At some point every summer, I hit a reading slump. This year, it was caused by an overseas trip too far (so tired, people. So tired) and an endless cascade of work deadlines (ongoing through the end of September); too much fun (Nine Worlds!) …and too much reading. I couldn’t keep up with my reviews, and that left me reluctant to pick up anything new until I caught up. I allowed myself a time out, so here’s to getting back on top of reviews and reading in the autumn.

It’s been a scorching hot summer so far, but thankfully the extra degrees haven’t interfered with my appetite for reading. In fact, July’s reading has been extensive, fuelled by daily London commutes, a long-haul flight back to the US mid-month and the 24 in 48 hour readathon! It’s been lovely to reach the end of assigned reading lists and read free-range – before I tackle my ARC backlog in August (probably)…

You’d think I’d have read quite enough fantasy by now after Wyrd and Wonder, but I was enjoying myself so much I’ve just kept going. However, reading to a list wore thin even though I left amazing books to read at end, so I needed a bit of light relief by mid-month. Thankfully a delightful avalanche of bookpost arrived just in time to help me out! Add in sunshine and some relief on the epic work-o-meter and June has been a good’un.

Book cover: Traitors Blade - Sebastien de Castell (a swordsman in a swooshy blood-red cloak)The Greatcoats once enforced the King’s Law. Now they are outcast wanderers, despised by the commoners they no longer defend and feared by the Dukes whose will they used to thwart. But the First Magister has not abandoned his dead King’s dream. If he can find the King’s best-kept secret, the Greatcoats may yet defeat the Dukes’ dream of absolute rule.

Book cover: The Collector of Lost Things - Jeremy Page - a ship under sail on the horizon, shades of blueHaunted Eliot Saxby is employed by men with more means than sense to search for traces of the recently-extinct Great Auk. He is not the only unusual passenger aboard the Amethyst. Edward Bletchley, bright and brittle, has brought his engraved guns and his mysterious cousin Clara. Will these troubled southern souls find any peace in the blood-soaked travels of an Arctic trader?

Book cover: Signs for Lost ChildrenRecently qualified and newly wed, Dr Ally Moberley-Cavendish has a lot to adjust to as a wife and as a doctor in a women’s asylum. Can she and Tom survive a separation of months so soon after their marriage; is she right to stay behind with her ghosts as he sets sail for Japan?