State of the ARC: February 2020

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.

bench blur books color

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February was a busy month for ARCs and releases! Four of the books I read in February were ARCs, and most of them were quite enjoyable. One was not, and I must thank my friends for putting up with complaints while I was reading it. If it hadn’t been an ARC, I would have quit reading it

Anyway. Books.


Recently Published:

“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.



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.

epic solitude



  • The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo
    Historical Fiction
    Published 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
    Published 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.




Knife Children(The Sharing Knife 4.5) by Lois McMaster Bujold
Published February 29, 2020, by Subterranean Press

Lakewalker Barr Foxbrush is on his way home from a long assignment in dangerous territory far, far away. When he makes a detour to check in on a farmer family he’s been keeping his eye on, he discovers there has been a tragedy, and that the family’s eldest daughter, Lily, has run away from home. Her parents ask Barr to find her, and so Barr heads out after Lily and discovers that there are some obligations you can’t escape.



Upcoming Releases:

  • A Murderous Relation (Veronica Speedwell #5) by Deanna Raybourn
    Historical Fiction/Mystery
    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
    Historical Fantasy
    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.




  • Lobizona (Wolves of No World #1) by Romina Garber
    YA Fantasy
    Expected publication date May 5, 2020, by Wednesday Books

Manuela Azul is an undocumented immigrant on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family. Her life is necessarily small until her surrogate grandmother is attacked and her mother is arrested by ICE. Lifelong lies are exposed, and Manuela discovers a deeper world where her real heritage leads back to an ancient cursed city. There, she finds that not only is her immigrant status is illegal- her very existence is, too.




  • Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke
    YA Fantasy
    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 Court of Miracles (A Court of Miracles #1) by Kester Grant
    YA Fantasy
    Expected publication June 2, 2020, by Knopf Books for Young Readers

In 1828 Paris, the city is split between merciless royalty and the ring of nine criminal guilds who run the underworld from the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) is a young cat burglar who steals from the rich by night and avoids her abusive father and protects her naive foster-sister, Cosette (Ettie) by day. But when Ettie catches the eye of the notorious leader of the Guild of Flesh, the Tiger, Nina vows to keep her sister safe. Her vow takes her to the glittering court of Versailles and may set off a war between the guilds.



  • Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1) by Janella Angeles
    YA Fantasy
    Expected publication June 2, 2020, by Wednesday books

In a city of ice and ruin, daring magicians face off in a competition to find the next leader of the Conquering Circus. But they soon find themselves under threat from an unknown enemy. As the acts becoming more daring and more magicians disappear, three of the magicians must reckon with their pasts before they disappear forever, too.




  • 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.




To date, I have forty ARC approvals and thirty-three reviews posted for a feedback ratio of 83%. There are no reviews due for me until the beginning of April, so unless my pending requests are approved (and I’ve been waiting for some of them so long I’m beginning to not care if they’re approved or no….), that ratio will stay the same for most of March.

I’m a little surprised by the number of YA fantasies I have waiting for me since I’ve had a rocky relationship with that part of the fantasy genre, but I’m approaching them with an open mind. They all sound fascinating, and I’m looking forward to getting to them.

13 thoughts on “State of the ARC: February 2020

  1. I’m glad to see you’re participating in this meme. You read so many ARCs, it’s a nice way for me to keep track of what percentage of your reads are ARCs! The one thing I don’t get from this post is which of these you’ve read already and which are on deck… Have you already read all of these? I feel like most you have based on other Sunday Sum Ups and Reviews.

  2. I haven’t read all of them yet, no. I try to have reviews posted two weeks before the release date, so I read the books a week or two before that. Most of what I have read is listed under ‘recently published’, and the rest of the ARCs are unread.

  3. Yup! I keep track of my ARCs and what’s coming up in my bullet journal. The meme just helps raise awareness of the books themselves, since that’s the point of ARCs in the first place– to get people excited about new and upcoming releases.

  4. I started bullet journaling a couple of years ago. I don’t set it up with lists of goals or an index or the basic stuff they say to use to keep track of things. I mostly use it as a daily To Do list and for monthly and weekly events. I’ll include quotes by favorite authors on the daily pages, and I have a few different Washi tapes that I use to decorate it, but nothing fancy.

    I also use it to keep track of books and series I want to read at the beginning of the year, my ARCs, and the books I read and buy each month. It’s kind of my blogging guide in addition to my To Do list. It’s kind of a catch-all, honestly. It’s definitely not ‘standard’ or particularly pretty, but it does what I need it to, and I’m glad I do it!

  5. As long as it helps you get things done and stay aware of all the moving parts of your life, it sounds like your bullet journal is doing its job! It doesn’t need to be fancy, just functional.

    Um. What’s washi tape?

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