Netgalley Next #1

One of our reading goals is working on our Netgalley feedback ratio. Eventually we want to get it to 80%. And to help motivate us we decided to do this new post every week. We pick three of our eARC’s and based on the first line, paragraph, or page we decide which one we’ll read next. Let’s take a look at today’s picks!

Venomous Lumpsucker – Ned Beauman

Laugh-out-loud funny, with a page-turning plot, Venomous Lumpsucker is a speculative literary thriller for the age of Extinction Rebellion.

The near future. With tens of thousands of species dying out every year, our last hope is the biobanks, impregnable vaults where their remnants can be preserved forever. Until one day an audacious cyberattack obliterates every single one.

In the aftermath, a troubled conservationist and a crooked mining exec must team up in search of the venomous lumpsucker, a lost fish that they both desperately need to save. Together, they pursue it through the weird landscapes of the 2030s – a nature reserve full of toxic waste; a floating city on the Baltic Sea; the dangerous hinterlands of a totalitarian state. And the further they go, the deeper they’re drawn into the mystery of the attack on the biobanks. Who was behind it? And why would anyone do such a thing?

At a primate research institute in Leipzig, a scientist was caught disabling the surveillance cameras inside the enclosure of an orang-utan who knew two thousand words of sign language.

The premise of this one sounds so good and get’s me very excited. I like the first couple of sentences and they make me curious about the rest of the story. The book is 336 pages so that is a pretty good amount to get through quite quickly. This is a strong contender!


Youngblood – Sasha Laurens

For fans of Vampire Diaries and dark academia, two queer teen bloodsuckers at an elite vampire-only boarding school must go up against all of Vampirdom when they uncover a frightening conspiracy on campus.

Kat Finn and her mother can barely make ends meet living among humans. Like all vampires, they must drink Hema, an expensive synthetic blood substitute, to survive, as nearly all of humanity has been infected by a virus that’s fatal to vampires. Kat isn’t looking forward to an immortal life of barely scraping by, but when she learns she’s been accepted to the Harcote School, a prestigious prep school that’s secretly vampires-only, she knows her fortune is about to change.

Taylor Sanger has grown up in the wealthy vampire world, but she’s tired of its backward, conservative values—especially when it comes to sexuality, since she’s an out-and-proud lesbian. She only has to suffer through a two more years of Harcote before she’s free. But when she discovers her new roommate is Kat Finn, she’s horrified. Because she and Kat used to be best friends, a long time ago, and it didn’t end well.

When Taylor stumbles upon the dead body of a vampire, and Kat makes a shocking discovery in the school’s archives, the two realize that there are deep secrets at Harcote—secrets that link them to the most powerful figures in Vampirdom and to the synthetic blood they all rely on.

I leaned over the counter of the Snack Shack at he El Dorado Hills Country Club and stared out the pool. The cool, bright blue water would feel incredible against my sweaty, greasy skin. It was an early August scorcher and the pool has been packed with screaming kids all day.

I love love love the premise of this one and think it will be one I could enjoy a lot. But the first sentences don’t grab me right away. They’re not bad but they don’t have something special either. The book is a little over 400 pages so while that’s not super big, it’s also less compelling than the previous book haha.

The House Across the Lake – Riley Sager

The New York Times best-selling author of Final Girls and Survive the Night (“a master of the twist and the turn” – Rolling Stone) is back with his most unexpected thriller yet.

Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of liquor, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple who live in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing—a tech innovator, Tom is rich; and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous.

One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other—and the longer Casey watches—it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage is not as perfect and placid as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey becomes consumed with finding out what happened to her. In the process, she uncovers eerie, darker truths that turn a tale of voyeurism and suspicion into a story of guilt, obsession and how looks can be very deceiving.

With his trademark blend of sharp characters, psychological suspense, and gasp-worthy surprises, Riley Sager’s The House Across the Lake unveils more than one twist that will shock readers until the very last page.

The lake is darker than a coffin with the lid shut. That’s what Marnie used to say, back when we were children and she was constantly trying to scare me. It’s an exaggeration, to be sure. But not by much. Lak Greene’s water is dark, even with light trickling through it. A coffin with the lid cracked.

I enjoyed the previous Riley Sager book I read and have heard a lot of positive things about his other novels. So of course I’m curious about this one. The premise does sound like a ton of other stories so this one is the least appealing based on that out of the three. With a page count of 368 it’s in the middle. I like the first couple of sentences. It makes me curious about what comes next.

Based on page count, premise and the first couple of sentences I’ve decided that the first eARC I’m picking up is Venomous Lumpsucker. I think it sounds really cool and I have high expectations. Hopefully I’ve finished it soon so I can share my review with you all next week!

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