Mid February 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:



  • 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

THE FOX WIFE by Yangzee Choo is Literary/Speculative Fiction marketed as Adult. Snow is a fox, able to turn into a human, who is trying to find and kill the photographer responsible for her child's death. Told in First/Third Person with Dual POVs.

REBEL SISTERS by Tochi Onyebuchi, book 2 of War Girls is Sci-Fi, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Ify is now in the Space Colonies, five years since the Biafran War ended. Told in First/Third Person with Dual POVs.

THE DIABLO'S CURSE by Gabe Cole Novoa, book 2 of The Wicked Bargain is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Dami is a demonio, trying to cancel all their bargains in order to become fully human. Silas is the holder of Dami's last remaining bargain, but he needs a curse dealt with before he will cancel the deal. Told in Third Person with Ensemble POVs.

A PHOENIX FIRST MUST BURN, edited by Patrice Caldwell is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Young Adult. Sixteen stories celebrating Black Girl Magic. Told in an Anthology with multiple POV styles.

THE SAINT OF BRIGHT DOORS by Vajra Chandrasekera is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Fetter was raised to kill his father as part of his mother's religious beliefs, but finds himself adrift when he moves to a city where prophecies are a dime a dozen. Told in Third Person with Dual POVs.

JACK OF THORNS by A.K. Faulkner, book 1 of Inheritance is Fantasy/Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Laurence is a florist with plant magic and a drug addiction he's trying to shake, but a god is offering magic and he's not sure he can say no. Told in Third Person with Dual POVs.

Reviews forthcoming for THE REANIMATOR'S SOUL by Kara Jorgensen and THE POMEGRANATE GATE by Ariel Kaplan.


I had several DNFs this fortnight:

  • DARK MOON, SHALLOW SEA by David R. Slayton - My second DNF for this author, I think his style just doesn't mesh with me

  • THE PAINTED MAN (maybe THE WARDED MAN, the title is inconsistent) by Peter V. Brett - Didn't like the style

  • DEAD THINGS by Stephen Blackmoore - Disliked the main character immediately

  • THE HURRICANE WARS by Thea Guanzon - Not into it, turns out it's Reylo fanfic, not my thing

  • THE POISONS WE DRINK by Bethany Baptiste - I'm having trouble getting into new YA, this wasn't my thing.

Rereads and Older Reviews

I read some more Animorphs books for an upcoming project with a friend, that's going really well!

Current Reads

I'm partway into my ARC of MOONSTORM by Yoon Ha Lee. If I don't finish it it'll be because I may need to be done trying to read new YA with female protagonists. I'm now in my thirties and don't relate easily to stories of coming of age as a girl, it's been very hit or miss lately when I've read books which have that as a major theme. It could be an age thing, it's definitely a dysphoria thing, either way I'm going to stop trying to get YA ARCs except maybe from specific authors.

In Case You Missed It

This time last year I read EVEN THOUGH I KNEW THE END by C.L. Polk. It's an excellent fantasy novella by one of my favorite authors, definitely worth checking out!

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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