Thursday, January 21, 2021

Review: Knight in Paper Armor by Nicholas Conley

Knight in Paper Armor
Knight in Paper Armor by Nicholas Conley
Red Adept Publishing, LLC
September 2020
Ebook. 426 pages

About Knight in Paper Armor:

"Billy Jakobek has always been different. Born with strange and powerful psychic abilities, he has grown up in the laboratories of Thorne Century, a ruthless megacorporation that economically, socially, and politically dominates American society. Every day, Billy absorbs the emotional energies, dreams, and traumas of everyone he meets—from his grandmother’s memories of the Holocaust, to the terror his sheer existence inflicts upon his captors—and he yearns to break free, so he can use his powers to help others.
 
Natalia Gonzalez, a rebellious artist and daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, lives in Heaven’s Hole, an industrial town built inside a meteor crater, where the poverty-stricken population struggles to survive the nightmarish working conditions of the local Thorne Century factory. Natalia takes care of her ailing mother, her grandmother, and her two younger brothers, and while she dreams of escape, she knows she cannot leave her family behind.
 
When Billy is transferred to Heaven’s Hole, his chance encounter with Natalia sends shockwaves rippling across the blighted landscape. The two outsiders are pitted against the all-powerful monopoly, while Billy experiences visions of an otherworldly figure known as the Shape, which prophesizes an apocalyptic future that could decimate the world they know."


Knight in Paper Armor is a YA sci-fi/dystopian that I found myself far more than any other YA I've read recently. It's a fantastic mix of imagination, social issues, moral and ethical discussions, and a strong plot to keep the story interesting.

The story follows Billy, a boy who was born with psychic abilities that has turned him into a bit of a case study as he lives, essentially, as an experiment to be studied. His powers allow him to basically absorb emotions and energies from others, which Conley executed in a way that made me constantly curious to see how different people and situations would end up affecting him. I also really liked that Billy was a Jewish protagonist, as there really aren't enough prominent Jewish characters in fiction and I love the perspective it added, especially in regards to treatment and experience. During the story, we also meet Natalia who is a bit rebellious in nature and opposes the powers that keep everyone in place. Together, the two form an unlikely but powerful pair who share a passion for change and goodness.

Another strength of Knight in Paper Armor is its consistent pacing, which had plenty of action to balance out moments of calmer activity and discussion. The plotting itself also benefits from the good pacing as the reader is first introduced the general set up of the story, then slowly meets Billy and jumps to experiencing and understanding his life as a sort of lab rat. Everything else then falls into place and takes off as the story progresses.

There are a lot of great things about this book, but one last area that I particularly appreciated was in how Conley brings real societal issues from past and present to develop strong and nuanced discussions and explorations. This book gets fairly heavy at times, and I appreciate that Conley didn't try to cover up reality or the truth of the world and how life can be, but instead presented in a way that felt realistic, relevant, and relatable, but also wasn't too overwhelming and always had an air of positivity that worked well with the entire atmosphere. This felt like a very inspirational and uplifting book overall despite the hard moments, so if that's something you look for in your books, this would be a great pick.

I don't have very many negative comments about this book, and the only sort of comment/critique I'd make is that there were occasional moments where the dialogue felt a bit awkward or stilted, and I'm not sure if it's because they were teenagers and made to sound like them or if it was just me or what. Also, as much as I liked the characters and their development, there were similar occurrences where I felt there could have been just a bit more development to make actions feel a bit smoother or connected to each character. 

Overall, I've given Knight in Paper Armor four stars! I expected and hoped to like this book, but I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did so I'm really thankful that I got the opportunity to read it.

*I received a copy of Knight in Paper Armor courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating.*

Buy the book: Amazon | IndieBound

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard, The Upstairs House by Julia Fine, & The Girl from Shadow Springs by Ellie Cypher


Can't-Wait is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights exciting upcoming releases that we can't wait to be released! This meme is based off of Jill @ Breaking the Spine's Waiting on Wednesday meme.

This week's upcoming book spotlights are: 
Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard
Publication: February 9th, 2021
Tor
Paperback. 96 pages.
Pre-order: AmazonIndieBound

"Fire burns bright and has a long memory…. 

Quiet, thoughtful princess Thanh was sent away as a hostage to the powerful faraway country of Ephteria as a child. Now she’s returned to her mother’s imperial court, haunted not only by memories of her first romance, but by worrying magical echoes of a fire that devastated Ephteria’s royal palace. 

Thanh’s new role as a diplomat places her once again in the path of her first love, the powerful and magnetic Eldris of Ephteria, who knows exactly what she wants: romance from Thanh and much more from Thanh’s home. Eldris won’t take no for an answer, on either front. But the fire that burned down one palace is tempting Thanh with the possibility of making her own dangerous decisions. 

Can Thanh find the freedom to shape her country’s fate—and her own?"
I still haven't read anything by Aliette de Bodard despite my intentions to, and this novella sounds particularly exciting! I'm not sure how everything in that premise will fit into 96 pages, but I'm ready to find out!

and...
The Upstairs House by Julia Fine
Publication: February 23rd, 2021
Harper
Hardcover. 304 pages.
Pre-order: AmazonIndieBound


"There’s a madwoman upstairs, and only Megan Weiler can see her. 

Ravaged and sore from giving birth to her first child, Megan is mostly raising her newborn alone while her husband travels for work. Physically exhausted and mentally drained, she’s also wracked with guilt over her unfinished dissertation—a thesis on mid-century children’s literature. 

Enter a new upstairs neighbor: the ghost of quixotic children’s book writer Margaret Wise Brown—author of the beloved classic Goodnight Moon—whose existence no one else will acknowledge. It seems Margaret has unfinished business with her former lover, the once-famous socialite and actress Michael Strange, and is determined to draw Megan into the fray. As Michael joins the haunting, Megan finds herself caught in the wake of a supernatural power struggle—and until she can find a way to quiet these spirits, she and her newborn daughter are in terrible danger."
I love that the ghost is Margaret Wise Brown!? This book sounds like all kinda of weird and I am here for it!

and...
The Girl from Shadow Springs by Ellie Cypher
Publication: February 9th, 2021
Simon Schuster
Hardcover. 320 pages.
Pre-order: AmazonIndieBound


"Everyone in Shadow Springs knows that no one survives crossing the Flats. But the threat of a frozen death has never deterred the steady stream of treasure hunters searching for a legendary prize hidden somewhere in the vast expanse of ice. Jorie thinks they’re all fools, which makes scavenging their possessions easier. It’s how she and her sister, Brenna, survive. 

Then Jorie scavenges off the wrong body. When the dead man’s enemy believes Jorie took something valuable from the body, he kidnaps Brenna as collateral. He tells Jorie that if she wants her sister back, she’ll have to trade her for the item he thinks she stole. But how can Jorie make a trade when she doesn’t even know what she’s looking for? 

Her only source of information is Cody, the dead man’s nephew and a scholar from the South who’s never been hardened by the harsh conditions of the North. Though Jorie’s reluctant to bring a city boy out onto the Flats with her, she’ll do whatever it takes to save her sister. But anything can happen out on the ice, and soon Jorie and Cody find they need one another more than they ever imagined—and they’ll have to trust each other to survive threats beyond their darkest nightmares."
This sounds like a really promising setting and I enjoy the sort of scavenger/Western/treasure hunter vibes I'm getting from it. 

What do you think about these upcoming releases? What are your anticipated upcoming releases?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2020

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blog meme now hosted by Jana over at The Artsy Reader Girl!

This week's topic is: Books I Meant to Read in 2020
 
For this week's topic, I'm going to look at my TTT anticipated release lists for the first and second half of the year and see what books from that list I actually read. I don't have high hopes and I have no idea what books were even on those lists at this point, but let's check it out, anyway!
 
 

So, 7/13 is technically a fail, but you know what, I'm pretty pleased with getting through that many knowing how easily my mood and whim changes. Also, I'm not sure if Master Artificer should count considering its release got pushed back to May 2021 and I just an eARC from NetGalley a couple weeks ago. If you for any reason want a closer look at these and my reasons for reading or not reading them...
  • The Obsidian Tower: I was so excited for this and pretty much read the ARC as soon as it showed up at my door. This was a no-brainer. I am forever indebted to Orbit for sending me so many brilliant books.
  • The Shadow Saint: Another book from Orbit, plus I was so excited to read this sequel!
  • The Golden Key: Honestly? I completely forgot this book existed, and I feel bad about that now. The reviews on Goodreads are very discouraging, though, which almost makes me more intrigued now?
  • A Time of Courage: This was a super anticipated finale (and also from Orbit so I got it right away!) and I knew I'd be reading it.
  • The Girl and the Stars: This was sent to me from the publisher and I was excited for new Mark Lawrence.
  • The Unspoken Name: I also somehow received an ARC of this one and had heard a lot of hype about it!
  • A Witch in Time: And once again, thanks, Orbit!
  • Lady Hotspur: I still actively want to read this, I just haven't gotten around to it and my library doesn't have it. :(
  • Seven Endless Forests: Just didn't get around to it, unfortunately.
  • House of Dragons: I think I lost a little bit of interest in this, plus if I recall I think I saw some problems with Jessica Cluess on social media? I don't spend too much time there so I'm not sure the details, but I think I'd definitely look into that before picking this one up.
  • A Peculiar Peril: This wasn't necessarily a super high priority book, so I think that's why I didn't get to it.
  • Master Artificer: As I mentioned above, this release got pushed back and I didn't even have access to a copy until recently! So ha! I have an actual, legitimate excuse.
  • The Devil and the Dark Water: I read this after many weeks on the library waiting list! 
 
 Wow, this one's, uh, a little embarrassing, to be honest. 3/10 is not great. Let's find out why.
  • Rhythm of War: The longest book on this list (1200 pages is no joke, friends) and I finished it at the beginning of this year! It took a while to come in from the library, also.
  • The Left-Handed Booksellers of London: Okay, so technically I didn't even read this one and I"m a huge liar. But I did check it out from the library and when I read a few pages I just could not for the life of me focus or get interested in the story, so I opted to put it down. I did check it out, though!
  • Piranesi: I've been on my library's waiting list since October and I'm still #22 in line I don't have to take responsibility for this one, right? I'm saying it's out of my hands. And I still have no idea when I'll actually get a chance to read it.
  • The Constant Rabbit: I still really want to read this, but my library doesn't have it and I have been trying to save some money, so hopefully I'll someone get a chance soon!
  • The Space Between Worlds: I feel bad about this one. I started it, was enjoying it, and then just.. stopped? Not sure what happened, I don't tend to do that much these days.
  • The Death of Vivek Oji: My library doesn't have this one, either. 
  • Beowulf: I have no excuses, I just haven't gotten to it.

Well, that's that! This is pretty much exactly why I never make TBRs because I'm way too moody of a reader, so at least I'm consistent at something, right? 
 
Have you read any of these books? What books did you mean to read in 2020, but didn't get around to for one reason or anther?


Monday, January 18, 2021

Review + Spotlight: Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 19th, 2021
Hardcover. 416 pages

About Amari and the Night Brothers:

"Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.
 
So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton—if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.
 
Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny—especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed “illegal.”
 
With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton."

Amari and the Night Brothers is an adventurous and magical new middle grade fantasy that I truly had a blast reading. This books takes some fairly common tropes, such as magical schools, the protagonist having amazing powers they weren't aware of, etc., and really does some exciting things with them that allowed this book to feel fresh and enjoyable. 

Amari struggles with fitting in at the private school that she has a scholarship to attend. She lives in the housing projects of Rosewood and is constantly reminded of that fact, not to mention the fact that her incredible older brother, Quentin, has disappeared and many people seem to act as if he simply went down the "wrong path" and chose to disappear rather than had something bad happen to him. Amari, however, doesn't buy that story and when given the opportunity to enter a world in which she could potentially find out what happened to her brother, she jumps at the chance and never lets up with trying to find out what happened. 

This determination that Amari exudes is one of my favorite things about her and I think she is a fantastic example of what it means to follow what you know is right and to stand up when necessary. Amari isn't perfect, she disobeys her mom and authority figures at times, but she also has an incredible heart and strength about her that sets her apart. I specifically remember one scene in which she has a knee-jerk reaction to immediately refuses even considering learning something dark and dangerous, which I think says a lot about her character as a whole in her efforts to do good and focus on helping others. She has to put up with a lot of types of bullying and hatred and prejudice, and I love how she learns about herself and others while doing this. 

The world-building of this book is so fun and is one of those that I can tell is just bursting at the seams and oozing with new details and depth. Because of this, there are times when it seemed as if Alston had so much he wanted to include that it ended up only being small snippets that never got fully developed and left me wanting more, but I do hope that more is explored and elaborated in subsequent books, as there is a lot of really great potential there. 

This book tackles so many great topics, the most prominent of which is prejudice. I love how Alston tackles this topic in so many varying ways, all of which developed a different aspect of how prejudice can and does affect people in different ways, as well as all of this often hidden forms it takes and how many people don't even realize it's happening when it does. 

The only real quibble I have with this book is that there were occasionally times where I felt as though some major revelations occurred or something momentous happened to the protagonist and everything was just accepted very quickly. There didn't always feel like there was enough questioning or confusion around things, which felt a little odd to me, but at the same time--if I may contradict myself--I sort of feel like doing this allowed the pacing and plot to keep moving quickly and will absolutely keep readers, especially young readers, engaged. It was something that stood out to me as a bit inconsistent and odd, but at the same time didn't really take away from my reading experience too much because I was still very much engaged with the story. 

Overall, it's an easy 4.25 stars from me! I cannot wait to see where B.B. Alston takes Amari next and I would highly recommend this to anyone that is a fan of exciting middle grade fantasy. 

*I received a copy of Amari and the Night Brothers courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating of the book.*

Buy the book: Amazon | IndieBound

 

About the author: 

 B.B. Alston started writing in middle school, entertaining his classmates with horror stories starring the whole class where not everyone survived! After several years of trying to break into publishing, he had just been accepted into a biomedical graduate program when a chance entry into a twitter pitch contest led to his signing with TBA, 20+ book deals worldwide, and even a film deal. When not writing, he can be found eating too many sweets and exploring country roads to see where they lead.

B.B. was inspired to write AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS because he couldn’t find any fantasy stories featuring Black kids when he was growing up. He hopes to show kids that though you might look different, or feeldifferent, whatever the reason, your uniqueness needn’t only be a source of fear and insecurity. There is great strength and joy to be found in simply accepting yourself for who you are. Because once you do so, you’ll be unstoppable.

Find B.B. Alston: Twitter | Instagram

 

Advance Praise:
 
“The author weaves magical whimsy with honest, realistically portrayed circumstances, allowing Amari’s literal #BlackGirlMagic to shine even when she doesn’t believe in herself. This timely, energetic, first-person narrative moves quickly with clear descriptions, a thrilling buildup, and strong messages about profiling. An impressive debut series opener.” 
—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Supernatural creatures are hidden in plain sight in B.B. Alston's exhilarating middle-grade fantasy debut...The definitive hook of this narrative is Alston's exceptional skill for world building....fans of the Harry Potter series will likely find much to enjoy in Alston's imaginary Bureau, which features significantly more authentic diversity than Rowling's Hogwarts. Amari stumbles into one capricious adventure after another en route to a stunning conclusion that also lays the track for a sequel to this breakout debut."
—Shelf Awareness
 
“An enchanting fantasy adventure filled with heart and soul. Amari is magical!”
—Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE HATE U GIVE
 
“As a former black girl misfit who wanted nothing more in the world than to be magical, this book is a song to my soul. Amari is the heroine we all need.”
—Nic Stone, #1 New York Times bestselling author of DEAR MARTIN
 
“Sharp, funny and brightly imaginative -- a big adventure filled with magic and heart.”
—Jessica Townsend, New York Times bestselling author of the Nevermoor series
 
"Clever, imaginative, and filled with heart. I loved every magical page."  
—J.C. Cervantes, New York Times bestselling author of THE STORM RUNNER
 
“Amari and the Night Brothers gives an electrifying jolt to middle-grade fantasy, that takes  the ingredients we know and love--strong-willed, relatable protagonist, a worthy quest,  and a thrilling magical portal--and makes them fresh and new. From the first pages, Amari  is at once self-possessed and an underdog, battling racism, bias and poverty, all later  mirrored in her efforts to find her brother inside the fantastical labyrinth of the Bureau of  Supernatural Affairs. Funny, fast-paced, and ultimately moving, B.B. Alston's debut is a  rousing success and kicks off a series that will truly stand out from the rest!”  
—Soman Chainani, author of the bestselling The School for Good and Evil series
 
"The surprises and story never slow down for a minute in this magical, astonishing world,  with a heroine who’s like Buffy meets Meg Murry multiplied by Shuri to the power of  awesome. I want to live in Amari’s world and watch her save it (or have her come here and  save ours!)!"
—Tui Sutherland, bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series

Friday, January 15, 2021

The Friday Face-Off: Aerial Encounter


Friday Face Off New
Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme at Books by Proxy. Join us every Friday as we pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe. You can find a list of upcoming topics at Lynn's Books.

This week's topic is:
Aerial Encounter - spaceships & explosions

There were a few options that fit this week's topic, so I've included a few covers of Children of Time  by Adrian Tchaikovsky and Adrift by Rob Boffard to cover the spaceship aspect and The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson for the explosion-looking aspect. I never would've really classified The Rithmatist as sci-fi, but those covers in particular sure look space-y!

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Children of Time (Children of Time, #1)Copiii timpuluiDeca Vremena
2015 US | 2018 Romanian | 2018 Serbian

Дети времени (Дети времени, #1)Dans la toile du tempsI figli del tempo
2020 Russian | 2019 French | 2018 Italian

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
The Rithmatist (The Rithmatist, #1)El rithmatista (El rithmatista, #1)Ritmatikeren (The Rithmatist, #1)
2014 Tor UK | 2015 Spanish | 2016 Danish

Adrift by Rob Boffard
AdriftVerschollen
2018 US, Orbit | 2019 Geran


My choice(s):
The Rithmatist (The Rithmatist, #1)Adrift
I'm really drawn to the Serbian edition of Children of Time, but overall I really love the looks of these two covers and the striking color contrasts and just how beautiful they are overall!

What cover(s) do you like the most!?

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Review: The Divines by Ellie Eaton

The Divines
The Divines by Ellie Eaton
William Morrow
Publication Date: January 19th, 2021
Hardcover. 320 pages

About The Divines:

"Can we ever really escape our past?
 
The girls of St John the Divine, an elite English boarding school, were notorious for flipping their hair, harassing teachers, chasing boys, and chain-smoking cigarettes. They were fiercely loyal, sharp-tongued, and cuttingly humorous in the way that only teenage girls can be. For Josephine, now in her thirties, the years at St John were a lifetime ago. She hasn’t spoken to another Divine in fifteen years, not since the day the school shuttered its doors in disgrace.
 
Yet now Josephine inexplicably finds herself returning to her old stomping grounds. The visit provokes blurry recollections of those doomed final weeks that rocked the community. Ruminating on the past, Josephine becomes obsessed with her teenage identity and the forgotten girls of her one-time orbit. With each memory that resurfaces, she circles closer to the violent secret at the heart of the school’s scandal. But the more Josephine recalls, the further her life unravels, derailing not just her marriage and career, but her entire sense of self."

 The Divines is an interesting and difficult book to review because I simultaneously felt uncertain about it while also enjoying it, as well as simultaneously found it both introduced some memorable discussions, while also felt a bit forgettable. I know that sentence is full of contradictions, so let's just dive into my thoughts around this book.

At a general level, The Divines is yet another all-girls boarding school story in which a group of elite girls, who calls themselves 'Divines' after the name of the school, are generally rebellious, problematic, and bullies as they navigate their formative years. However, it's also a story about what it's like to be both part of a clique or 'in-group' while also feeling ostracized from a group on another level. It's about decisions, mistakes, and learning how to deal with the past. 

This is one of those books where you feel a constant low-level sense of anxiety and discomfort as we watch these privileged girls undergo their daily lives at boarding school. They are often cruel to others, especially 'social pariah' Gerry Lake, and this seemingly senseless bullying that our protagonist perpetuates makes for a compellingly flawed set of characters that make it hard to empathize with. Josephine, especially, is not an overly likable character, and although she may have good sentiments at heart, she lacks the courage to actually be kind or stand up for anything which in turn makes her at times frustrating to follow. There were so many opportunities for her to do something different, but she always reverted back to the habits she acquired as a Divine with the rest of her fellow Divines. This also relates to another character, Lauren, who is not a Divine but slowly and unexpectedly befriends Josephine. This was such a weird and magnetic relationship, and I liked seeing how Eaton developed it, but I do feel like there was something missing that never got quite resolved by the end.

The story follows only Josephine's perspective, but it switches between past and present, with more time spent on the the past in her days at boarding school. In the present, she is newly married and has her first child, and we get to spend some time observing how her past in anything but forgotten and has continued to affect her in unexpected and potentially detrimental ways. I really appreciated how Eaton crafted this in such a way that really captured how our past choices and decisions or mistakes can sometimes follow us, no matter how we attempt to ignore or erase them, and how real her struggle to make sense of everything is. 

My main complaints are that I felt this book at times wasn't sure what sort of atmosphere or style it was going for. The story opens rather ominously and dramatically, and foreboding phrases pop up now and again throughout the story, but there is nothing overly dark or exceptionally melodramatic that occurs. This is certainly not what I would consider a 'light' story and it handles some very important topics and the overall mood is a bit listless and depressed, but it wasn't exactly ominous, which is what the narrative often seems to have been attempting to [promote]. The ending was one that I was satisfied with in how it really brought some things to light and showed the reality of life, but there were one or two storylines that still bothered me and weren't really mentioned again. 

I also can't tell yet if this book is going to be entirely forgettable to me or if it's something that will stay with me. I read through this book quickly and wasn't ever really bored, but I also found myself feeling a little as though I'd read this story before, so I think only time will tell how it will age. For now, I've been hovering between 3.75-4 stars, and I think I'll settle on 3.75. If it's something that sticks with me, I can see it being bumped up to a 4. This is an interesting story and I don't think it will be for everyone, but if you enjoy all-girls' boarding school books with a whole slew of rather pretentious and somewhat unlikable characters, then you will probably want to check this one out. Or, if you're simply curious, I'd also say to give a shot.

*I received a copy of The Divines courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating of the book.*


Buy the book: Amazon | IndieBound

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec, What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo, & The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance


Can't-Wait is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights exciting upcoming releases that we can't wait to be released! This meme is based off of Jill @ Breaking the Spine's Waiting on Wednesday meme.

This week's upcoming book spotlights are: 
The Witch's Heart  by Genevieve Gornichec
Publication: January 12th, 2021
Ace Books
Hardcover. 368 pages.
Pre-order: AmazonIndieBound

"When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this moving, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse mythology. 

Angrboda's story begins where most witches' tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love. 

Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin's all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger. 

With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she's foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age."
I just finished an ARC of this and it was so fantastic and beautiful. This is going to be such a physically beautiful book as well, I can't wait to see it!

and...
What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo
Publication: February 2nd, 2021
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Hardcover. 226 pages.
Pre-order: AmazonIndieBound


"Eleanor has not seen or spoken with her family in years, not since they sent her away to Saint Brigid's boarding school. She knows them only as vague memories: her grandfather's tremendous fanged snout, the barrel full of water her mother always soaked in, and strange hunting trips in a dark wood with her sister and cousins. And she remembers the way they looked at her, like she was the freak. 

When Eleanor finally finds the courage to confront her family and return to their ancestral home on the rainy coast of Maine, she finds them already gathered in wait, seemingly ready to welcome her back with open arms. "I read this in the cards," her grandmother tells her. However, Grandma Persephone doesn't see all, for just as Eleanor is beginning to readjust to the life she always longed for, a strange and sudden death rocks the family, leaving Eleanor to manage this difficult new dynamic without help. 

In order to keep the family that abandoned her from falling apart, Eleanor calls upon her mysterious other grandmother, Grandmere, from across the sea. Grandmere brings order to the chaotic household, but that order soon turns to tyranny. If any of them are to survive, Eleanor must embrace her strange family and join forces with the ghost of Grandma Persephone to confront the monstrousness lurking deep within her Grandmere-and herself."
Everything about this premise sounds so weird and interesting, I'm really intrigued!

and...
The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance
Publication: February 16th, 2021
Razorbill
Hardcover. 304 pages.
Pre-order: AmazonIndieBound


"Never whistle at the Northern Lights, the story goes, or they'll sweep down from the sky and carry you away. 

Sixteen-year-old Eline Davis knows it's true. She was there ten years ago, on a frozen fjord in Svalbard, Norway, the night her mother whistled at the lights and then vanished. 

Now Eli lives an ordinary life with her dad on Cape Cod. But when the Northern Lights are visible over the Cape for just one night, she can't resist the possibility of seeing her mother again. So she whistles—and it works. Her mother appears, with snowy hair, frosty fingertips and a hazy story of where she's been all these years. And she doesn't return alone. 

Along with Eli's mother's reappearance come strange, impossible things. Narwhals swimming in Cape Cod Bay, meteorites landing in Eli's yard, and three shadowy princesses with ominous messages. It's all too much, too fast, and Eli pushes her mother away. She disappears again—but this time, she leaves behind a note that will send Eli on a journey across continents, to the northern tip of the world: 

Find me where I left you."
This sounds incredibly beautiful, magical, and unique. I can't wait to have a chance to check it out.


What do you think about these upcoming releases? What are your anticipated upcoming releases?