gentleman never keeps score

Most Anticipated Sequels of 2018

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

January 9 – Goodreads

Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.

This is the third novella in the Wayward Children series, which is all about children who’ve had adventures in portal fantasy worlds coming back to our mundane, everyday world and having to readjust to it.

I loved the first two novellas in this series so much, and I especially loved how wonderfully different from one another they were. Both have a great narrative voice, and read like dark, complex, detailed fairytales, and this next book sounds like it will be very much in the same vein, but once again exploring a completely different story. I’ve already pre-ordered it & I’m hoping it will get here soon!

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

May 1 – Goodreads

The highly anticipated second novel from Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give, returns to the world of Garden Heights in a story about an aspiring teen rapper and what happens when you get everything you thought you wanted.

The Hate U Give was the last book I read in 2018, and I found it such an impactful read! I loved the characters and their relationships, I loved the ways in which the book surprised me – mostly its focus was a tad different from what I expected – and I loved the focus on language, specifically slang and code-switching. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about an aspiring teen rapper, but hopefully that will change in 2018.

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

May 8 – Goodreads

It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue. What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…
I loved the first Murderbot novella, All Systems Red; probably my favourite thing about it was how different Murderbot’s voice felt – at the same time alien and relatable. I can’t wait to read more about Murderbot, and to see it interact with a transport vessel as well as humans.

A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian

July 15 – Goodreads

This is technically the second book in Sebastian’s latest m/m historical romance series, Seducing the Sedgwicks, but as with many romance series, each book can easily be read as a standalone.

I absolutely loved the first book in this series, It Takes Two to Tumble, which focuses on country vicar Ben Sedgwick & grieving naval captain Philip Dacre, so I would very much recommend picking this one up while you wait for A Gentleman Never Keeps Score.

All we know about this second book for now is that it’s about Hartley Sedgwick, Benedict’s younger brother, but by this point, I’ll read anything Cat Sebastian writes, so count me in.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

October 2 – Goodreads

A sequel to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, narrated by Monty’s little sister Felicity. Features travel, pirates, and a science girl gang.

All of these things sound really great and I’m very, very pumped for this book. I liked Felicity a lot when I was reading The Gentleman’s Guide, so I’m really happy to get a whole book from her point of view. In the first book, we learn that Felicity is studying medicine in secret and plans to be a doctor; since I’m a big fan of weird medical history, I can’t wait for that.

The Widening Gyre by John Scalzi

October 16 – Goodreads

The second book in the Interdependency series is coming out this year! Goodreads had this one down as coming out in 2019 for a while and I was all sad and moppy about it, until I double checked the page the other day and found the new release date. I loved the first book so much, I’m excited not to have to wait a whole extra year for the next one.

gentleman never keeps score

End of Year TBR

There’s only one month left in the year and there are a lot of things that I wanted to get to this year that I didn’t get to. Even though I’ve got some time off in the coming month & I’m going to be traveling for the holidays, I don’t know how much I’ll be able to read. So I had a think about the books I want to read the most, and put this list together to help me keep a better focus on them.


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I can’t believe I haven’t read this book yet! This is a bestselling contemporary YA novel that was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s about a black teenager named Starr who witnesses the death of her friend, a young black man, at the hands of a white police officer. This book has been extremely successful & I’ve heard such great things about it, I definitely want to get to it especially since there is now a movie in the works.

The Hate U Give & Dreadnought


Dreadnought by April Daniels

A YA novel about a transgender girl who witnesses the death of a superhero and accidentally inherits his superpowers, including suddenly having the body she was always meant to have. She has to deal with the people in her life who didn’t know she was trans and want to ‘cure’ her. This is a really captivating premise and it sounds like nothing I’ve read before.


The Black Tides of Heaven & The Red Threads of Fortune by Jy Yang

I’ve honestly got no idea what these novellas are about but I’ve been drooling over those covers for ages! I ended up buying physical copies of both of these because I have no self-control and they are so pretty. I’ve heard such great things about these novellas from friends of mine whose bookish opinions I trust, so I can’t wait to read them! These are being marketed as companion novellas, but I’ve been advised to start with The Black Tides of Heaven, so that what I’m going with.

The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune


River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

It’s a western-style alternate history with hippos! I love historical fantasy and while I’m not massively into westerns, the hippos have me really intrigued! I really love Sarah Gailey’s Twitter and her non-fiction so I’m looking forward to trying out her fiction. This is also a novella, which is obviously very good for that end-of-year reading goals catch-up.

River of Teeth & It Takes Two To Tumble


It Takes Two To Tumble by Cat Sebastian

Cat Sebastian’s m/m historical romances are one of my favourite discoveries of 2017, so I’m super hyped for her next book, coming out next week! My friends Kay & Chelsea both got ARCs for this book and described it on their podcast as “basically The Sound of Music, but with two dudes and really, really hot sex scenes” so I am HERE FOR THAT.


Barbary Station by RE Stearns

The buzz for this book has been going strong since spring – how could it not with an elevator pitch like “lesbian space pirate adventures”? When I was looking to pre-order my copy, I realised that the paperback came out only about a week after the hardback, so I waited a bit to get the cheaper copy, but now it’s on my shelf & it’s going to get read.

Barbary Station

gentleman never keeps score

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day – Review

Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Publishing
Date: 10 January 2017
Source: ARC (NetGalley)
Buy the BookGoodreads

When her sister Patty died, Jenna blamed herself. When Jenna died, she blamed herself for that, too. Unfortunately Jenna died too soon. Living or dead, every soul is promised a certain amount of time, and when Jenna passed she found a heavy debt of time in her record. Unwilling to simply steal that time from the living, Jenna earns every day she leeches with volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline.

But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope; something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.

I’m always up for reading more from Seanan McGuire and I was especially excited to pick up another novella from her since her latest, Every Heart a Doorway, made my list of favourite reads of 2016.

I enjoyed Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day, though I didn’t quite fall in love with it. The prose is as gorgeous as McGuire usually produces, the world-building is really interesting and the characters feel like real people, but this story didn’t have much of an emotional impact on me.

I know it’s a bit unfair for me to say I’m disappointed in something because I ‘just’ liked it instead of adoring it, but at this point I know I’m going to like McGuire’s work. I’m always hoping for something that’ll make me hide in the bathroom at work to have a wee cry (FEED), inspire me to get a tattoo (Wicked Girls), or end up on my Hugo Awards nomination ballot (Every Heart A Doorway, the InCryptids series).

Oh look, actual thoughts on the book instead of my Seanan feels:

I hesitate to call this book an Urban Fantasy, though that’s probably what it should be shelved under. The story and characters all clearly have deep countryside roots, with the city not being portrayed as much of a character, or all that welcoming of an entity. New York is the place runaways flock to and the place Jenna chose for her flight but it was never quite home. Instead, the pull of Jenna’s small, rural town is ever-present, it’s where her bones are buried and it can never stop being home.

The world-building was fascinating but I found it somewhat confusing, particularly the language around ghosts abilities to give and take time from the living. In the beginning, I kept having to double back to make sure I understood whether Jenna was ageing or getting younger. It took me a while to get into the world and its rules, which wouldn’t be as much of an issue in a novel but in this much shorter work it meant that I was confused for a much larger portion of the story.

Still, I was intrigued by so many things in this story: witches in the corn, covered mirrors, whispering rats, ghost traps. I also especially enjoyed Jenna’s posse of elderly cats, as well as her musings on death, the living and why ghosts who linger behind. I would definitely read more in that world, now that I understand the way the main premise works a bit better.

4 stars

gentleman never keeps score

Catching up with Hugo-eligible works

It’s Hugo Awards nomination time again!

The nomination period for the 2016-2017 Hugo Awards is now open. If you’re a member of last year’s Midamericon in Kansas City, this year’s Worldcon 75 in Helsinki or next year’s Worldcon 76 in San Jose, you can nominate your favourite Sci-Fi & Fantasy works of 2016 for a Hugo Awards in a whole host of categories.

Every year I try to read works as they are being published but I end up falling behind because there are just So. Many. Great. Books.
As a side effect, come Hugo nomination time, I’m left with a very small field of works I’ve actually read or watched and I have to leave blank spots in my nomination ballot which I just don’t like doing.

Shockingly it happened again in 2016 & there’s some catch up to do…

Here’s what I read and watched in 2016 that’s eligible:
  • Novels: Ghost Talkers, False Hearts, Obelisk Gate, The Family Plot
  • Novella: Every Heart A Doorway, Forest of Memory
  • Novelette: Superior
  • Short stories: None. Absolute FAIL.
  • Graphic novels: Descender Vol 2, Saga Vol 6
  • Films: Arrival
  • TV: Game of Thrones, Doctor Who

I’d be happy to put most of these on my ballot (Every Heart A Doorway and Superior will definitely be on there, as both made my Favourite Reads of 2016 list). But I would still love to have a wider selection to pick from, so I decided to get some reading & some watching done…

Making it into a bit of a project to make it more fun:

For the next three months, I’ll try and read, watch and consume some works that came out in 2016 – stuff I heard was good, or stuff I wanted to get to but didn’t – and then hopefully by the end of three months I’ll have a wider pool of eligible works to nominate from.

I decided to keep all of this fairly casual and not put too much pressure on myself. Instead of targeting things I should *absolutely* get to, I just amassed a giant list of STUFF that fits the bill, with help from Renay’s excellent Hugo Eligibility Spreadsheet of Doom. My own personal Hugo List of Doom is 4 pages long so far, with a full page dedicated to short stories!

That might seem daunting, but since I already know I won’t get through everything, I don’t feel pressured to try and get to everything. I’ve printed out a copy of The Hugo List of Doom, and I’ve started marking works off with a highlighter once I’ve checked them out. To me, that smattering of colour throughout The Hugo List of Doom proves that I gave the project a good try, and it’s satisfaction enough on its own.

If you have any recommendations for Hugo-eligible things I should try to get to before the end of the nomination period in March, let me know in the comments!

gentleman never keeps score

Martians Abroad – Review & Giveaway

Martians AbroadAuthor: Carrie Vaughn
Genre: YA science-fiction
Publisher: Tor Books
Date: 17 January 2017
Source: NetGalley
Buy the BookGoodreads

Polly Newton has one single-minded dream, to be a starship pilot and travel the galaxy. Her mother, the Director of the Mars Colony, derails Polly’s plans when she sends Polly and her genius twin brother, Charles, to Galileo Academy on Earth–the one planet Polly has no desire to visit. Ever.

Homesick and cut off from her own plans for her future, Polly cannot seem to fit into the constraints of life on Earth, unlike Charles, who deftly maneuvers around people and sees through their behavior to their true motives. Strange, unexplained, dangerous coincidences centered on their high-profile classmates begin piling up. Charles may be right–there’s more going on than would appear, and the stakes are high. With the help of Charles, Polly is determined to find the truth, no matter the cost.

One of my goals for 2017 was to read more science-fiction, so I was very excited to get my hands on this book! The near-future, Mars colonisation aspect of the story did not disappoint, and I really enjoyed our protagonist, Polly. Also, I’m always here for any story set in a boarding school! although I did have some issues with the pacing, I enjoyed the book overall.

Check out my review video if you want to hear more of my thoughts on Martians Abroad! You can also enter the giveaway below for a chance to win your own copy: the giveaway is open internationally until midnight on 3 February 2017 and the winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter.

The review:

The giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway