Science Fiction

The City in the Middle of the Night – Charlie Jane Anders *GIVEAWAY*

4 Stars

The City in the Middle of the Night is an ambitious science fiction novel from All the Birds in the Sky author Charlie Jane Anders.

37534907.jpg“If you control our sleep, then you can own our dreams… And from there, it’s easy to control our entire lives.”

Set on a planet that has fully definitive, never-changing zones of day and night, with ensuing extreme climates of endless, frigid darkness and blinding, relentless light, humankind has somehow continued apace — though the perils outside the built cities are rife with danger as much as the streets below.

But in a world where time means only what the ruling government proclaims, and the levels of light available are artificially imposed to great consequence, lost souls and disappeared bodies are shadow-bound and savage, and as common as grains of sand. And one such pariah, sacrificed to the night, but borne up by time and a mysterious bond with an enigmatic beast, will rise to take on the entire planet–before it can crumble beneath the weight of human existence.

The City in the Middle of the Night is a deft examination of power, rebellion, love, grief and finding your place in things.

Sophie is quiet, self-sacrificing and hard working. She’s dealt a hard hand of cards and she does her best to make the right plays. She is eternally hopeful, eking out the best life she can in any situation she’s in. The gentlest soul surprises everyone.

Mouth just wants to know how she fits into things, and to keep moving. She’s chasing her past in hopes of giving her future meaning, all the while she’s trying to survive as the last of her kind.

Bianca is a study in power, and all the ways that power is never what it’s expected to be.

The crocodiles are a fascinating element in the story, grotesque, gentle, communal and kind and everything humanity can never hope to be.

The City in the Middle of the Night is not an intense read, moving at a nice jog throughout. Anders has paced the novel impeccably, with no parts dragging unnecessarily. It’s not a fast-paced page-turner either. I found myself putting the book down frequently so I could mull over what had just happened, but then eagerly picking it back up again to keep going.

The City in the Middle of the Night also shows how much Anders has grown as a writer. I hated her earlier novel, All the Birds in the Sky. I found the writing to be almost condescending and couldn’t finish. But The City in the Middle of the Night strikes the right chord, and Anders’ skill as a writer has matured beautifully.

The City in the Middle of the Night is on shelves now!

Now, the giveaway!

I am giving away my ARC copy of The City in the Middle of the Night! To enter, follow this blog and leave a comment on this post by Friday, March 1 at 11:59am, making sure to include your email address in the email field so I can contact the winner. Comments must answer the following question: what book are you most looking forward to in 2019? 

This contest is only open to residents of the US or Canada.

Thank you to Tor for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. 


Blog Housekeeping · Giveaway

One Year of Blogging + Giveaway! *CLOSED*


I am delighted to be celebrating my one-year blogiversary! A year ago, I started blogging on a whim. Nearly 125 posts later, this little blog has grown so much!

Thank you for reading, commenting, and engaging! I appreciate each and every person who has spent time in this little corner of the internet with me.

But, what’s an anniversary without a GIVEAWAY!?!

To celebrate, I’m giving away copies of some of my favorite books!

There will be five winners, randomly drawn on July 25.

  • Winner 1 will receive a paperback copy of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.
  • Winner 2 will receive a hardback copy of Last First Snow by Max Gladstone.
  • Winner 3 will receive an ARC of Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse.
  • Winner 4 will receive a kindle version of In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan.
  • Winner 5 will recieve a kindle version of Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee.

How to Enter

  1. Follow this blog
  2. Comment below with which prize you’re most interested in winning (no guarantees though!) (be sure to include the email with which you follow this blog in the email field so I can verify and contact you if you win!)

Bonus Entries

  1. One bonus entry for sharing this post publicly on Facebook.
  2. One bonus entry for retweeting this post on Twitter.

To claim your bonus entries, come back to this post to comment that you have done so, and what your usernames are for doing so. Those comments will not be published.


To win, you MUST follow this blog. Open to residents of the US and Canada. European/Australian residents may enter if they indicate they are willing to pay for shipping.

Winners have 48 hours to respond to my email.


Giveaway! Win a copy of Tricks for Free!


Sometimes mistakes are made, and you end up with two copies of something awesome. This happened to a friend of mine recently, and she decided to share the bounty with YOU!

Cover from Goodreads


Tricks for Free is the latest installment in Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series, book #7. Check out my review here.

If you want to win your very own copy, entering is easy! Subscribe to Alex Can Read either via WordPress or via email and comment below to let me know you subscribed, and how. Make sure you list a valid email in the email field so I can contact you if you win!

If you’re already subscribed, comment below to let me know you’re entering.

That’s it! Giveaway closes at 11:59 PST on April 4. Winner will be drawn using an RNG and notified via email on April 5 and will have 48 hours to respond before I draw a new winner. This giveaway is open to US and Canada.

Giveaway · historical fiction

Win An ARC of Black Chamber by S.M. Stirling!

Earlier this month, I attended Emerald City Comicon and had a wonderful time, as always. I finally got to meet Jim Butcher, met Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson, had a book signed by Seanan McGuire and saw October Daye cosplayers and snagged many an ARC from the publisher booths. One such ARC  is Black Chamber, by S.M. Stirling. It doesn’t quite sound like my kind of book, and since I’m swamped with other ARCs and reading, I thought I’d share the ARC with you! Scroll down for the synopsis and Rafflecopter giveaway.


The first novel in a brand-new alternate history series where Teddy Roosevelt is president for a second time right before WWI breaks out, and on his side is the Black Chamber, a secret spy network watching America’s back.

In 1912, just months before the election, President Taft dies suddenly, and Teddy Roosevelt wastes no time in grabbing power as he wins another term as president. By force of will, he ushers the United States into a new, progressive era with the help of the Black Chamber the mysterious spy organization, watching his back.

Luz O’Malley–a brilliant, deadly, and young Cuban Irish American agent of the Black Chamber–heads to Germany. She’s on a luxury airship swarming with agents of every power on earth, as well as conspirators from the Mexican Revolutionary Party and the sinister underground of the reborn Ku Klux Klan, yet none know her true identity.

Her anonymity will be essential as she strives to gain the secrets of Project Loki, an alarming German plan that Roosevelt fears will drag the U.S. into a world war. To gather this intelligence, Luz will have to deceive the handsome yet ruthless Baron Horst von Duckler. She, along with naive Irish-American Ciara Whelan, has to get this vital information back to the U.S.–or thousands of lives might be lost.

Click the link below to enter! (US & Canada only, sorry!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway! *Signed* copies of Bonfire by Krysten Ritter!

I have TWO copies of Krysten Ritter’s debut thriller Bonfire to give away today  – and they’re both SIGNED by the author! I had the pleasure of meeting her earlier this week at a signing in Seattle. She is delightful.

Yep, that’s meeee! And the book you could win!

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is only open to people in the US or Canada, and closes at 12am on November 25.

Image from Goodreads