Hmm, does that rather ridiculous pile of books suggest that May was a stressful month? Oh yes. Dissertation hand in and final exams, but my masters is basically done now!!!
The month leant heavily towards backlist, mainly because it was a lot of re-reading previous entries in series ahead of new ones (or catching up some old releases, which aren’t shown, as yes, I was traveling between cities for exams. Do not advise.)
Best New Release
TWIN CROWNS, by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber, was my most anticipated May release, and it completely lived up to those expectations.
I devoured this funny, romantic fantasy adventure in less than a day, giggling and unable to stop turning the pages as the two twins get into all sorts of interesting predicaments. It was also a buddy read. Definitely the way I recommend you read this book. Not only do you get that companionable feel but also all the !!! and squealing/theorising messages can be sent.
I listened my way through ELANTRIS, by Brandon Sanderson, this month. I really like his YA Sci-fi series SKYWARD, so thought it was long past time I tried his adult again (after a so-so read of THE FINAL EMPIRE/MISTBORN some years back.) As a standalone, ELANTRIS seemed the least intimidating place to start!
It was such a good book – full of intrigue and so many twists that kept sending the story tumbling in another direction every time like I felt I knew what might happen next. The characters were great (three POVs with very different goals and outlooks) and, well, it had a lot of politics too!
Most Surprising Read
Fairy tale retellings can be so hit and miss with me, so I was naturally very pleased when THE BONE SPINDLE, by Leslie Vedder, was an absolute joyous romp. I gulped down this book in the space of an evening.
This book can best be described as Indiana Jones meets a gender-bent Sleeping Beauty, with plenty of escapades through crumbling, booby-trapped witches haunts. Fi accidentally finds herself bound to awaken the sleeping prince Briar Rose, and then has to find a way to his hidden castle and break the curse, all while avoiding both witch hunters and a witch’s curse.
Best UK-Authored Read
THE DOOMFIRE SECRET, by Annaliese Avery, is the second book in her Celestial Mechanics trilogy, following up THE NIGHTSILVER PROMISE.
I love this world so much and it was an absolute joy to return to it with this latest instalment. The series is set in an alternative world where clockwork rules the world, universe, and destiny. It’s rather steampunk-y (though running on electricity) with dragons and floating boroughs above London. This book goes beyond the capital northwards.
KAIKEYI, by Vaishnavi Patel, was on my radar as an aroace retelling of the Hindu epic Ramayana focusing on one of its villains, the eponymous Kaikeyi. It’s a tragedy, which is the sort of thing that gets me to sign right up.
It was such an incredible read, full of betrayal and heartbreak, but also spending plenty of time of the positives before it all goes wrong. The family Kaikeyi married into is a loving one where she is accepted. Plus the bas decisions that sent the characters down paths to war are so, so human.
Most Anticipated June Release
A MIDNIGHT DARK AND LONELY, by Holly Race, is the finale to her incredible UKYA contemporary portal fantasy MIDNIGHT’S TWINS trilogy.
I am both incredibly excited and terrified for this book. Holly Race has a bit of a track record of killing off characters and destroying readers’ hearts. I’m honestly surprised there are enough characters left to write a full book after the slaughter in MIDNIGHT’S TWINS and A GATHERING MIDNIGHT. It’s going to be a gripping read, and there will probably be a lot of tears!
How was your May?