Terciel & Elinor, by Garth Nix
I originally read this during the summer, but since the book has now been released, I needed to read it again. (Also, comfort read.) The second time through was even more of a delight.
Queens of Noise, by Leigh Harlen
The Mangy Rats is a punk band, made up of a pack of werecoyotes, posed to win an epic battle of the bands, unless their favorite bar is shut down by gentrifying witches. With the help of a werewolf pack, and rival band, they hunt down the witches and save the day. A fun little novella filled with queer and queer characters an unusual desert setting, and a whole lot of imagination. Recommend!
The Death of Jane Lawrence, by Caitlin Starling
This had been on my list of books coming out in the fall that I wanted to read. It was … OK. What it really did for me was to make me consider what is considered horror and what is considered fantasy and why. The plot, Jane marries new-to-town doctor in a marriage of convenience for them both. As part of the pact, she is not allowed to visit his home estate outside of town, but that’s the first thing that happens once they wed. The house, of course, is haunted/cursed. Jane has to discover the magic within her to save herself and her new husband (who she has feelings for). Supposed to be a horror novel but was really fantasy. At least in my opinion.
The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne, by Jonathan Stroud
This is a middle grade adventure with a super high body count caused, mostly, by the two main characters. And it is terrific. Set in a future dystopian version of England, Scarlett is an accomplished thief, while naïve Albert Browne is on the run from some nefarious people. They travel across the south of England to get Albert to a mythical place of islands where he’ll be safe. Heists, monsters, close-calls, and more, this was a fun read and I’m looking forward to further installments.
The Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die, by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay
A nice story told in two interwoven points of view. One follows Somlata a new bride to a decaying rich family as she navigates their fortunes with some encouragement from the family aunt’s ghost. The second follows Boshon, Somlata’s daughter, as she finds her true love. A lovely fable about family and love.
Cotillion, by G. Heyer
Of course, I’ve read this one a whole bunch of times. An absolute comfort read. We lost one of our dogs in November and I needed a known entity to keep me company. I love this book so much.
Margot Mertz Takes It Down, by Carrie McCrossen and Jon McWethy
A young adult book. Margot has a side gig as an internet scrubber which she’s doing to create a college fund. People pay her to remove things about them from the internet. When she finds out about a website that posts sexual pictures of women from her school, she goes on a spree to get the website removed and to find the people responsible, much to her own detriment. Overall, a decent book. I kind of got hung up on the fact that if she’d asked one question of her best friend, there wouldn’t have been a story. But otherwise a fun read.
Hench, by Natalie Zina Walschots
I originally listened to this book and loved it. Felt like I needed to reread it, so I bought a copy. This book is so dang good, but really dark. I knew it had its moments, but the narrator of the audio had such a snarky, sarcastic delivery that it took some of the power out of the punches. Anna is basically an accountant for villains. When she is permanently maimed by the world’s favorite superhero, she starts on her own path to villainy. And it is great, terrifying, but great.
The Wise Women, by Gina Sorell
This was a nice listen. Not the most compelling book I’ve ever read, but it was endearing. The story follows three women: famous advice columnist Wendy Wise and her two adult daughters, Barb, an architect, and Clementine, a copywriter and mom. Over one summer, Clementine loses her husband and maybe her house, Barb might lose a big client and her girlfriend, and Wendy will have to come clean about the secrets she’s been keeping. Mother/daughter relationships are the center of this story and done really well.