State of the ARC is a meme hosted by Avalinah’s Books in which we round up our ARCs and attempt to wrangle them into something approaching order. Sometimes it’s like herding cats.
The first half of February marked a lull in my NetGalley activity. I had finished up my reviews for the books published in January and had just one ARC left, A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) by Deanna Raybourn, which comes out on March 12. I’d requested just one ARC in January, and after the request went unanswered for over a month, I thought I’d been declined. So I requested two more ARCs from St. Martin’s Press which were approved within two days, and within a few days after that, the previous ARC was approved, too. So now I have four ARCs on the docket.
- A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) by Deanna Raybourn, expected publication date March 12, 2019, by Berkley Publishing Group
- The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson, expected publication date March 22, 2019, by Grove Press
- Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Wicked #1) by Emily A. Duncan, expected publication date April 2, 2019, by St. Martin’s Press
- Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World by M.R. O’Connor, expected publication date April 30, 2019, by St. Martin’s Press
Not too many books right now, and I’ll be able to get through them without too much trouble since their publications dates are far enough apart that I won’t be rushed to read them. They all look terribly interesting, but I’m the most interested in Wayfinding, since I often have a terrible sense of direction (particularly when driving), and so I want to find out how people have navigated across land and water without modern GPS.
A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth entry in one of my favorite mystery series. It’s set in late Victorian England and stars the clever and outlandish heroine, Veronica Speedwell and her brooding counterpart, Stoker Templeton-Vane. Half the fun of these books is the banter between the two, and I have yet to suss out the guilty parties before Veronica does, which makes the mystery that much more intriguing.
The Bird King is a historical fantasy novel set during the last days of the sultanate in the Iberian peninsula. The sultan’s last Circassian concubine, Fatima, and her friend, the palace mapmaker Hassan, must navigate the end of their world as they know it when representatives from Christian Spain come to negotiate the sultan’s surrender. Hassan has the ability to draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend reality, which can be seen as a sorcerous threat to the Christian rulers. To escape death or imprisonment, Fatima and Hassan must flee the palace and make their way through a land that has become hostile to them.
Wicked Saints has received a fair amount of hype so far this year, though it’s not due until the beginning of April. It is a gothic fantasy story about a girl who can speak to the gods, a prince in danger, and a boy with a monstrous secret. Their paths intertwine in a land on the brink of war, and the only way to stop the war is to kill a king.