The Selector’s Selections: March 2023

Last month I had a lot of romances for you. This month the theme is more murder and monsters (admittedly with a little bit of romance thrown in). These all come out before Spring Break, so whether you’re traveling or staying at home, grab a new book and settle in.

Royal Blood coverRoyal Blood” by Aimée Carter

Evangeline “Evan” Bright has spent the past six years in various boarding schools and summer camps. She hasn’t seen her family in all that time, not her mom who has been suffering from schizophrenia, and not her dad who’s gained custody of her. When Evan accidentally starts a fire at her most recent boarding school just weeks before graduation, she’s facing potential arrest. Daddy’s secretary whisks her away to London and the family home…which just so happens to be Buckingham Palace. Evan is the illegitimate daughter of the King of England, and the same age as his beautiful and accomplished heir, Maisie. Naturally, the press finds out, and chaos ensues. Amidst the frenzy, the son of a media mogul is murdered. Since it’s the same boy who slipped Evan date rape drugs when she first arrived, all eyes are on her. Now Evan is trying desperately to solve a murder while navigating relations with her proper and patronizing royal half-family. Princess wish fulfillment with a murder mystery thrown in, this trilogy opener looks like a lot of fun.

Ravensong coverRavensong” by Cayla Fay

Neve is the youngest of three sisters, and she can’t wait until she turns eighteen. Only when she turns eighteen will she receive her full divine powers and memories of her past lives. As part of a triad of Irish war-goddesses known as the Morrigan, Neve lives to hunt demons and protect the world. Which is hard when you’re stuck in high school without your powers. Though sworn to protect humans, Neve would rather not have anything to do with them…until she meets Alexandria. Alexandria is undeterred by Neve’s prickly nature, and even takes in stride the news that there are demons who want to kill her. As they slowly fall for each other, Neve is drawn into a larger group of friends as well. Suddenly saving humanity is a lot more personal. With a Sapphic grumpy/sunshine romance and plenty of demon-slaying, this would be a great choice for fans of Celtic myth or Buffy.

The Memory Eater coverThe Memory Eater” by Rebecca Mahoney 

Alana is the last Harlow in her small town of Whistler, Maine, which means that she’s responsible for keeping the Memory Eater contained. 200 years ago a ship arrived in America, containing passengers who had lost all their memories, and the monster who ate them. Alana’s ancestor bound the monster in a cave, and the town promised to keep the monster fed as long as the monster promised to only take memories that were freely given. Centuries later, the town’s economy depends on tourists and locals visiting the Memory Eater and getting rid of unwanted memories. Since her grandmother passed, it’s Alana’s job to guide visitors to the cave and escort them safely back out, as well as renewing the magical bindings on the monster. But there are holes in Alana’s memory concerning the necessary spells and her grandmother’s death. By the time she realizes those holes are bites, the Memory Eater has escaped and the whole town is depending on her to capture and bind it again. This is a powerful examination of grief and responsibility, told through a haunting magical realism lens.