Book Haul: March 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.

Wow. A lot has happened in a month. I started March with a fishing trip to the Mississippi Delta with my father-in-law, not knowing it could be my last trip anywhere for many, many months.

I’ve ended the month working from home along with my wife and three kids who are out of school through May 1, and who may not go back at all the rest of this school year. My planned spring break trip to Orlando with the kids was postponed until who knows when. There are shortages of toilet paper, paper towels, and hand sanitzer at the grocery store after an initial run on not just those items, but also meat, bread, rice, pasta, milk and butter, and so many other things.

We have all adopted the term “social distancing” into our vocabulary and spend our days awaiting word from our local, state, and federal government on the number of people infected with Covid-19 as well as the number who have died. Here in Kentucky residents are starting to light up our houses with green lights to remember those who have died from the virus each day.

We live in a strange new world. One where the plague has returned and we are struggling like our ancestors centuries ago to come to terms with it. Who knows what life be like on the other side of this thing?

Which makes this post seem a little weird for me. I post it, along with the reviews I continue to write in an effort to keep some sense of that old normalcy we all want to cling to in our lives. Because let’s be honest, a lot has changed in the book world as well. Stores have closed down, staff have been laid off, cons have been postponed or cancelled, publishers are starting to push back release dates, and even that powerhouse Amazon is shifting priorities on what it will ship and when. Who knows what is in store for the book world at large in the coming months and year?

So I post this not to be frivolous in a time when many are unemployed and saving every penny, but in an effort to continue to support the books, and authors, and publishers I love. This industry will need our support now more than ever. In future posts I’ll try to include something about my local bookstore and any purchases I make through them.

But for now…here are my hauls for the month of March.

PURCHASES

HolySister

Holy Sister, by Mark Lawrence
Third Book of The Ancestor
Harper Voyager

“The third instalment in a brilliant fantasy series from the international bestselling author of Prince of Thorns

Nona Grey’s story reaches its shattering conclusion in the third instalment of Book of the Ancestor.

They came against her as a child. Now they face the woman.

The ice is advancing, the Corridor narrowing, and the empire is under siege from the Scithrowl in the east and the Durns in the west. Everywhere, the emperor’s armies are in retreat.

Nona faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that Nona and her friends will have time to earn a nun’s habit before war is on their doorstep.

Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war. The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it’s a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her. A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.

Holy Sister completes the Book of the Ancestor trilogy that began with Red Sister and Grey Sister. A ground-breaking series, it has established Mark Lawrence as one of the most exciting new voices in modern speculative fiction.” – Goodreads blurb

I finally bought Holy Sister after finally completing my list for The Great Series Read Project. I’ve had no good reason for not finishing this series apart from a little laziness and getting caught up with other new shiny books. I LOVED Red Sister and it’s follow-up Grey Sister almost as much. I’m hoping this one ends the series in a fabulous way and can’t wait to see what lies in store for Nona Grey. And it will then mean I can pick up Lawrence’s next book set in this world.

 

Wanderers

Wanderers, by Chuck Wendig
Del Rey

“A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope.

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.” – Goodreads blurb

Not gonna lie, I ordered Wanderers because everyone has compared it in some way to Stephen King’s The Stand and I wanted a plague book to read during the current apocalypse. I’m currently reading this one and I’m only about a hundred pages in but it’s down right freaky to see Wendig actually mention coronavirus in the book. It’s on page 63. It stood out to me and jarred me that much that I memorized the page. He’s talking about SARS coronavirus but still. That hit close to home. I’ll let ya’ll know soon what I think. It’s been 25+ years since I read The Stand so I don’t know if I can make a good comparison, but you know…I may read that one over again soon.

 

Seraphina's Lament

Seraphina’s Lament, by Sarah Chorn
The Bloodlands #1
Self-Published

“The world is dying.

The Sunset Lands are broken, torn apart by a war of ideology paid for with the lives of the peasants. Drought holds the east as famine ravages the farmlands. In the west, borders slam shut in the face of waves of refugees, dooming all of those trying to flee to slow starvation, or a future in forced labor camps. There is no salvation.

In the city of Lord’s Reach, Seraphina, a slave with unique talents, sets in motion a series of events that will change everything. In a fight for the soul of the nation, everyone is a player. But something ominous is calling people to Lord’s Reach and the very nature of magic itself is changing. Paths will converge, the battle for the Sunset Lands has shifted, and now humanity itself is at stake.

First, you must break before you can become.” – Goodreads blurb

I’ve been eyeing this book and meaning to buy it ever since it came out. In part because I’ve heard great things. In part because OMG look at the gorgeously haunting cover. And in part because Chorn based it partially on historical events in Ukraine and the history major in me is dying to read it. Chorn has another book coming out soon, Of Honey and Wildfires, which I’ve heard great early reviews for and before I read that one, I need to read this one. And you know by now that I’m a huge fan and supporter of indie/self-published fantasy. So add it all together and this one is now sitting on my reading table waiting patiently for me to get to it.

 

Legacy of Ghosts

Legacy of Ghosts, by Alicia Wanstall-Burke
The Coraidic Sagas #2
Self-Published

“Four years have passed since Lidan’s world was ripped apart, and time is running out to change her father’s mind about the succession before the bargain with her mother expires. Torn between what she wants and what she knows is right, she is faced with an impossible choice; will her brother live, or will he die?

Within the walls of the Hidden Keep, Ranoth holds his secrets close as he tries to harness his wild magic. But when life in the Keep descends into chaos, he is cast once more into the outside world, forced upon a southward path toward unknown lands and untold danger.

With Ran set on seeking justice and revenge, and Lidan fighting to find her feet and follow her heart, journeys will converge, and the ghosts of a past thought long dead will rise.” – Goodreads blurb

And here we are with another indie/self-published book. Surprise! I bought this one after finishing Blood of Heirs which I ABSOLUTELY LOVED AND AND GAVE 5 STARS AND YOU SHOULD ALL READ IT NOW. Yeah, if you missed my review of Blood of Heirs check it out and you’ll see why I’m excited about picking up book 2 in the series. I was seriously impressed with Wanstall-Burke’s first offering and pretty much insta bought this one when I finished book 1.

ARCS

We Ride The Storm

We Ride The Storm, by Devin Madson
The Reborn Empire
Orbit

“In the midst of a burgeoning war, a warrior, an assassin, and a princess chase their own ambitions no matter the cost in Devin Madson’s visceral, emotionally charged debut.

War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.

Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.

In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.

In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.

And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.

As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.” – Goodreads blurb

And here we are. One of my most anticipated books of the year. Orbit sent this to me by surprise and boy howdy…I may have let out a little scream of triumph. This was first a self-published book and tons of my blogging peeps read it and loved it. Right when I was about to start it myself I found out Orbit picked it up and Devin asked that I actually wait and read this version instead. I think Devin is awesome so I waited and I may now be twitching in anticipation. Early reviews for this edition are coming in and they all seem to say it is AMAZING. It releases this June but I may read it much sooner.

 

Ashes of The Sun

Ashes of The Sun, by Django Wexler
Burningblade & Silvereye #1
Orbit

“Long ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. But still the old grudges simmer, and two siblings will fight on opposite sides to save their world, in the start of Django Wexler’s new epic fantasy trilogy

Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.

Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.” – Goodreads blurb

I’ve never read a Django Wexler book. I have no good excuse, I just haven’t read one. I’ve wanted to. AND NOW I HAVE MY CHANCE! This one also come as a surprise from Orbit. Have I ever mention how much I love Orbit and Paola Crespo and Angela Man? If not, I love Orbit and Paola Crespo and Angela Man. They are great to work with and they send me fabulous books that I read and love. OK, now back to Ashes of The Sun. I’m seriously excited to read this one. Pretty much everything about it sounds intriguing and exciting. It doesn’t come out until July so it will be a little while before I read it but be on the lookout for the review.

Well, that’s it for March. As usual I hauled more books than I read in the month so my TBR just keeps getting larger. What about you? What did you haul in March? Have you read any of these? Thoughts?

– Jason

25 thoughts on “Book Haul: March 2020

  1. I’m slowing hearing more and more news about the publishing world. So sad. We need stories. And I totally agree with you. I was shut down for a week or two myself, just couldn’t think straight, but now I’m on it. Escaping through reading, and like you, doing my reviews to support the authors and industry👍🏽

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok now I need to run and get my copy of Wanderers and look for the coronavirus mention!! That is freaky. I hope you love the book, I thought it was a lot different from The Stand, but I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • P63. Like it totally through me out of the read for a moment. I’m really thinking of reading The Stand again soon to compare, and to just read another plague pandemic book. I’m also debating a couple history books I have on plagues. My mind is ina weird place.

      Like

    • Let’s just hope it settles down before long. How are things where you are? Similar? Different? In the U.S. we don’t really have a national response, it’s all being handled differently be each state which is good for some states and bad for others. And may be bad long term because some states aren’t doing what they need to and it may cause harm for others.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m in Sweden! And here people try to stay the same as much as possible, which feels a bit weird haha. People try to work from home as much as possible, and classes are online, but that’s about it haha.
        Tbh the whole situation in the US confuesed me haha, because as you said it’s not the same for every state!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well the weather is weird.. Like a week ago we had 10 degrees celcius (sorry don’t know fahrenheit temperstures, but it is not spring but getting there), but then yesterday we had snow, and this morning it was freezing. So for staying inside it is quite good!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Everyone seems to love it haha. I feel I’m so late to the game in this one.

      Speaking of the apocalypse how are things across the pond? Over here every state is doing things a little different. I’m working from home and pretty much only go out to go to get groceries or by the office like once a week.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not great. The country is on lock down apart from key workers and going out for essentials (supermarket, pharmacy to collect prescriptions, etc) and exercise is limited to once a day which people are flouting the rule as the weather is nice and it is warm and sunny and they are going to parks sunbathing, etc. It was mentioned today that outdoor exercise will be banned if people can’t obey the rule.

        I’m a key worker so still at work. Well, I work in a supermarket and until a few weeks ago I was a scumbag and now I’m key.😂 Can be tough at times, the virus is spread by people and when you are around people somedays you just don’t want it.

        The UK isn’t as bad as Italy and Spain which have horrendous death tolls for smallish countries but there’s a likely chance that we will end up in a similar place to them which is a troubling thought.

        Tough times for all everywhere and very worrying.😢

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you. I work for a hospice organization (in administration) so we are still working though I work mostly from home at the moment. What is open here in Kentucky is similar to what you describe. Most businesses closed except essential ones. We can still go out but have to maintain distances. So people are walking around the neighborhood a lot. But every state is doing things differently which is stupid. Our governor got a jump on things and the rate of sickness here isn’t nearly as high as other states. Now we just ride it out and see what comes. Be safe man!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Red Sister is an instance where I haven’t followed through on my GSR commitment and I feel horrible! I was partially putting off Grey Sister because of ARC commitments, partially because I wanted the mass market paperback to come out for Holy Sister so my set would be all the same format. Now that it IS out in MMP, I need to shove aside some room for books 2 and 3.

    I appreciate your thoughts about supporting books and publishers in these crazy times! Because let’s be real, they are helping us stay sane as we cut off most other forms of social interaction. So if you can afford it, buy some books!

    Liked by 1 person

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