Jan. 29th, 2018

marthawells: (Reading)
(If you've been following my book rec and new book listing posts for a while, you may have noticed this already, but while most book lists emphasize books by popular straight white men, this one emphasizes everybody else. I include books by straight white men, but in about the same percentage that other book lists include everybody else. I also try to highlight books that are less well known.)

(I only link to one retail outlet in the book's listing, but most books are available at multiple outlets, like Kobo, iBooks, international Amazons, Barnes & Noble, etc. The short stories are usually on free online magazines.)


* Girl Reporter by Tansy Rayner Roberts
In a world of superheroes, supervillains, and a machine that can create them all, millennial vlogger and girl reporter Friday Valentina has no shortage of material to cover. Every lottery cycle, a new superhero is created and quite literally steps into the shoes of the hero before them--displacing the previous hero. While Fry may not be super-powered herself, she understands the power of legacy: her mother is none other than the infamous reporter Tina Valentina, renowned worldwide for her legendary interviews with the True Blue Aussie Beaut Superheroes and her tendency to go to extraordinary lengths to get her story.


* Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.


* Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias
What happens when rhetoric about immigrants escalates to an institutionalized population control system? The near-future, dark speculative novel INK opens as a biometric tattoo is approved for use to mark temporary workers, permanent residents and citizens with recent immigration history - collectively known as inks.


* Witchmark by C.L. Polk
Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family's interest or to be committed to a witches' asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans' hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is.


* Lost Gods by Micah Yongo
In an epic fantasy kingdom inspired by African legends, a young assassin finds himself hunted by the brothers and sisters he has trained alongside since birth. Neythan is one of five young warriors trained and raised together by a mysterious brotherhood of assassins known as the Shedaím. When Neythan is framed for the murder of his closest friend, he pursues his betrayer – and in so doing learns there’s far more to the Brotherhood, and the machinations of the rulers of the warring kingdoms, than he’d ever thought possible.


* Magic, Madness, and Mischief by Kelly McCullough
Kalvan Monroe is worried. Either he’s going mad or he really did wake up with uncontrollable fire magic and accidentally summon a snarky talking fire hare. (Yes, that’s right, a hare. Made of fire. That talks.) He’s got to be going crazy, right? But if he’s not, then magic actually is real, and he’s got even more problems to worry about. Because Kalvan isn’t the only one with powers. The same fire magic that allows him to talk his way into and out of trouble burned too brightly in his mother, damaging her mind and leaving her vulnerable to the cold, manipulative spells of the Winter King.


* Suicide Club by Rachel Heng
But Lea’s perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. His return marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society’s pursuit of immortality, and instead chose to live—and die—on their own terms. In this future world, death is not only taboo; it’s also highly illegal. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.


* Rosewater by Tade Thompson
Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless - people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers. Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn't care to again -- but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realization about a horrifying future.


* Echoes of Understory by Thoraiya Dyer
Great deeds are expected of Imeris. She has trained endlessly to become an extraordinary fighter. Yet she wants more than to compete against the glories of her divine sister and the charms of her courtesan brother. Imeris thought she could prove her worth during a mission to kill a body-snatching sorceress, but fails disastrously. With death on her conscience and in hiding from her peers, Imeris is determined to find a way to redeem herself.


* Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra
Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, one of a handful of sisterhoods of highly trained elite warriors. Armed with blades whose metal is imbued with magic and guided by a strict code of conduct, the Orders are sworn to keep the peace and protect the people of Asiana. Kyra has pledged to do so—yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her murdered family.


* Oysters, Pearls, and Magic by Joyce Chng
Enter the world of Mirra and Kindness. They are both magic users, but their gifts are either scorned or feared. Men are allowed to use magic; women are not. So, after a tumultuous event, Mirra decides to leave and heads for the City to continue her own self-journey where she finds her own family. Her daughter Kindness leaves her family home, driven by the same forces and passions of her mother.


* Cast in Deception by Michelle Sagara
Private Kaylin Neya thought her home couldn’t possibly get more crowded. But when one of her housemates, Annarion, decides to undertake the Barrani Test of Name, his friends refuse to let him face his task alone—and Kaylin’s sentient home, Helen, is the only structure capable of shielding the rest of Elantra from the magnitude of their power.


* Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Anne Aguirre
Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell. Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.


* Semiosis by Sue Burke
Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches...and waits... Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet's sentient species and prove that humans are more than tools.


* Paris Adrift by E.J. Swift
There's a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there's a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through the turbulent past and future Paris, making friends, changing the world — and falling in love. But with every trip, Hallie loses a little of herself, and every infinitesimal change she makes ripples through time, until the future she's trying to save suddenly looks nothing like what she hoped for...

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