Monthly Round-Up

Bonjour October

Well, that went fast, don’t ask me where September went, but blink and suddenly we’re in spooky Halloween October. Which means, not only are we in Fall (Autumn) with the trees turning and snow just around the corner—well, for us up here in the Frozen North, at least—but it’s that time of year to settle down on the couch, catch up on our reading, and tackle that ever growing TBR. Whether you decide to do a month reading horror or just spooky fantasy book, or jump in to any and all genre, October is a reader’s month.

So grab your blanket, get settled on the couch, pull up that threatening to topple TBR pile, make sure you have a mocha spiced pumpkin latte on hand, and let’s enjoy October in all its Fall glory.

Before we get settled in, though, here’s my recap of September.

— What Happened —

 Books Read: 

I got to read some really fantastic books this month, starting with IN SHADOWS WE FALL by Devin Madson, an award-winning novella that, at just 108 pages long, packs a huge punch when it comes to story and characterisation. This one rated my newly minted, Book Blurb Recommend badge, telling you how much I enjoyed it. 

Hot on the heals of Madson’s excellent read, I jumped straight into another fantasy read, but one with a difference. RACE THE SANDS by Sarah Beth Durst featured a neat twist on the usual array of monsters. And a plot that carries you along on an action-packed ride. Super fun, you can’t go wrong reading this one. 

Next up came the dark, gritty, urban fantasy, THE LAST SMILE IN SUNDER CITY, by Luke Arnold. This too was an absorbing read, one that sucks you in from the get go as you discover the dark under belly of Sunder City, and what brought both the city and, Fetch Philips to their knees, and the loss of magic. This is definitely a series to get yourself caught up in, with an unlikely anti-hero, and a world gone awry.

To break from the fantasy, I went for CHAOS VECTOR, the highly anticipated SF sequel to Megan E. O’Keefe’s Velocity Weapon, and book two in The Protectorate series. 

My next read was in complete contrast to everything of every other book read, in September, and one I had been looking forward to reading just for the sheer fun of it. CAPTAIN MOXLEY AND THE EMBERS OF THE EMPIRE by Dan Hanks. This hugely entertaining science fantasy romp is well worth the admission. So take your seat, and get ready for a fun, fast, roller coaster ride.

Not content with reading and reviewing 5 books, I managed to squeeze in one more read. THE PHLEBOTOMIST by Chris Panatier [review to come,] which is a near-future slice of sci-fi that will, quite possible, curl your toes if not, curdle your blood. Why? Oh, now that would be telling. But what I can say is that Panatier has managed to take a tried and tested trope and offer up a cunning new twist to it. I never saw it coming, which very rarely happens to me. I loved how he also gave us an older protagonist who, likewise, never saw it coming but, nonetheless, proved herself more than capable. This one is definitely cerebrally clever. You’ve been warned.

In the Spotlight:

I was really lucky to have two new, up coming authors featured in my Author Spotlight, gleefully submitting themselves to my Q&A. Authors Chris Panatier and Dan Hanks were really good sports, and it was a delighted to have them on the website, highlighting not only their debut novels but their publishing journey with Angry Robot. I hope you take a minute to go read their responses.

Also in the Blogger Spotlight were Ollie from Infinite Speculations, as well as Joe from Black Sail Books. Both answering questions and sharing their love of science fiction and fantasy. 

I also managed to squeeze in a couple of discussion posts this month, including the very funny The Implausibility of Dragons, in which I discuss how dragons could never exists in the real world, at least, not at the sizes most fantasy authors would have us believe they grow to. Maybe turkey size … yeah, maybe about the size of a turkey. And Rating Systems for Book Reviews, where I talk about dropping the star rating system in favour of an honest review, and the occasional Book Blurb Recommended badge for an outstanding read. 

— What’s Up Next —

There’s plenty coming in October, including what seems like a fun idea: The OcTBR Challenge is where we tackle our toppling TBR piles regardless of genre, and get stuck into a month-long Read-A-Thon. Yep, I’m down with that. And, before you ask, just what books are lingering on my TBR that I keep sidelining for newer more enticing titles? 

Check them out:

  • BITTER MEDICINE by Sara Paretsky
  • OVERKILL by Vanda Symon
  • AND FIRE CAME DOWN by Emma Viskic
  • THE KINGDOM OF THE BLIND by Louise Penny
  • SALVATION STATION by Kathryn Schleich (provided by the author)
  • CREATURE FEATURE by Steven Paul Leiva (provided by the author)

Also coming this month, this Monday, in fact, I have self-pub author, Dan Fitzgerald under the Author Spotlight talking about his debut fantasy novel, HOLLOW ROAD. What’s more, Book Blurb will be hosting a GIVEAWAY for a signed paperback copy, starting Monday. So don’t miss out, sign up for notifications and never miss another post!

Well, as you can see, I have a plan, whether or not I do read any and all of the books listed remains to be seen. Given that ever present temptation to go online and, well, you know, order a few more new titles from that Wish List that never seems to get any smaller.

And you, what have you lined up for October, anything special?

6 comments on “Bonjour October

  1. Avatar

    Nice line up for October! I’ve got Bitter Medicine so I’ll be interested in how you fare.

    • Alex

      Thanks, Jo. I wanted a month of crime fiction, since I’m not a big fan of horror or the supernatural. So these books have been lingering for a while and what a perfect time to read them, right? 😀

  2. Avatar

    What a fantastic month you had!! Your post has made me excited to pick up some books (as well as a blanket and a warm cup of tea) I’m October!

    • Alex

      Oh, I am so glad to hear you say that, Jake. I love October too, and it’s the perfect month to snuggle down for the Fall and get some reading done. And I hope you found something to peak your interest in my up-coming reads.

  3. Avatar

    What a fantastic roundup! Another busy month ahead

    • Alex

      Thanks, Dan. September was a really good month, both for reading and reviews. Not to mention I got quite a few visits from everyone this month too. Let’s hope I can keep up the interest and the momentum.

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