Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.
Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.
In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch. – Goodreads
TL;DR: An envious female friendship, awesome elemental magic, intriguing court intrigue, and hints of a (literally) breathless romance – Truthwitch has it all. Maybe too much of everything all at once…
They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.
Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can’t ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.
But there are many things about the past that Nina doesn’t know, and Maggie is going to keep it that way—even if it kills her.
Because in this house, the truth is more dangerous than lies. – Goodreads
TL;DR: The most depressing and disturbing thriller I’ve ever read. The one thing I’ve learned from What Lies Between Us is that mothers will literally do anything for their children, for better or for worse. Don’t be fooled by the 5 topazes because, honestly, I don’t even know whether this book deserves them because while so many things happen and for that, this thriller is unforgettable, the things that happen are all so awful that I kind of wish I never read it.
Psychiatrist Dr. Gwen Moore is an expert on killers. She’s spent a decade treating California’s most depraved predators and unlocking their motives—predators much like the notorious Bloody Heart serial killer, whose latest teenage victim escaped and then identified local high school teacher Randall Thompson as his captor. The case against Thompson as the Bloody Heart Killer is damning—and closed, as far as Gwen and the media are concerned. If not for one new development…
Defense attorney Robert Kavin is a still-traumatized father whose own son fell prey to the BH Killer. Convinced of Thompson’s innocence, he steps in to represent him. Now Robert wants Gwen to interview the accused, create a psych profile of the killer and his victims, and help clear his client’s name.
As Gwen and Robert grow closer and she dives deeper into the investigation, grave questions arise. So does Gwen’s suspicion that Robert is hiding something—and that he might not be the only one with a secret. – Goodreads
TL;DR: The Good Lie features a complex web of relationships that force you to think about who – or what – people truly are and whether you’ll ever really know them.
Hester Marley used to have a plan for her life. But when a catastrophic attack left her injured, indebted, and stranded far from home, she was forced to take a dead-end security job with a powerful mining company in the asteroid belt. Now she spends her days investigating petty crimes to help her employer maximize its profits. She’s surprised to hear from an old friend and fellow victim of the terrorist attack that ruined her life—and that surprise quickly turns to suspicion when he claims to have discovered something shocking about their shared history and the tragedy that neither of them can leave behind.
Before Hester can learn more, her friend is violently murdered at a remote asteroid mine. Hester joins the investigation to find the truth, both about her friend’s death and the information he believed he had uncovered. But catching a killer is only the beginning of Hester’s worries, and she soon realizes that everything she learns about her friend, his fellow miners, and the outpost they call home brings her closer to revealing secrets that very powerful and very dangerous people would rather keep hidden in the depths of space. – Goodreads
TL;DR: A solid and accessible foray into hard science fiction with a likeable main character and innovative technological concepts.
A strange plague called the ’Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget—small things at first, like where they left their keys…then the not-so-small things like how to drive, or the letters of the alphabet. Then their bodies forget how to function involuntarily…and there is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Marianas Trench, an heretofore unknown substance hailed as “ambrosia” has been discovered—a universal healer, from initial reports. It may just be the key to a universal cure. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste, has been built eight miles under the sea’s surface. But now the station is incommunicado, and it’s up to a brave few to descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths…and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine. – Goodreads
TL;DR: I took The Deep as one gigantic and intense extended metaphor with a good dose of creepy crawlies, heebie-jeebies, and our ole friend, trauma.**If you are in any way squeamish, do not read this book.**
Documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt has been obsessed with the vanishing residents of the old mining town, dubbed “The Lost Village,” since she was a little girl. In 1959, her grandmother’s entire family disappeared in this mysterious tragedy, and ever since, the unanswered questions surrounding the only two people who were left—a woman stoned to death in the town center and an abandoned newborn—have plagued her. She’s gathered a small crew of friends in the remote village to make a film about what really happened.
But there will be no turning back.
Not long after they’ve set up camp, mysterious things begin to happen. Equipment is destroyed. People go missing. As doubt breeds fear and their very minds begin to crack, one thing becomes startlingly clear to Alice:
They are not alone.
They’re looking for the truth… But what if it finds them first? – Goodreads
TL;DR: While the concept and the setting (creepy village in middle-of-nowhere Sweden? Yes, please) are more than promising, the execution of The Lost Village, unfortunately, falls flat – so much so that I wish it were longer! However, the discussions on mental health are necessary and appreciated.
Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates—a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.
But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie—not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.
Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past—or his—catches up to her? – Goodreads
TL;DR: I should have known that The Wife Upstairs was a retelling of Jane Eyre as soon as I read the names “Jane” and “Eddie.” But, in my defense, it has been literally a decade since I’ve read Jane Eyre, and, I was totally expecting a twisty psychological thriller. Which this book isn’t. At all.
Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?
When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be? – Goodreads
TL;DR: My first Ruth Ware, and I got to say: I was quite disappointed. But, if she convinced me of one thing, it’s this: I don’t care how amazing the skiing is or how beautiful the views are, but I will never, ever stay at an isolated chalet in the French Alps to ski.
Fear and hope collide in this collection of possible tomorrows. What happens when boiling heat stokes family resentments; when a girl’s personal crisis trumps global catastrophe; or when two climate scientists decide to party like it’s the end of the world? Like the best sci-fi, these cli-fi stories offer up answers that are darkly funny, liberating, and all too conceivable. – Amazon
Content warnings: crass language, sexual connotations, death (both human and animal), violence (domestic and otherwise), suicide, spiraling mental health, racism, classism, climate crisis
TL;DR: These 7 short stories center around the devastating effects of the climate crisis, and while each one ultimately convinces us that humans are Earth’s Mightiest Villains, the stories, overall, leave us mentally exhausted and more confused than we should be.