Late February Reviews (2023)
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
We're excited to learn that the HarperCollins Union Strike has ended with a deal! We're not affiliated with them but supported the strike and refrained from reviewing HarperCollins books during the three-month strike, as requested of reviewers by the union.
Reviews forthcoming for BONE WEAVER by Aden Polydoros, CHANGELESS by Gail Carriger, and THE QUEER PRINCIPLES OF KITT WEBB by Cat Sebastian.
TRAVELERS ALONG THE WAY by Aminah Mae Safi, book 3 of Remixed Classics is Historical/Retelling, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Rahma al-Hud and her sister, Zeena, are on a mission to strike a blow agains the false Queen Isabella. Told in First/Third Person with Ensemble POVs.
BLOOD HEIR by Ilona Andrews, book 1 of Aurelia Ryder is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Aurelia Ryder used to be known as Julie, ward of Kate and Curran. She's been away learning from her grandmother and secretly returns to Atlanta to try and avert a prophecied doom tied to a murder. Told in First Person with Single POV.
WOLF-SPEAKER by Tamora Pierce, book 2 of The Immortals is Fantasy marketed as Young Adult. Daine returns to the wolves who helped her, this time to investigate a threat to their new home. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.
EVEN THOUGH I KNEW THE END by C.L. Polk is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Helen Brandt has three days to track down a serial killer, the White City Vampire, before a deal made years ago comes due. Told in First Person with Single POV.
SOULLESS by Gail Carriger, book 1 of The Parasol Protectorate is Fantasy/Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Alexia is soulless and half-Italian, both of which conditions mean she expects to stay a spinster. Lord Maccon, the local werewolf alpha, finds her delightfully frustrating. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.
EMPEROR MAGE by Tamora Pierce, book 3 of The Immortals is Fantasy marketed as Young Adult. Daine and a Tortallan delegation travel to Carthak, and Daine is caught up in the gods' plan to warn and punish the Emperor Mage. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.
I tried reading THE FIRST BINDING by R.R. Virdi and BEFORE I LET GO by Marieke Nijkamp, but I didn't like the narrator for the first and was too stressed out by the second.
I wrote a formal DNF review for THE FERRYMAN by Justin Cronin, received as an ARC through NetGalley. I was very frustrated and so that explanation is a bit more flowery than usual.
Rereads and Older Reviews
I've been re-reading a bunch of gay arranged relationship stories, since that's a subgenre I enjoy. To that end I read A STRANGE AND STUBBORN ENDURANCE by Foz Meadows, then followed it up with two books by Everina Maxwell, WINTER'S ORBIT and OCEAN'S ECHO.
BTB 2023 Reading Challenge
For 2023 I'm hosting a reading challenge that lasts the whole year. February's prompt is to read something with snow as a theme (or with a white cover). Our patrons voted for YEAR ONE by Nora Roberts.
I'm still working on re-reads of HARROW THE NINTH and THE DREAM THIEVES. I also started a re-read of NINEFOX GAMBIT by Yoon Ha Lee, this time by audiobook so I can sew at the same time.
A RESTLESS TRUTH by Freya Marske has returned from the library and I'll finish that soon. I saw that the third book in the trilogy should come out this fall and I'm very excited.
I'm working on an ARC of SHE IS A HAUNTING by Trang Thanh Tran. I need to either speed up or accept that I won't finish it before the publishing date.
In Case You Missed It
This time last year I read THE WALL OF STORMS by Ken Liu, the second book in a "silkpunk" fantasy series.
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 2023 reading challenge is underway! It runs from January 1st to December 31st. Find info and links here.
As for the podcast, hopefully you're enjoying our most recent episode discussing A BLADE SO BLACK by L.L. McKinney. If you'd like to receive episodes early, as well as bonus content, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Patrons receive this newsletter one week early, as well as a list of upcoming podcast episodes.
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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