The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Title: The Year of the Witching

Series: Bethel #1

Author: Alexis Henderson

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 2020

Blood. Blight. Darkness. Slaughter.

Immanuelle Moore only wants to be a normal young woman in Bethel’s society and follow Protocol and the Prophet’s word just like anyone else, but she has always been frowned upon for being the result of a union between her mother and an outsider.
When a mishap lures her into the dark forest that surrounds Bethel, she encounters the spirits of four witches that were slain on those grounds by the first Prophet, and they bestow a gift on her: her own mother’s diary.
Immanuelle sets to reading her mother’s words, but what begins as the diary of a young woman in love soon turns to something darker and worrisome. Immanuelle doesn’t understand everything, but one thing is clear: if she wants to save Bethel, she needs to get to the bottom of what happened before she was born.

Continue reading The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The Seep by Chana Porter

Title: The Seep

Author: Chana Porter

Genre: Science Fiction

Year: 2020

It’s been twenty years since the alien entity called the Seep infiltrated human society. In the Seep everyone and everything is connected: no more capitalism, wars, diseases, even death. The Seep allows everyone to be who and what they want to be: it just wants humanity to be happy and content.

Trina was happy as well, until the day her wife Deeba started dreaming of being a baby again, and finally decided to move on to this new existence without her. Heartbroken, Trina embarks in an unexpected quest, a desperate attempt to overcome her grief and find a new purpose in life.

Continue reading The Seep by Chana Porter

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Title: The Devil and the Dark Water

Author: Stuart Turton

Genre: Mystery

Year: 2020

‘Know that my master sails aboard the Saardam. He is the lord of hidden things; all desperate and dark things. He offers this warning in accordance with the old laws. The Saardam‘s cargo is sin and all who board her will be brought to merciless ruin. She will not reach Amsterdam.’

Samuel Pipps, the most famous detective of his age, is being taken to Amsterdam to be executed for a mysterious crime he might, or might not, have committed. With him is his friend and bodyguard Arent Hayes, determined to prove his innocence.

But before the ship sets sail, a leper places a curse on the ship and its voyage and then bursts into flames, and soon after the departure mysterious things start to take place on the ship. Rumours of a devil stalking in the darkness start circulating among the crew, and with Pipps locked up in a cell, it falls to Arent to find out what’s really going on and solve a mystery that seems to tie all of the passengers in one way or another.

Continue reading The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

When the Tiger Came down the Mountain by Nghi Vo

Title: When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain

Series: The Singing Hills Cycle #2

Author: Nghi Vo

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 2020

Chih, a cleric from the Singing Hills, is on the road again, collecting knowledge to bring back to their order. This time they’re hiring a scout to guide them through a mountain pass, but along the way they are chased and trapped by a small group of hungry tigers. The only way to survive is to gain time until the arrival of mammoths, and so Chih starts telling them the tale of the tiger Ho Thi Thao and her lover, the scolar Dieu.

Continue reading When the Tiger Came down the Mountain by Nghi Vo

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Title: The Midnight Library

Author: Matt Haig

Genre: Fiction

Year: 2020

Nora is 35 years old. She has no stable relationship, no stable job, and she feels like she has wasted all the opportunities life has offered her in the past. She will never know what could have happened if she had made different choices, and after a really bad day, she decides she has had enough.

That’s how she finds herself in the Midnight Library, a huge building where time doesn’t flow and all the books on the shelves are other lives that she could have lived, if only she had acted differently. She can try on each and any of them, if she wants, and if she finds one that satisfies her on every account, she can just keep living it instead of her original life. But is any of them really going to be the perfect one?

Continue reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky

Title: The Seventh Perfection

Author: Daniel Polansky

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 2020

The past is the past. Go digging in a graveyard, you’re sure to find a corpse.

Manet is an Amanuensis, a servant of the God-King who studied to master the seven perfections, developing her body and mind to the peak of human performance. She has perfect memory, a gift that will surely drive her mad as she ages. But when a mysterious locket is sent to her, she will scour the city to find out the truth about it.

What she finds during her search are secrets that put into question the stories around the ascent of the God-King, but also her own past. How much is she ready to sacrifice to get to the bottom of it, and will it be worth it?

Continue reading The Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky

The Children of Red Peak by Craig DiLouie

Title: The Children of Red Peak

Author: Craig DiLouie

Genre: Horror

Year: 2020

After years of outrunning the past, David Young now drove straight toward it.

Fifteen years ago, the members of the Family of the Living Spirit committed mass suicide after months of torture and near starvation. Only five kids survived that fatal night, but the trauma they experienced still haunts them to this day.

Now Emily is dead as well. She committed suicide, after sending each of her friends a note to tell them that she couldn’t fight it anymore. David, Deacon and Beth get together for the funeral. They all coped differently with their trauma, finding solace and safety in family, music, or career. As they share their stories and memories of that time, they come to understand that there’s only a way to really leave the past behind them: go back to Red Peak, where their world ended fifteen years ago, and finally find out the truth of what happened.

Continue reading The Children of Red Peak by Craig DiLouie

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

Title: The Bone Shard Daughter

Series: The Drowning Empire #1

Author: Andrea Stewart

Genre: Fantasy

Year: 2020

Father told me I’m broken.

Lin knows that she is the emperor’s daughter and heir. Five years ago, a sickness took all memories of her previous life, and her father refuses to teach her his bone shard magic until she regains it. But she’s tired of waiting and afraid that Bayan, her foster brother, will take her place as the heir. She is determined to prove her worth to her father, even if that means stealing his keys to open the doors of the palace and study his magic in secret.

Meanwhile, a rebellion is stirring on the floating islands of the Empire. Jovis is a smuggler looking for his lost wife. He doesn’t want anything to do with the rebels, but an act of kindness will drag him into the heart of the Shardless Few anyway, until he is confronted with the ultimate choice: keep looking for his wife, who might as well be dead, or stay and help to overthrow the emperor.

Continue reading The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

The New Wilderness by Diane Cook

Title: The New Wilderness

Author: Diane Cook

Genre: Science Fiction

Year: 2020

What she wouldn’t have given for her mother.

Agnes is slowly wasting away in the smog and pollution of the City. Her lungs are giving up, and in order to save her, her mother Bea accepts a chance to enter the Wilderness State, the last swath of protected land away from the City. A group of twenty people will live there as hunter gatherers, in a last attempt to prove that men can live with nature without destroying it.
But while Agnes gets better and becomes a wild child, Bea longs for the comforts of the City and their previous life. Living in the Wilderness State is hard, the Rangers seem to have fun pushing them around and making sure they don’t stay too long in any given place, and still expect them to fill out their paperwork diligently and without complaint.
When the Administration changes, though, a feeling of uncertainty enters the group. Will they be allowed to stay, or forced to leave?

Continue reading The New Wilderness by Diane Cook

Bestiary by K-Ming Chang

Title: Bestiary

Author: K-Ming Chang

Genre: Magical Realism

Year: 2020

Bestiary is the story of three generations of Taiwanese American women, narrated in alternating chapters by Daughter, Mother and Grandmother, and woven with myths and stories from Taiwanese folklore.
One day, Mother tells Daughter the story of Hu Gu Po, a tiger spirit who longed to have a woman’s body and eat children. Soon after, Daughter wakes up with a tiger tail; holes dug in their backyard start to spit out letters from her grandmother; and she slowly falls for another girl, Ben, as they translate the letters together and find out about Daughter’s ancestors and their stories.

I wish I could give a better summary of this story, but it’s honestly so weird that I just don’t know how to do it.

Continue reading Bestiary by K-Ming Chang