It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for a new batch of book releases! Here are a few of the books out today you should add to your TBR. This is a very small percentage of the new releases this week, as well as a few others you may have missed from recent weeks. Make sure to stick around until the end for some more Book Riot resources for keeping up with new books. The book descriptions listed are the publisher’s, unless otherwise noted.
A Thousand Steps Into Night by Traci Chee
In the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters, and humans exist side by side, Miuko is an ordinary girl resigned to a safe, if uneventful, existence as an innkeeper’s daughter. But when Miuko is cursed and begins to transform into a demon with a deadly touch, she embarks on a quest to reverse the curse and return to her normal life. Aided by a thieving magpie spirit and continuously thwarted by a demon prince, Miuko must outfox tricksters, escape demon hunters, and negotiate with feral gods if she wants to make it home again. But with her transformation comes power and freedom she never even dreamed of, and she’ll have to decide if saving her soul is worth trying to cram herself back into an ordinary life that no longer fits her… and perhaps never did.
Reasons to read it: THIEVING MAGPIE SPIRIT. That’s it. That’s the sell. If you need more convincing, this is another YA fantasy for lovers of Spirited Away. But this time, the story is based in Japanese mythology instead of Korean like last week’s The Girl who Fell Beneath the Sea. Gender conventions are scrutinized as Miuko tries to decide between the human world that would see her subjugated as a woman, and the world of demons where she has power. Decisions, decisions.
Gallant by V. E. Schwab
Everything casts a shadow. Even the world we live in. And as with every shadow, there is a place where it must touch. A seam, where the shadow meets its source.
Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home—to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home, it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.
Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.
Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?
Reasons to read it: Olivia has grown up isolated in an all-girls’ school where her muteness has made her a target for bullying, and the only matron that could sign with her is gone. Freedom, belonging, and being different are all themes explored here as Olivia comes to live at Gallant manor. The gothic elements here will give you serious Crimson Peak and The Secret Garden vibes.
The Fell by Sarah Moss
At dusk on a November evening, a woman slips out of her garden gate and turns up the hill. Kate is in the middle of a two-week mandatory quarantine period, but she just can’t take it anymore―the closeness of the air in her small house, the confinement. And anyway, the moor will be deserted at this time. Nobody need ever know she’s stepped out.
Kate planned only a quick walk―a stretch of the legs, a breath of fresh air, on paths she knows too well. But somehow she falls. She lies injured, unable to move, her furtive walk suddenly a mountain rescue operation―or a missing persons case.
A story of compassion and kindness, Sarah Moss’s The Fell is suspenseful, witty, and wise, and it asks probing questions about who we are in the world, who we are to our neighbors, and who we are when the world demands we shut ourselves away.
Reasons to read it: Here’s a peak at how the pandemic, specifically lockdown, has impacted Britain. The differing narratives range from Kate, the missing middle-aged woman, Matt her teenaged son, Alice the elderly neighbor, and Rob the divorcee. Nature’s unpredictability exists as the human world is altered in unexpected ways. The novel is both humorous, lyrical, and reflective.
Scattered All Over the Earth by Yōko Tawada, translated by Margaret Mitsutani
A mind-expanding, cheerfully dystopian new novel by Yoko Tawada, winner of the National Book Award.
Welcome to the not-too-distant future: Japan, having vanished from the face of the earth, is now remembered as “the land of sushi.” Hiruko, its former citizen and a climate refugee herself, has a job teaching immigrant children in Denmark with her invented language Panska (Pan-Scandinavian): “homemade language. no country to stay in. three countries I experienced. insufficient space in brain. so made new language. homemade language.”
As she searches for anyone who can still speak her mother tongue, Hiruko soon makes new friends. Her troupe travels to France, encountering an umami cooking competition; a dead whale; an ultra-nationalist named Breivik; unrequited love; Kakuzo robots; red herrings; uranium; an Andalusian matador. Episodic and mesmerizing scenes flash vividly along, and soon they’re all next off to Stockholm.
With its intrepid band of companions, Scattered All Over the Earth (the first novel of a trilogy) may bring to mind Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or a surreal Wind in the Willows, but really is just another sui generis Yoko Tawada masterwork.
Reasons to read it: If you’re down for reading a humorous, whimsical dystopian travel adventure. This is an interesting study of culture and originality. As Hiruko and her varied group of companions travel around the world, they consider past civilizations and current ones, all the while pondering what’s lost and gained as far as assimilation and climate change are concerned.
The Night Shift by Alex Finlay
“The night was expected to bring tragedy.”
So begins one of the most highly-anticipated thrillers in recent years.
It’s New Year’s Eve 1999. Y2K is expected to end in chaos: planes falling from the sky, elevators plunging to earth, world markets collapsing. A digital apocalypse. None of that happens. But at a Blockbuster Video in New Jersey, four teenagers working late at the store are attacked. Only one inexplicably survives. Police quickly identify a suspect, the boyfriend of one of the victims, who flees and is never seen again.
Fifteen years later, more teenage employees are attacked at an ice cream store in the same town, and again only one makes it out alive.
In the aftermath of the latest crime, three lives intersect: the lone survivor of the Blockbuster massacre who’s forced to relive the horrors of her tragedy; the brother of the fugitive accused, who’s convinced the police have the wrong suspect; and FBI agent Sarah Keller who must delve into the secrets of both nights—stirring up memories of teen love and lies—to uncover the truth about murders on the night shift.
Twisty, poignant, and redemptive, The Night Shift is a story about the legacy of trauma and how the broken can come out on the other side, and it solidifies Finlay as one of the new leading voices in the world of thrillers.
Reasons to read it: If you love the Final girl trope, twisty revelations, and excellent characterization, you’ll be up till 3 am trying to get to the reveal in this one. There are multiple professional perspectives shown— from legal to criminal to psychological— and the characters are connected in an interesting way.
RUN AND HIDE by PANKAJ MISHRA
Growing up in a small railway town, Arun always dreamed of escape. His acceptance at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, enabled through great sacrifice by his low-caste parents, is seemingly his golden ticket out of a life plagued by everyday cruelties and deprivations.
At the predominantly male campus, he meets two students from similar backgrounds. Unlike Arun—scarred by his childhood, and an uneasy interloper among go-getters—they possess the sheer will and confidence to break through merciless social barriers. The alumni of IIT eventually go on to become the financial wizards of their generation, working and playing hard from East Hampton to Tuscany—the recipients of unprecedented financial and sexual freedom. But while his friends play out Gatsby-style fantasies, Arun fails to leverage his elite education for social capital. He decides to pursue the writerly life, retreating to a small village in the Himalayas with his aging mother.
Arun’s modest idyll is one day disrupted by the arrival of a young woman named Alia, who is writing an exposé on his former classmates. Alia, beautiful and sophisticated, draws Arun back to the prospering world where he must be someone else if he is to belong. And, when he is implicated in a terrible act of violence by his closest IIT friend, Arun will have to reckon with the person he has become.
Run and Hide is Pankaj Mishra’s intimate story of achieving material progress at great moral and emotional cost. It is also the story of a changing country and global order, and the inequities of class and gender that map onto our most intimate relationships.
Reasons to read it: More wealth has ushered in a New India, but at what cost? Mishra continues his exploration of how capitalism and the dehumanization of India are connected through fictional characters. Jennifer Egan, author of Manhattan Beach, has said that “Pankaj Mishra transforms a visceral, intimate story of one man’s humble origins into a kaleidoscopic portrait of a society bedazzled by power and wealth—what it means on a human level, and what it costs. Run and Hide is a spectacular, illuminating work of fiction.”
Other Book Riot New Releases Resources
- All the Books, our weekly new releases podcast, where Liberty and a cast of co-hosts talk about eight books out that week that we’ve read and loved.
- The New Books Newsletter, where we send you an email of the books out this week that are getting buzz.
- Finally, if you want the real inside scoop on new releases, you have to check out Book Riot Insiders’ New Releases Index! That’s where I find 90% of new releases, and you can filter by trending books, Rioters’ picks, and even LGBTQ new releases!