Books I’m Hyped for: July – December 2022

Alright, look.

I meant to post this hyped book list awhile ago. Like, back in June awhile ago. Clearly, I didn’t, and there are a lot of reasons for that which boil down to:

  • I didn’t want to do it.
  • I was feeling kinda unimpressed with books this year (and still am lmao).
  • My reading life has been in shambles.
  • And I Super Didn’t Want to Do It.

Frankly, posts like this are a pain in the ass because they require a lot of work that gain very little traction. Worse, a fair amount of books on these lists wind up not being very good once I finally get to them for the amount of work and no traction I’ve put into the whole experience.

So I likely won’t be doing these next year or ever again. I mean, the month of October only has one book coming out this year that I’m interested in. One. I wouldn’t normally post something like this this late at all, except I am, unfortunately, a completionist.

Here we go then: the July through December books I’m hyped for in 2022, many of which have already been released.

July

July 5

The Darkening by Sunya Mara

In this thrilling and epic YA fantasy debut the only hope for a city trapped in the eye of a cursed storm lies with the daughter of failed revolutionaries and a prince terrified of his throne.

Vesper Vale is the daughter of revolutionaries. Failed revolutionaries. When her mother was caught by the queen’s soldiers, they gave her a choice: death by the hangman’s axe, or death by the Storm that surrounds the city and curses anyone it touches. She chose the Storm. And when the queen’s soldiers—led by a paranoid prince—catch up to Vesper’s father after twelve years on the run, Vesper will do whatever it takes to save him from sharing that fate.

Even arm herself with her father’s book of dangerous experimental magic.

Even infiltrate the prince’s elite squad of soldier-sorcerers.

Even cheat her way into his cold heart.

But when Vesper learns that there’s more to the story of her mother’s death, she’ll have to make a choice if she wants to save her city: trust the devious prince with her family’s secrets, or follow her mother’s footsteps into the Storm.

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ARC Review: Edgewood

Title: Edgewood
Author: 
Kristen Ciccarelli
Genre: 
Young Adult/Contemporary Fantasy
Version: ARC – eBook
Page Count:
384
Publisher:  Wednesday Books
Synopsis: GoodReads | StoryGraph
Notable Notables:  A bard-like protagonist; lesbian side characters
Recommended Readers: Basic fantasy lovers and those who like stories about sentient woods
CAWPILE Rating: 4.57
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

My Review

Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli is a contemporary fantasy YA novel about a girl named Emeline, who is on the cusp of breaking into the music industry as an established folk singer. However, she can never quite escape the creeping woods of her hometown, which permeate her performances whenever she sings no matter where she is.

When she gets word that her grandfather and caretaker has gone missing—potentially taken as a tithe to the mysterious Wood King—Emeline races back to Edgewood to find him. Braving the mysterious woods, she finds the Wood King’s court and strikes a bargain: she will become the Wood King’s new minstrel in return for her grandfather’s freedom. To do that, she must work together with the king’s tithe collector, Hawthorne, to recover the Song Mage’s lost sheet music and discover the cause of the wood’s corruption.

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Book Review: Redemptor

Title: Redemptor
Author: 
Jordan Ifueko
Genre: 
Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: Hardcover – Illumicrate Edition
Page Count: 
441
Publisher: 
Hot Key Books
Synopsis: GoodReads | StoryGraph
Notable Notables: 
Diverse cast with a Black girl as the main character; asexual representation
Recommended Readers: 
Liked the first book, Raybearer? See what happens next
CAWPILE Rating: 4.57
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

My Review

I was convinced after finishing Jordan Ifueko’s Raybearer that the sequel, Redemptor, would be a five-star read easy. Yet here I am, presenting it with a two-star rating and sighing tiredly to myself.

I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed.

This review may be best served to look back on my review for the first book and see what made me excited to continue with the second one. What was I anticipating? What was I hoping for? What did I want Redemptor to be? Maybe that way I can see why this much-hyped, lauded duology wound up being second-rate and unredeemed.

Obviously, spoilers for both books will follow here.

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Book Review: Truthwitch

Title: Truthwitch
Author: 
Susan Dennard
Genre: 
Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: Paperback
Page Count: 
430
Publisher: 
Tor Teen
Synopsis: GoodReads | StoryGraph
Notable Notables: 
Original magic system, female friendship-inspired yet unbalanced
Recommended Readers: 
Casual fantasy readers
CAWPILE Rating: 2.29
Rating: ★
☆☆☆☆

My Review

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard was the latest pick for my book club I started this year with a few of my friends, and I had high hopes about delving into a once-hyped fantasy series I missed getting into back in 2017. The emphasis I was seeing from other reviews and the marketing of Truthwitch itself boasted female friendships as its main focus, bolstered by original world-building and a developed magic system about different kinds of witches. Unfortunately, reading the book led me to a crushing reality: over-hyped book was over-hyped and perhaps did not get better with age.

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Book Review: Lakesedge

Title: Lakesedge
Author: 
Lyndall Clipstone
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: 
ebook – ARC
Page Count: 
384
Publisher: 
Henry Holt and Co.
Synopsis: GoodReads | StoryGraph
Notable Notables: 
Original fantasy world, a death god is here
Recommended Readers: 
Young adult readers who like emotional stories
CAWPILE Rating: 4.57
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher, for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My Review

Violeta Graceling travels with her younger brother, Arien, to Lakesedge estate, expecting to be at the mercy of the Monster of Lakesedge. The lord of the estate, Rowan Sylvanan, is said to have drowned his parents and brother in the lake. However, once she arrives, neither lord nor lake are what they seem. She discovers that Rowan has a connection to the Lord Under, a sinister death god that makes bargains for a terrible price. She vows to save Rowan, the estate, and herself, all while discovering why she is also being drawn to the Lord Under.

I was so, so hopeful for Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone, a novel that promised to be about monsters and magic, told in a lush gothic style—but was it truly a gothic work in the end?

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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.

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ARC Review: Down Comes the Night

Title: Down Comes the Night
Author: 
Allison Saft
Genre: 
Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: 
ARC – ebook
Page Count: 
400
Publisher: 
Wednesday Books
Add To-Read on: GoodReadsStoryGraph
Notable Notables: 
Bisexual main character, lesbian side character
Recommended Readers: 
Those looking for a standalone, atmospheric fantasy
CAWPILE Rating: 6.57
Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Thank you, to NetGalley and the publisher, for offering this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My Review

Down Comes the Night is Allison Saft’s debut novel, an original YA fantasy that pits logic and ruthlessness against emotion and forgiveness—and explores where the line is drawn between the two. What choices render you into your best self? Following the duty you’ve pledged yourself to or following your instincts to do what is right?

These are choices that Wren Southerland wrestles with daily in the country of Danu. A solider with healing magic in the Queen’s Guard, she is torn by the empathy she feels even toward enemy soldiers. Not even her best friend and commanding officer, Una Dryden, can save Wren once she makes a reckless mistake healing a captured enemy. Dismissed from the guard, Wren is determined to get back into the Queen’s good graces and return to the side of the girl she loves, even if Una can never truly reciprocate her affections. Wren sees her chance for redemption when an invitation arrives from a lord in a neutral country promising to lend his support to the Queen in exchange for curing his favorite servant from a mysterious illness plaguing his estate. However, Colwick Hall holds more mysteries than a disease that can kill, including that Wren’s patient isn’t a servant at all but Hal Cavendish, the Reaper of Vesria and Danu’s public enemy number one. As the estate and its eccentric host, Lord Lowry, turn more ominous, Wren and Hal will have to work together to solve the sinister forces at work even at the risk of committing treason, if their feelings for each other don’t render them traitors first.

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Book Review: The Silvered Serpents

Title: The Silvered Serpents
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Version: ebook – ARC
Page Count: 416
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Add To-Read on: GoodReadsStoryGraph
Notable Notables: POC, LGBTQ+, and autistic characters
Recommended Readers: Lovers of character-driven, fantasy adventures set in the real world (19th century)
Rating: ★★★★★

Thank you to NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My Review

What a dramatic and tragic return! Roshani Chokshi has taken everything that made The Gilded Wolves fun and intriguing and added so much more for The Silvered Serpents. It’s not perfect, of course, but it’s an easy 4.25 stars from me because I felt swept away from the first page. Everything here is richer. The world, the magic system, the stakes, the consequences, the characters, oh my, the characters.

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Blog Tour | ARC Review: Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Title: Where Dreams Descend
Author: Janella Angeles
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: ebook – ARC
Page Count: 464
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Add To-Read on: GoodReadsStoryGraph
Notable Notables: Diverse cast of characters, vivid descriptions, dark romance
Recommended Readers: Magician enthusiasts and anyone else who’s tired of all the bland, boring romances being put out there
Rating: ★★★★☆

Thank you to NetGalley for providing this ARC and to Wednesday Books for asking me to participate in the Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.

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ARC Review: Seven Endless Forests

seven endless forestsTitle: Seven Endless Forests
Author:
April Genevieve Tucholke
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: ebook – ARC
Page Count: 352
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Dark and magical setting, influenced by Arthurian legends
Recommended Readers: Anyone who wants to read a quick DnD campaign
Rating: ★★★★☆

Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher, for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

It’s been 84 years since my last review and post—not really, but kinda—so I’m happy to emerge for the positive experience I had with Seven Endless Forests by April Genevieve Tucholke. I am sorry I didn’t get this posted before the book officially released, but to be honest, the coronavirus and the general state of my country left me without much drive or desire to read much of anything. Fortunately, I caught a second wind from somewhere, and a big contribution was how quickly Seven Endless Forests was to read.

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