave wants to or not. The high school social scene might be complicated, but Nandan is sure he’s cracked the code.
Then, one night after a party, Dave and Nandan hook up, which was not part of the plan—especially because Nandan has never been into guys. Still, Dave’s cool, and Nandan’s willing to give it a shot, even if that means everyone starts to see him differently.
But while Dave takes to their new relationship with ease, Nandan’s completely out of his depth. And the more his anxiety grows about what his sexuality means for himself, his friends, and his social life, the more he wonders whether he can just take it all back. But is breaking up with the only person who’s ever really gotten him worth feeling “normal” again?
The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke
Release date: 15 September 2020!
Summary: Skulking near the bottom of West High’s social pyramid, Sideways Pike lurks under the bleachers doing magic tricks for Coke bottles. As a witch, lesbian, and lifelong outsider, she’s had a hard time making friends. But when the three most popular girls pay her $40 to cast a spell at their Halloween party, Sideways gets swept into a new clique. The unholy trinity are dangerous angels, sugar-coated rattlesnakes, and now–unbelievably–Sideways’ best friends.
Together, the four bond to form a ferocious and powerful coven. They plan parties, cast curses on dudebros, try to find Sideways a girlfriend, and elude the fundamentalist witch hunters hellbent on stealing their magic. But for Sideways, the hardest part is the whole ‘having friends’ thing. Who knew that balancing human interaction with supernatural peril could be so complicated?
She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore
Release date: 2 April 2020!
Summary: In the West African village of Lai, red-haired Gbessa is cursed at birth and exiled on suspicion of being a witch. Bitten by a viper and left for dead, she nevertheless survives to discover new life with a group of African American settlers in the colony of Monrovia.
There Gbessa meets two extraordinary others: June Dey – a man of unusual strength, and Norman Aragon, who can fade from sight at will. Soon all three realise that they are all cursed – or, perhaps, uniquely gifted. Together they protect the weak and vulnerable, but only Gbessa can salvage the tense relationship between the settlers and the indigenous tribes.
Other eARCs: 2 to go!
Iron Heart by Nina Varela (for the Caffeine Tours blog tour!)
Release date: 8 September 2020!
Summary: For too long the cruel, beautiful Automae have lorded over the kingdom of Rabu, oppressing the humans who live there. But the human revolution is on the rise, and at its heart is Ayla. Once handmaiden, now fugitive, Ayla escaped the palace of Lady Crier, the girl Ayla had planned to kill . . . but instead fell in love with. Now Ayla has pledged her allegiance to Queen Junn, whom she believes can accomplish the ultimate goal of the human rebellion: destroy the Iron Heart. Without it, the Automae will be weakened to the point of extinction.
But playing at Ayla’s memory are the powerful feelings she developed for Crier. And unbeknownst to her, Crier has also fled the palace, taking up among travelling rebels, determined to find and protect Ayla. As their paths collide, neither are prepared for the dark secret underlying the Iron Heart.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
Release date: 19 January 2021
Summary: “That book. It was about two women, and they fell in love with each other.” And then Lily asked the question that had taken root in her, that was even now unfurling its leaves and demanding to be shown the sun: “Have you ever heard of such a thing?”
Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.
Pending: 14 requests 😬
My plan is to show how many I’ve read versus how many I’ve requested since the last round up (and to hope that my read vs requested is taking my total numbers DOWN instead of up) but as this is my first month, there’s nothing to show here! I’m starting on a Netgalley ratio of 67% so let’s see how far that drops by the time September rolls around!