Mid November 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. The newest transcript for our episode discussing THE KINGDOM OF GODS by N.K. Jemisin is now available.

News and Events

With Twitter's implosion (I genuinely don't know if it'll still work by the time this posts on Buttondown), we've joined Tumblr. Here's the link to the Reviews That Burn Tumblr (where Robin hangs out), and here's the one for the podcast generally (a bit less active).

Clear Ur Shit

In November and December I participate in the Clear Ur Shit readathon (details at the official website). Because I'm pretty far ahead on scheduled reviews those might not show up for a while, but here's the challenge on TheStoryGraph for anyone who wants to participate.

Recent Reviews

Reviews forthcoming for THE BONE HOUSES by Emily Lloyd-Jones, HUNTING GROUND by Patricia Briggs, and THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT by Melissa Grey.

KAIKEYI by Vaishnavi Patel is Fantasy/Historical, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Kaikeyi transforms herself from a princess into a warrior, diplomat, and most-favored queen. Told in First Person with Single POV.

THE WICKED BARGAIN by Gabe Cole Novoa is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Mar is the only survivor of a ship lost at sea after el Diabolo collects on their father's deal. Told in Third Person with Single POV.

MOON CALLED by Patricia Briggs, book 1 of Mercedes Thompson is Urban Fantasy/Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Mercy finds a strange werewolf and tries to help him, but things go badly. Told in First Person with Single POV.

A REAPER AT THE GATES by Sabaa Tahir, book 3 of An Ember in the Ashes is Fantasy marketed as Young Adult. Laia has her brother back, but is in danger of losing Elias for good. Told in First Person with Ensemble POVs.

ON THE PROWL by Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance, and Sunny is Urban Fantasy/Romance marketed as Adult. Various characters meet in this paranormal romance anthology. Told in an Anthology with multiple POV styles.

A MARVELLOUS LIGHT by Freya Marske, book 1 of The Last Binding is Fantasy/Romance/Historical, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Robin and Edwin work together to get a curse off of Robin after he is rather forcefully inducted into the world of magic after a bureaucratic error. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

CRY WOLF by Patricia Briggs, book 1 of Alpha & Omega is Urban Fantasy/Romance marketed as Adult. Anna has been abruptly rescued from years of abuse by Charles. Their wolves have bonded but the rest of them is playing catch-up when a werewolf attack in the mountains pulls both of them away from home to track down the rogue. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

A SKY BEYOND THE STORM by Sabaa Tahir, book 4 of An Ember in the Ashes is Fantasy marketed as Young Adult. Elias is now the Soul Catcher, and must figure out why all the ghosts are disappearing. Told in First Person with Ensemble POVs.


Because Twitter is imploding I'm not sure when/if I'll have an official DNF day, but I did have a lot of books I tried and didn't finish this fortnight.

I tried and pretty quickly stopped reading these books:

  • A TASTE OF GOLD AND IRON by Alexandra Rowland; Keeps bringing up a topic that's triggering to me. Also I'm not enjoying the premise.

  • MAPPING THE INTERIOR by Stephen Graham Jones; not enjoying it.

  • THE BOOK EATERS by Sunyi Dean; I dislike the main character and am bothered by a bunch of little things about the worldbuilding.

  • THE BONE SPINDLE by Leslie Vedder; Lots of infodumps early on, plus this lists exactly what everyone is wearing in too much detail for me.

  • THE INHERITANCE GAMES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes; Don’t like the main character, detest the sister, can’t stand the family.

  • RUST IN THE ROOT by Justina Ireland; The worldbuilding is jam-packed, with slim room for the characters to actually do or say anything. It’s clearly well-researched, but feels determined to name-drop as many historical events as possible with their corresponding magic twist in this chronology.

  • THE GIRL OF HAWTHORN AND GLAS by Adan Jerreat-Poole; Don’t like narrative style.

  • MONSTERS BORN AND MADE by Tanvi Berwah; Don’t like the style.

I wrote formal DNF reviews for AN UNKINDNESS OF GHOSTS by Rivers Solomon and HUNTED BY THE SKY by Tanaz Bhathena.

No Review (Nonfiction, Graphic Novels, etc.)

Nothing to include this time.

Rereads and Older Reviews

My re-read of the Toby Daye books is going well! I slowed down slightly in order to incorporate other books, but I'm still at a good pace.

BTB 2022 Reading Challenge

For 2022 I'm hosting a reading challenge that lasts the whole year. November's prompt is to read something by a gay or lesbian author. Our patrons voted for THE OLEANDER SWORD by Tasha Suri. I tried this book and ultimately ended up not finishing it, you can find that review here.

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 last for several 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. After a long break I made a bit more progress. Since it was originally published serially, I'm comforting myself about my slow pace by remembering that the first readers consumed it over a several-year period.

Re-reading A BLADE SO BLACK by L.L. McKinney in order to get ready for the third book to come out in a few months. I'm also re-reading WE COULD BE HEROES by Mike Chen because Hench reminded me how much I like twists on superhero stories.

I wanted a long audiobook, so I picked REALM BREAKER by Victoria Aveyard. I like it so far, it's nice when the beginning of a trilogy has pacing which implies the marathon to come.

ONE DARK WINDOW by Rachel Gillig is okay but it's not gripping me. This might be a DNF, we'll see.

THE BRUISING OF QILWA by Naseem Jamnia is good so far but it has weirdly slow pacing for a novella and I haven't read much in any one sitting.

I'm still reading VOLARIA by M.D. Neu, I got a bit distracted by trying to read more physical copies (I have this as an ebook).

In Case You Missed It

This time last year I read REDEMPTOR by Jordan Ifueko, the finale of the Raybearer duology.

Pluggables and Podcast News

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 this year. Find info and links here.

As for the podcast, hopefully you're enjoying our most recent episode, SASSINAK by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon, 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 $20 or more each month receive a bonus episode. 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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