People have many reasons for reading – pure escapism from life, expansion of your worldview, or perhaps even to scare the pants off yourself. Writers have just as many reasons for writing, whether their words equal fact or fantasy. Our modern era is seeing these lines blur ever so subtly, to the point that you might wonder where the ghost story ends and the news report begins.
Here is the atmosphere for the new releases of October. There is a strong sense of unquiet voices with warnings to offer, with a debut short story collection, an eerie gothic number exploring redemption and guilt, and even a rallying cry to the millennials from the Pope himself. Those looking for pure escapism will not be disappointed either – this is also a great month for sparkly new YA fiction, particularly of the fantasy variety.
Biggest New Books of October 2018
1. Red Birds | Mohammed Hanif
Two very different worlds collide in Mohammed Hanif’s black comedy novel. Major Ellie was supposed to bomb the camp, but a crash-landing forces him to seek shelter there instead. He meets Momo, whose perils include a missing brother, warring parents and an aid worker attempting to use him for research. An interesting mix of absurdism and dark truths, this tale is especially relevant for our time of displaced people and clashing cultures.
Pope Francis has made quite the mark on the world. Some would say he has brought a fresh new energy to the Catholic Church, with unexpected views on issues such as divorce, LGBT rights and life after death. Now he speaks to millennials, encouraging them to engage with the issues and politics of our time.
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is not pulling his punches in his ‘first rate’ debut collection of stories, documenting life as we unfortunately know it. There’s a tale for every modern terror you might wish to name; from a take-down of America’s justice system, to an amusement arcade that lets you hunt down minority actors playing terrorists and intruders, to the dehumanising horror story that is capitalism, to a purgatory featuring a gunman and his victim.
Fans of historical fiction will swoon at Kristina Olsson’s literary marvel, which has been marketed for fans of All the Light We Cannot See, The Flamethrowers and The Goldfinch. Reporter Pearl Keogh, demoted for an anti-war demonstration, is searching for her young brothers. Axel Lindquist has just arrived in Australia to work on the Sydney Opera House. In the shadow of the Vietnam War, their love story is born.
Sarah Perry’s last novel was the bestselling The Essex Serpent. Her next tale, Melmoth, promises to be ‘astonishingly dark, rich storytelling, exquisitely balanced between gothic shocks and emotional truth’. Helen Franklin has taken refuge from her past in Prague, where she works as a translator. When she comes across a manuscript describing the historical appearances of Melmoth, the loneliest being on Earth, who calls the guilty to come and wander beside her forever. Can Helen confront what she has done, or will she too be lost to the darkness?
‘Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever’. The epic Throne of Glass series comes to its dramatic and unforgettable conclusion with the seventh instalment. Sarah J. Maas’s YA fantasy brings about an ultimate battle, where Aelin fights for herself and her people against the Queen of the Fae.
If the end of the Throne of Glass series has left a YA fantasy-shaped hole in your life, worry not. Shadow of the Fox rises, leading its readers into a world of Japanese mythology, dragons, samurai and demons. Julie Kagawa’s other works include The Talon Saga and The Iron Fey.
It’s been twelve years since Markus Zusak’s devastating masterpiece The Book Thief was catapulted onto our bookshelves. I personally do not believe I will ever be over this book, and await Zusak’s next tale eagerly. This is his first novel for adults, narrated by the eldest of five orphaned boys living without adults or rules, but instead with quite a lot of animals.
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