Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews and hosted by Reading Reality.
It’s all about sharing the books we’ve picked up for the week, whether they are bought, borrowed, gifted, galleys, physical or virtual.
Share your shelves and remember to visit Tynga’s Reviews where it all started to find more great books!
Thanks to Balzar + Bray and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this book for review!
Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons
Ash is descended from a long line of gladiators, and she knows the brutal nature of war firsthand. But after her mother dies in an arena, she vows to avenge her by overthrowing her fire god, whose temper has stripped her country of its resources.
Madoc grew up fighting on the streets to pay his family’s taxes. But he hides a dangerous secret: he doesn’t have the earth god’s powers like his opponents. His elemental gift is something else—something that hasn’t been seen in centuries.
When an attempted revenge plot goes dangerously wrong, Ash inadvertently throws the fire and earth gods into a conflict that can only be settled by deadly, lavish gladiator games. The fights put Madoc in Ash’s path, and she realizes that his powers are the weapon her rebellion needs—but Madoc won’t jeopardize his family, regardless of how intrigued he is by the beautiful warrior.
But when the gods force Madoc’s hand, he and Ash uncover an ancient war that will threaten more than one immortal—it will unravel the world.
I heard this is like Korra meets Gladiator, and it’s co-written by an author I have already read and loved (see here, here, and here) and by an author on my radar I have wanted to read for a while. I was trying NOT to request any book for review this year, but I seriously could not resist! Thanks, Balzar + Bray!
The Good Woman of Renmark
Adventure, romance and history combine in this thrilling 19th century journey through the South Australian bush and along the mighty Murray River in the company of a determined heroine.
1895, Renmark, South Australia
Maggie O’Rourke has always had a hard head. No man was going to tie her down to a life of babies and domestic slavery, even if that man was as good (and as annoyingly attractive) as Sam Taylor. Maggie is happily earning her own way as a maid in a house on the Murray River when disaster strikes.
Forced to defend herself and a friend from assault by an evil man, she flees downriver on a paddle steamer. With death at her heels, Maggie begins to realise that a man like Sam might be just who she wants in her hour of need. As for Sam, well, Maggie has always been what he wants.
The further Maggie runs, the more she discovers there are some things she cannot escape…
The opening line of the blurb got me with keywords such as ’19th century’, ‘South Australia’, and ‘determined heroine’. This sounds like it could be really fun!
The Ventriloquists by E.R. Ramzipoor
In this triumphant debut inspired by true events, a ragtag gang of journalists and resistance fighters risk everything for an elaborate scheme to undermine the Reich.
Brussels, 1943. Twelve-year-old street orphan Helene survives by living as a boy and selling copies of the country’s most popular newspaper, Le Soir, now turned into Nazi propaganda. Helene’s entire world changes when she befriends a rogue journalist, Marc Aubrion, who draws her into a secret network publishing dissident underground newspapers.
Aubrion’s unbridled creativity and linguistic genius attract the attention of August Wolff, a high-ranking Nazi official tasked with swaying public opinion against the Allies. Wolff captures Aubrion and his comrades and gives them an impossible choice: use the newspaper to paint the Allies as monsters, or be killed. Faced with no decision at all, Aubrion has a brilliant idea: they will pretend to do the Nazis’ bidding, but instead they will publish a fake edition of Le Soir that pokes fun at Hitler and Stalin—giving power back to the Belgians by daring to laugh in the face of their oppressors.
The ventriloquists have agreed to die for a joke, and they have only eighteen days to tell it.
Told with dazzling scope, taut prose and devastating emotion, The Ventriloquists illuminates the extraordinary acts of courage by ordinary people forgotten by history—unlikely heroes who went to extreme lengths to orchestrate the most stunning feat of journalism in modern history.
I’ve said before that I’m not hugely into WWII stories, but I was instantly drawn to the girl-dressed-as-boy plot. I also much prefer WWII stories not told by soldiers, so that’s something.
Star Cross by Minnie Drake
Why rely on fate when you can rewrite the stars?
When Justine Carmichael (Sagittarius, aspiring journalist and sceptic) bumps into her old friend Nick Jordan (Aquarius, struggling actor and true believer) it could be by change. Or perhaps it’s written in the stars.
Justine works at the Alexandria Park Star – and Nick, she now learns, relies on the magazine’s astrology column to guide him in life.
Looking for a way to get Nick’s attention, Justine has the idea of making a few small alterations to ‘Aquarius’ before it goes to print.
It’s only a horoscope, after all. What harm could changing it do?
Charting the many unforeseen ripple effects of Justine’s astrological meddling – both for herself and others – Star-crossed is the funny, super-smart, feel-good novel of the year!
I am low-key into astrology – I don’t believe everything, but I do believe in compatibility and some other things, gosh don’t get me started on my opinions of fire signs ha ha. I love the idea of rewriting horoscopes to manipulate someone, and I’m excited to get into this one!
The Light Between Us by Katie Khan
Thea and Isaac first met at University. Theirs was an instant connection, but it never went further than friendship.
Because, then and now, Thea only has eyes for her work. Not only her course, but also a private project – she is determined to prove that time travel is not just the stuff of science fiction. And she has never told anyone the reason why.
When one of their friends goes missing in an experiment, Isaac and Thea must work together to find her – forcing them to re-examine their own friendship. Is it really as platonic as they used to think?
It sounds like an unreliable narrator courtesy of time travel, so I’m really excited to read this!