This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl, is all about Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To. And, let me tell you there were quite a few. Especially on my Wish List that, well, for one reason or another kept getting put aside for something else—I can be a terrible mood reader.
So what books did I have lined up that never got read?
SEA OF RUST by C. Robert Cargill
It’s been thirty years since the apocalypse and fifteen years since the murder of the last human being at the hands of robots. Humankind is extinct. Every man, woman, and child has been liquidated by a global uprising devised by the very machines humans designed and built to serve them. Most of the world is controlled by an OWI—One World Intelligence—the shared consciousness of millions of robots, uploaded into one huge mainframe brain. But not all robots are willing to cede their individuality—their personality—for the sake of a greater, stronger, higher power. These intrepid resisters are outcasts; solo machines wandering among various underground outposts who have formed into an unruly civilization of rogue AIs in the wasteland that was once our world.
One of these resisters is Brittle, a scavenger robot trying to keep a deteriorating mind and body functional in a world that has lost all meaning. Although unable to experience emotions like a human, Brittle is haunted by the terrible crimes the robot population perpetrated on humanity. As Brittle roams the Sea of Rust, a large swath of territory that was once the Midwest, the loner robot slowly comes to terms with horrifyingly raw and vivid memories—and nearly unbearable guilt.
CAMBRIDGE BLACK by Alison Bruce
Amy was seven years old when her father was arrested for murder. His subsequent trial and conviction scarred her childhood and cast a shadow over her life until, twenty-two years later, new evidence suggests he was innocent and Amy sets out to clear his name.
But Amy is not the only person troubled by the past. DC Gary Goodhew is haunted by the day his grandfather was murdered and is still searching for answers, determined to uncover the truth about his grandfather”s death and find his killer.
But, right now, someone is about to die. Someone who has secrets and who once kept quiet but is now living on borrowed time. Someone who will be murdered because disturbing the past has woken a killer.
THE SEARCH PARTY by Simon Lelic
16-year-old Sadie Saunders is missing. Five friends set out into the woods to find her. But they”re not just friends…THEY”RE SUSPECTS. You see, this was never a search party. It’s a witch hunt.
And not everyone will make it home alive…
GONE TO DARKNESS by Barbara Nickless
Iraqi war vet and former railway cop Sydney Parnell is now the youngest homicide detective in Denver’s Major Crimes Unit. In the past, gut instinct has served her and her K9 partner well. But it’s not a trait Len Bandoni, her old nemesis turned reluctant mentor, admires. Not until Sydney’s instincts lead to their first case: a man tortured and beaten to death, then left in a refrigerated train car with cryptic messages carved into his body.
The victim is a well-liked member of an elite club called the Superior Gentlemen. At first glance, the club appears harmless. But beneath its refined surface swim darker currents.
As Sydney; her K9 partner, Clyde; and Bandoni investigate the grisly murder, the three develop a bond that carries them through a shocking series of crimes and a horrifying conspiracy that threatens the detectives’ lives and promises to bring their beloved city to its knees.
MASTER OF POISONS by Andrea Hairston
The world is changing. Poison desert eats good farmland. Once-sweet water turns foul. The wind blows sand and sadness across the Empire. To get caught in a storm is death. To live and do nothing is death. There is magic in the world, but good conjure is hard to find.
Djola, righthand man and spymaster of the lord of the Arkhysian Empire, is desperately trying to save his adopted homeland, even in exile.
Awa, a young woman training to be a powerful griot, tests the limits of her knowledge and comes into her own in a world of sorcery, floating cities, kindly beasts, and uncertain men.
Awash in the rhythms of folklore and storytelling and rich with Hairston”s characteristic lush prose, Master of Poisons is epic fantasy that will bleed your mind with its turns of phrase and leave you aching for the world it burns into being.
I think of these five, the one I most want to read is MASTER OF POISONS, it just sounds so intriguing. And you, what books did you never get around to reading last year, if any?