Hello! In a surprising turn of events, it took me less to read all the 7 books I predicted would be five stars for me than it took me to read through all my 5 star predictions the last two times, in which I only chose five. I don’t know why either. Maybe it’s that this time I actually chose stuff I was excited about instead of following the hype, or maybe it’s that I’m finally learning to recognize which books I will like.
So, today I’m choosing the next round. Let’s see if it works!
First, a Wrap-Up
Evidence seems to point to “this time around I chose books I actually wanted to read”, as my success rate this time was also unusually high.
- The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo – I’m glad this novella is getting a lot of love because it deserves all of it. I love stories told through details like this one, and the atmosphere really was what made it work. 5 stars.
- Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee – I loved this. Not like I loved Machineries of Empire, but still a lot, and yes, I gave it 5 stars. The romance! The pacifist mecha dragon! So much good in here.
- In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado – this was perfect and there’s no doubt about that. Also an extremely intense read, so take care. 5 stars.
- Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi – this was a remarkable book, and I’m so glad I read it (…and that I put it onto this list so that it didn’t stay on my TBR for years). I initially gave it 4 stars, but it stayed with me even more than I expected, so I raised it to 5 stars.
- The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood – close enough! This was a very unusual and fun sci-fantasy novel full of unhinged immortal beings and other things that really appeal to me, so of course I loved a lot of it. I gave it 4.5 stars, but rounded up.
- Desdemona and the Deep by C.S.E. Cooney – this was exactly my favorite kind of weird and I can’t believe I almost didn’t read it. Of course it was 5 stars, and it may be my favorite fae story.
- Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente – I knew this was a risky one because it’s an older book, and in fact it didn’t work out (not a five stars) but I still loved it a lot, despite its many, many flaws. 3.5 stars, and yet I’m not disappointed.
And you know the other thing all of these books had in common? They weren’t YA. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
The New Predictions
As usual, no sequels! That would be too easy, or maybe I’m just looking for more reasons not to read them.
The Devourers by Indra Das – beautifully written, Indian adult fantasy I’ve heard very little about, but every single thing I’ve heard about it was great? Of course I hope I’m going to love it.
The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin – I know my experiences with this author are really uneven, but I loved The Narcomancer (in the collection How Long ‘Til Black Future Month) so much and it’s set in the same world; The Killing Moon belongs on this list.
In at the Deep End by Kate Davies – because variety in genres is good, and what I need most is motivation to read the adult contemporaries on my TBR! Anyway, this should be an intense read about abuse in F/F relationships.
Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott: I’ve somehow managed to not read a book by this author before, but this is a sapphic genderbent Alexander the Great retelling, and… wow do I have high hopes. Queer space operas usually end up being my favorite books of the year; at least, they have taken the first spot in the list the last three.
Master of Poisons by Andrea Hairston – I’ve never read anything by this author before either, but I’ve seen multiple people I trust a lot praise this on twitter recently, and I’m always looking for trying new-to-me voices in adult fantasy (which I don’t reach for often enough and that’s my fault). Also, “poison desert” sounds really creepy and I’m here for it.
Yellow Jessamine by Caitlin Starling – I know, I know, the only book I’ve tried by this author it’s one that ended up on hold, but consider: queer horror with poisonous plants. Hello??
Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?