Spring/Summer Bests | Debut Novels

LJ‘s Prepub Alert editor picks early spring titles you should order now and late spring and summer works you should have on your radar.

Fiction from Bowen, Boyce, Downie, Eason, Khan, and More | Xpress Reviews

For readers who enjoy World War ll historical fiction and rural Italian culture; Sarah Alt continues to march to her own drum; the end of this debut is satisfying; Downie’s latest serves as a worthy stand-alone; this nonstop, white-knuckled thrill ride will please devotees of police procedurals; Khan’s series is well worth investigating; an absorbing story of love and loss with an astounding conclusion

LJ Talks to Joseph Cassara | Debut Spotlight

The great gift of Joseph Cassara’s debut novel, The House of Impossible Beauties is his describing so acutely a little-portrayed community—queer people of color—in luxurious, gorgeously inflected language embodying gracefully intercut portraits to illuminating effect.

Fiction: Burke, Dev, Haig, Hammett, Harper, Hunt, Johnson, Olafsson, Plante, Reich, Sutton, Vaughan | Xpress Reviews

Another excellent thriller in the Robicheaux series; Dev crafts another thrilling story filled with intense drama; Emory’s solid women’s fiction debut; Haig’s prose is as eloquent and beautiful as ever; a compelling and timely novel; for mystery aficionados and Hammett fans; sweet tale of the city girl finding a home in the country; Johnson writes here with rare understanding, compassion, and generosity of spirit; for fans of Sherlock Holmes and spy novels; Olafsson explores such timeless themes as love; Reich introduces an appealing new protagonist; perfect for fans of Elmore Leonard and Lee Child; a gripping courtroom drama

Fiction by Alexander, McGhee, and Silverberg, with a Trio of Debuts | Xpress Reviews

Alexander excels at conveying the flavor of Tsarist Russia; Levy provides plenty of detail for the history lover; for fans of realistic fiction about difficult family relationships; unputdownable once you get into it; an enthralling, surreal debut; an excellent choice for sf fans

First—And Foremost | Debut Novels

Fall 2017/winter 2018 bring the promise of fresh, new voices

Fiction: Acevedo, Billingsley, Carlino, Holahan, MacNeal, Nash, Rushdie, Shamsie, Slaughter, Tuck | Xpress Reviews

This fascinating piece of history should appeal widely; Barber weaves a twisty tale that will grip readers; Billingsley has written another engrossing page-turner; Carlino writes a bittersweet, funny story; Holahan gets better with each novel; a nod to W.E.B. Dubois’s essay “The Talented Tenth”; for someone looking for a new historical mystery; an enjoyable tale of finding oneself and starting afresh; Rushdie should garner even more readers with this cautionary tale; debut author Wolas’s work is breathtaking

A Portrait of the Artist: Laurel Davis Huber’s “The Velveteen Daughter” | Debut Spotlight

Following an impulse to investigate an often enjoyed writer/illustrator from her childhood, Laurel Davis Huber embarked on a ten-year adventure that resulted in a captivating debut novel, The Velveteen Daughter, which traces the life of Pamela Bianco, a young artist growing up in early 20th-century America.

Galaxy Quests | Genre Spotlight: SF/Fantasy

Debuts showcase diverse voices, epics reign, space operas blast off, and horror rises from the grave (again) in our annual sf/fantasy preview. Plus Kensington and Tor launch digital and podcasting sf imprints.

Fiction from Cook and Stratton, with Well-Written Debuts from Avdic and Heacock | Xpress Reviews

Fans of mysteries set in confined environments will tear through this dark thriller debut; Cook’s latest disappoints; a delicious summer treat with just enough sass, sex, and edible glitter; a heartwarming contemporary romance, with a woman of color as the main character