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.
2020 is starting out with a bang as far as ARCs go. I have seven books to read between now and their publication dates in September– not a major task to accomplish, but I usually only have two or three waiting for my attention. I also have five titles awaiting approval. Once again, that total is usually smaller and will likely grow soon. And because I have the vague goal to get my ’50 Reviews’ badge before the end of the year, I’m going to be putting in for more books and haunting the ‘Read Now’ sections of my favorite genres. I currently have twenty-nine reviews posted with another due in a couple of weeks, so I will need twenty more by December 31st. This doesn’t count the other six titles I’ve already been approved for.
My current feedback ratio is at 81%, and unless I get more approvals in the next couple of weeks (which could easily happen), that will rise in the next couple of weeks as I finish off a couple more of these books.
- Epic Solitude: A Story of Survival and a Quest for Meaning in the Far North
by Katherine Keith.
Expected publication February 4, 2020, by Blackstone Publishing
Katherine Keith had always longed for the wide-open spaces far from cities. She spent years wandering across the United States before finally settling in Alaska, where she fell in love, had a child, and built a home far from other people. The daily rhythms of survival brought her meaning, but also brought their own hardships. Long-distance dog sledding help bring Keith’s life into focus, and she decides to run the Iditarod, a race completed in near solitude.
- The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo
Expected publication February 11, 2020, from St. Martin’s Press
In the summer of 1492, Rodrigo Borgia has been elected Pope. He appoints his own son, Cesare, as a bishop, and his younger son Juan is named commander of the Papal Armies. Cesare chafes at his position, as he has dreamed of military glory and Juan proves an ineffective leader. Into the swirl of wealth, politics, and corruption comes a woman from the countryside, Maddalena Moretti, a servant who finds her life becoming more and more entwined with that of the infamous Borgia family.
- Master of Sorrows (The Silent Gods #1) by Justin Call
Expected publication date February 25, 2020, by Blackstone Publishing
Annev is a student at the Academy of Chaenbalu, a school where a select few are taught to find and retrieve magical artifacts to keep them safe and prevent them from being misused by those unable to resist the allure of dangerous magic. Annev wants to become an Avatar, a warrior-thief capable of breaking into the most heavily guarded fortresses to take the artifacts. But Annev carries a secret heritage of murder and dark magic, and when he is caught between his mentor’s philosophies and that of the masters of Chaenbalu, he must decide what his destiny is and what it could mean for the entire world.
- A Murderous Relation (Veronica Speedwell #5) by Deanna Raybourn
Expected publication date March 10, 2020, by Berkley Publishing Group
Veronica and her colleague Stoker find themselves embroiled in a potential royal scandal when Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk asks them to look into the goings-on at one of London’s most exclusive private clubs, the Club de L’Etoile, which counts Prince Albert as one of its regular clients. The proprietress receives a jewel that is easily traced back to the prince, and Veronica and Stoker are asked to retrieve the jewel. But London is embroiled by worse than gossip over a jewel in the summer of 1888, and when a body turns up at the club, Veronica and Stoker must uncover the truth before it’s too late.
- The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan
Expected publication date April 7, 2020, by Redhook Books
In Gilded Age New York, the descendants of the witch Bridget Bishop are at odds with each other. One of the family lines is devoted to aiding and healing young women in need, while the other line is devoted to seizing power by whatever means they can. In the midst of this, young Annis is a pawn in the family’s struggle for supremacy. To save herself and her family from darkness, she will need to learn to take control of her own powers and resist succumbing to the dark forces that could destroy them all.
- Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke
Expected publication date May 26, 2020, by Flux
Ren Kolins is a magic wielder in a land where magic has been banned for a century. She manages to scrape by through acts of thievery, gambling, and pit fighting. But when a rebel leader learns of her secret, he invites her to join his resistance. The caveat? She won’t see a single coin until the king is overthrown. On the opposite side, a band of warriors is searching for the rebel leader, and Andley Farre is determined to win the title of King’s Fang for herself. But time is running out for both sides, and when a young prince is pulled into the rebellion, Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.
- The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg
Expected publication September 14, 2020, by Tachyon Publications
Among the Khana people in the city of Iyar, women venture out in caravans for trading, while men remain behind in the city’s center to work as scholars. One man struggles to settle into the masculine world after spending years in the women’s world as a trader, mother, and grandmother. As his past catches up to him, he must choose between his new life and Uiziya, an assassin on her own quest to find her aunt, discover the final secret of her order, and challenge the evil ruler of Iyar.
- The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2) by Roshani Chokshi
Expected publication date September 22, 2020, by Wednesday Books
Severin and his friends have succeeded in thwarting the Fallen House, but the cost was higher than they could have imagined. Now they must pick up the pieces and push forward, for Severin has an agenda he is obsessed with and has set his sights on an artifact that grants its user god-like powers. The search takes them all to wintry Russia, where secrets come to light and force them to face themselves and discover new depths to themselves.
And That Last One?
When I requested this book at the beginning of January, everything I saw about it said the publication date was September 2020. Apparently, that was wrong, as the book was published in September 2019. Color me confused. I’ll be getting to this one as soon as possible. February’s a good month for horror, right?
- Taaqtumi: An Anthology of Northern Horror Stories by Aviaq Johnston; Richard Van Camp; Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley; Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley; Thomas Anguti Johnston; Repo Kempt
Publication Date September 19, 2019, from Inhabit Media
“Taaqtumi” is an Inuktitut word that means “in the dark”. This anthology of Arctic horror stories by Northern writers shows just how terrifying the empty wilderness and wintry darkness can be.