Must-Have Monday #122

Posted 30th January 2023 by Sia in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

I have scoured all my usual sources and come up with FOUR books of interest this week!

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

Modern Divination (Modern Divination, #1) by Isabel Agajanian
Genres: Fantasy
Published on: 30th January 2023

Aurelia Schwartz has spent twenty-three years maintaining the equilibrium between her carefully curated human life and the magical one that she endures in secret. With a devoted best friend and top marks at a prestigious university, she has everything one could possibly want neatly within her grasp.

Except, her gift of green magic has begun to fade, and if that wasn’t enough to upset the balance of her life, a fateful run-in with another power-hungry witch with a penchant for stolen magic has threatened to bring it all to ruin.

Cast into an unexpected alliance with her dreadfully arrogant classmate, Aurelia goes into hiding among a peculiar family of witches, where she discovers that the secret to their safety requires breaking rules she has followed all her life:
Make no promises,
Tell no one what you are,
and Never stay the night.

This was released as an ebook yesterday, and the paper edition is out today! I’ve heard really good things about this one, and I’m intrigued by the whole Corpse Bride aesthetic of the cover, so I’ll be checking it out for sure.

The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz
Genres: Sci Fi
Published on: 31st January 2023

The Terraformers is an equally heart-warming and thought-provoking vision of the future for fans of Becky Chambers, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Martha Wells.

Destry is a top network analyst with the Environmental Rescue Team, an ancient organization devoted to preventing ecosystem collapse. On the planet Sask-E, her mission is to terraform an Earthlike world, with the help of her taciturn moose, Whistle.
But then she discovers a city that isn't supposed to exist, hidden inside a massive volcano. Torn between loyalty to the ERT and the truth of the planet's history, Destry makes a decision that echoes down the generations.

Centuries later, Destry's protege, Misha, is building a planetwide transit system when his worldview is turned upside-down by Sulfur, a brilliant engineer from the volcano city. Together, they uncover a dark secret about the real estate company that's buying up huge swaths of the planet―a secret that could destroy the lives of everyone who isn't Homo sapiens. Working with a team of robots, naked mole rats, and a very angry cyborg cow, they quietly sow seeds of subversion. But when they're threatened with violent diaspora, Misha and Sulfur's very unusual child faces a stark choice: deploy a planet-altering weapon, or watch their people lose everything they've built on Sask-E.

After the incredible The Future of Another Timeline, I am more than eager to pounce on anything Newitz writes, and although The Terraformers didn’t sound super interesting to me at first, the sneak peek hooked me immediately. I can’t wait to read the full thing!

Vampire Weekend by Mike Chen
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy
Published on: 31st January 2023

Being a vampire is far from glamorous...but it can be pretty punk rock

Everything you've heard about vampires is a lie. They can't fly. No murders allowed (the community hates that). And turning into a bat? Completely ridiculous. In fact, vampire life is really just a lot of blood bags and night jobs. For Louise Chao, it's also lonely, since she swore off family ages ago.

At least she's gone to decades of punk rock shows. And if she can join a band of her own (while keeping her...situation under wraps), maybe she'll finally feel like she belongs, too.

Then a long-lost teenage relative shows up at her door. Whether it's Ian's love of music or his bad attitude, for the first time in ages, Louise feels a connection.

But as Ian uncovers Louise's true identity, things get dangerous--especially when he asks her for the ultimate favor. One that goes beyond just that might just change everything vampires know about life and death forever.

I am firmly of the opinion that immortals ought to be utilising immortality to embrace their loves and hobbies, and even though Louise does not seem to be enjoying her immortality, I like the punk rock angle the blurb is selling us on. I really hope she gets to join her own band, and want to see how that goes!

(And is that a corgi in the background of the cover? I hope it is!)

Where the Black Flowers Bloom by Ronald L. Smith
Genres: Fantasy
Representation: Black MC
Published on: 31st January 2023

A gripping, richly imagined African-inspired fantasy in which a Black girl finds her power and saves her people from evil, by the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning author of Black Panther: The Young Prince. 

In the land of Alkebulan, twelve-year-old Asha is an orphan, raised by Madame S, the proprietor of a traveling carnival. When Madame S is attacked by ghoulish creatures, she manages to tell Asha before she dies, “Seek the Underground Kingdom, where the black flowers bloom.” Asha doesn’t understand the mysterious words, but they launch her onto a page-turning quest to protect her people and stop an ancient evil. Along the way, she uncovers shocking secrets about the family she never knew and begins to find her place in the world as she discovers her own untapped powers.

Carnivals, underground kingdoms, and foxes??? Definitely grabbing a copy for one of my younger sisters, this sounds right up her alley!

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


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