New Books: 18 April 2023


Ausubel, Ramona: The Last Animal (Penguin Random House/Riverhead 9780593420522, $28.00, 288pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, 4/18/2023)
In this near-future science fiction novel, teenage sisters Eve and Vera never imagined their summer vacation would be spent in the Arctic, tagging along on their mother’s scientific expedition. But there’s a lot about their lives lately that hasn’t been going as planned, and truth be told, their single mother might not be so happy either.


Buckell, Tobias S.: Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance and Other Stories (Apex Book Company 9781955765091, $18.95, 262pp, formats: trade paperback, ebook, audio, 4/15/2023)
This is the seventh short fiction collection by Tobias Buckell and is comprised of 15 stories, several of which are original to the collection or were previously only available through his Patreon. This collection ranges from galactic adventures to intimate explorations of humanity—sometimes in the same story—rich with a sense of wonder and deft storytelling.


Castro, V.: The Haunting of Alejandra (Penguin Random House/Del Rey 9780593499696, $28.00, 272pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, 4/18/2023)
In this horror novel, Alejandra no longer knows who she is. To her husband, she is a wife, and to her children, a mother. To her own adoptive mother, she is a daughter. But they cannot see who Alejandra has become: a woman struggling with a darkness that threatens to consume her. Nor can they see what Alejandra sees: in times of despair, a ghostly vision appears to her, the apparition of a crying woman in a ragged white gown.


Couch, Robbie: If I See You Again Tomorrow (Simon & Schuster 9781534497498, $19.99, 336pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, 4/18/2023)
In this gay time-loop romance novel, for some reason, Clark has woken up and relived the same monotonous Monday 309 times. Until Day 310 turns out to be… different. Suddenly, his usual torturous math class is interrupted by an anomaly—a boy he’s never seen before in all his previous Mondays.


Davenport, N.E.: The Blood Gift (Harper Voyager US 9780063058538, $27.00, 464pp, formats: hardcover, trade paperback, ebook, audio, 4/5/2023)
Blending fantasy and science fiction, N.E. Davenport’s fast-paced, action-packed debut kicks off a duology of loyalty and rebellion, in which a young Black woman must survive deadly trials in a racist and misogynistic society to become an elite warrior.


Due, Tananarive: The Wishing Pool and Other Stories (Akashic Books 9781636141053, $29.95, 296pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, 4/18/2023)
American Book Award-winning author Tananarive Due’s second collection of 14 stories includes offerings of horror, science fiction, and suspense―all genres she wields masterfully. From the mysterious, magical town of Gracetown to the aftermath of a pandemic to the reaches of the far future, Due’s stories all share a sense of dread and fear balanced with heart and hope.


Ford, Daniel M.: The Warden (Tor 9781250815651, $27.99, 320pp, formats: hardcover, trade paperback, ebook, audio, 4/18/2023)
This fantasy action-adventure novel is the first in a trilogy. In it, Aelis, dreaming of becoming one of the very few female necromancers, has to rethink her plans when she’s assigned to a remote rural village with some interesting secrets.


Hartland, Christopher: Against the Stars (Tiny Ghost 9781915585035, $21.99, 262pp, formats: hardcover, trade paperback, ebook, 4/18/2023)
This is a queer young-adult fantasy romance novel. In it, two boys from very different backgrounds get a Glimpse of their futures from a shady company, but they’re fast approaching the Last Day beyond which no one can see their future — and tension is rising.


Holton, India: The Secret Service of Tea and Treason (Penguin Random House/Berkley 9780593547267, $17.00, 368pp, formats: trade paperback, ebook, audio, 4/18/2023)
This is a historical fantasy romantic comedy novel. Known as Agent A, Alice is the top operative within the Agency of Undercover Note Takers, a secret government intelligence group that is fortunately better at espionage than at naming itself. From managing deceptive witches to bored aristocratic ladies, nothing is beyond Alice’s capabilities. She has a steely composure and a plan always up her sleeve (alongside a dagger and an embroidered handkerchief).


Jost, Sarah: Five First Chances (Sourcebooks Landmark 9781728262703, $16.99, 400pp, formats: trade paperback, ebook, audio, 4/18/2023)
In this time-loop fantasy romance novel, Lou feels like she is stuck on the wrong path: alone, in a city far from home, watching other people be happy. When the man she’s in love with announces his engagement to someone else, Lou is consumed by ‘what ifs’.


Lewis, Cliff: We the Future (North Star Editions/Jolly Fish Press 9781631636967, $19.99, 288pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, 4/15/2023)
This is a young-adult science fiction novel about climate change and time travel. Ever since he learned about climate change, 12-year-old Jonah has dreaded a weather-beaten future where not even his asthma medication can save him. Luckily, a girl from that future arrives just in time to throw Jonah a lifeline.


Medina, Nick: Sisters of the Lost Nation (Penguin Random House/Berkley 9780593546857, $27.00, 352pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, 4/18/2023)
In this thriller mythological horror novel, a young Native girl’s hunt for answers about the women mysteriously disappearing from her tribe’s reservation leads her to delve into the myths and stories of her people, all while being haunted herself, in this atmospheric and stunningly poignant debut.


Neuvel, Sylvain: For the First Time, Again (Tordotcom 9781250262578, $27.99, 320pp, formats: hardcover, trade paperback, ebook, audio, 4/18/2023)
In this science fiction secret history novel, after a traumatic incident, Aster’s blood work comes back with some unusual readings. Unsurprising, as she’s the last of an alien race called the Kibsu, though she doesn’t know it. She becomes the focus of a hunt, with her mortal enemies, the Trackers, on one side, and the American government on the other. But help has come from a most unexpected quarter.


O’Regan, Marie & Paul Kane: Twice Cursed (Titan Books UK 9781803361215, $16.95, 368pp, formats: trade paperback, ebook, 4/18/2023)
This is an anthology of fairy tales and poems. Take a trip to a terrifying carnival and uncover the secrets within, solve a mysterious puzzle box and await your reward, join a traveling circus and witness the strangest ventriloquist act you’ve ever seen.


Porter, Chana: The Thick and the Lean (Simon & Schuster/Saga Press 9781668000199, $27.99, 384pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, 4/18/2023)
This is a dystopian/post-apocalyptic science fiction novel. In the quaint religious town of Seagate, abstaining from food brings one closer to God. But Beatrice Bolano is hungry. She craves the forbidden: butter, flambé, marzipan. As Seagate takes increasingly extreme measures to regulate every calorie its citizens consume, Beatrice must make a choice: give up her secret passion for cooking or leave the only community she has known.


Raughley, Sarah: The Song of Wrath (Simon & Schuster/McElderry 9781534453593, $21.99, 432pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, 4/18/2023)
In this young-adult historical fantasy novel, Iris Marlow can’t die. For years, she was tormented by her missing memories and desperate to learn her real identity. So when the mysterious Adam Temple offered to reveal the truth of who she was in exchange for her joining his team in the Tournament of Freaks, a gruesome magical competition, it was an offer she couldn’t refuse. But the truth would have been better left buried.


Stewart, Andrea: The Bone Shard War (Orbit UK 9780356515038, $29.00, 624pp, formats: hardcover, trade paperback, ebook, audio, 4/18/2023)
In this fantasy novel, Lin Sukai has won her first victory as Emperor, but the future of the Phoenix Empire hangs in the balance – and Lin is dangerously short of allies. As her own governors plot treason, the Shardless Few renew hostilities. Worse still, Lin discovers her old nemesis Nisong has joined forces with the rogue Alanga, Ragan. Both seek her death.


Sullivan, Andrew F.: The Marigold (ECW Press 9781770416642, $19.95, 352pp, formats: trade paperback, ebook, audio, 4/18/2023)
In this apocalyptic science fiction novel, In a near-future Toronto buffeted by environmental chaos and unfettered development, an unsettling new lifeform begins to grow beneath the surface, feeding off the past.


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