Book Haul: February 2020

Off The TBR_ Book Haul Post

It’s time for another Book Haul post. One of my blogging goals for 2020 is to be to be more intentional about Book Haul posts. I’m aware that it’s possible nobody cares about the books I’ve bought or received, but I kinda like when bloggers post these because it not only puts new books in front of my eyeballs that I might not be aware of, but they also give me an idea of the blogger’s tastes. For my purposes a Book Haul post can include any book I’ve come to possess, not just those I buy, so arcs requested or just sent from publishers will be listed as well.

I started this post the other night at home but have been so busy I didn’t finish it. I’m working on it while sitting in the Lexington and Atlanta airports as I wait on flights to New Orleans where I’m going on a fishing trip with my father-in-law and some of his friends. Hopefully I’ll get this done before I get on that last flight. I’ll may also post about the trip here or on Twitter while I’m away.

So in February I didn’t haul as many books as I did in January but I was damn close. This time around I only managed to bring home seven books. You might say that’s not too bad, but when you also note that I only read five books last month you’ll see I have the same problem/not problem as man of you do. Namely that my TBR keeps growing.

Anyway, here’s the list from February…



Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol. 1: The Crucible, by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Archie Comics

“On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the young sorceress Sabrina Spellman finds herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey. But a foe from her family’s past has arrived in Greendale, Madame Satan, and she has her own deadly agenda. Archie Comics’ latest horror sensation starts here! For TEEN+ readers. Compiles the first five issues of the ongoing comic book series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” – Goodreads blurb

For some reason I started watching Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix last month. I used to watch Sabrina The Teenage Witch back in the day (many days ago) and thought hey let’s see what this one is like. Whoa…Chilling Adventures is…much darker. And less cheesy. I kinda like it. I was aware that this new version was based on a comic so I thought I’d try the comic out.

Now, I know almost nothing about reviewing comics or graphic novels so know this will be a learning experience for me. I really love the art in this comic. It’s a little old school but modern at the same time. I’m not sure how to describe it (again, not used to reviewing comics). The book is also pretty dark. I enjoyed the story line which the show seemed to follow pretty well in the first season. However I will say I think I enjoyed the show more. The Netflix version did a little more with the characters than the comic in terms of diversity and inclusion. I’ll write up an actual review before long, but for now just know I love the art, like the story, and thought it was definitely a fresh take on the old. And that cover…LOVE IT.


The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January/February 2020
(F&SF, #747)
C.C. Finlay, Editor

CHISEL AND CHIME -102 -Alex Irvine

SAVE, SALVE, SHELTER -5- Essa Hansen
AIR OF THE OVERWORLD -28- Matthew Hughes
BANSHEE -59- Michael Cassutt
FALLING ANGEL -151- Albert E. Cowdrey

ELSINORE REVOLUTION -148- Elaine Vilar Madruga
INTERLUDE IN ARCADIA -192- Corey Flintoff
THREE GOWNS FOR CLARA -211- Auston Habershaw
THE NAMELESS -229- Melissa Marr
THE LEADER PRINCIPLE -243- Rahul Kanakia

BOOKS TO LOOK FOR -85- Charles de Lint
FILMS: AD ASTRA PER CORDE -200- Karin Lowachee
CURIOSITIES -258- Rich Horton

Cartoons: Bill Long (27), Nick Downes (101), Arthur Masear (147, 204), Kendra Allenby (210).


I purchased this zine for one reason alone. It contains the novelette Save, Salve, Shelter by Essa Hansen. Essa has a new sci-fi book coming out this year from Orbit titled Nophek Gloss. I saw the announcement about the book and immediately put it on my want list. Then I discovered she’d written this novelette and thought I’d check it out. It’s a dystopian story about the environment, transformation, and working out what “just one person” can do in the world. I really enjoyed it. Now I’m kinda skimming through the rest of the zine and reading a little at a time while I fly to New Orleans. I’ll let you know if any other stories stand out.


The Unspoken Name, by A.K. Larkwood
The Serpent Gates #1

“What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.” – Goodreads blurb

The Unspoken Name came out last month and I immediately started seeing some great reviews and decided I had to have a copy. It’s one of those cases where reviews really do sell books. Since that time I’ve come across some more reserved reviews but I’m still excited about this book. I understand the lead character is an orc and that’s a cool twist I think/hope I’ll like.


A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine
Teixcalaan #1

“Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident—or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion—all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret—one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life—or rescue it from annihilation.” – Goodreads blurb

The short list of nominees for the Nebula Awards came out and I realized there were a few books I hadn’t read yet. A Memory Called Empire was one of them. I happened to be near the bookstore and popped in to see what was in stock. I was already really curious about Memory and a few reviewers I trust had good things to say so I decided to grab it and give it a shot. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to reading it, but hopefully sometime before the awards ceremony. I’d like to read all the nominees but I don’t know if that will happen.


The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, Davee Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes
Saga Press

“Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.

Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.

Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.” – Goodreads blurb

The Deep is another of the books on the Nebula short list. This is one I’d been wanting to pick up ever since it came out. The story sounds really good, and I’ve seen nothing but good reviews for it. I’ve got it on the trip with me and hope to read it before I return to Lexington. I’m sure I’ll be making comments on Twitter.

Author Requests


Shadowless, by Randall McNally

“What if the gods themselves wanted you dead?

A young boy lies on a beach on a warm summer’s day. While trying to block the sun from his eyes Arpherius makes a shocking discovery; he has no shadow. Confused and bewildered he asks his uncle why he is shadowless. What he learns is a terrifying secret that will change his life forever.

Set in the Northern Realms, Shadowless is a fantasy novel about individuals born without a shadow. Spawned by the malevolent deities of this world these children of the gods are persecuted at every turn. Hunted by the high priests who carry out the wishes of their gods, hunted by the Shadow Watchers; armed soldiers who are assigned to each temple, and hunted by the gods themselves.

Part-mortal and part-god, the Shadowless live for centuries and face a battle for survival, constantly on the run or hiding in far-flung corners of the Northern Realms.

Soon their lives and fates become intertwined, expedited by the mysterious monk Amrodan. Driven by a series of visions Amrodan travels through the Northern Realms, seeking out the Shadowless and trying to enlist their help to take a stand and fight back against the gods.” – Goodreads blurb

Shadowless is another self-published fantasy book that I’m really excited to read. The author contacted me a while back asking if I’d be interested in reviewing it and the format sounded really cool with each chapter telling a different story from the POV of a different character. It’s received some good reviews from some of my blogger friends so I imagine I’ll like it. The only problem is I don’t know how soon I’ll get to it. It could be a couple months with everything else on my TBR at the moment.



Deal With The Devil, by Kit Rocha
Mercenary Librarians #1

Orphan Blackmeets the post-apocalyptic Avengers in the vein of Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author duo Kit Rocha

The United States went belly up 45 years ago when our power grid was wiped out. Too few live in well-protected isolation while the rest of us scrape by on the margins. The only thing that matters is survival. By any means. At any cost.

Nina is an information broker with a mission: to bring hope to the darkest corners of Atlanta. She and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to help those in need. But altruism doesn’t pay the bills—raiding vaults and collecting sensitive data is where the real money is.

Knox is a bitter, battle-weary supersoldier who leads the Silver Devils, an elite strike squad that chose to go AWOL rather than slaughter innocents. Before the Devils leave town for good, they need a biochem hacker to stabilize the experimental implants that grant their superhuman abilities.

The problem? Their hacker’s been kidnapped. And the ransom for her return is Nina. Knox has the perfect bait for a perfect trap: a lost Library of Congress server. The data could set Nina and her team up for years…

If they live that long.

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.” – Goodreads blurb

So…I’d been eyeing Deal With The Devil ever since I first saw an announcement about it. I mean c’mon, it’s about MERCENARY LIBRARIANS! What’s not to like about that? I don’t have a relationship with Tor at all so I figured I’d have to buy it when it came out, but then I saw it on NetGalley and after some inner debate about whether I wanted a NetGalley request hanging over my head I put in a request…and they said YES!

So I now have this one sitting on my Kindle. I probably won’t read it too soon as the publisher asked not to post a review until just before it comes out. We’ll see. I just hope it lives up to they hype I’ve generated for it in my head.

Well, that’s it for my February hauls. Has anyone else hauled any of these? Read them? Love them? Hate them? What recent hauls have you brought home that you’re super excited about? Let me know in the comments.

– Jason

10 thoughts on “Book Haul: February 2020

  1. Fab haul! I started the chilling adventures of Sabrina too and expected it to be a close remake of the original! Boy was I wrong! It is definitely much darker but I ended up binging the entire thing, I absolutely love it!

    Liked by 1 person

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