Must-Have Monday #13

Posted 3rd August 2020 by Siavahda in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

August is FULL of amazing releases this year! I’m so excited for so many books. This week we have TWELVE releases you definitely need to know about!

The Immortal City (The Sacred Dark #2) by May Peterson
Representation: M/M or mlm
on 3rd August 2020
Genres: Secondary World Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Goodreads

Sometimes you just have to jump.

The second book in The Sacred Dark series, a lush fantasy romance by acclaimed author May Peterson.

I don’t remember you…

Reborn as an immortal with miraculous healing powers, Ari remembers nothing of his past life. His entire world now consists of the cold mountainside city of Serenity. Ruled with an iron fist. Violent.

Lonely.

I may never remember you…

Regaining the memories of who he once was seems an impossible dream, until Ari encounters Hei, a mortal come to Serenity for his own mysterious purposes. From the moment Hei literally falls into his arms, Ari is drawn to him in ways he cannot understand. Every word, every look, every touch pulls them closer together.

But I’m with you now…

As their bond deepens, so does the need to learn the truth of their past. Together they journey to find an ancient immortal who can give them what they both want: a history more entwined than Ari could have ever imagined, but which Hei has always known.

It’s the reason they will risk the world as they know it to reclaim who they used to be—and what they could be once again.

Immortal City is set in the same world as last year’s Lord of the Last Heartbeat, but both books are standalones. Apparently Peterson unleashes the full scope of the worldbuilding in City, so I’m extra excited to get to reading it!

The Dark Tide (The Dark Tide, #1) by Alicia Jasinska
Representation: F/F or wlw
on 4th August 2020
Genres: Secondary World Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Goodreads

A fast-paced, well-plotted fantasy retelling of an ancient Scottish fairy tale ballad, this exciting debut will appeal to fans of Stephanie Garber's CARAVAL, Shea Ernshaw's THE WICKED DEEP, and Kendare Blake's THREE DARK CROWNS.

Every year on Walpurgis Night, Caldella's Witch Queen lures a young boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking.

Convinced her handsome brother is going to be taken, sixteen-year-old Lina Kirk enlists the help of the mysterious Tomas Lin, her secret crush, and the only boy to ever escape from the palace. Working together they protect her brother, but draw the Queen's attention. When the Queen spirits Tomas away instead, Lina blames herself and determines to go after him.

Caught breaking into the palace, the Queen offers Lina a deal: she will let Tomas go, if, of course, Lina agrees to take his place. Lina accepts, with a month before the full moon, surely she can find some way to escape. But the Queen is nothing like she envisioned, and Lina is not at all what the Queen expected. Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella's streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both.

What’s that? The Dark Tide has already been released? In Australia, maybe, and in e-format in the rest of the world, but the fourth is its full global hardcover release date!!!

I only just finished reading The Dark Tide this weekend – I was drawing it out to make it last – and without question, it’s one of my favourite books of 2020. I’d bet hard cash it’ll be on my next Best of the Decade list, too, in nine years!

Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2) by Tamsyn Muir
Representation: Sapphic MC
on 4th August 2020
Genres: Science Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Goodreads

Harrow the Ninth, the sequel to the sensational, USA today best-selling novel Gideon the Ninth, turns a galaxy inside out as one necromancer struggles to survive the wreckage of herself aboard the Emperor's haunted space station.

She answered the Emperor's call.

She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend.

In victory, her world has turned to ash.

After rocking the cosmos with her deathly debut, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth, a mind-twisting puzzle box of mystery, murder, magic, and mayhem. Nothing is as it seems in the halls of the Emperor, and the fate of the galaxy rests on one woman's shoulders.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath — but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.

Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor's Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off?

Harrow doesn’t need any introduction at this point, right? Right.

Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1) by Romina Garber
Representation: Characters of Colour
on 4th August 2020
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Goodreads

Some people ARE illegal.

Lobizonas do NOT exist.

Both of these statements are false.

Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who's on the run from her father's Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.

Until Manu's protective bubble is shattered.

Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past--a mysterious "Z" emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it's not just her U.S. residency that's illegal. . . .it's her entire existence.

I’ve been so excited for Lobizona for so long!!! I can’t believe it’s really almost here!

Goddess of the North by Georgina Kamsika
Representation: Characters of Colour
on 4th August 2020
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Goodreads

Detective Inspector Sara Nayar is a goddess. Literally. A Hindu goddess accidentally brought to England during Queen Victoria’s reign. Working now as a police detective, Sara survives on humanity’s innate faith in law and order.

Sheffield is a city of many gods, however, and when Sara witnesses a murder, she knows the perpetrator is divine. As a goddess of order, she must solve the crime before the god can kill again, but thousands of years living as a human has left her spiritually weak.

Vulnerable in ways she hasn’t felt since leaving India, Sara fights to balance her mortal and immortal lives as the murders around her escalate. And with tensions amongst her fellow divinity on the rise, Sara is running out of time. If she can’t restore order, find balance in the chaos, the city itself might pay the price.

Set in a vividly realised Northern city, where gods coexist with a balance of faith, Goddess of the North is a page-turning urban fantasy steeped in multicultural mythology. A murder mystery at heart, it’s an exploration of identity, love, faith, and the transformative powers of self-acceptance.

There was a book a few years ago with a similar premise as this, but centring the Greek goddess Selene – and I am so. damn. tired of the Greek myths. That book bored me, but this?! I am so excited for Goddess of the North! I can’t believe I only found out about it today! This sounds like everything I want in an urban fantasy. Gimme!!!

The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis
Representation: F/F, F/NB, Nonbinary, Oppressed minority
on 4th August 2020
Genres: Sci Fi, Queer Protagonists
Goodreads

First Sister has no name and no voice. As a priestess of the Sisterhood, she travels the stars alongside the soldiers of Earth and Mars—the same ones who own the rights to her body and soul. When her former captain abandons her, First Sister’s hopes for freedom are dashed when she is forced to stay on her ship with no friends, no power, and a new captain—Saito Ren—whom she knows nothing about. She is commanded to spy on Captain Ren by the Sisterhood, but soon discovers that working for the war effort is so much harder to do when you’re falling in love.

Lito val Lucius climbed his way out of the slums to become an elite soldier of Venus, but was defeated in combat by none other than Saito Ren, resulting in the disappearance of his partner, Hiro. When Lito learns that Hiro is both alive and a traitor to the cause, he now has a shot at redemption: track down and kill his former partner. But when he discovers recordings that Hiro secretly made, Lito’s own allegiances are put to the test. Ultimately, he must decide between following orders and following his heart.

I reviewed this one over here, but the tl;dr version is that I loved it and can’t wait for everybody to be reading it. I feel like this one is going to start a lot of really interesting discussions, and I really hope it makes a big splash.

Court of Lions (Mirage, #2) by Somaiya Daud
Representation: Characters of Colour, Oppressed minority, F/F
on 4th August 2020
Genres: Sci Fi
Goodreads

Two identical girls, one a princess, the other a rebel. Who will rule the empire?

After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess's body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani's connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity - and her betrayal - will be revealed to everyone in the court.

Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people's freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram's fiancé, Idris?

I adored book one of this duology, Mirage, and can’t wait to find out how the story ends!

Seven Devils (Seven Devils, #1) by Laura Lam, Elizabeth May
Representation: Lesbian, Bi, Trans, Ace
on 4th August 2020
Genres: Sci Fi, Queer Protagonists
Goodreads

This first book in a feminist space opera duology follows seven resistance fighters who will free the galaxy from the ruthless Tholosian Empire -- or die trying.

When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy's most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire's voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.

Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.

When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire's inner workings.

Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can't, millions may die.

I am so in love with this gorgeous cover! *happy sigh* For real though, I’ve loved Lam’s previous books and I’m hugely excited for this one! I don’t have any experience with May, but I’m very hopeful.

Shadow in the Empire of Light by Jane Routley
on 4th August 2020
Goodreads

A magical novel of intrigue, mystery and family drama from the award-winning author of Aramaya and Fire Angels
Shine’s life is usually dull: an orphan without magic in a family of powerful mages, she’s left to run the family estate with only an eccentric aunt and telepathic cat for company.
But when the family descend on the house for the annual Fertility Festival, Shine is plunged into intrigue; stolen letters, a fugitive spy and family drama mix with an unexpected murder, and Shine is forced to decide both her loyalties and future...

This seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it book, based on early reviews. I for one want to give it a go, so fingers crossed!

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson
Representation: Bi/Pan MCs, MCs of Colour
on 4th August 2020
Genres: Sci Fi, Queer Protagonists
Goodreads

An outsider who can travel between worlds discovers a secret that threatens her new home and her fragile place in it, in a stunning sci-fi debut that’s both a cross-dimensional adventure and a powerful examination of identity, privilege, and belonging.

Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying—from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.

On this Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now she has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works—and shamelessly flirts—with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.

But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined—and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.

This sounds like a really interesting premise, and supposedly we have PoC and queer characters starring, which only makes me perk up more!

The Good for Nothings by Danielle Banas
on 4th August 2020
Genres: Sci Fi
Goodreads

They're only good at being bad.Cora Saros is just trying her best to join the family business of theft and intergalactic smuggling. Unfortunately, she's a total disaster.

After landing herself in prison following an attempted heist gone very wrong, she strikes a bargain with the prison warden: He'll expunge her record if she brings back a long-lost treasure rumored to grant immortality.

Cora is skeptical, but with no other way out of prison (and back in her family's good graces), she has no choice but to assemble a crew from her collection of misfit cellmates—a disgraced warrior from an alien planet; a cocky pirate who claims to have the largest ship in the galaxy; and a glitch-prone robot with a penchant for baking—and take off after the fabled prize.

But the ragtag group soon discovers that not only is the too-good-to-be-true treasure very real, but they're also not the only crew on the hunt for it. And it's definitely a prize worth killing for.

Whip-smart and utterly charming, this irreverent sci-fi adventure is perfect for fans of Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lunar Chronicles, and Firefly.

I can pretty much guarantee I won’t be reading this – I’ve given up on heist-type stories and I’ve no interest in something that sounds so reminiscent of Guardians of the Galaxy – but hopefully it catches the attention of one of my readers!

Grey Dawn by Nyri A. Bakkalian
Representation: F/F, Trans
on 7th August 2020
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Science Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Goodreads

I had a moment’s indecision—a stab of worry.

“Trust me,” she said.
And so, I did.

The year is 1862. Driven by a leading from the Spirit, Chloë Parker Stanton leaves the woman she loves to enlist in the Union Army and fight for abolition in war as she has in the streets of Philadelphia. At home, her lover, Leigh Hunter, eagerly awaits Chloë’s letters, anxious to hear of her survival without discovery, for women are not allowed to wear the Union blue.

Three days after Gettysburg comes the news: the Seventeenth Pennsylvania Cavalry has survived, but Chloë Stanton is missing, presumed dead.

The year is 2020. Sergeant First Class Leigh Hunter came of age during her seventeen-year stint in uniform. Since childhood, she’d been drawn to the Army in search of something, all the while fighting her inner truth as a trans woman. After her final combat tour, Leigh left the military a decorated combat veteran and finally transitioned. She was quickly recruited by the Joint Temporal Integrity Commission: a new, secretive government agency tasked with intercepting temporal refugees and integrating them into present-day society.

Two years after joining the JTIC, Leigh is entrusted with a special assignment: personal custody of a Pennsylvania cavalry soldier from three days after Gettysburg.

Her name: Chloë Parker Stanton.

Grey Dawn is a tale of war, abolition, union, and women who forge ties that carry them from one life into the next. When the grey dawn breaks on a new era and a new cause, who can you trust to fight beside you?

I have zero interest in the Civil War period, but this sounds like it has the potential to be seriously awesome. I’m here for it!

Will you be reading any of these? Did I miss any of this week’s releases? Let me know!

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