Must-Have Monday #60

Posted 15th November 2021 by Siavahda in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

The publishing world is definitely slowing down as we approach the end of the year, but quality > quantity! This week there are just FOUR releases-of-interest, but they all sound pretty damn awesome!

You Sexy Thing by Cat Rambo
Representation: Queer MCs
Published on: 16th November 2021
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi

Farscape meets The Great British Bake Off in this fantastic space opera You Sexy Thing from former SFWA President, Cat Rambo.

Just when they thought they were out...

TwiceFar station is at the edge of the known universe, and that's just how Niko Larson, former Admiral in the Grand Military of the Hive Mind, likes it.

Retired and finally free of the continual war of conquest, Niko and the remnants of her former unit are content to spend the rest of their days working at the restaurant they built together, The Last Chance.

But, some wars can't ever be escaped, and unlike the Hive Mind, some enemies aren't content to let old soldiers go. Niko and her crew are forced onto a sentient ship convinced that it is being stolen and must survive the machinations of a sadistic pirate king if they even hope to keep the dream of The Last Chance alive.

This has been described as whimsical and fun and silly, with sci fi foodie vibes, so you can bet I’m going to be snatching it up! And if you’re still wondering whether you want to, you can read an excerpt from the book over here!

Briar Girls by Rebecca Kim Wells
Representation: Bi/pansexual MC, sapphic love interest, nonbinary secondary characters, sapphic trans secondary character
Published on: 16th November 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists

The Cruel Prince meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this epic reimagining of “The Sleeping Beauty” that follows a teen girl on a quest to wake a sleeping princess in an enchanted forest, while searching for the truth behind her own deadly curse.

Lena has a secret: the touch of her skin can kill. Cursed by a witch before she was born, Lena has always lived in fear and isolation. But after a devastating mistake, she and her father are forced to flee to a village near the Silence, a mysterious forest with a reputation for luring people into the trees, never to be seen again…​

Until the night an enigmatic girl stumbles out of the Silence and into Lena’s sheltered world. Miranda comes from the Gather, a city in the forest brimming with magic. She is on a quest to wake a sleeping princess believed to hold the key to liberating the Gather from its tyrannical ruler—and she offers Lena a bargain. If Lena assists her on her journey, Miranda will help her break the curse.

Mesmerized by Miranda and her promise of a new life, Lena jumps at the chance. But the deeper into the Silence she goes, the more she suspects she’s been lied to—about her family’s history, her curse, and her future. As the shadows close in, Lena must choose who to trust and decide whether it’s more important to have freedom…or power.

Wells is the author of the Shatter the Sky duology, which was F/F + dragons in a queernorm world, so you can bet I’m pouncing on her new book! Enchanted!forest stories hold a special place in my heart, and this one sounds like it’s going to be marvelous.

Starling by Isabel Strychacz
Published on: 16th November 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Edward Scissorhands meets When the Moon Was Ours in this enchanting, lushly romantic novel about two teen sisters who fight to protect the mysterious stranger who literally fell from the stars and into their backyard.

Strange things have always happened in the small town of Darling…

Yet Delta Wilding and her sister Bee are familiar with the peculiar. Raised by an eccentric father always on the hunt for the spectacular, they’re used to following weather patterns that twirl onto strange paths, a car that refuses to play any artist but one, and living in a sentient house with whims of its own. But when a mysterious boy falls from the stars into the woods behind the Wilding sisters’ farmhouse, nothing can prepare them for the extraordinary turn their lives are about to take.

Extraordinary, and dangerous.

Starling Rust is not from this world and his presence in the Wilding home brings attention. As the terrified locals, Delta’s ex-boyfriend, and the unscrupulous mayor descend onto the Wilding’s home, both Delta and her sister go to incredible lengths to protect their mystical visitor—especially as Delta’s growing feelings for Starling could prove the greatest risk of all.

Filled with atmospheric prose and lush and vivid descriptions, Starling has the spectacular waiting with every flip of the page.

I haven’t heard a lot of hype for this book, which is a shame, because it sounds pretty unique and wonderful! I love stories about stars even more than I do enchanted forests, and I very much want to know more about this boy who’s come from the sky! Not sure whether this is going to be more magical realism or straight-up fantasy, but I’m definitely picking it up either way!

Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Published on: 16th November 2021
Genres: Sci Fi

In Adrian Tchaikovsky's Elder Race, a junior anthropologist on a distant planet must help the locals he has sworn to study to save a planet from an unbeatable foe.

Lynesse is the lowly Fourth Daughter of the queen, and always getting in the way.
But a demon is terrorizing the land, and now she’s an adult (albeit barely) and although she still gets in the way, she understands that the only way to save her people is to invoke the pact between her family and the Elder sorcerer who has inhabited the local tower for as long as her people have lived here (though none in living memory has approached it).

But Elder Nyr isn’t a sorcerer, and he is forbidden to help, for his knowledge of science tells him the threat cannot possibly be a demon…

I spent a long time wanting to be an anthropologist when I grew up, and I love it when they appear in SFF! I don’t love the trope of non-industrialised culture thinks science = magic, but when it’s done well it can be really interesting. I have my fingers crossed!

Will you be reading any of these? Did I miss any releases I should know about? Let me know!

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