“Hi, my name is Andrews and I have a TBR pile so tall and full of titles that it will down fall and bury me.”
I am a man of many books and many aspirational reading adventures and while I have read 58 books this year, which is no mean feat, I am still so far behind on my reading pile that I will need retirement simply to make some hint of an appreciable dent in it.
Even so, I am keeping scanning the publishing horizon, excited at what lies just over the reading rainbow and when they drop, as these five titles just have, I am racing off to the bookstore to add yet more books to the TBR in the desperate hope – it does indeed spring eternal! – that I will be able to read them sooner rather than later.
(Thanks to Gizmodo for alerting me to their existence.)
Peace Keeper by B.L. Blanchard
Against the backdrop of a never-colonized North America, a broken Ojibwe detective embarks on an emotional and twisting journey toward solving two murders, rediscovering family, and finding himself.
North America was never colonized. The United States and Canada don’t exist. The Great Lakes are surrounded by an independent Ojibwe nation. And in the village of Baawitigong, a Peacekeeper confronts his devastating past.
Twenty years ago to the day, Chibenashi’s mother was murdered and his father confessed. Ever since, caring for his still-traumatized younger sister has been Chibenashi’s privilege and penance. Now, on the same night of the Manoomin harvest, another woman is slain. His mother’s best friend. This leads to a seemingly impossible connection that takes Chibenashi far from the only world he’s ever known.
The major city of Shikaakwa is home to the victim’s cruelly estranged family—and to two people Chibenashi never wanted to see again: his imprisoned father and the lover who broke his heart. As the questions mount, the answers will change his and his sister’s lives forever. Because Chibenashi is about to discover that everything about their lives has been a lie. (synopsis (courtesy official B.L. Blanchard author site)
The Peace Keeper released 1 June.
Before Takeoff by Adi Alsaid
The Sun Is Also a Star meets Jumanji when two teens meet and fall in love during a layover-gone-wrong at the Atlanta airport in this thrilling new novel from the author of Let’s Get Lost!
James and Michelle find themselves in the Atlanta airport on a layover. They couldn’t be more different, but seemingly interminable delays draw them both to a mysterious flashing green light–and each other.
Where James is passive, Michelle is anything but. And she quickly discovers that the flashing green light is actually … a button. Which she presses. Which may or may not unwittingly break the rules of the universe–at least as those rules apply to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta.
Before they can figure up from down, strange, impossible things start happening: snowstorms form inside the B terminal; jungles sprout up in the C terminal; and earthquakes split the ground apart in between. And no matter how hard they try, it seems no one can find a way in or out of the airport. James and Michelle team up to find their families and either escape the airport, or put an end to its chaos–before it’s too late. (synopsis courtesy Penguin Random House)
Before Takeoff released 7 June.
Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White
A furious, queer debut novel about embracing the monster within and unleashing its power against your oppressors. Perfect for fans of Gideon the Ninth and Annihilation.
Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.
But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.
Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own. (synopsis courtesy Penguin Books Australia)
Hell Followed With Us released 7 June USA and releases 12 August 2022 in Australia.
Little Bird by Tiffany Meuret
Freshly divorced and grieving the death of her father, Josie Lauer has caged herself inside her home. To cope with her losses, Josie follows a strict daily routine of work, playing with her dog, Po, and trying to remember to eat a decent meal—and ending each night by drinking copious amounts of vodka. In other words, she is not coping at all.
Everything changes when Josie wakes to find a small shrub has sprouted in her otherwise dirt backyard the morning after yet another bender. Within hours, the vine-like plant is running amok—and it’s brought company. The appearance of the unwieldly growth has also heralded the arrival of a busybody new neighbor who insists on thrusting herself into Josie’s life. The neighbor Josie can deal with. The talking skeleton called Skelly that has perched itself in Josie’s backyard on a throne made of vines, however, is an entirely different matter.
As the strangely sentient plant continues to grow and twist its tendrils inside Josie’s suddenly complicated life, Josie begins to realize her new neighbor knows a lot more about the vines and her bizarre new visitor than she initially lets on. There’s a reason Skelly has chosen to appear in Josie’s suddenly-blooming backyard and insists on pulling her out of her carefully kept self-isolation. All Josie has to do is figure out what that reason is—and she has only a few days to do it, or else she might find herself on the wrong side of catastrophe. (synopsis courtesy Black Spot Books)
Little Bird released 7 June.
January Fifteenth by Rachel Swirsky
January Fifteenth – the day all Americans receive their annual Universal Basic Income payment.
For Hannah, a middle-aged mother, today is the anniversary of the day she took her two children and fled her abusive ex-wife.
For Janelle, a young, broke journalist, today is another mind-numbing day interviewing passersby about the very policy she once opposed.
For Olivia, a wealthy college freshman, today is “Waste Day”, when rich kids across the country compete to see who can most obscenely squander the government’s money.
For Sarah, a pregnant teen, today is the day she’ll journey alongside her sister-wives to pick up the payments that undergird their community—and perhaps embark on a new journey altogether.
In this near-future science fiction novella by Nebula Award-winning author Rachel Swirsky, the fifteenth of January is another day of the status quo, and another chance at making lasting change. (synopsis courtesy Pan Macmillan)
January Fifteenth released 14 June.