Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This week topic is new releases that you aren’t sure you should add to your TBR. I have a whole shelf of these books on GoodReads called “Read Me Maybe”. It’s an exclusive shelf so they really don’t go onto my TBR, but I also have some I haven’t even bothered to add to that. The thing is- although I’m a book blogger, I really don’t have the time or the patience to be a guinea pig. I prefer to read stuff at least one of my GoodReads buddies has already read, so I can gauge whether or not a book is worth the time to invest. I don’t want to go around DNFing every 3 star book that comes my way but I’d prefer to read 4 and 5 star books… so… yeah.
Shadowblade by Anna Kashina – A fantasy about a sword wielding woman who must assume the identity of a lost princess because… reasons. Here’s the thing- I love dark, gritty fantasy with kick-ass women. But the lost princess/switch places trope has been done so many times. Furthermore- I can’t list you a single book that used that trope that I’d read again (or even recommend).
Dahlia Black by Keith Thomas – Described as “World War Z” meets “The Southern Reach”, this an oral history of the Pulse, the alien code that hacked human DNA. First- I didn’t love the Southern Reach trilogy, but I have a lot of respect for VanderMeer as a writer. He writes really bizarre science fiction and finds a way to make it sound literary. So if you’re going to compare yourself to him, you have some big shoes to fill. Second, I didn’t really like World War Z. I listened to the full cast audio, which was great. But the celebrity appearances and only a handful of those chapters had me really excited. Most of them were boring. You already know the ending- if they are telling you how they survived the zombie apocalypse- they survived didn’t they? I’m worried Dahlia Black will be the same way.
The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson – This one I can tell you is probably most definitely not going on my TBR. In 2017, long before I started this blog, I went through a really bad year of YA fantasy novels, and it sort of soured me on the genre (age group?). Let me first say- that I don’t think all YA is bad. Most of those novels were a solid three stars (please refer back to paragraph two). Sebastien de Castell writes the Shadowblack series which I love. SJ Kincaid wrote The Diabolic and The Empress, and I will totally read book three when it is released. I added The Storm Crow because the idea seemed pretty fresh, but I’m still pretty skeptical.
The Farm by Joanne Ramos – Would you like to live in total luxury for nine months? Would you like to get rich quick? All you have to do, is agree to go to the Farm, which you cannot leave and know that everything you do is being monitored and watched while you produce the perfect baby for uber-rich clients. It sounds like a modern twist on The Handmaid’s Tale, and I’m totally sold on the hook, but also concerned that the contemporary setting will totally bore me.
Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse – This is the sequel to last year’s Trail of Lightning (review here). To sum it up- Trail of Lightning wasn’t bad, but it had some issues, plot threads that went nowhere, a romance with a quintessential bad boy… But- Roanhorse’s world was imaginative and new. I’ve since read her short story, “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience” and was really impressed. When I finished I remembered thinking, how in the hell did the same author write Trail of Lightning? Now that I know she can do better, I’m leaning much closer to giving book two a shot.
Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller – This is another YA novel that has me on the fence. Warrior-girl has her coming-of-age trial sabotaged and is exiled to the wild. I kept seeing the term Vikings stamped everywhere in relation to this book so it was an instant add. Then I saw something from the author making very clear that it was “Vikings inspired”. Which to me is saying she took her characters, made them warlike and gave them axes (i.e. not vikings anything). So I moved it from my TBR to Read-me-maybe. Also- thank you to the author for clarifying.
The Redemption of Time by Baoshu – This is a “fan-written” tie in to Cixin Liu’s The Three Body Problem. Which is really sort of cool? I loved The Three Body Problem. I loved it’s weirdness, I loved it’s humor, I loved the suspense. I didn’t love the next two entries in the series: The Dark Forest and Death’s End. They were too long. They were not humorous. Death’s End in particular was incredibly sexist. And in the end I felt like they didn’t have a point and I just sort of wanted the time I spent reading them back. Needless to say- I’m a little skeptical here. I am curious if this new author will manage to bring back some of the things I loved about The Three Body Problem.
I didn’t quite make it up to ten this week. I haven’t done a great job keeping track of the up-and-coming beyond January/February. Leave a link below with your list so I can come check it out! Maybe you’ve got something on yours that I didn’t know I was dying to read.