In 14th century China, a girl is born into famine. The local soothsayer says that her brother, Zhu Chongba, will live a life of greatness, while her future is empty. She will be nothing. So when her brother dies in the famine, she takes over his life, hoping to trick Heaven and also take over his greatness. She disguises herself as a boy and becomes a monk, then talks her way into the army, where her cleverness and political savvy have her swiftly climbing the ranks.
Polly's brother (her sweet, innocent, artistic brother) left their family's tavern to fight in Borogravia's endless war. When his letters suddenly stop, she wants to go looking for him, but women aren't allowed in the Borogravian army. Undeterred, she chops off her hair, stuffs some socks down her trousers, and joins up anyway, disguised as "Oliver." She's always been told that the Borogravian army is the Discworld's finest, and that they're winning the war, but that's hard to believe when she sees her brothers-in-arms: all oddballs and misfits, untrained and ill-equipped.
On the week before Christmas, in the sleepy little tourist town of Pine Cove, Santa is murdered. At least that’s what seven-year-old Josh sees happen. In reality, a guy in a Santa suit was having it out with his ex-wife and he fell onto a shovel and died. Not knowing that, Josh makes a desperate Christmas wish, for Santa to be alive again. And then a Christmas miracle happens. At least, that was the plan. Except that heaven's stupidest angel decides to grant his wish by raising Santa and everyone else buried in town from the grave... as brain-hungry zombies.
Alice is generally pretty happy. She has two best friends who are about to get married, a summer job at her local library, an undeclared college major, and a supportive if overbearing and judgmental family. But things get shaken up when she gets a new coworker, Takumi, who she is instantly attracted to. He's off-the-charts cute, smart, sweet, and funny, and he seems to like her back. There's just one problem-- Alice is asexual, and her previous attempts at relationships have all gone... badly.