An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green (review copy from publisher)
I had no idea what to expect from this – reading a book by someone you admire but haven’t read before is always a bit of a nervewracking experience. But it was a delightful read – some of the best bits of contemporary and sci-fi genres combined to make a fascinating story that also queries the nature of celebrity, community, and hope. The story follows April May, a young woman on her home on her way home from work one night sees this weird robot thing and, assuming it’s a work of art, she calls her friend makes YouTube videos and gets him to come over. They film a video, he edits it, and when she wakes up the next morning it turns out she’s gone viral because these robots have popped up in places all over the world. She sets out to investigate the mysterious origins of the robots, whilst also trying to turn herself into a kind of celebrity, setting out to become a sort of spokesperson for the robots. I really really enjoyed it and I am so excited about reading the sequel because it ends on a total cliffhanger!
Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer
Abigail, a spinster at 28, is contented in her life with her sister and her niece in Bath, but everything changes when her niece, a wealthy heiress, is courted by a blatant fortune-hunter. She sets out to split them up, and after an entertaining case of mistaken identity, tries to enlist his uncle to aid her efforts. But Miles Calverleigh, just returned from in India, has no interest in his nephew, or in helping Abigail…or at least he doesn’t at first! The dialogue in this is delightful and I loved seeing the romance progress, it’s my favourite Heyer so far. Content warning – there’s one use of a racist term towards the end of the book in an irritatingly offhand way by a minor character (why, Georgette?! You came so close this time) and of course you have to brush over whatever it was Miles was doing in India (colonialism!) in order to see him as a good person.
Monstrous Design by Kat Dunn (review copy from NetGalley via publisher)
This is the sequel to Dangerous Remedy, so I won’t say too much about it other than that I loved it! The Battalion of the Dead continue their adventures, while the story delves more into leader Camille’s past. I raced through it and enjoyed every minute.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
This is the first in the Brown Sisters trilogy, cute but also sexy at the same time! Chloe Brown is a young woman with a chronic illness that has led her to live with her family until now, but one day after a sort of near-death encounter she decides that she needs to ‘get a life’ and moves out. She makes a list of thing that she’s got to do in order to have considered herself to have gotten a life and she recruits the superintendent of her building to help her in this quest while in extreme denial about how attractive she finds him!
In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland
Blood magic! Death magic! Court intrigue! Politics! Revolution! This book has all of those things and it was a joyous ride. I read the beautiful Illumicrate edition which enhanced the atmosphere of doomed decadence this book gives off throughout. Rovan is an untrained blood mage in hiding until she gets drunk one night and wakes up on a roof with her latest lady friend. In trying to get down, her lady friend nearly plummets to her death, except that Rovan uses her magic to save her. Now the secret’s out, Rovan is taken off to the palace, bonded with a spirit who can control her, and forced to obey the orders of the king. But she’s not the only would-be rebel, and as she learns to control her magic and make the most of her powers, she also finds allies and enemies.