Usually I post these on the last day of the month in question, but that would have meant three new posts yesterday, and that seems like Too Many.
October was rough; a pet died and I spent most of the month in a depressive episode. I had real trouble reading at all in the second half of the month. But what’re you gonna do?
Okay listen, if there is one thing guaranteed to Make Everything Better that thing is definitely a NEW C.S.E. COONEY BOOK!!! The Twice-Drowned Saint was originally published as part of A Sinister Quartet, a collection with three other authors, but I believe it’s been expanded upon in this new form! And that cover is so unspeakably exquisite that I cannot EVEN!
I’ve already gleefully devoured Fractured Infinity (and loved it), and I’m massively excited for the final book of the Outside trilogy by Ada Hoffman, The Infinite – this has been an incredible series and I honestly have no idea how everything’s going to wrap up for a finale! And as a fan of giant birds – especially giant birds with humanoid riders – I’m so ready to pounce on Fonda Lee’s Untethered Sky!
Tread of Angels and Where It Rains In Color I’ve DNFed already, but I am very hopeful for World Running Down. It sounds like it’s going to feature MANY things I like.
21 books read this month, which is 3 more than I managed in August. Kinda makes me wonder how many I’d have managed if I could focus properly.
Standouts were definitely Tell Me I’m Worthless, which is such an amazing horror about the transphobia, racism and xenophobia of the UK (and also a genuinely terrifying house); The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming, Book Two: Practice, which was so beautiful it hurt; rereading Scapegracers so I could revel in the sequel Scratch Daughters, which was fucking epic; rereading A Taste of Gold and Iron, because 20,000 words or so got added between the advanced reading copy and the final book, and obviously I needed all of them; Comeuppance Served Cold, which caught me by the throat and didn’t let me go for an instant; and Fractured Infinity, which was both really fun and damn impressive.
On the other hand, the Rise of the Alliance series by Sherwood Smith was a trainwreck; I forced myself to read all four books and honestly wish I hadn’t bothered (unhappy review coming in a few days); The Stars Undying was a perfectly good novel that somehow left me unsatisfied; and Finding Faeries, a fictional guide to faeries in urban environments, had many on-point things to say about colonialism and the environment, but actually didn’t reimagine that many fae and touched on some legends I’m pretty sure are not okay for outsiders to go near. (Though I may be wrong about that part.)
To the best of my knowledge, just 17.65% of this month’s authors were BIPOC. Which is even worse than in August, and August was bad.
SEVEN freaking reviews this month!!! I can’t believe I wrote so many! And two of them – The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming: Book Two: Practice and Scratch Daughters – were both really good reviews, if I say so myself. Reviews I’m proud to have written. Which is a feeling I miss – seems like most of my reviews these days are very…meh?
I was so looking forward to all of these! But alas, it wasn’t meant to be, I guess.
Where It Rains In Color kind of sealed the deal for me on something I’ve been considering for a while – after I read World Burning Down, which is also by them, I don’t think I’ll be requesting books from the publisher Angry Robot anymore. For years now I’ve DNFed everything of theirs that I’ve read; I think it’s time to admit we’ve grown apart and stop putting myself (and them!) through the pain.
Working on the review for The Stars Undying, and very happily immersed in To Shape a Dragon’s Breath, which is freaking amazing and is shaping up, hah, to be one of my all-time faves!
Didn’t get much work done on my Best of 2022 or Unmissable of 2023 lists, alas.
But I did take part in the cover reveal for The Remarkable Retirement of Edna Fisher! I’m really excited for that book – 83yo Chosen One! That’s really all I need to hear.
I may actually try to slow down for November – I’m not doing NanoWrimo, but I do want to focus more on my creative writing than my blogging this month. We’ll see how it goes.
But I have no intention of slowing down on my reading, and November is packed with releases I’m looking forward to – most urgently Angels Before Man by rafael nicolás (7th Nov) and At the Feet of the Sun by Victoria Goddard, which is out on the 21st if you preorder through her website. (It’s available everywhere else in December.) So much grabby hands!
And that’s a wrap! Let’s have a great November, everyone.