Book Haul – 22 to 28 May 2020

My blog baby is four weeks old today and while part of me is proud of myself for finally getting my act together, another part is wondering why I didn’t do this years ago.

This week I reviewed:

I purchased my 2021 Hugo Awards supporting membership this week. DisCon III membership prices increase on 1 June 2020 so if you’re interested, it’s definitely a good time to purchase your membership.

I had planned on reading more of the books that are finalists in this year’s Hugo Awards than I managed last year. Like everyone else I’m still waiting for this year’s Voter Packet so it’s probably going to be a scramble to binge as many books as I can when it arrives. If I remember correctly, the Voter Packet became available in April last year but nothing is like April last year.

I can’t even imagine the enormity of the task facing the people organising the online CoNZealand so I’m more focused on being grateful I’ll get a Voter Packet at all. In the meantime I get to try to get ahead of my non-Hugo TBR pile, which is huge!

Bookish Highlight of the Week: What Unbreakable Looks Like. I only finished reading this a couple of hours ago and I’m pretty wiped out from all of the ugly crying but I already know that Lex, the main character, is going to stay with me.

Until next time, happy reading!

Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.


The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.


Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?


Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.


And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay. 

The sequel to Vicious, V.E. Schwab’s first adult novel.

Sydney once had Serena – beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days – being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.


A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens – Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther – had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesised to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift – no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended. 

Stink’s spider phobia spurs his sister, Judy, and friend Webster to try some desensitisation techniques – until a real-life encounter takes them by surprise – in a hilarious episode offering a bonus origami activity.

Creepy! Crawly! Criminy! Everyone knows that Stink is bonkers about most scientific things. But there’s one exception: dangle a spider in front of him and he goes berserk! Stink is so freaked out by spiders that he can’t read about them. He can’t look at them. He can’t think about them. And he for sure can’t touch them! Stink has arachnophobia (a fear of spiders), and he has it bad. But when a hairy backyard emergency arises, Stink is forced to face his fear – and eight beady eyes – head-on. Will he manage to tame the heebie-jeebies, or will he remain stuck in his web of terror? Arachno-fans will love the comics sprinkled throughout with facts about spiders as well as a hands-on origami challenge.

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