August 2023 Must-Haves

6min read

| By Tamara Butler |

Fantasy & Supernatural Tales

As summer winds down, stories with paranormal and magical elements take center stage. InFamily Lore, a woman carries an ominous gift of being able to predict the date that people will die. Only now, she sees her own demise coming and wants to make the most of her life.The Carnivale of Curiositiesfeatures a Victorian circus with a magician that can make wishes come true. Romance and fantasy abound inImmortal Longings, a story where regal games result in either immeasurable riches or untimely death. Lastly,Sisters of the Lost Nationcombines mystery and the mystical with a series of disappearances that leads a young Indigenous girl into the world of past and present legends of her people. All of these Thorndike offerings take the reader on a journey beyond the natural world into mysterious and unknown realms. So, let’s finish the summer with mystical reads that offer compelling stories with fantastical characters that will surprise and delight readers.

Family Loreby Elizabeth Acevedo
A Most Anticipated Book of 2023 from,Time, Electric Literature, Telemundo,Washington Post, AARP, Shondaland &The New York Times.

Flor has a gift: she can predict, to the day, when someone will die. So, when she decides she wants a living wake—a party to bring her family and community together to celebrate the long life she’s led—her sisters are surprised. Has Flor foreseen her own death, or someone else’s? Does she have other motives? She refuses to tell her sisters, Matilde, Pastora, and Camila. But Flor isn’t the only person with secrets: her sisters are hiding things, too. And the next generation, cousins Ona and Yadi, face tumult of their own. Spanning the three days prior to the wake,Family Loretraces the lives of each of the Marte women, weaving together past and present, Santo Domingo and New York City. Told with Elizabeth Acevedo’s inimitable and incandescent voice, this is an indelible portrait of sisters and cousins, aunts and nieces—one family’s journey through their history, helping them better navigate all that is to come.

The Carnivale of Curiositiesby Amiee Gibbs
Starred Review —Booklist

In Victorian London, where traveling sideshows are the very pinnacle of entertainment, there is no more coveted ticket than Ashe and Pretorius’ Carnivale of Curiosities. Each performance is a limited engagement, and London’s elite boldly dare the dangerous streets of Southwark to witness the Carnivale’s astounding assemblage of marvels. For a select few, however, the real show begins behind the curtain. Rumors abound that the show’s proprietor, Aurelius Ashe, is more than an average magician. It’s said that for the right price, he can make any wish come true. No one knows the truth of this claim better than Lucien the Lucifer, the Carnivale’s star attraction. Born with the ability to create fire, he’s dazzled spectators since he was a boy.

Immortal Longings由克洛伊贡
Starred Reviews —Publishers Weekly&Booklist

Inspired by Shakespeare’sAntony and Cleopatra,Immortal Longingsis a fiery collision of power plays, spilled blood, and romance amidst a set of deadly games. Every year, thousands in the kingdom of Talin will flock to its capital twin cities, San-Er, where the palace hosts a set of games. For those confident enough in their ability to jump between bodies, competitors across San-Er fight to the death to win unimaginable riches. Princess Calla Tuoleimi lurks in hiding. Five years ago, a massacre killed her parents and left the palace of Er empty … and she was the one who did it. Before King Kasa’s forces in San can catch her, she plans to finish the job and bring down the monarchy. Her reclusive uncle always greets the victor of the games, so if she wins, she gets her opportunity at last to kill him. Enter Anton Makusa, an exiled aristocrat. His childhood love has lain in a coma since they were both ousted from the palace, and he’s deep in debt trying to keep her alive. Thankfully, he’s one of the best jumpers in the kingdom, flitting from body to body at will. His last chance at saving her is entering the games and winning.

Sisters of the Lost Nationby Nick Medina
Named a Most Anticipated Book by Barnes and Noble, BuzzFeed, GoodReads,Book Riot, CrimeReads,Ms. Magazine, She Reads & Amazon Editors’ Pick.

A young girl hunts for answers about a string of disappearances, all while being haunted herself in this heart-pounding thriller with a mythological twist, from debut author Nick Medina. Anna Horn is always looking over her shoulder. For the bullies who torment her, for the entitled visitors at the reservation’s casino … and for the nameless, disembodied entity that stalks her every step—an ancient tribal myth come to life, one that’s intent on devouring her whole. With strange and sinister happenings occurring around the casino, Anna starts to suspect that not all the horrors on the reservation are old. As girls begin to go missing and the tribe scrambles to find answers, Anna struggles with her place on the rez, desperately searching for the key she’s sure lies in the legends of her tribe’s past. When Anna’s own little sister also disappears, she’ll do anything to bring Grace home. But the demons plaguing the reservation—both old and new—are strong, and sometimes, it’s the stories that never get told that are the most important.

Meet the Author

Tamara Butler is an acquisitions editor with over 20 years prior experience in public and academic libraries. She has a master’s degree in library science from the University of Buffalo and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from Lindenwood University. When not checking out the latest Southern gothic novels, Tamara loves to spend time on New England beaches and hang out with her two energetic beagles.

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