Recent Reads #57

As ever, today I will be briefly reviewing all the books I’ve read since my last post in approximately fifty words. 

Some of these books either aren’t released yet or I want to write a full review of in the future, so I’ll just have a quick thought with the full review to come!


The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid

⭐️🏳️‍🌈 (side characters) 💙

TW: magic requiring self harm, blood, body horror, eye horror, gore, dismemberment, torture, antisemitism, ethnic cleansing, child abuse, animal death

This was such a gorgeously written, rich and dark adult fantasy, expertly weaving elements of Jewish mythology and Hungarian history.  Évike was an excellent protagonist, flawed and fractured by her position in society and her struggle with her identity. The world around her was so well crafted and I really enjoyed how Reid delved into complex court politics and meditations on power and religion.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In The Ravenous Dark by A. M. Strickland


TW: alcohol abuse/addiction, blood, decaying skin, death, death of a parent, forced marriage, rape threats, suicide, fratricide, violence, blood, gore, mild body horror, forced marriage and pregnancy

This was a dark, bloodthirsty and thoroughly enjoyable standalone fantasy. I really liked the magic system used and how we slowly learnt more about it, including the more mysterious aspects of its history. The plot had a strong mystery vibe throughout that had me hooked, wanting to know what happened next and find the truth. Strickland’s writing was descriptive and immersive, with flowery touches that were gorgeous but never felt over the top. A brutal, bloody and riveting story.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He


TW: familial death, disappearance, internalised ableism, blood and graphic injury, self harm, suicide ideation, suicide attempts, terminal illness, choking, death, vomiting, large scale natural disasters and mass casualties, some gore

This is one of the best mysteries I’ve read for quite some time. The characters are so well written and fleshed out, with plenty of development and surprises up their sleeves. I cannot do justice to He’s writing, which is so evocative and tantalising, constantly keeping you hooked into her amazing world and gripping tale. This is a book with incredible twists and leaves a scar on your mind and your heart forever more.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

TW: murder, death, kidnapping, blood, racism, physical abuse, hints at sexual abuse, misogyny, violence, gun violence

I was totally sold by the premise of Jane Austen meets Stalking Jack the Ripper. I mean, a classic romance tale mixed with a dash of murder. Pride and Premeditation exceeded all my expectations, right from that clever play on the iconic opening line. It sets this feminist tone and slight twist on the well-loved tale that Price maintains throughout. The mystery itself is intriguing, with plenty of good twists and turns. This is perfect for all Austen lovers who are looking for a fresh tale that harnesses the essence of the original, but twists it into a gripping mystery and a love letter to Austen herself.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Illusionary by Zoraida Córdova

⭐️🏳️‍🌈 (side character)

I absolutely loved Incendiary when I read it last year and was extremely excited to see how Córdova was going to continue and elevate the story. In every way, she succeeded. This is another fiercely original and intoxicating story, complete with some intriguing twists and turns. I really liked how the world-building and characters were expanded upon and developed. Yet again, Córdova’s writing was probably the highlight for me. It just has this intangible quality to it that never fails to completely compel and immerse me into her exquisitely crafted story and world. Every word feels delicately chosen and placed to engage your every sense and draw you deeper into this magical story.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston


TW: recounted homophobic violence, racism, antisemitism, off page death, biphobia, alcoholism, family death, grief, drug use

One Last Stop just feels like the book equivalent of a warm hug on a cold winter’s night. It has this immensely cosy and reassuring energy to it, where you can completely lose yourself in this charming, romantic and unexpected story. It made my heart glow and sing. The real strength of this book is in its excellent cast of characters. I loved the queer found family that grows together and evolves into this loving mess of people. Central to the story is the gorgeous sapphic relationship. I loved their chemistry and how naturally their relationship evolved. It felt like dynamite every time they interacted and you couldn’t help but root for them to overcome everything that occurs. My heart ached for them, as I’d come to feel like I’d know them all my life. A delightful and surprising romance.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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