Mid April 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 April Releases:

  • A Witch's Guide to Magical Innkeeping by Sangu Mandanna

  • Orphia And Eurydicius by Elyse John

  • To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods by Molly X. Chang

  • Blood Justice by Terry J. Benton-Walker

  • Heavenly Tyrant by Xiran Jay Zhao

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.

I have been sewing a lot, especially while I'm unemployed and job-hunting. I've been sewing enough that I finally made a blog just for that, you can check out the link here. It's all hand-sewn, so even small projects take a day or two.

Recent Reviews

THE AFFAIR OF THE MYSTERIOUS LETTER by Alexis Hall is Fantasy/Mystery/Retelling, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Captain John Wyndham and Ms. Shaharazad Haas solve a strange mystery in this Sherlock Holmes reimagining. Told in First Person with Single POV.

THREE KINGS by Freydís Moon is Fantasy/Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Ethan is struggling with infertility, but his quiet life with his husband is disrupted by a handsome selkie. Told in Third Person with Single POV.

A LADY FOR A DUKE by Alexis Hall, book 1 of A Lady for a Duke is Romance/Historical, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Viola changed her life after Normandy, but her best friend thinks she died. Told in Third Person with Dual POVs.

THE FALL THAT SAVED US by Tamara Jerée is Fantasy/Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Cassiel is a nephilim, named for an angel, and she's falling in love with a demon. Told in First Person with Single POV.

SHADES AND SILVER by Dax Murray, book 1 of Scions and Shadows is Fantasy, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Britt doesn't know if they can choose the horn that's right for them. Told in First/Third Person with Dual POVs.

LORD OF RAVENS by A.K. Faulkner, book 3 of Inheritance is Fantasy/Romance, with queer character(s), marketed as Adult. Laurence is trying to learn sorcery, and Quentin finds himself on his own to protect the children from a strange threat. Told in Third Person with Dual POVs.

Reviews forthcoming for TO GAZE UPON WICKED GODS by Molly X. Chang and WHAT MOVES THE DEAD by T. Kingfisher.


I tried a bunch of new books, many of which were indie titles, and some of them didn't work for me.

  • A Vermilion Curse by D.C. Guevara

  • Deny Me, the Nightshade Boy by Mary VanAlstine

  • Honu Book One: Waterborn by Dawyone Combes

  • The Necessity of Rain by Sarah Chorn

  • Bring Her Home by R.N. Barbosa

  • Realm of Hope by E.L. Li

  • Alfajiri by Michael LaBorn

  • The Brightest Shadow by Sarah Lin

The only noteworthy one is Killer Heart by Rhys Lawless. I made it a third of the way through but I didn't like the tone or the very snappy/snarky narrative style. It was frustratingly close to a style I do like, but the edges were crueler than I like in a protagonist (especially on first meeting).

Rereads and Older Reviews

I'm re-reading the Inheritance series by A.K. Faulkner. Yes this is a different re-read from last time, it's my third trip through the series since finding it in December 2023. Part of this is that I'm doing a lot of sewing, and I love the audiobook narrator's performance. Part of it is just how excellent the series is.

Current Reads

I'm re-reading PAGE OF TRICKS by A.K. Faulkner, and CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins. I'm also reading ARCs of NICKED by M.T. Anderson, BLOOD JUSTICE by Terry J. Benton-Walker, and THE WINGS OF ASHTAROTH by Steve Hugh Westenra. I got distracted from A CROWN SO CURSED by L.L. McKinney, partly because it's a hardcopy and I've been leaning into audiobooks and ebooks lately.

In Case You Missed It

This time last year I read BLOODMARKED by Tracy Deonn, the excellent sequel to LEGENDBORN.

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 2024 list here.

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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