May has not literally flown by. It did go by pretty quick, though. I made a resolution to tone it down on the new reviews this month, so I would have some time left to read the books I bought last year (and the years before that, you know how it goes), and possibly go on a holiday. As you can see below, I did pretty well at sticking to that resolution…and I didn’t even mention the graphic novels and audiobooks!
To be able to stick to my plans and schedules for the upcoming three months or so, I won’t be accepting any review requests until further notice. If I’ve already said yes, and you don’t see your book on this list, no worries, I’ve saved you a seat in my mental maze of book madness, meaning: I’ll most likely get to it in July. Heck, some of these will probably be pushed back to July as well because if/when I’m going on a trip, I won’t be around on the interwebz (holidays and the internet shouldn’t be partners in my opinion).
Luckily, there are a few short novels on this list as well, so let’s just see how far I’m going to get!
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden.
But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam’s death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam’s possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he’s never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife’s secret life before they met–a journey that leads him to find hope, healing and self-discovery in the most unexpected places.
Barking Madness by Ryan Hill
Seventeen-year-old Rosetta Harper is plagued by nightmares of a masked man. With her father’s new career move, her family has just relocated from Florida to the small New England town of Ashwood. A quiet town and close-knit community where you know your neighbors, and trouble is a word unspoken. But soon after her arrival, her world and the worlds of her classmates come crashing down.
Michael hates his family and feels alone and unloved. He only finds comfort when he’s with his friends, but even they get on his nerves. Everything about Ashwood and his life bores him, until Rosetta Harper moves into town. With her as a new classmate, Michael finally gets the excitement he was looking for, but it may be at too high a cost.
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.
Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.
When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…
The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power
A swashbuckling adventure with a dark side for fans of George R.R. Martin and Naomi Novik—when a ship captain is stranded on a deserted island by his mutinous crew, he finds a baby dragon that just might be the key to his salvation…and his revenge.
He only wanted justice. Instead, he got revenge.
Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for over a decade. He knows the rules. He likes the rules. But not everyone on his ship agrees. After a monstrous dragon attacks the galley, the surviving crewmembers decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance”: a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the clothes on his back to survive on the open sea.
Fighting for their lives against the elements, Jeryon and his companion land on an island that isn’t as deserted as they originally thought. They find a baby dragon that, if trained, could be their way home. But as Jeryon and the dragon grow closer, the captain begins to realize that even if he makes it off the island, his old life won’t be waiting for him and in order get justice, he’ll have to take it for himself.
A Journey of Temperance by Ichabod Temperance
“I say, this fantastic craft you have built has transported us to a new world, Mr. Temperance, eh hem?”
“Yes, Ma’am, Miss Plumtartt, Ma’am! Gosh, we find ourselves among many mythological beasts of outrageous legend. It would take three of me to make just one of the dwarves that live around here.”
“Yes, quite, and I find that there is no shortage of troll, gremlin, or magical creature to assail us in our destined quest.”
“You sure are right about that, Ma’am. In fact, I think we have gotten embroiled in a sweeping, high fantasy saga of epic proportions!”
Chains of Blood and Steel by Karen Gray
Six months after the communication by Edward, Mòrag is still trying to piece things together. She trains daily with Colonel Tesso, in an attempt to bring her physical skills up to match her mental ones.
Brax battles with visions of his master and fears his presence will put Mòrag in danger as his mental chains are pulled tighter.
The spymaster’s daughter struggles to deal with her abusive father, hiding a secret she is prepared to take to the grave.
John, who’s life has been a lie, discovers the truth about himself through Ava. Brought together after he catches her failed attempted suicide, they overcome the chains of blood and steel that imprison them.
Giovanni Goes to Med School by Kathy Bryson
Everyone knows zombies aren’t real, no matter how fun. You don’t have to be a med student to know the dead do not get up and walk around in real life. Anyone who’s buried a pet in the backyard knows the dead don’t walk. They don’t even lurch.
So Giovanni is stunned when his patient sits up in the morgue and starts scolding. The night-shift was supposed to be a relief, a chance to study in quiet and off-set ridiculous student loans. Babysitting a huge dog and a dead voodoo mambo were not part of the plan. Now he’s got to convince an unbelieving medical community to take action, so he can get back to learning about the dead – not the undead!
Ghost In The H.A.T.B.O.X. (Hatter Madigan #1)
by Frank Beddor
Combat training! Secret society initiations! Self-serving rivals! Welcome to Wonderland’s prestigious Millinery Academy: where those born to protect the queendom train to become spies, assassins, and bodyguards. With all that to contend with, not to mention following in his popular older brother’s footsteps, just getting through Imagination Class seems impossible already.
And that’s before he starts seeing ghosts lurking in the corridors…
When students begin behaving strangely throughout the academy, Hatter and his fellow cadets must unlock the mysteries behind the ghosts, and the headmaster’s suspicious behavior, before the entire student body finds itself possessed!
Recommended by Koeur’s Book Reviews (check it out for some hilariously to-the-point Sci Fi – and Fantasy ARC book reviews)
The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith
On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an ageing Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom, and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:
The king is dead.
The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.
It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?
Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.
The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy
That was before when her life was small and quiet.
Her golden step-brother, Ben, was alive, she could only dream about bonfiring with the populars, their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell the truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.
Then came after.
After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, and living with nerve and mischief. But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder.
A Reaper of Stone by Mark Gelineau and Joe King
A Lady is dead. Her noble line ended. And the King’s Reaper has come to reclaim her land and her home. In the marches of Aedaron, only one thing is for certain. All keeps of the old world must fall.
Elinor struggles to find her place in the new world. She once dreamed of great things. Of becoming a hero in the ways of the old world. But now she is a Reaper. And her duty is clear. Destroy the old. Herald the new.
Be sure to also check out http://www.arborteas.com/SummerReads/ for an old school every-week-a-chapter-story during the summer, and http://www.audiobooksync.com/ for a free summer audiobook program for 13+ teens. I’ve already read (and listened to) some of both of these links and can honestly recommend them for some free summer fun!