Mt TBR Report: April 2021

Last month, I mentioned I was trying a new approach to my TBR, recommended by Sandstone. Safe to say it has been very effective. This was probably also helped by some improvements in my health.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2021: 426
Mt TBR @ 31 March 2021: 425
Mt TBR @ 30 April 2021: 416

Items Read

36. How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger. Paranormal romance. First book in the Claw and Courtship series. A ruined American heiress is sent to distant family in London to seek a werewolf for a husband. A reasonably fluffy novella featuring both a geology-geek girl and a horse girl; I’m pretty sure it was written just for me. The ending was a touch disappointing, but I shall definitely be delving deeper into Gail Carriger’s work.

37. Cipher by Moira Rogers. Paranormal romance. Fourth book in the Southern Arcana series. A powerful empath and a newly-turned werewolf get a second chance at romance while on the run from a cult. At this point in the series, Moira Rogers has really found their voice and they do a great job of setting up for the rest of the series.

38. Impulse by Moira Rogers. Paranormal romance. Fifth book in the Southern Arcana series. In order to avoid her abusive ex, a coyote shifter goes on a road trip with a wolf shifter. I enjoyed the characters, but the book’s emphasis on instinct didn’t really work for me.

39. Kokomo by Victoria Hannan. Contemporary fiction. When her mother leaves the house for the first time in twelve years, Mina flies home to Melbourne to find out why. Not really my jam. I found it a bit pretentious and full of existential ennui.

40. Enigma by Moira Rogers. Paranormal romance. Sixth book in the Southern Arcana series. A pair of bounty hunters attempt to keep their minds on the job and their hands off each other as they hunt down a kidnapped werewolf. A bit ridiculous in places, but fun. However, I found the overall arc of the series rather weak compared to the authors’ work as Kit Rocha.

41. A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine. Science fiction, space opera. Second book in the Teixcalaan series. Reviewed here.

42. The Wrong Foot by Stephanie Burgis. Fantasy short story. A retelling of Cinderella in which the shoe left behind at the ball fits the foot of a woman who definitely didn’t wear it. I loved this antihero Cinderella.

44. The Pearl by Tiffany Reisz. Erotica. Third book in the Godwicks series. A young lord is coerced into working off his brother’s debt by sleeping with the owner of the hotel. This story throws back to the artwork of the first book of the series more than the mythology of the second, but I nevertheless enjoyed it immensely.

47. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. Science fiction. First book in the Themis Files. An epistolary story about a team put together to study a giant metal hand. It’s an interesting tale in dialogue with many others of its genre and does particularly well with examining the geopolitical ramifications of such a situation. However, it was very much a plot-driven story rather than character-driven and I felt the format did it a disservice in places.

48. Girls Who Read Austen by Tansy Rayner Roberts. Fantasy short story. A monster girl attending university just wants to find a decent roommate. Short and amusing, especially if you’re familiar with your legendary monstrous Greek women.

49. The Curious Case of the Clockwork Menace by Bec McMaster. Steampunk mystery. Book 3.5 in the London Steampunk series. A pair of Nighthawks must track down a murderer while coming to terms with their growing attraction. A bit predictable and angsty, but entertaining enough.

50. The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan. F/m historical romance. Prequel to the Brothers Sinister. Reread.

51. putting my roots in dreamland by AppleJuiz. Fanfic of the Tom Holland Spiderman movies. Third story in the my house of stone, your ivy grows series. Does an excellent job of aligning the previous work in the series with the canon of Spiderman: Far From Home.

52. The Duchess War by Courtney Milan. F/m historical romance. First book in the Brothers Sinister. Reread

53. Sunshine by Robin McKinley. Contemporary fantasy. When a young woman is kidnapped by vampires, she finds her own magic is more powerful than she imagined. The style is first person and a bit rambly, but it grounds the story in a vibrant world. I found the plot a touch flimsy in places, but an excellent read.

54. Finna by Nino Cipri. Science fiction novella. When an elderly customer at not-IKEA gets lost in a portal to another dimension, two junior employees are sent to find her. The trouble is they just broke up a week ago. The dynamic between the two main characters is perfect — still hurt, but also still in touch with what they liked about each other. The setting is bonkers in the best way. The book’s Hugo nomination is well deserved.

55. A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan. F/m historical romance. Spinoff novella from the Brothers Sinister. Only one person knows the dark secret in Lydia’s past, but although she’s determined to avoid him, he has other ideas. Lydia’s capacity for self-deception was already starting to annoy me, so it was a good decision to keep this to novella length.

57. The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan. F/m historical romance. Second book in the Brothers Sinister. A wealth heiress must remain unmarried in order to protect her sister. This series has been a wealth of intelligent women and this book was no exception. Jane’s efforts to keep others at arm’s length were masterful and a delight to read.

58. Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark. Historical fantasy and horror. In a world in which the Ku Klux Klan are literal monsters, it’s up to three young black women to save the day. My US history is a little shaky, so I probably didn’t grasp all the cultural references and implications. But the story was wonderfully atmospheric and creepy, ringing with truth despite the fantastic elements.

Acquisitions

An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Keen
Finna by Nino Cipri
Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
The Devil Comes Courting by Courtney Milan
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Overdues and Occultism by Jamie Sands
The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers
Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

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