Pub Day Picks // January 5, 2021

Another year and another 52 Tuesdays publishing some of the most highly anticipated and quite exciting books of the year. This year will be the same as last year where I’ll take a minute to look over the top 200 books people are excited to be publishing and choose what I’ll be hyping up. This is mostly a hopeful list of books to read and eventually own, but also to hear what books are on my radar.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

I’ve been wanting to read Alexandra Bracken’s first series, The Darkest Star, for quite some time. There was even a movie and yet, the book still sits on my shelf. I’m happy that won’t be the case with Lore. Serendipitously, this will be my next read and probably will start on the same day the book publishes! I’ve already heard early reviews of this book and it sounds like it’ll be a fun-filled ride that I cannot wait to get on. I’m liking the Greek influence in the book’s synopsis, but I think this is an urban fantasy. It’ll be interesting to see how Alexandra Bracken incorporates both Greek mythology and modern day society.

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.

Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

Persephone Station by Stina Lecht

I almost thought this book was a graphic novel because of the cover. It reminds me a lot of Aeon Flux, which was a show I was not allowed to watch when I was a kid, but watched it anyway. I also heard a lot of early buzz about this book, but I haven’t seen many folks sharing it on social media. The story got me excited when they compared it to Cowboy Bebop meets The Mandolorian; both shows are big favorites of mine! So I’m expecting it to be a space western meets some mysterious plot? We shall see.

Persephone Station, a seemingly backwater planet that has largely been ignored by the United Republic of Worlds becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet has a few secrets the corporation tenaciously wants to exploit.

Rosie—owner of Monk’s Bar, in the corporate town of West Brynner—caters to wannabe criminals and rich Earther tourists, of a sort, at the front bar. However, exactly two types of people drank at Monk’s back bar: members of a rather exclusive criminal class and those who sought to employ them.

Angel—ex-marine and head of a semi-organized band of beneficent criminals, wayward assassins, and washed up mercenaries with a penchant for doing the honorable thing—is asked to perform a job for Rosie. What this job reveals will affect Persephone and put Angel and her squad up against an army. Despite the odds, they are rearing for a fight with the Serrao-Orlov Corporation. For Angel, she knows that once honor is lost, there is no regaining it. That doesn’t mean she can’t damned well try.

The Heiress by Molly Greeley

I’m not usually the type to gravitate towards historical fiction and it’s mostly because a lot of them take place during WWII. However, this one caught my eye because of the subject matter: Anne de Bourgh. It’s also a little bit of a retelling of Pride and Prejudice (or maybe it’s more an homage to Jane Austen), but it’s definitely got my attention and I’m curious to see what it’s about.

As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh’s doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.

After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?

In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge—leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune . . . and her life.

An extraordinary tale of one woman’s liberation, The Heiress reveals both the darkness and light in Austen’s world, with wit, sensuality, and a deeply compassionate understanding of the human heart.

Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala

I loved Ryan La Sala’s first book, Reverie, so I’m glad to be reading Be Dazzled. Although, this isn’t a fantasy story like his first book, I’m excited nonetheless to read a book that mixes Project Runway with Comic Con. Will Heidi Klum be saying goodbye to some nerds? We shall find out.

Raffy has a passion for bedazzling. Not just bedazzling, but sewing, stitching, draping, pattern making–for creation. He’s always chosen his art over everything–and everyone–else and is determined to make his mark at this year’s biggest cosplay competition. If he can wow there, it could lead to sponsorship, then art school, and finally earning real respect for his work. There’s only one small problem… Raffy’s ex-boyfriend, Luca, is his main competition.

Raffy tried to make it work with Luca. They almost made the perfect team last year after serendipitously meeting in the rhinestone aisle at the local craft store–or at least Raffy thought they did. But Luca’s insecurities and Raffy’s insistence on crafting perfection caused their relationship to crash and burn. Now, Raffy is after the perfect comeback, one that Luca can’t ruin.

But when Raffy is forced to partner with Luca on his most ambitious build yet, he’ll have to juggle unresolved feelings for the boy who broke his heart, and his own intense self-doubt, to get everything he’s ever wanted: choosing his art, his way.

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