Late August Reviews (2023)


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The combination of getting approved for a bunch of ARCs and reducing how many reviews I'm posting each week means that a lot more of what I'm reading are advanced copies. I also would like to signal boost new releases by authors I've enjoyed previously, even if I haven't yet gotten around to their newest offerings. With that in mind, I'll start mentioning recent/upcoming releases of authors whose books I've reviewed previously.

Notable August Releases:

  • HE WHO DROWNED THE WORLD by Shelley Parker-Chan (sequel to SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN) - August 22nd

  • NEVER A HERO by Vanessa Len (sequel to ONLY A MONSTER) - August 29th

Recent Reviews

SURREALITY by Matt Doyle is Horror, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Tony and Benny were investigating an urban legend when they got more than they bargained for. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

SLEEP NO MORE by Seanan McGuire, book 17 of October Daye is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. October lives in her mother's tower with her sister and father, when she's told that what she remembers isn't real and she's needed to break the spell. Told in First Person with Single POV.

FRONTIER by Grace Curtis is Romance/Sci-Fi, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. A stranger crash-lands on Earth, a planet filled with frontier law and religious fanatics who stayed behind after most of humanity went to the stars. Told in Third Person with an Omniscient Narrator.

ITHACA by Claire North, book 1 of The Songs of Penelope is Fantasy/Historical, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Penelope is a queen surrounded by borish suitors and assumed to be powerless as she waits for her husband, Odysseus, to return, and the suitors try to persuade her of their merits and his death. Told in First Person with an Omniscient Narrator.

Reviews forthcoming for UNSEELIE BY Ivelisse Housman and THE INNOCENT SLEEP by Seanan McGuire.


I had a few where I didn't get very far before stopping:

  • THE FAITHLESS by C.L. Clark (I tried the audiobook after reading the first book as a physical copy, I'll likely try again after a re-read of THE UNBROKEN)


  • DRAGON QUEENS by Kathleen de Plume

  • THE SURVIVING SKY by Kritika H. Rao

  • JADE LEGACY by Fonda Lee (I hope to try this again later, it depicts recovery after a TBI which was accurate in a way that was stressful for me since I had one a few years ago)

I wrote a formal DNF review for FLUX by Jinwoo Chong.

Rereads and Older Reviews

I re-read all the short stories about the Lordens in the October Daye series, most of which are available through Seanan McGuire's Patreon.

Current Reads

DRACULA DAILY continues, and will until early November.

I'm currently reading several ARCS. THE SPIRIT BARES ITS TEETH is the newest book by Andrew Joseph White. I'm also reading an ARC of NETWORK EFFECT by Martha Wells, the newest Murderbot book. THE TAINTED CUP by Robert Jackson Bennett is a fantasy, genderbent Sherlock Holmes retelling, though I'm not familiar enough with that canon to know if it's retelling a specific one of the stories or just using the archetype of the character. I'm also reading WAKE THE DEAD by Sophie Whittemore, a previous interviewee on the podcast.

In Case You Missed It

This time last year I read ONLY A MONSTER by Vanessa Len.

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, WAR GIRLS by Tochi Onyebuchi. 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.

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


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