Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire

When her sister Patty died, Jenna blamed herself. When Jenna died, she blamed herself for that, too. Unfortunately Jenna died too soon. Living or dead, every soul is promised a certain amount of time, and when Jenna passed she found a heavy debt of time in her record. Unwilling to simply steal that time from the living, Jenna earns every day she leeches with volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline.

But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope; something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide*
  • Suicidal ideation*
  • Grief depiction
  • Death themes
  • Death of a sister
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a daughter
  • Murder
  • Loss of autonomy
  • Death of pet/s, specifically cats

*Main character works at a suicide hotline

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We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal book cover

The battle on Sharr is over. The dark forest has fallen. Altair may be captive, but Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish the plan he set in motion: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate, and finally returning magic to all of Arawiya. But they are low on resources and allies alike, and the kingdom teems with fear of the Lion of the Night’s return.

As the zumra plots to overthrow the kingdom’s darkest threat, Nasir fights to command the magic in his blood. He must learn to hone his power into a weapon, to wield not only against the Lion but against his father, trapped under the Lion’s control. Zafira battles a very different darkness festering in her through her bond with the Jawarat—a darkness that hums with voices, pushing her to the brink of her sanity and to the edge of a chaos she dare not unleash. In spite of the darkness enclosing ever faster, Nasir and Zafira find themselves falling into a love they can’t stand to lose…but time is running out to achieve their ends, and if order is to be restored, drastic sacrifices will have to be made.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Grooming
  • Coerced sexual assault*
  • Child abuse
  • Parental abuse
  • Starvation mentioned
  • Eye horror
  • Gore depiction
  • Murder
  • Imprisonment
  • Mind control
  • War themes
  • Chemical warfare

*Kissing under the disguise of someone else

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Network Effect by Martha Wells

Network Effect by Martha Wells

You know that feeling when you’re at work, and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favorite shows? And you’re a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congratulations, you’re Murderbot.

When Murderbot’s human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.

Drastic action it is, then.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Indentured servitude & slavery discussed
  • Amnesia
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Physical injuries
  • Contagion
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Gun violence
  • Explosions
  • Kidnapping & hostage situation
  • Loss of autonomy discussed
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Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

SciFi’s favorite antisocial A.I. is again on a mission. The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions about where Dr. Mensah’s SecUnit is.

And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Self-sacrifice
  • Physical injuries
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Gun violence
  • Loss of autonomy discussed
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Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Dubious consent to sex work discussed*
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Physical injuries
  • Surgery for coerced body modifications
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Mass murder recounted
  • Gun violence
  • Explosion mentioned
  • Kidnapping
  • Attempted plane crash
  • Mind control discussed

*Note: Android sex workers have a limited or no ability to override their mind control-like regulating system and therefore are unable to truly consent.

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In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion.

Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide mentioned
  • Pandemic (Spanish Influenza)
  • Gore depiction
  • Hospitalisation
  • Death of a parent recounted
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Poisoning
  • Mind control (possession)
  • War themes
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Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf

Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf

In order to protect Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s heart, Zera had to betray him. Now, he hates the sight of her. Trapped in Cavanos as a prisoner of the king, she awaits the inevitable moment her witch severs their magical connection and finally ends her life. But fate isn’t ready to give her up just yet.

With freedom coming from the most unlikely of sources, Zera is given a second chance at life as a Heartless. But it comes with a terrible price. As the king mobilizes his army to march against the witches, Zera must tame an elusive and deadly valkerax trapped in the tunnels underneath the city if she wants to regain her humanity.

Winning over a bloodthirsty valkerax? Hard. Winning back her friends before war breaks out? A little harder. But a Heartless winning back Prince Lucien’s heart? The hardest thing she’s ever done.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Persecution for witchcraft (theme)
  • Child abuse recounted
  • Nightmares
  • Self-harm (on-page)
  • Self-sacrifice discussed
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction, including dead bodies
  • Cannibalism mentioned
  • Emesis
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother & father recounted
  • Death of a grandfather mentioned
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Torture
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Poisoning
  • Fire
  • Loss of autonomy (mind control)
  • Imprisonment
  • War themes (central theme)
  • Animal cruelty & torture
  • Animal injury, blood & body parts
  • Animal attack
  • Hunting mentioned
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Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly. Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, & out for his blood.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all. Winner takes the loser’s heart. Literally.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Classism
  • Persecution for witchcraft (theme)
  • Fatmisia & body shaming
  • Child abuse
  • Arranged marriage
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Alcohol abuse & alcoholism recounted
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction, including dead bodies
  • Cannibalism
  • Emesis
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a sister
  • Death of a mother & father
  • Death of a child mentioned
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Torture
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Explosions
  • Fire
  • Kidnapping
  • Loss of autonomy (mind control)
  • Death from a fall mentioned
  • War themes (central theme)
  • Animal death and dead bodies
  • Death by animal attack mentioned
  • Bullying
  • Poverty themes
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The Burning Bridge by John Flanagan

The Burning Bridge by John Flanagan

The Burning Bridge by John Flanagan book cover

Bracing for a final clash with the evil warlord Morgarath, the Rangers rally the kingdom’s allies, and Will is chosen, along with his friend Horace, as special envoys to nearby Celtica. But the simple mission soon takes an unsettling turn – the Celticans have disappeared, their town abandoned. The scheming hand of Morgarath, it seems, has been far from idle. He has found a way to bring his legions over the once impassible eastern mountains and is planning to ambush the king’s army in a rout. Now with help many miles away, Will and Horace are the only ones standing in the way of the dark lord’s plans.They have shown great skill and courage in their training, but how will they fare in the face of true evil?

With bigger battles and higher stakes, John Flanagan’s epic adventure charges ahead with this rousing follow-up to The Ruins of Gorlan.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Disappearance of a loved one
  • Fire and arson
  • Grief and loss depiction
  • Hostage situation and kidnapping
  • Slavery
  • Knife violence
  • Mind control and possession
  • Physical injuries and wounds, murder and attempted murder
  • War and military themes
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Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton

Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton

Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton book cover

In the ancient river kingdom, where touch is a battlefield and bodies the instruments of war, Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood. The same women who killed her mother without a single scratch.

But when Mia’s father announces an alliance with the royal family, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Determined to forge her own path forward, Mia plots a daring escape, but could never predict the greatest betrayal of all: her own body. Mia possesses the very magic she has sworn to destroy.

Now, as she untangles the secrets of her past, Mia must learn to trust her heart…even if it kills her.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny (central theme)
  • Homomisia, coming out themes and hate crimes
  • Rape (mostly recounted, one graphic on-page scene) and sexual assault
  • Forced non-consensual arranged marriage
  • Physical abuse
  • Suicide and suicidal ideation (mentioned)
  • Blood and gore depiction, including dead bodies
  • Grief and loss depiction
  • Death of mother & wife recounted
  • Death of a father & husband recounted
  • Emesis
  • Graphic physical injuries and illness
  • Torture (secondary character, off-page)
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Poisoning
  • Imprisonment
  • War themes
  • Graphic animal death, animal bodies, and hunting
  • Mind control discussed
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