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New Releases Tuesday: The Best Books Out This Week

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It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for new 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.

cover of A Half-Built Garden

A Half-Built Garden by Ruthanna Emrys

A literary descendent of Ursula K. Le Guin, Ruthanna Emrys crafts a novel of extraterrestrial diplomacy and urgent climate repair bursting with quiet, tenuous hope and an underlying warmth. A Half-Built Garden depicts a world worth building towards, a humanity worth saving from itself, and an alien community worth entering with open arms. It’s not the easiest future to build, but it’s one that just might be in reach.

On a warm March night in 2083, Judy Wallach-Stevens wakes to a warning of unknown pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay. She heads out to check what she expects to be a false alarm ― and stumbles upon the first alien visitors to Earth. These aliens have crossed the galaxy to save humanity, convinced that the people of Earth must leave their ecologically-ravaged planet behind and join them among the stars. And if humanity doesn’t agree, they may need to be saved by force.

But the watershed networks that rose up to save the planet from corporate devastation aren’t ready to give up on Earth. Decades ago, they reorganized humanity around the hope of keeping the world liveable. By sharing the burden of decision-making, they’ve started to heal our wounded planet.

Now corporations, nation-states, and networks all vie to represent humanity to these powerful new beings, and if anyone accepts the aliens’ offer, Earth may be lost. With everyone’s eyes turned skyward, the future hinges on Judy’s effort to create understanding, both within and beyond her own species.

Reasons to read it: Pick this one up for a first contact novel that sets complex family dynamics against the back drop of an apocalyptic world. Emrys explores philosophical questions concerning capitalism and quality of life, and concocts truly interesting alien species. On top of everything else, this books is queernorm.

cover of Nobody's Princess

Nobody’s Princess by Erica Ridley

Nothing happens in London without Graham Wynchester knowing. His massive collection of intelligence is invaluable to his family’s mission of aiding those most in need. So when he deciphers a series of coded messages in the scandal sheets, Graham’s convinced he must come to a royal’s rescue. But his quarry turns out not to be a princess at all… The captivating Kunigunde de Heusch is anything but a damsel in distress, and the last thing she wants is Graham’s help.

All her life, Kuni trained alongside the fiercest Royal Guardsmen in her family, secretly planning to become her country’s first Royal Guardswoman. This mission in London is a chance to prove herself worthy without help from a man, not even one as devilishly handsome as Graham. To her surprise, Graham believes in her dream as much as she does, which makes it harder to resist kissing him…and falling in love. But how can she risk her heart if her future lies an ocean away?

Reasons to read it: This is another addition to the fun Wild Wynchesters series. This one is especially feminist and charming, with characters who grow and learn as their adventures unfold. Get ready for a slower burning romance that is so worth the wait. Bridgerton author Julia Quinn has called this book “a delight.”

cover of VIOLET MADE OF THORNS

VIOLET MADE OF THORNS by Gina Chen

A darkly enchanting fantasy debut about a morally gray witch, a cursed prince, and a prophecy that ignites their fate-twisted destinies — perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and Serpent & Dove.

Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased — and not always true — divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer — unless Violet does something about it.

But when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse, one that will end in either damnation or salvation for the kingdom — all depending on the prince’s choice of future bride. Violet faces her own choice: Seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter the cost, or give in to the ill-fated attraction that’s growing between her and Cyrus.

Violet’s wits may protect her in the cutthroat court, but they can’t change her fate. And as the boundary between hatred and love grows ever thinner with the prince, Violet must untangle a wicked web of deceit in order to save herself and the kingdom — or doom them all.

Reasons to read it: This is a fairy tale–adjacent book with its prophesies, endangered kingdoms, and heroine taken from the slums and turned into a palace dweller. There is court intrigue, well-written characters — especially the assertive heroine, and a steamy love/hate romance. Chloe Gong, author of These Violent Delights, has said the book is “beautifully vicious.”

cover of The Book of Gothel

The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne

Everyone knows the story of Rapunzel in the tower, but do you know the story of the witch who put her there? Told from her own perspective, The Book of Gothel is a lush, historical retelling filled with dark magic, crumbling towers, mysterious woods, and evil princes. This is the truth they never wanted you to know, as only a witch might tell it.

Haelewise has always lived under the shadow of her mother, Hedda — a woman who will do anything to keep her daughter protected. For with her strange black eyes and even stranger fainting spells, Haelewise is shunned by her village, and her only solace lies in the stories her mother tells of child-stealing witches, of princes in wolf-skins, of an ancient tower cloaked in mist, where women will find shelter if they are brave enough to seek it.

Then, Hedda dies, and Haelewise is left unmoored. With nothing left for her in her village, she sets out to find the legendary tower her mother used to speak of — a place called Gothel, where Haelewise meets a wise woman willing to take her under her wing.

But Haelewise is not the only woman to seek refuge at Gothel. It’s also a haven for a girl named Rika, who carries with her a secret the Church strives to keep hidden. A secret that reveals a dark world of ancient spells and murderous nobles behind the world Haelewise has always known…

Reasons to read it: For lovers of villain origin stories! Naturally, a story told from the perspective of a villain often humanizes them, and this is no exception. This retelling of Repunzel is both original, female-centered, and includes historical aspects of Germany, like its lore, paganism, and Saint Hildegard.

cover of The Liminal Zone

The Liminal Zone by Junji Ito

Three-time Eisner Award winner Junji Ito presents brand-new nightmares!

What destiny awaits them after the screaming?

After abruptly departing from a train in a small town, a couple encounters a “weeping woman” — a professional mourner — sobbing inconsolably at a funeral. Mako changes afterward — she can’t stop crying! In another tale, having decided to die together, a couple enters Aokigahara, the infamous suicide forest. What is the shocking otherworldly torrent that they discover there?

One of horror’s greatest talents, Junji Ito beckons readers to join him in an experience of ultimate terror with four transcendently terrifying tales.

Reasons to read it: For lovers of Ito’s terrifyingly bizarre stories, The Liminal Zone doesn’t disappoint. The manga collection features some of the most unsettling body horror that will have your skin crawling long after you’ve finished reading.

cover of The Half Life of Valery K

The Half Life of Valery K by Natasha Pulley

From the author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street and The Kingdoms, an epic Cold War novel set in a mysterious town in Soviet Russia.

In 1963, in a Siberian prison, former nuclear specialist Valery Kolkhanov has mastered what it takes to survive: the right connections to the guards for access to food and cigarettes, the right pair of warm boots, and the right attitude toward the small pleasures of life so he won’t go insane. But one day, all that changes: Valery’s university mentor steps in and sweeps him from the frozen camp to a mysterious unnamed city. It houses a set of nuclear reactors, and surrounding it is a forest so damaged it looks like the trees have rusted from within.

In City 40, Valery is Dr. Kolkhanov once more, and he’s expected to serve out his prison term studying the effect of radiation on local animals. But as Valery begins his work, he is struck by the questions his research raises. Why is there so much radiation in this area? What, exactly, is being hidden from the thousands who live in the town? And if he keeps looking for answers, will he live to serve out his sentence?

Based on real events in a surreal Soviet city, and told with bestselling author Natasha Pulley’s inimitable style, The Half Life of Valery K is a sweeping new adventure for readers of Stuart Turton and Sarah Gailey.

Reasons to read it: The queer protagonist, who suffers from PTSD, and the other characters are written so fully here, you’ll feel like you know them. Add to that overall excellent writing and an engaging mystery, and you’ve got an entirely gripping — and pretty disturbing — novel.

Other Book Riot Resources for New Book Releases

  • All the Books, our weekly new book 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!
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