Book Haul: April 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.

Holy hell is April over already? We are already four months through the year. Part of me feels like where the hell did the time go and part of me feels like the year has lasted forever. I guess I’m not surprised though between the plague running rampant and everyone’s normal life being turned upside down. The fact that most people aren’t getting out of their house much these days means a lot of us are reading. And as we do, a lot of us are buying new books because it’s what one does when they read a book. Yep, they buy three more.

So…um…I ended up with a lot of books this month. Eleven to be exact. I have nobody to blame but myself. Then again why blame myself? That implies this is a bad thing. Instead I should sing my own praises…and receive an award…like some more books…yes, that sounds like the right approach. Below is my list of book hauls for April 2020. I’ll start with my purchased books and work my way from there.



The Copper Assassin, by Madolyn Rogers
Tales of Wyverna, #1


In the sixteenth year of its founding, the city-state of Wyverna teems with vitality, rife with crime, secrets, and sorcery. Like its namesake, the wyverns that hunt from the mountains above, Wyverna is a city of predators. Its pirates sail out to plunder the wealth of nations, while at home the capital seethes, an uneasy amalgam of the old ways of its anarchic peoples and the newly imposed rule of law.

The young noble Gorgo navigates these complexities with ease, until one night he learns of a plot to assassinate Wyverna’s legendary founder, the Warlord. The rebels have obtained a mighty relic: an ancient copper golem created to be the ultimate assassin. Invulnerable and relentless, the golem destroyed the civilization that birthed it. If it kills the Warlord, Gorgo realizes his city too will fall, ripped apart by civil war.

Armed with nothing but his wits and his courage, Gorgo sets out to find a way to save Wyverna. His mission will take him from the elegant casinos of downtown to the chaotic docks where smugglers prowl, from the hot sands of the arena to the cold midnight of magic-shadowed streets. But even he cannot foresee where his path will ultimately lead, and to what consequences.” – Goodreads blurb

The Copper Assassin was the first book I purchased in April and kept my string of self-published buys going. It was published March 25, 2020. I knew nothing about it except that M.L. Wang, author of The Sword of Kaigen apparently knows the author and tweeted about the book. I saw the tweet and figured Wang is a pretty good judge of good stories. So I looked it up, read the blurb, and thought why the hell not? There aren’t many reviews up for The Copper Assassin yet so if anyone else reads it share your thoughts! I’m not sure when I’ll get around to reading it but hopefully not too long from now. Maybe if I decide to have Self-Published Fantasy Month again I’ll do it then.


Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest
The Clockwork Century #1

“In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born.

But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.

Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history.

His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.” – Goodreads blurb

I purchased Boneshaker after I saw a tweet from Cheri Priest about having to spend $5000 on a new furnace and hoping readers would maybe check out their local indie bookstore and buy one of her books. So…I did. Now to be honest I’d already been looking at this book in the store (back when you could still go to the bookstore) for a few years but I’d never slapped down any money to buy it. This seemed like as good a time as any, and there was that overriding need to help pay off the furnace debt, so I hopped online, ordered the book and now I’ve got a cool steampunk novel to read.


The Fearing: Fire & Rain, by John F.D. Taff
The Fearing #1
Grey Matter Press

“John F.D. Taff’s highly-anticipated epic supernatural thriller, The Fearing, begins with Book One: Fire & Rain where humanity faces a series of catastrophes spawned by a worldwide event that unleashes all of mankind’s greatest fears.

In the American high desert, vacationers returning from a road trip are thrust into a heart-stopping flight from death as they try to avoid a cataclysmic end. In rural Missouri, the lives of a group of high school students are destroyed after their small town is devastated and they’re forced to confront the end of everything they’ve ever known.

And on the eastern seaboard, there’s someone else. An enigmatic man who thrives on despair and embraces all fear. A man with his own dark and sinister goals. Someone who wants to ensure humanity goes out with the biggest bang possible.” – Goodreads blurb

During the first part of April Grey Matter Press was making a push on Twitter for a lot of their books. One of the elements of that marketing campaign was the hashtag #SupportIndieReviewers. That hashtag got my attention and reminded me that I’d been thinking of buying The Fearing ever since I’d seen Holly over at The Grimdragon review the series last summer. You can read her review here. Anyway, marketing campaign, plus hashtag, plus blog friend rec meant that I HAD to buy it. HAD TO. No choice in the matter. Oh…it helps that the story sounds really cool too.


Manifest Recall, by Alan Baxter
Stand Alone
Grey Matter Press

“Following a psychotic break, Eli Carver finds himself on the run, behind the wheel of a car that’s not his own, and in the company of a terrified woman he doesn’t know. As layers of ugly truth are peeled back and dark secrets are revealed, the duo find themselves in a struggle for survival when they unravel a mystery that pits them against the most dangerous forces in their lives.

A contemporary southern gothic thriller with frightening supernatural overtones, Alan Baxter’s Manifest Recall explores the tragic life of a hitman who finds himself on the wrong side of his criminal syndicate. Baxter’s adrenaline-fueled approach to storytelling draws readers into Eli Carver’s downward spiral of psychosis and through the darkest realms of lost memories, human guilt and the insurmountable quest for personal redemption.” – Goodreads blurb

You remember what I said about marketing campaign, plus hashtag, plus friend rec? Well, that applies to Manifest Recall too. The friend rec in this case came from Timy over at Rockstarlit Book Asylum. I don’t know of a specific review, but when I was debating buying a couple Grey Matter Press books Timy chimed in quickly to praise this one. For that matter I think Holly did too. I was trying to find the tweet to quote but yeah I’m too lazy at the moment. Suffice it to say they both said good things so this one became a happy impulse buy.


This Is How You Lose The Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Stand Alone
Saga Press

“Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. . Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.

Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war.” – Goodreads blurb

If you’ve been keeping up with my recent posts you’ll remember me talking about my new Nebula And Hugo Award Reading Challenge. Basically I’m challenging myself to read and review each of the Nebula and Hugo nominees for Best Novel, Best Novella, and Best Short Story. This Is How You Lose The Time War is nominated for best novella for both awards so it had to be an early purchase for the challenge. It also didn’t hurt that like half my blogger buddies reviewed this one and just gushed about it last summer. So yeah…it was a must buy at this point. My daughter is currently threatening to grab it before I do. She’s warning me because she likes to wear books out and is making a point that she can say “I told you so” when she does.


Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire
Stand Alone

“Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.” – Goodreads blurb

My last purchase of the month was Middlegame. It is on the list of Hugo nominees for Best Novel and the Kindle edition was on sale. It also helps that numerous blogger friends have said something to the effect that this is McGuire’s best book yet. This will probably be the first of McGuire’s books I’ve ever read which is a travesty that needs to be addressed.



Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol, and Exit Strategy, by Martha Wells
The Murderbot Diaries #2, #3, and #4

“It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…” – Goodreads blurb

I’m only including the blurb for Artificial Condition in order to save space. In the lead up to the publication of the fifth installment in the Murderbot Diaries, released free e-book copies (one per day) of the previous four books if you signed up for their newsletter. This was a no-brainer for me. I have ONLY seen good reviews for this series and every blogger buddy has told me to read them. I’d already purchased All Systems Red a little while back so I just needed these three. I hope to knock them all of them out soon. The premise of the whole series sounds sooooo cool and the novella format makes them quick reads that I hope will be super satisfying.


Vultures, by Luke Tarzian
Shadow Twins #1

“An enemy slain is not a conflict won…

After decades of war the demon Te Mirkvahíl is dead. But its progeny endure, spilling from the Heart of Mirkúr, sowing death across the land of Ariath. If the people are to finally know peace, the Heart must be destroyed. Theailys An believes he can do just that with The Keepers’ Wrath, an infamous power focus wrought in Ariath’s yesteryears–but the weapon first must be reforged.

War spares no one…

Serece never intended to get involved in Ariath’s war. But history and demons have a way of pulling strings. When she learns Theailys An, a man whom she abhors, bears striking similarity to the first creator of The Keepers’ Wrath, Serece departs her mountain world for Ariath to ascertain the truth.

From patience, hope…

For millennia Behtréal has walked the world alone. Rewriting history to resurrect his people is easier said than done. But Ariath holds the key–soon The Keepers’ Wrath will be remade.

Truth from madness…

As paths converge and a shadow falls across Ariath, one thing becomes increasingly and horrifyingly clear–these events have played out many times before.” – Goodreads blurb

I won e-book copies of Vultures and The World Maker Parable (below) in a Twitter giveaway by the author Luke Tarzian. Vultures had been on my radar already due to some positive reviews from blogs I follow so it was a very pleasant surprise to win these two books. The plot sounds cool and I’m all about spreading the self-published joy. Not sure when I’ll get to read them, but hopefully before too many months go by.


The World Maker Parable, by Luke Tarzian
Shadow Twins #0

“Guilt will always call you back…

Rhona is a faithful servant of the country Jémoon and a woman in love. Everything changes when her beloved sets the ravenous Vulture goddess loose upon the land. Forced to execute the woman she loves for committing treason, Rhona discovers a profound correlation between morality and truth. A connection that might save her people or annihilate them all.

You are a lie…

Varésh Lúm-talé is many things, most of all a genocidal liar. A falsity searching for the Phoenix goddess whom he believes can help him rectify his atrocities. Such an undertaking is an arduous one for a man with missing memories and a conscience set on rending him from inside out. A man whose journey leads to Hang-Dead Forest and a meeting with a Vulture goddess who is not entirely as she seems.” – Goodreads blurb

Well, that’s it. Any of these books on your TBR or want list? How many have you already read? Any favs out of the bunch? Tell me your thoughts friends!

– Jason


24 thoughts on “Book Haul: April 2020

  1. The Copper Assassin has one kick-ass looking cover! I’m going to go check it out right now based on that alone. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    I read Boneshaker as an arc. I hope you enjoy it way more than I did. It led me to write a rant post about Steampunk, so it obviously didn’t go over very well with me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does have a cool cover. I admit it drew me in too. No idea about the actual story though. It only had a couple reviews when I first looked.

      As for Boneshaker and steampunk…I haven’t read much of the genre but I don’t hate it. I guess we will see if this one turns me off or not haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A great haul Jason! I was actually reccing Devouring Dark by Alan 🙂 I haven’t read any of his other books, but that’s something I have to rectify myself.

    Also, there is a blog tour and giveaway going on for The World Maker Parable over at Storytellers On Tour. In case someone is interested 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Manifest Recall is bloody brilliant. How he packs so much edge of your seat action into such a small book is beyond me. Baxter is so underrated. I agree with Timy, Devouring Dark is twisted and fantastic. I also loved Hidden City, it was such a unique concept. Ok, I think it’s safe to say I think all of the books i’ve read by him are worth a look.

    Absolutely fantastic haul. Happy reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read and loved Boneshaker (and have since forgotten basically everything about it) and immediately ordered the rest of the books in that universe….And…still haven’t read them. Lol but I’m confident I’ll enjoy them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The Copper Assassin (Tales of Wyverna #1) ★★★☆☆ | Bookstooge's Reviews on the Road

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