If you want a little more context, check out Part 1 of this post, but basically, over the past couple of years I bought a lot of Kindle books on sale, and then completely forgot I owned them. I’m making these posts as a kind of accountability TBR so that I can refer back to them to see what books I actually own. Also, one of my yearly reading goals is to read more indie/obscure books, which a lot of these Kindle books tend to be!
Here’s to another list of totally random books!
A memoir! I don’t think I really know who Issa Rae is, but I’ve heard vaguely of her, and she’s supposed to be really funny, I think?
A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians
AU Britain! Robespierre is a necromancer! A fight for the legalization of magic! I don’t really know what this book is about but I’ve heard a ton about it, and I think the hype kind of got to me, because this wouldn’t normally be my kind of book.
The House in the Cerulean Sea
A magical island! Magical orphans! A case worker sent to inspect them! This book has THE MOST hype. I avoided it for the longest time because I thought it was middle grade, but apparently it’s actually adult? Most people who read it say it’s pure joy, so I do want to give it a shot at some point. I do like funny fantasy!
John William Polidori
One of the first vampire stories ever written! This is a short story, written during the infamous ghost story contest at Lord Byron’s estate, which also produced Frankenstein. I definitely want to read this; I can’t in good faith call myself a fan of the Gothic and not read experience this!
Platonic male/female friendship! Alternative paths to college and adulthood! Young adult malaise! This is obviously a very very popular book by a very popular author that I hope to read perhaps this summer!
A creepy murder in a fantasy world! A female detective! An election year! This indie fantasy sounds SO cool and interesting. I adore murder mysteries and I adore fantasies. The cover for this is what initially drew me, because it’s spectacular.
Signal to Noise
Mexico City! Two timelines! Music and magic! This is one of only two Moreno-Garcia books I have yet to read. I’m on a mission to read everything she’s ever written, as she’s one of my favorite authors, so I definitely would like to get to this at some point, even if the summary doesn’t suuuper appeal to me, but this has gotten a lot of praise.
The Magpie Lord
AU England, I think! Magicians! Gay! Mostly, I bought this because people adore K.J. Charles. Plus this is very short. Seems like a good place to start with this author’s work.
Lara Elena Donnelly
Inspired by Weimar Germany! Low fantasy! Spies! Gay! I actually purchased The Amberlough Dossier, which contains all three books within this trilogy, so I can very easily binge this. Probably not this year, as I didn’t have plans to embark on this particular series this year, but I definitely intend to read this series!
The Sword of Kaigen
High fantasy set in a modern-day world! A mother with a violent past! Water and ice magic! So this is probably the most talked about self-published fantasy in the book world right now. It’s been on my radar for a while and I wasn’t totally sure I wanted to read it, despite the constant glowing reviews, but then I saw it on sale and I was like, okay, may as well.
City of Strife
A city of spires! Elves! A long-lived being returning to his city! His friend is accused of an assassination! I haven’t looked at this summary super closely, but I’ve seen some good reviews of this indie fantasy.
1920s gay romance! Inspired by Golden Age pulp fiction! A returning soldier managing a bookshop! Criminal gangs! So, what do you know, I’ve purchased TWO K.J. Charles books, somehow! I think this is the author’s more well-known work, actually.
Occult detective stories, I guess? I don’t know. I was probably drawn in by the cover. I’m always buying ~classics and then taking forever to get to them. If I read a single one of these stories and don’t like them, I probably won’t read the others. But I’d like to give this dude a shot, since he was so prolific in Weird Tales Magazine back in the pulp days.
Daughter of Havenglade
A sinister wizard! A mysterious teacher! A kingdom on the brink of collapse! A peasant girl at the center of it all! This is a self-published fantasy that’s very short and sounds like a classic chosen one trope, only with a peasant girl and not a peasant boy. It sounds like it uses a lot of classic fantasy tropes in general. I got this for free, but I am interested in giving it a shot. It’s very short too, which is a plus!
Land of the Beautiful Dead
R. Lee Smith
If you’re at all familiar with this book you’ll know I’m actually using a fan-made cover, because I absolutely refuse to use the actual cover, which is…one of the most hideous things I’ve ever seen. Nearly everyone who reads this book posits the cover as a caveat. Anyway, this is self-published dark fantasy romance featuring a death-like figure, I think? I love me a good villain romance, and this book has loads of praise. It’s super duper long, which is why I’ve been avoiding it, but it’s one I would like to try soon!
A housekeeper inherits an immortal swordsman trapped in a steel blade! I so want to try Kingfisher’s fantasy, which I hear is super funny and charming.
A broken paladin! A dead god? A framed fugitive! A web of murder and deceit! Again, I want to try Kingfisher’s fantasy, and this book has glowing reviews. Judging by how I felt about Kingfisher’s horror novel, I do feel like she could become a favorite author of mine. I am very much hoping to get to this one or the one above next month!
Modern-day Seoul! A girl who is actually a gumiho! She saves a human boy and their lives become entangled! I was very on the fence about reading this but it kind of gave me Inuyasha vibes, so when I saw it on sale I made a split second decision. I do tend to prefer urban fantasy YA to high fantasy YA, oddly enough, so there’s a good chance I’ll like this, especially considering it’s set in Seoul.
Gothic tales! Victorian vibes! Gaskell is better known for her novels of social commentary, but she also wrote a whole bunch of Gothic short stories. There’s children wandering the moors, witches, dopplegangers, and more! I am so excited to get to this one!
The Emperor’s Edge
Steampunk fantasy! A barely competent imperial enforcer assigned to chase a deadly assassin! I think maybe this is self-published? I got it for free, and it just looks like a fun, wild time, and the perfect sort of indie fantasy I’d like to try more of.
A strange disease makes you forget how to function! A deep sea voyage looking for a cure! Evil at the bottom of the ocean floor! This author is pretty well known for his other book, The Troop, which is supposed to be very scary and gross, but this is the one I came across on sale, and honestly, this one might be more up my alley anyway! Give me any book with a creepy deep sea voyage and I am guaranteed to read it.
Smoke and Summons
Charlie N. Holmberg
The summary of this one is…so much that I’m tempted to just paste some things here, but basically…a girl who is a vessel at the control of her master, I think? Genie vibes? A thief with a device that grants him immortality for one minute of everyday? Their paths collide? Who knows.
Post-apocalyptic world ruled by street gangs! Warrior angels! A teenage girl teaming up with a broken angel to save her sister! I’d kind of seen this book around in some spaces, but then all of a sudden I was seeing it everywhere, with a lot of folks saying it was actually really good older YA dystopian, and I got curious. So when I saw it was on sale I just went for it. This is 2011 YA so I’m keeping that in mind but people do seem to enjoy it, so I’m optimistic!
The Family Plot
A team clearing out a house that may be haunted! I’m getting vibes of T. Kingfisher’s The Twisted Ones, but this book came out years before. Cherie Priest is an author whose horror I’ve been wanting to try for a while.
12-year old albino girl with magical powers forms a coven to stop a man who kidnaps and maims children! This book had a lot of hype when it was published, and people still insist on comparing it to Harry Potter. I was a lot more excited about it when I was younger, because now I worry that the book will be a bit too young for me, considering the age of the protagonist. I’ll probably still give this a shot, but likely not anytime soon.
The Wicker King
Degenerative hallucinatory disorder! A boy trying to keep his best friend afloat! What’s real and what’s not! I’ve heard that this book is very weird and sad and intense; I’ve been curious about it for a very, very long time.
A woman, returning to her roots! A town built on sacred land! A secret cloaked in tradition and lore! That’s all straight from the Goodreads summary. I have no idea what this book is about nor do I have any memory of purchasing it, but I believe I did so on the strength of a review that said it was suuuuuuuper creepy.
Beneath the Rising
Primal evil Ancient Ones! Eldritch beings from space! Cosmic horror vibes! The Goodreads summary also says “from the oldest library in the world to the ruins of Nineveh” which sounds excellent. Really excited to read this one.
A wilderness of eternal night! A wasteland of endless day! A mortal girl who can shatter spells! Assassins! Conspiracies! Again, zero memory of purchasing this, but it was actually free, which probably explains it! Self-published/indie fantasy again.
A Shadow on the Lens
1904! Forensic photographer investigates murder in sleepy Welsh town! A body bound and burnt! Creepy isolated villagers! Gothic vibes! Once, again, literally zero memory of buying this! But I was probably swayed by the creepy gothic vibes of it all.
Roaring Twenties! A WOC writer in London! Romance! Honestly, I had no idea what this was about when I bought it; it’s a little novelette by Zen Cho, who is one of my favorite writers.
Okay, straight from Goodreads: “Blending biblical lore, the Miltonic fall of the rebel Angels, the apocryphal Book of Enoch, and the myth of Orpheus.” Something about a nun investigating angels and nephilim and her own past? I must have been on some kind of angel kick, but I think this maybe gave me Dan Brown vibes; I love books that blend fantasy and biblical history and apocrypha. This has very, very mixed reviews, but I definitely want to get to it soon.
Finnikin of the Rock
I’m not even going to begin to try ad explain this, but it feels vaguely Arthurian inspired. It also happens to be a damn YA classic. It was published way back in 2008 and I see it all the time. I’d really like to try it to see what all the hype is about!
They All Died Screaming
Splatterpunk! People start screaming and can’t stop until they die or go mad! Is it the apocalypse! I could very much hate this, because I don’t tend to be a fan of splatterpunk, but I’m also fascinated by the idea of people who can’t stop screaming, and how that would lead to an apocalypse. Plus this is very short!
The Bridge Kingdom
Danielle L. Jensen
A princess trained to be a spy and assassin! The assassin falls for the man she is supposed to kill! This wouldn’t normally be my thing, but I was swayed by a LOT of reviews claiming it’s very well-written, mature, and way better than its summary makes it sound, so I caved when it was on sale.
The Kiss of Deception
Mary E. Pearson
A girl running from an arranged marriage! An assassin and her betrothed sent after her! Reader doesn’t know who is who! This is a very hyped YA series, mainly because of that whole twist of you-don’t-know-who-is-the-fiance-and-who-is-the-assassin thing. I’m really curious to see how on earth that is pulled off.
Master of Sorrows
Justin T. Call
Orphan boy raised by wise wizard to be a hero; might actually be reincarnation of evil god! I enjoy narratives that play around with the Chosen One trope, and I’ve seen some good reviews of this one!
The Brass Queen
Steampunk 1897 AU Britain! A fiery British aristocrat and an inept US spy search for a stolen invisibility serum that could spark a global war! This was on my most anticipated releases list so I snatched it up when it went on sale.
The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali
A Bengali girl caught kissing her girlfriend by her conservative parents! Sent to Bangladesh! I’ve heard this book is very sad and tragic, with a controversial ending, so I’m tempted. I literally just bought this today lmao, because I’ve been wanting to read it for ages!
Well, clearly the moral of the story here is that I need to stop buying Kindle books, but I mean…let’s be real, if I see a book I’ve been wanting to read and it’s on sale, I’m gonna buy it. The nice thing about having so many books on my Kindle is that if I ever one day decide to, I don’t know, backpack across the globe, I’ll never be short of books to read.