Late 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.

Recent Reviews

Reviews forthcoming for FLIGHT & ANCHOR by Nicole Kornher-Stace, THE MYSTERIES OF THORN MANOR by Margaret Rogerson, and THE BONE SHARD EMPEROR by Andrea Stewart.

LAST TO LEAVE THE ROOM by Caitlin Starling is Horror marketed as Adult. Tamsin is a scientist, studying a strange phenomenon underground, then a door appears in her basement. Told in Third Person with Single POV.

BACKPACKING THROUGH BEDLAM by Seanan McGuire, book 12 of Incryptid is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Alice finally has her husband back, but they have a lot to do before they can be home. Told in First Person with Single POV.

MASTIFF by Tamora Pierce, book 3 of Beka Cooper is Fantasy marketed as Young Adult. Beka Cooper and Tunstall are sent on the trail of a kidnapped prince. Told in First Person with Dual POVs.

THE LIGHTS OF PRAGUE by Nicole Jarvis is Fantasy/Historical, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Domek is a lamplighter, protecting people at night from the pijavica (vampires) and other monsters in the night. Told in Third Person with Dual POVs.

A PRAYER FOR THE CROWN-SHY by Becky Chambers, book 2 of Monk & Robot is Sci-Fi, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Mosscap and Sibling Dex continue their travels, now entering the towns so Mosscap can ask people what they need. Told in Third Person with an Omniscient Narrator.

THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER by Andrea Stewart, book 1 of The Drowning Empire is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Lin is the daughter of the emperor, trying to learn his bone shard magic. The shards are taken from each citizen as children, letting their life force be used to fuel constructs. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.


I thought this was a light fortnight, but there's still a small pile of DNFs.

  • THE KEEPER OF NIGHT by Kylie Lee Baker

  • VITA NOSTRA by Marina Dyachenko

  • ELVISH by S.G. Prince

  • TO SHAPE A DRAGONS' BREATH by Moniquill Blackgoose

  • SEVEN DEVILS by L.R. Lam and Elizabeth May

I didn't finish my ARC of THE WILL OF THE MANY By James Islington.

Rereads and Older Reviews

I finished re-reads of KING OF THE RISING by Kacen Callender, THE DARKNESS OUTSIDE US by Eliot Schrefer, SHADOW OF THE FOX by Julie Kagawa, and a whole pile of the Wayward Children books by Seanan McGuire (COME TUMBLING DOWN, ACROSS THE GREEN GRASS FIELDS, and WHERE THE DROWNED GIRLS GO). This

No Review

I read the graphic novel BE KIND, MY NEIGHBOR by Yugo Limbo, about murder, love, cults, and puppets. I also read the short story SKELETON SONG by Seanan McGuire, part of the Wayward Children series.

Current Reads

I'm reading DRACULA by Bram Stoker through the Dracula Daily emails (from May to November), so this will be in process for a while.

THE BLACK COUNT by Tom Reiss is about the father of novelist Alexandre Dumas.

I'm currently re-reading CLOCKWORK BOYS and I expect to re-read the currently available books in the World of the White Rat in pretty short order.

I started THE BONE SHARD WAR, I'm hoping to finish it quickly so I can get my review out a week after my long-scheduled reviews of the first two books. It's great so far! I have high hopes.

In Case You Missed It

This time last year I read LUCKY GIRL by Mary Rickert, a Christmas horror story.

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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A black and brown tortoiseshell cat (Folio) sits curled up holding a small turtle. Her paws rest on either side of its shell, like she's hugging it.


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