The Pond Book News #65 – Of Gods & Gangs: Anticipated Chinese Stories & Southeast Asian Book Announcements

Welcome to Issue #65!

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 [November 15th – November 21st]

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

The long-awaited release day for this book has finally arrived! It’s no secret that we here at the Pond absolutely adore Chloe’s debut, with our cover reveal and CW’s review of the book earlier in the year—how exciting that it’s finally going out in the wide world this week! If you haven’t read this book yet friends, let me reassure you that you’re in for a.. perhaps… delightful treat.

Releases on November 17. Add this book to Goodreads!

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang Runin was betrayed by allies and left for dead. 

Despite her losses, Rin hasn’t given up on those for whom she has sacrificed so much—the people of the southern provinces and especially Tikany, the village that is her home. Returning to her roots, Rin meets difficult challenges—and unexpected opportunities. While her new allies in the Southern Coalition leadership are sly and untrustworthy, Rin quickly realizes that the real power in Nikan lies with the millions of common people who thirst for vengeance and revere her as a goddess of salvation. 

Backed by the masses and her Southern Army, Rin will use every weapon to defeat the Dragon Republic, the colonizing Hesperians, and all who threaten the shamanic arts and their practitioners. As her power and influence grows, though, will she be strong enough to resist the Phoenix’s intoxicating voice urging her to burn the world and everything in it? 

Ah, the series that has launched just as many tears and anguish as it has captured the hearts of readers worldwide. We truly love to see it. I was lucky enough to get a hold of an early copy of this a few months ago and let me tell you now, sincerely—however prepared you are for this book, you will not be ready. Happy reading!

Releases on November 17. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

What a warm golden cover! I’ve been intrigued by Erin A. Craig’s work ever since House of Salt and Sorrows, and I’m so very excited for this book to come out in 2021. A small quiet town with mystical creatures and fiendish happenings that seem to grant the wishes of the villagers? Yes please!

Design: Casey Moses

Book Announcement: Julie C. Dao’s MG adventure series featuring Vietnamese-American siblings, laser tag, and virtual reality

Julie is such a beloved author in the kidlit industry, and it warms my heart that she’s getting to tell more wonderful stories drawing from her culture! This pitch looks so fun and so different from her previous books that I’m very intrigued where she will go with the story next!

Book Announcement: A YA fantasy duology featuring Aztec demigods and tournaments by Aiden Thomas

This pitch has my entire soul already. If you’ve been hearing all the praise and hype for Cemetery Boys recently you probably don’t need my convincing from my end, but boy Aiden’s books always have such incredible concepts that deliver beautifully, and my Percy Jackson, demigod-loving heart is now irrevocably, wholly enraptured. 2023 is far too long to wait!

Book Announcement: An upcoming MG fantasy by Tracey Baptiste following Caribbean folklore-inspired protector spirits and carnivals

Another absolutely stellar book for the RRP lineup in 2023! This sounds so incredibly fun already, and we truly don’t get enough Caribbean-folklore inspired stories in publishing, so this is a welcome breath of fresh air. I’m so excited to learn more about this book as time goes on!

Book Announcement: A debut YA contemporary about Black girls in ballet by Joy L. Smith

I adore ballet, and I’m honestly stoked that we’re getting more stories about the seedier parts of its culture among young people by BIPOC authors, between this pitch and the upcoming The Other Side of Perfect by Mariko Turk. I’m anticipating this book greatly already!

Book Announcement: A Japanese MG fantasy set in post-WWII Japan by Emi Watanabe Cohen

A younger me would’ve absolutely devoured this book, no question. I am so here for more East Asian-inspired fantasy in kidlit, especially ownvoices Japanese ones! The image of giant ryū flying across the sky is such a captivating one already.

Book Announcement: An Indonesian folklore-inspired graphic novel by Clar Angkasa

AH, more Southeast Asian fantasy graphic novels! My heart soared at this pitch, friends. I’m always so thrilled to see more emerging local voices break out in mainstream publishing, and I’m already downright buzzing to read this book already!

Book Announcement: A queer college YA contemporary romance by Steven Salvatore

This premise is so sweet! A fairytale-inspired queer love story, set in college? This sounds so warm and inviting already, and I’m always so down for more stories about first love and self-acceptance through a queer lens. Very excited for this!

From Page to Screen: The Devouring Gray is headed to TV!

Very exciting news this week for fans of this mysterious, spooky book! I haven’t read the series myself, but I’ve heard many good things about the writing and the atmosphere of the story that I can’t help but be excited about this adaptation news, and I hope we hear more about it soon!

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