10 Books I’ll Be Hibernating With This Winter

Posted 14th December 2021 by Sia in Top Ten Tuesdays / 2 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Check out upcoming Top Ten themes on Jana’s blog!

Last night I fastened my ice cleats to my sneakers, and they won’t come off before mid-March at least – which means that winter has officially arrived! Excellent timing for a Winter TBR prompt. Of course, the ice cleats going on means the Sia will not be going out unless absolutely necessary – I plan on hibernating through the worst of the annual ice age, thanks very much!

But what good’s hibernating without some wonderful reads to get you through???

Books That Have Been Awaiting Me!

These are the books which are out and published – although one only a week ago! – but which I have failed to give the time and attention they deserve. UNTIL NOW!

Incursion (The Dakotaraptor Riders Book 1) by Stant Litore
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
Representation: F/F

Looking for a thrilling tale with lesbian dakotaraptor riders, were-brachiosaurs, Slavic witches, triceratops cowboys, carnivorous cacti, and invaders with machine guns mounted on deathreaper tyrannosaurs?

If you’ve been looking for a series like that, Stant Litore has your back. In Incursion, join Sasha Nightwatcher and her wife Yekaterina on a wild dash across the violet prairie to save their alien homeworld.


"Straight for the heart and delightfully weird." - Joseph Brassey, author of Skyfarer and Dragon Road

"Stant Litore's work blends an array of singular characters, prehistoric creatures, and an imaginative landscape into a dazzling vision, The Wild Wild West meets Jurassic Park meets Sucker Punch - but beautifully weirder, exploring a frontier that is at once alien and yet familiarly human. His writing is deft and delivers, drawing a perfect balance between the real and the fantastic, whisking you away on a fast-paced journey with characters you will feel deeply for. Mythical and marvelous, this is storytelling at its very best." - Samuel Peralta, The Future Chronicles

"Stant Litore's Incursion brings a new and fantastic universe alive, packed with vivid characters and colossal beasts - yet amidst the story's intense action and swirling dilemmas, he never loses sight of his raison d'être: the power of human connection." - Richard Ellis Preston, Jr., author of Romulus Buckle and the City of the Founders

"A story that charges as hard at the heart as the fierce, raptor-riding heroines whose passion and mission make Incursion a deeply satisfying read. I can't wait for the next book in what promises to be a much larger tale." - James van Pelt, author of Pandora's Gun

"Masterful worldbuilding, immersive prose, and authentic characters create a tale of adventure and love you won't want to put down." - L. J. Hachmeister, author of Triorion

"An exuberant romp filled with dinosaurs and colorful characters, brimming with Litore's trademark big heart. It also carries shades of Anne McCaffrey's Pern, and is sure to please any lover of interplanetary adventure." - Travis Heermann, author of The Ronin Trilogy and The Shinjuku Shadows Trilogy

"Stant Litore has created a story about a fascinating world with brilliant characters, superb action, and a mystery I want to read more about. Also dinosaurs. Lots of dinosaurs." - Steve McHugh, author of The Hellequin Chronicles

"In these dark days, we need reminders of what makes us human: community and song, collaboration, story and hope. The Dakotaraptor Riders gives us those reminders. Woven onto the warp and weft of a rich folklore that feels completely authentic, and yet contains threads that will make contemporary folklorists grin, this tale of clashing philosophies, racing dakotaraptors, and abiding love is a salve for a wounded soul. It reminds us not only that the fight can be won, but that the fight is worth waging against the forces of destruction, of cruelty and colonialism. This book is The Dark Is Rising for science fiction. Read it, and let it braid your frayed threads whole again." - O.E. Tearmann, author of The Hands We're Given

Never say covers don’t matter! I discovered Incursion because I follow the artist who painted the cover, Ashley Hankins, over on insta – and seriously, who could resist that cover?! AND the story is queer as hell??? Two paragraphs into the kindle sample I knew I had to have this book, and I am so looking forward to snuggling up with some hot chocolate and fabulous sapphic raptor-riders!

Plum Duff (Greenwing & Dart Book 6) by Victoria Goddard
Genres: Fantasy

Magic is out of fashion.

Except, obviously, at Winterturn.

Winterturn in Ragnor Bella is a holiday for family, feasting, and a few religious festivities.

Jemis Greenwing and Mr. Dart are both quite ready for a quiet week or two after their adventures going to and coming home from Orio City. Jemis in particular is looking forward to the first Winterturn spent with his father since he was a child.

Then the fairy fox shows up.

Wild magic. Family secrets. Gifts from unknown admirers. Sainthood. And that's before the pageant.

The Dartwing & Green series have been this wonderful, sweet, whimsical solace all year long, and I couldn’t be happier that we got another installment in time for Yule! I have many questions, and my expectations have been set very high…

The Forever Place (Summerhill Supers #2) by J.C. Lillis
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
Representation: Bisexual MC

Since his breakup with his longtime boyfriend, small-town superhero Levon Ludlow has undergone an extreme life makeover. He’s got two new jobs, a remodeled house, custom-tailored trousers, and the power to talk to an even wider array of snarky and cantankerous animals. He swears he’s too busy with his new life to miss his old love—so when Jay calls with a problem only Levon can help with, he’s sure he can keep it professional and drama-free. Even if it DOES involve two weeks at a honeymoon resort with his ex.

Pairing up as a makeshift team, Levon and Jay head for the Valentines island resort in the Florida Keys, where an outbreak of scandalous guest behavior is linked to a flock of red birds and their strange and alluring song. Levon’s mission: use his animal-talking expertise to decode the birds’ song, uncover their goal, and send them back where they came from. Jay’s mission: use his water-moving skills to protect the island from a storm that’s brewing on the horizon. As Levon and Jay work together and reminisce in this land of heart-shaped tubs and vibrating beds, a flood of old feeling pulls them under—but unresolved issues and guilty secrets could kill their second chance before it gets off the ground. Can they come back together, once and for all, and find a new forever place that works for them both?

The sun-drenched sequel to the bittersweet YOU FIRST, this adult romcom is a funny valentine to superhero stories, found families, and love of all kinds, the old and the new.

You First was one of my favourite releases of 2019, and I was ridiculously happy and excited when I found out there was going to be a sequel! I reread You First earlier this year to prepare, and it was just as sweet and heartfelt as I remembered, and it’s about time I get to Forever Place!

The Sphere of the Winds by Rachel Neumeier
Genres: Fantasy, Secondary World Fantasy

The Long awaited sequel to The Floating Islands

The Floating Islands are under siege.

Trei, Araenè, and their friends saved the Floating Islands once, thwarting the Toulonn Empire’s attempt at conquest. But the Toulonnese haven’t given up, and the same trick certainly won’t work a second time … especially when the Islands unexpectedly lose their special connection to dragon magic.

Then it turns out that Toulonn is not the only, or the worst, enemy the Floating Islands face. As peril grows, Trei, with his connection to Toulonn, and Araenè, with her an unusual style of magic, will need all their strength and resolve if they are to find a way to safeguard the Islands once more.

So far I have completely failed to review the first book in this series – although I do have a draft! – despite the fact that The Floating Islands is a dear favourite; even dearer after rereading it to prepare for Sphere of the Winds! That’s not going to stop me from diving into book two, though – I didn’t even know we were getting a sequel!!!

City of Refuge by Starhawk, Jessica Perlstein, Diane Rigoli
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Science Fantasy
Representation: Brown queer cast

Every city needs three things: a plaza, a hearth, and a sacred tree...

In the violent, desperate world of 2048, eco-catastrophes and societal breakdown have left the country splintered. Yet amidst the ruins stands a green and flourishing city where four things are sacred--Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. When the ruthless Stewards of the Southlands invade, the people of Califia defeat them using nonviolence and magic. But they'll be back, unless the northerners can liberate the Southlands first.

Healer Madrone struggles to repair the wounds of war and deprivation. Soldier/defector River leads an Army of Liberation to the south. Bird, musician turned guerrilla, longs to return to the fight, but now he's pledged to deeper powers. How can they build a new world when people are so deeply wounded by the old?

Madrone has a dream... Build a city of refuge in the heartland of the enemy.

How long have I been saying I’ll sit down and read this??? At least half a year! Fingers crossed I’ll finally manage it with things slowing down for winter!

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig

“It’s undeniably thrilling to find words for our strangest feelings…Koenig casts light into lonely corners of human experience…An enchanting book. “ —The Washington Post

A truly original book in every sense of the word, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows poetically defines emotions that we all feel but don’t have the words to express—until now.

Have you ever wondered about the lives of each person you pass on the street, realizing that everyone is the main character in their own story, each living a life as vivid and complex as your own? That feeling has a name: “sonder.” Or maybe you’ve watched a thunderstorm roll in and felt a primal hunger for disaster, hoping it would shake up your life. That’s called “lachesism.” Or you were looking through old photos and felt a pang of nostalgia for a time you’ve never actually experienced. That’s “anemoia.”

If you’ve never heard of these terms before, that’s because they didn’t exist until John Koenig set out to fill the gaps in our language of emotion. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows “creates beautiful new words that we need but do not yet have,” says John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars.

By turns poignant, relatable, and mind-bending, the definitions include whimsical etymologies drawn from languages around the world, interspersed with otherworldly collages and lyrical essays that explore forgotten corners of the human condition—from “astrophe,” the longing to explore beyond the planet Earth, to “zenosyne,” the sense that time keeps getting faster.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is for anyone who enjoys a shift in perspective, pondering the ineffable feelings that make up our lives. With a gorgeous package and beautiful illustrations throughout, this is the perfect gift for creatives, word nerds, and human beings everywhere.

I was a huge fan of the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows project way back when, but I lost track of it at some point – and next thing I know, it’s been published in book-form! I foresee many dreamy thoughtful moments in my reading future…

Early-2022 ARCs!

Of course, there are more than a few upcoming books I need to read too, since their release dates are all scheduled for early next year, and I much prefer getting reviews up before publication day than after. It just seems polite, when I’ve been allowed to read these books early!

Azura Ghost (The Graven, #2) by Essa Hansen
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Science Fantasy
Published on: 1st February 2022

Following Nophek Gloss comes the second book in this highly imaginative new space opera trilogy by debut author Essa Hansen - an action-packed adventure perfect for fans of Star Wars, Children of Time and A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.

Caiden has been on the run for ten years with his unique starship in order to keep his adversary, Threi, imprisoned. But when an old friend he'd once thought dead reappears, he is lured into a game of cat and mouse with the one person whose powers rival Threi's: Threi's sister Abriss.

Now with both siblings on the hunt for Caiden and his ship, Caiden must rescue his long-lost friend from their clutches and uncover the source of both his ship's power and his own origins in order to stop Abriss's plan to collapse the multiverse.

I’m rereading the first book in this series, Neophek Gloss, right now, so I can dive into Azura with my memories refreshed. Neophek took me by surprise in completely sweeping me away when I first read it earlier this year (I missed the initial hype train), leaving me very interested in how book two is going to go down.

Bluebird by Ciel Pierlot
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
Published on: 8th February 2022

Lesbian gunslinger fights spies in space!

Three factions vie for control of the galaxy. Rig, a gunslinging, thieving, rebel with a cause, doesn’t give a damn about them and she hasn’t looked back since abandoning her faction three years ago.

That is, until her former faction sends her a message: return what she stole from them, or they’ll kill her twin sister.

Rig embarks on a journey across the galaxy to save her sister – but for once she’s not alone. She has help from her network of resistance contacts, her taser-wielding librarian girlfriend, and a mysterious bounty hunter.

If Rig fails and her former faction finds what she stole from them, trillions of lives will be lost--including her sister's. But if she succeeds, she might just pull the whole damn faction system down around their ears. Either way, she’s going to do it with panache and pizzazz.

Lesbian gunslinger fights spies in space! is really all I need to hear, honestly. But when it’s also being published by ‘genrefluid’ Angry Robot??? Sign me up!

Dark Breakers by C.S.E. Cooney, Sharon Shinn, Brett Massé
Genres: Fantasy, Portal Fantasy
Published on: 15th February 2022


“Welcome to a Gilded Era like you’ve never before known and will never be able to forget. C. S. E. Cooney’s DARK BREAKERS will transfix and transform you, and, should you chance upon its characters in a glittering hallway, you had best be wearing your fanciest moonlight, and be ready to dance. If Titania herself were to commission a book, it would be this one.”—Fran Wilde, two-time Nebula Award-winning author of UPDRAFT and RIVERLAND

A young human painter and an ageless gentry queen fall in love over spilled wine—at the risk of his life and her immortality. Pulled into the Veil Between Worlds, two feuding neighbors (and a living statue) get swept up in a brutal war of succession. An investigative reporter infiltrates the Seafall City Laundries to write the exposé of a lifetime, and uncovers secrets she never believed possible. Returning to an oak grove to scatter her husband’s ashes, an elderly widow meets an otherworldly friend, who offers her a momentous choice. Two gentry queens of the Valwode plot to hijack a human rocketship and steal the moon out of the sky.

DARK BREAKERS gathers three new and two previously uncollected tales from World Fantasy Award-winning writer C. S. E. Cooney that expand on the thrice-enfolded worlds first introduced in her Locus and World Fantasy award-nominated novella DESDEMONA AND THE DEEP. In her introduction to DARK BREAKERS, Crawford Award-winning author Sharon Shinn advises those who pick up this book to “settle in for a fantastical read” full of “vivid world-building, with layer upon layer of detail; prose so dense and gorgeous you can scoop up the words like handfuls of jewels; a mischievous sense of humor; and a warm and hopeful heart.”

“C. S. E. Cooney’s prose is like a cake baked by the fairies—beautifully layered, rich and precise, so delicious that it should be devoured with a silver fork. Since you can’t eat DARK BREAKERS, I suggest you read it slowly, savoring every slice. And if it gives you strange dreams—well, what did you expect of fairy cake?”—Theodora Goss, World Fantasy and Mythopoeic Award-winning author of The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series

“DARK BREAKERS is a magnificent parure of novellas and matched stories, a suite of jewelled and velvet tales, delicately linked and ferociously glittering. A baroquely intense confection with a core of typewriters and coal fortunes, DARK BREAKERS is compounded of voluptuous invention and ferocious structural loves—for new romances and old friends, for the works of hands, for mortality and its gifts, and all the possibilities of worlds bleeding, weeping, wandering into each other’s arms.”—Kathleen Jennings, World Fantasy Award-winning author of FLYAWAY

“Few people create worlds as lavish and sensual as those to spring from Cooney’s effervescent imagination. Her writing isn’t so much inspirational, but inspiration itself: gentry-magic spun into pages and paragraphs of glittering, fizzing, jaw-dropping beauty.”—Cassandra Khaw, British Fantasy Award-nominated author of THE ALL-CONSUMING WORLD

CSE Cooney is one of my all-time favourite writers – and it’s not as if I’ve been ignoring my ARC of her next book! It’s just that it’s so impossibly pulchritudinous, so gleamingly kicky, so very terribly transfixing, that I cannot read it all in one go, okay? I would overdose on paragonical prose. Nobody wants to see that.

(Is paragonical a word? No it is not, but the English language failed to offer me a term that sufficiently encompassed everything Cooney’s writing is so I had to MAKE ONE UP IT IS NOW)

Hence, going very slowly and carefully. And probably rereading it at least three times before sitting down to review it!

Age of Ash (Kithamar #1) by Daniel Abraham
Genres: Fantasy, Secondary World Fantasy
Published on: 15th February 2022

New York Times
bestselling and critically acclaimed author Daniel Abraham, co-author of
The Expanse
, comes a monumental epic fantasy trilogy that unfolds within the walls of a single great city, over the course of one tumultuous year, where every story matters, and the fate of the city is woven from them all.

“An atmospheric and fascinating tapestry, woven with skill and patience.” –Joe Abercrombie, New York Times bestselling author of A Little Hatred

Kithamar is a center of trade and wealth, an ancient city with a long, bloody history where countless thousands live and their stories unfold.

This is Alys's.

When her brother is murdered, a petty thief from the slums of Longhill sets out to discover who killed him and why.  But the more she discovers about him, the more she learns about herself, and the truths she finds are more dangerous than knives. 

Swept up in an intrigue as deep as the roots of Kithamar, where the secrets of the lowest born can sometimes topple thrones, the story Alys chooses will have the power to change everything.

I guess he’s most famous for The Expanse now, but to me the name Daniel Abraham is a byword for unique, subversive, outside-the-box fantasy. (Seriously, have you read the Long Price quartet??? The Dagger and the Coin series??? If not, GO READ THEM, and if you have, GO READ THEM AGAIN!) So fuck yes, I jumped at the chance to read the first book of his new fantasy series! (And for the record, so far it is excellent!)

What will you be reading this wintertime?


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