The Pond Book News #31 – South Asian Sci-Fi, Electric Sequels & Spooky YA Horror


Welcome to Issue #31!

The trees are whispering…

Friends, welcomeSprout 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. 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! We also feature three incredible people in the book community every week, to highlight the important work that readers do in celebrating the books they love. Onward to the news!

Book Releases This Week [March 15th – March 21st]

The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee

Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia.

Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus.

Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life.

This long-awaited sequel to Victoria Lee’s The Fever King is finally, finally here! The first book in the series was very much beloved in the community, and feels super timely right now given the state of the world we’re in… Hopefully this book also gets the Webtoon adaptation that the first book did too!

Releases on March 17th. Add this book to Goodreads!

Super Adjacent by Crystal Cestari

Claire has always wanted to work with superheroes, from collecting Warrior Nation cards as a kid to drafting “What to Say to a Hero” speeches in her diary. Now that she’s landed a coveted internship with the Chicago branch of Warrior Nation, Claire is ready to prove she belongs, super or not. But complicating plans is the newest WarNat hero, Girl Power (aka Joy), who happens to be egotistical and self-important . . . and pretty adorable.

Bridgette, meanwhile, wants out of WarNat. After years of dating the famous Vaporizer (aka Matt), she’s sick of playing second, or third, or five-hundredth fiddle to all the people-in-peril in the city of Chicago. Of course, once Bridgette meets Claire-who’s clearly in need of a mentor and wingman-giving up WarNat becomes slightly more complicated. It becomes a lot more complicated when Joy, Matt, and the rest of the heroes go missing, leaving only Claire and Bridgette to save the day.

Queer romances and superheroes are a combination that I never knew I needed, and I find myself surprisingly interested in how this story will play out! I’m so grateful that there are a plethora of queer stories being written for kids these days, and I hope this gets into the hands of a reader who needs the representation!

Releases on March 17th. Add this book to Goodreads!

Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim

On the outside, Yumi Chung suffers from #shygirlproblems, a perm-gone-wrong, and kids calling her “Yu-MEAT” because she smells like her family’s Korean barbecue restaurant. On the inside, Yumi is ready for her Netflix stand-up special. Her notebook is filled with mortifying memories that she’s reworked into comedy gold. All she needs is a stage and courage.

Instead of spending the summer studying her favorite YouTube comedians, Yumi is enrolled in test-prep tutoring to qualify for a private school scholarship, which will help in a time of hardship at the restaurant. One day after class, Yumi stumbles on an opportunity that will change her life: a comedy camp for kids taught by one of her favorite YouTube stars. The only problem is that the instructor and all the students think she’s a girl named Kay Nakamura–and Yumi doesn’t correct them.

As this case of mistaken identity unravels, Yumi must decide to stand up and reveal the truth or risk losing her dreams and disappointing everyone she cares about.

Friends, look at this adorable Korean middle-grade! I’ve been so blessed recently by diverse MG novels and the amount of wonder they carry for the world we inhabit, and I’m so excited to find more good stories in this age range!

Releases on March 17th. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: Rebel Sisters by Tochi Onyebuchi

HELLO friends, look how fierce the protagonist looks! I adore the little details in the cover: the flowing robes, the afrofuturistic city, the bracelet made of beads. Tochi Onyebuchi’s books have been talked about a lot online too, so I really need to pick up his work!

Book Announcement: A climate change-driven South Asian science fiction by Olivia Chadha

How incredible does this sound, friends? Cybernetically enhanced humans, a climate change-induced dystopia, all in a South Asian setting? This sounds so incredibly relevant to our social climate today, and so fascinating a premise!

Book Announcement: Spine-chilling YA horror forthcoming from Tiffany D. Jackson

Oh no, I’m already a little afraid of this story premise. I love love love seeing horror stories from authors of colors though, and it really is about high time we get more diverse YA horror on our shelves! Definitely keeping an eye out for more news about this one.

Book Announcement: MG novel about maleficent sea spirits and family from Shakirah Bourne

This premise sounds adorable and so cool! I’m always down for a good story surrounding sea spirits (both vengeful and benign), and when they’re dating your dad? Definitely an adventure of a story!

Book Announcement: Korean mythology-inspired spy middle-grade from Jenna Yoon

Magical spy organisations and Korean mythology-inspired? What a dream combination! We’re getting so many cool middle-grades lately, and I can’t wait to see more news on this!

Book Announcement: Remy Lai’s got three graphic novels upcoming with environmental themes!

Score one for fans of Remy Lai (aka Xiaolong and all of us here at the Pond)! This series is no doubt going to be filled with fun stories, adorable art, and overflowing heart, and we cannot wait to see what is in store.

Book Community Spotlight

Book blogger: Jessica at Infinite Golden Floors

I came across Jessica’s blog while looking through the book tour reviews for Loveboat, Taipei, and I found her thoughts on the book to be so illuminating and insightful, as someone is herself Taiwanese-American and has actually been in the Taiwanese Loveboat program! I really loved reading about what the book got right, and where it deviated from her own experience too. Jessica’s blog isn’t necessarily what you would call a traditional book blog—it’s full of musings and general reflections her own life as well, but her writing is always incredibly clever, and a joy to read. Her post about her favorite things of 2019 also lists some fantastic diverse books that should definitely be on your TBR!

Follow Jessica on her blog, Twitter, and bookstagram!

Bookstagrammer: Tiffany at biblionatic

Tiffany is a Taiwanese bookstagrammer, and her aesthetic is just… gorgeous. If you’ve followed me for long enough, you’ll know that I’m always very drawn to warmer, more vintage-feeling photographs, and Tiffany’s feed has elegance and warmth in spades. I love the way all the photos have really different compositions: from floral-filled flatlays to closer zoom-in’s of book titles to ones that double as portrait shots, there’s never a dull frame to be found in the way she presents her books.

Follow Tiffany on her bookstagram, Twitter, or check out her website!

Booktuber: monica kim

Monica’s booktube channel is a bright spot in what feels like the most chaotic period of history we’ve had in ages, and I really, really enjoyed watching her most recent video that feels almost like a care package of sorts for the anxiety we’re all currently feeling, in which she also highlights a few upcoming book releases that deserve support as book events are getting cancelled. Monica just has such a gentle, soothing energy, and her keen eye for aesthetic also makes all her videos so pleasant to watch. Her most anticipated releases of the year also highlights some truly excellent books that you should check out if they’ve flown under your radar. Take care of yourselves, and be careful with each other. Stay brave, friends!

Follow Monica on her booktube, Twitter, and Instagram!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s