Highlights: October 2022

Fall is officially here, and Kate’s season has arrived. Beyond all of the spooky reads to be found, we are both planning what our kids will be for Halloween while, more importantly, planning how we can steal most of their candy for ourselves. Hey, they’re still toddlers, we’re just being good parents by preventing tiny cavities! But we’re also both looking forward to pulling out all of the cozy blankets and curling up with some great reads. Here are a few we’re looking forward to this month!

Serena’s Picks

Book: “The River of Silver” by S.A. Chakraborty

Publication Date: October 11, 2022

Why I’m Interested: This book of short stories has been released in audiobook format for a bit now. But it’s just now releasing as a physical book and so I’m including it here now since this is the format I prefer to read for this series. I’m very excited to return to this world, and the book description promises a nice balance of perspectives between fan favorite characters, characters we’ve only seen in the background, and a couple of completely brand new faces. Given how sprawling this world and history is, I’m sure there are plenty of stories to be mined, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store!

Book: “Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove” by Rati Mehrotra

Publication Date: October 18, 2022

Why I’m Interested: While most fantasy fiction readers have read a ton of European medieval fantasy, what’s more rare is medieval fantasy set in other parts of the world. So with this story coming in as a fantasy version of medieval India, I was definitely interested from the get go. I also really like this cover. It’s not doing anything super flashy, but it speaks to my old-school fantasy loving self somehow. I’m a bit concerned by the book description which lists our teenage female protagonists as “the best guardswoman ever,” as I’m on record as having a major eye-roll problem with this particular trope. But we’ll see if Mehrotra has a new take on some of this.

Book: “Princess of Souls” by Alexandra Christo

Publication Date: October 11, 2022

Why I’m Interested: Speaking of covers, this one reminds me strongly of “The NeverEnding Story” and its intertwined snake pendant. That aside, I was able to nab an ARC of this from ALA, so I’ve been eagerly waiting for my chance to pick it up. It’s sold as a Rapunzel-inspired story following a young woman with the ability to steal souls. I’m not quite sure where the Rapunzel stuff gets into this (even reading the full Goodreads description, I’m not sure), but I do love a good fairytale retelling, so I’m quite hopeful!

Kate’s Picks

Book: “Malice House” by Megan Shepherd

Publication Date: October 4, 2022

Why I’m Interested: This was one of my ARC highlights from ALAAC22, as it had been on my radar for a few months by the time I was headed to the conference. Chuck Wendig was singing its praises and that was good enough for me! Haven is an aspiring illustrator who returns to her author father’s seaside estate, Malice House, after his death following a long battle with dementia. While staying there she finds a hand written manuscript of a book he never published, and as a horror collection it’s a creepy departure from his literary works. Haven thinks that it could be the key to jump starting her illustration career, and begins to draw the creatures from its pages. But then strange things start happening, ranging from scary noises at night to people dying in town. Her father had always said the house was haunted, and now Haven may be living her own horror story. This Gothic horror novel is sure to scratch a haunted house itch!

Book: “Such Sharp Teeth” by Rachel Harrison

Publication Date: October 4, 2022

Why I’m Interested: Rachel Harrison has been a must read author for me ever since her debut “The Return”, and then the tonal shift between that scary story and her whimsical witch tale “Cackle” showed her versatility. Now she’s taking on the werewolf story, and I am very, very excited about it. Rory has returned to her small hometown after her twin sister Scarlett begged her to come be with her. Scarlett is pregnant and recently single, and Rory, though she hates her hometown, drops everything to be with her twin. But one night after bar hopping at the old haunts, Rory is attacked by a ferocious creature, leaving a weird injury that bleeds silver. Now Rory is starting to notice weird changes to her body and personality, which only get worse as the full moon gets closer. After transforming into a werewolf, Rory is determined to keep those she loves safe… and determined to figure out if she can break this werewolf curse. Harrison always has snappy feminist themes in her books, and I expect this one will be the same!

Book: “Jackal” by Erin E. Adams

Publication Date: October 4, 2022

Why I’m Interested: This was a book that ended up in my email box from the publisher, and while I hadn’t heard of it until then, I was immediately taken with the description. It has so many elements that I love: missing people. Small town secrets. Social horror themes. “Jackal” sounds like it could be more of a thriller, but my gut feeling is that this book is going to be scary as hell. Liz is returning to her rural Pennsylvania town after years of being away. Being one of the only Black people in Johnstown was incredibly difficult, but her childhood best friend is getting married, so she’s willing to return for that. But then the bride’s daughter Caroline goes missing. And it’s not the first time a young Black woman has disappeared in this town, as Liz remembers one from her youth who did as well, as was found dead with her heart removed. As Liz looks into it, she finds a disturbing pattern of Black girls missing and murdered. Liz is desperate to find Caroline before it happens to another one. I’m bracing myself for scares and probably lots of heartbreak with this one.

What new books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments!

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