Must-Have Monday #85

Posted 9th May 2022 by Sia in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

EIGHT wonderful books this week, from space travel to futuristic clubbing and magic schools!

Siren Queen by Nghi Vo
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Published on: 10th May 2022
Goodreads

“No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers.”

Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill—but she doesn’t care. She’d rather play a monster than a maid.

But in Luli’s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes—even if that means becoming the monster herself.

Siren Queen offers up an enthralling exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page.

Any time I hear Vo’s name I go instantly starry-eyed! Her prose is so beautiful, and her imagination always leaves me breathless. This is one of my most anticipated books of the year and I can’t believe I get to read it soon!!!

Dark Factory by Kathe Koja
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
Representation: Gay MC, M/M
Published on: 10th May 2022
Goodreads

Dark Factory is a state-of-the-art club where reality is customizable: just scroll down the menu, and change your world. Ari Regon is the club’s floor manager, a wild card who makes things happen, Max Caspar is a stubborn and talented DIY artist. And they’re both chasing the same thing: the ultimate experience, a vision of true reality.

Kathe Koja is another auto-buy author for me, and Dark Factory did not disappoint! You can read my review here!

Someone in Time: Tales of Time-Crossed Romance by Jonathan Strahan, Nina Allan, Zen Cho, Rowan Coleman, Jeffrey Ford, Sarah Gailey, Theodora Goss, Elizabeth Hand, Alix E. Harrow, Ellen Klages, Lavanya Lakshminarayan, Margo Lanagan, Seanan McGuire, Sam J. Miller, Sameem Sadiqui, Catherynne M. Valente, Carrie Vaughn
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
Published on: 10th May 2022
Goodreads

Anthology of inclusive tales of people through time looking for one another and for ways for the world to be better.

Love brought together or torn apart by time travel.

This anthology is the latest collection of time-travel romance sci-fi short stories from prominent, award-winning sci-fi authors including Nina Allan, Carrie Vaughn, and Seanan McGuire. Follow timetravelers of all genders as they go backward and forward in time, sometimes to save the one they love, other times as a sacrifice, and others simply because it's their job. Some travel through memory, others through dreams, and others still through time machines to touch people who would otherwise be out of reach, and to join them together. Some of the stories are funny, some are sad and poignant, some are tales of fresh love and some of love forever lost, but they all are rather wonderful.

Including stories by: Alix E. Harrow, Zen Cho, Seanan McGuire, Sarah Gailey, Jeffrey Ford, Nina Allan, Elizabeth Hand, Lavanya Lakshminarayan, Catherynne M. Valente, Sam J. Miller, Rowan Coleman, Margo Lanagan, Sameem Siddiqui, Theodora Goss, Carrie Vaughn, Ellen Klages

Usually I’m extremely way of short story collections, but this has stories from so many of my favourite authors AND I’ve seen nothing but glowing reviews for it, so I’m extremely excited!

Adrift in Starlight by Mindi Briar
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
Representation: Nonbinary pansexual MC, Black asexual MC
Published on: 10th May 2022
Goodreads


When set adrift in the universe, some things are worth holding onto.

Titan Valentino has been offered a job they can’t refuse.Tai, a gender-neutral courtesan, receives a scandalous proposition: seduce an actor's virgin fiancée. The money is enough to pay off Tai’s crushing medical debt, a tantalizing prospect.

Too bad Aisha Malik isn’t the easy target they expect.A standoffish historian who hates to be touched, she’s laser-focused on her career, and completely unaware that her marriage has been arranged behind her back. This could be the one instance where Tai’s charm and charisma fail them.

Then an accidental heist throws them together as partners in crime.Fleeing from the Authorities, they’re dragged into one adventure after another: alien planets, pirate duels, and narrow escapes from the law. As Tai and Aisha open up to each other, deeper feelings kindle between them. But that reward money still hangs over Tai’s head. Telling Aisha the truth could ruin everything...

Their freedom, their career, and their blossoming love all hang in the balance. To save one might mean sacrificing the rest.

This is very light and fun, the kind of book that doesn’t ask you to work too hard. It wasn’t quite the right fit for me, but if you want a diverse, not-so-complicated read with plenty of hijinks, then you’ll probably love this!

Under Fortunate Stars by Ren Hutchings
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
Published on: 10th May 2022
Goodreads

Fleeing the final days of the generations-long war with the alien Felen, smuggler Jereth Keeven's freighter the Jonah breaks down in a strange rift in deep space, with little chance of rescue—until they encounter the research vessel Gallion, which claims to be from 152 years in the future.

The Gallion's chief engineer Uma Ozakka has always been fascinated with the past, especially the tale of the Fortunate Five, who ended the war with the Felen. When the Gallion rescues a run-down junk freighter, Ozakka is shocked to recognize the Five's legendary ship—and the Five's famed leader, Eldric Leesongronski, among the crew.

But nothing else about Leesongronski and his crewmates seems to match up with the historical record. With their ships running out of power in the rift, more than the lives of both crews may be at stake.

I don’t know much about Under Fortunate Stars, but what I’ve heard has been good! Definitely going on my tbr!

Street Unicorns by Robbie Quinn
Published on: 10th May 2022
Goodreads

Fashion and wisdom from style rebels in New York City and beyondIn a world where stores, clothes, and trends have become increasingly standardized, fashion is one of the most powerful ways to explore and express our personalities, identities, and individuality. For years, renowned photographer Robbie Quinn has come across style rebels and bold expressionists on the streets of NYC and the world’s largest cities, stopping them for impromptu photoshoots and testimonials. He’s even given these eccentric lovers of style a name: Street Unicorns. In these pages, Quinn shares the portraits, viewpoints, and aspirations of more than 250 Street Unicorns with the hopes of inspiring readers to rediscover the most authentic parts of themselves. A vibrant declaration against ageism, racism, homophobia, and all other discriminations, this book is a love letter to those who aren’t afraid to stand out, embrace nonconformity, and share who they are with the world.

I love everything about this and can’t wait to go through all the gorgeous photos!

Wildseed Witch (Wildseed Witch, #1) by Marti Dumas
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary or Urban Fantasy
Representation: Black MC
Published on: 10th May 2022
Goodreads

Hasani’s post-seventh-grade summer to-do list is pretty simple: get a bigger following for her makeup YouTube channel and figure out how to get her parents back together. What she does NOT expect is that an emotional outburst will spark a latent magical ability in her. Or that the magic will be strong enough to attract the attention of witches. Or that before she can say #BlackGirlMagic, she’ll be shipped off on a scholarship to a fancy finishing school for talented young ladies.

Les Belles Demoiselles is a literal charm school. Here, generations of young ladies from old-money witch families have learned to harness their magic, and alumnae grow to become some of the most powerful women across industries, including politicians, philanthropists, CEOs, entrepreneurs—and yes, even social media influencers. Needless to say, admission to the school is highly coveted, very exclusive . . . and Hasani sticks out like a weed in a rose bouquet.

While the other girls have always known they were destined to be witches, Hasani is a Wildseed––a stray witch from a family of non-witches, with no background knowledge, no way to control her magic, and a lot to catch up on. "Wildseed" may be an insult that the other girls throw at her, but Wildseeds are more powerful than they know. And Hasani will learn that there are ways to use magic and thrive that can never be taught in a classroom.

GIVE ME ALL THE DIVERSE MAGIC SCHOOL STORIES! I think this is our second this month, even??? #BLESSED

Equinox by David Towsey
Genres: Fantasy
Published on: 12th May 2022
Goodreads

Everyone is not as they seem in this fantasy novel, replete with war, witchcraft and secrets.

Christophor Morden lives in a world where everybody changes with the rising and setting of the sun. For every person contains two distinct identities – a day brother and a night brother. One never sees the light, the other nothing of night.

One evening Christophor, one of the king's special unit of witch hunters, is woken early by a call to the city prison. A young woman has torn her own eyes out, and the police suspect supernatural causes. The investigation takes Christophor far from home, to a village on the edge of the kingdom.

There he will find his witch – and his night brother will find himself desperate to save her. And as this battle of the self rages, the witch's ancient and apocalyptic ritual comes ever closer to completion...

This is a really interesting premise that I’ve been looking forced to since I first heard about it!

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

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