It’s summer-time (at least here in the northern hemisphere), and if you’re like me, you’ve already got a pile of books you’re planning to read. My pile is mostly on my Kindle, but still: it’s a big pile.
Here are some of the books I’ve read and enjoyed recently. They are all perfect for reading this summer whether you’re at the beach, hiding from the rain, travelling, or sneaking in a read while you’re at work. They can also be enjoyed any other time of the year…
Beneath, by Kristi DeMeester.
Well-written, dark, twisted, lust-filled horror that will make you skin crawl (and still keep you coming back for more). There are no pure heroes or heroines in this story, only flawed human beings, and that’s one of the reasons I loved it.
The Thing In The Ice, by E. Catherine Tobler.
Die Hard, in space, with dragons. PLUS compelling characters that pop off the page, and top-notch world-building. So. damn. good.
Killing Gravity, by Corey J. White
Action-packed science fiction, a kick-ass protagonist, and a cast of characters I genuinely cared for. This is the first book in The Voidwitch Saga, and I cannot wait to read more about Mars Xi and her pet Seven.
The Builders, by Daniel Polansky
Featuring a cast of gun-slinging, vengeful animals, and a whole lot of dark humour… this is a great read.
Reading assignment: two new takes on werewolves.
- The Devourers, by Indra Das
- Mongrels, by Stephen Graham Jones
Both these books are fantastic reads, and they offer very different takes on werewolves and the history / mythology behind them. The Devourers is set in India, while Mongrels plays out in modern day America. I read these books back to back, and I highly recommend doing so.
Some trilogies you should dig into:
The Broken Earth trilogy, by N.K. Jemisin
- Part 1: The Fifth Season
- Part 2: The Obelisk Gate.
- Coming soon: The Stone Sky
Mind-blowing and excellently crafted science fiction / fantasy set in “the Stillness”: “It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun… This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.”
War With No Name, by Robert Repino
A colony of ants (yes, ants) instigates war with humanity, transforming “surface animals into high-functioning two-legged beings who will rise up and kill their masters.” Former house cat Mort(e) becomes a legend in the war, but “the true motivation behind Mort(e)’s recklessness is his ongoing search for a pretransformation friend – a dog named Sheba.”
Bone Universe, by Fran Wilde
- Book 1: Updraft
- Book 2: Cloudbound
- Coming soon: Horizon
Set in a society where people make their homes in towers of living bone and fly on man-made wings. Kirit Densira “begins to doubt her world and its unassailable Laws, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to a haunting choice, and may well change the city forever-if it isn’t destroyed outright.”
The Verity Fassbinder series, by Angela Slatter
- Book 1: Vigil,
- Book 2: Corpselight (set for release in July)
- Coming next year: Restoration
Excellent urban fantasy set in Australia, with a sense of humour, and heaps of myth and fairytale woven into the action, PLUS suspenseful murder mystery goodness. Depending on where you are in the world, these books might not be available from your local book retailers. Hit up The Book Depository: they ship for free all over the world.
The Shards of Heaven, by Michael Livingston
- Book 1: The Shards of Heaven,
- Book 2: The Gates of Hell
- Coming soon: The Realms of God
Captivating alternate history, with a fantasy twist, set in the time of Ancient Rome after the death of Caesar. “As civil war rages from Rome to Alexandria, and vast armies and navies battle for supremacy, a secret conflict may shape the course of history.” Juba and Octavian both search for “the Shards of Heaven” – “lost treasures said to possess the very power of the gods-or the one God.”
For kids (and adults) – these come recommended by me, and by my 10-year old.
The Evil Wizard Smallbone, by Delia Sherman
A terrific read for both kids and adults, this is a very different kind of take on “the wizard’s apprentice” type of story. It’s funny, touching, and the characters feel real enough to touch.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill
An amazing story about family, magic, and what happens when you keep secrets (even from yourself). I loved this story so much, and it made my daughter a Barnhill fan!