Recommended reading for May

Fire SongIt’s been about a month since my last book recommendation post, and I’ve racked up four new titles that startled me with their brilliance and/or delightfulness. As usual, I’ll start with the urban fantasy and work my way toward genres further afield. (And, yes, all of these titles are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.)

Fire Song by Val St. Crowe hooked me right from the start since I love dragon-shifter books that actually have a plot. The world-building is extremely good, with unique twists on the popular mythology. The characters are equally enticing — flawed but hero-like in their need to protect the weak. Then there’s the mystery, which is well done without turning into one of those plodding whodunnits that throw in so many red herrings they never end. Overall, this is the most solid urban fantasy with a light side of romance that I read all month.

The Seventh Hour by Tracey Ward is a top-notch young adult post-apocalpytic adventure with a very unique premise. Sure, the science of the apocalypse is pretty out there…but the genre is also full of zombies, so how can I complain? Once I told myself it was simply a LeGuin-style fantasy novel, I fell into the fascinating world with a vengeance and enjoyed every minute of it.

Artistic License by Elle Pierson is understated but oh-so-true for at least this introvert. Layered on top of a realistic love story is an interesting setting (New Zealand), an art theft, and a sculptor heroine — all major selling points in my book and hopefully in yours too.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata looks like a run-of-the-mill sports romance that you should run very far from. But it reads as smooth as honey with intense character development, a sweet slow courtship that’s more about inter- and intra-personal growth than dates and misunderstandings, and then a perfect payoff at the end.

How about you? Read any perfect books this month that you want to shout about from the mountaintops?