1. Redemptor, Jordan Ifueko - Thank goodness I picked these books up after they were both published! It would have been a nightmare to wait, and goodness it would have taken away from the experience to have to reorient myself. Just read them. They are that good.
2. Piranisi, Susanna Clark - I put this off for a long time. It's pretty well known by my friends that I have tried and tried and tried to read Clark's first book - which is another that sounds like it should be my first match, but just failed to grab my attention. I was curious, though, about Piranisi because so many of the spoilerless reviews I read said it was a completely different beast. I nabbed a copy when it went on sale, and to my utter delight, I loved it. It reminded me a bit of Patrick Rothfuss's beautiful The Slow Regards for Silent Things, feeling quiet and delicate and interior. The concept proved to be truly engaging, and I connected so deeply with Piranisi that I sighed when it was finished...and had to step away from books for a bit so that I could just live with the one story.
3. When Sorrows Come, Seanan McGuire - October Daye finally gets married! And there's a side plot to make sure there's a taste of the type of trouble she usually gets into (while managing to be low stakes for her)! It was super fun to read because sometimes you just need to read a book that's like a good friend. I still think McGuire has hit the point of too much exposition...but I just let it wash over this time. There is a bonus novella, but as it's about the reception and doesn't feel like something separate, I'm just considering it a final chapter.
4. Certain Dark Things, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (audio) - A vampire book that's also noir that's also a vampire book. Eh. I read the whole thing, and I think the ideas behind it were super fun. It just didn't sweep me up like I expected it to. Absolutely felt like the early book in the life of an author that it was. Perhaps it was a disappointment because I'm comparing it too much to Mexican Gothic, which is brilliant. Read that instead.
1. Matrix, Lauren Groff (audio) - I appreciate Groff's talent, but it's an intellectual appreciation instead of an emotional one. I read almost half of the book, and then I was just done. It's one thing to know that a writer is brilliant. If they can't grab your heart, though, what's the point?