she’s reading: pb’s, semi-sentient swords, necromancers & tea

Dear TBR,

Books have been devoured.

LOVE IN THE LIBRARY, by Maggie Tokuda-Hall – Of course I had to read this book by a sister-East Bay girl and current titanium-spined queen who is resisting Scholastic’s weak gestures at making nice after their recent shenanigans. It is hard to resist a sweet love story – and hard, too, apparently, to face up to the United State’s role in imprisoning its citizens for the crime of ancestry. Full respect to Maggie for a book is so sweet and so tender — a tentative, stubborn relationship that bloomed among the razor wire and gun towers, reminding us that hope blossoms among thorns and dust and scorpions, too. Love always wins – and so will people who stick to their guns.

THAT SELF-SAME METAL by Brittany N. Williams – No good deed goes unpunished. Joan saves a boy ensnared by the fae, and now his high-ranking, racist father feels like that means he now owns her. His letter requesting help from “one such as you…” is rankest insult, but… He works for the King, and threatens her livelihood in Shakespeare’s theater. Now Joan’s gotta do what Joan’s gotta do…

This book is colored with shades of Holly Black’s dreadful faeries, and stitched with a bright thread of inclusivity throughout, as politics and powers clash on all sides. It’s got plays, theater nerds, sword fights, sentient metal, unique gods, horrible monsters, and romances twining and intertwining from all sides. Inclusive, adventurous, dangerous, a bit bloody, and full on scary at times, it’s a one of a kind adventure that fully deserves its buzzy promotions. What if YOU knew a contract between the Fae and the humans had been broken – and you had the power to fix or change things – but only by letting another power fully take over your body and your free will? Terrifying – vital – choices… NB: This particular story arc completes, justice served, so it’s not exactly a cliff-hanger. HOWEVER. Just when you thought Everything Would Be ALL Right, one tiny sentence in the end makes you realize… “Nope… not so fast,” so reader beware!

THE HELIOS SYNDROME, by Vivian Shaw – Hey! Be proud of me, I Have Read A Horror! Kind of. Horror meets hard SF meets …suspense with a soupçon of romance. Eerie, intense, intensely readable – I can’t even really describe this book, which is a novella published for adults, and tells the story, surprisingly, a necromancer. A freelance necromancer (yes, really, and yes, that is as weird as it sounds) is paired up with a hardboiled National Transportation Safety Board member to find and interpret black boxes after plane crashes. Devin Stacey knows the government people don’t really believe in his kind of …work, but it’s money. And then, when an entire flight full of people suddenly vanishes in mid-air, it’s… more. It’s something he’s got to figure out – and soon – at all costs…

THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY – I love the agelessness of this book – it’s allegedly middle grade, but I read it with pleasure as an adult. I was told this was a “kind” book, and sometimes you want to read something that is literally like reading a soft blanket and a pot of tea. There is SO much tea – but it’s made from tea leaves grown on dragon’s horns! The dragons are pets – loved and gently cared for by the last few with the patience to do so – and carry the names of the types of tea they grow, and — honestly, the tea names are not the point of the story. The point of the story is that sometimes, we lose knowledge and stories and art, and sometimes, the younger generation comes along and is charmed by them, and we get them back, better than ever. In the words of the poet, Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse.
What a lovely reminder, with dragons and tea.

Fresh onto the TBR:

  • Witchlings: The Golden Frog Games, by Claribel A. Ortega
  • A Work in Progress, by Jarrett Lerner
  • Greymist Fair, by Francesca Zappia
  • The Poisoner’s Ring, by Kelley Armstrong


Until the next book, 📖

Still A Constant Reader

About the author

tanita s. davis is a writer and avid reader who prefers books to most things in the world, including people. That's ...pretty much it, she's very boring and she can't even tell jokes. She is, however, the author of nine books, including Serena Says, Partly Cloudy, Go Figure, Henri Weldon, and the Coretta Scott King honored Mare's War. Look for her new MG, The Science of Friendship in 1/2024 from Katherine Tegen Books.

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