Late 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, 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 BLACK WATER SISTER by Zen Cho, THE LAKE OF SOULS by Darren Shan, and THE SAVAGE DAWN by Melissa Grey.

THE BONE HOUSES by Emily Lloyd-Jones is Fantasy/Horror, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Ryn agrees to help a mapmaker when the bone houses leave the woods and threaten her home. Told in Third Person with Dual POVs.

THE WHISPERING DARK by Kelly Andrew is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Delaney is a post-lingual Deaf girl, accepted at a college which teaches people to travel to parallel dimensions. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

HUNTING GROUND by Patricia Briggs, book 2 of Alpha & Omega is Urban Fantasy/Romance marketed as Adult. Anna and Charles travel to a meeting of werewolves to inform the European wolves of the Marrok's plans to go public. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT by Melissa Grey, book 1 of The Girl at Midnight is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Echo ends up working together with her adoptive family's enemies in an effort to find the Firebird and end their war. Told in THIRD PERSON with Ensemble POVs.

HELL FOLLOWED WITH US by Andrew Joseph White is Sci-Fi/Horror/Apocalyptic, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Benji is a trans boy raised by the Christian cult which unleased a plague on the world, he escapes after being injected with something which is slowly turning him into a biblically accurate angel. Told in First/Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

BLOOD BOUND by Patricia Briggs, book 2 of Mercedes Thompson is Urban Fantasy/Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Mercy repays a favor to Stefan, the vampire, only to become the only one who can stop a very strange vampire on a murder spree. Told in First Person with Single POV.

THE SHADOW HOUR by Melissa Grey, book 2 of The Girl at Midnight is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Echo is the firebird, and must go after the false Dragon Prince to save her friends. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.


I tried and pretty quickly stopped reading these books:

  • NIGHT OF THE RAVEN, DAWN OF THE DOVE by Rati Mehrotra; I don't like the style.

  • DIREWOOD by Catherine Yu; I dislike both the narrator and the style.

  • ONE DARK WINDOW by Rachel Gillig; This was slow to start, and not interesting enough to keep me around longer.

  • A CRACK IN THE LINE by Michael Lawrence is a book I read as a teenager, but upon trying it again it's an overly-ornate and yet uninteresting parallel world story, at least to my adult self. Upon reflection, probably what gripped me as a teen is I accidentally read the second book of the trilogy first, and without that bewilderment there isn't much I enjoy.

I wrote formal DNF reviews for MISRULE by Heather Walter and STEALING THUNDER by Alina Boyden.

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.

I'm still re-reading WE COULD BE HEROES by Mike Chen because Hench reminded me how much I like twists on superhero stories.

BTB 2022 Reading Challenge

For 2022 I'm hosting a reading challenge that lasts the whole year. December's prompt is to read something by a Black author. Our patrons voted for QUEEN OF THE CONQUERED by Kacen Callender. You can find my review at this link.

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.

I started BREAKABLE THINGS by Cassandra Khaw, a short story collection which seems very spooky so far. I'm looking forward to finishing the rest.

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 the novella, COMFORT ME WITH APPLES by Catherynne M. Valente. It's a story of trouble in paradise and I love the ending.

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, PORTRAIT OF A THIEF by Grace D. Li, 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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