Welcome to my post! Today I’m sharing some books I’m interested in releasing this month, as part of my monthly series of anticipated releases.
On his 59th birthday, Tyson Parks—a famous, but struggling, horror writer—receives an antique desk from his partner, Sarah, in the hopes it will rekindle his creative juices. Perhaps inspire him to write another best-selling novel and prove his best years aren’t behind him.
A continent away, a mysterious woman makes inquiries with her sources around the world, seeking the whereabouts of a certain artefact her family has been hunting for centuries. With the help of a New York City private detective, she finally finds what she’s been looking for.
A short and intriguing synopsis paired with this gorgeous gothic and vintage looking cover has got me really excited about this horror book, which released on my birthday!
The Unfortunates: 7th
An edgy, bitingly funny debut about a queer, half-Nigerian college sophomore who, enraged and exhausted by the racism at her elite college, sets out to find truth about The Unfortunates—the unlucky subset of Black undergrads who have been mysteriously dying.
Sahara is Not Okay. Entering her sophomore year at Elite University, she feels like a failure: her body is too curvy, her love life is non-existent, her family is disappointed in her, her grades are terrible, and, well, the few Black classmates she has just keep dying. Sahara is close to giving up, herself: her depression is, as she says, her only “Life Partner.” And this narrative—taking the form of an irreverent, piercing “thesis” to the university committee that will judge her—is meant to be a final unfurling of her singular, unforgettable voice before her own inevitable disappearance and death. But over the course of this wild sophomore year, and supported by her eccentric community of BIPOC women, Sahara will eventually find hope, answers, and an unexpected redemption.
This one interested me straight away from that first tagline. It says its funny so it seems like it’ll be a mix of humour and more depth and grittiness. I’ve seen a few people saying it sounds similar to an Ace of Spades vibe, and I haven’t read that but they both sound like things I’ll enjoy. Plus the cover again is stunning!
Lucky St. James, a Métis millennial living with her cantankerous but loving grandmother Stella, is barely hanging on when she discovers she will be evicted from their tiny Toronto apartment. Then, one night, something strange and irresistible calls out to Lucky. Burrowing through a wall, she finds a silver spoon etched with a crooked-nosed witch and the word SALEM, humming with otherworldly energy.
Hundreds of miles away in Salem, Myrna Good has been looking for Lucky. Myrna works for VenCo, a front company fuelled by vast resources of dark money.
Lucky is familiar with the magic of her indigenous ancestors, but she has no idea that the spoon links her to VenCo’s network of witches throughout North America. Generations of witches have been waiting for centuries for the seven spoons to come together, igniting a new era, and restoring women to their rightful power.
But as reckoning approaches, a very powerful adversary is stalking their every move. He’s Jay Christos, a roguish and deadly witch-hunter as old as witchcraft itself.
To find the last spoon, Lucky and Stella embark on a rollicking and dangerous road trip to the darkly magical city of New Orleans, where the final showdown will determine whether VenCo will usher in a new beginning…or remain underground forever.
Anything with witches will interest me and I’m not quite sure exactly what this will entail and the tone it will have but I definitely want to find out. I haven’t read The Marrow Thieves by them yet but it seems quite different so I would love to try them both out.
Victory City: 7th
The epic tale of a woman who breathes a fantastical empire into existence, only to be consumed by it over the centuries–from the transcendent imagination of Booker Prize-winning, internationally bestselling author Salman Rushdie
In the wake of an insignificant battle between two long-forgotten kingdoms in fourteenth-century southern India, a nine-year-old girl has a divine encounter that will change the course of history. After witnessing the death of her mother, the grief-stricken Pampa Kampana becomes a vessel for the goddess Parvati, who begins to speak out of the girl’s mouth. Granting her powers beyond Pampa Kampana’s comprehension, the goddess tells her that she will be instrumental in the rise of a great city called Bisnaga–literally victory city–the wonder of the world.
Over the next two hundred and fifty years, Pampa Kampana’s life becomes deeply interwoven with Bisnaga’s, from its literal sowing out of a bag of magic seeds to its tragic ruination in the most human of ways: the hubris of those in power. Whispering Bisnaga and its citizens into existence, Pampa Kampana attempts to make good on the task that Parvati set for her: to give women equal agency in a patriarchal world. But all stories have a way of getting away from their creator, and Bisnaga is no exception. As years pass, rulers come and go, battles are won and lost, and allegiances shift, the very fabric of Bisnaga becomes an ever more complex tapestry–with Pampa Kampana at its center.
This sounds pretty full on with the plot and spans a long time but I’m interested to see how it will be set out and what exactly the plot will be. Salman Rushdie is a very well-known author and I’ve been too intimidated to read their most popular Midnight’s Children but this seems like something I can get into more easily.
The Spite House: 7th
Eric Ross is on the run from a mysterious past with his two daughters in tow. Having left his wife, his house, his whole life behind in Maryland, he’s desperate for money–it’s not easy to find safe work when you can’t provide references, you can’t stay in one place for long, and you’re paranoid that your past is creeping back up on you.
When he comes across the strange ad for the Masson House in Degener, Texas, Eric thinks they may have finally caught a lucky break. The Masson property, notorious for being one of the most haunted places in Texas, needs a caretaker of sorts. The owner is looking for proof of paranormal activity. All they need to do is stay in the house and keep a detailed record of everything that happens there. Provided the house’s horrors don’t drive them all mad, like the caretakers before them.
The job calls to Eric, not just because there’s a huge payout if they can make it through, but because he wants to explore the secrets of the spite house. If it is indeed haunted, maybe it’ll help him understand the uncanny power that clings to his family, driving them from town to town, making them afraid to stop running. A terrifying Gothic thriller about grief and death and the depths of a father’s love, Johnny Compton’s The Spite House is a stunning debut by a horror master in the making.
There are quite a few haunting stories on here and I mainly put this one on here because people who have read the ARCs already and talked about it have very positive reviews, and it seems like a bit of a different take on a haunted house.
An accessible, character-driven story set in 2003 New York City about a genderqueer book conservator who feels trapped by her gender presentation, her ill-fitting relationship, and her artistic block, as she discovers a decades-old hidden queer love letter and becomes obsessed with tracking down its author.
It’s 2003, and artist Dawn Levit is stuck. A bookbinder who works in conservation at the Met, she spends her free time scouting the city’s street art, hoping something might spark inspiration. Instead, everything looks like a dead end. And art isn’t the only thing that feels wrong: wherever she turns, her gender identity clashes with the rest of her life. Her relationship, once anchored by shared queerness, is falling apart as her boyfriend Lukas increasingly seems to be attracted to Dawn only when she’s at her most masculine. Meanwhile at work, Dawn has to present as female, even on the days when that isn’t true. Either way, her difference feels like a liability.
Then, one day at work, Dawn finds something hidden behind the endpaper of an old book: the torn-off cover of a ‘50s lesbian pulp novel, Turn Her About. On the front is a campy illustration of a woman looking into a handheld mirror and seeing a man’s face. And on the back is a love letter.
Dawn latches onto the coincidence, becoming obsessed with tracking down the note’s author. Her fixation only increases when her best friend Jae is injured in a hate crime, for which Dawn feels responsible. As Dawn searches for the letter’s author, she is also looking for herself. She tries to understand how to live in a world that doesn’t see her as she truly is, how to get unstuck in her gender, and how to rediscover her art, and she can’t shake the feeling that the note’s author might be able to help guide her to the answers.
This is quite different from all the other books on here, I don’t read too much literary ficiton but I’m happy to find a new release about queerness and gender identity, as well as the idea of a story within a story.
The Whispering Muse: 9th
From the Sunday Times bestselling author comes a gripping tale of obsession, superstition and ambition, set against the atmospheric backdrop of Victorian London. Be careful what you wish for it may just come true.
At The Mercury Theatre in London’s West End, rumours are circulating of a curse. It is said that the lead actress Lilith has made a pact with Melpomene, the tragic muse of Greek mythology, to become the greatest actress to ever grace the stage. Suspicious of Lilith, the jealous wife of the theatre owner sends dresser Jenny to spy on her, and, desperate for the money to help her family, Jenny agrees.
What Jenny finds is a woman as astonishing in her performance as she is provocative in her nature. On stage, it’s as though Lilith is possessed by the characters she plays, yet off stage she is as tragic as the muse who inspires her, and Jenny, sorry for her, befriends the troubled actress. But when strange events begin to take place around the theatre, Jenny wonders whether the rumours are true and fears that when the muse comes calling for payment, the cost will be too high.
A book that I came away not knowing fully what it was about but intriguing me is Laura Purcell’s new book, another author I haven’t read from yet but have heard great things about. The historical backdrop and mention of Greek myth is enough to make me want to pick it up when it’s released.
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride: 14th
A sumptuous, gothic-infused story about a marriage that is unraveled by dark secrets, a friendship cursed to end in tragedy, and the danger of believing in fairy tales–the breathtaking adult debut from New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi.
Once upon a time, a man who believed in fairy tales married a beautiful, mysterious woman named Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada. He was a scholar of myths. She was heiress to a fortune. They exchanged gifts and stories and believed they would live happily ever after–and in exchange for her love, Indigo extracted a promise: that her bridegroom would never pry into her past.
But when Indigo learns that her estranged aunt is dying and the couple is forced to return to her childhood home, the House of Dreams, the bridegroom will soon find himself unable to resist. For within the crumbling manor’s extravagant rooms and musty halls, there lurks the shadow of another girl: Azure, Indigo’s dearest childhood friend who suddenly disappeared. As the house slowly reveals his wife’s secrets, the bridegroom will be forced to choose between reality and fantasy, even if doing so threatens to destroy their marriage . . . or their lives.
Finally an author that I have actually read from! I read Roshani Chokshi’s first book in her middle grade series Aru Shah and it was fun but I’d love to read something more adult. It sounds really great and it also mentioned Mexican Gothic as a comparison so instant want!
The Writing Retreat: 21st
The Plot meets Please Join Us in this psychological suspense debut about a young author at an exclusive writer’s retreat that descends into a nightmare.
Alex has all but given up on her dreams of becoming a published author when she receives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: attend an exclusive, month-long writing retreat at the estate of feminist horror writer Roza Vallo. Even the knowledge that Wren, her former best friend and current rival, is attending doesn’t dampen her excitement.
But when the attendees arrive, Roza drops a bombshell—they must all complete an entire novel from scratch during the next month, and the author of the best one will receive a life-changing seven-figure publishing deal. Determined to win this seemingly impossible contest, Alex buckles down and tries to ignore the strange happenings at the estate, including Roza’s erratic behaviour, Wren’s cruel mind games, and the alleged haunting of the mansion itself. But when one of the writers vanishes during a snowstorm, Alex realizes that something very sinister is afoot. With the clock running out, she’s desperate to discover the truth and save herself.
An interesting concept and setting, and I definitely want to see how this will turn out. I don’t read too many thrillers but I will probably try this out.
She is a Haunting: 28th
A house with a terrifying appetite haunts a broken family in this atmospheric horror, perfect for fans of Mexican Gothic.
When Jade Nguyen arrives in Vietnam for a visit with her estranged father, she has one goal: survive five weeks pretending to be a happy family in the French colonial house Ba is restoring. She’s always lied to fit in, so if she’s straight enough, Vietnamese enough, American enough, she can get out with the college money he promised.
But the house has other plans. Night after night, Jade wakes up paralyzed. The walls exude a thrumming sound, while bugs leave their legs and feelers in places they don’t belong. She finds curious traces of her ancestors in the gardens they once tended. And at night Jade can’t ignore the ghost of the beautiful bride who leaves her cryptic warnings: Don’t eat.
Neither Ba nor her sweet sister Lily believe that there is anything strange happening. With help from a delinquent girl, Jade will prove this house—the home her family has always wanted—will not rest until it destroys them. Maybe, this time, she can keep her family together. As she roots out the house’s rot, she must also face the truth of who she is and who she must become to save them all.
Another Mexican Gothic comparison with a haunted house but a YA horror, this book seems very original in terms of identity and how the haunting will play out. This is definitely one of the releases I’m most excited for so I can’t wait to get to this!
The Wicked Bargain: 28th
El Diablo is in the details in this Latinx pirate fantasy starring a transmasculine nonbinary teen with a mission of revenge, redemption, and revolution.
On Mar León-de la Rosa’s 16th birthday, el Diablo comes calling. Mar is a transmasculine nonbinary teen pirate hiding a magical ability to manipulate fire and ice. But their magic isn’t enough to reverse a wicked bargain made by their father and now el Diablo has come to collect his payment: the soul of Mar’s father and the entire crew of their ship.
When Mar is miraculously rescued by the sole remaining pirate crew in the Caribbean, el Diablo returns to give them a choice: give up your soul to save your father by the Harvest Moon or never see him again. The task is impossible–Mar refuses to make a bargain and there’s no way their magic is any match for el Diablo. Then, Mar finds the most unlikely allies: Bas, an infuriatingly arrogant and handsome pirate — and the captain’s son; and Dami, a genderfluid demonio whose motives are never quite clear. For the first time in their life, Mar may have the courage to use their magic. It could be their only redemption — or it could mean certain death.
Finally we have this fascinating release with pirates and nonbinary, trans representation which is more than enough to get me to pick it up. It sounds action-packed and this will be one I want to keep my eye on for when it’s released at the end of the month.
Thanks for reading! Do you have any releases you’re looking forward to this month?
I’d never heard of The Unfortunates or VenCo before, but those synopses sound really intriguing! I’ll definitely be looking forward to your thoughts if you actually end up reading them because I might just have to add these to my own never-ending TBR! 🤗
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Yes they sound really interesting! I think I’d be most likely to pick up The Unfortunates ☺️
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