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Gods of Jade and Shadow

Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey)

Moreno-Garcia crafts a magical novel of duality, tradition, and change, set in the late 1920s as Mexico transitions from its post-Revolution period to the Jazz Age. When Casiopea Tun releases the injured and imprisoned Mayan death god, Hun-Kamé, she’s bound to his quest to regain his underworld throne. A seamless blend of mythology and history provides a ripe setting for Casiopea’s stellar journey of self-discovery in this rich and complex tale of desperate hopes and complicated relationships.

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Middlegame

Seanan McGuire (Tor.com)

McGuire puts a genuinely innovative spin on the magical child horror novel in this mesmerizing story. James Reed is devoted to creating human incarnations of pure language and pure math, which will give him power over reality and time. Roger and Dodger, one of his pairs of avatars, begin exploring their telepathic connection and other powers— with terrifying results. Shifts and alterations in timelines demand close attention from readers, but McGuire’s rigorous plotting pulls it all together.

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The Record Keeper

Agnes Gomillion (Titan)

Gomillion debuts with a gut-punch Afrofuturist novel that examines the incalculable damage systemic racism wreaks on individuals and societies, and the many forms liberation can take. Arika Cobane lives in the remnants of near-future America, where she’s trained by her white teachers to write false histories that oppress her fellow dark-skinned laborers. After a newcomer raises Arika’s consciousness, she turns to leading a rebellion. This is an intellectually rich, emotional, and ruthlessly honest confrontation of racism.

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This Is How You Lose the Time War

Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Saga)

In this exquisitely crafted tale (already being developed for television), two special agents from competing factions forge an unexpected relationship through messages left behind as they wage a secret war across space and time. As taunts and challenges gradually give way to endearments and secrets, the two women must determine their true roles in the unending time war. This tapestry stretching across millennia is anchored with raw emotion and a genuine sense of wonder.

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Wanderers

Chuck Wendig (Del Rey)

This blockbuster apocalyptic novel confronts some of the darkest and most divisive aspects of present-day America with urgency, humanity, and hope. Sleepwalkers wander through a crumbling American society that’s ravaged by fear, dogma, disease, and the effects of climate change. Meanwhile, a supercomputer with an unclear agenda assigns a disgraced epidemiologist to treat a pandemic. Wendig’s opus tackles many moral questions while eschewing easy answers, thoroughly earning comparisons to Stephen King’s The Stand.

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