Mt TBR Report: January 2021

My reading for 2021 has been off to a bit of a lacklustre beginning; January involved lots of short bits and pieces, and I seemed to go in fits and starts.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2021: 426
Mt TBR @ 31 January 2021: 430

Items Read

1. The Absinthe Earl by Sharon Lynn Fisher. Alternate history, fantasy romance. First book in the Faery Rehistory series. A young Englishwoman conducting an anthropological study of fairies is convinced by an Irish lord to accompany him as he investigates a mysterious ruin. This was not my jam. It was way more bonkers fantasy than alternate history and the romance suffered from more sex than emotional intimacy.

2. Ghost Bird by Lisa Fuller. Reviewed here.

3. The Left-handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix. Alternate history, fantasy. Susan travels to London to search for the father she never met. Instead, she finds a magical society responsible for keeping order between the worlds. Another book that was more bonkers fantasy than alternate history, although this one pulled it off much better by being less angsty and more fun. Although the age of the protagonist should put this more in the category of New Adult, it had more of a YA vibe about it. There was a light romance subplot that felt a bit shoehorned in and could have been dispensed with entirely. But on the whole, a lot of fun.

4. All Systems Red by Martha Wells. Reread.

5. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells. Reread.

6. Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells. Reread.

7. Exit Strategy by Martha Wells. Reread.

8. Network Effect by Martha Wells. Science fiction. Fifth book (and first novel) of the Murderbot Diaries. Murderbot and its human associates are kidnapped. They must free themselves and come to the aid of an old friend. As delightful as I’d hoped, action-packed and full of feelings. My one complaint was that some of the pseudo-technical jargon got a little hard to follow in places, but it didn’t slow me down much.

10. Fierce Protector by Kit Rocha. Post-apocalyptic romance. A vignette following the Beyond series. Hawk picks up a puppy for Jeni. Cute enough, but didn’t do much for me. Perhaps it has been too long since I read the original series.

11. The Way the Sky Curves by J.C. Hart. Fantasy romance novella. First book in the Kotahi Bay series. A young woman with powerful magic flees her abusive boyfriend and back to her estranged family. I very much enjoyed the setting: a magically protected corner of New Zealand. However, there were pacing issues, particularly around the development of relationships.

12. Cravings by Kit Rocha. Post-apocalyptic romance. A vignette following the Beyond series. In the final stages of her pregnancy, Noelle prepares to hand over her job and Jasper works on the nursery. I liked this a little better than Fierce Protector, mostly for the way it showed the community looking out for each other.

13. Uncle Ashwin by Kit Rocha. Post-apocalyptic romance. A vignette following the Gideon’s Riders series. Ashwin’s super soldier training has left him unprepared to be an uncle. Sweet and hopeful.


Unnatural Order edited by Lyss Wickramasinghe and Alis Franklin
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven
Near Miss by Narrelle M. Harris
Brambles by Intisar Khanani
The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard
The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty
The Lord of Stariel by A.J. Lancaster
The Prince of Secrets by A.J. Lancaster
You Are Not Your Writing by Angela Slatter
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Talking to My Country by Stan Grant