I’m getting better at resisting Kindle Daily Deals, but back in the day (like…a year or two ago) I would buy so many Kindle books on sale. They would then sit buried on my Kindle, languishing and forgotten, and so I have ended up accumulating a ridiculous amount of them. It’s difficult to remember what I actually have, so rather than making a boring spreadsheet, I thought I would make a post here for some accountability. And also! A lot of these Kindle titles happen to be either indie or more obscure books, and for next month I was thinking of reading exclusively underhyped books, so it would be good to have a clear list I can refer to.
This was not initially going to be broken up into two separate posts, but I had not realized the sheer number of books I would have! While it would be nice to have a single, organized post, it would be far too large and unwieldy in the long run, and would probably break a slower internet connection. So, two posts it is!
Vampires! AU Victorian London! Stampunk! Fantasy humor! This sounds like something that could be a hit or miss for me. I bought at the height of my Victorian England obsession.
Eliza and Her Monsters
Fandom! Fanfiction! Romance, maybe! I’ve been wanting to read this for ages. As a fandom kid I’m practically obligated. Plus most of my friends have read it and generally enjoyed it.
A Secret History of Witches
Witches! Family secrets! Historical fiction! Five generations of women! This book is so, so popular; I see it around literally everywhere. I’m always into books about witches but I find some of them a bit twee, which I think is why I’m a bit hesitant about this one.
Magical realism! Historical fiction! A woman with webbed feet! Okay, there must have been something weird going through my brain when I bought this, because the description of it sounds anathema to me. Maybe I just wanted to read a classic Jeanette Winterson book? Who knows. It’s short, though, novella length, so that should help.
AU Civil War! Black teens fighting zombies! Commentary on US race relations! This is right up my alley. I’ve been wanting to read it since the day it was announced. My once excuse is that I keep forgetting about it.
A family saga! Early 20th-century Cairo! Translated from Arabic! I bought this because I felt like I should read it, during a phase when I wanted to be Smart and Literary and Well-Read. I will probably hate this if I actually read it.
Greta Helsing! A doctor for the supernatural! Murderous monks in London! A murder mystery! It sounds very weird and strange and I’ve heard excellent things from folks who share my taste.
Post-apocalyptic! The actual four horsemen of the apocalypse! A romance between a girl and Pestilence! This is a very popular book in the indie fantasy romance world. I still very much want to give it a try.
Friends to lovers! Slow burn fantasy romance! Political intrigue! Arranged marriage trope! Another very popular book in the indie fantasy romance space. It’s relatively short and supposed to be a very wholesome romance.
If Our Bodies Could Talk
Nonfiction! Popular medicine! A series of random health related questions answered with humor! I read James Hamblin’s other book Clean, and I like his writing style, so this is definitely one I want to get to. I’ve actually started it multiple times because I’m so curious but I have to just sit down and commit to reading a nonfiction book about health.
The Lost Letter
Victorian romance! Second chance romance! A brooding earl! A pragmatic governess! Mimi Matthews is a historian of the Victorian era, which I think is what pushed me to buy this book, because I figured at least it would be historically accurate. Purchased, again, at the height of my Victorian England obsession. Historical romance tends to very much not be my thing but I intend to read this one day.
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
Sports romance! Very, very slow-burn romance! A woman who I thin is an assistant to a football player or a football organization! Buying this book was an extremely spur of the moment decision, and I even bought it for more than I would usually spend on an ebook. After purchasing it I was shocked to discover the book is nearly SEVEN HUNDRED pages long, which of course is not encouraging. I can barely read romance books that are half that length. So will I ever read this? Only time will tell.
Medical innovations gone wrong! Disease! Zombies! Bloggers exposing a conspiracy! This is actually one I’ve been dying to get to; it gives me World War Z vibes. I’ve also read Mira Grant’s other horror book about mermaids and really enjoyed it.
Steampunk Victorian Edinburgh! Dark fae who slaughter humans! A high-born girl who fights them! I’ve heard mixed things about this series but it’s definitely intriguing enough for me to give it a shot. I actually believe I have the whole series on my Kindle, having gotten the second and third books from the library, so I could easily binge this if I like it.
The Carrow Haunt
A haunted house tour gone wrong! Isolated in a haunted house! Mysterious happenings! The ghost of a serial killer! Darcy Coates is a well known name in the indie horror space, and this very much sounds like something I would enjoy.
An offer that’s too good to be true! A groundskeeper at a creepy manor! Strange things go bump in the night! Another Darcy Coates book. This one and the aforementioned were on sale on the same day so I just bought both of them. This one sounds less interesting than the above, but I’d still like to get to it.
The Kommandant’s Mistress
Alexandria Constantinova Szeman
It feels weird to use exclamation points when referring to what is…Nazi romance adjacent? So I won’t. It’s not really a romance, though, I don’t think — it’s about a Nazi who essentially forces his Jewish inmate to become his mistress, so I believe it’s more a very dark and raw exploration of sexual subjugation. I bought this solely based of the strength of one reviewer whom I really like, when I was in the mood to read something really dark and morbid, but now…I don’t know if I will pick this up anytime soon, especially since I generally hate WWII novels. Still, it’s short and sure to be thought-provoking, so maybe?
Best Horror of the Year: Volume Ten
A compilation of the best horror short stories of the year as decided by Ellen Datlow and…some other folks! I do not read many short stories but I always think I should, so I tend to hoard them and not read them.
Sirens! Bargains! Urban fantasy! The dealer finally calls in his debt! We’ve got Laura Thassala again, in another very hype fantasy romance book. Will definitely get to this at some point, as it has excellent reviews.
Mutilated bodies found in Montana wilderness! A computational biologist pulled into the investigation! Police procedural vibes! Creepy thriller! This sounds like it would be right up my alley.
The Demon of Darkling Reach
Sisterly love! Villain romance! Potentially demonic love interest! Creepy Gothic castle! Slow-burn romance! I’ve been meaning to read this for years now, and I really would love to get to it this year!
19th-century New York! Grisly murders! Potential demons and cults! A female detective and her best friend investigating a serial killer! This sounds absolutely delightful. I’m really excited to get to this, and it’s the first in a series, so if I like it, more to come.
High fantasy! A library apprentice! Elemental magic! Elise Kova is a pretty popular author in the indie fantasy space and I’ve been wanting to give her works a try.
Historical romance! A viscount who is a rake and rumored asshole! The spinster who may melt his heart! This…again, was bought on the word of a reviewer I trust. The same reviewer I mentioned above. I figured I’d step out of my comfort zone. It was only 99 cents. What can I say.
Empress of Forever
Feminist guardians of the galaxy! Fun and terror in space! Sentient machines! Fanatical warrior monks! The displaced scientists trying to find her way! This sounds so good and has excellent reviews; I hedge only because I tend to hedge on science fiction in general. But I really want to read this at some point!
The Fever King
Post-apocalyptic US! A technopath who can control technology! Nuanced and interesting villains! Gay! I’ve heard a lot about this particular book, most of it very good. I just tend to avoid post-apocalyptic stuff. Would definitely like to read this eventually though.
The Dragon’s Path
Multi-POV high fantasy! A retired soldier! An orphan working at a banking house! A scion of a noble house! Political intrigue! War! Dragons? I’ve always wanted to read Daniel Abraham’s work, as I hear it is very smart.
An amoral exorcist! This novella was on my most anticipated reads list for 2020, and it still very much is. I came very close to starting it several times, but then I…didn’t. And I completely forgot that I own it.
Sisters of the Vast Black
Space nuns! Creepy distress signals! The horror of the vast unknown! I totally forgot I owned this little novella, but I definitely want to read it! While I generally hedge on science fiction, the premise of this sounds so interesting, and I’m really into science fiction that follows the “we’re exploring a distress signal in space and things are creepy” trope.
Cousins in a kind of steampunk AU England, from what I can tell! Something called Cold Mages! Arranged marriage trope! Interesting worldbuilding! I’ve only ever read one Kate Elliott book, which I was lukewarm about, but I think she’s a fascinating person and author and I would love to give more of her work a shot.
Sky manors! Secret magic! Divisions of class! A princess and an adopted orphan girl! This indie high fantasy sounds extremely intriguing. I actually had completely forgotten about its existence, let alone that I purchased it, but it sounds really good, actually!
The Paper Magician
Charlie N. Holmberg
Paper magic! Flesh magic! Potential mentor/mentee romance! Fantasy of manners, I think! I have no idea why I haven’t read this yet, as it sounds like it would be exactly my jam.
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro
A hated queen! An arranged marriage! Attempted assassination! Who can you trust! I actually clearly have no idea what this high fantasy is about, but it’s very popular and I would like to get to it soon. I believe the series is now complete, so perhaps this will be something I binge next year.
Feast of Souls
Vampire-like magical powers! Erotic interludes! Evil draconic creatures! I’m not terribly clear on what this is actually about but Friedman is a big name in Classic Fantasy, so I’ve always wanted to try some of her work.
A kingdom in turmoil! A king whose reign is contested by his sister! Two innocents thrust into the political conflict! I believe the main reason I sought this out was because someone on Reddit said it featured a kind of…not villain romance necessarily, but a male character weirdly obsessed with a female character? I found it fascinating for some reason, anyway, but also, again, would love to try a broad range of Kate Elliott’s work! And it’s older fantasy, which is a plus.
Desdemona and the Deep
Fae! Goblins! Spoiled daughter of a mining family! Class division! Rococo vibes! I’ve heard this novella is a little bit wild and a little bit Extra, particularly in terms of writing, which only draws me to it more! It made a small splash when it was released in 2019. I keep meaning to get to it!
The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion
A queer punk rock traveler! A weird utopian town who summon a spirit! Three-antlered deer turns on its summoners! I love cults and I love weird eldritch spirits. I meant to read this for Halloween last year but never got around to it. Maybe this year!
Magic in modern-day Chicago! Wizard Harry Dresden! Grisly double murder! Black magic! I mean. It’s the first book of the Dresden Files. It’s…the Dresden Files. It’s an urban fantasy classic. I have to try it at some point.
Inspired by a true story! 1980s Minnesota! A young girl whose parents host weird parties! Kids start to go missing and come back weird! I love me a dark, disturbing thriller, especially when it’s this short.
The cutthroat world of theater! Black Swan vibes! An abusive director! Honestly, if this were on sale today, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. Not totally sure what was going through my head when I did. I mean, it sounds vaguely interesting, but not something I would prioritize.
A fantasy world inspired by Edwardian England! A soldier who fakes his own death to hide his magic! Gay! Fantasy of manners vibes! C.L. Polk’s series is very popular, of course, and I feel like I would really, really like it! I’ve been wanting to get to it for a long time.
Vaguely Regency England but fantasy! Supernatural entities and the bureau that manages them! A dead girl who is stuck as a ghost! I have zero memory of this book, but looking at some reviews I think I bought it because it’s short and is supposed to have great worldbuilding and I wanted to dip my toes more into indie fantasy.
Kill the Queen
A royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to avenger her family! Gladiator vibes! Murderous cousins! Magic determines status! This seems to a loved but underhyped fantasy; I think I hedged on it because I don’t tend to like battles and gladiators and stuff like that. Also the cover confuses me, because it makes this seem like an urban fantasy. But I’ll try it eventually.
Robert V.S. Redick
A war led by a madwoman prophet! Two brothers forced to flee! A desert known as the Land That Eats Men! I feel like there was a specific reason I bought this, but it may just be that I was intrigued by the summary and the Classic Fantasy vibe that the cover gives off, even though this book was published in 2018. Definitely want to get to it!
Keep an eye out for the second part of this post! Coming soon, once I get the energy to put it together.