Late January Reviews (2024)


Welcome to the Books That Burn Fortnightly Roundup! Releasing every two weeks (one week early for Patrons).

News and Events

I track upcoming book releases by authors we've previously covered on a shareable google calendar.

Notable February Releases:

  • Tales of the Celestial Kingdom by Sue Lynn Tan

  • An Education in Malice by S.T. Gibson

  • The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo

  • The Diablo's Curse by Gabe Cole Novoa

  • The Butcher of the Forest by Premee Mohamed

Signal Boost

If there's no ceasefire in Gaza by the time you read this, please use resources like Ceasefire Now to contact your representatives and ask them to support a ceasefire in the crisis in Gaza. The link includes information on planned protests and demonstrations, and has information for people internationally on what they can do to get involved.

Recent Reviews

ALL THE HIDDEN PATHS by Foz Meadows, book 2 of The Tithenai Chronicles is Fantasy/Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Velasin and Caethari are summoned to Tithenai's capital city to present themselves to the monarch, but their trip is beset by accidents, and the politics are cutthroat. Told in First/Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

THE VOICE UPSTAIRS by Laura E. Weymouth is Historical/Mystery marketed as Young Adult. Wil and Ed are friends, despite Wil's grandfather working for Ed's family. But Wil can see ghosts, and people have started dying at the Grange. Told in Third Person with Dual POVs.

THE LANGUAGE OF ROSES by Heather Rose Jones is Fantasy/Retelling, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Alys is sent to live with a strange, isolated couple in a magical castle after her father plucks a rose from their garden. Told in First/Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

IMMORTAL LONGINGS by Chloe Gong, book 1 of Flesh and False Gods is Fantasy marketed as Adult. Calla, August, and Anton are locked in a strange battle as Calla and Anton compete in a deadly competition and August tries to maneouver his chosen winner in position for an assassination. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

PALADIN'S FAITH by T. Kingfisher, book 4 of The Saint of Steel is Fantasy/Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Marguerite is a spy who returns to the White Rat to ask Beartongue for help rescuing an artificer whose invention could transform many people's lives. Beartongue sends two paladins to escort her, and one of them turns out to be sexier than Marguerite thought someone that guilt-ridden could be. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

MIRAGE by Somaiya Daud, book 1 of Mirage is Fantasy/Sci-Fi marketed as Young Adult. Amani is stolen from her home to be the body double for the princess of the colonizers. Told in First Person with Single POV.

Reviews forthcoming for THE FOX WIFE by Yangsze Choo and REBEL SISTERS by Tochi Onyebuchi.


I tried reading THE WIZARD HUNTERS by Martha Wells, but I didn't like it as much as the first two Il-Rien books, at least for now it's a DNF. I also made a brief foray into THE FREE PEOPLE'S VILLAGE by Sim Kern but bounced off it because of its relatively contemporary setting.

Rereads and Older Reviews

I'm still working my way through Animorphs and will be for a while. I finished my re-read of SEASONAL FEARS by Seanan McGuire and I'm very excited for the upcoming sequel.

Current Reads

I'm still putting off finishing THE RAVEN KING as I want to savor it.

I'm over halfway through THE POMEGRANATE GATE by Ariel Kaplan and I'm entranced by how good it is.

I'm having trouble getting into THE POISONS WE DRINK by Bethany Baptiste and I'm considering a DNF. Since I entered my thirties I've found it harder and harder to get into new YA, as many of the themes are much less relevant or interesting to me, and this feels like it's the case here.

THE SAINT OF BRIGHT DOORS by Vajra Chandrasekera is a very cool and weird fantasy about strange circumstances, toxic family, and the strain of the world changing when you aren't looking. I've been dipping in and out of it, but will likely finish it soon.

In Case You Missed It

This time last year I read BREAKABLE THINGS by Cassandra Khaw, an excellent horror anthology. One of the stories received a novella-length follow-up, THE SALT GROWS HEAVY.

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.

Speaking of Bookshop, I've put together top picks lists for 2021 onwards. Books are included based on the year they were published, so occasionally older lists might get new titles. To be in the Top Picks list a book needs to get a five-star rating from me, and be published in the year of the list. You can find the 2023 list here, and I've begun the 2024 list with ARCs I'm reviewing.

As for the podcast, hopefully you're enjoying our most recent episode. 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 and even more planned reviews.

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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