The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I discuss books I got over the last week—old or new, bought or received in the mail for review consideration (most of which are unsolicited books from publishers). Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

Last week’s book arrivals all sound excellent! There are no new reviews from the last week, but I am working on one I hope to have finished this week.

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia - Book Cover

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This Mexican-inspired dark fairy tale featuring the Mayan god of death will be released on July 23 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook).

The publisher’s website has an excerpt from Gods of Jade and Shadow.

I’m pretty excited about reading this one, which sounds amazing, has a stunning cover, and piqued my interest in the first couple of sentences!


The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

Where Oblivion Lives by T. Frohock - Book Cover

Where Oblivion Lives (A Los Nefilim Novel) by T. Frohock

This historical fantasy novel, which features the same world and characters as the three novellas in Los Nefilim, was published earlier this year (trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook).

The publisher’s website has an excerpt and an audio sample from Where Oblivion Lives, and T. Frohock wrote about the series here in her guest post “Angels and Daimons and the Supernatural World of Los Nefilim” from the end of 2015.

I bought a couple of books off my wish list recently with a gift card, and this was one of the ones that was especially calling to me after looking through a few book samples.


A lyrical historical fantasy adventure, set in 1932 Spain and Germany, that brings to life the world of the novellas collected in Los Nefilim: Spanish Nephilim battling daimons in a supernatural war to save humankind.

Born of daimon and angel, Diago Alvarez is a being unlike all others. The embodiment of dark and light, he has witnessed the good and the horror of this world and those beyond. In the supernatural war between angels and daimons that will determine humankind’s future, Diago has chosen Los Nefilim, the sons and daughters of angels who possess the power to harness music and light.

As the forces of evil gather, Diago must locate the Key, the special chord that will unite the nefilim’s voices, giving them the power to avert the coming civil war between the Republicans and Franco’s Nationalists. Finding the Key will save Spain from plunging into darkness.

And for Diago, it will resurrect the anguish caused by a tragedy he experienced in a past life.

But someone—or something—is determined to stop Diago in his quest and will use his history to destroy him and the nefilim. Hearing his stolen Stradivarius played through the night, Diago is tormented by nightmares about his past life. Each incarnation strengthens the ties shared by the nefilim, whether those bonds are of love or hate . . . or even betrayal.

To retrieve the violin, Diago must journey into enemy territory . . . and face an old nemesis and a fallen angel bent on revenge.

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse - Book Cover

Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

Since its publication last year, this post-apocalyptic fantasy has won the Locus Award for Best First Novel and been nominated for the Nebula and (this year’s yet-to-be-announced) Hugo Awards. It’s currently available in hardcover, trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

NPR has an excerpt from Trail of Lightning, and the publisher’s website has an excerpt from Storm of Locusts, the recently-released second book in the series.

This was another book from my wish list that I purchased with some gift card money since it seemed like one to read sooner rather than later!



Nebula Award Finalist for Best Novel

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.