Early April 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.

Recent Reviews

Reviews forthcoming for IRON HEART by Nina Varela, PAGE by Tamora Pierce, and BLOODMARKED by Tracy Deonn.

HEART OF THE SUN WARRIOR by Sue Lynn Tan, book 2 of The Celestial Kingdom Duology is Fantasy/Romance marketed as Adult. Xingyin leaves the moon once again to try and protect her home and untangle her parents' legacy. Told in First Person with Single POV.

A RESTLESS TRUTH by Freya Marske, book 2 of The Last Binding is Fantasy/Historical/Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Maud tries to find a piece of the Last Contract after its holder is murdered on the ship journey back from America. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

PTOLEMY'S GATE by Jonathan Stroud, book 3 of Bartimaeus is Fantasy marketed as Young Adult. Bartimaeus has been kept in service by Nathaniel and his essence wears thin. Told in First/Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

CRIER'S WAR by Nina Varela, book 1 of Crier's War is Fantasy/Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Crier is one of the Automae, Made to carry on her father's legacy, but she finds herself falling in love with a human servant rather than the Made her father chose. Told in Third Person with Dual POVs.

INTO THE WINDWRACKED WILDS by A. Deborah Baker, book 3 of The Up and Under is Fantasy marketed as Middle Grade. Avery and Zib enter the Land of Air, and discover what they're willing to give up to regain important things which were lost. Told in Third Person with an Omniscient Narrator.

FIRST TEST by Tamora Pierce, book 1 of Protector of the Small is Fantasy marketed as Young Adult. Keladry is accepted as a probationary page and deals with bullying as she pursues her dream of being a knight. Told in Third Person with an Omniscient Narrator.


I made it a ways into my ARC of She is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran before figuring out that I wasn't into it. I do agree with the blurb that people who like Mexican Gothic may enjoy it, it just wasn't a fit for me.

I tried a bunch of books where I got only a few pages in before stopping, here's that list:

  • Twisted Pretty Things by Ariana Nash

  • Lord of Eternal Night by Ben Alderson

  • The Cerulean by Amy Ewing

  • Reforged by Seth Haddon

  • Hamlet, Prince of Robots by M. Darusha Wehm

  • Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi

  • The Book of Azrael by Amber Nicole

I wrote a formal DNF review for The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas.

No Review (Nonfiction, Graphic Novels, etc.)

I read a graphic novella called "Conversion Disorder" which is a very cool take on the conversion of Paul.

I also finished a nonfiction book by Erik Davis called "High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experiences in the Seventies", which is about Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson.

Current Reads

I'm reading a book about recent supreme court cases. I'm also re-reading KING OF THE RISING BY Kacen Callender, THE VEILED THRONE by Ken Liu and WAR GIRLS by Tochi Onyebuchi.

I'm almost done with BLOODMARKED by Tracy Deonn, the excellent sequel to LEGENDBORN.

In Case You Missed It

This time last year I read Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid.

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 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 discussing THE GRACE OF KINGS by Ken Liu. 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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