For the month of July, we’ve been empowered by Bionic Book Worm through the cunning use of the alphabet to talk about all kinds of books! The only catch is that they must start with the specific letters for the week. Seems like an excellent excuse to really dive into my backlist to find some things to flail about! So here we go, the first five letters! As always, covers link to Goodreads
ARTIFICIAL CONDITION by Martha Wells
The second novella in THE MURDERBOT DIARIES quartet, and one that I’ve really come to appreciate having finished the full series. Not only does it feature the best companion in the form of ART, but it also forces Murderbot for the first time to confront the reality that it is no longer obligated to do ANYTHING. Every action it takes is its own choice, something that sends the security bot emotionally scrambling. This novella also sees Murderbot traveling to the station where it first “awakened,” as it tries to piece together the events that led it to dub itself Murderbot in the first place.
BEYOND THE EMPIRE by K. B. Wagers
The final book in THE INDRANAN WAR Trilogy, sees Hail Bristol looking to put to an end once and for all the coup that has left her scrambling at the edge of her empire. To survive threats at home and abroad, she’ll need to use her official political allies, as well as her old gunrunning contacts, to finally reclaim what is hers. This book gets to be celebrated because of the many times that Hail gets to finally kick her adversaries to the curb while grinning wickedly.
CITY OF BLADES by Robert Jackson Bennett
The second book in THE DIVINE CITIES trilogy gets the most love from me because it features my favorite POV character, General Turyin Mulaghesh. A secondary character in the first book, Turyin is the primary character here, in the awkward situation of being a woman of action being sent into a world of subtlety. She’s supposed to be spying to determine what is “off” in the city of Voortyashtan, but Turyin is not exactly made for espionage. I love Turyin’s more blunt ways of handling the conspiracy she finds at the edges of the empire.
THE DREAM THIEVES by Maggie Stiefvater
THE RAVEN BOYS ended with the startling revelation that Ronan can create items in his dreams and pull them into reality. With the magic in the first book being mostly ephemeral, this much more concrete ability was a bit of a bombshell – and we soon learn that Ronan isn’t the only one with this ability. Stiefvater’s beautiful prose always tugs at my heart strings, and this book continues the tradition.
EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire
I enjoy reading books that take common tropes and look at them from a new angle. Case in point, the WAYWARD CHILDREN series, which takes portal fantasies and asks – what happens to the children after they come home from adventures in magical lands? McGuire imagines a home for them, a place where those trying to adjust to “normal” life live together. When one child dies, the others band together to figure out what really happened. I haven’t read more in the series, partially because I’ve heard mixed things about the other books, but this one alone was definitely worth the read.