There are 22 debut novels for July.
Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.
The July debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite July cover for the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on July 15, 2017.
If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at "DAC . TheQwillery @ gmail . com" (remove the spaces and quotation marks). Please note that we list all debuts for the month (of which we are aware), but not all of these authors will be 2017 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for July 2017 The list is correct as of the day posted.
Tropic of Kansas
Harper Voyager, July 11, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic
“Futurist as provocateur! The world is sheer batshit genius . . . a truly hallucinatorily envisioned environment.”—William Gibson, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author
“Timely, dark, and ultimately hopeful: it might not ‘make America great again,’ but then again, it just might.”—Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling and award winning author of Homeland
Acclaimed short story writer and editor of the World Fantasy Award-nominee Three Messages and a Warning eerily envisions an American society unraveling and our borders closed off—from the other side—in this haunting and provocative novel that combines Max Barry’s Jennifer Government, Philip K. Dick’s classic Man in the High Castle, and China Mieville’s The City & the City
The United States of America is no more. Broken into warring territories, its center has become a wasteland DMZ known as “the Tropic of Kansas.” Though this gaping geographic hole has no clear boundaries, everyone knows it's out there—that once-bountiful part of the heartland, broken by greed and exploitation, where neglect now breeds unrest. Two travelers appear in this arid American wilderness: Sig, the fugitive orphan of political dissidents, and his foster sister Tania, a government investigator whose search for Sig leads her into her own past—and towards an unexpected future.
Sig promised those he loves that he would make it to the revolutionary redoubt of occupied New Orleans. But first he must survive the wild edgelands of a barren mid-America policed by citizen militias and autonomous drones, where one wrong move can mean capture . . . or death. One step behind, undercover in the underground, is Tania. Her infiltration of clandestine networks made of old technology and new politics soon transforms her into the hunted one, and gives her a shot at being the agent of real change—if she is willing to give up the explosive government secrets she has sworn to protect.
As brother and sister traverse these vast and dangerous badlands, their paths will eventually intersect on the front lines of a revolution whose fuse they are about to light.
Margaret Jull Costa
Out in the Open
Riverhead Books, July 4, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 240 pages
Dystopian, Hispanic and Latino, Literary
“A harrowing, humane, and very beautiful book.” —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
A searing dystopian vision of a young boy’s flight through an unnamed, savaged country, searching for sanctuary and redemption—a debut novel from one of Europe’s bestselling literary stars.
A young boy has fled his home. He’s pursued by dangerous forces. What lies before him is an infinite, arid plain, one he must cross in order to escape those from whom he’s fleeing. One night on the road, he meets an old goatherd, a man who lives simply but righteously, and from that moment on, their paths intertwine.
Out in the Open tells the story of this journey through a drought-stricken country ruled by violence. A world where names and dates don’t matter, where morals have drained away with the water. In this landscape the boy—not yet a lost cause—has the chance to choose hope and bravery, or to live forever mired in the cycle of violence in which he was raised. Carrasco has masterfully created a high stakes world, a dystopian tale of life and death, right and wrong, terror and salvation.
The Bone Mother
ChiZine Publications, July 18, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 300 pages
Occult & Supernatural, Horror,
Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Three neighboring villages on the Ukrainian/Romanian border are the final refuge for the last of the mythical creatures of Eastern Europe. Now, on the eve of the war that may eradicate their kind—and with the ruthless Night Police descending upon their sanctuary—they tell their stories and confront their destinies.
Eerie and unsettling like the best fairy tales, these incisor-sharp portraits of ghosts, witches, sirens, and seers—and the mortals who live at their side and in their thrall—will chill your marrow and tear at your heart.
J. Danielle Dorn
Inkshares, July 18, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook 275 pages
Occult & Supernatural, Horror, Westerns
“The Revenant with witches.” ―James Demonaco, screenwriter and director of The Purge series
On a dark night in the summer of 1859, three men enter the home of Dr. Matthew Callahan and shoot him dead in front of his pregnant wife. Unbeknownst to them, Li Lian, his wife, hails from a long line of women gifted in ways that scare most folks―the witches of the MacPherson clan―and her need for vengeance is as vast and unforgiving as the Great Plains themselves.
Written to the child she carries, Devil’s Call traces Li Lian’s quest, from the Nebraska Territory, to Louisiana, to the frozen Badlands, to bring to justice the monster responsible for shooting her husband in the back. This long-rifled witch will stop at nothing―and risk everything―in her showdown with evil.
Lost in Arcadia
47North, July 1, 2017
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 412 pages
Literary, Science Fiction
“This insightful study of a world in flux, framed by a dystopian future America and a disintegrating family, is disturbingly timely.” —Publishers Weekly
The America of 2037 is a country distracted by, infatuated with, and addicted to Arcadia. The brainchild of reclusive genius Juan Diego Reyes, Arcadia is a wickedly immersive, all-encompassing social-media platform and virtual-reality interface. Although Arcadia has made the Reyes family fabulously wealthy, it’s left them—and the rest of the country—impoverished of that rare currency: intimacy. When Juan Diego mysteriously vanishes, the consequences shatter the lives of the entire Reyes clan.
As matriarch Autumn struggles to hold the family together, siblings Gideon, Holly, and Devon wrestle with questions of purpose and meaning—seeking self-worth in a world where everything has been cheapened. Outside the artificial safety of Arcadia, America has crumbled into an unrecognizable nation where a fundamentalist ex-preacher occupies the Oval Office, megacorporations blithely exploit their full citizenship, and a twenty-foot-high Great Wall of Freedom plastered with lucrative advertising bestrides the US-Mexican border.
In a polarized society now cripplingly hooked on manufactured highs, the Reyes family must overcome the seduction of simulation to find the kind of authentic human connection that offers salvation for all.
David Burr Gerrard
The Epiphany Machine
G.P. Putnam's Sons, July 18, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages
Literary, Alternative History, Science Fiction
Everyone else knows the truth about you, now you can know it, too.
That’s the slogan. The product: a junky contraption that tattoos personalized revelations on its users’ forearms. It’s an old con, playing on the fear that we are obvious to everybody except ourselves. This particular one’s been circulating New York since the 1960s. The ad works. And, oddly enough, so might the device…
A small stream of city dwellers buy into this cult of the epiphany machine, including Venter Lowood’s parents. This stigma follows them when they move upstate, where Venter can’t avoid the whispers of teachers and neighbors any more than he can ignore the machine’s accurate predictions: his mother’s abandonment and his father’s disinterest. So when Venter’s grandmother finally asks him to confront the epiphany machine and inoculate himself against his family’s mistakes, he’s only too happy to oblige.
Like his parents before him, Venter is quick to fall under the spell of the device’s sweat-stained, profane, and surprisingly charming operator, Adam Lyons. But unlike them, Venter gets close enough to Adam to learn a dark secret. There’s an undeniable pattern between specific epiphanies and violent crimes. And Adam won’t jeopardize the privacy of his customers by alerting the police.
It may be a hoax, but that doesn’t mean what Adam is selling isn’t also spot-on. And in this sprawling, snarling tragicomedy about accountability in contemporary America, the greater danger is that Adam Lyon’s apparatus may just be right about us all.
The Null Prophecy
Regnery Fiction, July 10, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 448 pages
Technological Thriller, Science Fiction
Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic
The Future of the World Is at Stake! Scientists have spotted holes opening up in Earth’s magnetosphere, and now a massive, deadly eruption of solar radiation is hurtling toward the planet at one million miles per hour. With only three days before impact, the American president turns to two unlikely heroes: inventor Calder Sinclair and physicist-turned-news-correspondent Allie Armendariz. While racing the clock, Calder and Allie battle personal demons as well as each other, all the while inching closer to a staggering truth foretold in ancient literature that will dramatically impact the world’s future: The Null Prophecy.The Future of the World Is at Stake! Scientists have spotted holes opening up in Earth’s magnetosphere, and now a massive, deadly eruption of solar radiation is hurtling toward the planet at one million miles per hour. With only three days before impact, the American president turns to two unlikely heroes: inventor Calder Sinclair and physicist-turned-news-correspondent Allie Armendariz. While racing the clock, Calder and Allie battle personal demons as well as each other, all the while inching closer to a staggering truth foretold in ancient literature that will dramatically impact the world’s future: The Null Prophecy.
Michael F. Haspil
Tor Books, July 18, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
Urban Fantasy, Thriller, Supernatural Thriller,
Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural
Police procedurals go supernatural in this gritty urban fantasy debut by Michael F. Haspil in Graveyard Shift
Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, born in ancient Rome, are vice cops in a special Miami police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, bootleg blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.
When poisoned artificial blood drives vampires to murder, the city threatens to tear itself apart. Only an unlikely alliance with former opponents can give Alex and Marcus a fighting chance against an ancient vampire conspiracy.
If they succeed, they'll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodier than any the world has ever seen.
“Gritty urban fantasy and hard-boiled noir packed into a hand grenade of awesome!” —Mario Acevedo, author of Werewolf Smackdown
Gork, the Teenage Dragon
Knopf, July 11, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Literary, Fantasy, Humorous, Science Fiction,
Action & Adventure
A wacky, exuberant, heartfelt debut novel: the unholy child of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Harry Potter, and Sixteen Candles—and this time with dragons.
“No good human won’t love this dragon named Gork.” —Dave Eggers
“A one-of-a-kind coming-of-age story.” —Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate
Gork isn’t like the other dragons at WarWings Military Academy. He has a gigantic heart, two-inch horns, and an occasional problem with fainting. His nickname is Weak Sauce and his Will to Power ranking is Snacklicious—the lowest in his class. But he is determined not to let any of this hold him back as he embarks on the most important mission of his life: tonight, on the eve of his high school graduation, he must ask a female dragon to be his queen. If she says yes, they’ll go off to conquer a foreign planet together. If she says no, Gork becomes a slave.
Vying with Jocks, Nerds, Mutants, and Multi-Dimensioners to find his mate, Gork encounters an unforgettable cast of friends and foes, including Dr. Terrible, the mad scientist; Fribby, a robot dragon obsessed with death; and Metheldra, a healer specializing in acupuncture with swords. But finally it is Gork’s biggest perceived weakness, his huge heart, that will guide him through his epic quest and help him reach his ultimate destination: planet Earth.
A love story, a fantasy, and a coming-of-age story, Gork the Teenage Dragon is a wildly comic, beautifully imagined, and deeply heartfelt debut novel that shows us just how human a dragon can be.
Like a Fly on the Wall
William Morrow Paperbacks, July 11, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook 448 pages
From talented debut author Simone Kelly comes this suspenseful novel that crackles with intrigue, sex, and plenty of surprises—perfect for fans of Eric Jerome Dickey and Carl Weber.
Meet Jacques Berradi. Moroccan-born and Manhattan-raised, his genuine, sexy-smooth allure goes hand in hand with a unique gift. Since Jacques was young, he has had the ability to read peoples’ energies, communicate with spirit guides, and even catch glimpses of people’s futures. Now a professional “intuitive counselor,” Jacques’s clients pay him handsomely for his insight. Unfortunately, Jacques’s psychic abilities don’t come with an off switch to tune out the world’s noise, nor do they always provide him with easy answers; recently Jacques has begun having dark, alarming dreams about his beloved father, a Moroccan immigrant who died when he was a boy.
Meet Kylie Collins, an adventurous, Miami twentysomething who is trying to find her footing after being laid off from a cushy music industry job. When a mishap brings them together, Kylie is instantly mesmerized by Jacques’s cool demeanor and intuitive abilities, and he’s captivated by her outgoing charm and breezy good looks. Seeking to learn more about her family history—including the identity of the father she’s never known—Kylie visits Jacques’s office to gain some insight about her future, and about her free-spirited and headstrong Jamaican mother, True.
But on the night that they meet, a rolling blackout cuts off power throughout Miami. Kylie and Jacques, and a few of his clients, head to the only place in the neighborhood with enough light to see: Like a Fly on the Wall Detective Agency. There, Kylie serendipitously lands herself the perfect new job as an apprentice private eye.
As partners, Jacques and Kylie are an unstoppable duo. Can Jacques’s intuition reveal the scandalous history of Kylie’s mother and father? Will Kylie’s newfound detective skills uncover evidence about the death of Jacques’s father? And will the chemistry that charges their friendship bubble over into something much, much hotter…?
Daphne Rose Kingma
The Magical World of Madame Métier: A Spiritual Fairy Tale
Skyhorse Publishing, July 11, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 296 pages
Contemporary Women, Visionary & Metaphysical
Magical Realism, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
Reminiscent of the enchanted realism of Alice Hoffman’s bestselling novels, The Magical World of Madame Metier weaves together magic, romance, and a powerful bond of friendship in celebration of the female spirit.
Facing destitution after the untimely death of her husband, Madame Métier revisits a long-forgotten talent—the creation of healing botanical creams and lotions. Her rediscovery of this sacred practice marks the beginning of her spiritual odyssey of self-actualization and empowerment. Meanwhile, two eccentric friends of hers begin a passionate affair that ends their respective marriages. Invigorated by their relationship, Monsieur Sorbonne searches for his life’s passion while Mademoiselle Objet helps Madame Métier with her new business. While the couple explores the nuances of their romance, Madame Métier finds herself in a relationship with a mysterious being who redefines her understanding of human love. Just as things are looking up, Mme. Métier’s creams result in a customer’s death, and the three friends face an ordeal of profound doubt, spiritual crisis, and persecution that threatens to tear them apart.
Daphne Rose Kingma brings insights from her self-help books to a modern fairy tale that is both enlightening and entertaining. This is an extraordinary debut about the nature of love and relationships.
Tal M. Klein
The Punch Escrow
Geek & Sundry, July 25, 2017
Trade Paperback, 300 pages
Hard Science Fiction, Thrillers, Technological Thrillers,
Dubbed the “next Ready, Player One,” by former Warner Brothers President Greg Silverman, and now in film development at Lionsgate.
“I read a lot of books but haven’t enjoyed one as much as The Punch Escrow in a long time. Klein creates a plausibly real future that sucks you in. He powers his story with action, twists, and a dash of humor.” ―Andy Lewis, Book Editor, The Hollywood Reporter
It's the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport―the world’s most powerful corporation, in a world controlled by corporations.
Joel Byram spends his days training artificial-intelligence engines to act more human and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. He’s pretty much an everyday twenty-second century guy with everyday problems―until he’s accidentally duplicated while teleporting.
Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.
The Five Daughters of the Moon
The Waning Moon Duology 1
Tor.com, July 25, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 224 pages
Historical Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Inspired by the 1917 Russian revolution and the last months of the Romanov sisters, The Five Daughters of the Moon by Leena Likitalo is a beautifully crafted historical fantasy with elements of technology fueled by evil magic.
The Crescent Empire teeters on the edge of a revolution, and the Five Daughters of the Moon are the ones to determine its future.
Alina, six, fears Gagargi Prataslav and his Great Thinking Machine. The gagargi claims that the machine can predict the future, but at a cost that no one seems to want to know.
Merile, eleven, cares only for her dogs, but she smells that something is afoul with the gagargi. By chance, she learns that the machine devours human souls for fuel, and yet no one believes her claim.
Sibilia, fifteen, has fallen in love for the first time in her life. She couldn't care less about the unrests spreading through the countryside. Or the rumors about the gagargi and his machine.
Elise, sixteen, follows the captain of her heart to orphanages and workhouses. But soon she realizes that the unhappiness amongst her people runs much deeper that anyone could have ever predicted.
And Celestia, twenty-two, who will be the empress one day. Lately, she's been drawn to the gagargi. But which one of them was the first to mention the idea of a coup?
Inspired by the 1917 Russian revolution and the last months of the Romanov sisters, The Five Daughters of the Moon is a beautifully crafted historical fantasy with elements of technology fuelled by evil magic.
The Fifth Ward: First Watch
The Fifth Ward 1
Orbit, July 11, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages
A watchman of the Yenara City guard has gone missing. The culprit could be any of the usual suspects: drug-dealing orcs, mind-controlling elves, uncooperative mages, or humans being typical humans.
It's up to two reluctant partners -- Rem, a hungover miscreant who joins the Watch to pay off his bail, and Torval, a maul-wielding dwarf who's highly unimpressed with the untrained and weaponless Rem -- to uncover the truth and catch the murderer loose in their fair city.
"A brilliant premise, wonderfully told. A city that breathes, and heroes you can't help but root for." -- Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld
"A glorious tour through fantasy's seamier side. A wilder ride than Middle Earth, and you'll love every minute of it!" -- Jon Hollins, author of the Dragon Lords series
The Overlook Press, July 11, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 272 pages
A fresh twist on the vampire mythos, The Truants is a dystopian novel of startling intensity, narrated by immortal old-ones.
Contorting the conventional vampire narrative into a startling tale of immortality, blood lust, and rage contaminating London’s inner-city youth like a virus, The Truants tells the story of the last of the old-ones―creatures afflicted with a condition not unlike vampirism: ancient, bloodthirsty, and unable to withstand sunlight.
The last old-one has decided to end his life, but before he can act he is held up at knifepoint. His assailant disappears, the knife in his pocket, the blood of the old-one seared into its sharpened edge. The knife trades hands, drawing blood again, and the old-one is resurrected through his victims’ consciousness and divided, spreading through the infected. With his horde of infected youth, the old-one must reclaim the knife to regain control of his soul. But someone is out to stop him...
Gather the Daughters
Little, Brown and Company, July 25, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
NEVER LET ME GO meets THE GIVER in this haunting debut about a cult on an isolated island, where nothing is as it seems.
Years ago, just before the country was incinerated to wasteland, ten men and their families colonized an island off the coast. They built a radical society of ancestor worship, controlled breeding, and the strict rationing of knowledge and history. Only the Wanderers--chosen male descendants of the original ten--are allowed to cross to the wastelands, where they scavenge for detritus among the still-smoldering fires.
The daughters of these men are wives-in-training. At the first sign of puberty, they face their Summer of Fruition, a ritualistic season that drags them from adolescence to matrimony. They have children, who have children, and when they are no longer useful, they take their final draught and die. But in the summer, the younger children reign supreme. With the adults indoors and the pubescent in Fruition, the children live wildly--they fight over food and shelter, free of their fathers' hands and their mothers' despair. And it is at the end of one summer that little Caitlin Jacob sees something so horrifying, so contradictory to the laws of the island, that she must share it with the others.
Born leader Janey Solomon steps up to seek the truth. At seventeen years old, Janey is so unwilling to become a woman, she is slowly starving herself to death. Trying urgently now to unravel the mysteries of the island and what lies beyond, before her own demise, she attempts to lead an uprising of the girls that may be their undoing.
GATHER THE DAUGHTERS is a smoldering debut; dark and energetic, compulsively readable, Melamed's novel announces her as an unforgettable new voice in fiction.
John Leonard Pielmeier
Hook's Tale: Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself
Scribner, July 18, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages
Fiction, Action & Adventure
A rollicking debut novel from award-winning playwright and screenwriter John Pielmeier reimagines the childhood of the much maligned Captain Hook: his quest for buried treasure, his friendship with Peter Pan, and the story behind the swashbuckling world of Neverland.
Long defamed as a vicious pirate, Captain James Cook (a.k.a Hook) was in fact a dazzling wordsmith who left behind a vibrant, wildly entertaining, and entirely truthful memoir. His chronicle offers a counter narrative to the works of J.M. Barrie, a “dour Scotsman” whose spurious accounts got it all wrong. Now, award-winning playwright John Pielmeier is proud to present this crucial historic artifact in its entirety for the first time.
Cook’s story begins in London, where he lives with his widowed mother. At thirteen, he runs away from home, but is kidnapped and pressed into naval service as an unlikely cabin boy. Soon he discovers a treasure map that leads to a mysterious archipelago called the “Never-Isles” from which there appears to be no escape. In the course of his adventures he meets the pirates Smee and Starkey, falls in love with the enchanting Tiger Lily, adopts an oddly affectionate crocodile, and befriends a charming boy named Peter—who teaches him to fly. He battles monsters, fights in mutinies, swims with mermaids, and eventually learns both the sad and terrible tale of his mother’s life and the true story of his father’s disappearance.
Like Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, Hook’s Tale offers a radical new version of a classic story, bringing readers into a much richer, darker, and enchanting version of Neverland than ever before. The characters that our hero meets—including the terrible Doctor Uriah Slinque and a little girl named Wendy—lead him to the most difficult decision of his life: whether to submit to the temptation of eternal youth, or to embrace the responsibilities of maturity and the inevitability of his own mortality. His choice, like his story, is not what you might expect.
A Dr. Greta Helsing Novel 1
Orbit, July 25, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
Meet Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead.
Dr. Greta Helsing has inherited the family's highly specialized, and highly peculiar, medical practice. She treats the undead for a host of ills - vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies.
It's a quiet, supernatural-adjacent life, until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life.
Talon of God
Harper Voyager, July 25, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
The acclaimed actor makes his fiction debut with this enthralling urban fantasy in which a holy warrior must convince a doctor with no faith to help stop a powerful demon and his minions from succeeding in creating hell on earth—a thrilling adventure of science and faith, good and evil, damnation and salvation.
Imagine that everyone you have ever known or loved was forced against their will into a state of demonic possession and spiritual slavery. Imagine an unholy cabal of the world’s richest and most powerful men directing this sinister plan in order to cement their unbridled control of the planet.
Imagine two heroes emerging from that darkness to do battle with the forces of evil.
Set in the mean streets of Chicago, Talon of God is the action-packed adventure centered around the Lauryn Jefferson, a beautiful young doctor who is dragged into a seemingly impossible battle against the invisible forces of Satan’s army and their human agents that are bent on enslaving humanity in a mission to establish the kingdom of hell on Earth.
But Lauryn is a skeptic, and it’s only as she sees a diabolical drug sweep her city and begins to train in the ways of a spirit warrior by the legendary man of God, Talon Hunter, that she discovers her true nature and inner strength. Facing dangerous trials and tests, it’s a true baptism by fire. And if they fail, millions could die. And rivers of blood would flow throughout the land.
Imagine such horror. Such pain. And imagine what it would take to fight against it. For only the strongest and most faithful will survive?
Get ready. Armageddon approaches quickly.
Godblind Trilogy 1
Talos, July 11, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Epic Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Dark Fantasy
For fans of Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch, and Mark Lawrence comes a brutal grimdark fantasy debut of dark gods and violent warriors.
The Mireces worship the bloodthirsty Red Gods. Exiled from Rilpor a thousand years ago, and left to suffer a harsh life in the cold mountains, a new Mireces king now plots an invasion of Rilpor’s thriving cities and fertile earth.
Dom Templeson is a Watcher, a civilian warrior guarding Rilpor’s border. He is also the most powerful seer in generations, plagued with visions and prophecies. His people are devoted followers of the god of light and life, but Dom harbors deep secrets, which threaten to be exposed when Rillirin, an escaped Mireces slave, stumbles broken and bleeding into his village.
Meanwhile, more and more of Rilpor’s most powerful figures are turning to the dark rituals and bloody sacrifices of the Red Gods, including the prince, who plots to wrest the throne from his dying father in the heart of the kingdom. Can Rillirin, with her inside knowledge of the Red Gods and her shocking ties to the Mireces King, help Rilpor win the coming war?
When the English Fall
Algonquin Books, July 11, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 256 pages
Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Hard Science Fiction
A riveting and unexpected novel that questions whether a peaceful and nonviolent community can survive when civilization falls apart.
When a catastrophic solar storm brings about the collapse of modern civilization, an Amish community in Pennsylvania is caught up in the devastating aftermath. Once-bright skies are now dark. Planes have plummeted to the ground. The systems of modern life have crumbled. With their stocked larders and stores of supplies, the Amish are unaffected at first. But as the English (the Amish name for all non-Amish people) become more and more desperate, they begin to invade Amish farms, taking whatever they want and unleashing unthinkable violence on the peaceable community.
Seen through the diary of an Amish farmer named Jacob as he tries to protect his family and his way of life, When the English Fall examines the idea of peace in the face of deadly chaos: Should members of a nonviolent society defy their beliefs and take up arms to defend themselves? And if they don’t, can they survive?
David Williams’s debut novel is a thoroughly engrossing look into the closed world of the Amish, as well as a thought-provoking examination of “civilization” and what remains if the center cannot hold.
Leslie Peter Wulff
Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer
Night Shade Books, July 11, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages
Sixteen-year-old Walt thinks he’s left his problems behind him when he runs away from a broken home to live with his eccentric uncle. The simple, semi-rural, semi-anti-social lifestyle seems at first to be exactly what Walt wants, but he soon learns his new life isn’t just about ditching school and drinking beer with his friends.
Uncle Brucker is a Rat Killer; a tireless rat tracker, an expert in rat lore, a speaker of the rat language, and a decorated veteran of two bloody uprisings. His uncle begins to train Walt in the ways of rat killing, and explains to his nephew the ancient and bloody history of men and rats. Before the rise of men, he says, rats ruled the earth. They’ve been hiding in another dimension ever since they were kicked out by humanity, planning to retake the planet.
In the middle of Walt’s training, Uncle Brucker is called away by mysterious men from the government. When he fails to return from his mission, Walt discovers a portal to the rat dimension and realizes he must travel alone to Rat Land to save his uncle. Perhaps the most unusual dark fantasy debut of the year, Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer is a surreal exploration of honor, duty, and inter-dimensional genocide.