For my personal Indie Books Challenge, I’ve decided to try to have at least half of all the books I read in a month be by an indie author or published by an indie publishing house, which I’m broadly defining as not published by one of the Big 5 because doing otherwise would break my already exhausted brain. So, how did I do in May?
I read 9 books and 5 were definitely indie books, so that’s just over half! 55% indie books this month, to be, more or less, exactly. It’s really more like 55.555555… you get the idea.
The Indie Books
I left off April with Fate Accompli by Keith R. Fentonmiller, so finished it during the first few days of May. This is a fascinating marriage of Greek mythology and Italian Renaissance, but I ended up really enjoying it. It’s about two people who come from families cursed by the Greek gods and they try to find a way to undo them. Review
Tales of the Clans: Ineluctable by Elsy Devaine was published last fall and is fairly standard high fantasy. There’s action and adventure, uncovering of secrets and discovery of the true history, and some romance. What started as a diplomatic mission protecting a young Oracle became the capture and essential arrest of an Ineluctable who shouldn’t have existed in order to capture a criminal known as Reaper became a battle against the Councillors who ruled the world unjustly. Review coming later this week.
Headlines & Hydras by Rebecca Chastain was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021. I had the pleasure of reviewing the first book in the series, Leads & Lynxes, last year and fell in love with the characters and world so much that I couldn’t wait for the next book. Again, I had the pleasure of reviewing the second book and absolutely loved everything about it. These books have everything I love reading: high fantasy, mystery, strong females, creature companions, and a bit of romance. Review
The Last Imperator by M.L. Tishner was an indie book I’ve been looking forward to for almost 2 years. It’s the second book in the Rebirth Saga, following The God Queen. A wonderful mix of Star Wars and what felt like anime to me (but I’m not an anime fan and haven’t actually watched much of it, so take this with a grain of salt). There’s tons of space travel and plenty of interesting powers. The first book had the loveliest romance I’ve ever read, which remains true to today, so I was very much looking forward to how it would play out going forward. It does not disappoint and the story and characters just keep getting better. Review
Find by Steve Dunn Hanson is the indie book I’m wrapping up May with. It involves archaeology and anthropology and a very specific dig for ancient chronicles in Guatemala. There’s also a televangelist with a ginormous ego I could have done without. But this book is definitely feeding into my longtime interest in archaeology, and I’ve just gotten to the part where they’re examining relics, so I can’t wait to read on.
The Books from the Big 5
The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley was published by Bloomsbury a few days ago. It’s described as genre bending and has time travel and an alternate history that started around the Battle of Trafalgar. I found the back and forth in time to be a little dizzying and discovered a lot of loose and unexplained threads by the time I finished reading, but, when I think of this book as a love story above everything else, it works as long as I don’t think too hard about it. Review
Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley was for a book blog tour done by the publisher, Graydon House Books. I don’t read books that are strictly romances much anymore, but I liked that this one involved a romance novelist, who is also a Bookstagrammer, so thought it would be fun. I was delighted by just enjoyable it was, though there wasn’t nearly as much bookish talk as I would have liked. Review
For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten is being published by Orbit tomorrow. It’s a great, kind of creepy fairy tale read with something of a cursed forest and bloodthirsty characters and trees. It’s not really a “Little Red Riding Hood” retelling as maybe a Little Red Riding Hood got lost in the woods and came across the Beast’s castle from “Beauty and the Beast”, but met the Wolf anyways. Or maybe it was a beast? My review coming tomorrow!
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri is still a read in progress. I have a physical ARC and physical books always take me longer because I really only read them during the day when my kids are either getting into trouble or need things like food, so it’s slow going, but very enjoyable so far. The romance is starting to heat up and the threads are starting to tighten.
Thanks for reading!