New Books I’m Hyped for: July – December 2021

Welcome back to another post where I highlight books I’m excited for in a truly excessive fashion. Will most of these books be featured on other people’s lists? Probably. Will that stop me? No. I like what I like, and the sounds of these are very pleasing. We have an East Asian YA fantasy that is a retelling of The Wild Swans; an adult fantasy novel where all the protagonists are renowned villains; a work set in Victorian London featuring an African tightrope dancer who cannot die; and much more!

I’m looking forward to seeing which of these will be my favorite book releases between July and December 2021, especially compared to which ones the book community at large will fawn over.

[slaps the roof of this post] This baby can fit so many books inside it, so let’s get started!

July

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
(July 6th)

Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.

Read More »

ARC Review: Sparrowhawk

sparrowhawkTitle: Sparrowhawk
Author:
 Delilah S. Dawson & Matias Basla
Genre: Graphic Novel/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 128
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Biracial main character, a brutal Faerie world
Recommended Readers: Anyone looking for grimdark to go with their fairytale
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Thank you, NetGalley and the Publisher, for granting this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Uh, well, hmm. I really didn’t like this one, which is very surprising to me. The five issues that make up Sparrowhawk, written by Delilah S. Dawson and illustrated by Matias Basla, seem like they would contain plenty of elements that I love: a diverse woman protagonist, a brutal world of faeries, and gorgeous art. The graphic novel certainly has some of these things, but the execution is definitely not to my tastes.

Artemisia Grey is born of a British naval captain and an African slave, and despite coming to live with her father’s family, she is treated with shame and disgust by everyone except her half-sister, Elizabeth. On the eve of being married off so she’ll “have some use” to her family, Art is pulled through a mirror by an evil faerie queen, effectively switching places with her. To survive in Faerie against the Unseelie, Art makes a bond with a mischievous fae who cannot lie to her but certainly has his own agenda. If she wants to return home and defeat the faerie queen that’s taken her place, Art must kill any evil faerie that stands in her way and absorb their power, but as she does, she starts to undergo her own strange metamorphosis.

Doesn’t this sound awesome? Why don’t I feel any kind of satisfaction or gladness upon reading it?

Read More »

Book Review: Batwoman, Vol. 1: The Many Arms of Death

602784._SX1280_QL80_TTD_

Title: Batwoman, Vol. 1: The Many Arms of Death
Author:
Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV, Steve Epting, Stephanie Hans, Renato Arlem
Genre: Comics, Graphic Novels, Superheroes
Version: ARC (eBook)
Page Count: 168
Publisher: DC Comics
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Gay, female-led superhero title
Recommended Readers: New and veteran comic fans
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Thank you, DC Comics and NetGalley, for providing me with an ARC of my first ever Batwoman comic in exchange for an honest review.

Kate Kane has intrigued me ever since I first learned of her a few years ago. Up until that point, I’d had no idea she was one of the first gay female superheroes, who was once a soldier, expelled from the army due to her sexuality and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Her story and the reasons she put on the cowl instantly became memorable and important to me.

Other than the Batman: Bad Blood film and DC’s Bombshells run, I had not experienced that story in any kind of comic book form before, so I was delighted to begin her Rebirth origins, The Many Arms of Death. I was both relieved and pleased to see many of her origin details left not only intact but also emphasized here. I’m very much beginning to trust Marguerite Bennett, especially, for how she’s handling so many female superhero-led projects. She clearly knows what’s up!

Read More »