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Books Received, November 4 — November 10

11 Nov, 2023


The Dead Cat Tail Assassins

The Dead Cat Tail Assassins by P. Djèlí Clark (April 2024)

The Dead Cat Tail Assassins are not cats. 

Nor do they have tails. 

But they are most assuredly dead. 

Nebula and Alex Award winner P. Djèlí Clark introduces a brand-new world and a fantastical city full of gods and assassins. 

Eveen the Eviscerator is skilled, discreet, professional, and here for your most pressing needs in the ancient city of Tal Abisi. Her guild is strong, her blades are sharp, and her rules are simple. Those sworn to the Matron of Assassins — resurrected, deadly, wiped of their memories — have only three unbreakable vows. 

First, the contract must be just. That’s above Eveen’s pay grade. 

Second, even the most powerful assassin may only kill the contracted. Eveen’s a professional. She’s never missed her mark. 

The third and the simplest: once you accept a job, you must carry it out. And if you stray? A final death would be a mercy. When the Festival of the Clockwork King turns the city upside down, Eveen’s newest mission brings her face-to-face with a past she isn’t supposed to remember and a vow she can’t forget. 

Twelfth Knight

Twelfth Knight by Alexene Farol Follmuth (June 2024)

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six (under the penname Olivie Blake) comes Twelfth Knight, a YA romantic comedy and coming of age story about taking up space in the world and learning what it means to let others in. 

Viola Reyes is annoyed. 

Her painstakingly crafted tabletop game campaign was shot down, her best friend is suggesting she try being more likable,” and her school’s star running back Jack Orsino is the most lackadaisical Student Body President she’s ever seen, which makes her job as VP that much harder. Vi’s favorite escape from the world is the MMORPG Twelfth Knight, but online spaces aren’t exactly kind to girls like her — girls who are extremely competent and have the swagger to prove it. So Vi creates a masculine alter ego, choosing to play as a knight named Cesario to create a safe haven for herself. 

But when a football injury leads Jack Orsino to the world of Twelfth Knight, Vi is alarmed to discover their online alter egos — Cesario and Duke Orsino — are surprisingly well-matched. 

As the long nights of game-play turn into discussions about life and love, Vi and Jack soon realise they’ve become more than just weapon-wielding characters in an online game. But Vi has been concealing her true identity from Jack, and Jack might just be falling for her offline… 

That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Human

That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Human by Kimberly Lemming (March 2024)

When a spirited young woman with a penchant for adventure finds herself locked away in a dragon’s tower, she realizes that fate has a peculiar sense of humor when it comes to her romantic prospects, in this laugh-out-loud fantasy rom-com.

All children are told fairytales. Some are epic adventures with high stakes and exciting twists, while others are tales of pitiful princesses trapped in boring towers pining for their Prince Charmings to come and rescue them. Growing up, Cherry always hated those stories. Why didn’t the princesses just get up and rescue themselves? Little did she know that her own fate would take an ironically similar turn. Because now, here she is. Stuck. In a tower. Turns out, when a dragon holds you hostage, he doesn’t just let you get up and leave.

Who knew?

And just when Cherry thinks she sees hope on the horizon, that hope is smashed to bits by — you guessed it — another damn dragon.

Dissonant State

Dissonant State by Jo Miles (November 2023)

Kay Wilder despises Ravel Corporation, whose occupation of her home planet left Kay with a useful but debilitating ability to hear others’ emotions. Unlike her brother Jasper, an activist who fights corporate injustice, Kay has always stayed as far away from the corporate states as possible. 

Until now. Because Ravel has kidnapped her brother, and the only way Kay can help him is to go undercover working for the enemy. Assigned to help Ravel acquire a new member planet, Kay has to lie about what Ravel did to her home. It’s harder and lonelier than Kay could have imagined, until she finds an unexpected ally: a sentient ship who hates working for Ravel as much as she does, who will risk discovery and destruction to help their first and only friend. But the risks are far greater than Kay’s and Ship’s safety. Every day Kay works for Ravel takes them one step closer to completing the acquisition. To save Jasper, she may have to let another world suffer her home’s fate-and betray the cause her brother has risked his life for. 

A unique, hopeful, and compelling space opera, Dissonant State is sure to delight fans of Ann Leckie, Malka Older, and Martha Wells. 

The Wings Upon Her Back

The Wings Upon Her Back by Samantha Mills (April 2024)

A loyal warrior in a crisis of faith must fight to regain her place and begin her life again while questioning the events of her past. This gripping science-fantasy novel from a Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and Locus Award-winning debut author is a complex, action-packed exploration of the costs of zealous faith, brutal war, and unquestioning loyalty.

Zenya was a teenager when she ran away from home to join the mechanically-modified warrior sect. She was determined to earn mechanized wings and protect the people and city she loved. Under the strict tutelage of a mercurial, charismatic leader, Zenya became Winged Zemolai.

But after twenty-six years of service, Zemolai is disillusioned with her role as an enforcer in an increasingly fascist state. After one tragic act of mercy, she is cast out and loses everything she worked for. As Zemolai fights for her life, she begins to understand the true nature of her sect, her leader, and the gods themselves.

A Feather So Black

A Feather So Black by Lyra Selene (March 2024)

Set in a world of perilous magic and moonlit forests, this seductive romantic fantasy tells the story of a defiant changeling, her cursed sister, and the dangerous fae lord she must defeat to save her family.

In a kingdom where magic has been lost, Fia is a rare changeling, left behind by the wicked Fair Folk when they stole the High Queen’s daughter and retreated behind the locked gates of Tír na nÓg.

Most despise Fia’s fae blood. But the queen raises her as a daughter and trains her to be a spy. Meanwhile, the real princess Eala is bound to Tír na nÓg, cursed to become a swan by day and only returning to her true form at night.

When a hidden gate to the realm is discovered, Fia is tasked by the queen to retrieve the princess and break her curse. But she doesn’t go alone: with her is prince Rogan, Fia’s dearest childhood friend — and Eala’s betrothed.

As they journey through the forests of the Folk, where magic winds through the roots of the trees and beauty can be a deadly illusion, Fia’s mission is complicated by her feelings for the prince…and her unexpected attraction to the dark-hearted fae lord holding Eala captive. Irian might be more monster than man, but he seems to understand Fia in a way no one ever has.

Soon, Fia begins to question the truth of her mission. But time is running out to break her sister’s curse. And unraveling the secrets of the past might destroy everything she has come to love. 

The Bell Curve in Perspective Race Meritocracy Inequality and Politics

The Bell Curve in Perspective: Race, Meritocracy, Inequality and Politics by William H. Tucker

This open access book examines the implications of The Bell Curve for the social, economic, and political developments of the early 21st century. Following a review of the reception of The Bell Curve and its place in the campaign to end affirmative action, Professor Tucker analyses Herrnstein’s concept of the meritocracy” in relation to earlier 20th century eugenics and the dramatic increase in economic inequality over the past 30 years. Tucker demonstrates how, contrary to The Bell Curve’s predictions, the reallocation of these huge sums was neither rational nor beneficial for society. The book moves on to situate The Bell Curve within contemporary politics and shows how it can be seen to have played a role in the 2016 US election. This compelling analysis will appeal to scholars and those with an interest in the history of scientific racism, the history of psychology and the sociology of knowledge and science. 

The Truth of the Aleke

The Truth of the Aleke by Moses Ose Utomi (March 2024)

Moses Ose Utomi returns to his Forever Desert series with The Truth of the Aleke, continuing his epic fable about truth, falsehood, and the shackles of history. 

The Aleke is cruel. The Aleke is clever. The Aleke is coming. 500 years after the events of The Lies of the Ajungo, the City of Truth stands as the last remaining free city of the Forever Desert. A bastion of freedom and peace, the city has successfully weathered near-constant attacks from the Cult of Tutu, who have besieged it for three centuries, attempting to destroy its warriors and subjugate its people. 

Seventeen-year-old Osi is a Junior Peacekeeper in the City. When the mysterious leader of the Cult, known only as the Aleke, commits a massacre in the capitol and steals the sacred God’s Eyes, Osi steps forward to valiantly defend his home. For his bravery he is tasked with a tremendous responsibility — destroy the Cult of Tutu, bring back the God’s Eyes, and discover the truth of the Aleke. 

The Coven Special Edition

The Coven: Special Edition by Harper L. Woods (August 2024)

The sexy high-heat vampires of J.R. Ward meet the witchy goodness of Atlas Six and the dark academia suspense of The Ninth House. 


Raised to be my father’s weapon against the Coven that took away his sister and his birthright, I would do anything to protect my younger brother from suffering the same fate. My duty forces me to the secret town of Crystal Hollow and the prestigious Hollow’s Grove University — where the best and brightest of my kind learn to practice their magic free from human judgment. 

There are no whispered words here. No condemnation for the blood that flows through my veins. The only animosity I face comes from the beautiful and infuriating Headmaster, Alaric Grayson Thorne, a man who despises me just as much as I loathe him and everything he stands for. 

But that doesn’t mean secrets don’t threaten to tear the school in two. No one talks about the bloody massacre that forced it to close decades prior, only the opportunity it can afford to those fortunate enough to attend. 

Because for the first time in fifty years, the Coven will open its wards to the Thirteen. 

Thirteen promising students destined to change the world. 

If the ghosts of Hollow’s Grove’s victims don’t kill them first.