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Jesse's Picks

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Dark Moon, Shallow Sea By David R. Slayton Cover Image
ISBN: 9798200977307
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Blackstone Publishing - October 31st, 2023

It has been a good minute since I’ve found a fantasy book with such deep, rich lore that is both overflowing with information, yet extremely easy to digest.The gods, the major demons, the minor demons, the inquisitors, the clergy, the genocide, the heretics, the TWISTS. Just when you think you figured out the plot, surprise, you didn't. Filled with rich characters and a plot that had me gasping towards the end. This high fantasy will have you confused on whether you love or hate a character. David R. Slayton is a queer fantasy author that does not get the credit he deserves and is ridiculously slept on. He has an urban fantasy trilogy called The Adam Binder Series which is also exceptional if you're looking for a complete series.  

So tell me, are you team Sun God, or team Moon Goddess? And most importantly, are you sure??

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Tin Man: A Novel By Sarah Winman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735218765
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 9th, 2019

Taking place during the AIDS epidemic in the United States, Winman takes the reader back and forth between the narrator’s past and his present. From his childhood, his marriage to his now deceased wife, and to the present where he is clearly struggling with depression and identity. All storylines are woven together effortlessly and are easy to follow. It’s important to note that this is a story about love, but it’s not a love story. It’s about the rewards of loving the wrong person, and the consequences of loving the right one. With beautiful prose that makes the reader feel nostalgic for a time they never even lived.

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Silver Under Nightfall: Silver Under Nightfall #1 By Rin Chupeco Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982195724
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - July 25th, 2023

Let me tell you, I will never get tired of consuming Vampire content. This is perfect for those who enjoy gritty vampire anime/animation like "Castlevania", gothic vampire literature like Carmilla and epic vampire horror like Dowry of Blood. Action, romance, queer representation, court politics, and high fantasy are just a few key words that describe this unputdownable book. If you’re someone who enjoys reading to music, then do yourself a favor and read this with Gothic style violin instrumentals, *chef’s kiss*. Silver Under Nightfall is Chupeco’s first high fantasy book, writing mostly YA books before this, and she really hit it out of the park! And Can we talk about that gorgeous cover art! It gets better the more closely you look!

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A Dowry of Blood By S. T. Gibson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316501187
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Redhook - May 2nd, 2023

This was my favorite read of 2022, and that genuinely surprised me. I know what you’re thinking, “another vampire/Dracula book”, right? Well, the writing that Gibson produces in this book is a masterful example of gothic literature that grips you and doesn’t let go. I haven't experienced that from gothic literature since Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu and Dracula by Bram Stoker. From the perspective of Dracula’s first wife, we get an inside look at what it means to be in love with the monsters who can never truly love us back. Filled with suspense, horror, trauma, love, queer elements, and heartbreak, this gothic tale will have you looking for more works by S.T Gibson the second you finish it, I certainly did.

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Yellowface: A Reese's Book Club Pick By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063250833
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - May 16th, 2023

Kuang’s prose is honed and precise, never wasting the reader’s time dilly dallying around the point. Yellowface is a beautifully written social commentary on the world of novel writing and publishing, asking questions like “are diverse authors only being published because they are diverse?” and “when does diversity and inclusion turn into baiting and mockery?” After all, the ones who are profiting the most out of the diversity movement are the cisgender, heterosexual white males in charge. After reading this I can never look at the publishing world the same again, and will also never again eat a pancake for the rest of my life, IYKYK. Kuang brings life and complexity to June Hayward in such a way that you might feel compelled to root for her, to hope she learns from her mistakes, but at the same time despise her and hope she rots in the inferno.