Author's Note

My Top 5 Books I DIDN’T Read This Year

While everyone’s posting their favourite books of the year, I’m putting mine off for a bit, because there are still several hours of reading time left – who knows if I’ll discover a new favourite for the year in that time?! But what keeps sticking in my mind is how many amazing books I didn’t get the chance to read this year, even though they have been sitting on my TBR tempting me. I’ve mentioned quite a bit in my monthly check ins that I’ve not had the brain power for anything particularly intricate recently, but I wanted to highlight a few books that I wish I’d gotten to, and that I’m pretty sure are going to be 5 star reads when I do get to them!

(A quick note that all these books were sent free of charge for review, with the exception of Lady of Shadows, which I won from the publisher in a competition.)

Call of the Bone Ships by RJ Barker

The Bone Ships blew me away with its inventive world and swashbuckling style – you can see my review here, where I described it as “weirdly wholesome but also deviously dark”. The story so far plays with gender in clever ways, and has some wonderful characters – I’m excited to read this sequel and carry on with the story.

Dead Man in a Ditch by Luke Arnold

Another sequel to a book I adored – you can check out my ten-cat review of the masterful urban fantasy noir, The Last Smile in Sunder City here. I’ve actually been putting this off simply because I want to save it for exactly the right time, and let it wash over me in a wave of brilliance the way the first one did – I might have to book some babysitting time so I can devour it in one go.

Lady of Shadows by Breanna Teintze

Look, this is mostly all sequels, because a) a lot of them came out this year, and b) when I’ve had a taste of how good a book can be, I want to savour any subsequent books in the series – which isn’t ideal when I don’t have much savouring time. Anyway, Lady of Shadows is a continuation of Lord of Secrets, which is one of the most perfect fantasy adventures I’ve ever read (think if The Mummy films were about disaster wizards, thieves, and necromancers!) – you can find my review for that here. This is a book I’m saving for a real pick-me-up and I can’t wait to see what trouble the characters can get into next!

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow

Not a sequel! This is, however, Alix E Harrow’s second book, and after she hit my elite ten-cat favourites list with the gorgeous, hopeful The Ten Thousand Doors of January (review for that here), I was even more excited to hear about this alternate history tale of suffragette witches. I’m expecting this one to be a slow, but beautiful read – plus, look how lovely and chonky it is!

Hollow Empire by Sam Hawke

The sequel to the immensely fun City of Lies (review here), Hollow Empire is sneaking onto this list even though I’m actually halfway through it already. I won’t finish it this year, because I’m squashing in a few shorter things to boost my numbers tonight, but it’s on track to be finished soon and I am so excited to see how things progress, because it’s engrossing so far! This is super smart political fantasy with a great central sibling relationship and a spot-on depiction of that ‘I need an adult – wait, I’m an adult’ feeling I think a lot of us have had this year.

So, there we go – my five favourite books I didn’t actually read this year. I hope I’m not the only one who puts off their most anticipated books for too long..?

Book Reviews

Review: City of Lies

If a book is about poisons and food tasters, it’s a guaranteed buy for me, so when I read the first line of City of Lies I knew I was in for a treat. Poison is front and centre in Sam Hawke’s debut, but so is an extremely original look at the complexities of siege warfare, and the difficulties of governing a city filled with different religious beliefs.

thumbnail_IMG_6615.jpg Continue reading “Review: City of Lies”