The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

The Poppy War R. F. Kuang

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Colourism
  • Racism
  • Mass rape
  • Gang rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Forced marriage
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sterilization
  • Medical experimentation
  • Scars
  • Dead bodies
  • Death of a classmate or colleague
  • Decapitation and dismemberment
  • Knife violence
  • Graphic mass murder
  • Graphic murder
  • Physical assault
  • Torture
  • Trauma
  • Captivity and confinement
  • Military violence
  • War themes
  • Explosions
  • Fire and arson
  • Flooding
  • Bullying and hazing
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The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fantastical racism and racial slurs
  • Slavery
  • Child rape implied
  • Forced sexual relationships attempting pregnancy
  • Physical and emotional abuse of a child
  • Death of children
  • Death of a partner, on-page
  • Kidnapping
  • Captivity
  • Genocide recounted
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Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron 

Arrah is a young woman from a long line of the most powerful witch doctors in the land. But she fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors and can’t even cast the simplest curse.

Shame and disappointment dog her.

When strange premonitions befall her family and children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah undergoes the dangerous and scorned process of selling years of her life for magic. This borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal and a danger beyond what she could have imagined. Now Arrah must find a way to master magic, or at least buy it, in order to save herself and everything she holds dear.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Parental abuse & neglect
  • Suicide
  • Self harm
  • Death of children
  • Blood depiction
  • Murder & mass murder
  • Poisoning
  • Kidnapping
  • Loss of autonomy (mind control)
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A Horse Called Hero by Sam Angus

A Horse Called Hero by Sam Angus

It is 1940. As the Second World War escalates and London becomes a target for German bombs, Dodo and her horse-mad little brother Wolfie are evacuated to the country, away from everything they know. After weeks of homesick loneliness, they come across an orphaned foal. They name the horse Hero for surviving against the odds and together they raise him, train him, and learn to ride. Their days are suddenly full of life and excitement again, but the shadow of war looms over their peaceful existence, and soon Hero must live up to his name…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Alcohol consumption mentioned
  • Explosion
  • Fire
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a pet
  • Animal hunting and poaching
  • Animal dead body (horse) described
  • World War Two, including air raids & Wormhout Massacre
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The First by Katherine Applegate

The First by Katherine Applegate

To learn if she truly is the last dairne in the world—the endling—Byx and her friends must travel into the snow-covered mountains of the country of Dreyland, where they hope to uncover the truth behind the legend of a hidden dairne colony. But the threat of war across the lands continues to grow with each passing day.

As the group confronts untold dangers at every turn, they will ultimately uncover a treacherous plot that involves the other powerful governing species. With both her dreams and all the creatures of Nedarra on the brink of extinction, Byx and her friends are determined to never give up hope.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Enslavement
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a family member recounted
  • Drowning
  • Imprisonment
  • Genocide recounted
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Human by Diego Agrimbau

Human by Diego Agrimbau and illustrated by Lucas Varela

Planet Earth: 500,000 years in the future. Humans have been extinct for millennia. Two scientists, Robert and June, have been orbiting the Earth, waiting for the planet to become habitable once more. With the help of a team of robots, they plan to start over from scratch: a new Adam and Eve who won’t make the same mistakes as their ancestors. But first Robert has to find June, who seems to have landed somewhere else in this vast jungle—their Eden—full of grotesque creatures and strange primates… 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Rape, implied
  • Attempted genocide
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The Serpent’s Curse by Tony Abbott

The Serpent’s Curse by Tony Abbott

Wade, Lily, Darrell, and Becca may have found the Copernicus Legacy’s first relic—a beautiful blue stone named after the constellation Vela—but they have lost much more than they have gained. Darrell’s mother, Sara, has been kidnapped by Galina Krause, the conniving leader of the Teutonic Order, who hopes that the renowned academic will lead her and her minions to the next relic.

That means the stakes couldn’t be higher for the Kaplan kids, who trek across the cold wilderness of Siberia, along the winding canals of Venice, and through the streets of Moscow’s Red Square in search of their beloved family member and the sought-after relic called the Serpens… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Drugging
  • Medical experimentation mentioned
  • Beheading mentioned
  • Death of an uncle recounted
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Stabbing
  • Explosion
  • Poisoning
  • Car accident
  • Kidnapping
  • Fire
  • Mass death in Siberian labour camps mentioned
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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb…

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Antisemitism & Nazism
  • Concentration camps
  • Genocide
  • Emesis
  • Death of a parent
  • Torture
  • War themes
  • Animal death
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Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune by Frank Herbert

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for…

When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Death of a child
  • Murder
  • Attempted genocide
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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains.
After the 2nd, only the lucky escape.
And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive.
After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: to give up or to get up.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Plague
  • Genocide
  • Death of a parent
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