The Pond Book News #46 – Welcoming July with a Huge Week of Book Releases & Cover Reveals

issue 46

Welcome to Issue #46!

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! This week Xiaolong and Sprout are excited to be teaming up to bring you a massive week of book news! Now, onwards to the brilliant books!

Book Releases This Week [July 5th – July 11th]

Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.

But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing… glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.

Xiaolong: The long-awaited sequel to Spin the Dawn is finally here! The last book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, presenting new challenges and bigger stakes. I’m excited to see what will happen in this story and the romantic yearning that apparently awaits us in this book!

Releases on July 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!

The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson

Princess Thia, her allies, and her crow, Res, are planning a rebellion to defeat Queen Razel and Illucia once and for all. Thia must convince the neighboring kingdoms to come to her aid, and Res’s show of strength is the only thing that can help her.

But so many obstacles stand in her way. Res excels at his training, until he loses control of his magic, harming Thia in the process. She is also pursued by Prince Ericen, heir to the Illucian throne and the one person she can’t trust but can’t seem to stay away from.

As the rebel group prepares for war, Res’s magic grows more unstable. Thia has to decide if she can rely on herself and their bond enough to lead the rebellion and become the crow rider she was meant to be.

Xiaolong: Goodness, the cover along makes me want to read this – how beautiful is the cover art by Tran Nyugen (also the same cover artist for the above Unravel the Dawn!) Sequel to The Storm CrowThe Crow Rider sounds like its ramping up to something even bigger and devastating for its characters.

Releases on July 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!

Girl Serpent Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.

Xiaolong: I’ve heard wonderful things about this book – that it’s queer, that it’s a Persian-inspired story, and that it has monster girlfriends. I recommended this book as part of my F/F book recommendations for Pride Month – so I think this is the book we should all read together now that it’s here!

Releases on July 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!

Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse by Chantal Acevedo

Callie Martinez-Silva didn’t mean to turn her best friend into a pop star. But when a simple pep talk leads to miraculous results, Callie learns she’s the newest muse of epic poetry, one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology tasked with protecting humanity’s fate in secret.

Whisked away to Muse Headquarters, she joins three recruits her age, who call themselves the Muse Squad. Together, the junior muses are tasked with using their magic to inspire and empower—not an easy feat when you’re eleven and still figuring out the goddess within.

When their first assignment turns out to be Callie’s exceptionally nerdy classmate, Maya Rivero, the squad comes to Miami to stay with Callie and her Cuban family. There, they discover that Maya doesn’t just need inspiration, she needs saving from vicious Sirens out to unleash a curse that will corrupt her destiny.

As chaos erupts, will the Muse Squad be able to master their newfound powers in time to thwart the Cassandra Curse… or will it undo them all?

Xiaolong: You all know how much I have a soft spot for middle grade – and even more so for middle grade with gorgeous covers. This story has messages about friendship, bravery, and also pays homage to Greek mythology. I can’t wait to read this!

Releases on July 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step-sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew…

Xiaolong: I don’t know about you, but when I learned about Cinderella is Not Dead, I was incredibly excited. (My excitement increased ten-fold when I saw its wonderful cover.) I love retellings of classic and beloved stories, and I love dark retellings and queer retellings even more. This is a book I’m definitely going to be reading this year!

Releases on July 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.

But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.

Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?

The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.

Xiaolong: I know I’m feeling a lot of cover love in this issue of the book news but – how stunning is this book cover?! This family mystery/thriller sounds like such an enticing read, one I’ll likely find un-put-downable.

Releases on July 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!

The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert

Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She’s always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election?

Duke Crenshaw is done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band’s first paying gig tonight.

Only problem? Duke can’t vote.

When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn’t spent months doorbelling and registering voters just to see someone denied their right. And that’s how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time and again, trying to do one simple thing: vote. They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system (and find Marva’s missing cat), it’s clear that there’s more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy.

Xiaolong: With the prevalent disenfranchisement of Americans and the horrors that you hear about what it’s like to vote at voting booths, this book is a timely one – and one that I’m very excited to read. Stories with teen activists are some of my favourite and are near-and-dear to my heart – and the preliminary reviews of this book sound incredibly promising.

Releases on July 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!

The Book of Dragons, edited by Jonathan Strahan

Here there be dragons . . .

From China to Europe, Africa to North America, dragons have long captured our imagination in myth and legend. Whether they are rampaging beasts awaiting a brave hero to slay or benevolent sages who have much to teach humanity, dragons are intrinsically connected to stories of creation, adventure, and struggle beloved for generations.

Bringing together nearly thirty stories and poems from some of the greatest science fiction and fantasy writers working today— Garth Nix, Scott Lynch, R.F. Kuang, Ann Leckie & Rachel Swirsky, Daniel Abraham, Peter S. Beagle, Beth Cato, Zen Cho, C. S. E Cooney, Aliette de Bodard, Kate Elliott, Theodora Goss, Ellen Klages, Ken Liu, Patricia A McKillip, K. J. Parker, Kelly Robson, Michael Swanwick, Jo Walton, Elle Katharine White, Jane Yolen, Kelly Barnhill, Brooke Bolander, Sarah Gailey, and J. Y. Yang—and illustrated by award-nominated artist Rovina Cai with black-and-white line drawings specific to each entry throughout, this extraordinary collection vividly breathes fire and life into one of our most captivating and feared magical creatures as never before and is sure to become a treasured keepsake for fans of fantasy, science fiction, and fairy tales.

Xiaolong: I think there’s always this undercurrent of desire for my dragons in fantasy YA – and now we have a whole anthology about dragons! Better yet, the contributing author line-up sounds incredible, and I’m excited to see the array of different perspectives about dragons.

Releases on July 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!

The Damned by Renée Ahdieh

Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien.

Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn.

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.

Xiaolong: The sequel to The Beautiful, The Damned boasts a gorgeous and minimal cover and continues the story set in 1872 New Orleans. I’ve yet to read the first book – though I’ve heard good things about it – so I’m excited to read the first book and later this one!

Releases on July 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!

Faith: Taking Flight by Julie Murphy

Faith Herbert is a pretty regular teen. When she’s not hanging out with her two best friends, Matt and Ches, she’s volunteering at the local animal shelter or obsessing over the long-running teen drama The Grove.

So far, her senior year has been spent trying to sort out her feelings for her maybe-crush Johnny and making plans to stay close to Grandma Lou after graduation. Of course, there’s also that small matter of recently discovering she can fly….

When the fictional world of The Grove crashes into Faith’s reality as the show relocates to her town, she can’t believe it when TV heroine Dakota Ash takes a romantic interest in her.

But her fandom-fueled daydreams aren’t enough to distract Faith from the fact that first animals, then people, have begun to vanish from the town. Only Faith seems able to connect the dots to a new designer drug infiltrating her high school.

But when her investigation puts the people she loves in danger, she will have to confront her hidden past and use her newfound gifts—risking everything to save her friends and beloved town.

Xiaolong: There may still be a dearth of books featuring fat and queer characters, but I love the book cover for Faith: Taking Flight – and how empowering and cool this cover is! This graphic novel sounds absolutely delightful and I can’t wait to see the geekery in this story!

Releases on July 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!

Haunted Heroine by Sarah Kuhn

Everything in Evie Tanaka’s life is finally perfect. As a badass superheroine, she defends San Francisco from demon invasion on the regular. Her relationships with superhero partner Aveda Jupiter, little sister Bea, and hot, half-demon husband Nate have never been stronger. Maybe it’s possible for a grad school dropout turned put-upon personal assistant turned superhero to have it all?

As if things can’t get any better, Evie learns she’s pregnant. She’s overjoyed, but also worried about whether she’s cut out for motherhood. Before she can dwell on her dilemma too much, a women’s college reports a string of mysterious “hauntings,” and Evie and Aveda are called in to investigate. When the hauntings turn deadly, they decide to move into the dorms full-time, going undercover as grad students.

As she lives out a bizarre version of her grad school life, Evie can’t help but wonder about the road not taken: what would her life be like if she’d stayed here instead of pursuing superheroing with Aveda?

Xiaolong: The fourth installment of the Heroine Complex series, Haunted Heroine sounds like so much fun and I can’t wait to see what happens to our wonderful and somewhat dysfunctional group of friends in this story!

Releases on July 7th. Add this book on Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajurkar

Sprout: This cover is so… dramatic, and I have so much love for it? I just adore all the floral elements juxtaposed with the moodiness of the girl in the centre, and with a really faded, retro palette too. What a cool dang cover, friends!

Cover Reveal: The Awakening of Malcolm X by Tiffany D. Jackson

Sprout: Now THIS, is legendary. Can you imagine walking into a bookstore and then seeing that majestic cover on the shelves? We definitely love to see Black excellence here. The fact that this is a narrative account of Malcolm X’s young adult years spent in jail also marks it as such an important and vital story in the YA genre today!

Cover Reveal: Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

Sprout: This cover is so pretty! I love how soft yet defiant the two lead characters here feel, and how they’re framed by the smoky wisps in the background. The fact that this book is comp’d to Girls of Paper and Fire also immediately endears it to me too, and I can’t wait to pick this up in 202!

Cover Reveal: Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Sprout: We finally have news about this long-anticipated release! Feifei Ruan’s art is always a gift that keeps on giving (she previously designed the covers for both Descendant of the Crane and A Thousand Beginnings and Endingsand seeing her work is always a treat). So excited for this book!

Cover Reveal: A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

Sprout: That piercing stare is enough to cut through steel, I’m pretty sure. This illustration is so technically brilliant and lovingly rendered, and the texture of all the materials here—the sheen of her clothing, the leathery look of the wings—is so scarily spot on. This cover is absolutely arresting.

Cover Reveal: She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen

Sprout: Can we get a cheer (ha) for how COOL this cover is? I mean! Look at the girls!!!! They’re gay and in love! Height difference! An interracial romance! We absolutely stan in this household, and I cannot wait for release day!

Cover Reveal: Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho and Dung Ho

Sprout: This cover is literally the most adorable things I have ever laid my eyes on, and that title is so beautiful too! I’m so, so delighted that we’re getting more picture books that tell heartwarming stories from the pens (and drawing tablets, probably) of diverse creators, and I hope this one goes on to bring wonder to the life of a little one who picks it up!

Cover Reveal: Bruised by Tanya Bonteju

Sprout: AYEE a roller derby book, and it’s sapphic! We are truly LIVING today with all these beautiful wlw books that are coming our way! The choice of a limited color palette for this cover is so interesting, and I’m keen to check it out once it’s released!

Book Announcement: Deadly trials and blood magic abound in N.E. Davenport’s forthcoming fantasy!

Sprout: This premise immediately plays to so many of my favorite elements in books: a murder mystery, a magical gift, and using a high fantasy world to tackle social issues like racism and sexism? Absolutely count me in!

Book Announcement: Adrianna Cuevas’ forthcoming middle-grade historical about Cuban immigrants

Sprout: This Latinx middle-grade sounds like an absolutely vital entry to the historical genre as of right now, and I’m delighted that we’re getting an ownvoices author on this story. I cannot wait to see where this leads!

5 thoughts on “The Pond Book News #46 – Welcoming July with a Huge Week of Book Releases & Cover Reveals

  1. These are some great books. I especially like the cover reveals. I haven’t heard about most of those books yet!


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