There are some on-going that I am loving and have my eye on to keep reading as books come out.
The Iron Seas is a steampunk-romance series set in a world where the Huns took over the world and introduced little micro-bugs into people through sugar. There are airships, zombies overrunning Europe, krakens and machines in the sea, sky pirates, detectives, novelists, and mechanics. And romance. Some of the romantic pairings have worked better for me than others, but the world building is awesome. It’s everything I want from a steampunk world (esp the part about not only taking place in London), and is totally the steampunk world I’d pick if I were going to go into one. We’ve been waiting on what Brook calls “The Blacksmith’s Book” for a few years due to a narrative sticking point, which has apparently come loose! Blacksmith this year!
Older middle grade/younger young adult series billed as “Sherlock meets Dr. Who.” Which I find pretty accurate. Except plus women main characters. Abigail Rook is our main character who finds herself employed with the eccentric R.F. Jackaby who can see through the disguises used by magical creatures. Adventures, murders, mysteries, police dogs, red caps, trolls, dragons, cat-eating animals, people turned into ducks and choosing to stay that way, proper landlady ghosts, and a general good time. The final book, The Dire King, drops this summer!
McMaster is spinning this series off from her London Steampunk series, a fantasy romance series where vampires rule England as bluebloods because they are infected with a craving virus that makes them drink blood.
In this series McMaster has a whole new Victorian London with three half-brothers, magicians at war, and an impending upheaval of the world order. I have some slightly more mixed feelings about this series, mainly just that it is oddly slow for me to get through, though I haven’t re-read them yet so maybe it’s just me getting to grips with the world. I really enjoy the world and the stories that McMaster is telling in this world and I want to learn more about it. Ooo, and I think the trilogy has spawned itself into a quartet, which is GREAT. The next book is tentatively set for August 2017? Self-publishing dates are sometimes hard to keep up with.
Supernaturals in 1920’s New York. Flappers, poets, holy roller types, ghosts, murderers, and an intriguing cast of diverse characters (I heart Memphis and Theta. Oh, and Sam Lloyd. I totally knew guys like him in college.). The first book starts a bit slow, and Evie, our main girl, isn’t my favorite character, but I don’t think she’s supposed to be. The books are just about at my edge for spooky stories, (I just skip the murder chapter, sorry Libba!) Bray just dropped the cover and release date of October 2017 for her third book in this quartet, and I for one, as PUMPED. I hope January LaVoy is back for the audiobook!
I was hesitant about this series and after hearing people talk about the sexual violence threats that get tossed around, I was not interested. But, then I saw that the series is narrated by my FAVORITE audiobook pair, Fiona Hardingham and Steve West, so by gum, I was going to listen to it just because they read it. And it’s pretty damn good. Set in a Roman-esque world, with a militant society that has taken over a more arts-focused society (honestly, it has plenty of crossover in basics with Court of Fives), we have Laia who is a member of the Scholars, trying to rescue her brother, and we have Elias, a Marshall who is the top of his school and reluctant to become one of the terrible soldiers. I liked how conflicted Elias is about that, because I feel like we rarely see people who are excellent at something they are encouraged to be good at, yet they feel conflicted. The world grew with the second book, and I am pretty ready for Tahir to finish up the 3rd book, which comes out later this year.
Gail Carriger recommended this book for its werewolves. I’m not really into urban fantasy, but I took a chance on her rec and quite enjoyed it. The werewolves have a very international community and they interact among that community, including over the border in Mexico. I don’t love the idea of the Pure women saving the werewolf men, but I can deal. Also, there’s a gender-bend to this Pure idea, which I want to see play out. I hadn’t read a book with a Latina main character which I really liked, and this girl is unabashedly feminine. This isn’t own voices, and I can’t speak to the accuracy of the Latinx representation, but I really liked the book. The short stories are more like character explorations, but I am definitely keeping my eye out for the third book, which will come out. . .some day.
Ahhh, Parasol-verse short romances about some of the side characters from the previous books. I love these much more than I had expected. Some of the characters sounded a like unexciting when I heard they were getting their own story, and I have found the Custard Protocol to be a little dry and lackluster for my taste. Not to worry. Carriger has us back in her expert hands, building her goofy steampunk London around us with ghosts and werewolves and vampires and humans, all of whom are a bit sillier than you would expect given a lot of popular media. So far we are at 2 stories, Preshea and Madame LaFoux, but Carriger has PROMISED US a Biffy and Lyall story next winter (maybe 2017, maybe 2018). I’m hoping we’ll also get a Channing story. He’s one of my favorites because he’s super unlikeable, but goodhearted.
Assassin nuns in 16th Century Brittany. I adore this series. The badass nuns, the Celtic-inspired gods, the historic accuracy (as far as I can tell as a non-historian), the tough girls, their sweet fellas, the plot twists, the danger, the betrayals, the allies. I realized on my most recent read that this gives me the feelings that I always want Robin Hood stories to give me, but they inevitably fail by the ending (not sure what it is I dislike about the Robin Hood ending). Not this series (ok book 3 was closer to ‘meh’ but mainly because I just didn’t like the love interest and he was a bigger role than the other two, the rest of book 3 was AMAZING). I love this series, and I am SO delighted that LaFevers is giving us two more books in 2018 and 2019.
Pure steampunk goodness, with some classic horror elements thrown in, like Jekyll and Hyde, and Frankenstein, werewolves. I find the world fine and the story is fun, but I LOVE the way the author writes our two leading ladies, Eliza Jekyll and Lizzie Hyde. Carr is excellent the way she handles the two of them, fighting with each other, helping each other, switching back and forth. Also, this series has my best love triangle. I’m truly not sure which couple I prefer. The third (final?) book comes out in April, but my library doesn’t seem to have ordered it, so I may be purchasing the third book to find out what happens.
I’m intrigued about the second book in this series because Gauri was my favorite character from the first book. We had a Hades and Persephone-style story in an Indian folkloric setting. I loved the setting, the writing was beautiful, but some of the scenes and setting were too amorphous for me to be able to follow. I know that I don’t really enjoy descriptions of mental magic battles, but I found the story of the first book intriguing enough to put the second one on hold from my library. I’m hoping A Crown of Wishes knocks my socks off.
Sex-positive, lesbian-friendly, Firefly-with-aliens. The first book is very episodic with fun and interesting characters. I’m not huge on SF, possibly because of too much techy-lingo and war and a dearth of women. Feminist SF is my jam. I recently read the second book and it has solidified Becky Chambers and her writing in my heart. The stories are very human in their exploration of what it means to be a person. The third book comes out. . .next year?
Oh man. I saw a lot of good credible sources touting this book in 2015, so when I had the chance, I snagged it. I didn’t really know what to expect but it totally knocked my socks off. My summary of it when suggesting it to a friend was Little Women + Hunger Games, set in an Ancient Greece/Egypt style world. Jessamy and her three sisters are the mixed race daughter of a Patron man and an Efean woman, who is one of the conquered peoples living under Patron rule. The Patrons are a very racist and patriarchal society, so Jessamy and her sisters are limited by their gender and race, yet also not aware of the details of their mother’s culture. Also, props for a pregnant lady who isn’t just there to be a plot device (I mean she is a bit but she’s also the mom). I love the matriarchal Efeans, I love the sisterly bonds, I love how Jess is a quiet protagonist but not a passive one. I love how the mom seems really flat until she’s like BOOM I’M THE MOM, I ON TOP OF EVERYTHING. I love how Jess reacts toward her dad as the story progresses. The final book comes out in July of this year!