In search of something good to read? USA TODAY’s Barbara VanDenburgh scopes out the shelves for this week’s hottest new book releases.
1. “Children of Virtue and Vengeance,” by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt and Co., fiction, on sale Dec. 3)
What it’s about: Adeyemi continues her West African-inspired fantasy “Legacy of Orïsha” trilogy with this second installment, a sequel to her highly successful “Children of Blood and Bone.” Here, Adeyemi’s breakdown of power, corruption and identity is explored even deeper.
The buzz: “The last chapter will undoubtedly leave fans shaking with questions until the final installment of the trilogy is published,” says a ★★★½ review for USA TODAY.
2. “Just Watch Me,” by Jeff Lindsay (Dutton, fiction, on sale Dec. 3)
What it’s about: The author of the “Dexter” series returns with a new villain who some might root for. Riley Wolfe is a master thief who targets the 1% and is disgusted with their obscene wealth. His next target is ludicrously impossible: the crown jewels of Iran.
The buzz: “Fans of the ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ film franchise will be eager for more,” says a starred review in Publishers Weekly.
3. “Dead Astronauts,” by Jeff VanderMeer (MCD, fiction on sale Dec. 3)
What it’s about: It involves a post-apocalyptic city that an all-powerful company has littered with biotechnic ghosts. Oh, and there’s a messianic blue fox. It sounds weird even for a master of weird.
The buzz: “VanderMeer is a master of literary science fiction, and this may be his best book yet,” says a starred review in Kirkus Reviews.
4. “Anyone,” by Charles Soule (Harper Perennial, fiction, on sale Dec. 3)
What it’s about: This intriguing work of speculative fiction imagines a world where technology allows for the transfer of human consciousness between bodies. Dubbed “flash,” this technology has become commonplace – and is wreaking havoc on society.
The buzz: “Soule’s uncomfortable vision of the future will please readers of cutting-edge speculative fiction,” says Publishers Weekly.
5. “The Sacrament,” by Olaf Olafsson(Ecco, fiction, on sale Dec. 3)
What it’s about: A nun with a past is called back to Iceland, where decades prior a priest she’d been investigating for misconduct fell to his death from a church tower. A child who witnessed the incident, now a grown man, writes to say he has new information to share.
The buzz: “Emotionally gratifying and spiritually challenging—a compelling novel that grabs the reader’s psyche and won’t let go,” says a starred review in Kirkus Reviews.