In Short: February

Posted 29th February 2024 by Sia in State of the Sia / 6 Comments

I haven’t been able to concentrate on anything this month; is it the ADHD, the anxiety, or the depression??? Who knows! Whichever, it means I got a lot less reading and reviewing done than I wanted this month.

ARCs Received

SO IT TURNS OUT THAT EMAILING PUBLICITY TEAMS IS A REALLY GREAT WAY TO GET ARCS. I…am overwhelmed. In a very excited way!!! Thirteen arcs, and most of them straight from my Unmissable SFF of 2024 list!!! EEE!!!


Just 12 books read this month. Very clear evidence that I have been Not Okay.


The Briar Book of the Dead and Mad Sisters of Esi were both absolutely incredible: six-star reads all the way! I hope I can review them and do them justice, as I desperately need more people to read both. (And may have to single-handedly campaign for a UK/US publisher to pick up Mad Sisters, my GODS.) City of Bones and Tarashana were both great, in completely different ways, and I loved the completely fucked-up Next of Kin riiiiight up until that ending.

Scapegracers and Scratch Daughters were equally awesome, rereads in preparation for the last book of the trilogy, Feast Makers. (Spoiler: I am 82% of the way through Feast Makers and am STILL NOT FUCKING READY.)

To the best of my knowledge, 20% of this month’s books had BIPOC authors.


I was terrible at writing this month – I started a bunch of reviews, but only finished writing three. I thought my one for City of Bones wasn’t terrible, though – you’ll see it tomorrow!


Just two DNFs this month! Much better than some months. Imo, In Universes is objectively terrible, while Be The Sea is intended for a subset of readers that does not include me.

ARCs Outstanding

Have I bitten off more than I can chew??? Possibly. But having an overabundance of amazing books is hard to see as a problem.

Unmissable SFF Updates

Once again, I got to add new covers and even whole new books to my Unmissable SFF of 2024 list! This brings us to a total of 91 Unmissable books!

How did my predictions/anticipated reads for February go? Well, of the eleven books I declared Unmissable for Feb (a couple retroactively, after I’d read them and realised they should have been on the list all along!);

  • two were five star reads (interestingly, they happened to be the two I added to the list retroactively; The Tainted Cup and The Briar Book of the Dead)
  • one was a three star read (Butcher of the Forest)
  • three I am currently reading and enjoying immensely (Red Side Story, Projections, and Sunbringer)
  • one I am currently reading but probably going to DNF (Infinity Alchemy)
  • two were fairly meh and I may or may not give them another chance later (Absinthe Underground and Ours)
  • two were complete disappointments (Fathomfolk and Redsight)

Last month I counted currently-reading-and-enjoying as half-points, so that makes for a ‘score’ of 3.5 out of 11 this month. But 2 of those weren’t predictions like the rest – I only added them to the list after I’d read them and knew they were awesome! So should they count as me ‘getting it right’? I did pick them up because I was interested in them, and my interest turned out to be very justified…so…kinda?

3.5 or 1.5 out of 11, then, depending on how you call it. Definitely not as great as last month’s 4.5 out of 7! But I’m having fun keeping track, regardless. (And should I come back and edit these once I finish the currently-reading books…?)


I had a brief whirlwind of excitement at the start of the month, when I was accepted as a reviewer for ARB…only for me to have to cancel the day after, as I’d read half of the book they wanted me to review (In Universes) and fucking hated it. As I detailed in yesterday’s DNF roundup.

Otherwise, I’ve been having a surprisingly fun and soothing time pruning my want to read shelf on Goodreads, starting from the earliest books I added (back when I was 17!) It’s clear my tastes have changed a lot in some ways (I no longer have any interest in Contemporary Fiction, or YA about dystopias, love triangles, or girls discovering they are magically special with the help of bland male love interests) and not-so-much in others (I still crave nonconventional worldbuilding, decadence, and heroes who aren’t cishet white neurotypical men!)

Looking Forward

Tomorrow is my birthday, and it’s going to be a most excellent birthday month!!! The star of the show is obviously Feast Makers, and you’d better believe I’ll be reading the final published version despite reading the arc (I’M NOT READY FOR THIS SERIES TO BE OVER)! The Woods All Black is sure to knock my socks off, and I’ve been anticipating Botanical Daughter since before the author had an agent! Welcome to Forever is the sophomore novel of Nathan Tavares, whose debut Fractured Infinity I adored – and then there’s Mars House, the first Pulley novel I’ve ever been interested in.

Basically, there’s a LOT to look forward to – I hope it’s an awesome month for all of us!

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6 responses to “In Short: February

  1. Happy Birthday!
    I am beyond jealous of you getting your hands on Mad Sisters of Esi. As soon as I read about you reading it, I’ve been waiting to see if we’d get it here. Alas!

    • Sia

      Thank you! 😀

      You should be jealous, it is SO EPICALLY GOOD! If you have a burner/blog email I can message you on, I can tell you how to buy (not pirate!) the ebook from outside India, if you want? There’s a pretty simple trick to it if you use the Big River site. (I’d rather not post it here on the off-chance someone sees it and it goes viral on booktok or something, the way the whole returning-your-ebooks-once-you’ve-read-them thing did a while back, and the BR closes the loophole!) Or I can message you on Insta, I think?

  2. Levo

    Oh no, Magonia! That’s a blast from the past. What did you think of it? Cause I remember hating it XD

    • Sia

      I really liked it, but I’m a sucker for really descriptive and kinda experimental prose, which Magonia has in spades. We’ll see how I do with the sequel…

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