March 2024 Books

Books Reread

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
**Book Hangover Alert
Still really enjoying rereading these. Not going to blurb this one because spoilers. Still in awe of Uncle Rick. I really admire the way he had POV chapters from all 7 main characters and it worked. I like the way each section from a certain character had it’s own mini character arc within the whole. Also love my baby Nico, who must be protected at all costs.
4.5/5 dead legionnaires

New Books Read

Tor Publishing Group

Ebony Gate by Ken Bebelle and Julia Vee
The Phoenix Hoard book 1 of 2
This one was fun. I read it for my world building class. Emiko is just trying to leave her bloody history in the past, but when a magical debt is called in by a death god, she must take up her sword again to save her new home, San Francisco’s Chinatown. I enjoyed the world and the family politics Vee and Bebelle set up.
3/5 swords

Tor Publishing Group

The First Bright Thing by J.R. Dawson***
**Book Hangover Alert
CW: domestic violence, alcoholism
Full disclosure, J.R. Dawson is one of the professors for my program who taught the world building class I keep mentioning. In 1926 the Ringmaster, Rin, keeps her circus of Sparks (individuals with powers) one step ahead of the shadow chasing her from her past, while trying to prevent the next Great War that she and Mauve, a Spark who can see the future, can see coming. Rin must find a way to protect her circus and all those who love her and learn to believe herself worthy of that love. I loved the world of the circus and the nonlinear storytelling and the found family, queer vibes.
4/5 illusions


This Appearing House by Ally Malinenko*
CW: cancer
Once again just have to say that middle grade authors get so much respect from me. They are so important, and everyone should read middle grade books. (I read this one for world building as well.) A house appears at the end of Jac’s street out of nowhere and that combined with Jac’s shaking hands and headaches makes her afraid that her cancer could be returning, 5 years after diagnosis and successful treatment. Jac and her best friend enter the house on a dare, but this isn’t your average haunted house. Jac is sure it’s trying to tell her something. But can she figure it out before it kills her? This book is so important for any kids (or even adults really) living with or recovered from cancer. I cried. I think the percentage of middle grade books that make me cry is higher than the percentage of adult books that make me cry.
4/5 mourners

Apsara Engine by Bishakh Som***
Delightfully strange and queer. This is a collection of graphic short stories. They are very weird but also very good. The art is also lovely.
3/5 odd little creatures


Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
The Vampire Chronicles book 1 of 13
CW: slavery, pedophilia vibes?
I can’t say whether or not I liked this book. It was kind of a slog to get through and I was wishing it was over for most of it. But now that it is over…I sort of want to read the next book? I sort of want to see the movie or the new show? I can’t stop thinking about it? The vampire Louis narrates his life story from his conversion to a vampire in the late 1700s until present day to a human journalist. It’s kinda gay (but could be gayer, tbh). It’s kinda unhinged.
3/5 fangs

Books I did not finish

Islam, Arabs, and the Intelligent World of the Jinn by Amira El-Zein
I feel bad saying I didn’t finish this because I didn’t stop because it wasn’t good. I was reading it for research on a potential project. For now the project is shelved, but I may continue it some time in the future, in which case I’ll probably return to this book. I did learn a lot about the Muslim concept of the jinn in comparison to humans and it was very interesting.

*This book only includes straight, white, cis people.

**Book Hangover Alert indicates the kind of book that will leave you full up on love. Satisfied, but wishing the book never had to end. You’ll be laying on the floor with no idea what to do with yourself (other friends have called this feeling Good Book Depression or say that certain books necessitate Floor Time). This is the kind of book that gets its teeth in you and won’t let go easily. After the last page you’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. You’ll bother all your friends trying to get them to read it so that you won’t be alone in your Hangover.

***This book is part of my Books for a Social Conscience series! Read The First Bright Thing for historical fiction that doesn’t erase queer people. Read Apsara Engine for trans voices in graphic storytelling. Read Gone Wolf for a better understanding of racial trauma.

Reads marked as part of the Books for a Social Conscience series will regularly address topics like race and racism, colonialism and post-colonialism, LGBTQIA+ experience, feminism, BIPOC experience, social and political issues, history, identity, class, disability experience, immigration, gun violence, poverty, colorism, environmentalism, and more! The goal of these books is to diversify the stories we’re reading, grow our empathy for those who are different from us, and amplify voices who are often silenced.