In Short: January

Posted 31st January 2024 by Sia in State of the Sia / 0 Comments

It doesn’t feel like it, but looking at the numbers, I’m clearly doing better: reading plenty, and writing a whole bunch of reviews! Plus I managed to work a little on my fiction writing too, which is a BIG DEAL for me. Much yay!

And now, the books!

ARCs Received

Um, THIS IS A LOT! But a good, very exciting lot!!! 😀 At a quick guesstimation, I usually receive 3-5 arcs a month, so I am SLIGHTLY SURPRISED to have been approved for all these! But I’m not complaining – nearly all of these are on my Unmissable SFF of 2024 list, and the ones that aren’t, I’m deeply interested in. AND THE REST I’M EXTREMELY EXCITED ABOUT!

Read

20 books read; fewer than December, but only by a little! And this was a pretty excellent reading month; the latest Wayward Children book made me EXTREMELY happy; the upcoming Tainted Cup absolutely rocked, as did Exordia (although they’re wildly different books!) The Fall That Saved Us enchanted me with tropes I usually don’t like, but enjoyed the hell out of (pun totally intended) in Jerée’s hands; and Gilded Crown was a really gorgeous, thoughtful fantasy with religious and political intrigue. (I don’t know why they’ve given it a very Romantasy/Paranormal Romance cover; I’m ignoring it and using the original US cover because it’s much more accurate to the vibe of the book.)

And of course there were some beloved rereads, like Book of Firsts, Midnight Lie and Taste of Gold and Iron!

To the best of my knowledge, 10% of this month’s books had BIPOC authors.

Reviewed

These, plus my DNF reviews (which I am absolutely counting, because I wrote a lot for most of them) add up to SIXTEEN reviews this month!!! Insert le gasp!emoji here. Granted, most of these were mini-reviews, and I wasn’t super proud of any of them, particularly…but still! I’m counting it a major milestone/success!!!

(Although the Tainted Cup review goes live tomorrow – so, posted in February. But I wrote it in January!)

DNF-ed

The Poisons We Drink and No Gods For Drowning are not bad books; I just couldn’t handle the triggers in the former, and was distracted away from the latter and didn’t want to pick it up again. No harm, no foul.

The rest, though? I would argue, absolutely sucked. Faebound in particular is one of the worst things I’ve read in a LONG time; I do not understand the hype. You can read all my thoughts about this lot here.

ARCs Outstanding

Down to 17! A distinct improvement from last month’s 23. I still have absolutely no idea how to review Menewood…words can’t do it justice. SOMEHOW I MUST FIND A WAY.

Unmissable SFF Updates

Unsurprisingly, I already got to add some new books and covers to my Unmissable SFF of 2024 list! (Seriously, how did I forget to put Deep Black on there?! I’ve only been pining for it since 2021!) This brings us to a total of 87 Unmissable books!

Including, alas, four books that have already been struck from the list. I thought it would take longer to be proven wrong about any of my anticipated reads, but I guess not!

Speaking of, how did my predictions/anticipated reads for January go? Well, of the seven books I declared Unmissable for the first month of 2024;

  • Four were five-star reads (Mislaid in Paths Half-Known; Tadek and the Princess; Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands; and Exordia)
  • One I am currently reading and enjoying very much (The Principles of Moments)
  • One was a complete disappointment (City of Stardust)
  • One proved kind of meh and I’ll give it another go later (Beautyland)

Four-and-a-half (counting Principles as a half) out of seven isn’t bad at all! I wonder if February will turn out as well, worse, or better???

Misc

This month I hit 3000 books read on Goodreads!

It’s a nice big round number, so I figured it was worth marking the occasion.

I also updated my About and Review Policy pages, mostly to make for easier reading, and to make absolutely clear I will have no AI garbage anywhere near me, thank you.

Looking Forward

February is packed full of exciting releases! I’m rereading Shades of Grey right now to prepare for Red Side Story, Premee Mohamed is guaranteed to knock it out of the park, and there’s a bunch of books from authors I haven’t read before; Absinthe Underground, about a literal green fairy; Ours, which sounds like it’s going to be something really special; and Roxy and Coco, which is out tomorrow and promises some very wacky fun!

Wishing us all a fabulous February!

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