Book Reviews: Backlist Releases You May Have Missed

Something a bit different for you today, with a series of reviews of books that have been published recently (and a little less recently) that you might have missed out on. A little disclaimer first up, though: copies of these books were kindly provided us by the authors, but these are my unbiased reviews.

So dive in! And I hope you find something here that interests you.


The Bound Thief


J. F. Vox
Rep: gay mc
Genre: adult contemporary
CWs: violence, mentions of murder, past child abuse, mentions of past child sexual abuse

Reasons to Read

One. If you’re looking for something a little darker than what you might normally read, this book provides that (check CWs, though).

Two. I have to admit I did not expect to like or feel any sympathy for a character who had murdered three people, but this book did a good job in that respect.

Three. Linked to the above point, there was some excellent character development going on.


Siege Weapons


Harry F. Rey
Rep: gay mc & side characters
Genre: adult sci fi
CWs: dubiously consensual sex, violence, past murder of a child described

Reasons to Read

One. We all want main characters that we can root for, right? And I’ve not read many characters as easily rootable-for as Captain Ales, which made this book a very easy read.

Two. If you follow my reviews at all, you’ll know I get bored fairly easily if there’s not a lot happening in a book. So this book suited me very well, because it’s a fast-paced, action-packed sci fi. Basically all I’m ever looking for.

Three. There’s also some really creative worldbuilding. Like, you know in a lot of sci fis you just get humans in space, pretty much? Well in this one, the humans are a minority, which means you get a lot of cool aliens.


In His Service


Dan Waters
Rep: gay mc, trans gay mc, gay & nonbinary side characters
Genre: adult sci fi mystery
CWs: slavery, murder, attempted rape

Reasons to Read

One. If there’s one thing better than a mystery, it’s a mystery that’s combined with another genre. Here, that genre is sci fi, which probably ranks only second to historical mysteries in terms of my favourites.

Two. The book also combines that mystery with a romance, where you can genuinely feel the attraction between the two characters. Sometimes it feels like genre fiction sets aside romance in favour of everything else, but not here.

Three. Finally, we all know that more trans rep is needed, so it’s very refreshing to see that here, and particularly in a futuristic setting. So few science fiction novels consider how trans people fit into their world, but not so this one.




Chloe Spencer
Rep: bi mc, Black lesbian mc
Genre: adult sci fi

Reasons to Read

One. Everyone loves a good alternative/parallel universe type science fiction book, right? Well, the great news for you is that this is just that!

Two. I loved the idea that there’s a whole company that comes and makes you live in a parallel universe for a bit so you can appreciate the life you have in your own. That was very creative and fun to read about.

Three. The combination here with a mystery plotline works very well, too, especially the whole “strangers thrown together by odd circumstances having to uncover the truth in complete secret” aspect of it.




Sean M. Locke
Rep: lesbian mc & li, gay side characters
Genre: adult sci fi thriller
CWs: gore, violence

Reasons to Read

One. This book is a fast-paced, action-packed, steampunk/sci fi gangster thriller and, yes, that is as great as it sounds. The whole plot kept you on your toes throughout.

Two. I already mentioned it’s fast-paced, but it’s fast-paced in a way that makes you physically feel the tension in it. You want to read faster to find out what’s going on but also simultaneously slow down to savour it.

Three. The romance between Kaeri and Maria was the kind of “opposite sides of the tracks” trope that is so good. And the way they are instantly drawn to each other was beautiful.


Last Memoria


Rachel Emma Shaw
Rep: bi character, mlm character
Genre: YA fantasy

Reasons to Read

One. If you enjoyed Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova, this has a similar sort of magic system, with people (memori) who have the power to steal others’ memories and keep them for themselves. It’s a really cool idea and definitely one I enjoy seeing explored.

Two. It’s not a book that leaves you hanging around waiting for something to happen. From page one, you’re thrown right into the thick of things and expected to make sense of it as you go along (which I really like, to be honest. I’m one of those readers who prefers to be trusted to pick up worlds as I go along).

Three. The central relationship in this book involves an amnesia trope (or more correctly, stolen memories) and an angsty love triangle. Because, while it’s got a lot of action, it is a pretty character-driven fantasy, in that each character is (initially) motivated by desires regarding other characters (and themselves), rather than a bigger motive like saving the world.


So, have any of these caught your eye?


3 Replies to “Book Reviews: Backlist Releases You May Have Missed”

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