So, with current events being…well, what they are, some of us may be hunkering down and staying home a lot more than usual. And what better way to pass the time than by some reading? If you’re an ebook type of person (and even if you’re not) this might be a great time to try a free trial of Kindle Unlimited!
The subscription is normally about $10 a month and gives you access to a library of ebooks to read, but you can usually get a month of it free first. (I got a free trial back when I started reviewing for The Fairy Tale Central, and after the trial was over and I cancelled they were like, “Wait! Come back! We’ll give you three months for 99₵!” so I did that and then cancelled. And then they were like “WAIT! It’s the new year…how about another three months for 99₵?” So I’ve literally gotten seven months of Kindle Unlimited for two bucks. Not a bad deal.)
I’m actually NOT a fan of ebooks at all, but I’ve actually really utilized this subscription because if it’s free, I want to get my money’s worth. (I know, I know…just go with it)
BUT it’s not always easy to find good books on Kindle Unlimited. So here are, in the seven months since I’ve been on there, some of the authors & novels I’ve really enjoyed:
I’d already read some of her fairy tale retellings, but Kindle unlimited introduced me to W.R. Gingell’s urban fantasy City Between series and I’m HOOKED. They were my favorite reads of 2019 and are hilarious but also heartbreaking, which of course is the best combination.
Kate Stradling is a recent find—and by recent I mean I read my first book of hers last month!—but I simply haven’t been able to stop reading her novels. I started off with The Legendary Inge, a Beowulf-inspired fantasy, and have ended with her Ruses series. My absolute favorite so far, however, has been Goldmayne—an unusual and fun fairy tale retelling that’s much different than any others I’ve read before, yet still manages to capture the “feel” of the classic fairy tales I grew up on.
A.G. Marshall has written some of my very favorite fairy tale retellings—I highly recommend her Fairy Tale Adventures series. And, if you’re looking for a shorter read, her short stories are amazing as well. I’m particularly fond of The Bruised Princess and The Curse of Gold! (Incidentally, these stories are both included in a collection the author recently released.)
Even though K.M. Shea is a name I’ve heard a LOT in the indie community, for some reason it’s only recently that I’ve dived into her novels, and I’m pleased to say they live up to the hype! While I enjoyed her Beauty and the Beast, I admit that right now what I’m really invested in is her urban fantasy series, which is loosely inspired by the Donkeyskin tale. (The next book comes out late this month, and I’m impatiently waiting!)
So far, I’ve only read The Firethorn Crown, the first book in this author’s Firethorn Chronicles. (I actually own the next books from free promotions, so I’m waiting to get to them after my KU subscription is over). However, that was enough to know that if you love fairy tale retellings, you’re going to enjoy these. The first book is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and I’m especially excited to start the second book, because it’s inspired by a Midsummer Night’s Dream!
Britain Kalai Soderquist
So full disclosure: I haven’t actually read this book yet. But Glass Roses is a retelling of both Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella, told through letters and set in the Victorian era! It’s a great historical fiction and non-magical option for some fairy tale retellings! (the author has also recently released Apple Blossoms, a retelling of two more fairy tales written in the same manner)
Roseanna M. White
Speaking of my historical fiction fans: I just realized that the first book in Roseanna M. White’s Shadows over England series is available on Kindle Unlimited! I enjoyed the whole series, though the first book, A Name Unknown, is by far my favorite. I highly recommend checking it out for a WW1-centered read that involves former thieves, spies, and sweet romance!
And for my fellow fairy tale retelling fanatics, I also recommend looking up Melanie Cellier, Kyle Robert Shultz, Allison Tebo, Nina Clare, and Brittany Fitcher, who’ve all written outrageously fun retellings available on Kindle Unlimited. (And Allison Tebo’s comedic novellas may be an especially good choice for any of my younger readers looking for a squeaky-clean fairy tale retelling!)
And, of course, I’ll end with a shameless plug: you can find my 1920s Snow White retelling January Snow on Kindle Unlimited, as well as my ghost story novelette, For Elise. And even if you don’t have a subscription, you can still find my Rapunzel retelling, With Blossoms Gold, for free in the Once collection, along with five other historically-inspired retellings.
Also: don’t want kindle unlimited? Or you’ve already used up your free trial? Check with your library online to see if they have ebooks! My library system uses Hoopla Digital, which has a pretty good variety of books, movies, and comics to check out online for free. And don’t forget that a lot of classic Christian theology books are also available for free online–if you can’t go out to the library, rest assured that the internet, for all its faults, can bring the library to you!
*also, an obligatory disclaimer: while all authors/books I mention here could be described as “clean,” I haven’t read *every* book by these authors, and so cannot vouchsafe for all of their novels. All books mentioned in this post vary in rating from G to PG-13, so use your own discretion!
Aside from reading and Netflix (or Disney+), do any of you have an introvert-ish plans for our Coronavirus-fueled social distancing? What are your favorite reads that you’ve found on Kindle Unlimited?