The Qwillery | category: Stuart Turton


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Melanie’s Top 5 of 2018

It’s that time of year when I look back at all the books I read in previous year. At first I didn’t think that there were many stand-outs for me in 2018 but I had to whittle down a rather longer list down to these 5 faves. I will start in reverse order.

5.  Space Unicorn Blues by T.J Berry and The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

Melanie’s Top 5 of 2018
Sorry, there is a tie for my 5th favourite book of 2018 as I couldn’t decide between these two fantastic debut novels.

April bought not only showers but Tyrell Johnson’s post apocalyptic The Wolves of Winter onto my Kindle. I was pleasantly surprised that this debut didn’t end up in the cliche it could have been when the tall, dark and handsome stranger stumbles into the young Lynn’s lonely life. Tyrell’s snowy landscape had a life of its own and almost became another character in the tale. If you enjoy character driven stories than this is definitely one you need to read. Check out my review.

Melanie’s Top 5 of 2018
I enjoyed Space Unicorn Blues in July, during the hottest summer we have had in the UK in years. As a little reminder here is my review. The plot line of this story is truly unique and Berry carefully balances action, characterisation and world building. She did an excellent job.

Gary, the half unicorn prince and hero of this tale is a great conflicted character and you can’t help but to cheer him on. This story is very action packed and has one of the best cliff hangers of the year. I am really looking forward to the next instalment

4.  Foundryside by Robert J. Bennett

Melanie’s Top 5 of 2018
Bennett very nearly had 2 books in my top 5 but Foundryside just pipped City of Mirrors to make it into my top 5. This is the first instalment of Bennett’s new series The Founders set in a world where magic has been industrialised and only the Founders have any power. It’s Sancia, a thief who inadvertently turns the world upside down when she ends up stealing an artefact of unbelievable power. Sancia is a great character and she is joined by an eclectic cast of characters. Bennett has such an amazing imagination and writes characters that are so interesting and complex. Foundryside is no different. This is an all round great book. See my review here.

3.  The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Melanie’s Top 5 of 2018
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is the best ‘who dunnit’ I have read in a long time. I actually
listened to this as an audiobook and I am so glad that I did as the narrator is excellent and really sets the mood. This book had me on tenterhooks as I couldn’t guess who the committed the murder or why Aiden Bishop kept jumping from body to body. The story is like reading a game of Cluedo (or Clue in the US/Canada) but where you get to play every character. Murder mystery lovers this is a must read.

2.  Magic Triumpths by Ilona Andrews

Melanie’s Top 5 of 2018
I would be remiss if I didn’t include the final instalment of the Kate Daniels series in my top 5 so here it is - Magic Trimphs. I almost can’t believe the series is over. I have been reading this series for almost 10 years (I was a late comer to the series and read the first 3 books together) so it feels a bit weird that it is over although I am glad that it is as I feel that Andrews has written all she could about these characters. I am glad they decided to finish it rather than keep churning out the books like other authors have done. Rather than re-hash my review check it out& here.

1.  Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews

Melanie’s Top 5 of 2018
What can I say I loved Hugh! If you follow my reviews you won’t be surprised to learn that Iron and Magic is my fave book of 2018. I read the e-ARC, I bought the book and I listened to the Audible version.....more than once. I was soo surprised I liked Hugh as much as I did. I have to admit I thought Andrews were bonkers when I first read that they were planning a book about the 2nd biggest baddy in the Kate Daniels series. I was on the verge of being upset that they were ‘wasting’ their time writing about this character when I was waiting for Kate or an Innkeeper book. Good thing I am not in charge of their publishing schedule as I love, love, loved this book. It wasn’t the complicated plot or originality that made me like it so was all down to Hugh’s redemption and general ‘coolness’. If you want to find out more here is my review.

There you top 5. If you are looking for a good book hopefully you will find one here. I would love to know what is on your top 5. Leave me a comment.

Space Unicorn Blues
The Reason 1
Angry Robot, July 3, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Melanie’s Top 5 of 2018
A misfit crew race across the galaxy to prevent the genocide of magical creatures, in this unique science fiction debut.

Humanity joining the intergalactic community has been a disaster for Bala, the magical creatures of the galaxy: they’ve been exploited, enslaved and ground down for parts. Now the Century Summit is approaching, when humans will be judged by godlike aliens.

When Jenny Perata, disabled Maori shuttle captain, is contracted to take a shipment to the summit, she must enlist half-unicorn Gary Cobalt, whose horn powers faster-than-light travel. But he’s just been released from prison, for murdering the wife of Jenny’s co-pilot, Cowboy Jim… When the Reason regime suddenly enact laws making Bala property, Jenny’s ship becomes the last hope for magic.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Rocks in Space | Stand Up to Reason | The Human Experiment | Last Unicorn ]

The Wolves of Winter
Scribner, January 2, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
   Trade Paperback, December 4, 2018

Melanie’s Top 5 of 2018
A captivating tale of humanity pushed beyond its breaking point, of family and bonds of love forged when everything is lost, and of a heroic young woman who crosses a frozen landscape to find her destiny. This debut novel is written in a post-apocalyptic tradition that spans The Hunger Games and Station Eleven but blazes its own distinctive path.

Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world.

Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she’s forced to forge ahead in the snow-drifted Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap and slaughter.

Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community—most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who brings with him dark secrets of the past and sets in motion a chain of events that will call Lynn to a role she never imagined.

Simultaneously a heartbreakingly sympathetic portrait of a young woman searching for the answer to who she is meant to be and a frightening vision of a merciless new world in which desperation rules, The Wolves of Winter is enveloping, propulsive, and poignant.

The Founders Trilogy 1
Crown, August 21, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 512 pages
   Trade Paperback, May 21, 2019

Melanie’s Top 5 of 2018
“The exciting beginning of a promising new epic fantasy series. Prepare for ancient mysteries, innovative magic, and heart-pounding heists.”—Brandon Sanderson

“Complex characters, magic that is tech and vice versa, a world bound by warring trade dynasties: Bennett will leave you in awe once you remember to breathe!”–Tamora Pierce

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself–the first in a dazzling new series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett.

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

The 7 1½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Sourcebooks Landmark, September 18, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 448 pages
    Trade Paperback, May 7, 2019

Melanie’s Top 5 of 2018
One of Stylist Magazine's 20 Must-Read Books of 2018
One of Harper's Bazaar's 10 Must-Read Books of 2018
One of Marie Claire, Australia's 10 Books You Absolutely Have to Read in 2018

The Rules of Blackheath
Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
 There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let’s begin...


Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others...

The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.

Magic Triumphs
Kate Daniels 10
Ace, August 28, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
   Mass Market Paperback, May 7, 2019

Melanie’s Top 5 of 2018
Mercenary Kate Daniels must risk all to protect everything she holds dear in this epic, can’t-miss entry in the thrilling #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series.

Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She’s made friends and enemies. She’s found love and started a family with Curran Lennart, the former Beast Lord. But her magic is too strong for the power players of the world to let her be.

Kate and her father, Roland, currently have an uneasy truce, but when he starts testing her defenses again, she knows that sooner or later, a confrontation is inevitable. The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate’s doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she knows their time is up.

Kate Daniels sees no other choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies. She knows betrayal is inevitable. She knows she may not survive the coming battle. But she has to try.

For her child.

For Atlanta.

For the world.

Iron and Magic
The Iron Covenant 1
NYLA, June 28, 2018
eBook, 322 pages

Melanie’s Top 5 of 2018
No day is ordinary in a world where Technology and Magic compete for supremacy…But no matter which force is winning, in the apocalypse, a sword will always work.

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast.

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she's trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify.

Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies?

As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.”

Hugh and Elara may do both.

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts

Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2018 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on October 7, 2018, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite September 2018 Debut Cover! free polls

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover designed by Kaitlin Kall

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Jacket Design by Eileen Carey
Background Artwork by Stephen Mulcahey / Arcangel

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Jacket illustration and design © Suzanne Dean,
incorporates eighteenth-century textile and pattern details
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover by: Ashley Detmering

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Jacket design: Kimberly Glyder
Jacket art: Kula Moore

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover art by Rebecca Yanovskaya
Designed by Lauren Panepinto

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover by Ron Ackins

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover design by Grace West

2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts
Cover design by Mona Lin
Cover illustration courtesy of Jeff Chapman

The View From Monday - September 17, 2018

Happy Monday!

There is one debut this week

The 7 1½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton.

The View From Monday - September 17, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Charmcaster (Spellslinger 3) by Sebastien de Castell;

The Queen of Crows (The Sacred Throne 2) by Myke Cole;

The Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne 1) by Myke Cole is out in Trade Paperback;


The Memory (The Machine Trilogy 3) by Gerrard Cowan.

The View From Monday - September 17, 2018The View From Monday - September 17, 2018
The View From Monday - September 17, 2018The View From Monday - September 17, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

The View From Monday - September 17, 2018

Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

September 17, 2018
Casting Curses (e) Yasmine Galenorn PNR - Bewitching Bedlam 5
Occasional Beasts: Tales (Ke) John Claude Smith H - Collection

September 18, 2018
Fleet of Stars (e)(ri) Poul Anderson SF - Harvest of Stars 4
Tau Zero (e)(ri) Poul Anderson SF
Operation Chaos and Operation Luna (e)(ri) Poul Anderson SF
The Boat of a Million Years (e)(ri) Poul Anderson SF
Brain Wave (e)(ri) Poul Anderson SF
Watch Keith Buckley MR/LF
Soulless Gail Carriger
Jensine Eckwall (Il)
Gaslamp/HistF/FR.P - The Parasol Protectorate 1
Charmcaster Sebastien de Castell F/HU/CoA - Spellslinger 3
The Queen of Crows Myke Cole F - The Sacred Throne 2
The Armored Saint (h2tp) Myke Cole F - The Sacred Throne 1
Shadow of the Tomb Raider The Official Art Book Paul Davies
Martin Dubeau
A Fire Within Tom DeLonge
AJ Hartley
TechTh - Sekret Machines 2
The Land of Somewhere Safe Hal Duncan F - Newcon Press Novellas Set 4
The Predator: The Official Movie Novelization Christopher Golden
Mark Morris
MTI/SF/AC - Predator
Time's Convert Deborah Harkness Sus/PNR/FR
We Sold Our Souls Grady Hendrix H/Occ/Sup/SupTh
Star Wars The Complete Visual Dictionary New Edition Pablo Hidalgo
David Reynolds
The Night Land and Other Perilous Romances William Hope Hodgson F/P/HistF/H - The Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson 4
The Future as Catastrophe: Imagining Disaster in the Modern Age Eva Horn
Valentine Parks (Tr)
The Demon's Den and Other Tales of Valdemar Tanya Huff F - Collection
The End We Start From (h2tp) Megan Hunter LF/Dys
The Mammoth Book of Halloween Stories: Terrifying Tales Set on the Scariest Night of the Year! Stephen Jones (Ed) H/Gothic/Occ/Sup - Anthology
The Apex Book of World SF: Volume 5 Cristina Jurado (Ed) Lavie Tidhar (Series Ed) SF - Anthology
Sleeping Beauties (h2tp) Stephen King
Owen King
Masters of Steel and Stone Nick Kyme
Gav Thorpe
F - Warhammer Chronicles
Detox in Letters Cheryl Low P - Crowns & Ash 2
Outer Dark Robbie MacNiven SF - Carcharodons
Hallowdene George Mann M - Wychwood 2
The Night Crossing Robert Masello HistF
Saviour of the Imperium Sandy Mitchell SF - Ciaphas Cain Collection
New Fears II - Brand New Horror Stories by Masters of the Macabre Mark Morris (Ed) H/GH - Anthology
SINdrome (e) J.T. Nicholas SF - The New Lyons Sequence 3
Live Long and Evolve: What Star Trek Can Teach Us about Evolution, Genetics, and Life on Other Worlds Mohamed A.F. Noor Sc/Biology
AHistory: An Unauthorized History of the Doctor Who Universe Lance Parkin
Lars Pearson
PerfArts/SF - Ahistory 4
Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Path of the Apocalypse S. D. Perry MTI/SF - Tomb Raider
Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling Philip Pullman Essays/Storytelling/Personal Memoirs
Searching for the Fleet (e) Kristine Kathryn Rusch SF - Diving 7
Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds Brandon Sanderson SF - Collection
Vampires Like It Hot Lynsay Sands PNR - An Argeneau Novel 28
My Pet Serial Killer Michael J. Seidlinger H/PsyTh/LF/Cr
Sourdough: or, Lois and Her Adventures in the Underground Market Robin Sloan LF/MR
Children of Time (e)(ri) Adrian Tchaikovsky SF/GenEng/HSF/SE/SO
Rosewater Tade Thompson SF/AC/AP/PA - The Wormwood Trilogy 1
Mecha Samurai Empire Peter Tieryas AH/SF - A United States of Japan Novel 2
Your Servants and Your People David Towsey SF/Dys - The Walkin' 2
Through Darkest Europe Harry Turtledove SF/SH
The 7 1½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (D) Stuart Turton HistTh/LF/Occ/Sup
Worldshaper Edward Willett F/UF - Worldshapers 1
City of Crows Chris Womersley LF/Gothic/DF
The Labyrinth of the Spirits Carlos Ruiz Zafon LF - Cemetery of Forgotten Books 4

September 20, 2018
The Memory (e) Gerrard Cowan F - The Machinery Trilogy 3
Battlestar Suburbia Chris McCrudden SF

D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Il - Illustrator
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator

AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Woman
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GN - Graphic Novel
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
Hist R - Historical Romance
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Parnormal Cozy Mystery
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
Sc - Science
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical

 Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

2018 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts

2018 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts

There are 11 debut novels for September.

Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The September 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 September cover for the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on September 15, 2018.

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 2018 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for September 2018. The list is correct as of the day posted.

Claire G. Coleman

Terra Nullius
Small Beer Press, September 11, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Jacky was running. There was no thought in his head, only an intense drive to run. There was no sense he was getting anywhere, no plan, no destination, no future. All he had was a sense of what was behind, what he was running from.

The Natives of the Colony are restless. The Settlers are eager to bring peace to their new home, and they have a plan for how to achieve it. They will tear Native families apart and provide re-education to those who do not understand why they should submit to their betters.

Peace and prosperity are worth any price, but who will pay it? This rich land, Australia, will provide for all if only the Natives can learn their place.

Jacky has escaped the Home where the Settlers sent him, but where will he go? The Head of the Department for the Protection of Natives, known to Settlers and Natives alike as the Devil, is chasing Jacky. And when the Devil catches him, Sister Bagra, who knows her duty to the ungodly, will be waiting for Jacky back at Home.

An incendiary, timely, and fantastical debut from an essential Australian Aboriginal writer, Claire G. Coleman.

Do you recognize this story? Look again.

This is not Australia as we know it. This is not the Australia of our history books. This Terra Nullius — shortlisted for the 2018 Stella Prize and Highly Commended for the Victorian Premiers Literary Awards — is something new, but all too familiar.

Charlie J. Eskew

Tales of the Astonishing Black Spark
Laternfish Press, September 4, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 380 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Trapped in a dead-end job in his Ohio hometown, watching the girl of his dreams move on to a glamorous new life in a big city--Donald McDougal's aimlessness has held him back for a long time. When a lightning strike grants him superhuman powers, he jumps at his chance to finally be somebody. But the new abilities and the pursuit of superheroic fame come with a price tag, and it may not be one he can afford.

This wry debut is at once a fanboy's homage to the history of superhero storytelling in America and a keen-eyed satire of those same stories, raising questions about race and privilege that are becoming impossible to ignore.

Preston Fassel

Our Lady of the Inferno
Cinestate, September 11, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 376 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Spring, 1983. Sally Ride is about to go into space. Flashdance is a cultural phenomenon. And in Times Square, two very deadly women are on a collision course with destiny-- and each other.

At twenty-one, Ginny Kurva is already legendary on 42nd Street. To the pimp for whom she works, she's the perfect weapon-- a martial artist capable of taking down men twice her size. To the girls in her stable, she's mother, teacher, and protector. To the little sister she cares for, she's a hero. Yet Ginny's bravado and icy confidence hide a mind at the breaking point, her sanity slowly slipping away as both her addictions and the sins of her past catch up with her...

At thirty-seven, Nicolette Aster is the most respected woman at the Staten Island Landfill. Quiet and competent, she's admired by the secretaries and trusted by her supervisors. Yet those around her have no idea how Nicolette spends her nights-- when the hateful madness she keeps repressed by day finally emerges, and she turns the dump into a hunting ground to engage in a nightmarish blood sport...

In the Spring of 1983, neither Ginny nor Nicolette knows the other exists. By the time Summer rolls around, one of them will be dead.

Imogen Hermes Gowar

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock
Harper, September 11, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

“Wonderful… completely transporting.”  —Madeline Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Circe and The Song of Achilles
"Historical fiction at its finest, combining myth and legend with the brutal realities of the past. . . . Comparisons will be drawn to the works of contemporary authors Sarah Waters and Michael Faber . . . but The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock has more in common with the novels of Dickens and Austen."  —Irish Times

In 1780s London, a prosperous merchant finds his quiet life upended when he unexpectedly receives a most unusual creature—and meets a most extraordinary woman—in this much-lauded, atmospheric debut that examines our capacity for wonder, obsession, and desire with all the magnetism, originality, and literary magic of The Essex Serpent.

One September evening in 1785, Jonah Hancock hears an urgent knocking on his front door near the docks of London. The captain of one of Jonah’s trading vessels is waiting eagerly on the front step, bearing shocking news. On a voyage to the Far East, he sold the Jonah’s ship for something rare and far more precious: a mermaid. Jonah is stunned—the object the captain presents him is brown and wizened, as small as an infant, with vicious teeth and claws, and a torso that ends in the tail of a fish. It is also dead.

As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlors and brothels, all of London is curious to see this marvel in Jonah Hancock’s possession. Thrust from his ordinary existence, somber Jonah finds himself moving from the city’s seedy underbelly to the finest drawing rooms of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of the coquettish Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on—and a shrewd courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting sparks a perilous liaison that steers both their lives onto a dangerous new course as they come to realize that priceless things often come at the greatest cost.

Imogen Hermes Gowar, Britain’s most-heralded new literary talent, makes her debut with this spellbinding novel of a merchant, a mermaid, and a madam—an unforgettable confection that explores obsession, wonder, and the deepest desires of the heart with bawdy wit, intrigue, and a touch of magic.

Hank Green

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
Dutton, September 25, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
In his much-anticipated debut novel, Hank Greencocreator of Crash Course, Vlogbrothers, and SciShowspins a sweeping, cinematic tale about a young woman who becomes an overnight celebrity before realizing she’s part of something bigger, and stranger, than anyone could have possibly imagined.

The Carls just appeared.

Roaming through New York City at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship—like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor—April and her friend, Andy, make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day, April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world—from Beijing to Buenos Aires—and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with big themes, including how the social internet is changing fame, rhetoric, and radicalization; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and adoration spring for the same dehumanization that follows a life in the public eye. The beginning of an exciting fiction career, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is a bold and insightful novel of now.

Amy Lilwall

The Biggerers
Oneworld, September 11, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 528 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Introducing a witty and unique voice poised to take the literary world by storm. For fans of The Borrowers, Munmun and The Truckers.

Everybody became a bit mean. A bit individual. Units. That's all humanity could say for itself - well, it couldn't actually, because it was made up of too many, um, units. And then there were the elderly, who could never bear to be so isolated, yet isolated they were. It was cruel, really it was. And kids - not that many people had them any more - they seemed to be born sitting in one of those egg-shaped chairs, only seeing what was right in front of them.

So, the government asked a doctor, that famous one, to get a team together and figure it all out. He did. Everyone got a playmate. Well, everyone who wanted one, could buy a playmate. About a foot tall, they stood, naked (except in winter), very affectionate, not too intelligent. Mute, but cute - exactly what every home needsSomething to love, little units of love.

The Biggerers is set in a dystopian future where our two heroes, Bonbon and Jinx, spend their days gathering stones and feathers for their basket, and waiting to be fed by their owners. But it's not long before getting sick, falling in love and wondering why they can't eat with a spoon pushes them to realise they are exactly the same as their owners…only smaller.

Wayétu Moore

She Would Be King
Graywolf Press, September 11, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 312 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel, She Would Be King, reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper, and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight at will, just as his mother could. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.

Moore’s intermingling of history and magical realism finds voice not just in these three characters but also in the fleeting spirit of the wind, who embodies an ancient wisdom. “If she was not a woman,” the wind says of Gbessa, “she would be king.” In this vibrant story of the African diaspora, Moore, a talented storyteller and a daring writer, illuminates with radiant and exacting prose the tumultuous roots of a country inextricably bound to the United States. She Would Be King is a novel of profound depth set against a vast canvas and a transcendent debut from a major new author.

Signe Pike

The Lost Queen
The Lost Queen 1
Touchstone, September 4, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 544 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Compared to Outlander and The Mists of Avalon, this thrilling first novel of a debut trilogy reveals the untold story of Languoreth—a forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland—twin sister of the man who inspired the legend of Merlin.

I write because I have seen the darkness that will come. Already there are those who seek to tell a new history...

In a land of mountains and mist, tradition and superstition, Languoreth and her brother Lailoken are raised in the Old Way of their ancestors. But in Scotland, a new religion is rising, one that brings disruption, bloodshed, and riot. And even as her family faces the burgeoning forces of Christianity, the Anglo-Saxons, bent on colonization, are encroaching from the east. When conflict brings the hero Emrys Pendragon to her father’s door, Languoreth finds love with one of his warriors. Her deep connection to Maelgwn is forged by enchantment, but she is promised in marriage to Rhydderch, son of a Christian king. As Languoreth is catapulted into a world of violence and political intrigue, she must learn to adapt. Together with her brother—a warrior and druid known to history as Myrddin—Languoreth must assume her duty to fight for the preservation of the Old Way and the survival of her kingdom, or risk the loss of them both forever.

Based on new scholarship, this tale of bravery and conflicted love brings a lost queen back to life—rescuing her from obscurity, and reaffirming her place at the center of one of the most enduring legends of all time.

Rena Rossner

The Sisters of Winter Wood
Redhook, September 25, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 464 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
Captivating and boldly imaginative, with a tale of sisterhood at its heart, Rena Rossner’s debut fantasy invites you to enter a world filled with magic, folklore, and the dangers of the woods.

In a remote village surrounded by vast forests on the border of Moldova and Ukraine, sisters Liba and Laya have been raised on the honeyed scent of their Mami’s babka and the low rumble of their Tati’s prayers. But when a troupe of mysterious men arrives, Laya falls under their spell-despite their mother’s warning to be wary of strangers. And this is not the only danger lurking in the woods.

As dark forces close in on their village, Liba and Laya discover a family secret passed down through generations. Faced with a magical heritage they never knew existed, the sisters realize the old fairy tales are true…and could save them all.

“Mixes fairy tale, poetry, history, and heart to create an enchanting and mesmerizing tale of sisterly love. I adored this book!” — Sarah Beth Durst, award-winning author of The Queens of Renthia series

Stuart Turton

The 7 1½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Sourcebooks Landmark, September 18, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 448 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
One of Stylist Magazine's 20 Must-Read Books of 2018
One of Harper's Bazaar's 10 Must-Read Books of 2018
One of Marie Claire, Australia's 10 Books You Absolutely Have to Read in 2018

The Rules of Blackheath
Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
 There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let’s begin...


Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others...

The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.

Sherri Cook Woosley

Walking Through Fire
A Misbegotten Novel 1
Talos, September 4, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts
For fans of American Gods, a dark, humorous, and richly written, dystopian fantasy about the unbreakable bonds of family and the undying strength of a mother's love.

The end of the world begins as literal fire rains down from the heavens. Ancient gods are released from their prison, eager to reestablish their long-lost power. But Rachel Deneuve has bigger, more contemporary concerns than a divine war.

Her son Adam is in the middle of a fight against leukemia, and Rachel is determined to keep focused on that battle. But when humans begin picking sides and the fighting escalates, their home in Baltimore becomes a war zone, one she can’t ignore.

Desperate to stay away from the carnage—as well as the germ-ridden refugee center—Rachel and Adam flee to their remote mountain cottage, only to find their refuge marred by mutated, grotesque plants and animals. Eventually, the cancerous cells in Adam's body begin evolving as well, threatening his life and forcing Rachel to venture back into the eye of the storm. Left with no other choice but to sacrifice her own freedom for her son's safety, she must become an unwilling warrior in a battle unlike anything seen in millennia, or lose everything she holds dear.
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