Must-Have Monday #107

Posted 17th October 2022 by Sia in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

TEN fabulous new SFF books this week for us to get our grubby paws on!

(Books are listed in order of pub date, then Adult SFF, Adult Other, YA SFF, YA Other, MG SFF.)

Marend of Marloven Hess, The Norsunder War 1.5 by Sherwood Smith
Genres: Fantasy
Published on: 18th October 2022
Goodreads

In the recently defeated warrior-kingdom of Marloven Hess, two enemies, one a defeated king hunted by the conquerors, and the hunter who did the conquering, duel for the soul of a conflicted young teen.

This short novel takes place between the events of the first two volumes of The Norsunder War: Ship Without Sails, and Seek to Hold the Wind.

I am still desperately playing catch-up with this verse, and Smith is ALREADY delivering more Sartorias deles goodness!!!

Deadbeat Druid (Adam Binder #3) by David R. Slayton
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Gay MC
Published on: 18th October 2022
Goodreads

The living cannot be allowed to infect the dead.

Adam Binder has lost what matters most to him. Having finally learned the true identity of the warlock preying on his family, what was supposed to be a final confrontation with the fiend instead became a trap that sent Vic into the realm of the dead, where none living are meant to be. Bound by debt, oath, and love, Adam blazes his own trail into the underworld to get Vic back and to end the threat of the warlock once and for all.

But the road to hell is paved with more than good intentions. Demons are hungry and ghosts are relentless. What awaits Adam in the underworld is nothing he is prepared to face. If that weren’t enough, Adam has one more thing he must do if he and Vic are to return to world of the living: find the lost heart of Death herself.

This is the third installment of the Adam Binder series, so don’t peek at the blurb unless you’re read book 2! But I have heard nothing but praise from this series from all directions, so if you’re into queer urban fantasy, you might want to look into it!

Besides, you have to respect a series where the title of every book alliterates!

Self-Portrait with Nothing by Aimee Pokwatka
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy
Published on: 18th October 2022
Goodreads

If a picture paints a thousand worlds...

Abandoned as an infant on the local veterinarian’s front porch, Pepper Rafferty was raised by two loving mothers, and now at thirty-six is married to the stable, supportive Ike. She’s never told anyone that at fifteen she discovered the identity of her biological mother.

That’s because her birth mother is Ula Frost, a reclusive painter famous for the outrageous claims that her portraits summon their subjects’ doppelgangers from parallel universes.

Researching the rumors, Pepper couldn’t help but wonder:Was there a parallel universe in which she was more confident, more accomplished, better able to accept love?A universe in which Ula decided she was worth keeping?A universe in which Ula’s rejection didn’t still hurt too much to share?

Sometimes living our best life means embracing the imperfect one we already have…

I did not fall head over heels for the sneak peek of this, but the premise has me so curious I’ll still be giving it a go.

Singer Distance by Ethan Chatagnier
Genres: Sci Fi
Published on: 18th October 2022
Goodreads

The odds of the planet next door hosting intelligent life are—that’s not luck. That’s a miracle. It means something.

In December 1960, Crystal Singer, her boyfriend Rick, and three other MIT grad students take a cross-country road trip from Boston to Arizona to paint a message in the desert. Mars has been silent for thirty years, since the last time Earth solved one of the mathematical proofs the Martian civilization carved onto its surface. The latest proof, which seems to assert contradictory truths about distance, has resisted human understanding for decades. Crystal thinks she’s solved it, and Rick is intent on putting her answer to the test—if he can keep her from cracking under the pressure on the way. But Crystal’s disappearance after the experiment will set him on a different path than he expected, forever changing the distance between them.

Filled with mystery and wonder, Ethan Chatagnier’s Singer Distance is a novel about ambition, loneliness, friendship, exploration, and love—about how far we’re willing to go to communicate with a distant civilization, and the great lengths we’ll travel to connect with each other here on Earth.

I ADORE the idea of Martians communicating with Maths, and I really want to see what humanity would look like in a world where that was happening. But there have been some hints that this may be more Literary Fiction than SFF in tone… Gonna cross any fingers that it isn’t so!

You Fed Us To the Roses: Short Stories by Carlie St. George, Merc Fenn Wolfmoor
Genres: Horror
Published on: 18th October 2022
Goodreads

Final girls who take care of each other. Dead boys still breathing. Ghosts who whisper secrets you can never share. Angels beyond the grave, yet not of heaven. Wolves who wear human skins.

Featuring ten contemporary dark fantasy and horror stories, You Fed Us To the Roses is a visceral, triumphant collection by Carlie St. George that you won't want to miss.

Stop by for the murder...and stick around for the feels.

Listen, if you have Merc Fenn Wolfmoor as part of the project, I want to read it, it’s that simple! And I believe Wolfmoor played editor for this collection, so hell yes, I’ll be picking it up!

When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Agender MC, disabled MC, sapphic MC, F/F
Published on: 18th October 2022
Goodreads

For fans of “Good Omens”—a queer immigrant fairytale about individual purpose, the fluid nature of identity, and the power of love to change and endure.

Uriel the angel and Little Ash (short for Ashmedai) are the only two supernatural creatures in their shtetl (which is so tiny, it doesn't have a name other than Shtetl). The angel and the demon have been studying together for centuries, but pogroms and the search for a new life have drawn all the young people from their village to America. When one of those young emigrants goes missing, Uriel and Little Ash set off to find her.

Along the way the angel and demon encounter humans in need of their help, including Rose Cohen, whose best friend (and the love of her life) has abandoned her to marry a man, and Malke Shulman, whose father died mysteriously on his way to America. But there are obstacles ahead of them as difficult as what they’ve left behind. Medical exams (and demons) at Ellis Island. Corrupt officials, cruel mob bosses, murderers, poverty. The streets are far from paved with gold.

P R A I S E
“Liars, lovers, grifters, a good angel and a wicked one—all held together with the bright red thread of unexpected romance, enduring friendship and America’s history. You don’t have to be Jewish to love Sacha Lamb—you only have to read.”New York Times Bestseller, Amy Bloom

★ “Steeped in Ashkenazi lore, custom, and faith, this beautifully written story deftly tackles questions of identity, good and evil, obligation, and the many forms love can take. Queerness and gender fluidity thread through both the human and supernatural characters, clearly depicted without feeling anachronistic. Gorgeous, fascinating, and fun.”Kirkus (starred)

★ “Richly imagined and plotted, this inspired book has the timeless feeling of Jewish folklore, which is further enhanced by the presence of two magical protagonists, and not one but two dybbuks! In the end, of course, it’s the author who has performed the mitzvah by giving their readers this terrific debut novel.”—Booklist (starred)
“I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!!! I read it in two days and then I spent the next two weeks thinking about it. Literally forgot to take my lunch break at work because I was busy thinking about it. This book is SO fun and funny and beautiful. Inherently, inextricably deeply queer-and-Jewish in a way that makes my brain buzz. I am obsessed.”—Piera Varela, Porter Square Books

“I love this book more than I can say (but I’ll try!) I was delighted by the wry narrative voice of this book from the first paragraph. The author perfectly captures the voice of a Jewish folk tale within an impeccably researched early 20th century setting that includes Yiddish, striking factory workers, and revolutionary coffee houses. It gave me so many feelings about identity, love, and their obligations to the world, themselves, and each other. This story will forever have a place in my heart and in my canon of favorite books. I can’t wait to have it on my shelves!”— Marianne Wald, East City Bookshop

“A beautiful story of an angel and demon set on helping an emigrant from their shtetl, and the fierce girl that joins them on the way... A must read for all ages—one filled to the brim with heart.”—Mo Huffman, Changing Hands Bookstore

I’ve been looking forward to When the Angels Left the Old Country ALL YEAR! I’m just vibrating with excitement and have no idea how I’m supposed to sleep tonight. SIA NEEEEEDS!!!

The Whispering Dark by Kelly Andrew
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy
Representation: Deaf MC
Published on: 18th October 2022
Goodreads

The Raven Boys meets Ninth House in the most exciting debut of 2022 -- a dark, atmospheric fantasy about a Deaf college student with a peculiar connection to the afterlife.

Delaney Meyers-Petrov is tired of being seen as fragile just because she's Deaf. So when she's accepted into a prestigious program at Godbole University that trains students to slip between parallel worlds, she's excited for the chance to prove herself. But her semester gets off to a rocky start as she faces professors who won't accommodate her disability, and a pretentious upperclassman fascinated by Delaney's unusual talents.

Colton Price died when he was nine years old. Quite impossibly, he woke several weeks later at the feet of a green-eyed little girl. Now, twelve years later, Delaney Meyers-Petrov has stumbled back into his orbit, but Colton's been ordered to keep far away from the new girl... and the voices she hears calling to her from the shadows.

Delaney wants to keep her distance from Colton -- she seems to be the only person on campus who finds him more arrogant than charming -- yet after a Godbole student turns up dead, she and Colton are forced to form a tenuous alliance, plummeting down a rabbit-hole of deeply buried university secrets. But Delaney and Colton discover the cost of opening the doors between worlds when they find themselves up against something old and nameless, an enemy they need to destroy before it tears them -- and their forbidden partnership -- apart.

The Whispering Dark is another that’s been on my radar all year – I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book with a Deaf MC, and a university that teaches interdimensional travel?! (Or something like that???) I WANT!

Greywaren (Dreamer Trilogy, #3) by Maggie Stiefvater
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Gay MC
Published on: 18th October 2022
Goodreads

This is the story of the Lynch family.

Niall and Mór escaped their homeland for a new start, and lost themselves in what they found.

Declan has grown up as the responsible son, the responsible brother--only to find there is no way for him to keep his family safe.

Ronan has always lived on the edge between dreams and waking... but now that edge is gone, and he is falling.

Matthew has been the happy child, the brightest beam. But rebellion beckons, because it all feels like an illusion now.

This world was not made for such a family--a family with the power to make a world and break it. If they cannot save each other or themselves, we are all doomed.

I’ve only read the first book in this trilogy (which meant CAREFULLY AVERTING MY EYES from Greywaren‘s blurb!) but with the finale out tomorrow, I guess I can marathon all three books now!

Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove by Rati Mehrotra
Genres: Fantasy
Representation: Desi-coded cast & setting
Published on: 18th October 2022
Goodreads

To learn what she can become, she must first discover who she is.

Katyani’s role in the kingdom of Chandela has always been clear: becoming an advisor and protector of the crown prince, Ayan, when he ascends to the throne. Bound to the Queen of Chandela through a forbidden soul bond that saved her when she was a child, Katyani has grown up in the royal family and become the best guardswoman the Garuda has ever seen. But when a series of assassination attempts threatens the royals, Katyani is shipped off to the gurukul of the famous Acharya Mahavir as an escort to Ayan and his cousin, Bhairav, to protect them as they hone the skills needed to be the next leaders of the kingdom. Nothing could annoy Katyani more than being stuck in a monastic school in the middle of a forest, except her run-ins with Daksh, the Acharya’s son, who can’t stop going on about the rules and whose gaze makes her feel like he can see into her soul.

But when Katyani and the princes are hurriedly summoned back to Chandela before their training is complete, tragedy strikes and Katyani is torn from the only life she has ever known. Alone and betrayed in a land infested by monsters, Katyani must find answers from her past to save all she loves and forge her own destiny. Bonds can be broken, but debts must be repaid.

I have been hearing excellent things about this for quite some time!

The Heretic's Guide to Homecoming: Book Two: Practice by Sienna Tristen
Genres: Fantasy, Secondary World Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Cast of colour, asexual MC, major nonbinary character
Published on: 22nd October 2022
Goodreads

"All good theory stands up to the test of practice."

Freshly-risen from the underworld of his insecurities, Ronoah Genoveffa Elizzi-denna Pilanovani is halfway through his journey to the fabled Pilgrim State. But the world this side of the Iphigene Sea is not an easy one: violence and subterfuge litter the way forward, and something meaner stalks the edges of Ronoah’s certainty, something that threatens to turn the very reason for his pilgrimage to dust.

To survive, he will have to be clever and kind in equal measure. To ask for help from the acrobats and queens-to-be and foreigners’ gods that cross his path. To confront that beguiling, bewildering companion he travels with, the one whose secrets are so vast and unforgivable. He will have to draw on every story he knows in order to make it to the Pilgrim State with his soft heart intact—and then make it home again.

Mythic and multilayered, the final installment of the Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming duology is a love letter to losing and regaining faith in the ways you move through the world.

I have had the privilege of reading this early, and hopefully I’ll have my review up in the next few days, but I can already tell you that it’s even richer and more breathtaking than the first book. You need this duology in your life!

Will you be reading any of these? Let me know!

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