WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: January-March 2020 Review Copies On My Shelves

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine (though it seems as though it’s been a while since she updated that particular blog, so if you know of the current host, if there is one, please let me know) that highlights upcoming releases that we’re impatiently waiting for. This week I’m featuring January-March 2020 review copies that I have either in physical form or digital form that I can’t wait to dive into! And now that it’s the middle of December, I need to get started on some of those January ones! The release dates are listed but are always subject to change.

  • A Beginning at the End – Mike Chen :: The tagline for this is “How Do You Start Over After the End of the World?” and I’m all for something that supposedly calls back to Station Eleven with post-apocalyptic pandemics and how society picks up the pieces and returns to normalcy after a catastrophe. Releases January 14, 2020
  • Followers – Megan Angelo :: A book about social media and what happens when good intentions go horribly wrong?? YES. Releases January 14, 2020.
  • A Queen in Hiding – Sarah Kozloff :: This is the start of a four-book fantasy series and we don’t have to wait long for the sequels! Each of the sequels will be released in subsequent months (January, February, March, and April), so I’m excited for that first off because I always hate the wait for a series I really like. This is a coming of age story with a twist, and so far the early reviews have been looking great! Releases January 21, 2020.
  • Show Them a Good Time – Nicole Flattery :: A collection of stories by a debut writer that I heard some good buzz about on Twitter, and when I saw it was available for download on Netgalley, I snapped it up! Releases January 28, 2020.
  • Things in Jars – Jess Kidd :: Victorian London, female sleuths, anatomists, fairy tales? Give me all of those things, please. Releases February 4, 2020.
  • Daughter from the Dark – Marina & Sergey Dyachenko :: I downloaded Vita Nostra last month as a Kindle deal because I keep seeing it in various places, so when I saw this on the ARC shelf at work, I grabbed it because this is also a stand-alone and seems really interesting. It’s about music and companionship with a magical twist. Releases February 11, 2020.
  • Foul is Fair – Hannah Capin :: This is described as a Macbeth retelling with hints of Kill Bill and Heathers and all of those things are right up my alley?? This came in my inbox as a one-day download from Netgalley, and I’m so excited to see what this will bring. Releases February 18, 2020.
  • The Hidden Girl and Other Stories – Ken Liu :: Anything Ken Liu writes is a gift, and this latest collection is sure to be another favorite of mine. Releases Feburary 25, 2020.
  • The Girl in White Gloves – Kerri Maher :: This is historical fiction about Grace Kelly and her life behind the scenes, and I love Hollywood stories. The cover for this is also GORGEOUS. Releases February 25, 2020.
  • Beheld – TaraShea Nesbit :: This is about the first murder in Plymouth, Massachusetts not long after the Mayflower landed in the 1600s. Some of the reviews and buzz I’ve seen have said it evokes that period very well. I love a good historical mystery, and I don’t think I’ve seen many set in this era.

Are any of these on your to-read list? What one would you read first?

FIRST LINES FRIDAY: Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee

Hello, Friday! First Lines Friday is a feature on my blog in which I post the first lines from a book I am interested in reading, either a new release or a backlist title! For the next several Fridays, I will be featuring titles I’ve added to my TBR cart. I have the physical copy of Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee and then picked up all three on a really great Kindle deal a few months later… and that was over a year ago. I’m trying to make an effort to read (and finish!!) more series, especially ones that I’ve got all the titles for on hand.

At Kel Academy, an instructor had explained to Cheris’s class that the threshold winnower was a weapon of last resort, and not just for its notorious connotations. Said instructor had once witnessed a winnower in use. The detail that stuck in Cheris’s head wasn’t the part where every door in the besieged city exhaled radiation that baked the inhabitants dead. It wasn’t the weapon’s governing equations or even the instructor’s left eye, damaged during the attack, from which ghostlight glimmered.

What Cheris remembered most was the instructor’s aside: that returning to corpses that were only corpses, rather than radiation gates contorted against black-blasted walls and glassy rubble, eyes ruptured open, was one of the best moments of her life.

Five years, five months, and sixteen days later, surrounded by smashed tanks and smoking pits on the heretic Eels’ outpost world of Dredge, Captain Kel Cheris of Heron Company, 109-229th Battalion, had come to the conclusion that her instructor was full of shit. There was no comfort to be extracted from the dead, from flesh evaporated from bones. Nothing but numbers snipped short.

I really enjoyed Lee’s Dragon Pearl, a MG sci-fi novel put out by Rick Riordan’s imprint, so I’m looking forward to see what he did previously in his adult science fiction!

FIRST LINES FRIDAY: Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse

Hello, Friday! First Lines Friday is a feature on my blog in which I post the first lines from a book I am interested in reading, either a new release or a backlist title! For the next several Fridays, I will be featuring titles I’ve added to my TBR cart. I’ve seen several 2020 reading challenges that involve reading backlist titles in addition to new ones, and I think I’m going to make that one of my personal challenges this year too. I have so many books released in the last several years that I’ve been meaning to read, and Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning is one of them. It’s also gotten a bump because I’m really enjoying Star Wars: Resistance Reborn as well. I started reading Trail of Lightning about a year or so ago, but I remember I was reading about eight different books at the time because I was in a weird reading place, but I’m definitely making it a priority in the next few months.

The monster has been here. I can smell him.

His stench is part of the acrid sweat of exertion, part the meaty ripeness of a carnivore’s unwashed flesh, and part something else I can’t quite name. It fouls the evening air, stretching beyond smell to something deeper, more base. It unsettles me, sets my own instincts howling in warning. Cold sweat breaks out across my forehead. I wipe it away with the back of my hand.

I can also smell the child he’s stolen. Her scent is lighter, cleaner. Innocent. She smells alive to me, or at least she was alive when she left here. By now she could smell quite different.

Have you read Trail of Lightning? What did you think of it? Is it on your list?

FIRST LINES FRIDAY: This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Hello, Friday! First Lines Friday is a feature on my blog in which I post the first lines from a book I am interested in reading, either a new release or a backlist title! For the next several Fridays, I will be featuring titles I’ve added to my TBR cart! This week’s feature is Amal El-Mohtar’s and Max Gladstone’s This Is How You Lose the Time War published by Saga Press in 2019.

When Red wins, she stands alone.

Blood slicks her hair. She breathes out steam in the last night of this dying world.

That was fun, she thinks, but the thought sours in the framing. It was clean, at least. Climb up time’s threads into the past and make sure no one survives this battle to muddle the futures her Agency’s arranged — the futures in which her Agency rules, in which Red herself is possible. She’s come to knot this strand of history and sear it until it melts.

She holds a corpse that was once a man, her hands gloved in its guts, her fingers clutching its alloy spine. She lets go, and the exoskeleton clatters against rock. Crude technology. Ancient. Bronze to depleted uranium. He never had a chance. That is the point of Red.

I love time travel and I always have, and I’m really excited to see how this novella unfolds. I’ve heard such great things about it!

FIRST LINES FRIDAY: Call Upon the Water, by Stella Tillyard

Yay, it’s Friday! First Lines Friday is a new feature on my blog that features the first few lines of any book that interests me, new or old! This week I’m featuring Stella Tillyard’s Call Upon the Water. I received this complimentary review copy from Atria (thank you!) and a good historical fiction novel is right up my alley at the moment. Sometimes I want to get lost in the past and see the world through someone else’s lenses, especially ones about the “New World” and the struggles people faced when leaving their home countries and going elsewhere. Without any further adieu, here are the first lines from the book!

Nieuw Amsterdam, Manatus Elyandt.

The 1st day of April, 1664.

I am afloat in the Oost Rivier, rocking on the waves, when I hear a song. Silence covers the city and wraps me in darkness. In front of me it is still night, but behind me, to the east, all the day stands ready to arrive. In a moment the sun will burst above the horizon on Lange Eylandt and the city of Nieuw Amsterdam will wake and stir. By noon we will feel the thin warmth of April; half winter, and half the promise of spring. I am happy to be alive on the water and to smell the salt.

On the sandy shore I find the dry carcass of a horseshoe crab, hollowed out and turned to the sky. A thousand lives will follow this death. In a month the horseshoe crabs will come back. The water will be black with them. Each year they surf the waves, washing back and forth until they can scramble up the beach with their blue-and-orange claws. They do not pause after this struggle, but climb to safety, lay their eggs, in the sand and crawl back to the water. Clouds of seabirds wait for this moment, migrants from the south. They clatter down and gorge themselves on the eggs, fattening for their journey. All nature is on the move, restless and lively.

This is formatted like a journal, and the first few pages remind me of the Dear America/Royal Diaries series that gave you a glimpse into someone’s life in such a personal way. I can’t wait to read the rest of this!