State of the ARC, March 2019


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 ARCs I finished:

I’ve been moving right along in my ARCs this month. I posted three reviews for books due out in March and April:

  • 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 Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan, expected publication date April 2, 2019, by St. Martin’s Press

I enjoyed A Dangerous Collaboration and The Bird King, which are very different stories starring intelligent female leads. I would probably recommend The Bird King above A Dangerous Collaboration, as it is a standalone story and shows readers a world that we often don’t think about– the last days of Islamic Spain before King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella finished conquering the land in the name of Christendom. If you are a fan of fun mysteries, Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series is hard to beat.

I did not enjoy Emily A. Duncan’s Wicked Saints, which felt like a case of a story that had a shiny exterior and a mediocre interior, like one of those products that’s advertised as something “new and improved” but is really the same old thing in a shiny new box. If you enjoy reading the same YA Fantasy plot over and over and over and over and over again, you might enjoy Wicked Saints.

What’s Next?

Not a lot on the docket at the moment, and it’s pretty spread out. I will start reading Wayfinding in the next week or so so I can have plenty of time to write the review before mid-April. Then the other day I remembered that there are plenty of “read now” titles available, so I looked through a couple of genres and found Reading Through the Night, which is about Tompkins’s journey through books and writing as she dealt with an illness that kept her bedridden. Goodreads says it was published last year, but NetGalley says it’s not due until June. If they really want to, they can hash it out on their own. I will read the book regardless because it sounds like it could be wonderful.

Gods of Jade and Shadow is set in Jazz Age Mexico and deals with Mayan lore, which sounds amazing. I’ve read some of Moreno-Garcia’s work before and enjoyed it, so I hope I’ll like this one, too.

A Hero Born is the first American edition of Jin Yong’s Chinese fantasy masterpiece, which was first published in 1957. It is set during the age of Genghis Khan, which is an era of history I find interesting, plus Jin Yong is apparently an expert at wuxia martial arts fiction. I am looking forward to this one, but will probably wait until August to read it.

I have a couple of other books that I have put requests in for but haven’t heard back about them. I’ll just have to wait and see what the publishers decide. Otherwise, I have 17 approvals since I opened my account with NetGalley last summer, and have submitted 13 reviews for a feedback ratio of 76%. Not too bad! Plus, when I submit the review for Wayfinding in a few weeks, that ratio will go back above 80%.

I’ve really been enjoying my NetGalley experience, as it’s helped me find some wonderful books I would have overlooked otherwise and allowed me to read new installments of favorite series before they came out (I still bought the physical copies). I’ve only had a couple of lousy books to contend with, so overall, it’s been a positive experience! Thanks, NetGalley!

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