It is like your world, but not. Something is off, something you can’t quite explain. A feeling of unease sets in. One foot in reality, the other—decidedly not. This month’s genre-bending releases challenge our reality. Contemplate social media after death in The Man Who Wouldn’t Die by A.B. Jewell; break the rules and defy the law in Rule of Capture by Christopher Brown; and keep the light on while you read Echoes, an anthology of ghost stories from Saga Press.
Head below for the full list of genre-bending titles heading your way in August!
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
WEEK ONE (August 6)
Brave the Tempest (Cassie Palmer series)—Karen Chance (Berkley)
Cassie Palmer has been chief seer of the supernatural world for a little over four months. In that time, she’s battled two gods, fallen in love with two men, and confronted the two sides of her own nature, both god and human. So it’s not surprising that she currently finds herself facing two adversaries, although they have a single purpose: to wipe out the supernatural community’s newest fighting force, leaving it vulnerable to enemies in this world and beyond. To prevent catastrophe, the vamps, mages, and demons will have to do the one thing they’ve never managed before and come together as allies. Cassie has the difficult task of keeping the uneasy coalition intact, and of persuading her own two opposing forces, a powerful mage with a secret and a master vampire with a growing obsession, to fight at her side. She just hopes they can do it without tearing each other apart.
First Cosmic Velocity—Zach Powers (Putnam)
It’s 1964 in the USSR, and unbeknownst even to Premier Khrushchev himself, the Soviet space program is a sham. While the program has successfully launched five capsules into space, the Chief Designer and his team have never successfully brought one back to earth. To disguise this, they’ve used twins. But in a nation built on secrets and propaganda, the biggest lie of all is about to unravel. Because there are no more twins left. Combining history and fiction, the real and the mystical, First Cosmic Velocity is the story of Leonid, the last of the twins.
The Man Who Wouldn’t Die—A.B. Jewell (Morrow/HarperCollins)
Silicon Valley scion Captain Don Donogue is dead under mysterious circumstances. In fact, he might’ve well have been murdered. Just ask Captain Don himself. He’s been sending messages about his suspicious death from beyond the grave. Yep, he’s been tweeting from the afterlife. Or so it seems. Could life-after-death be Silicon Valley’s latest innovation? Our bodies die but our souls and social media accounts are eternal?
WEEK TWO (August 13)
Before She Sleeps—Bina Shah (Delphinium)
In modern, beautiful Green City, the capital of Southwest Asia, gender selection, war, and disease have brought the ratio of men to women to alarmingly low levels. The government uses terror and technology to control its people, and now females must take multiple husbands to have children as quickly as possible. Yet there are some who resist, women who live in an underground collective and refuse to be part of the system. Secretly protected by the highest echelons of power, they emerge only at night to provide the rich and elite of Green City a type of commodity no one can buy: intimacy without sex. As it turns out, not even the most influential men can shield them from discovery and the dangers of ruthless punishment. This dystopian novel from one of Pakistan’s most talented writers is a modern-day parable, The Handmaid’s Tale for repressed women in Muslim countries everywhere. Before She Sleeps takes the patriarchal practices of female seclusion and veiling, gender selection, and control over women’s bodies, amplifying and distorting them in a truly terrifying way to imagine a world of post-religious authoritarianism.
Rule of Capture: A Novel—Christopher Brown (HarperVoyager)
Defeated in a devastating war with China and ravaged by climate change, America is on the brink of a bloody civil war. Seizing power after a controversial election, the ruling regime has begun cracking down on dissidents fighting the nation’s slide toward dictatorship. For Donny Kimoe, chaos is good for business. He’s a lawyer who makes his living defending enemies of the state. His newest client, young filmmaker Xelina Rocafuerte, witnessed the murder of an opposition leader and is now accused of terrorism. To save her from the only sentence worse than death, Donny has to extract justice from a system that has abandoned the rule of law. That means breaking the rules—and risking the same fate as his clients. And when another case unexpectedly collides with Xelina’s, Donny uncovers even more devastating secrets, knowledge that will force him to choose between saving one client… or the future of the entire country.
WEEK THREE (August 20)
Fractured—Tamar Ossowski (Skyhorse)
Sam Baird is lost. She isn’t sure if she is experiencing a bout of amnesia or slipping into the depths of madness. She finds herself at a lake’s edge, beside a man she has never met but who seems strikingly familiar. Sam knows she has been in this exact moment—with this man, in this place, in this time—before. But this time is different. She closes her eyes, but there is nothing but darkness. Why can’t she stop thinking about the man from the lake? Will she be bound to him throughout eternity or will she have the courage to choose a different path? Has she gone crazy or has he finally jumped from her visions into her reality? In the end, it is the discovery she makes at the lake that will transform her life forever.
Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories—Ellen Datlow (Ed.) (Saga)
Everyone loves a good ghost story, especially Ellen Datlow—the most lauded editor in short works of supernatural suspense and dark fantasy. The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories is her definitive collection of ghost stories. Contributors include: Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Vincent J. Masterson, A.C. Wise, M. Rickert, Seanan McGuire, Lee Thomas, Alison Littlewood, M.L. Siemienowicz, Richard Kadrey, Indrapramit Das, Richard Bowes, Nick Mamatas, Terry Dowling, Aliette de Bodard, Carole Johnstone, Dale Bailey, Stephen Graham Jones, Bracken MacLeod, Garth Nix, Brian Evenson, Jeffrey Ford, Gemma Files, Paul Tremblay, Nathan Ballingrud, Pat Cadigan, John Langan.
The Warehouse—Rob Hart (Crown)
Paxton never thought he’d be working for Cloud, the giant tech company that’s eaten much of the American economy. Much less that he’d be moving into one of the company’s sprawling live-work facilities. Zinnia never thought she’d be infiltrating Cloud. But now she’s undercover, inside the walls, risking it all to ferret out the company’s darkest secrets. And Paxton, with his ordinary little hopes and fears? He just might make the perfect pawn. If she can bear to sacrifice him. As the truth about Cloud unfolds, Zinnia must gamble everything on a desperate scheme—one that risks both their lives, even as it forces Paxton to question everything about the world he’s so carefully assembled here. Together, they’ll learn just how far the company will go… to make the world a better place.
The Trojan War Museum and Other Stories—Ayse Papatya Bucak (WW Norton)
The Greek god Apollo reckons with his personal history as he tries to memorialize—and make sense of—war, in “The Trojan War Museum.” A Turkish student at an American university stops eating, and her family, teachers, and soon, the world at large, demand to know why, in “Iconography.” In “The Gathering of Desire,” a woman finds herself in a competitive game against the chess-playing automaton known as “The Turk,” while the man inside the machine mirrors her crisis of faith. The characters in this collection of dazzling and original stories—an infamous wrestler, a group of girls caught in a school explosion, an Ottoman ambassador with an infamous art collection—blur the boundaries between worlds real and imagined, western and eastern, physical and metaphysical. Examining themes of identity, othering, and self-determination, The Trojan War Museum strives to bring light to the darkest corners of ourselves and our histories.
Empty Hearts—Juli Zeh, translated by John Cullen (Nan A. Talese)
A few short years from now, the world is an even more uncertain place than it is today, and politics everywhere is marching rightward: Trump is gone, but Brexit is complete, as is Frexit; there’s a global financial crisis, armed conflict, mass migration, and an ultrapopulist movement governs in Germany. With their democracy facing the wrecking ball, most well-off Germans turn inward, focusing on their own lives. Britta, a wife, mother, and successful businesswoman, ignores the daily news and concentrates on her family and her work running a clinic specializing in suicide prevention. But her legitimate business is connected to a secret and far more lucrative operation known as The Bridge, an outfit that supplies terrorist organizations looking to employ suicide bombers. Part suspenseful thriller, part wickedly effective social satire, Empty Hearts is a novel for our times, examining urgent questions of morality, politics, and culture, and presenting a startling vision of a future where empathy is a thing of the past.
WEEK FOUR (August 27)
The Ghost Seekers (The Soul Keepers #2)—Devon Taylor (Swoon Reads)
The Harbinger is lost, sunk to the bottom of an otherworldly sea. Every soul that ever died and was protected within its hold has been lost along with it. But at least that precious cargo is out of reach of the demon Urcena and her army of soul-devouring monsters. For now. The soul keepers are broken, scattered, and barely clinging to existence without their ship or any way to collect or protect the souls of the newly dead. If they are to have any hope of stopping Urcena’s horrifying plans to destroy the fragile balance between living and dead, they will first have to survive long enough to locate the ghost of one of their own, who sacrificed himself to save the rest of the crew.
Last Ones Left Alive—Sarah Davis-Goff (Flatiron)
Raised in isolation by her mother and Maeve on a small island off the coast of a post-apocalyptic Ireland, Orpen’s life has revolved around training to fight a threat she’s never seen. More and more she feels the call of the mainland, and the prospect of finding other survivors. But that is where danger lies, too, in the form of the flesh-eating menace known as the skrake. Then disaster strikes. Alone, pushing an unconscious Maeve in a wheelbarrow, Orpen decides her last hope is abandoning the safety of the island and journeying across the country to reach the legendary banshees, the rumored all-female fighting force that battles the skrake. But the skrake are not the only threat…
Overthrow—Caleb Crain (Viking)
One autumn night, as a grad student named Matthew is walking home from the subway, a handsome skateboarder catches his eye. Leif, mesmerizing and enigmatic, invites Matthew to meet his friends, who are experimenting with tarot cards. It’s easier to know what’s in other people’s minds than most people realize, the friends claim. Do they believe in telepathy? Can they actually do it? When the group falls afoul of a security contractor freelancing for the government, the news coverage, internet outrage, and legal repercussions damage the romances and alliances that hold the friends together, and complicate the faith the members of the group have—or, in some cases, don’t have—in the powers they’ve been nurturing. Overthrow is a story about the aftermath of the search for a new moral idealism, in a world where new controls on us—through technology, surveillance, the law—seem to be changing the nature and shape of the boundaries that we imagine around our selves.
The Passengers—John Marrs (Berkley)
The British government has mandated all cars be automated. Several years into their implementation, on a seemingly average day, eight people get into their self-driving cars. Suddenly on their journey, the doors lock and the pre-determined route changes. The riders have lost all control. A mysterious voice tells them, “You are going to die.” These passengers—an aging actress, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man—are panicked. From cameras hidden in their cars, their frantic pleas for help are broadcast to millions of people around the world. The public will show their true colors when they are asked, “Which of these people should we save? Who should we kill first?” The passengers desperately plead for their lives and sell themselves to the cameras blasting this onto social media. But it soon becomes apparent most of these passengers haven’t been picked randomly. They are all hiding secrets that, once revealed, could be the difference between life and death for each of them.