In Short: June

Posted 30th June 2023 by Sia in State of the Sia / 0 Comments

Repetitive strain injury has left me mostly unable to use my hands, and an adjustment to my meds resulted in a pretty bad depression spiral. Luckily, I have no arc deadlines in July, so I may be quieter next month. We’ll see!

ARCs Received

SO MANY ARCS! Is 14 a new record??? Possibly??? Either way I have been spoiled rotten this month, and I regret nothing.

I learned about Lilith from the marvellous Elyse Johnson, who featured it in an insta post: I still can’t believe I didn’t hear about it long before! I’m literally sitting here wearing a pendant of the Seal of Lilith as I type this; she’s a big deal for me. I’m always looking for books about her so I’m immensely excited to give this a try!

I had no idea that Kathe Koja was working on a sequel to Dark Factorywhich was not my usual kind of thing at all, but that I loved – until the publisher, Meerkat Press, sent me an email with the arc!!! And WHY WOULD I TURN THAT DOWN?

The rest were all books I was interested in and crossed my fingers for, but I wasn’t actually expecting to get approved for this many!!!


I felt like I was really struggling to read this month, but the numbers don’t bear that out at all… 24 books read this month, and wow, did June provide some stunners! The Last Dragoners of Bowbazar was an instant forever-book; Master of Samar, Pomegranate Gate, and If Found Return to Hell all delighted me in very different ways. I’m really looking forward to writing up I Feed Her to the Beast and The Beast Is Me; I read the entire book in one sitting! And I’m very glad I read Shades of Grey with only a year to wait for the sequel, rather than ages ago when it first came out – THAT ENDING!

Quite a few rereads, especially towards the end of the month, which is when I started to spiral. And novellas too, for much the same reason.

To the best of my knowledge, 45.8% of this month’s books were by BIPOC authors. That might be the most I’ve ever managed since I started keeping track!


I managed to meet most of my arc deadlines this month, but only barely, and I missed one – both of which distress me. And there were so many incredible books this month that I desperately want to review, but I just wasn’t able to. Here’s hoping my hands (and spoons!) get back to normal quickly so I can get on that.


Four DNFs isn’t so bad; but I did finally call it quits (with much swearing) on the War of Light and Shadow series by Janny Wurst.

ARCs Outstanding

I realise I should probably be intimidated, but honestly, looking at all these I just want to give a happy sigh, so. Think I’m still doing okay.


I celebrated Every Book a Doorway’s fourth birthday with a round of Pride flag-themed recs! Still can’t believe that this little blog is four whole years old!

And then there was the cover reveal for ST Gibson’s Education in Malice, which was fun! Looking forward to getting to read it.

Roseanna Pendlebury of Nerds of a Feather wrote a scathing and entirely accurate essay on how fucking boring the wave of mythical retellings of the last decade or so have been (as a whole; she acknowledges all the stand-outs I’ve read and a few I haven’t!) especially re Greek mythology. I wanted to stand up and applaud, as I feel exactly the same (The Witch and the Tsar, I’m looking at you).

I am, of course, now worried Marmery’s Lilith will succumb to the same ‘sweet-washing’. But Elyse Johnson enjoyed it, so I have hope!

In a deeply-meaningful-to-me blog post, Jacqueline Carey has confirmed that trans and nonbinary people would be welcome in the world of her Kushiel’s Legacy series (even if she, herself, did not know enough to include them at the time). The Kushiel series is one of the most important in the world to me (‘WHAT?!’ I hear you cry. ‘Really?! The books you mention semi-constantly?! We never would have guessed!’ Yes yes, you’re all hilarious!) and I both appreciated the message and the honest admission that it was just not something she knew about when she wrote those books. The implication that she’d include it if she wrote them now makes me happy – and just the tiniest bit hopeful that she might come back to Terre d’Ange someday (again, I mean – I know and am VERY HAPPY about the upcoming Cassiel’s Servant!)

Looking Forward

July isn’t really packed full of releases I’m excited for, but hopefully that will give me a chance to play catch-up on all the books I have yet to read!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Pride – now, onwards to July!

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