February Standalone Battleground!!

Guys, it’s time to vote for Laura and Hannah’s Book of February!! We took your suggestions and put them into a bracket! We will be voting each day until the book is chosen!!! You can cast a vote via Twitter Poll or on an Instagram poll over on OWWRPod and Brews.and.Books. Here is the official bracket. I will put details of each book below!

First Bracket Contenders

Priory of an Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon: This behemoth of a book is one that neither one of us wants to shove reading into for the entire month of January, but anytime we requested standalone books, boy did you tell us we needed this one. It is standalone fantasy novel about three women during a huge turmoil. An enemy awakens, and everything starts falling to pieces. I have been promised lesbian love interests, and I am excited about that.

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay: Another book that may make us throw ourselves out a window if we have to read all its pages in one month. This book is by a legend, and it weaves politics, war, and love into its pages. Tigana is the magical story of a beleaguered land struggling to be free. It is the tale of a people so cursed by the black sorcery of a cruel despotic king that even the name of their once-beautiful homeland cannot be spoken or remembered. It is long.

Circe by Madeline Miller: This book is one we’ve actually read, but we weren’t going to nix something for something as silly as a reread! Circe follows the goddess Circe throughout her life. It shows her first love, her exile, and what happens when a woman is pushed to her limits over trusting men. She is given a new place in this book, she is regarded as her own person outside the tale of the Odyssey. What a great pick!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: We have also already read this bad boy. The Night Circus is one of our favorites, though, so great addition. It tells the story of two dueling magicians and how they are raising two children to battle it out via inventions at a circus. It is atmospheric, it is lovely, and it is such a good choice. Morgenstern did write this during NaNoWriMo, guys!

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir: Laura is a big fan of Andy Weir, so when she got discussing this post on Twitter, we had to add it! Neither one of us has read this, but it shows a standalone survivor to a very necessary mission. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. I mean, how can this not get your vote!

Recursion by Blake Crouch: Hannah loved Dark Matter, so was so excited when someone picked this as an option. Recursion is a science fiction novel. NYC cop Barry Sutton investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. He will come face to face with a dangerous opponent.

Making Faces by Amy Harmon: This is a fiction submission! Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. 

The Island by Victoria Hislop: On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother’s past. But Sofia has never spoken of it. All she admits to is growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend, and promises that through her she will learn more.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison: A fantasy novel, the youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang: High on a mountainside at the edge of the Kaigenese Empire live the most powerful warriors in the world, superhumans capable of raising the sea and wielding blades of ice. For hundreds of years, the fighters of the Kusanagi Peninsula have held the Empire’s enemies at bay, earning their frozen spit of land the name ‘The Sword of Kaigen.’

The Princess Bride by William Goldman: Want us to start a book that created one of the best films?? Well look no further than this vote. We follow Buttercup and Wesley as they fight for true love, battling princes and Rodents of Unusual Size.

Flatshare by Beth O’Leary: You guys, we could be reading a romance in February! What a way to break from Robert Jordan. This book follows two people who decide to share a flat to save on money. It will be easy, one person will use it in the day and one at night. What a perfect solution! Or is it?

Second Bracket Contenders

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson: It is questionable if the Brandon Sanderson submissions are one offs in a perfect sense, so you can vote them out accordingly. But Warbreaker is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn’t like his job, and the immortal who’s still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson: Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling. We come in on the shadow of the capital, and a marriage that may not happen, with danger everywhere.

Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace: This book is a dystopian sci-fi. We follow an orphan who is struggling to make ends meet in this futuristic world. The only joy she gets is from playing a Space-Ops game where you are battling the other side, trying to see some of the corporate owned super soldiers of the game. but when Mallory discovers who those soldiers really are, the truth is horrifying. Can she fight against a corporate structure that controls her entire world?

Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki: This book tells the story of three intertwined women. A woman who is cursed and, to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six. The prodigy she has set her sights on, and a woman who makes her want to open up despite her limited time left on earth.

1984 by George Orwell: This classic novel tells the story of political propaganda, censorship, and what happens when someone starts asking questions of his country and what others will do to put a stop to it and maintain conformity.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain: A book on introverts. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts.

Persephone Station by Stina Leich: Persephone Station, a seemingly backwater planet that has largely been ignored by the United Republic of Worlds, becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet has a few secrets the corporation tenaciously wants to exploit. We follow two people on this planet, criminal and work alike.

The World Gives Way by Marissa Levien: In a near-future world on the brink of collapse, a young woman born into servitude must seize her own freedom. She will be free sooner than she expected, and in grave danger.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman: This is a comedic book is something we both have read before, but we sure enjoy it. Good Omens is about a demon and an angel preparing for the final showdown and the end of the world. Throughout history they remain until the antichrist is born, and a bunch of follies and issues ensue.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman: A man gets out of jail three days after his wife dies. Devastated, he is suddenly picked up for an adventure featuring a large amount of New Gods. His journey is weird and convoluted, but it is also amazing and unique.

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi: Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella—through visits both mundane and supernatural—tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig: Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

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