The Pond Book News #105 – The October Double Issue: Cover Reveals, YA Fantasy Sequels, & An All-New R. F. Kuang Book!

Welcome to Issue #105!

Sprout the sparrow, doing a curtsy with their eyes closed and a smile on their face. Their cape swooshes in the wind with their arm extended in their curtsy.

The trees are whispering…

Friends, welcome to another exciting week of The Pond Book News! Every Sunday, The Quiet Pond brings you a fresh issue of book news to catch you up on the week’s lineup of diverse book releases, cover reveals, book news, and sometimes more! Now, onwards to the brilliant books!

Book Releases this Week [October 10th – October 23rd]

The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker

Death is her destiny.

Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough has been collecting souls in the London streets for centuries. Expected to obey the harsh hierarchy of the Reapers who despise her, Ren conceals her emotions and avoids her tormentors as best she can.

When her failure to control her Shinigami abilities drives Ren out of London, she flees to Japan to seek the acceptance she’s never gotten from her fellow Reapers. Accompanied by her younger brother, the only being on earth to care for her, Ren enters the Japanese underworld to serve the Goddess of Death… only to learn that here, too, she must prove herself worthy. Determined to earn respect, Ren accepts an impossible task—find and eliminate three dangerous Yokai demons—and learns how far she’ll go to claim her place at Death’s side.

Released on Oct 12. Add this book to Goodreads!


Dragonblood Ring by Amparo Ortiz

After the Sire’s capture, teen athletes Lana Torres and Victoria Peralta travel to Puerto Rico with their former Blazewrath team. While Lana discovers her roots, nothing fills the void Blazewrath’s cancelation has left in Victoria. But it’s up to their team and the Bureau to protect their dragons.

But when reports of burning towns and kidnapped dragons dominate the news, Director Sandhar refuses to answer the girls’ questions. So they follow him into his Transport Charm into Le Parc Du Chasseurs.

In this French theme park, they find dragons forced to fight. When the Blazewrath World Cup ended, people turned to this illegal sport for wealth. So now, not only are the Sire’s followers looking to release him, the leader of this fighting ring wants Puerto Rico’s dragons to fight in Bloodbath too.

Released on Oct 12. Add this book to Goodreads!


Our Way Back to Always by Nina Moreno

Luisa (Lou) Patterson grew up across the street from Sam Alvarez in the small, quirky town of Port Coral. They used to be inseparable–spending every holiday together, shooting silly YouTube videos, and rescuing stray cats. But then middle school happened, including the most disastrous (and embarrassing) serenade ever, and Lou and Sam haven’t talked in the four years since. Sam is now the golden boy with plenty of friends, while Lou is an introverted romantic who’s happy playing video games and writing fan fiction. But it’s also the summer before their senior year, and life is knocking on Lou’s door.

With her older sister having given up a scholarship to Princeton to have a baby and work at the local botanica, all of their mother’s expectations are now riding on Lou’s shoulders. She’s retaking her SAT’s, signed up for way too many AP classes, and her sights set on colleges with fancy names like Duke and Vanderbilt. But when she finds the bucket list she and Sam wrote together as kids, before Sam’s father was diagnosed with cancer, she’s shocked to see that she hasn’t accomplished any of the goals she’d set for herself. Go to a party? Nope. Pull the greatest prank of all time? Still no. Learn how to be a really good kisser? Definitely not.

Torn between the future that her mother, sister, and younger self planned for her, Lou sets out to finish the list, and in a stroke of destiny or fate, Sam decides to tag along. Still trying to stay afloat amid the grief of losing his father, Sam himself is staring down a future that feels all too close, and is coming far too fast. But with the bucket list to guide them, Sam and Lou might just be able to find a way through the future, and also a way back to each other.

Released on Oct 12. Add this book to Goodreads!


The Heartbreak Bakery by A. R. Capetta

Teenage baker Syd sends ripples of heartbreak through Austin’s queer community when a batch of post-being-dumped brownies turns out to be magical—and makes everyone who eats them break up.

“What’s done is done.”

Unless, of course, it was done by my brownies. Then it’s getting undone.

Syd (no pronouns, please) has always dealt with big, hard-to-talk-about things by baking. Being dumped is no different, except now Syd is baking at the Proud Muffin, a queer bakery and community space in Austin. And everyone who eats Syd’s breakup brownies . . . breaks up. Even Vin and Alec, who own the Proud Muffin. And their breakup might take the bakery down with it. Being dumped is one thing; causing ripples of queer heartbreak through the community is another. But the cute bike delivery person, Harley (he or they, check the pronoun pin, it’s probably on the messenger bag), believes Syd about the magic baking. And Harley believes Syd’s magical baking can fix things, too—one recipe at a time.

Released on Oct 12. Add this book to Goodreads!


The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

Había una vez…

There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita.

But Petra’s world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family – have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race.

Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet – and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity’s past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard – or purged them altogether.

Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?

Released on Oct 12. Add this book to Goodreads!


Along the Saltwise Sea by Seanan McGuire

Be sure to explore the myriad wonders that can be found Along the Saltwise Sea.

After climbing Over the Woodward Wall and making their way across the forest, Avery and Zib found themselves acquiring some extraordinary friends in their journey through the Up-and-Under.

After staying the night, uninvited, at a pirate queen’s cottage in the woods, the companions find themselves accountable to its owner, and reluctantly agree to work off their debt as her ship sets sail, bound for lands unknown. But the queen and her crew are not the only ones on board, and the monsters at sea aren’t all underwater.

The friends will need to navigate the stormy seas of obligation and honor on their continuing journey along the improbable road.

Released on Oct 12. Add this book to Goodreads!


Destroyer of Light by Jennifer Marie Brissett

The Matrix meets an Afro-futuristic retelling of Persephone set in a science fiction underworld of aliens, refugees, and genetic engineering in Jennifer Marie Brissett’s Destroyer of Light.

Having destroyed Earth, the alien conquerors resettle the remains of humanity on the planet of Eleusis. In the three habitable areas of the planet–Day, Dusk, and Night–the haves and have nots, criminals and dissidents, and former alien conquerors irrevocably bind three stories:

*A violent warlord abducts a young girl from the agrarian outskirts of Dusk leaving her mother searching and grieving.

*Genetically modified twin brothers desperately search for the lost son of a human/alien couple in a criminal underground trafficking children for unknown purposes.

*A young woman with inhuman powers rises through the insurgent ranks of soldiers in the borderlands of Night.

Their stories skate across years, building to a single confrontation when the fate of all—human and alien—balances upon a knife’s-edge.

Released on Oct 12. Add this book to Goodreads!


Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood

What the heart desires, the house destroys…

Andromeda is a debtera—an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, Andromeda quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, but leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option. Evil may roam the castle’s halls, but so does a burning desire.

Kiersten White meets Tomi Adeyemi in this Ethiopian-inspired debut fantasy retelling of Jane Eyre.

Releases on Oct 19. Add this book to Goodreads!


Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl…

Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love–and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele’s dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back… by stealing Gisele’s life for herself.

The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed.

Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life.

Releases on Oct 19. Add this book to Goodreads!


City of Shattered Light by Claire Winn

As darkness closes in on the city of shattered light, an heiress and an outlaw must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other.

As heiress to a powerful tech empire, seventeen-year-old Asa Almeida strives to prove she’s more than her manipulative father’s shadow. But when he uploads her rebellious sister’s mind to an experimental brain, Asa will do anything to save her sister from reprogramming—including fleeing her predetermined future with her sister’s digitized mind in tow. With a bounty on her head and a rogue A.I. hunting her, Asa’s getaway ship crash-lands in the worst possible place: the neon-drenched outlaw paradise, Requiem.

Gun-slinging smuggler Riven Hawthorne is determined to claw her way up Requiem’s underworld hierarchy. A runaway rich girl is exactly the bounty Riven needs—until a nasty computer virus spreads in Asa’s wake, causing a citywide blackout and tech quarantine. To get the payout for Asa and save Requiem from the monster in its circuits, Riven must team up with her captive.

Riven breaks skulls the way Asa breaks circuits, but their opponent is unlike anything they’ve ever seen. The A.I. exploits the girls’ darkest memories and deepest secrets, threatening to shatter the fragile alliance they’re both depending on. As one of Requiem’s 154-hour nights grows darker, the girls must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other before Riven’s city and Asa’s sister are snuffed out forever.

Releases on Oct 19. Add this book to Goodreads!


Obie is Man Enough by Schuyler Bailar

A coming-of-age story about transgender tween Obie, who didn’t think being himself would cause such a splash. For fans of Alex Gino’s George and Lisa Bunker’s Felix Yz.

Obie knew his transition would have ripple effects. He has to leave his swim coach, his pool, and his best friends. But it’s time for Obie to find where he truly belongs.

As Obie dives into a new team, though, things are strange. Obie always felt at home in the water, but now he can’t get his old coach out of his head. Even worse are the bullies that wait in the locker room and on the pool deck. Luckily, Obie has family behind him. And maybe some new friends too, including Charlie, his first crush. Obie is ready to prove he can be one of the fastest boys in the water–to his coach, his critics, and his biggest competition: himself.

Releases on Oct 19. Add this book to Goodreads!


Barakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui

For fans of The First Rule of Punk and Save Me a Seat, Barakah Beats is a sweet, powerful, and joyous novel about a Muslim girl who finds her voice on her own terms… by joining her school’s most popular boy band.

Twelve-year-old Nimra Sharif has spent her whole life in Islamic school, but now it’s time to go to “real school.”

Nimra’s nervous, but as long as she has Jenna, her best friend who already goes to the public school, she figures she can take on just about anything.

Unfortunately, middle school is hard. The teachers are mean, the schedule is confusing, and Jenna starts giving hijab-wearing Nimra the cold shoulder around the other kids.

Desperate to fit in and get back in Jenna’s good graces, Nimra accepts an unlikely invitation to join the school’s popular 8th grade boy band, Barakah Beats. The only problem is, Nimra was taught that music isn’t allowed in Islam, and she knows her parents would be disappointed if they found out. So she devises a simple plan: join the band, win Jenna back, then quietly drop out before her parents find out.

But dropping out of the band proves harder than expected. Not only is her plan to get Jenna back working, but Nimra really likes hanging out with the band-they value her contributions and respect how important her faith is to her. Then Barakah Beats signs up for a talent show to benefit refugees, and Nimra’s lies start to unravel. With the show only a few weeks away and Jenna’s friendship hanging in the balance, Nimra has to decide whether to betray her bandmates-or herself.

Releases on Oct 19. Add this book to Goodreads!


This is Our Rainbow edited by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby

The first LGBTQA+ anthology for middle-graders featuring stories for every letter of the acronym, including realistic, fantasy, and sci-fi stories by authors like Justina Ireland, Marieke Nijkamp, Alex Gino, and more!

A boyband fandom becomes a conduit to coming out. A former bully becomes a first-kiss prospect. One nonbinary kid searches for an inclusive athletic community after quitting gymnastics. Another nonbinary kid, who happens to be a pirate, makes a wish that comes true–but not how they thought it would. A tween girl navigates a crush on her friend’s mom. A young witch turns herself into a puppy to win over a new neighbor. A trans girl empowers her online bestie to come out.

From wind-breathing dragons to first crushes, This Is Our Rainbow features story after story of joyful, proud LGBTQA+ representation. You will fall in love with this insightful, poignant anthology of queer fantasy, historical, and contemporary stories from authors including: Eric Bell, Lisa Jenn Bigelow, Ashley Herring Blake, Lisa Bunker, Alex Gino, Justina Ireland, Shing Yin Khor, Katherine Locke, Mariama J. Lockington, Nicole Melleby, Marieke Nijkamp, Claribel A. Ortega, Mark Oshiro, Molly Knox Ostertag, Aisa Salazar, and AJ Sass.

Releases on Oct 19. Add this book to Goodreads!


Of Trust and Heart by Charlotte Anne Hamilton

The Great War changed everything for Lady Harriet Cunningham. Instead of being presented at eighteen, she trained to be a nurse and shared forbidden kisses with her colleagues.

But now in 1923, at the age of 24, Harriet is facing spinsterhood.

It’s not such a ghastly prospect to her, but as the daughter of the Earl of Creoch, there’s a certain expectation that she must meet. So, in a last attempt to find a match for their daughter to see her safe and secure, they send her to her aunt and uncle in New York.

Only when she gets there, she and her cousin, a man who, like her, suffers from the weight of expectation from his father, decide on one last hoorah as a memory to hold close to their heart in their later life.

But when they arrive at the speakeasy hidden beneath a small bookstore, Harriet finds herself entranced by the singer. No matter how hard she wants to please her family and do her duty, she finds that there’s something about the woman that she can’t stay away from — that she can’t ignore her heart. Which is loudly calling for Miss Rosalie Smith.

Releases on Oct 19. Add this book to Goodreads!


Nothing but Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, its foundations resting on the bones of a bride and its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company.

It’s the perfect venue for a group of thrill-seeking friends, brought back together to celebrate a wedding.

A night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare as secrets get dragged out and relationships are tested.

But the house has secrets too. Lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart.

And she gets lonely down there in the dirt.

Effortlessly turning the classic haunted house story on its head, Nothing but Blackened Teeth is a sharp and devastating exploration of grief, the parasitic nature of relationships, and the consequences of our actions.

Releases on Oct 19. Add this book to Goodreads!


Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn

Flowers for the Sea is a dark, dazzling debut novella that reads like Rosemary’s Baby by way of Octavia E. Butler.

We are a people who do not forget.

Survivors from a flooded kingdom struggle alone on an ark. Resources are scant, and ravenous beasts circle. Their fangs are sharp.

Among the refugees is Iraxi: ostracized, despised, and a commoner who refused a prince, she’s pregnant with a child that might be more than human. Her fate may be darker and more powerful than she can imagine.

Zin E. Rocklyn’s extraordinary debut is a lush, gothic fantasy about the prices we pay and the vengeance we seek.

Releases on Oct 19. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: Portrait of a Thief by Grace Li

Design: TBA | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal (US+UK): You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

Design: Anna Morrison & Donna Payne (UK) | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado

Illustration: Ericka Lugo | Design: Amy Toth, Chelsea Hunter, and Kerry Martin | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney

Illustration: Mimi Moffie | Design: Molly Fehr | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Café Con Lychee by Emery Lee

Illustration: Nero Hamaoui | Design: Erin Fitzsimmons | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Flip the Script by Lyla Lee

Design: Molly Fehr & Amy Ryan | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Twice as Perfect by Louisa Onomé

Illustration: Stephanie Singleton | Design: Rich Deas | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: The New Girl by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Design: TBA | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda

Illustration: Zeke Peña | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Love Times Infinity by Lane Clarke

Illustration: Erick Dávila | Design: TBA | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: The Fae Keeper by H. E. Edgmon

Illustration: Ryan Garcia | Design: Kathleen Oudit | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: All Signs Point to Yes edited by g. haron davis, Cam Montgomery, and Adrianne White

Illustration: Alex Cabal | Design: Gigi Lau | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

Illustration: Be Fernández | Design: Jessie Gang | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: How to Date a Superhero (and Not Die Trying) by Cristina Fernandez

Illustration + Design: Molly Fehr | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Daughters of the Dawn by Sarena and Sasha Nanua

Illustration: Fatima Baig | Design: Chris Kwon | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: This Place is Still Beautiful by XiXi Tian

Illustration: Robin Har | Design: Jessie Gang | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean

Art: John Ed De Vera | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Out of the Blue by Jason June

Illustration: Ricardo Bessa | Design: David DeWitt | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson

Illustration: Reyna Hernandez | Type & Beading: Kim Stewart | Design: Laura Mock | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Small Town Pride by Phil Stamper

Illustration: Violet Tobacco | Design: David Curtis | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: A Little Bit Country by Brian D. Kennedy

Illustration: Betsy Cola | Design: Chris Kwon | Add this book to Goodreads!


UK Cover Reveal: The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

Illustration: @jaded.draws | Design: Sophie McDonnell | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Alliana, Girl of Dragons by Julie Abe

Illustration: Shan Jiang | Design: Karina Granda | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Spirit Hunters: Something Wicked by Ellen Oh

Art: Matt Rockefeller | Goodreads link coming soon!


Cover Reveal: Unhappy Camper by Lily LaMotte

Illustration: Ann Xu (author) | Add this book to Goodreads!


Book Announcement: R. F. Kuang’s forthcoming novel about identity theft, literary politics, and the erasure of Asian American voices


Book Announcement: A sapphic YA romcom by Camryn Garrett featuring parties, teen drama, and sweet romance


Book Announcement: A YA romcom by India Hill Brown about anonymous admirers and serenades


Book Announcement: An African-inspired YA debut fantasy about gods, warriors, and chosen family by Moses Ose Utomi


Book Announcement: A queer YA romcom graphic novel by Circe Moskowitz & Caleb Hosalla about a small bed & breakfast run by a vampire


Book Announcement: A YA novel by Rioghnach Robinson (Riley Redgate) and Siofra Robinson about half-Asian sisters who meet at a summer art camp


Book Announcement: A debut YA by Willow Naomi Curry about Black neighbourhoods and environmental racism

“The YA book is an intergenerational mystery following one family’s attempts to uncover the impacts of environmental racism on their historically Black Houston neighborhood. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023.”


Book Announcement: A YA thriller by Justine Pucella Winans following a nonbinary teen embroiled in a teen murder mystery


Book Announcement: A middle grade about boba, family, and amigurumi dolls by Nicole Chen


From Page to Screen: The iconic American-Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang gets a series adaptation!

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