2021 May TBR

April was a crazy month for me (reading wise, at least), so of course I’m just going to ramp up my reading for May. Why wouldn’t I make things harder on myself?

All jokes aside, I do have a lot more books on my TBR for this month that usual. In this post alone there is a high number of books that I would like to get to, even if I doubt I can realistically get to all of them by the end of the month. There are certainly books that I’ll need to prioritize in order to get review out on time for Book Tours. I also have another post coming out – later today, in fact – that contains even more books that I plan on reading this month. Like I have for the last two years, I plan on participating in the Asian Readathon that takes place in the month of May. While my TBR for this Readathon isn’t nearly as lofty, I hope to read a nice, wide selection of books for the Readathon. Which means adding even more books to my plans for the month.

**For anyone who’s here for the first time, I’ve organized the books by Physical Books, eBooks, AudioBooks, Kindle Unlimited, and Library books. **

As always, I expect to deviate from the TBR a bit, but here are the books I look forward to choosing from this month:

Total books: 18

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Books to Read:

  1. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Trilogy, Book 2) 435 pages
  2. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Trilogy, Book 3) 422 pages
  3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows Duology, Book 1) 465 pages
  4. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows Duology, Book 2) 561 pages
  5. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children, Book 1) 173 pages
  6. Journey to New Salem by Mark Rosendorf (The Witches of Vegas, Book 2)(Goodreads) 294 pages
  7. Ellipsis by Kristy McGinnis (GoodReads) 282 pages
  8. TimeRipper by D.E. McCluskey (GoodReads) 328 pages
  9. Technopaladin by Elizabeth Corrigan (Website) 221 pages
  10. I Will Bury You by Brandy Nacole (GoodReads) 335 pages
  11. Echoes in the Bloodline by R.J. Lloyd (The Keepers of Knowledge, Book 1) 212 pages
  12. The Shadow Watch by S.A. Klopfenstein (The Shadow Watch, Book 1) 400 pages
  13. Raising Chaos by Elizabeth Corrigan (Earthbound Angels, Book 2) 270 pages
  14. The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, Book 1) 406 pages
  15. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green (The Carls, Book 1) 343 pages
  16. Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas (GoodReads) 320 pages
  17. A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard (Something Strange and Deadly, Book 2) 408 pages
  18. A story with the word House/Home in the title for the Buzzword Readathon/Reading Challenge. To Be Determined.

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Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo:

This is the second book in the series and the synopsis contains spoilers for Shadow and Bone.

Hunted across the True Sea, and haunted by the lives she took in the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She also needs to keep her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But you can only outrun your destiny for so long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold stronger than ever, with new and terrifying powers. His dangerous plans will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned determined to fight the forces governing Ravka. But as her powers grow, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic and further away from Mal. Alina is going to have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she thought would always guide her – or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

The second book in the trilogy that I plan on rereading. I look forward to picking this read up and seeing if my opinions on the story change at all.

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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo:

This is the third and final book in the series and the synopsis contains spoilers for Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. The nation’s fate lies with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remains of a once great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Aline must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her own plans lie else where.

Alina will need to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal search for the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. Yet as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the tie she has with the power she wields.

The third and final book in this trilogy. I look forward to rereading it and seeing if my opinions change at all.

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

I absolutely adored this story the first time I read it. I can’t wait to reread this story and see if my opinion will change at all. I remember my first read through this duology being heart wrenching and thrilling. I look forward to it pulling emotions out of me once again.

I might be a sucker for punishment, but to me this duology is well worth it. I can’t believe I haven’t reread it sooner.

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo:

This is the second book in the series and the synopsis contains spoilers for Six of Crows.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Once again, I can’t wait to let this story tear my heart in two. I’m a glutton for punishment and I can’t wait for this story to wreak havoc on my emotions.

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire:

No solicitations. No visitors. No quests.

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the darkness under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes… overall just emerging somewhere else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s seen have the ability to change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand this all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

Yet Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness hiding just around the corner, and when tragedy strikes it’s up to Nancy and her newfound schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

I’ll be honest, I’m late to the party with this one. I didn’t think I’d adore this series because I was certain it was overhyped and not worth the dedicated following this series has gathered over the years. My goodness was I wrong! After reading In an Absent Dream for the January Buzzword Reading Challenge (review here), I absolutely fell in love with the premise behind this series. While that was just the fourth book in the series (an a prequel to boot!), I know that these stories can pretty much stand on their own. Yet I still plan on going through and reading every book in the series. I’m sure I’ll love them all!

I started this read in March, but didn’t realize that me eBook library book was “expiring” and the book was going to the next person in line until it was too late. Now I’ve got to wait for the book to become available again in order to finish the read. I can tell you that I’m already enjoying this story. I’m also hoping that I’ll get the story back in May, since I didn’t end up getting it in April.

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Journey to New Salem by Mark Rosendorf:

The Witches of Vegas are back, and their lives will never be the same again.                           

 A year has passed since The Witches of Vegas saved the city from the evil Wiccan vampire, Valeria. Since then, the show has hit an all-time high. So has the romance between teen witch Isis Rivera and teenage magician, Zack Galloway.                                                                                                                                           

Things couldn’t be any better for them until Isis develops seizures that cause her power to spiral out of control. Fires and earthquakes are just the beginning of the chaos caused by the misfired witchcraft. Unable to find a cure, Isis’ family journeys to New Salem, a fabled village of witches which may or may not even exist. Meanwhile, Zack ends up face to face with the only being who may have a cure…Valeria. But does he dare pay her price?

The second book in the series came out in March, and I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I read the first book in April and greatly enjoyed my time in the world. I look forward to jumping back into the world and seeing what crazy shenanigan’s Isis and Zack get up to this time.

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Ellipsis by Kristy McGinnis:

Smart, determined and beautiful; college student and art model Nell seemed to be the girl who had it all. When unplanned pregnancy threatens to derail everything, she fears life is over. Instead, she discovers motherhood to be her new calling. For thirteen years she and her son Charlie are a unit and her world is complete. Everything changes when violence erupts at Charlie’s school. As she reaches out via text in desperation, only the words and the animated ellipsis on the phone screen offer a buffer between life and death. Can she save the person on the other end of the messages in time, and in the process can she save herself too?

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The simple beauty of this cover is what first drew me to this story. I’m a sucker for a pretty cover with a flower on it, and this cover is simply gorgeous. Reading the synopsis of this story proved that this simple cover hides a deep story. And I can’t wait to dive into it.

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TimeRipper by D.E. McCluskey:

It is the year 2288, and Earth is reeling from the most horrific terrorist attack it has ever endured. The Quest, a pseudo-religious splinter group, have taken a stance against the Earth Alliance’s authority of the planet. It is down to Youssef Haseem, now the highest-ranking official left in the EA, to build a team to face the threat of total inhalation if he doesn’t stand down and bow to The Quest’s demands. Then the leaders of The Quest disappear, and a legend emerges in the year 1888. But just who is the mysterious stranger stalking and viciously killing women on the streets of Whitechapel, London? A mission is launched! A battle of wits against time itself. A fight to be played out in the present and the past, with the fate of humanity at stake. Legends can happen anytime…

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This story promises to be interesting with its mix of Time Travel, Thriller, Historical Fiction, SciFi plot. I can’t wait to dive into this world and see what mysteries it has in store for me.

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Technopaladin by Elizabeth Corrigan:

Clarity’s paladin order forbids her from entering the Azure District, the one location in her high tech city that refuses paladin rule and technology. When she receives an illicit invitation to violate the prohibition, spurred on by rumors of suffering in the district, she passes through the crumbling brick entryway into no-man’s land. Within, she finds the residents lack not only the ocular implants and three dimensional computers she takes for granted, but also medicine to fight a disease infecting the children.

Clarity knows her order isn’t perfect—after all, they stole her from her parents when she was a small child to raise her with their values—but she cannot believe they know what’s going on in the Azure District. When she confronts the head of the order, he refuses to aid people who have rejected his help in the past, even the children. Unwilling to take no for an answer, Clarity enlists the help of the leader’s son Cass and takes matters into her own hands.

Desperate both to cure the children and keep her place in the order that is her only home, Clarity engages in increasingly questionable behavior—deleting official records, lying to her friends, and manipulating people who can help her. As the nefarious nature of her actions tarnishes the purity of her cause, she must determine what it truly means to be a paladin, in both name and action.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is the book that I was looking into when I stumbled across Corrigan’s Earthbound Angels series. I’m so glad that this story was brought to my attention because I absolutely adored The Oracle of Philadelphia and can’t wait to read more by this amazing author.

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I Will Bury You by Brandy Nacole:

My mind is not my own.

I look in the mirror, and don’t recognize the girl staring back with cruel eyes and a malicious grin.

She’s after me.
I know it.

Even with my grip on sanity slipping, I’m determined to stay awake and prove her existence. But the darkness is closing in.

Long shadows stretch across the ground.

With the body count rising around me, I’m left with only one choice. Who I once was no longer matters. Survival depends on embracing this nightmarish new existence and fighting my way to the dawn.

I received a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

There was something about the synopsis to this story that just dragged me in. It calls to me, makes me want to pick it up right away and uncover its secrets. I can’t wait to dive into this story and see what it is that this synopsis is whispering about.

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Echoes in the Bloodline by R.J. Lloyd:

Meet Rowan LaForge, Mimic and former NYC foster kid…

Rowan’s story is an All-American tragedy. One that if Shakespeare were alive and writing today, he’d write one like hers. Orphaned at a young age, growing up in the foster care system in the NYC area. Bounced around until she discovered she had the ability to shift to look like another human…

Oh wait. Did I say Shakespeare? I mean King. Or maybe Koontz. Meyer? Well, either way, that’s where her story took a turn. Facing having to come to terms with the fact that those were not just bedtime stories her parents had told her before they passed, she has to learn what she is and how to harness it. And just when she thinks she’s got a handle on her life? She gets a letter.

Dear Rowan LaForge,

This letter will change her entire life… and her world. As she’s thrust into the world of supernatural beings, she also learns a great deal about who and what she is, where she comes from and… well? Lee. She learns about Lee McKinnon. And that aspect of her life alone is worth it all.

After all, every secret needs a keeper.

I must admit, I’m thrilled that this series is on Kindle Unlimited. I absolutely adored my time in the world with Secrets of the Mermaid and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. 10 books, 10 authors, 10 keepers, 1 shared world.

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The Shadow Watch by S.A. Klopfenstein:

Ripped from her home and sold for a handful of coins, seventeen year old Tori Burodai grew up a slave in a foreign empire. All her life, surrounded by injustice and cruelty, she has ached for the chance to fight back.

When her only friend’s life is threatened, a buried power awakens, catapulting Tori into a harrowing new reality. For the first time in centuries, magic has returned to the world, and Tori may finally have the opportunity to change her fate.

Desperate for answers, Tori joins forces with a charismatic rebel bent on righting the scales. Soon, she is thrust into the heart of a magic revolution. But magic is not the only power that has returned from the depths of the world. And some secrets should never be uncovered.

War is coming. But does Tori have what it takes to defy an empire?

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This story calls to me. It’s a YA fantasy with a badass cover. I adore reading about people coming into powers they didn’t know they had – especially when it revolves around saving someone they love. With an impending war on the horizon, I can’t wait to see what Tori does to see the side of justice prevail.

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Raising Chaos by Elizabeth Corrigan:

When good fails, chaos rises to the challenge.

The daily life of a chaos demon is delightfully sinful—overindulging in Sri Lankan delicacies, trespassing on private beaches in Hawaii, and getting soused at the best angel bar on the planet. But when Bedlam learns that the archdemon Azrael has escaped from the Abyss in order to wreak vengeance against the person who sent her there—Bedlam’s best friend, Khet—he can’t sit idly by.

Only one relic possesses the power to kill Khet, who suffers immortality at Lucifer’s request: the mythical Spear of Destiny, which pierced Christ’s side at His crucifixion. Neither angel nor demon has seen the Spear in two thousand years, but Azrael claims to know its location. Bedlam has no choice but to interpret woefully outdated clues and race her to its ancient resting place.

His quest is made nearly impossible by the interference of a persnickety archivist, Keziel—his angelic ex—and a dedicated cult intent on keeping the Spear out of the wrong hands. But to Bedlam, “wrong” is just an arbitrary word, and there’s no way he’s letting Khet die without a fight.

Having absolutely adored The Oracle of Philadelphia, I can’t wait to see where Corrigan takes this story to next. Carrie/Khet might not have had an easy life, but she certainly made a loyal friend in Bedlam. I doubt there’s anything that Bedlam wouldn’t do in order to protect Khet, and I look forward to seeing the extents that he goes to in this story.

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The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss:

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.

I have seen a lot of BookTubers talk about this book recently, and it’s peeked my curiosity. I can’t wait to see what this story entails, what twists and turns it holds on the Classic tale of Jekyll and Hyde – a story I might very well have to reread in tandem with this tale.

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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green:

The Carls just appeared.

Roaming through New York City at three AM, twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship—like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor—April and her best friend, Andy, make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day, April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world—from Beijing to Buenos Aires—and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us. 

I’ll be honest, I know absolutely nothing about this book and I picked it up anyways. John Green’s books aren’t my thing – though I can certainly understand why so many people love them. It was probably closeminded of me to assume that I also wouldn’t like his brother Hank’s books so I never gave them a try.

However, over the last year I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Hank Green through his TikTok. While I’ve known about him forever – I did grow up in the Vlog Brothers era, after all – I didn’t really follow him or any of his works. Now that I’ve gotten to know the side of himself that he puts out on TikTok – and I have an incredible soft spot for the man who’s unabashedly in love with science – I couldn’t help but pick up one of his books when it became available at the library. I hope that I enjoy this story as much as I enjoy the man himself.

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Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas:

Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years—summers included—completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises its graduates a future of sublime power and prestige, and that they can become anything or anyone they desire.

Among this year’s incoming class is Ines, who expects to trade blurry nights of parties, pills, cruel friends, and dangerous men for rigorous intellectual discipline—only to discover an environment of sanctioned revelry. The school’s enigmatic director, Viktória, encourages the students to explore, to expand their minds, to find themselves and their place within the formidable black iron gates of Catherine.

For Ines, Catherine is the closest thing to a home she’s ever had, and her serious, timid roommate, Baby, soon becomes an unlikely friend. Yet the House’s strange protocols make this refuge, with its worn velvet and weathered leather, feel increasingly like a gilded prison. And when Baby’s obsessive desire for acceptance ends in tragedy, Ines begins to suspect that the school—in all its shabby splendor, hallowed history, advanced theories, and controlled decadence—might be hiding a dangerous agenda that is connected to a secretive, tightly knit group of students selected to study its most promising and mysterious curriculum. 

I’ll admit, I’ve heard very mixed things about this book. People seem to either love it or hate it. And that intrigues me. I’ve heard that it’s an incredibly weird story, and that makes me think that I’m going to absolutely love it. I might have pasted the synopsis to this book above, but that doesn’t mean I’ve read it myself. I plan on going into this story as a blank slate and letting it surprise me with every little thing it throws my way.

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A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard:

Perfect for fans of Libba Bray’s The Diviners and Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices series, this spellbinding sequel to Something Strange and Deadly delivers a mix of supernatural forces and intense romance, set against the enchanting backdrop of nineteenth-century Paris.

With her brother dead and her mother insane, Eleanor Fitt is alone. Even the Spirit-Hunters—Joseph, Jie, and the handsome Daniel—have fled to Paris. So when Eleanor hears the vicious barking of hounds and sees haunting yellow eyes, she fears that the Dead, and the necromancer Marcus, are after her.

To escape, Eleanor boards a steamer bound for France. There she meets Oliver, a young man who claims to have known her brother. But Oliver harbors a dangerous secret involving necromancy and black magic that entices Eleanor beyond words. If she can resist him, she’ll be fine. But when she arrives in Paris, she finds that the Dead have taken over, and there’s a whole new evil lurking. And she is forced to make a deadly decision that will go against everything the Spirit-Hunters stand for.

In Paris, there’s a price for this darkness strange and lovely, and it may have Eleanor paying with her life.

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to pick this story up. I absolutely adored Something Strange and Deadly and planned on picking this story up right away. A pesky reading slump got in my way of that, and then I just didn’t read AudioBooks for a while. For no particular reason, I just wasn’t doing a whole lot of anything that gave me time to listen. Now that I’m commuting roughly a half hour per way to work on the days that I’m in the office, I finally have some time that I can dedicate to listening to AudioBooks. And this just might be the very next AudioBook that I pick up.

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I said that my goals for this month were crazy, didn’t I? Well, I certainly didn’t lie! I doubt that I’ll get to every book on this list, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t try!

A lot of the books on my list this month are sequels to books that I’ve read – both recently and not so recently. I’ve been doing rubbish at continuing on with series lately, so I’m hoping that May will fix that, at least a little bit. Plus it’s always nice to reread a series – or two – that you know you’ve enjoyed in the past.

Of course, I’ve thrown in a nice, healthy mix of new reads, as well. I can’t help but wanting to read every book that I can get my hands on! I’m hoping that my reading continues to be fantastic and I continue to pick up reads that I absolutely adore. Who knows, maybe this giant pile of reads will produce another favourite read.

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