Book Haul: May 2020 Part I

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.

The month of May has come to an end. May seemed like one of the longest months in ages. We’re Still in the midst of the pandemic with places around the country implementing plans to open up and come out of quarantine. And then at the end of the month George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by police officers. Then protests started…and the police pushed back…and for days now there has been a growing boiling rage in America not seen in decades. It’s been hard for me to focus on anything else but the news and live-streams coming out of cities across the country. I have not read for days and didn’t blog at all for the past week. So in this post I may be less jovial and more to the point. I hope you understand.

I ended up with A LOT of books this month. Like a lot. So many that I think I’m gonna split them up into two or more posts starting with my purchases. Yes I have a problem, but most of these were on sale so…


Gideon The Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir
The Locked Tomb #1

“The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.”

Goodreads Blurb

Gideon The Ninth was one of the most anticipated releases of 2019. Tor did a major push with publicity for it and it seemed to be everywhere. Ratings for it on Goodreads are still pretty high (above 4.0) and it remains very popular with a huge fanbase. I mean lesbian necromancers in space. That sentence sells. At the same time a lot of reviewers I know kind of panned it. It seems that people who love it, really love it, and people who don’t, really dont…with most people seeming to love it. I really hope I enjoy it but am kind of uncertain going in. This will be part of my Award Nominee Challenge as it was nominated for both the Nebula and Hugo Award.

I actually picked up the Kindle version on April 30 (after I’d already posted my April book haul) while it was on sale. There was a big sale of some of the Nebula/Hugo award nominees so I grabbed up what I could for a good deal so I could easily finish up my Award Nominee Challenge. I’m not sure yet when I’ll get to it.

The City In The Middle Of The Night, by Charlie Jane Anders
Tor Books

“If you control our sleep, then you can own our dreams…And from there, it’s easy to control our entire lives.”

From the brilliant mind of Charlie Jane Anders (“A master absurdist”—New York Times; “Virtuoso”—NPR) comes a new novel of Kafkaesque futurism. Set on a planet that has fully definitive, never-changing zones of day and night, with ensuing extreme climates of endless, frigid darkness and blinding, relentless light, humankind has somehow continued apace—though the perils outside the built cities are rife with danger as much as the streets below.

But in a world where time means only what the ruling government proclaims, and the levels of light available are artificially imposed to great consequence, lost souls and disappeared bodies are shadow-bound and savage, and as common as grains of sand. And one such pariah, sacrificed to the night, but borne up by time and a mysterious bond with an enigmatic beast, will rise to take on the entire planet–before it can crumble beneath the weight of human existence.”

Goodreads blurb

I’ll admit this book wasn’t really on my radar until it made the Hugo Award finalist list for best novel. But…now I’m pretty intrigued. A planet with never changing climate zones and perpetual day and night all controlled by the government that will be beset by an uprising. Yeah, sign me up!

I purchased this one during the Amazon sale on April 30 too. I have no idea yet when I’ll get to it. This will become a theme in this post I think.

Beggar’s Rebellion, by Levi Jacobs
Resonant Saga #1

The Councilate controls everything except the truth. I have nothing save my discovery—but with this shall I destroy an empire.

Tai Kulga lost the rebellion and his best friend on the same day, stripping him of his will to live even as a strange power flooded his bones. When the friend returns as a spirit guide, it feels like a second chance—but his friend is not who he was, and the Councilate is not done oppressing his people. When trouble with lawkeepers lands Tai’s surviving friends in a prison camp, he must go underground to find the last of the rebels and convince them to break his friends free.

Along the way he meets Ellumia Aygla, runaway Councilate daughter posing as an accountant to escape her family and the avarice of the capital. Curious about the link between spirit guides and magic, her insights earn her a place among the rebels, and along with Tai’s power help turn the tide against the colonialists.

But as the rebels begin to repeat the Councilate’s mistakes, Tai and Ellumia must confront their own pasts and prejudices, before the brewing war turns them into the monsters they fight.”

Goodreads Blurb

Beggar’s Rebellion was one of the ten finalists for #SPFBO5, but it was on my want list before that. I think it was fellow reviewer Calving Park who turned me onto it. But then it made the list of finalists and I definitely wanted to read it. I love a good rebellion story and this one supposedly also has a cool magic system.

I picked it up on sale for my Kindle during my April 30 buying spree. Again, I’m not sure when I’ll get to it, but hopefully soon(ish). I don’t think it will be my next SPFBO finalist read but maybe the one after that? Be on the lookout.

The Blade Itself;
Before The Are Hanged;
The Last Argument of Kings
by Joe Abercrombie
The First Law Trilogy

“Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian — leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.

Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glokta a whole lot more difficult.

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.

Unpredictable, compelling, wickedly funny, and packed with unforgettable characters, The Blade Itself is noir fantasy with a real cutting edge.”

Goodreads Blurb for The Blade Itself

This series has been on my want to read list for AGES! I feel like I’m the only fantasy fan who hasn’t read them. Lord Grimdark is calling and I must gather to his realm. Everyone seems to love this series. And seriously am I the only person who hasn’t read them?

Back on our anniversary my wife told me she’d buy me any two books I wanted if I’d spend the day watching shows with her. So I did. Then I saw this whole boxed set was discounted for like the price of one book. So of course I jumped on it. And because it I really only spent money for one book it meant I could buy another. The logic checks out right?

And that other one was…

Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin Hobb
The Farseer Trilogy
Harper Voyager

“In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.”

Goodreads Blurb

Remember what I said above about being the last person to read The First Law Trilogy? We’ll I’m pretty sure I’m the last person to start the Farseer trilogy too. I don’t know why, I don’t have a good excuse, and I have nothing really to say for myself except that I will finally be rectifying this gross error.

Ask anyone to list their fantasy favorites and your bound to see this one up there over and over again among names like Tolkien, R.R. Martin, Jordan, Sanderson, and Le Guin. It’s definitely among the set of modern classics that came out of fantasy in the 90’s. I don’t like to tell others that there are certain books they have to read if they are gonna read fantasy, but for me personally, I feel like I have to read this one.

I purchased this at the same time as the Abercrombie set when my wife said she’d buy me two books for hanging out and watching shows. I don’t know which of the two (The Blade Itself or Assassin’s Apprentice) I’m looking forward to more. I’ll let you know when I’m done I guess.

Well that’s it for my purchases from May. I think. I need to double-check that. It’s possible I’ve missed something. Be on the lookout for my second May book haul post in the coming days. Until then let me know which of these you’ve read, what you liked and what you didn’t, and which ones are on your TBR.

— Jason

12 thoughts on “Book Haul: May 2020 Part I

  1. I hope you end up enjoying all of them! I’m currently reading the farseer trilogy, up to book three now, and I’m loving it!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Making Gideon even weirder, there were a number of us who panned the first half of the book, only to really enjoy the second half of the book. Looking forward to your thoughts on that one! Congrats on picking up First Law, that is a series I will most definitely, absolutely read…I’m sure….some day…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know Id prefer to hate the beginning and live the end than the other way around. As for First Law…I’ve only bought it. It could still take me years to read it. (As I stare in fear at my physical TBR pile)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love seeing hauls everywhere cuz I always need to add to the hundreds of unread books I own 🤣 I only post mine on IG cuz I’m not sure how people feel about them in blog format. I know they’re very popular on YouTube though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Book Haul: May 2020 Part II | Off The TBR

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