TBR & Goals

5 Star Predictions #2

In April I wrote a post about my 5 star predictions. I’ve read all of those books since then, and now I want to write a wrap-up and new five star predictions.


I put those images in the order from the post, which was least-to-most likely to be a five star, but I expected to love them all.
I almost did.

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro: the only one I really didn’t like. I read it while sick (abdominal pain that turned out to be appendicitis, so that probably influenced my reading experience) but this book seriously needed more editing. I rated it 2 stars.

Witchmark by C.L. Polk: this didn’t end up being exactly what I expected but I loved it anyway. It’s a murder mystery with steampunk and paranormal aspect but it reads like a (m/m) romance and it was really good. 5 stars.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan: I was afraid the length of this one (more than 400 pages is usually too much for a contemporary) would slow me down, but I flew through it. I was also afraid I wouldn’t like to read a story about someone losing a parent to suicide, but it was handled really well. The writing and characterization were as good as I expected them to be. This is a beautiful book and I really recommend it. 5 stars.

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire: I knew this would go either very right or very wrong. It did both, but it mostly went right, and I love reading about queer women in science. I mean, part of it is about a f/f couple in which one of the characters is a marine biologist (and the other is autistic). Also the sea is scary and mermaids will eat you. 5 stars.

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie: this was on the list because everyone I know who loves Ninefox Gambit has also loved this, and I can say that worked. If you like Ninefox Gambit, I think you’re going to like this too, but I can’t say the reverse always works because this is far less violent than Lee’s book. Anyway, it’s a story about an AI masquerading as a human, a colonizing space empire led by [something? someone?] probably evil, and a lot of tea. It’s about humanity and sentience, at its heart, and I loved it. 5 stars.

New Predictions!

The last five star prediction post mostly worked (I got four out of five right!), so I want to try again. I have three rules: no sequels, no books by favorite authors, no books that are going to come out in more than a month (unless I have an ARC).

5. Vita Nostra by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko


For the first time in years, I’m going to read a book whose original language wasn’t English or Italian. Vita Nostra should be a creepy, unusual story set in a magical school, and I have a lot of feelings about that kind of setting. I know I’m either going to love this or hate it (if I hate it, it’s probably because I wasn’t able to get into it, but I hope that doesn’t happen).

4. Final Draft by Riley Redgate


I don’t know what it is about this book – maybe some of the reviews I’ve read? the fact that I read the preview and decided the writing was nice? – but I think I’m really going to like this. It’s a contemporary book about a pansexual Ecuadorian girl, Laila, who is an author struggling with her writing. Some aspects of the preview kind of reminded of Mercedes’ struggle with art in one of my favorite books of all times, The Gallery of Unfinished Girls, so I hope I like this too.

3. Borderline by Mishell Baker

I have a really good feeling about this. The fact that I know that the borderline representation is ownvoices helps – with very stigmatized mental illnesses, you never know if it’s going to be representation or a shitty plot device – but anyway, faeries, and I haven’t read a good adult contemporary urban fantasy in a while.

2. Mirage by Somaiya Daud


I’ve had this on my TBR since I’ve heard it existed, everyone is giving it five stars, I really liked the preview and already bought an ebook – yes, I think I’m at least going to like this. I hope I love it. It’s a sci-fi book inspired by Moroccan history, and it should involve colonialism and royalty.

1. The Bedlam Stacks or The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

I know, this is a bit like cheating, but I own both of those and I have no idea which one I’m going to read first – and that will be the one I count for this tag. I have a really good feeling about both of those and I’ve heard mostly positive things about them, so I hope they won’t disappoint.
I really want to love the only gay adult historical fantasy books I know that got translated into Italian.

Have you read any of these? What was your latest five star read?

14 thoughts on “5 Star Predictions #2

    1. I’ve heard very little about Vita Nostra, but all I’ve heard was good (and kind of mysterious/vague, which made me even more interested in it). And I hope we both end up loving Mirage!


    1. I have no idea how Vita Nostra is going to be either, but I hope I will at least love the magical (murderous?) school setting.
      And I didn’t know Bedlam Stacks and Watchmaker were in any way related, but that’s good to know!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oooooh, great post, Acqua – I hope you enjoy all of these! I’m so glad Into the Drowning Deep worked out for you ❤ Final Draft and Mirage are both fantastic, so I will be REALLY sad if you don't love both. I had never heard of Vita Rostra, but that cover is GORGEOUS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I have only a vague idea of what Vita Nostra is and I have no idea what that cover means (if it means something) but I agree, it’s really beautiful.
      The more I think about Into the Drowning Deep, the more I love it – especially the twist ending about mermaid size. I didn’t know a horror species inspired by anglerfish was what I wanted but that was the best way to end it. Also, Tory and Olivia!! I love them and I wanted more of them, but this seems to be a standalone (I hope we get a sequel. But I don’t know how likely that is…)
      And I can’t wait to get to Final Draft and Mirage!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. oh, yeah, that twist ending was GREAT – it’s not TOO out there but it’s memorable! And Tory and Olivia are the best. I think Mira Grant has talked about maybe writing a second book, but I don’t know if it will sell?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad to hear that you have predicted right last time (except Anger is a Gift) 🙂 I recently read Mirage and I really liked it! It’s very light sci-fi (it reminded me of fantasy at times), but definitely a book with a complex message and great characters!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I prefer YA sci-fi to be on the fantasy-like/genre-bending side (my favorite YA sci-fi book so far is A Spark of White Fire, which is fantasy in space) so I hope I end up liking Mirage too. I haven’t seen a negative review of it, and I’m glad to hear you liked it too!

      Liked by 1 person

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