The Will of the Many (The Hierarchy #1), by James Islington
The Catenan Republic – the Hierarchy – may rule the world now, but they do not know everything.
I tell them my name is Vis Telimus. I tell them I was orphaned after a tragic accident three years ago, and that good fortune alone has led to my acceptance into their most prestigious school. I tell them that once I graduate, I will gladly join the rest of civilised society in allowing my strength, my drive and my focus – what they call Will – to be leeched away and added to the power of those above me, as millions already do. As all must eventually do.
I tell them that I belong, and they believe me.
But the truth is that I have been sent to the Academy to find answers. To solve a murder. To search for an ancient weapon. To uncover secrets that may tear the Republic apart.
And that I will never, ever cede my Will to the empire that executed my family.
To survive, though, I will still have to rise through the Academy’s ranks. I will have to smile, and make friends, and pretend to be one of them and win. Because if I cannot, then those who want to control me, who know my real name, will no longer have any use for me.
And if the Hierarchy finds out who I truly am, they will kill me.
Dust Child, by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
In 1969, sisters Trang and Quỳnh, desperate to help their parents pay off debts, leave their rural village and become “bar girls” in Sài Gòn, drinking, flirting (and more) with American GIs in return for money. As the war moves closer to the city, the once-innocent Trang gets swept up in an irresistible romance with a young and charming American helicopter pilot, Dan. Decades later, Dan returns to Việt Nam with his wife, Linda, hoping to find a way to heal from his PTSD and, unbeknownst to her, reckon with secrets from his past.
At the same time, Phong—the son of a Black American soldier and a Vietnamese woman—embarks on a search to find both his parents and a way out of Việt Nam. Abandoned in front of an orphanage, Phong grew up being called “the dust of life,” “Black American imperialist,” and “child of the enemy,” and he dreams of a better life for himself and his family in the U.S.
Past and present converge as these characters come together to confront decisions made during a time of war—decisions that force them to look deep within and find common ground across race, generation, culture, and language. Suspenseful, poetic, and perfect for readers of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, Dust Child tells an unforgettable and immersive story of how those who inherited tragedy can redefine their destinies through love, hard-earned wisdom, compassion, courage, and joy.
#3 Savage Crowns (Savage Rebellion series; Savage Bounty #2, Savage Legion #1), by Matt Wallace
The final war for the nation of Crache has begun.
At the helm of the people’s rebellion is Evie, the Sparrow General. She has been captured by the Skrian, Crache’s vicious army, and is being brought back to the Capitol for punishment. But reinforcements are coming for her.
Dyeawan, who has climbed from street urchin to Crache’s highest seat of power through clever schemes and ruthless bloodshed, finds trouble on every front once she arrives. The rebellion approaches, and there are whispers of a martyr within the city who holds enough sway to stage a coup. If she doesn’t act quickly, her rule will be short-lived.
As the women who hold the nation’s future meet each other from different sides of the battlefield, will they be able to find a shared vision of Crache, or will they destroy each other first?
A History of Burning, Janika Oza
At the turn of the twentieth century, Pirbhai, a teenage boy looking for work, is taken from his village in India to labor on the East African Railway for the British. One day Pirbhai commits an act to ensure his survival that will haunt him forever and reverberate across his family’s future for years to come.
Pirbhai’s children are born and raised under the jacaranda trees and searing sun of Kampala during the waning days of British colonial rule. As Uganda moves towards independence and military dictatorship, Pirbhai’s granddaughters, Latika, Mayuri, and Kiya, are three sisters coming of age in a divided nation. As they each forge their own path for a future, they must carry the silence of the history they’ve inherited. In 1972, under Idi Amin’s brutal regime and the South Asian expulsion, the family has no choice but to flee, and in the chaos, they leave something devastating behind.
As Pirbhai’s grandchildren, scattered across the world, find their way back to each other in exile in Toronto, a letter arrives that stokes the flames of the fire that haunts the family. It makes each generation question how far they are willing to go, and who they are willing to defy to secure their own place in the world.
#2 Summer on Sag Harbor (Oak Bluffs series, Summer on the Bluffs #1), by Sunny Hostin
In a hidden enclave in Sag Harbor affectionately known as SANS—Sag Harbor Hills, Azurest, and Nineveh—there’s a close-knit community of African American elites who escape the city and enjoy the beautiful warm weather and beaches at their vacation homes. Very few know about this part of the Hamptons on Long Island, and the residents like it that way.
Against the odds, Olivia Jones has blazed her own enviable career path and built her name in the finance world. But hidden behind the veneer of her success, there is a gaping hole. Mourning both the loss and the betrayal of Omar, a surrogate father to her and her two godsisters, Olivia is driven to find out more about her biological father, a police officer who was killed when she was a little girl, and to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother.
Feeling untethered from her life in New York City, Olivia buys and redecorates a home in Sag Harbor and begins forging a new community out in SANS. Friendships blossom with Addy, a wealthy part-time sommelier; Kara, an ambitious art curator; and Whitney, the wife of an ex-basketball player and current president of the Sag Harbor Homeowners Association. She also takes to a kind, older gentleman named Mr. Whittingham, but soon discovers he too is not without his own troubles.
As the summer stretches on, each relationship teaches her more about who she really is. Though not without cost, Olivia’s search for her authentic identity in the secret history of her family of origin will lead her to redefine the meaning of joy, love, friendship, society, culture, and family—and restore her faith in herself, her relationships, her blackness, and her chosen path.
Our Hideous Progeny, by C.E. McGill
It’s 1853 London. Ex-medical student Victor Frankenstein has been missing for years now. Frankenstein’s great niece Mary Saville and her husband, Henry, are trying to follow in his scientific footsteps and become renowned paleontologists. They have the brains and the ambition; the only thing they lack is the reputation. Mary is a woman with a sharp mind but a fierce tongue and Henry is an unemployed gambling addict: none of this earning appeal with their peers.
But after finding clues to her great uncle’s disappearance, Mary’s luck may just change. She constructs a plan that will force the scientific community to take her and her husband seriously; no one will be able to ignore them after they learn to create life. Once they have successfully constructed their Creature, Henry’s ambition soars, but Mary finds herself asking deeper, more important questions than she’s ever confronted before. As Henry’s desire for fame grows, Mary must decide how far she is willing to go to protect the Creature she has grown to love.
The Rachel Incident, by Caroline O’Donoghue
Rachel is a student working at a bookstore when she meets James, and it’s love at first sight. Effervescent and insistently heterosexual, James soon invites Rachel to be his roommate and the two begin a friendship that changes the course of both their lives forever. Together, they run riot through the streets of Cork city, trying to maintain a bohemian existence while the threat of the financial crash looms before them.
When Rachel falls in love with her married professor, Dr. Fred Byrne, James helps her devise a reading at their local bookstore, with the goal that she might seduce him afterwards. But Fred has other desires. So begins a series of secrets and compromises that intertwine the fates of James, Rachel, Fred, and Fred’s glamorous, well-connected, bourgeois wife. Aching with unrequited love, shot through with delicious, sparkling humor, The Rachel Incident is a triumph.
Night’s Edge #1 (Night’s Edge series), by Liz Kerin
Liz Kerin’s Night’s Edge is a sun-drenched novel about the darkest secrets we hide and how monstrous we can be to the ones we love most.
Having a mom like Izzy meant Mia had to grow up fast. No extracurriculars, no inviting friends over, and definitely no dating. The most important tell no one of Izzy’s hunger – the kind only blood can satisfy.
But Mia is in her twenties now and longs for a life of her own. One where she doesn’t have to worry about anyone discovering their terrible secret, or breathing down her neck. When Mia meets rebellious musician Jade she dares to hope she’s found a way to leave her home – and her mom – behind.
It just might be Mia’s only chance of getting out alive.
Citizen Orlov, by Jonathan Payne
Journey to an unnamed mountainous country in central Europe at the end of the Great War. Enter Citizen Orlov, a simple fishmonger and an honest, upright citizen, who stumbles into the Ministry of Security, and consequently a hidden world of espionage and secrecy. His first assignment? To safeguard the King when he visits the scenic town of Kufzig.
But Orlov soon discovers that his ministry handler, the alluring but-couldn’t-possibly-be-a-femme-fatale Agent Zelle, is planning not to protect the King but to assassinate him. Caught in a web of plot and counterplot, confusing loyalties, and explosive betrayals, Orlov finds himself on trial for murder. He has an opportunity to clear his name—but with his friends, mother, and fellow citizens’ lives in the balance, freedom comes at a high cost.
The Middle Daughter, by Chika Unigwe
A lush, powerful tale of family and sisterhood from award-winning author Chika Unigwe, perfect for fans of Bernardine Evaristo and Tayari Jones
Udodi’s death was the beginning of the raging storm but at that moment, we thought that the worst had already happened, and that life would treat us with more kindness.
When seventeen-year-old Nani loses her older sister and then her father in quick succession, her world spins off its axis. Isolated and misunderstood by her grieving mother and sister, she’s drawn to an itinerant preacher, a handsome self-proclaimed man of God who offers her a new place to belong. All too soon, Nani finds herself estranged from her family, tethered to her abusive husband by children she loves but cannot fully comprehend. She must find the courage to break free and wrestle her life back—without losing what she loves most.
A modern reimagining of the myth of Hades and Persephone within a Nigerian family, The Middle Daughter charts Nani’s journey to freedom and homecoming.