Must-Have Monday #21!

Posted 25th January 2021 by Siavahda in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

It’s been some time since I did one of these, but 2021 is starting to come into its own now (even though we’ve already had some great releases this year!) so it’s time to start it up again.

This week, there’s five new releases that have caught my eye!

Wings of Ebony (Wings of Ebony, #1) by J. Elle
Published on: 26th January 2021
Goodreads

In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen from Houston has her world upended when she learns about her godly ancestry--and with evil sinking its claws into humans and gods alike, she'll have to unearth the magic of her true identity to save both her worlds.

Perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Tomi Adeyemi, and The Hunger Games.

“Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue's taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders.

Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life.

Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon—an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.

Wings of Ebony is a book I’ve been waiting YEARS for, and I can’t believe I’m just a day away from getting to read it at last! As you might have gathered, I’m ridiculously excited for this one!

Unchosen by Katharyn Blair
Published on: 26th January 2021
Goodreads

Katharyn Blair crafts a fiercely feminist fantasy with a horrifying curse, swoon-worthy sea captains, and the power of one girl to choose her own fate in this contemporary standalone adventure that's perfect for fans of The Fifth Wave and Seafire, and for anyone who has ever felt unchosen.

For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice.

The first was when her childhood crush, Dean, fell in love—with her older sister.

The second was when the Crimson, a curse spread through eye contact, turned the majority of humanity into flesh-eating monsters.

Neither end of the world changed Charlotte. She’s still in the shadows of her siblings. Her popular older sister, Harlow, now commands forces of survivors. And her talented younger sister, Vanessa, is the Chosen One—who, legend has it, can end the curse.

When their settlement is raided by those seeking the Chosen One, Charlotte makes a reckless decision to save Vanessa: she takes her place as prisoner.
The word spreads across the seven seas—the Chosen One has been found.

But when Dean’s life is threatened and a resistance looms on the horizon, the lie keeping Charlotte alive begins to unravel. She’ll have to break free, forge new bonds, and choose her own destiny if she has any hope of saving her sisters, her love, and maybe even the world.

Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning.

It’s been a while since I went near a chosen one story, but this one sounds potentially interesting and subversive? Guess we’ll see! Got to admit that that cover’s gorgeous.

We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen
Published on: 6th January 2021
Goodreads

An extraordinary and emotional adventure about unlikely friends and the power of choosing who you want to be.

Jamie woke up in an empty apartment with no memory and only a few clues to his identity, but with the ability to read and erase other people’s memories—a power he uses to hold up banks to buy coffee, cat food and books.

Zoe is also searching for her past, and using her abilities of speed and strength…to deliver fast food. And she’ll occasionally put on a cool suit and beat up bad guys, if she feels like it.

When the archrivals meet in a memory-loss support group, they realize the only way to reveal their hidden pasts might be through each other. As they uncover an ongoing threat, suddenly much more is at stake than their fragile friendship. With countless people at risk, Zoe and Jamie will have to recognize that sometimes being a hero starts with trusting someone else—and yourself.

After last year’s incredible Hench (you can read my review over here) I’ve been on the look out for other unconventional superhero stories. We Could Be Heroes might just sate that craving – I love the idea of using super-speed to deliver take-away!

Brother Red by Adrian Selby
Published on: 26th January 2021
Goodreads

From one of the most exciting new voices in dark epic fantasy comes an intensely brutal and brilliantly cinematic novel: the story of a soldier torn between loyalty to her family and her quest to preserve a kingdom's future.

She was their hope, their martyr, their brother . . .

Driwna Marghoster, a soldier for the powerful merchant guild known as The Post, is defending her trade caravan from a vicious bandit attack when she discovers a dead body hidden in one of her wagons. Born of the elusive Oskoro people, the body is a rare and priceless find, the center of a tragic tale and the key to a larger mystery.But as Driwna investigates who the body was meant for, she finds herself on a trail of deceit and corruption . . . a trail that will lead her to an evil more powerful than she can possibly imagine.

Supposedly this book features a culture which grows seeds inside themselves to bring them closer to the natural world, and also grant them special features and abilities? That sounds fascinating enough for me to be willing to give this a go, even though the blurb on its own makes it sound a bit outside my comfort zone.

Dead Money by Srinath Adiga
Published on: 26th January 2021
Goodreads

 “An impressive debut.”Publishers Weekly

They said you can’t take your money with you when you die.

What if they were wrong?

Srinath Adiga’s timely satire explores the pitfalls of modern capitalism and the dangerous power of myth.

Hong Kong, 2002. A stock market trader desperate to pay off a gangster debt invents a scam: Afterlife Dollars. A product inspired by an ancient Chinese custom that allows people to buy their way into heaven.

It’s the beginning of a dizzying chain reaction that ripples in Mumbai, where one man does the unthinkable to secure his afterlife—while thousands of miles away in Amsterdam, another man races against time to stop an apocalypse. As a cast of larger-than-life characters grapple with unprecedented moral dilemmas, their choices will affect the rest of humanity.

Profound, exhilarating and full of unexpected twists, 
Dead Money
 balances intelligence and dark humour with compassion, empathy and hope. Its cleverness lies in its ability to convince us that the impossible can happen—a compelling, thought-provoking read at a time when the world stares at an uncertain future.

“A memorable premise lifts Adiga’s impressive debut. Adiga makes the central conceit work as he effectively sends up the tendency of people to believe anything.”Publishers Weekly

“Exhilarating pace, intriguing proposition, and plenty of dark laughs: Dead Money’s the thriller I’ll be burning through in the afterlife.”Kate Veitch, author of Without a Backward Glance and Trust

“A unique and highly original story. If you’ve ever wondered about the rise of BitCoin or how money really works, you’ll enjoy this book.”Sion Scott-Wilson, author of The Sleepwalker’s Introduction to Flight

This sounds like an incredibly interesting premise, and I’m genuinely excited by the promise of a ‘chain reaction’ – it sounds like Adiga might have really thought through what kind of change this would make to the world, and that kind of worldbuilding is my jam! Definitely going to be giving this one a try.

What books are you looking forward to this week?

Leave a Reply