Must-Have Monday #22!

Posted 1st February 2021 by Siavahda in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

We have NINE spec-fic releases of interest this week!

A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson
Representation: Bisexual MC, polyamory, M/F/F/M, all-bisexual cast
on 31st January 2021
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Goodreads

A lyrical and dreamy reimagining of Dracula’s brides, A DOWRY OF BLOOD is a story of desire, obsession, and emancipation.

Saved from the brink of death by a mysterious stranger, Constanta is transformed from a medieval peasant into a bride fit for an undying king. But when Dracula draws a cunning aristocrat and a starving artist into his web of passion and deceit, Constanta realizes that her beloved is capable of terrible things. Finding comfort in the arms of her rival consorts, she begins to unravel their husband’s dark secrets.

With the lives of everyone she loves on the line, Constanta will have to choose between her own freedom and her love for her husband. But bonds forged by blood can only be broken by death.

I should have included this in last week’s Must-Have post, but some people count weeks as Sunday to Sunday, right? So I can totally include it! Besides, this is ridiculously amazing and if you haven’t nabbed it yet, you need to! You can check out my review here, but basically? Queer poly vampires being delicious throughout history. *chef’s kiss*

A Summoning of Demons by Cate Glass
on 2nd February 2021
Goodreads

Cate Glass's A Summoning of Demons marks the thrilling conclusion for the Chimera team, a ragtag crew who use their forbidden magic for the good of the kingdom.
Catagna has been shaken to its core.
The philosophists insist that a disastrous earthquake has been caused by an ancient monster imprisoned below the earth, who can only be freed with magic. In every street and market, the people of Catagna are railing against magic-users with a greater ferocity than ever before, and magic hunters are everywhere.
Meanwhile, Romy has been dreaming.
Every night, her dreams are increasingly vivid and disturbing. Every day, she struggles to understand the purpose of the Chimera's most recent assignment from the Shadow Lord.
As Romy and the others attempt to carry out their mission, they find themselves plunged into a mystery of corruption and murder, myth and magic, and a terrifying truth: the philosophists may have been right all along.

I have loved this trilogy from the start, and I’m going to be so sad to see it end – but also so excited for the finale!

A History of What Comes Next (Take Them to the Stars, #1) by Sylvain Neuvel
on 2nd February 2021
Goodreads

Showing that truth is stranger than fiction, Sylvain Neuvel weaves a scfi thriller reminiscent of Blake Crouch and Andy Weir, blending a fast moving, darkly satirical look at 1940s rocketry with an exploration of the amorality of progress and the nature of violence in A History of What Comes Next.

Always run, never fight.
Preserve the knowledge.
Survive at all costs.
Take them to the stars.

Over 99 identical generations, Mia’s family has shaped human history to push them to the stars, making brutal, wrenching choices and sacrificing countless lives. Her turn comes at the dawn of the age of rocketry. Her mission: to lure Wernher Von Braun away from the Nazi party and into the American rocket program, and secure the future of the space race.

But Mia’s family is not the only group pushing the levers of history: an even more ruthless enemy lurks behind the scenes.

A darkly satirical first contact thriller, as seen through the eyes of the women who make progress possible and the men who are determined to stop them...

This sounds like such an interesting premise??? I’m fascinated by the idea of aliens secretly helping humans reach space.

Yesterday Is History by Kosoko Jackson
Representation: Black gay MC, M/M
on 2nd February 2021
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Goodreads

A romantic, heart-felt, and whimsical novel about letting go of the past, figuring out what you want in your future, and staying in the moment before it passes you by.

Weeks ago, Andre Cobb received a much-needed liver transplant.

He's ready for his life to finally begin, until one night, when he passes out and wakes up somewhere totally unexpected...in 1969, where he connects with a magnetic boy named Michael.

And then, just as suddenly as he arrived, he slips back to present-day Boston, where the family of his donor is waiting to explain that his new liver came with a side effect—the ability to time travel. And they've tasked their youngest son, Blake, with teaching Andre how to use his unexpected new gift.

Andre splits his time bouncing between the past and future. Between Michael and Blake. Michael is everything Andre wishes he could be, and Blake, still reeling from the death of his brother, Andre's donor, keeps him at arm's length despite their obvious attraction to each other.

Torn between two boys, one in the past and one in the present, Andre has to figure out where he belongs—and more importantly who he wants to be—before the consequences of jumping in time catch up to him and change his future for good.

A very different history story – time-travel! This sounds like it could be very sweet while also heart-wrenching? I guess we’ll see!

This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria
Representation: Asexual MC
on 2nd February 2021
Goodreads

Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army.

In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible—she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father—their nation’s greatest traitor—once tried to destroy the automatons.

Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries.

I got pretty excited when I heard that this was going to have an asexual main character, and it sounds like the stories of Jewish golems crossed with the Terracotta Army, which??? Could be seriously fun.

On Fragile Waves by E. Lily Yu
Representation: Middle Eastern MCs
on 2nd February 2021
Goodreads

Firuzeh and her brother Nour are children of fire, born in an Afghanistan fractured by war. When their parents, their Atay and Abay, decide to leave, they spin fairy tales of their destination, the mythical land and opportunities of Australia.

As the family journeys from Pakistan to Indonesia to Nauru, heading toward a hope of home, they must rely on fragile and temporary shelters, strangers both mercenary and kind, and friends who vanish as quickly as they’re found.

When they arrive in Australia, what seemed like a stable shore gives way to treacherous currents. Neighbors, classmates, and the government seek their own ends, indifferent to the family’s fate. For Firuzeh, her fantasy worlds provide some relief, but as her family and home splinter, she must surface from these imaginings and find a new way.

I’m a little uncertain as to exactly how fantasy-ish this one is, but the reviews for it have been glowing from every corner, so I’m very willing to give it a go!

What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo
on 2nd February 2021
Goodreads

Rose Szabo's thrilling debut What Big Teeth is a dark, gothic fantasy YA novel about a teen girl who returns home to her strange, wild family after years of estrangement, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls...

Eleanor Zarrin has been distanceed from her wild family for years. When she returns home after a violent incident at boarding school, trying to fit back into the space she left is harder than she thought. Eleanor is left to fend for herself within her family of monsters. But when a mysterious figure arrives at their family estate, she must find a way to overcome the monster invading her home or risk becoming a monster herself.

Exquisitely terrifying, beautiful, and savage, What Big Teeth is a genre-defying story from an exciting new literary voice.

I just adore this premise so much??? MONSTER FAMILY. YES PLEASE.

Muse (Muse, #1) by Brittany Cavallaro
on 2nd February 2021
Goodreads

American Royals meets The Winner’s Curse in the first book of bestselling author Brittany Cavallaro’s new duology, set in an alternate history American monarchy where a girl grapples for control of her own life in the middle of a looming war.

The year is 1893, and war is brewing in the First American Kingdom. But Claire Emerson has a bigger problem. While her father prepares to reveal the mighty weapon he’s created to showcase the might of their province, St. Cloud, in the World’s Fair, Claire is crafting a plan to escape.

Claire’s father is a sought-after inventor, but he believes his genius is a gift, granted to him by his daughter’s touch. He’s kept Claire under his control for years. As St. Cloud prepares for war, Claire plans to claim her life for herself, even as her best friend, Beatrix, tries to convince her to stay and help with the growing resistance movement that wants to see a woman on the throne. At any cost.

When her father’s weapon fails to fire on the fair’s opening day, Claire is taken captive by Governor Remy Duchamp, St. Cloud’s young, untried ruler. Remy believes that Claire’s touch bestows graces he’s never had, and with his governing power weakening and many political rivals planning his demise, Claire might be his only and best ally. But the last thing that Claire has ever wanted is to be someone else’s muse. Still, affections can change as quickly as the winds of war. And Claire has a choice to make: Will she quietly remake her world from the shadows—or bring it down in flames?

I’ve heard almost nothing about this, but the concept sounds intriguing and I adore the cover. Anyone else going to be checking this one out?

The Library of the Dead (Edinburgh Nights, #1) by T.L. Huchu
Representation: Black MC
on 4th February 2021
Pages: 336

Sixth Sense meets Stranger Things in T. L. Huchu's The Library of the Dead, a sharp contemporary fantasy following a precocious and cynical teen as she explores the shadowy magical underside of modern Edinburgh.

When a child goes missing in Edinburgh's darkest streets, young Ropa investigates. She'll need to call on Zimbabwean magic as well as her Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. But as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

When ghosts talk, she will listen...

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker. Now she speaks to Edinburgh's dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl's gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone's bewitching children--leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It's on Ropa's patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She'll dice with death (not part of her life plan...), discovering an occult library and a taste for hidden magic. She'll also experience dark times. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets, and Ropa's gonna hunt them all down.

This one releases on the 4th in the UK. I’m not usually super into ghost stories, but this one sounds more than worth a try!

Have I missed any? Which releases are you excited about this week?

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