2018 · Long post · Want to read

Did I read them? – 2020 Most Anticipated SFF Books Pt.2 – Underhyped​

I’ve just published my most anticipated underhyped books for 2021 and I’m very exited about that list. But let’s look at last years list and how many of these I got to and how may I forgot about lol.

So let’s get this over and done with…

Underhyped Books

The Mermaid, The Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Published: 5th May 2020

Did I read it?: Nope!

Completely forgot about this book, but the cover looks great! I may or may not pick this book up at some point.

Synopsis as of December 2019: Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, as the pirates prepare to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is en route to a dreaded arranged marriage with her own casket in tow. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian. 

Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood, which causes men to have visions and lose memories) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, and the all-encompassing Sea itself. Deftly entwining swashbuckling action and Asian folklore in a land dominated by an imperial class, Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s inventive debut novel conjures a diverse cast of characters seeking mastery over their fates while searching for answers to big questions about identity, equality, and love.

Goodreads page for The Mermaid, The Witch and The Sea

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez

Published: 7th January 2020

Did I read it?: No…

But I have it. I own the audiobook version and I do really want to get to it but not this year. Hopefully in the first half of 2021, I hope.

Synopsis as of December 2019: Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

Goodreads page for Woven in Midnight

Incendiary (Hollow Crown #1) by Zoraida Cordova

Published: 28th April 2020

Did I read it?: Yes!

I managed to get an e-ARC and I really loved it. I look forward to the next instalment sometime in 2021 🙂

Full review.

Synopsis as of December 2019: I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything. 

GoodReads page for Incendiary

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Published: 26th May 2020

Did I read it?: Nope!

This got pushed back and is due out in 2021. It did make my Most Anticipated list for 2021 though.

Synopsis as of December 2019: Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

Goodreads page for The Gilded Ones

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in the Water by Zen Cho

Published: 23rd June 2020

Did I read it?: No

But I have heard a lot of good things about this book so I’m definitely still interested.

Synopsis as of December 2019: Zen Cho returns with a found family wuxia fantasy that combines the vibrancy of old school martial arts movies with characters drawn from the margins of history.

A bandit walks into a coffeehouse, and it all goes downhill from there. Guet Imm, a young votary of the Order of the Pure Moon, joins up with an eclectic group of thieves (whether they like it or not) in order to protect a sacred object, and finds herself in a far more complicated situation than she could have ever imagined

Goodreads page for The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in the Water

Seven Devils (Seven Devils #1) by Laura Lam & Elizabeth May

Published: 4th August 2020

Did I read it?: YES!!!

I loved this book and the premise and the idea! I know people was jusy ok with it and yes it was a bit tame for what it could have been, but I still loved it 🙂

Full review.

Synopsis as of December 2019: This first book in a feminist space opera duology follows seven resistance fighters who will free the galaxy from the ruthless Tholosian Empire — or die trying.

When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy’s most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire’s voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.

Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.

When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire’s inner workings.

Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can’t, millions may die. 

Goodreads page for Seven Devils


Between Earth and Sky (Anasasi #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

Published: 2020 – not much details there… 🤞

Did I read it?: Not yet

This was originally titled Between Earth and Sky and later re-named to Black Sun. This is actually not due out in the UK before January 2021 but I already have an e-ARC and I might manage to squeeze it in before the end of the year. Maybe.

Synopsis as of December 2019: The great matriarchal clans of a prosperous cliff-city vie for power against a backdrop of political intrigue, celestial prophecies, rising rebellion & dark magic.

Goodreads page for Between Earth and Sky

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Published: 4th February 2020

Did I read it?: Yes

This was a bit underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the read but I was expecting more pirate feel then the YA feel I got. Its was a bit too light for me. I really do miss having all these synopsis for YS fantasy put in a darker heavier setting of adult fantasy. There is a missing link and I don’t think I’m the only one missing these books. All The Stars and Teeth could have been one of those, but it wasn’t. Still enjoyable.

Full review

Synopsis as of December 2019: Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom

Goodreads page for All the Stars and Teeth

A neat list for 2020 under hyped books. I managed 3 of 8 books but I have another 2 waiting for me 🙂 Also one is delayed into 2021, which leaves 2 books that I may or may not pick up.

What do you think? Did you like any of these.

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