Early May 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

I'm participating in Dracula Daily (starting May 3rd), reading the book on the dates for each section.

Recent Reviews

Reviews forthcoming for A HOUSE WITH GOOD BONES by T. Kingfisher, TERRIER by Tamora Pierce, and BLOOD DEBTS by Terry J. Benton-Walker.

THE UNDEAD TRUTH OF US by Britney S. Lewis is Fantasy/Horror marketed as Young Adult. Zharie starts seeing people as zombies, including her mother right before her untimely death. Told in First Person with Single POV.

LADY KNIGHT by Tamora Pierce, book 4 of Protector of the Small is Fantasy marketed as Young Adult. Keladry is a new knight with a role to play in the war against Scanra. Told in Third Person with an Omniscient Narrator.

CURSES by Lish McBride is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Merit was cursed to be a beast unless she marries someone of her mother's choosing. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

THE BURIED AND THE BOUND by Rochelle Hassan, book 1 of The Buried and the Bound is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Leo was cursed to forget his true love on his sixteenth birthday. He teams up with Aziza, a hedgewitch, to try and break his curse. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

I also wrote an essay with some personal thoughts related to reading FEED THEM SILENCE by Lee Mandelo.


I've been trying to churn through some of the miscellaneous titles in my to-read pile where they ended up in my queue just for being (usually queer) fantasy books. This results in some gems, like THE BURIED AND THE BOUND (review listed above), but also means I have a pretty long DNF list for this fortnight.

  • BEYOND THE RUBY VEIL by Mara Fitzgerald

  • A DARK AND STARLESS FOREST by Sarah Hollowell

  • THE DARK TIDE by Alicia Jasinska

  • LIAR CITY by Allie Therin

  • THE WITCH AND THE VAMPIRE by Francesca Flores

  • FUTURE FEELING by Joss Lake


  • MY DEAR HENRY by Kalynn Bayron


  • REBEL SEOUL by Axie Oh

  • THE BLACK COAST by Mike Brooks

I wrote formal DNF reviews for THE WITCH COLLECTOR by Charissa Weaks and IMPOSTORS by Scott Westerfeld.

Rereads and Older Reviews

I re-read DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES and BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY by Seanan McGuire, THE GHOST BRIDE by Yangsze Choo and BATTLE ROYALE by Koushun Takami.

Current Reads

I'm still working my way through re-reads of THE VEILED THRONE by Ken Liu and KING OF THE RISING by Kacen Callender.

I started WALK BETWEEN WORLDS by Samara Breger but I don't like the narrative style and I'll probably end up DNFing it pretty soon.

I've almost done with BLOOD DEBTS by Terry J. Benton-Walker, it's a fantastic book and I'm excited to see how it ends.

THE FIRST SISTER by Linden A. Lewis is a good but stressful read so far, it's a sci-fi book dealing with various forms of exploitation (frequently compared to The Handmaid's Tale, and with good reason).

In Case You Missed It

This time last year I read WHITE SMOKE by Tiffany D. Jackson, a horror novel about a Black girl with anxiety who moves to a small town in Ohio as part of her mother's job.

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.

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


Co-host of Books That Burn


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