I started reading ARCs last year and even built up a little bit of an approval rating before an unfortunate incident resulted in my Netgalley account being accidentally deleted. Nevermind, just this once I thought I might as well take on the challenge of starting from scratch.
To help me build my approval rating back up, I thought I’d start posting Arc Hauls on this blog for accountability + an extra boost to their publicity. Big thanks to the publishers who have approved my requests for these eARCs via Edelweiss+ or Netgalley.
Without further ado, here are some of the eARCs I’m either currently reading or will be reading that are set to be released this year!
Expected Publication: April 6th 2021 by Simon Pulse Genres: SFF, Young Adult ⇢ YA Fantasy, YA Science Fiction CWs: death, gore, murder, torture, underage drinking (mentioned).
Whew, I honestly thought I wouldn’t ever get approved for The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman, considering how I requested it on Edelweiss+ and how many times I’ve been declined on there (holler if you feel me). When I went on one morning and saw the number on the little notification bell, I actually made a sound only dogs could hear.
I’m not lying when I say that this book is so. Freaking. Pretty. If you thought the cover was already amazing, the title page, map and chapter layout is almost equally so. There seems to be a lot of circular symbolism going on (Infinity?) and the book keeps that consistent throughout its design. (Which nerdy lil me really appreciates!!)
Also, again, the map is breathtaking. I wasn’t surprised when I found out it was illustrated by Virginia Allyn, but a big shoutout to the author is in order for drawing it out in the first place on paint and giving that original version of it to Virginia Allyn (interview that mentions that found here). The Infinity Courts depicted sound so incredibly interesting that I can’t wait to get to know more about them.
I’m still in the first few chapters of this book, but the main plot took off fast and already I find myself thoroughly hooked. The sci-fi elements of the story present themselves as early as the first chapter, where we are introduced to Nami’s family – and even Ophelia, who we learn is the AI Nami has become dependent on. Bowman structures her writing in a way that easily sucks you into the story, to the point that upon Nami’s death I felt as if I had been ripped off reality myself and unceremoniously dumped into another world.
I’m both nervous and excited for what’s to come.
Can’t wait to read the rest of this!
Expected Publication: April 13th 2021 by Tor Books Genres: SFF, Adult, Thriller ⇢ Mystery Thriller, Queer CWs: death (of a loved one, parent, child, etc.), body horror (mutilation), gore (graphic), murder (graphic, incl. of pregnant women), needles, violence.
You are not obligated to know my ARC application experiences, but I just want to tell you I was denied my first request for the eARC of The Helm of Midnight by Marina Lostetter on Edelweiss+, but later on approved on my second by Netgalley. I thank whoever decided to grant me this book through the latter, because I am currently a quarter through book and I am ABSOLUTELY FLOORED by everything I’m reading.
In case you missed the content warnings, I’d like to begin by reiterating that if you are sensitive to any of the things listed (most especially mutilation and extreme violence) then this is not the book for you.
Marina Lostetter doesn’t go easy on any front. Not in worldbuilding, not in magic systems, not in plot nor atmosphere, and most especially not in characters. As I’ve said, I’m only a quarter through the book, but if things keep going the way they’re going, this novel has great potential to become a new favorite.
I love the worldbuilding. It’s… insane. To give you an idea, our main setting is a city called Lutador that is located in one of five city-states that make up an area called the Valley – the only place in the world where humans are able to live. Around the Valley is an area called the rim where a gods-made magical barrier lies that separates the Valley from the rest of the world – a world ruled by monsters where humans are naught but prey. Yes, you read that right. Prey!!
Magic comes from whatever grows around the barrier, which humans use to make enchantments. And one of the main enchantments we are concerned with in this story is the stolen death mask of an infamous, hannibal-esque serial killer named Louis Charbon.
There’s honestly a lot going on in this story and so much more to the world than what I’ve just mentioned. We explore POVs apart from our main character’s – a Regulator named Krona who has a phobia of the only kind of monster able to cross the barrier. The main mystery explored in the story is thoroughly gripping. There’s so much tension and suspense in-between pages that sometimes I actually find myself holding my breath.
I’m kind of devouring this book – as much as I can be during this time, anyway (I’ve got quite a few things going on IRL that I haven’t been able to properly sit down and uninterruptedly read something). And I am absolutely loving it.
Expected Publication: May 4th 2021 by Roaring Brook Genres: SFF, Young Adult ⇢ YA Science Fiction, YA Fantasy CWs: death (incl. of a parent – off page), gore (some), large scale natural disasters and mass casualties, suicide, terminal illness, violence (including choking), vomiting.
The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He is one of my most anticipated releases of 2021. And I was absolutely ecstatic when it turned up as ‘Read Now’ on Netgalley for a few hours because I was able to get the eARC for it.
All my book blogger friends who got the ARC for this seemed to have all read it already, so I’m pretty late to the game. And to be honest, due to IRL circumstances, I might be even later than I already feel like I’m going to be (I will read it before that publication date though, I swear on my honor, on my life, on my jade-).
I have not opened the eARC yet, so I really have nothing worthy to say here, unless you like keysmashes that express excitement. (AKSDJFKJFKSDJF AAAAAAAA!! There. You’re welcome.)
The illustrations for this novel (have you seen them? There’s a pre-order thing for the book that comes with the illustrations you should totally check out here) are breathtaking. I feel like reading this will be akin to entering a whole world full of good, agonizingly angsty pain.
I can’t wait to cry over it all.
Expected Publication: May 27th 2021 by Harper Collins Genres: SFF, Young Adult ⇢ YA Fantasy, Paranormal ⇢ Witches CWs: [unlisted]
Threadneedle by Cari Thomas is another book I got from the Publisher via Netgalley. I haven’t opened it yet, and I don’t see it circulating around on twitter like I do with TOWMTF, so apart from what is said in the blurb I know nothing about it!
But this line from the book:
Magic is the first sin; we must bear it silently.— Tenet One, The Book of the Binders
This line is fire. I have a few witchy books on my TBR that have either come out recently or are just coming out this year, but this one is definitely one of the ones I’m most excited about. I adore the hidden city trope, so I can’t wait to see how this one goes.
Expected Publication: August 3rd 2021 by Flux Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult ⇢ YA Fantasy, Paranormal ⇢ Ghosts CWs: death (of a family member - off page, of a character - on page), blood, grief & violence.
Finally, we have the last ARC in this haul – A Dragonbird in the Fern by Laura Rueckert! This was the first eARC I got approved for this year, so I was excited enough that I started reading it right away – only to pause when I got approved for other ARCs with earlier release dates.
Regardless, I thought it was very cool that we’re finally seeing more neurodiversity in YA Fantasy. I was also very stoked to see a character that was pretty dedicated to her family – a trope that’s not too common in YA SFF either.
I thought the world was pretty interesting and I really liked the inclusion of ghosts and burial customs that I was able to see a glimpse of in the little that I’ve read of this book (the dead needing to be appeased to be able to cross over, else they lose their minds and murder their living loved ones? Sign me up!). The political situation between the Kingdoms was also really intriguing.
I’m pretty eager to continue where I’ve left off in this book. Can’t wait to know more!
🍵 What are you currently reading?
🍵 What’s an ARC you recently received that you like or have fallen in love with?
🍵 Have you heard of any of the books I’ve listed? What do you feel about them?
Feel free to comment any of your thoughts down below! I don’t bite.
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