It’s Grace here, nearing the tail end of my summer. By the time y’all read this, I’ll be settled into good ol’ Lex, Virginia. Which is where I’m mostly at my happiest, but also at my busiest. The beginning of the year is so much fun. For one, I love that feeling of seeing people you love after a while — you get that rush of relief, that involuntary smile, that makes you realize how absolutely grateful you are for them. I’m much more inclined to spend my spare time chatting with somebody about the unexpected bits of their summer on my front porch than to (sadly) hole up in my room alone to write about my latest book project.
But hey! I want y’all to stay informed! Recently, I started spotlighting releases by month to keep my blog more hip with the kids — a.k.a to be more involved in the modern book market in the way that I was in high school.
Without further ado, here are some of the releases of September that I am absolutely psyched for. Mark them on your calendar!
Novel: The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck | Goodreads
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.
Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern—one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal—or not-so-mortal—soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare.
Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire—and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos.
Ooh, baby. I’ve never read a Colleen Houck novel, but I’ve heard great things. This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year (like I’ve said before, I love Halloween reads.) This Sleepy Hollow retelling seems perfect for the atmospheres I love most — leaves changing, pumpkin spice lattes. I need a stormy night on which to read it. Chances you’ll see this one popping up in my October spooky round-ups? High.
Novel: A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma | Goodreads
Release Date: September 4th 2018
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.
Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will take for her to leave…
I love Nova Ren Suma as a writer. She is beyond talented, sophisticated, and always willing to take a risk. While that’s meant that some of her books are less stellar than others for me, I’m nearly always wanting to read her next book. Plus, the synopsis for this one sounds so eerie and lush — surreal in a way that could be really appealing and could fall flat. Hoping for the former though!
A young woman with a dangerous power she barely understands. A smuggler with secrets of his own. A country torn between a merciless colonial army, a terrifying tyrant, and a feared rebel leader. The first book in a new trilogy from the acclaimed Heidi Heilig blends traditional storytelling with ephemera for a lush, page-turning tale of escape and rebellion. For a Muse of Fire will captivate fans of Sabaa Tahir, Leigh Bardugo, and Renée Ahdieh.
Jetta’s family is famed as the most talented troupe of shadow players in the land. With Jetta behind the scrim, their puppets seem to move without string or stick—a trade secret, they say. In truth, Jetta can see the souls of the recently departed and bind them to the puppets with her blood. But the old ways are forbidden ever since the colonial army conquered their country, so Jetta must never show, never tell. Her skill and fame are her family’s way to earn a spot aboard the royal ship to Aquitan, where shadow plays are the latest rage, and where rumor has it the Mad King has a spring that cures his ills. Because seeing spirits is not the only thing that plagues Jetta. But as rebellion seethes and as Jetta meets a young smuggler, she will face truths and decisions that she never imagined—and safety will never seem so far away.
Heidi Heilig creates a vivid, rich world inspired by Asian cultures and French colonialism. Her characters are equally complex and nuanced, including the bipolar heroine. Told from Jetta’s first-person point-of-view, as well as chapters written as play scripts and ephemera such as telegrams and letters, For a Muse of Fire is an engrossing journey that weaves magic, simmering romance, and the deep bonds of family with the high stakes of epic adventure.
I’m reading this one now, and it’s utterly captivating. I enjoyed Heidi Heilig’s first book, The Girl from Everywhere, but never quite got around to reading the sequel. For me, this was a book that got me from the cover. I have trouble differentiating a lot of high fantasy that has kind of mushed together for me, but within fifty pages, it’s clear that this one has a well-developed and wholly original idea. Review to come soon!
Novel: The Curses by Laure Eve | Goodreads
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Publisher: Amulet Books
Picking up the pieces after the chilling events of the previous year isn’t easy, but the Graces are determined to do it. Wolf is back after a mysterious disappearance, and everyone’s eager to return to normal. Except for Summer, the youngest Grace. Summer has a knack for discovering the truth—and something is troubling her. After a trail of clues leads her to what could be the key to both her family’s mysterious past and the secret of Wolf, she’s determined to vanquish yet another curse. But exposing secrets is a dangerous game, and it’s not one Summer can win alone.
At Summer’s behest, the coven comes back together, reluctantly drawing their erstwhile friend River back into the fold. But Wolf’s behavior becomes unpredictable even as Fenrin’s strength fades, and Summer must ask herself whether the friend she so loves is also planning her family’s ultimate, cursed demise.
This riveting sequel to The Graces is saturated with magic, the destructive cost of power, the
complications of family, and the nature of forgiveness.
Although the impression I get is that The Graces was hit or miss for a lot of people, but it was definitely hit for me. You could spot a few plot holes/underdeveloped spots in the narrative but I looooooved the atmosphere, which is the big part of it for me. Anything witchy, anything like Wink Poppy Midnight or Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, is something I will devour and praise. Excited to see what the sequel may wrap up.
Novel: Rule by Ellen Goodlett | Goodreads
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.
The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.
Or rather, three unexpected options.
Zofi has spent her entire life trekking through the outer Reaches with her band of Travelers. She would do anything to protect the band, her family. But no one can ever find out how far she’s already gone.
Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by whispers of rebellion and abused by her father. Desperate to escape, she makes a decision that threatens the whole kingdom.
Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady’s maid and scheming her way out of the servants’ chambers. But one such plot could get her hung for treason if anyone ever discovers what she’s done.
When the king summons the girls, they arrive expecting arrest or even execution. Instead they learn the truth: they are his illegitimate daughters, and one must become his new heir. But someone in Kolonya knows their secrets, and that someone will stop at nothing to keep the sisters from their destiny… to rule.
Magic, mystery, and blackmail abound in this sensational and striking fantasy debut.
Although I just said that high fantasy has a tendency to blur together for me, something about this read strikes my fancy. Maybe it’s the absorbing warmth of the cover. Maybe it’s just the only-one-can-rule hook. Either way, I’m willing to buy into the “sensational” tag and hope that it’ll blow my mind a bit.