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I’m super excited to announce our first semifinalist. For those of you who don’t know, we will be choosing a maximum of six semifinalists, which will of course become five plus our finalist in Phase 2. Kristen and I will ideally choose three semi-finalists each, exchange them, rate them, and the book with the highest rating will move on. In the event of a tie, we will cry and try to figure it out.

There is also an off-chance that Kristen may not find three books she wants to put forward. In that case, I will dive back into my pile and choose up to an additional three semifinalists depending on Kristen’s picks. Thankfully, my own batch was strong enough to field six semifinalists on its own.

There are lots of things that I consider when putting forward a book both as a semi-finalist and a finalist. Ideally, there’s going to be six very different and equally intriguing books put forward by the two of us, but tastes can be tricky and there’s a chance one of us will bounce off a semi-finalist, or absolutely adore it and score it even higher than the initial judge. The scores heading into the semifinalist round can change around drastically, or remain almost unchanged. It’s too early to say which one of my three semifinalists will have the best chance against whatever Kristen may find in her allotment.

The book I’m putting forward today is very different from anything else I’ve read in a long time. The world-building is completely bonkers and it’s amazing. The main character is a fox, and that’s not unusual. The world he lives in is much like Bojack Horseman, in that society is run by a wide variety of animals and they live much the way we do. The main character has been accused of being a Flesh Eater — someone who’s eaten meat. He has to find a way to clear his name or be forced to work and live in the shadows, always looking over his shoulder. There are giant spiderback races, excellent prose, relatable character, fast-paced adventure — there’s a lot to enjoy in this book.

I’m picking Flesh Eater by Travis Riddle as my first semi-finalist.

CONGRATS!!! I hope anyone who finds this intriguing picks it up!!

The next semi-finalist announcement will be Tuesday the 13th 😀