Monthly Try A Chapter #4

Welcome to the fourth monthly Try A Chapter! This time I’m yet again going to try mostly older books, because I don’t have many March releases on my TBR (which is instead full of stuff that comes out in April and May, for some reason).

The Books


The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern: I want to be honest with myself and say that I’m never going to read this unless I make an effort to reach for it, because I’m bad at long books. I hope reading the first chapter will convince this is worth doing at some point!
The first chapter: fine fine fine I’m reading this, the writing is too nice for me to say no, and it also looks easy to get through! (I say, while also having the distinct impression of having understood nothing of what was happening.) I might try the audiobook but I’m not sure, I feel like I’d miss a lot. We’ll see.
[will definitely continue]


A Pale Light in the Black by K.B. Wagers: F/F sci-fi, which of course appeals to me, but I’ve never read anything by this author before despite the fact that she has a significant backlist.
The first chapter: looks like this is the kind of sci-fi that thinks throwing acronyms at you is worldbuilding (…my opinion is that all sci-fi could stand to have less acronyms), and while usually I’m not worried when I understand nothing in this genre, this also didn’t hint at anything that sounded interesting. And I know it might… not sound believable given what my favorite book is, but I usually don’t like to read about the military. I don’t think this is for me.
[removed from TBR]


You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce: several reviewers I talk with often loved this! It’s a mystery (I think?) that blurs the line between real and paranormal, and it could either be something I find amazing or something that is incredibly not for me, as anything with mystery elements often is.
The first chapter: I mean, I think it would be lovely if the mixed media parts were readable on ebook, but what do I know about formatting. Apart from that, it’s… really weird and I’m not sure if that’s my kind of weird. The writing is really good, though, and I’m curious about a lot of things already. I’ll see if I’m ever in the mood for it in the next few months, else I’ll remove it – anything mystery/thriller disappoints me more often than not, so there’s no need to let them on my TBR to stratify.
[keeping it on the maybe shelf]


Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw: I keep hearing that this is a weird book about monsters and there’s some queerness in it and both things really appeal to me! On the other hand, I’m shallow and… this is probably one of the ugliest covers I know.
The first chapter: monster doctor! monster doctor! “treating the differently alive”, oh wow, isn’t that a realistic-sounding euphemism. I really like the writing already and overall it sounds really interesting, I want to read it.
[will continue at some point]


Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone: another apparently-it’s-sapphic novel from last year, this time adult SFF. I haven’t even tried it, for no reason at all. It sounds like it could be very fun, as I think it’s set between near future and far (maybe parallel universe) future.
The first chapter: oh, I really liked this! At least, I really like the narration and what it’s saying about how a surveillance state is like, and I’m intrigued. It looks like the kind of book that manages to balance lightness and humor with that kind of background.
[will definitely continue]


Carnival by Elizabeth Bear: if I don’t remember wrong, this is Bear’s debut novel, apparently a queer (I think m/m but I’m not at all sure) sci-fi published in 2006. Queer books have always been around in the genre. Elizabeth Bear is the author of one of my favorite books of last year, and yet I haven’t tried anything else by her since – I should change that. Will this book be the right place to start from?
The first chapter: I love how Elizabeth Bear writes about space! Though it does feel really dated – I mean, if I read a queer sci-fi that had a homophobic society (or, as far as I understand? Sci-fi beginnings are always a little weird) published in 2020, I’d be annoyed; space is gay and we know that. But I get why something published 15 years ago would do this. Still, this sounds really interesting and I do want to read it.
[will continue at some point]

Have you read or want to read any of these?

6 thoughts on “Monthly Try A Chapter #4

  1. I’ve read the starless sea and it was just okay for me overall, I definitely liked the first half better than the second one! The audiobook was the only way i even started it but I can definitely recommend it as a format!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good to know! I think I’m not that likely to start it in any format (…especially since the audiobook is the first thing that scribd has flagged as unavailable for me. Of course it was going to happen) but I still hope I will someday.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If you have any particular questions about You Let Me In, let me know! I WILL say that it’s got vague hints/elements of villain romance and it’s less a thriller than a really darkly creepy fairy tale, and the contrived narrative style of the first chapter really eases up right after, and it feels much more natural to read.

    Liked by 1 person

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