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Grab a coffee and your May books

A new month means new books. We should probably kick things off by talking about I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons by Peter S. Beagle (May 14).

Beagle has not necessarily dominated publishing headlines. But people are still talking about him because of the lawsuit he filed against his former manager (financial elder abuse, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty). Initially, Beagle’s reputation took a hit. However, support for the 85-year-old has grown significantly in the last few weeks, and interest in I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons has skyrocketed.

Robert, the book’s protagonist, is a dragon catcher/exterminator, a job he inherited from his deceased father. The role does not suit Robert because he likes dragons. Unfortunately, fate keeps dragging him into waters he would rather avoid.

If you want to help Beagle undo the financial injustices he has suffered, give his book a read when it officially debuts. Meanwhile, The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction by Ursula K. Le Guin will perplex longtime fans of the author whenever it appears on lists of recent releases because the 250- page volume was first published in 1979.

This is a reissue in which one of science fiction and fantasy’s most important authors reveals her thoughts on various subjects. The introduction from Ken Liu (Hugo and Nebula Award Winner) is new. Stephen King sparked excitement when he announced You Like It Darker a few months ago.

The announcement was met with an overwhelmingly positive response because You Like It Darker is a collection of short stories, and many readers are convinced that King does his best work when he writes short stories.

People are already buzzing about that one line in the afterword (‘You like it darker? Fine, so do I). Whether or not the book can match reader expectations remains to be seen. The 512-page volume comes out on May 21, and it includes a sequel to Cujo.

Five Broken Blades by Mai Corland (May 7) has generic cover art. However, readers have praised the pacing, well-developed three-dimensional characters, and the grim tone of the story. The book follows five of the most dangerous liars on a mission to kill the god King Joon.

After a lifetime of pain and misery, they won’t stop until the immortal tyrant’s rule ends. But with all the treachery and deceit they have meted out, can they afford to trust one another? After all, killing Joon is merely one aspect of their mission. When all is said and done, only one among them can take his crown.

People have compared One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware (May 21) to numerous Agatha Christie classics. Lyla, the protagonist, is searching for excitement. Her post-doctoral research is not going the way she expected.

She is hoping to rejuvenate her relationship with her actor boyfriend by joining him on a reality TV show pitting various couples against each other. However, what begins as a relaxing adventure on a tropical island takes a sharp turn when an overnight storm cuts the contestants off from the mainland.

With tensions running high and their freshwater reserves running low, the group must band together to survive life-and-death challenges. You have probably read dozens of novels that sound like One Perfect Couple. The plot feels incredibly familiar. However, early reviews have called the book ‘Tense’ and ‘Captivating.’ Every reality show has a villain.

Readers are expected to pick the antagonist of this story from a sea of suspicious characters before he or she strikes. Naturally, the author includes plenty of twists and turns. And that should do for May. Happy reading.

katmic200@gmail.com

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