BTB - Mid April Reviews (2022)


Welcome to the Books That Burn Fortnightly Roundup! Releasing every two weeks (one week early for Patrons). Remember to head to Transcripts That Burn for all available transcripts of the podcast.

News and Events

Robin was a guest on Fables and Reflections, discussing The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. You can find Robin's written review of the book at this link.


I had a flurry of audiobook DNFs this time before finding one that worked for me.

I made it a couple of chapters into THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan. I'd previously read this book as a teenager, but this time around it just wasn't a good fit.

I tried and immediately quit listening to ALONE OUT HERE by Riley Redgate due to personal issues with one of the characters' names matching that of an ex-friend from years ago and I need to not spend hours with that name coming up. This is completely a personal reason and should not imply anything negative or positive about the actual book.

Next was my attempt to give this author a chance after being pretty sure her style didn't work for me. I tried reading A SPINDLE SPLINTERED by Alix E. Harrow and stopped because the way the premise was handled seems ableist and (regardless of whether I'm right about that) it felt like a lecture turned into a novella, but with all the lecture bits left in. I wasn't enjoying it and stopped after several chapters.

The last audiobook in my DNF run was BEFORE WE DISAPPEAR by Sean David Hutchinson. The MC's style as a narrator involves continually explaining the emotional landscape between characters before anything happened to back it up. I'm sure I've probably liked other books that do a little of this, but this time it bothered me so much that I stopped.

No Review (Nonfiction, Graphic Novels, etc.)

I read another short story by Seanan McGuire from her Patreon.

Recent Reviews

Reviews forthcoming for MY LORD by L.B. Shimaira, VAMPIRE MOUNTAIN by Darren Shan, and PARASITE by Mira Grant.

FIRESTARTER by Tara Sim, book 3 of Timekeeper is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Danny and Colton have technically been reunited by their kidnappers, but they each have to decide how far they'll go to save Time, and which version of it they'll try to preserve. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

TUNNELS OF BLOOD by Darren Shan, book 3 of Cirque Du Freak is Fantasy/Horror marketed as Young Adult. Darren travels with Mr. Crepsley and Evra to a new city. Soon after they arrive it becomes clear that a murderer is on the loose, and Darren thinks he knows who it is... Told in First Person with Single POV.

LEGENDS & LATTES by Travis Baldree is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Val has been an adventurer for a long time, but she decides to try something different: running a coffee shop. Told in Third Person with Single POV.

THE VEILED THRONE by Ken Liu, book 3 of The Dandelion Dynasty is Fantasy/Historical, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Princess Théra crossed the Wall of Storms to try and make a new alliance to save the people of Dara. As the peoples of Dara and Lyucu become entangled through conquest and survival, their rulers try to preserve their separate ways. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

NIGHT OF THE MANNEQUINS by Stephen Graham Jones is Horror marketed as Adult. Sawyer must stop a mannequin from killing his friends and their families, but his solution involves its own share of death. Told in First Person with Single POV.

WE WERE RESTLESS THINGS by Cole Nagamatsu is Contemporary/Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Link Miller died last summer, drowned in a lake that's only sometimes there, leaving his sister, friends, and a new kid in town to pick up the pieces and wander through the lives they still have in his absence. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

Rereads and Older Reviews

I re-read the first book in the Cute Mutants series by S.J. Whitby, MUTANT PRIDE. I'm planning to also re-read book two so I can read and review the third book to continue on with the series, but that might take a bit.

BTB 2022 Reading Challenge

For 2022 I'm hosting a reading challenge that lasts the whole year. April's prompt is to read something by an intersex author, with a bonus prompt to read something by a BIPOC intersex author. I’m reading A MURDER OF CROWS by K. Ancrum to cover both prompts.

Current Reads

I'm still reading THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (unabridged) by Alexandre Dumas. I'm live-reacting on Twitter as I read a bit each night. This will probably last for several weeks or maybe even months, since it's a long book I own that isn't as high of a priority as anything I'm reading from the library.

I have told myself that once I finish the books I'm currently reading, I get to read PARASITE by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire). The only book remaining from the original list of must-reads is THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (unabridged), but I've made a lot of progress and might let myself start PARASITE early, I'm not sure yet.

In Case You Missed It

This time last year I read THE BONE SEASON by Samantha Shannon, the first book of a series I'm partway through and need to resume reading.

Pluggables and Podcast News

I recently reworked the tags on Reviews That Burn, hopefully the new arrangement is better.

If you're looking for a place to buy any of the books I've reviewed, please consider our Bookshop page (if you use our links to purchase any books we get a small commission). Let us know if there's a category you'd like to see curated and we'll see if we can get some titles together.

The 2022 prompts are now available from the annual reading challenge! It runs from January 1st to December 31st each year. Find info and links here.

As for the podcast, hopefully you're enjoying our most recent episode, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, as well as the first half of our interview with author Seanan McGuire (AKA Mira Grant, A. Deborah Baker), released in January. If you'd like to receive the second (spoiler-filled) half of the interview, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Patrons receive this newsletter one week early, as well as a list of upcoming podcast episodes for the next three months.

Patrons pledging $5 or more each month can vote on some of what I read next. Patrons pledging $50 or more can vote once per month on what we'll cover in the podcast. You can find all of those polls here. Patrons at any level receive the booklist with our planned episodes for up to three months at a time.

Thanks for reading, the next roundup will be in two weeks!


Co-host of Books That Burn


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