I’m carrying on the tradition! This month and next month, I’ll be sharing all the fiction books I read in the second half of this year (see June and July for the first half).
Well, let’s get to it!
Hostage Run and Game Over by Andrew Klavan
These are the second and third books in Klavan’s YA cyber-thriller Mindwar trilogy, and they were just as good as the first book! The premise is that Rick, a recent high-school grad who was too injured to accept his college football scholarship, gets recruited by a secret government agency to help them fight a war in cyberspace. An ev*l Russ*an genius is trying to take down the U.S., and Rick (along with his kickass maybe-girlfriend and various government operatives) must stop him! I breezed right through the trilogy and enjoyed every heart-stopping moment!
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
This is an Indian retelling of Hades and Persephone (a myth I really like). It’s gorgeously written with many lyrical lines that lingered in my mind. I did find, though, that the pacing was a bit slow at times. (The fact that I’d just read the cyber-thrillers above didn’t help, I’m sure . . . heh.) But I finished the book and don’t regret it! The pacing issue is the only one I had; everything else was great. I also really liked the demon horse, Kamala. She cracks me up!
Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal
This book. THIS BOOK. . . . I LOVED this book!! It’s sad and funny and SUPER relatable to anyone who (like me) has a chronic illness. Priya and Brigid have such a cute, sweet relationship, and Spencer is so funny! I thought this novel was going to be a lot like mine, but it’s got significant differences. For one thing, it’s full of text messages, Discord chats, and has a very Gen Z feel—whereas an Elder Millennial wrote my book. Plus, it’s a horror comedy with plenty of laughs and silly situations, and my book is heavier on the suspense and—okay, I’ll admit it!—angst. O’Neal uses lycanthropy as a metaphor for chronic illness like I do, though, so you could definitely lump our books together in a themed gift bundle or something. I mean, y’know, like for someone’s holiday present . . . ;)
The Gem of Tagath by Jason Dorough
This is a novella and a prequel to Akithar’s Greatest Trick (a book I absolutely adored). It’s a heist story starring a jaded teen girl thief, and it only has one of the characters from Akithar in it—and not my favorite character. But the story is well-written and entertaining. It’s a look at Dorough’s awesome world of Teshovar from a different angle, and it expands the world/lore a little more. I hear the next full book (Lizandra’s Deepest Fear) is coming out soon, and I can’t wait!! It seems like it might be helpful to read this novella to gain some background information before reading the new book. I didn’t need it to understand Akithar, though.
Lore Olympus vols. 1–5 by Rachel Smythe
I LOVED these graphic novels!! You’ve probably heard of them and/or seen the webtoon—well, I’ve seen it everywhere—and the library finally got the books in for me; the wait list was huge! More Hades and Persephone, yay! And kudos to Smythe for giving Persephone the “correct” birthday . . . which is mine too! Anyway, these books are cute and sweet but also kind of dark and gritty at the same time—by that, I mean there are many unhealthy relationships. (It is the Greek gods, after all!) There’s a content warning in the front about that. It’s a modern spin on Olympus; Hades is like a CEO and works in a high-rise office building, they have computers and all that stuff, and they often dress in modern clothes but sometimes appear in togas. It’s kind of a quirky-girl-and-broken-boy pairing and I’m TOTALLY HERE FOR THAT. <3
I’ll stop here—stay tuned in about a month for the rest of the list!
Sarah Awa lives in Ohio with two hairy guys and writes books about werewolves.