We are getting down to the nitty gritty. These are always the hardest books to cut because usually both Kristen and I really enjoy each others semifinalist picks. I can’t recall a time where we were like, nah I hate that to something we put forward to this level.
We both really enjoyed all of our semifinalists and we really, really hope if these descriptions sound good you’ll pick them up.
I have been wanting to send a comedy to the finals since I started being a judge, and for one reason or another it just hasn’t happened. Some years I don’t even get one, so there’s that. I was so stoked to have this as my semifinalist this year. You Can’t Prevent Prophecy takes the Chosen One trope and turns it on it’s head. It’s a gentle satire on the genre and I found it to be charming and entertaining. It’s not long, you can finish it in a sitting or two. I found the characters to grow on me more as the story went on and by the end I was fully in their corner. It ended in a satisfying way and it’s all tied up at the end, so it’s a single-serving story where you don’t have to get book two to get the ending.
Ah god. I hate cutting this one. Kevin was a semifinalist with us our first year as judges and he was our Senlin Safety Net pick, meaning we were offering it to other judges if they wanted to take it as their finalist, it was that good. I was not surprised at all when Kristen tapped it as a semifinalist this year. You truly do not need to read the first two to understand this one. I have not yet read the second but I absolutely intend to. Written with a gritty realism this is a series of murder mysteries in the 13th century with a classic dark fantasy feel to it. The MC is snarky AF and it jives with me so well. Kristen and I both really liked this one and do really hope others give it a shot.
Both of these were really excellent and we thank the authors so much for their submissions.