On My Radar: Early September

On My Radar is a list of upcoming publications that look interesting and appeal to me. It’s a way for me to track what is coming out, to figure out what I am most excited about, and to make sure I don’t miss anything!

This week, three publications by authors that I love are on my radar, plus two new author I have never read before.

The first fantasy novel, Serpentine, sounds like a wonderful, diverse coming-of-age story, which also explores feminist themes.

Serpentine by Cindy Pon, Expected publication: September 822095547

“Serpentine is a sweeping fantasy set in the ancient Kingdom of Xia and inspired by the rich history of Chinese mythology.

Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.

When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.”

About four or five years ago, I became really interested in the Berlin Wall. It’s such an interesting time in history. It wasn’t as violent as other conflicts, the conflict wasn’t spread out geographically or over a big population since it only spanned one city, the two sides didn’t seem to dislike each other, and yet there was a huge, physical symbol of conflict. Jennifer A. Nielsen’s story explores what I found so intriguing about Berlin during the Wall: families split apart for no reason who had to take great risks to get back together. I love Nielsen’s Ascendance Trilogy, and I am planning to start her Mark of the Thief series, so I am interested to see her take on historical middle grade fiction.

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen, Publication Date: August 25

22024488“From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen comes a stunning thriller about a girl who must escape to freedom after the Berlin Wall divides her family between east and west.

With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can’t help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.

But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?”

This next book, Edgewater, looks incredibly interested and has rave reviews on Goodreads. I love stories about neglected, creepy mansions, and families with old secrets.

Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel, Expected Publication Date: September 824795938

“Lorrie Hollander used to be a rich girl, but now she’s lost everything because of the secrets and lies of the people around her. It’s been 12 years since Lorrie’s mother skipped town an d left Lorrie in the care of her unstable aunt Gigi. Together they live in a neglected, decrepit mansion called Edgewater, the eyesore in a town of extraordinary wealth and privilege.

When Charlie, the son of an esteemed senator, takes an interest in Lorrie, her shame for her family and lifestyle runs deep. But what she doesn’t know is that Charlie’s family is hiding something, too, and that their secrets are inextricably tied. Now Lorrie must confront the truth about her family—and everything she ever thought she knew about herself.”

I have such a strange reader-author relationship with Kelley Armstrong. I like how she depicts female characters and relationships, and I feel extra-good about reading her books because she is from my home province, Ontario. The strange part of our relationship is that I have only read three books of her very large backlog. I read and enjoyed her YA series, Darkness Rising, but although I own the first Cainsville book, I have never read it. With the third Cainsville book coming out, I think it might be time to rectify that!

Deceptions (Cainsville #3) by Kelley Armstrong, Expected Publication Date: August 20

24537359“Olivia’s life has exploded. She’s discovered she’s not only adopted, but her real parents are convicted serial killers. Fleeing the media frenzy, she took refuge in the oddly secluded town of Cainsville. She has since solved the town’s mysteries and finds herself not only the target of its secretive elders, but also her stalker ex-fiancé.

Visions continue to haunt her: particularly a little blond girl in a green sundress who insists she has an important message for Olivia, one that may help her balance the light and darkness within herself. Death stalks Olivia and the two men most important to her, as she desperately searches to understand whether ancient scripts are dictating their triangle. Will darkness prevail or does Olivia have the power to prevent a tragic fate?”

My husband and I have been collecting the new 2-in-1 editions of Rumiko Takahashi’s classic series, Ranma. The tenth volume is being released at the beginning of September. I have only read the first 2-in-1 edition, so I have some catching up to do!

Ranma 1/2 (2-in-1 Edition), Vol. 10 by Rumiko Takahashi, Expected Publication: September 8

“Ten years ago, Ukyo made a special okonomiyaki sauce—which Ranma secretly ruined. Unaware of what Ranma had done, Ukyo to this day can’t quite understand why Ranma’s being extra nice to her despite the phenomenal failure of her special sauce. Akane’s onto Ranma, though, and one way or another he’s going to pay.”

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