Trying to hit your reading goal before the year ends? This is the perfect time to squeeze in some novellas. Short, quick, and often packing a major punch, novellas are fantastic!
What Moves the Dead, T. Kingfisher
I am clearly late to the T. Kingfisher party. I just discovered their writing this year and now I can’t get enough. A retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher, this novella had everything I love- a dark, gothic setting, quirky characters, and a unique plot. Plus- look at that cover!
When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania. What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves. Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.
The Cat Who Saved Books, Sōsuke Natsukawa – translated by Louise Heal Kawai
I read this delightful novella for the Book Award Reading Challenge and loved it! Chock full of heart with a fun twist on alternate dimensions and magical realism, this story of a boy and a cat on a journey to save books is perfect for any reader!
Bookish high school student Rintaro Natsuki is about to close the secondhand bookstore he inherited from his beloved bookworm grandfather. Then, a talking cat named Tiger appears with an unusual request. The feline asks for—or rather, demands—the teenager’s help in saving books with him. Their mission sends this odd couple on an amazing journey, where they enter different mazes to set books free.
Nettle & Bone, T. Kingfisher
I told you I was on a Kingfisher kick this year! Nettle & Bone was delightful and probably will make it in my top ten list this year! It’s a fairytale with the most enjoyable characters and a whole lot of heart. Ugh, I was smiling ear to ear when I finished it. You know a novella is good when you immediately wish it was a full length novel.
After years of seeing her sisters suffer at the hands of an abusive prince, Marra—the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter—has finally realized that no one is coming to their rescue. No one, except for Marra herself. Seeking help from a powerful gravewitch, Marra is offered the tools to kill a prince—if she can complete three impossible tasks.
Blackout, Dhonielle Clayton; Tiffany Jackson; Nic Stone; Angie Thomas; Ashley Woodfolk; and Nicola Yoon
I just finished this in anticipation of picking up it’s follow up Whiteout from my library holds this week. I really enjoyed it! I loved the individual stories and only had small issues with a couple of them being a bit long winded. I still highly recommend this one as I think I’m just being nit picky. It’s a very sweet teen romance contemporary that you can read in one sitting.
A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks. When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.
Monk and Robot (vol. 1 & 2), Becky Chambers
I’m lumping these together because while I adored the first book, the second was just okay for me. A Psalm for the Wild Built was so introspective and dreamy in a bit of a lost way. Chambers really knows how to tackle a different angle of dystopian. A Prayer for the Crown-Shy was a beautiful follow up but I just wanted more to happen. These two together are full of thoughtful moments to pause and reflect on. A great quiet night reading experience.
After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home. They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.