September 2020 Reading Recap


September marked the beginning of autumn, of Revision Season, I celebrated my eight year anniversary with my boyfriend, and made a lot of progress as far as job hunting goes. With that came exhaustion, however, so this month’s recap is a bit lighter than normally. Also Hades dropped and that’s been really good for my creative well.

There were two interviews this month:

Finished in September

The Scapegracers (#1) by H.A. Clarke

  • Young adult contemporary fantasy about lesbian witches who are gay
  • Love the friendships, love the spells, and the way this group of girls comes together throughout
  • Clarke was featured in an interview
  • Takeaway: Making the magic and the voice match the main character

Read Cover-to-Cover in September

The Hellion (Malus Domestica #3) by S.A. Hunt

  • Adult urban fantasy horror where Robin Martine and co take the worst road trip ever
  • Mad Max: Fury Road with shifters
  • Hunt was also interviewed this month
  • Takeaway: Impeccable pacing with enough room to breathe

The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowned Empire #1) by Andrea Stewart

  • Adult fantasy about an empire on the verge of collapse, told from three perspectives
  • Established sapphic couple, a sneaky daughter, magic-tech, and a rogue with a heart-of-gold
  • Mephi is best animal companion
  • Takeaway: Magic-tech and complicated family feelings done right

Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp

  • Young adult contemporary thriller about a group of five friends coming together to play their role-playing game together one more time
  • Cabin-in-the-woods style tension
  • Non-binary and autistic rep
  • Takeaway: Using a game as an excellent framing device and vehicle for character development

Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall

  • Young adult contemporary about a girl grieving her secret girlfriend
  • Quiet with deft transitions between present day and past memories
  • Takeaway: A deeply compelling interior narrative

First, Do No Harm by K. Avard

  • Adult fantasy about a plague in 17th Century Vienna
  • Really good balance of “is the plague supernatural or not”
  • Takeaway: Give your main character some agency

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

  • Adult fantasy about a man stuck in an endless flooded house
  • The less I say about this the better
  • Takeaway: How to write a compact, gothic novel

The Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky

  • Adult fantasy novella about an acolyte on her way to attack and dethrone her god
  • Told entirely through the POV of NPCs
  • Takeaway: Unconventional and engrossing way to deliver world-building

Burning Roses by S.L. Huang

  • Adult fantasy quest adventure featuring an impressive number of fairy tale retellings
  • About grief, regret, and friendship, with immersive flashbacks
  • Sapphic and trans rep
  • Takeaway: Making every exchange on a journey count


The Last Smile in Sunder City (The Fetch Phillips Archives #1) by Luke Arnold

  • Adult fantasy noir about a soldier-turned-private detective
  • Immersive world-building with a deep sense of loss and recent history
  • Takeaway: Threading backstory while revealing a mystery happening in real time

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard

  • Adult nonfiction about Rome’s first millennium
  • Really funny in places
  • Takeaway: Featuring enough detail to inspire further learning and reading

In October, there is a new Animal Crossing update and I really want a pumpkin patch, so maybe there will be more audiobook listening in.

Until next time,

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