Reading Round-up: June 2021

June has been an absolute riot of activity, and I almost didn’t get this post written. My brother got married, we’re planning for our trip, we bought a car somehow??? The mechanics of buying the car are of course understood but the buying of the car was kind of a surprise. Anyway, there’s a lot going on, and a lot more to get done in the next month, but here are some of the books that are getting me through it.

All the Murmuring Bones by Angela Slatter

A delightful rambling fairytale with Slatter’s characteristic darkness, this book will delight fans of folklore. Reading almost more as a collection of stories with the same main character, All the Murmuring Bones features a cursed family line, a woman fleeing an arranged marriage, a gothic house on the hill — all the classic tropes that might make one think of vampires or other dark creatures. But the dark creature here is hidden beneath the waves, and can follow you anywhere the water is deep enough. And indeed that creature may not be so dark at all. The cruelty of humans is the real villain of this tale. (Fantasy, Gothic, Folktale Retelling)

Angel of the Overpass by Seanan McGuire

The third book in Rose Marshall’s increasingly strange adventures brings us to a final confrontation with Bobby Cross. It’s also a meditation on change and growth, and how it finds us even in the half-life of ghostly undeath. There were points where this book rambled a bit for my tastes, but I love Rose Marshall and the InCryptid universe and I really enjoyed it overall. Plus the dinosaur ghost was a fun touch. (Urban Fantasy)

Archangel by Sharon Shinn

This book is an older one that was recommended to me by a friend. I ended up really enjoying it. It’s part of a weird little subgenre of books about space angels, and I’m always really intrigued anytime mythology is mixed with science fiction to create something atmospheric and vaguely unclassifiable. There’s also a “fated mates” plot in this book, but I think it’s handled very well considering some of the places the romance genre has taken that trope more recently. That said, the romance isn’t graphic and the characters are satisfyingly rounded. If you, too, love strange and lovely science fiction/fantasy hybrids, check it out. (Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance)

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Fans of Red, White, and Royal Blue will be head-over-heels for this sapphic mystery romance involving a girl on a train. Sapphic love story mystery magic. One Last Stop features many of the same tropes — queer found family, finding yourself, an intense-yet-seemingly-doomed love — but adds some real sources of joy, including a New York City that breathes, a lot of awesome queer history, shady science, and the best description of a drag show ever written. If any of those elements appeal to you, you may want to jump onto this book. (Romance, LGBTQ+, Science Fiction)

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