Books! Vacations! These two things go extremely well together, and next week, I get them both!
In preparation for my staycation next week, I snagged a few reads off my Amazon wish-list (alongside a new video game), and have so far planned out a full week of reading and exploring the Nordic setting of Santa Monica Studio’s God of War. I am /so incredibly excited./ Since starting my new job in December, I feel like I’ve been stuck in a constantly moving whirlwind, so the week to relax and focus on some things around the house is so, so welcomed.
We’re here to talk about the books, though, so here’s my new purchases:
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
I /adore/ this cover. It’s so stylish and the red cape makes such a stark impact against the ivory background that it kept drawing my eye whenever I’d scroll past it on my Goodreads timeline. Plus, magic! Alternate realities! Thieves and magicians! Yeah, I’m pretty hyped about this one. It checks a lot of boxes for me and I’m looking forward to digging into it next week.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:
Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!
Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.
I’ve seen this comic floating around Twitter since it released a few weeks ago and the premise is just so sweet. It’s been on my wishlist since then, so when I decided I wanted to get a few new books for my vacation, I knew this had to be one of them. I love anything that plays with traditional concepts of gender and the pleasant art and lovely cover really drew me in. Definitely excited to read this one.
All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells
In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.
But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.
On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.
But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.
Tor.com has had a lot to say about All Systems Red (and its soon-to-be-released sequel), and from what I’ve seen, it’s all been favorable. To be honest, the name of the main character – the Murderbot – really put me off for a good long while, but then people kept talking about it, and a sequel got announced, and my curiosity became too strong to ignore. It should be a short read, if nothing else, which is just what I need during my staycation.
What new books have y’all picked up recently? Got a favorite you go back to when you have your own “staycation?” Let me know about it in the comments, and until next time, try to relax.