Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Whalefall by Daniel Kraus, My Name is Iris by Brando Skyhorse, & The Water Outlaws by S.L. Huang

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:

2023澳洲幸运8官网开奖号码结果 by Daniel Kraus
Publication: August 8th, 2023
MTV Books
Hardcover. 336 pages.
Pre-order: Amazon |

From Goodreads:
"Whalefall is a scientifically accurate thriller about a scuba diver who’s been swallowed by an eighty-foot, sixty-ton sperm whale and has only one hour to escape before his oxygen runs out.

Jay Gardiner has given himself a fool’s errand—to find the remains of his deceased father in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Monastery Beach. He knows it’s a long shot, but Jay feels it’s the only way for him to lift the weight of guilt he has carried since his dad’s death by suicide the previous year.

The dive begins well enough, but the sudden appearance of a giant squid puts Jay in very real jeopardy, made infinitely worse by the arrival of a sperm whale looking to feed. Suddenly, Jay is caught in the squid’s tentacles and drawn into the whale’s mouth where he is pulled into the first of its four stomachs. He quickly realizes he has only one hour before his oxygen tanks run out—one hour to defeat his demons and escape the belly of a whale.

How incredibly weird and awesome and kinda creepy does this sound? I definitely need to read this.

My Name is Iris by Brando Skyhorse
Publication: August 1st, 2023
Avid Reader Press
Hardcover. 272 pages.
Pre-order: Amazon |

From Goodreads:
"Iris Prince is starting over. After years of drifting apart, she and her husband are going through a surprisingly drama-free divorce. She's moved to a new house in a new neighborhood, and has plans for gardening, coffee clubs, and spending more time with her nine-year-old daughter Melanie. It feels like her life is finally exactly what she wants it to be.

Then, one beautiful morning, she looks outside her kitchen window—and sees that a wall has appeared in her front yard overnight. Where did it come from? What does it mean? And why does it seem to keep growing?

Meanwhile, a Silicon Valley startup has launched a high-tech wrist wearable called "the Band." Pitched as a convenient, eco-friendly tool to help track local utilities and replace driver's licenses and IDs, the Band is available only to those who can prove parental citizenship. Suddenly, Iris, a proud second-generation Mexican-American, is now of "unverifiable origin," unable to prove who she is, or where she, and her undocumented loved ones, belong. Amid a climate of fear and hate-fueled violence, Iris must confront how far she'll go to protect what matters to her most.

I just started an ARC of this and I can't wait to get deeper into it and see how it all goes. This sounds right up my alley!

The Water Outlaws by S.L. Huang
Publication: August 22nd, 2023
Tor Books
Hardcover. 496 pages.
Pre-order: Amazon |

From Goodreads:
"In the jianghu, you break the law to make it your own.

Lin Chong is an expert arms instructor, training the Emperor's soldiers in sword and truncheon, battle axe and spear, lance and crossbow. Unlike bolder friends who flirt with challenging the unequal hierarchies and values of Imperial society, she believes in keeping her head down and doing her job.

Until a powerful man with a vendetta rips that carefully-built life away.

Disgraced, tattooed as a criminal, and on the run from an Imperial Marshall who will stop at nothing to see her dead, Lin Chong is recruited by the Bandits of Liangshan. Mountain outlaws on the margins of society, the Liangshan Bandits proclaim a belief in justice—for women, for the downtrodden, for progressive thinkers a corrupt Empire would imprison or destroy. They’re also murderers, thieves, smugglers, and cutthroats.

Apart, they love like demons and fight like tigers. Together, they could bring down an empire."

I love the sound of this fantasy, and how incredible is that cover!?

Monday, July 10, 2023

Review: The Militia House by John Milas



Henry Holt and Co. 
Publication Date: July 11th, 2023
Hardcover. 272 pages.

About The Militia House:

"Stephen King meets Tim O’Brien in John Milas’s The Militia House, a spine-tingling and boldly original gothic horror novel. It’s 2010, and the recently promoted Corporal Loyette and his unit are finishing up their deployment at a new base in Kajaki, Afghanistan. Their duties here are straightforward―loading and unloading cargo into and out of helicopters―and their days are a mix of boredom and dread. The Brits they’re replacing delight in telling them the history of the old barracks just off base, a Soviet-era militia house they claim is haunted, and Loyette and his men don’t need much convincing to make a clandestine trip outside the wire to explore it.

It’s a short, middle-of-the-day adventure, but the men experience a mounting agitation after their visit to the militia house. In the days that follow they try to forget about the strange, unsettling sights and sounds from the house, but things are increasingly . . . not right. Loyette becomes determined to ignore his and his marines’ growing unease, convinced that it’s just the strain of war playing tricks on them. But something about the militia house will not let them go.

Meticulously plotted and viscerally immediate in its telling, The Militia House is a gripping and brilliant exploration of the unceasing horrors of war that’s no more easily shaken than the militia house itself.

The Militia House is the perfect quiet, creeping horror to fill your long summer days. It is John Milas’ debut horror novel and is set in Kajaki, Afghanistan in 2010 during the war. I listened to the audiobook version of The Militia House and absolutely devoured it–this is sure to be a book that I will continue to think about and possibly re-read for many years.

We follow Corporel Loyette as he and his unit are moved to a new base in Afghanistan where a British unit has already been stationed. Loyette is unsettled by a few odd occurrences he notices around base, but thinks nothing of it outside of his mind playing tricks on him. However, Loyette and his unit are soon informed by the British unit of an abandoned militia house nearby that was the site of a violence battle and is now believed to be haunted.

Since Loyette and his unit are sufficiently bored on base, they manage to plan a visit to the site, where they have a deeply unnerving experience that they op to ignore and not talk about with anyone else once they make it safely back to base. Unfortunately, things don’t go right back to normal as each individual person seems to begin having uniquely odd experiences that begin to put strains on the group as they attempt to maintain an existence in this war-torn area where all they have is themselves and one another.

Milas does an excellent job at conveying the monotonous reality of living on base in Afghanistan and the many different ways in which it can begin to affect each person’s mental wellbeing. At the same time, Milas also does an excellent job at exploring the psychological aspects of being at war, including PTSD, difficulties adapting to civilian life, and how the aforementioned monotony can create varying levels of uncertainty among a unit.

While The Militia House is military horror and there are many war experiences mentioned, there is not much of an emphasis on military action itself in the present, which for me worked well on keeping the attention focused on Loyette and some of the more psychological components of the story. I really appreciated Milas’ exploration of war and introspection concerning the moral and ethics surrounding war and the soldiers’ experiences.

The Militia House is not a horror story that really throws things in your face and focuses on gore and shock value, but rather one that focuses on the slow burn build up of unease and a sense of haunting that slowly builds into a crescendo that truly echoes long after the last page is closed. It is incredibly disquieting is the type of book that is full of images and ideas that are sure to stick around in your head for far longer than you’d like them to.

Milas has a writing style that is both simple and complex in how he crafts his ideas and subsequently conveys them in ways that left me riveted to every word. There is a perfect blend of detail and description mixed in with just enough left unsaid to really impart a sense of terror at the unknown. I will also warn you that this is a story that falls into more of the open ending territory, and I think this was the perfect choice for Milas to end his story with. It probably won't be for everyone–in fact, I'm sure some people will probably end up quite frustrated–but I thought it was the perfect ending to match this atmospheric tale of creeping horror. 

Overall, I’ve given The Militia House five stars! This is a stunningly written work of military horror that filled me with dread until the very last page (and honestly still does) and I genuinely cannot wait to see what’s next from Milas.

*I received a copy of The Militia House courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Buy the book: Amazon |

Friday, July 7, 2023

The Friday Face-Off: Current Read #10

    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:
Current Read #10

This week, only one of the books I'm reading has more than one cover edition and that book is The Weaver and the Witch Queen by Genevieve Gornichec! I read and loved Gornichec's The Witch's Heart last year, so I'm hoping to enjoy this one just as much, and so far so good. I think both covers for this book are beautiful, so let's take a look at them. 

2023 US Ace Hardcover

2023 UK Titan Books Paperback

My choice(s):
 I really like that both covers match the styles of the covers for The Witch's Heart (US and UK). I really like both of these covers and think they match the overall atmosphere of the story well so far. I'm slightly leaning towards the US cover more, but I don't think you can go wrong with either! Which cover do you prefer?

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Month in Review: June 2023


This was supposed to be posted last Saturday, but apparently Blogger decided to just not publish my scheduled post and I just realized it, so... here we are, a bit delayed!

June went by so ridiculously quickly, I'm still feeling lost about what's going on this year. Honestly, time is genuinely flying lately. Does it feel that way for anyone else? Nothing exceptionally exciting has happened this month for me, which is honestly probably for the best, haha. Growing up, I was never really a summer person and preferred winter, but I feel like lately I've been enjoying the brighter days (well... somewhat brighter days now that LA seems to slowly be moving out of the consistent gloom) and calmer vibes, even if nothing else in my life has really changed. Do you enjoy summer? (Probably a dumb question because most people enjoy summer, but not all!)

In reading news, I read some fantastic books in June! I caved and read an early ARC of Thornhedge (I usually wait until closer to a book's publication date, which is in August!) and absolutely loved it, and I also really enjoyed getting into John Milas' The Militia House. Min Jin Lee's Pachinko was also a great historical fiction that made me really want to get back to more historical fiction this year. I read a lot of other great books as well, and I'll list all those below, as well as my usual roundup of posts from the past month. I've been a bit behind in blogging in general and am a little disappointed by the number of reviews I managed to get up, but once again a new month brings hope that maybe I can stay on top of things and get back into things (even though this delayed post isn't the best indicator of a great start, haha!). There are a lot of awesome July releases that I have to write reviews for, so hopefully I'll start having those up soon!

How was your June? What books did you read? Let me know in the comments and feel free to link your own wrap-ups (or any posts, really!), and I hope you all have a wonderful July!

# books read: 11

澳洲幸运8开奖官网+开奖结果体彩下载 by John Milas
Source: NetGalley | Format: eARC
Thoughts: This was an awesome military horror that hit all the right notes for me. Super atmospheric, eerie, and with an ending that I loved. 

Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: I love T. Kingfisher and this novella only continues to show me why!

Black River Orchard by Chuck Wendig
Source: NetGalley | Format: eARC
Thoughts: This felt like a very classic Chuck Wendig horror, full of super creepy elements, complex and well-developed characters, and a plot that is full of twists and turns. 

The Sun and the Void by Gabriela Romero Lacruz
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: I have such mixed feelings on this one! It had a strong start that I felt was very promising, but I felt my interest waning a bit as the story progressed and things just felt like I'd read them before. It's very info-dumpy, but it also has a rich world and background, so a bit of a mix there. I'll probably still read the sequel and go from there with deciding whether I want to continue the series or not. 

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Source: Purchased | Format: Paperback
Thoughts: I'd been meaning to get to this book for years and I'm so glad I finally did. This was an incredible multi-generational story. 

The Cloisters by Katy Hays
Source: Purchased | Format: Hardcover
Thoughts: Hm, this had all the right ingredients to be a new favorite, but the execution didn't quite work for me. It was still a pretty enjoyable read, but there were a few too many things that just didn't flow or quite make sense.

Savage Crowns (Savage Rebellion #3) by Matt Wallace
Source: Publisher | Format: Paperback
Thoughts: This was a wonderful conclusion to a really enjoyable trilogy. I've really enjoyed these books and am sorry to see that it's over!

The Rise and Reign of the Mammals: A New History, from the Shadow of the Dinosaurs to Us by Stephen Brusatte
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: This was a fascinating book about the history of mammals and their evolution from beginning until now. Highly recommended for anyone even remotely interested in the topic–Brusatte does an excellent job of sharing complex ideas in approachable ways.

Gothikana by RuNyx
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: This was a dark romance I'd seen mentioned a lot, so figured I'd check it out. I loved the setting and had a good time with it, though probably not a favorite. I just saw a couple days ago that it's been picked up by Tor's new imprint, Bramble, so congrats to RuNyx!

Boy Parts by Eiza Clark
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: This was... messy? I think if you really liked Maeve Fly you'd like this, but the protagonist is somewhat less likable and it makes it a little harder to get invested in the story. I almost DNF'd this a lot, but curiosity got the best of me. It's a worthwhile read, but it's a little disgusting at times and made me feel pretty weird whenever I listened to it. That being said, I think it's supposed to do that, so kudos to it for succeeding!

City of Nightmares by Rebecca Schaeffer
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: Hm, so this wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I still loved the creativity involved and I think Schaeffer really explored anxiety and truama/fear through the protagonist in incredible ways. I felt really seen and connected a lot

The Antiquity Affair by Lee Kelly, Jennifer Marie Thorne
This is really fun so far, but I just found myself not focusing on it as much as I'd like to be, so I took a break. I'm hoping to finish it this month, though!

The Company by J.M. Varese
This is the perfect gothic mystery and really reads like a classic, but it wasn't working for me at the moment. Still, I don't have much of it left so plan to finish it up this month as well. 

Original Posts:
(other than reviews)

Blog Memes:
Top Ten Tuesday:
Summer TBR Hopefuls

Can't-Wait Wednesday:

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher & Cassiel's Servant by Jacqueline Carey


 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: 

Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher
Publication: August 15th, 2023
Tor Books
Hardcover. 128 pages.
Pre-order: Amazon |

From Goodreads:
"There's a princess trapped in a tower. This isn't her story.

Meet Toadling. On the day of her birth, she was stolen from her family by the fairies, but she grew up safe and loved in the warm waters of faerieland. Once an adult though, the fae ask a favor of return to the human world and offer a blessing of protection to a newborn child. Simple, right?

But nothing with fairies is ever simple.

Centuries later, a knight approaches a towering wall of brambles, where the thorns are as thick as your arm and as sharp as swords. He's heard there's a curse here that needs breaking, but it's a curse Toadling will do anything to uphold…

So I may have already read an ARC of this because I couldn't wait, but I'm still extremely excited for its release because it was amazing

Cassiel's Servant (Kushiel's Legacy #1.5) by Jacqueline Carey
Publication: August 1st, 2023
Tor Books
Hardcover. 528 pages.
 Amazon |

From Goodreads:
Returning to the realm of Terre d’Ange which captured an entire generation of fantasy readers, New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Carey brings us a hero’s journey for a new era.

In Kushiel’s Dart , a daring young courtesan uncovered a plot to destroy her beloved homeland. But hers is only half the tale. Now see the other half of the heart that lived it.

Cassiel’s Servant is a retelling of cult favorite Kushiel’s Dar t from the point of view of Joscelin, Cassiline warrior-priest and protector of Phèdre nó Delaunay. He’s sworn to celibacy and the blade as surely as she’s pledged to pleasure, but the gods they serve have bound them together. When both are betrayed, they must rely on each other to survive.

From his earliest training to captivity amongst their enemies, his journey with Phèdre to avert the conquest of Terre D’Ange shatters body and mind… and brings him an impossible love that he will do anything to keep.

Even if it means breaking all vows and losing his soul.

The Kushiel's Legacy series is one of my favorite trilogies, so I'm unbelievably excited to have this installment in the series from Cassiel's perspective!

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem, The Woman in the Castello by Kelsey James, & House of Roots and Ruin by Erin A. Craig


 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 Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem
Publication: July 18th, 2023
Paperback. 523 pages.
Pre-order: Amazon |

From Goodreads:
"In this Egyptian-inspired debut fantasy, a fugitive queen strikes a deadly bargain with her greatest enemy and finds herself embroiled in a complex game that could resurrect her scorched kingdom or leave it in ashes forever.

Ten years ago, the kingdom of Jasad burned. Its magic outlawed; its royal family murdered down to the last child. At least, that’s what Sylvia wants people to believe.

The lost Heir of Jasad, Sylvia never wants to be found. She can’t think about how Nizahl’s armies laid waste to her kingdom and continue to hunt its people—not if she wants to stay alive. But when Arin, the Nizahl Heir, tracks a group of Jasadi rebels to her village, staying one step ahead of death gets trickier.

In a moment of anger Sylvia’s magic is exposed, capturing Arin’s attention. Now, to save her life, Sylvia will have to make a deal with her greatest enemy. If she helps him lure the rebels, she’ll escape persecution.

A deadly game begins. Sylvia can’t let Arin discover her identity even as hatred shifts into something more. Soon, Sylvia will have to choose between the life she wants and the one she left behind. The scorched kingdom is rising, and it needs a queen.

An Egyptian-inspired fantasy sounds incredible and I'm really excited for another debut fantasy from new authors!

The Woman in the Castello by Kelsey James
Publication: July 25th, 2023
John Scognamiglio Book
Paperback. 304 pages.
 Amazon |

From Goodreads:
In this beguiling midcentury historical fiction novel set in 1960s Italy, an ambitious American actress and single mother snags the starring role in a mysterious horror movie shooting on location in a crumbling medieval castle outside Rome...

Readers who enjoy the moody gothic allure of Kate Morton and Silvia Moreno-Garcia or the immersive settings of Lucinda Riley and Fiona Davis will be enthralled by Kelsey James' spellbinding web of intriguing mystery, family secrets, forbidden love, and midcentury Italian flair.

Rome, 1965: Aspiring actress Silvia Whitford arrives at Rome's famed Cinecitt Studios from Los Angeles, ready for her big break and a taste of la dolce vita. Instead, she learns that the movie in which she was cast has been canceled. Desperate for money, Silvia has only one choice: seek out the Italian aunt she has never met.

Gabriella Conti lives in a crumbling castello on the edge of a volcanic lake. Silvia's mother refuses to explain the rift that drove the sisters apart, but Silvia is fascinated by Gabriella, a once-famous actress who still radiates charisma. And the eerie castle inspires Silvia's second chance when it becomes the location for a new horror movie, aptly named The Revenge of the Lake Witch--and she lands a starring role.

Silvia immerses herself in the part of an ingenue tormented by the ghost of her beautiful, seductive ancestor. But when Gabriella abruptly vanishes, the movie's make-believe terrors seep into reality. No one else on set seems to share Silvia's suspicions. Yet as she delves into Gabriella's disappearance, she triggers a chain of events that illuminate dark secrets in the past--and a growing menace in the present . . .

The premise for this one has absolutely grabbed me and I can't wait to dive into an ARC of this one! I love how mysterious this sounds. 

House of Roots and Ruin (Sisters of the Salt #2) by Erin A. Craig
Publication: July 25th, 2023
Delacorte Press
Hardcover. 544 pages.
Pre-order: Amazon |

From Goodreads:
"In a manor by the sea, one sister is still cursed.

Despite dreams of adventures far beyond the Salann shores, seventeen-year-old Verity Thaumas has remained at her family’s estate, Highmoor, with her older sister Camille, while their sisters have scattered across Arcannia.

When their sister Mercy sends word that the Duchess of Bloem—wife of a celebrated botanist—is interested in having Verity paint a portrait of her son, Alexander, Verity jumps at the chance, but Camille won’t allow it. Forced to reveal the secret she’s kept for years, Camille tells Verity the truth one day: Verity is still seeing ghosts, she just doesn’t know it.

Stunned, Verity flees Highmoor that night and—with nowhere else to turn—makes her way to Bloem. At first, she is captivated by the lush, luxurious landscape and is quickly drawn to charming, witty, and impossibly handsome Alexander Laurent. And soon, to her surprise, a romance . . . blossoms.

But it’s not long before Verity is plagued with nightmares, and the darker side of Bloem begins to show through its sickly-sweet façade. . . .

I really adored House of Salt and Sorrows when I read it a number of years ago so I was really surprised and excited to see there was a sequel coming out! I really don't remember all that much from the first book, so maybe I'll have to do a re-read before getting to this one. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR Hopefuls


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

This week's theme is: Summer TBR/Upcoming Summer Releases

It's been a while since I've been able to participate in a Top Ten Tuesday, so I'm excited to join in this week! This week's topic is actually about our anticipated summer 2023 releases, but I misread the dates and already made an entire post with last week's TTT post about our summer TBR, so... we're going with that, instead!  Plus, most of these are being published this summer, so it's sort of a combination of both topics, right? 😉

As I usually say, I don't typically make TBRs because I'm not great at following them in general. I'm a huge mood reader and also have been moving through things a little more slowly than usual lately, but I do have a pile of ARCs that continues to stack up, so I figured I would share some of those that I'm most excited to get to (hopefully) in the next couple months. (There will also be more than ten...)

Gods of the WyrdwoodThe Sun and the VoidThe Weaver and the Witch Queen by Genevieve Gornichec

Gods of the Wyrdwood by R.J. Barker - I actually started this one, but was struggling to get into it since it's quite dense. I'm hoping to pick it back up again sometime soon!

The Sun and the Void by Gabriela Romero Lacruz - Currently reading this! I'm really enjoying the world and am curious to see where it'll go. 

The Weaver and the Witch by Genevieve Gornichec - Gornichec's The Witch's Heart was a favorite of mine and I have high hopes that this is going t be just as beautifully written. 

Herc by Phoenicia Rogerson - A Hercules story!? I'm genuinely surprised there haven't been more in recent years, but I do feel like Greek retellings have been focused on women more so maybe that's why? Regardless, I'm so keen to start reading this one.

The Jasad HeirThe Phoenix Kingcover image My Name Is IrisBlack River Orchard by Chuck Wendig

The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem - I think this sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun and I can't wait to get started on it. 

The Phoenix King by Aparna Verma - I've been hearing a lot of great things about this book, so I'm excited to check it out. 

My Name is Iris by Brando Skyhorse - This is a literary dystopian novel that sounds right up my alley. 

Black River Orchard by Chuck Wendig - I'm currently reading this and not loving it as much as I expected to, but it's still very classic Chuck Wendig and full of creepiness and atmosphere. 

Camp DamascusThe Bell in the FogThe Witches at the End of the World - Iversen, Chelseabook cover of Last Night at the Hollywood CanteenThe Sinister Secrets of Singe by Sean Ferrell

Camp Damascus by Chuck Wendig - I've been holding onto this ARC for a while to read during summer, and now summer is here so I better get to it. 

The Bell in the Fog by Lev AC Rosen - I loved The Lavender House and cannot wait to revisit these characters!

The Witches at the End of the World by Chelsea Iversen - I don't actually know all that much about this one, but it sounds really interesting.

Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen by Sarah James - I've been in desperate need of more historical fiction lately, so I'd love to get to this one sometime soon!

The Sinister Secrets of Singe by Sean Ferrell - I've also been in desperate need of more middle grade. I'm currently reading this as well and it has been much-needed and so much fun. 

And a few that I need to catch up on...

The Blighted StarsTo Shape a Dragon's Breath by Moniquill BlackgooseThe Archive Undying

The Blighted Stars by Megan E. O'Keefe

To Shape a Dragon's Breath by Moniquill Blackgoose

The Archive Undying by Emma Mieko Candon

澳洲幸运8官网开奖结果预测 全天稳定 免费最新版