This Top 5 series started back in October 2018 and it has grown really big! This is a series of books that all have a common theme. I post the schedule for the next month the last week of the prior month. You can talk about books you want to read or books you have read and all prompts are open for interpretation! Feel free to get as creative as you want with the prompts.
August 28th, 2021 — People on the cover
September 4th, 2021 — Intimidating Books
September 11th, 2021 — Hyped Books
September 18th, 2021 — Fast Paced Books
September 25th, 2021 — Illustrated Covers
October 2nd, 2021 — Magical Books
October 9th, 2021 — Bones on the Cover
October 16th, 2021 — Books Set in the Forest
October 23rd, 2021 — Blood on the Cover
October 30th, 2021 — Dark Reads
Bones on the Cover
I was really excited to come up with topics for October because there are so many great spooky topics I could do! I wound up being a bit busy these past few weeks as I had my trial for my order of protection and I’m still waiting for the judge’s decision to come in the mail, so I took a much needed vacation. I took some much needed time away, but I still wanted to share my picks for the two Top 5 Saturday posts I missed. Books with bones on the cover instantly wind up on my TBR. I love dark and spooky things so anything with bones on it immediately grabs my attention. I actually have a ton of ARCs right now that have bones on the cover that I can’t wait to read. I feel like it’s definitely been a theme for this fall’s releases. To be honest it was really hard to keep this list just to five books.
Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo
Lee Mandelo’s debut Summer Sons is a sweltering, queer Southern Gothic that crosses Appalachian street racing with academic intrigue, all haunted by a hungry ghost.
Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom that hungers for him.
As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble.
And there is something awful lurking, waiting for those walls to fall.
This was totally an ARC I requested because of the cover, but I was so excited when a hard copy arrived. Dark academia, gruesome deaths, a dash of horror and a bit of a ghost story. This is the perfect fall read and I am SO excited to read it. I can’t wait!
That Dark Infinity by Kate Pentecost
Publication Date: October 19th, 2021
By night, the Ankou is a legendary, permanently young mercenary. By day, a witch’s curse leaves him no more than bones. Caught in an unending cycle of death and resurrection, the Ankou wants only to find the death that has been prophesied for him, especially once he begins to rot while he’s still alive….
After the kingdom of Kaer-Ise is sacked, Flora, loyal handmaiden to the princess, is assaulted and left for dead. As the sole survivor of the massacre, Flora wants desperately to find the princess she served. When the Ankou agrees to help her find the princess, and to train her in exchange for her help in breaking his curse, she accepts. But how can she kill an immortal? Especially one whom she is slowly growing to understand—and maybe even to love?
Together, they will solve mysteries, battle monsters, break curses, and race not only against time, but against fate itself.
Remember how I said earlier that bones on the cover seem to be a trend? Well really it’s skeletal hands on the cover because I have 3 books like that on my list that are all ARCs and I couldn’t resist getting them all. I am SO excited for this one. It’s about someone who is immortal by night and only bones at night. It also sounds like it’s got a really interesting fantasy plot and this book just looks like everything that I love wrapped up in one book.
The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller
Publication Date: March 22nd, 2021
Sara A. Mueller’s The Bone Orchard is a fascinating whodunit set in a lush, gothic world of secrets and magic–where a dying emperor charges his favorite concubine with solving his own murder, and preventing the culprit, which undoubtedly is one of his three terrible sons, from taking control of an empire.
Charm is a witch, and she is alone. The last of a line of conquered necromantic workers, now confined within the yard of regrown bone trees at Orchard House, and the secrets of their marrow.
Charm is a prisoner, and a survivor. Charm tends the trees and their clattering fruit for the sake of her children, painstakingly grown and regrown with its fruit: Shame, Justice, Desire, Pride, and Pain.
Charm is a whore, and a madam. The wealthy and powerful of Borenguard come to her house to buy time with the girls who aren’t real.
Except on Tuesdays, which is when the Emperor himself lays claim to his mistress, Charm herself.
But now–Charm is also the only person who can keep an empire together, as the Emperor summons her to his deathbed, and charges her with choosing which of his awful, faithless sons will carry on the empire—by discovering which one is responsible for his own murder.
If she does this last thing, she will finally have what has been denied her since the fall of Inshil — her freedom. But she will also be betraying the ghosts past and present that live on within her heart.
Charm must choose. Her dead Emperor’s will or the whispers of her own ghosts. Justice for the empire or her own revenge.
Okay, I will totally admit that I got this one confused with That Dark Infinity when I requested it, but I can’t be mad because this one looks absolutely fantastic as well. So yay for a cover design getting me to read an extra book. This dark witchy fantasy book sounds so good. This one doesn’t come out until March though, but I already know I will probably read this one super early. Charm sounds like a character that I will really relate to and my heart already aches for her.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
A story of scorned witches, sinister curses, and resurrection, The Bone Witch is the start of a dark fantasy trilogy.
When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother, Fox, from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha—one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.
This is another witchy book about resurrection. I have to admit that I actually wasn’t sure that I would like necromancy books, but after recently reading Vespertine I’ve changed my mind and want all the witchy books that deal with necromancy and the spirits of the dead. This backlist series has been on my TBR for ages now and I really just need to find time to read it.
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
One brutal murder.
A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…
And an intoxicating romance.
Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.
Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…
I have yet to read any of Kerri Maniscalco’s books, but I really want to. This one is at the top of my list. Her books are raved about by basically everyone I know. Kingdom of the Wicked is about a sister out for vengence after her twin is murdered. Now that’s a plot I can get behind. I love books about family and loyalty, but I also love books about revenge and murder.. ahem.. Sadie.. ahem. Honestly though, even if I didn’t know anything about this book I would still want to read it because of the hype and that cover.
Check out other Book Blogger’s Top 5 Picks!
Yolanda @ Past Midnight — Bones on the Cover | Top 5 Saturday | 10/9/21
Dini @ Dinipandareads — Top 5 Saturday: Books with Bones on the Cover!
The Lily Cafe — Top 5 Saturday: Bones on the Cover
Do you love books with bones on the cover? What are some of your favorites? Which one on this list do you think I should read first? Do you have any of these books on your TBR? Make sure to comment below so we can chat about books with bones on the cover!
I’ve heard so many good things about Summer Sons! Great list!
I’m definitely curious about Summer Sons but I’m also pretty sure it’ll be too scary for me 😂 I love the cover though and I also love the covers for That Dark Infinity and The Bone Orchard! Kinda like the skeletal hand ‘trend’!
Fingers crossed for a favorable decision!
I haven’t heard of The Bone Orchard, but it sounds really interesting. I’ve been really enjoying science fiction mysteries and a fantasy mystery, with all the magic and empires, sounds fascinating. Must be a unique canvas to work with!
Yeah, weird, I’ve been seeing the theme of skeletal hands on covers everywhere lately! It’s funny when you notice these trends, last year I feel like it was snakes!