Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. Today we’re taking it easy and picking some favourite book titles that include adjectives.
For every genre title that fits that oh so popular format of The X or Y (and Z) – or non-genre novel about The Job Title’s Female Relative – there’s at least one book title with an adjective, right? Pretty much, although I was surprised to find fewer adjectives on my shelves than I assumed going in to this week’s topic. Still, I had plenty of choice, so I have arbitrarily narrowed the field by excluding adjectival nouns and focusing on my TBR rather than on books I’ve already read.
Sure, there’s still more than ten SFF books in my TBR with adjectives in the title, but it’s no longer such an intimidating list to choose from. Without further ado, here are ten picks from the pile.
First up, space opera series that are on my conscience! How have I still not read Gareth L Powell’s Light of Impossible Stars given I raced through Embers of War and Fleet of Knives? I’m not sure, but here I am, shuffling my feet and guilty as charged. I didn’t love Ancillary Justice, but I’ve been meaning to read the sequel nonetheless – so let’s add that to my sheet of shame.
The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt snuck onto my shelves by virtue of being a grab bag of favourite tropes: a salvage crew, a survivor on an ancient wreck and old news that turns out to be new news and could change everything even if it’s now in the context of second or third contact rather than first contact. Honestly, all it needs is a linguist and it would be a bingo.
Linden A Lewis’s debut The First Sister is an unlikely pick for my shelf. A story featuring a nameless woman who has had her voice removed and been forced into sexual slavery? Watch me nope out at the speed of light. However, rave reviews from friends with a promise of great world-building, unforgettable characters who transcend their tropes and a dash of queer romance have changed my mind. They better be right.
Most recent addition is Sisters of the Forsaken Stars, the second in Lina Rather’s novellas of the Order of St Rita – more spacefaring religious women, but with more speaking and less sex. I’m here for the revolution and the compassion as the colonies tell Earth where to stick its archaic notions of toxic control.
But what have I got over in the fantasy corner?
A lot, okay? A lot, a lot. But let’s talk about a few.
I’ve been sat on Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth for years. Set in 17th century France, this Rapunzel retelling features two historical characters – a storyteller banished from the French King’s court and an artist’s muse – with the tale of a long-haired girl trapped in a tower. I’m curious to see how it all comes together, but a review that mentioned40 counts of rape in 500 pages rather dimmed my enthusiasm for it. If you’ve read it, chime in and let me know what you thought?
I’m way more interesting in getting to Little Eve by Catriona Ward. A Scottish island is home to a nature cult, until one girl learns the truth of the world beyond its shores. Did she return full of rage and vengeance to massacre her fellow Children? Gothic horror and psychological thriller with plenty of atmosphere and no doubt many twists. Perhaps this will make my Spooktastic Reads TBR this year…
Fallible Justice is the first in Laura Laakso’s intriguing paranormal crime series set in a London where the Fae and humanity live side by side. I’m looking forward to diving into this richly-imagined world. I feel much the same about Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, an epic fantasy in a richly-imagined world inspired by the Pueblo cultures, which I’ve already neglected for far too long (but will neglect a bit longer, natch)
Last up for today but next up on my Bite-size Reading rotation is New Suns, an anthology of speculative fiction by authors of colours, edited by Nisi Shawl. This promises stories by authors I know and love as well as authors I’ve been meaning to try and covers the gamut of SFFH – watch out for my first weekly round-up soon!
What will you be reading?