I am someone who loves a good debut! I often feel like this is the story that the author has always wanted to tell, so it’s the one they are most passionate about. I am also always up for discovering new authors to love!
18 years after her disappearance, the princess has returned. But what is left of her kingdom?
Sapphire finds herself in Eriobis with a crown, a castle and too many handmaidens to count. And so her life begins as the heir to the throne of a country she doesn’t understand – a country ruled by magic and secrets.
That’s before she meets Ashes. A dark witch with the power to destroy Sapphire’s life and kingdom. But Ashes also happens to be the only person that can help her discover the truth.
And the answers might unravel the very world she’s come to know.
I have been reading a little bit more fantasy romance lately, so I am really excited about The Shattered Lands. I love the tagline- “Akingdom of lies. A love that will burn it to the ground.”
In a trendy Salt Lake City, Utah, neighborhood, Ben Rosencrantz’s board game shop has become a community hotspot for players of all ages—and for killer collectors.
Back in his hometown of Sugar House running his family’s board game shop and cafe, Ben Rosencrantz just can’t seem to get his life to pass go, much less collect $200. Once he was a happily married English professor in Seattle. Now he’s a divorced caregiver, looking after his ill father and a chihuahua named Beans while still figuring out the rules of retail management. At least the town has become more LGBTQ+ friendly than when Ben was a teenager—and that flower shop owner Ezra McCaslin enjoys flirting with him.
But despite his usual clientele of gamers, Ben is barely earning enough to keep the store running and stay on top of his father’s medical bills. Then a local toy and game collector named Clive offers him a winning strategy—to purchase a turn-of-the-twentieth-century edition of The Landlord’s Game, the realty and taxation game that inspired Monopoly, at a tenth of the rare edition’s true value. Suspicious of Clive’s shady, low-priced deal, Ben turns the offer down.
Then Clive turns up dead in the dumpster behind Ben’s shop and a backpack full of $100 bills appears on his doorstep. Now Ben is the #1 suspect in Clive’s death, and unless he and Ezra can prove his innocence and find the real killer, he’ll go to jail for murder—and no amount of double dice rolls will set him free . . .
Cozy mystery is another genre I have been really enjoying recently and Board to Death sounds different from the others I have read. I love that it has an m/m romance and that it is set at a board game shop! So many of the cozies I read are set in bookshops or bakeries, so this will be something different.
True love is at stake in this charming, debut romantic comedy.
Cassie Greenberg loves being an artist, but it’s a tough way to make a living. On the brink of eviction, she’s desperate when she finds a too-good-to-be-true apartment in a beautiful Chicago neighborhood. Cassie knows there has to be a catch—only someone with a secret to hide would rent out a room for that price.
Of course, her new roommate Frederick J. Fitzwilliam is far from normal. He sleeps all day, is out at night on business, and talks like he walked out of a regency romance novel. He also leaves Cassie heart-melting notes around the apartment, cares about her art, and asks about her day. And he doesn’t look half bad shirtless, on the rare occasions they’re both home and awake. But when Cassie finds bags of blood in the fridge that definitely weren’t there earlier, Frederick has to come clean…
Cassie’s sexy new roommate is a vampire. And he has a proposition for her.
Do I even have to explain this one!? Between the cover and the title of My Roommate is a Vampire, you know this ended up on my TBR so fast!
A Black teen desperate to regain her Ivy League acceptance enters an elite competition only to discover the stakes aren’t just high, they’re deadly, in this searing thriller that’s Ace of Spades meets Squid Game with a sprinkling of The Bachelor.
You must work twice as hard to get half as much.
Adina Walker has known this the entire time she’s been on scholarship at the prestigious Edgewater Academy—a school for the rich (and mostly white) upper class of New England. It’s why she works so hard to be perfect and above reproach, no matter what she must force beneath the surface. Even one slip can cost you everything.
And it does. One fight, one moment of lost control, leaves Adina blacklisted from her top choice Ivy League college and any other. Her only chance to regain the future she’s sacrificed everything for is The Finish, a high-stakes contest sponsored by Edgewater’s founding family in which twelve young, ambitious women with exceptional promise are selected to compete in three mysterious events: the Ride, the Raid, and the Royale. The winner will be granted entry into the fold of the Remington family, whose wealth and power can open any door.
But when she arrives at the Finish, Adina quickly gets the feeling that something isn’t quite right with both the Remingtons and her competition, and soon it becomes clear that this larger-than-life prize can only come at an even greater cost. Because the Finish’s stakes aren’t just make or break…they’re life and death.
Adina knows the deck is stacked against her—it always has been—so maybe the only way to survive their vicious games is for her to change the rules.
There is something about a YA thriller that appeals to me! I also love the “deadly games” trope, so I have a feeling that Their Vicious Games is really going to work for me.
Reina is desperate.
Stuck living on the edges of society, her only salvation lies in an invitation from a grandmother she’s never known. But the journey is dangerous, and prayer can’t always avert disaster.
Attacked by creatures that stalk the region, Reina is on the verge of death until her grandmother, a dark sorceress, intervenes. Now dependent on the Doña’s magic for her life, Reina will do anything to earn—and keep—her favor. Even the bidding of an ancient god who whispers to her at night.
Eva Kesare is unwanted.
Illegitimate and of mixed heritage, Eva is her family’s shame. She tries her best to be perfect and to hide her oddities. But Eva is hiding a secret: magic calls to her.
Eva knows she should fight the temptation. Magic is the sign of the dark god, and using it is punishable by death. Yet, it’s hard to deny power when it has always been denied to you. Eva is walking a dangerous path, one that gets stranger every day. And, in the end, she’ll become something she never imagined.
The synopsis of The Sun and the Void has me so intrigued! I am always here for a story with a dark sorceress and I don’t think I have ever read an epic fantasy set in Venezuela!
Yume Kitasei’s The Deep Sky is an enthralling sci fi thriller debut about a mission into deep space that begins with a lethal explosion that leaves the survivors questioning the loyalty of the crew.
They left Earth to save humanity. They’ll have to save themselves first.
It is the eve of Earth’s environmental collapse. A single ship carries humanity’s last hope: eighty elite graduates of a competitive program, who will give birth to a generation of children in deep space. But halfway to a distant but livable planet, a lethal bomb kills three of the crew and knocks The Phoenix off course. Asuka, the only surviving witness, is an immediate suspect.
Asuka already felt like an impostor before the explosion. She was the last picked for the mission, she struggled during training back on Earth, and she was chosen to represent Japan, a country she only partly knows as a half-Japanese girl raised in America. But estranged from her mother back home, The Phoenix is all she has left.
With the crew turning on each other, Asuka is determined to find the culprit before they all lose faith in the mission—or worse, the bomber strikes again.
I am always looking for new SciFi thrillers! It is one of my favourite subgenres but not one I read from nearly enough. The Deep Sky sounds exactly like the kind of SciFi that I love.
At ten-years-old, the Heir of Jasad flees a massacre that takes her entire family.
At fifteen, she buries her first body.
At twenty, the clock is ticking on Sylvia’s third attempt at a home. Nizahl’s armies have laid waste to Jasad and banned magic across the four remaining kingdoms. Fortunately, Sylvia’s magic is as good at playing dead as she is.
When the Nizahl Heir tracks a group of Jasadis to Sylvia’s village, the quiet life she’s crafted unravels. Calculating and cold, Arin’s tactical brilliance is surpassed only by his hatred for magic. After a mistake exposes Sylvia’s magic to Arin, he offers her an escape: compete as Nizahl’s Champion in the Alcalah tournament and win immunity from persecution. In exchange, Arin will use her as bait to draw out the Jasadis he’s hunting.
To win the deadly Alcalah, Sylvia must work with Arin to free her trapped magic, all while staying a step ahead of his efforts to uncover her identity. As the two grow closer, Sylvia is thrust into the world of cunning royals and double-dealing politics. The Jasadi groups escalate the fight to make Sylvia the face of their movement, and Sylvia realizes winning her freedom as Nizahl’s Champion means destroying any chance of reuniting Jasad under her banner.
The scorched kingdom is rising again, and Sylvia will have to choose between the life she’s earned, and the one she left behind.
I am starting to learn more and more about what I like in epic fantasy and I think that The Jasad Heir has a lot of my buzzwords. Egyptian-inspired politic fantasy? Yes, please! Also, you cannot tell me that that is not one of the most epic covers you have ever seen!
This Hindu philosophy-inspired debut science fantasy follows a husband and wife racing to save their living city—and their troubled marriage—high above a jungle world besieged by cataclysmic storms.
High above a jungle-planet float the last refuges of humanity—plant-made civilizations held together by tradition, technology, and arcane science. In these living cities, architects are revered above anyone else. If not for their ability to psychically manipulate the architecture, the cities would plunge into the devastating earthrage storms below.
Charismatic, powerful, mystical, Iravan is one such architect. In his city, his word is nearly law. His abilities are his identity, but to Ahilya, his wife, they are a way for survival to be reliant on the privileged few. Like most others, she cannot manipulate the plants. And she desperately seeks change.
Their marriage is already thorny—then Iravan is accused of pushing his abilities to forbidden limits. He needs Ahilya to help clear his name; she needs him to tip the balance of rule in their society. As their paths become increasingly intertwined, deadly truths emerge, challenging everything each of them believes. And as the earthrages become longer, and their floating city begins to plummet, Iravan and Ahilya’s discoveries might destroy their marriage, their culture, and their entire civilization.
I have been following Kritika H. Rao on Twitter for a while now and I cannot tell you how excited I am to get my hands on a copy of The Surviving Sky. I have a feeling the worldbuilding in this is going to be next level!
Heartstopper meets Crazy Rich Asians in this heartfelt, joyful paperback original rom-com that follows an aspiring chef who discovers the recipe for love is more complicated than it seems when he starts fake-dating a handsome new customer.
Dylan Tang wants to win a Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake-making competition for teen chefs—in memory of his mom, and to bring much-needed publicity to his aunt’s struggling Chinese takeout in Brooklyn.
Enter Theo Somers: charming, wealthy, with a smile that makes Dylan’s stomach do backflips. AKA a distraction. Their worlds are sun-and-moon apart, but Theo keeps showing up. He even convinces Dylan to be his fake date at a family wedding in the Hamptons.
In Theo’s glittering world of pomp, privilege, and crazy rich drama, their romance is supposed to be just pretend . . . but Dylan finds himself falling for Theo. For real. Then Theo’s relatives reveal their true colors—but with the mooncake contest looming, Dylan can’t risk being sidetracked by rich-people problems.
Can Dylan save his family’s business and follow his heart—or will he fail to do both?
You know I had to include a romance on this list! I honestly think that Fake Dates and Mooncakes had the cutest cover I have ever seen! It is also a foodie romance, so I have such high hopes for this one.
In the vein of The Pisces and The Vegetarian, Chlorine is a debut novel that blurs the line between a literary coming-of-age narrative and a dark unsettling horror tale, told from an adult perspective on the trials and tribulations of growing up in a society that puts pressure on young women and their bodies… a powerful, relevant novel of immigration, sapphic longing, and fierce, defiant becoming.
Ren Yu is a swimmer. Her daily life starts and ends with the pool. Her teammates are her only friends. Her coach, her guiding light. If she swims well enough, she will be scouted, get a scholarship, go to a good school. Her parents will love her. Her coach will be kind to her. She will have a good life.
But these are human concerns. These are the concerns of those confined to land, those with legs. Ren grew up on stories of creatures of the deep, of the oceans and the rivers. Ones that called sailors to their doom. Ones that dragged them down and drowned them. Ones that feasted on their flesh. Ones of the creature that she’s always longed to become: mermaid.
Ren aches to be in the water. She dreams of the scent of chlorine–the feel of it on her skin. And she will do anything she can to make a life for herself where she can be free. No matter the pain. No matter what anyone else thinks. No matter how much blood she has to spill.
I will always add horror about mermaids to my TBR! Chlorine sounds like my kind of weird and I think I might just preorder this because I will want to read it the second it comes outs.
What 2023 debuts are on your radar?
26 thoughts on “2023 Debuts I Cannot Wait to Read”
The cover for The Jasad Heir is SO COOL looking.
It really is! It looks like it has a lot of dimension. Can’t wait to see it in person!
Just added Board to Death and My Roommate is a Vampire to my wish list. Thanks for sharing.
Lauren @ http://www.shootingstarsmag.net
This makes me happy! Glad I could put them both on your radar!
I’m curious about The Deep Sky, too.
My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-debut-books-im-excited-about/
It sounds like my kind of SciFi!
We have Fake Dates and Mooncakes in common! All these others.. I am adding to my TBR! haha Fantastic list!
I cannot wait for that book!
I’m really excited for Their Vicious Games.
Sun and The Void is one I want to read! Hope you love all these books!
It sounds so good!
Books on both of our lists: The Surviving Sky by Kritika H. Rao, The Sun and the Void by Gabriela Romero Lacruz, and The Deep Sky by Yume Kitasei.
I am now adding Their Vicious Games, My Roommate is a Vampire, and Board to Death.
We obviously have similar taste!
All of these look like so much fun! I have my eye on the Mooncakes one.
I don’t blame you! That cover is everything!
Fake Dates and Mooncakes has been on so many lists this week! It sounds so cute and I’m looking forward to reading it.
My TTT: https://bookwyrmknits.com/2023/02/07/top-ten-tuesday-2023-debut-books-im-excited-about/
I am not surprised! It looks adorable!
It really does!
I’m so excited about Fake Dates and Moon Cakes as well. Here is my post-https://paigesofnovels.com/2023/02/07/top-ten-tuesday-2023-debuts/.
It sounds adorable!
I need Chlorine and My Roommate is a Vampire!
Me too!! Tempted to preorder them!
Omg My Roommate is a Vampire sounds sooo good!!! Just added it to my TBR.
I hope you enjoy all of these!
My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2023/02/07/top-ten-tuesday-406/
Some of these sound fun. My roommate is a vampire. The Vicious Games. Both sounds interesting.
So excited for both of those!