March 2019 Book Highlights

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Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for March.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned.Selections are by Tim Bayley and are drawn from publisher submissions, The Bookseller magazine’s own monthly highlights, Buyer’s Guides and more.

NB. We believe in supporting bricks and mortar stores whether online or in person and a tiny snippet of any purchase comes our way to go towards site upkeep so any and all support very much appreciated! Hyperlinks lead on to the book on affiliate shop sites.

So relax and browse on and check out the great reads in print coming your way in March.


Tim Bayley

Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction


TIAMAT’S WRATH * James SA Corey * 9780356510354 * HB * £20 * Orbit * The Expanse * 8


Thirteen hundred gates have opened to solar systems around the galaxy. In the dead systems where gates lead to stranger things than alien planets, Elvi Okoye begins a desperate search to discover the nature of a genocide that happened before the first human beings existed, and to find weapons to fight a war against forces at the edge of the imaginable. But the price of that knowledge may be higher than she can pay… MORE / BUY

RECORD OF A SPACEBORN FEW * Becky Chambers * 9781473647640 * PB * £8.99 * Hodder * Wayfarers * 3

Centuries after the last humans left Earth, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, a place many are from but few outsiders have seen. Humanity has finally been accepted into the galactic community, but while this has opened doors for many, those who have not yet left for alien cities fear that their carefully cultivated way of life is under threat. And when a disaster rocks this already fragile community, those Exodans who still call the Fleet their home can no longer avoid the inescapable question:
What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination? MORE / BUY

GINGERBREAD * Helen Oyeyemi * 9781447299417 * HB * £16.99 * Picador

Influenced by the mysterious place gingerbread holds in classic children’s stories – equal parts wholesome and uncanny; from the tantalizing witch’s house in Hansel and Gretel to the man-shaped confection who one day decides to run as fast as he can – beloved novelist Helen Oyeyemi invites readers into a delightful tale of a surprising family legacy, in which the inheritance is a recipe. MORE / BUY

THE NEAR WITCH * VE Schwab * 9781789091120 * HB * £16.99 * Titan

All-new deluxe edition of an out-of-print gem, containing in-universe short story “The Ash-Born Boy”. The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. There are no strangers in the town of Near. These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.  But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy. MORE / BUY

VENGEFUL * VE Schwab * 9781785658631 * PB * £8.99 * Titan * Vicious * 2

Sydney Clarke once had Serena―beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she’s alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol. And then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance. Victor himself is under the radar these days―being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done. MORE / BUY

RADICALIZED * Cory Doctorow * 9781789541090 * HB * £18.99 * Head of Zeus

If you want a better future tomorrow, you’re going to have to fight for it today. Here are four urgent stories from author and activist Cory Doctorow, four social, technological and economic visions of the world today and its near – all too near – future. ‘Unauthorized Bread’ is a tale of immigration, toxic economic stratification and a young woman’s perilously illegal quest to fix a broken toaster. In ‘Model Minority’ a superhero finds himself way out his depth when he confronts the corruption of the police and justice system. MORE / BUY

THE TRUE QUEEN * Zen Cho * 9781509801077 * HB * £16.99 * Macmillan

Fairyland’s future lies in doubt… The enchanted island of Janda Baik, in the Malay Archipelago, has long been home to witches. And Muna and her sister Sakti wake on its shores under a curse, which has quite stolen away their memories. Their only hope of salvation lies in distant Britain, where the Sorceress Royal runs a controversial academy for female magicians. But the pair travel via the formidable Fairy Queen’s realm, where Sakti simply disappears. To save her sister, Muna must learn to navigate Regency London’s high society and trick the English into believing she’s a magical prodigy… Set in the same world as her award-winning novel, The Sorcerer to the Crown, but reads as a standalone. MORE / BUY

THE GOBLIN EMPEROR * Katherine Addison * 9781781087305 * PB * £8.99 * Solaris

Maia, the youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir. Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment. MORE / BUY

THE TOWER OF LIVING AND DYING * Anna Smith Spark * 9780008204112 * PB * £8.99 * HarperVoyager

Marith Altrersyr – father-killer, dragonlord, leader of the blood-soaked Amrath Army – is keeping his promises. He is determined to become King of all Irlast and take back the seat of his ancestors. Only Thalia, once high priestess of the Lord of Living and Dying, the holiest woman in the Empire, might stop Marith and his army’s deadly march. But she is torn between two destinies – and if she was to return home, what would she find there? A city on the brink of ruin: diseased, despairing, dying… MORE / BUY

BACK TO REALITY: A NOVEL * Mark Stay, Mark Oliver * 9781999647148 * PB * £8.99 * The Bestseller Experiment

Jo’s world is about to change forever, and it’s about time. Her marriage is on auto-pilot, daughter hates her, job sucks and it’s not even Tuesday. As Jo’s life implodes, a freak event hurls her back to ‘90s Los Angeles where, in a parallel universe, she’s about to hit the big time as a rock star. Jo has to choose between her dreams and her family in an adventure that propels her from London to Hollywood then Glastonbury, the world’s greatest music festival. In her desperate quest, Jo encounters a disgraced guru, a movie star with a fetish for double-decker buses, and the biggest pop star in the world… who just happens to want to kill her. MORE / BUY

I STILL DREAM * James Smythe * 9780007541973 * PB * £8.99 * The Borough Press

In 1997 Laura Bow invented Organon, a rudimentary artificial intelligence.
Now she and her creation are at the forefront of the new wave of technology, and Laura must decide whether or not to reveal Organon’s full potential to the world. If it falls into the wrong hands, its power could be abused. Will Organon save humanity, or lead it to extinction? I Still Dream is a powerful tale of love, loss and hope; a frightening, heartbreakingly human look at who we are now – and who we can be, if we only allow ourselves. MORE / BUY

THE LONELY HOUR * Christopher Fowler * 9780857525680 * HB * £16.99 * Transworld * Bryant & May * 17

On a rainy winter night outside a run-down nightclub, four strangers meet for the first time at 4:00am. Weeks later the body of an Indian textile worker is found hanging upside down inside a willow tree on Hampstead Heath, surrounded by the paraphernalia of black magic. Arthur Bryant and John May of the Peculiar Crimes Unit set off to question experts in the field. But when another victim seemingly commits suicide, it becomes clear that in the London night is a killer who knows what people fear most. And he always strikes at 4:00am… MORE / BUY



A Fabulous Creation: How the LP Saved Our Lives * David Hepworth * 9780593077634 * HB * £20.00 * Bantam Press

The era of the LP began in 1967, with ‘Sgt Pepper’; The Beatles didn’t just collect together a bunch of songs, they Made An Album. Henceforth, everybody else wanted to Make An Album. The end came only fifteen years later, coinciding with the release of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. By then the Walkman had taken music out of the home and into the streets and the record business had begun trying to reverse-engineer the creative process in order to make big money. Nobody would play music or listen to it in quite the same way ever again. This is the story of that time. This is the story of how LPs saved our lives. MORE / BUY

Nothing is Real: The Beatles Were Underrated And Other Sweeping Statements About Pop * David Hepworth * 9781784164072 * PB * £8.99 * Black Swan

Pop music’s a simple pleasure. Is it catchy? Can you dance to it? Do you fancy the singer? But what’s fascinating about pop is our relationship with it. David Hepworth is interested in the human side of pop. He’s interested in how people make the stuff and, more importantly, what it means to us. In this collection of essays written throughout his career, Hepworth shows how it is possible to take music seriously and, at the same time, not drain the life out of it. MORE / BUY

Massive Attack: Out Of The Comfort Zone * Melissa Chemam * 9781910089729 * PB * £14.99 * Tangent Books

Author Melissa Chemam’s in-depth study of the influences that led to the formation of the Wild Bunch and then Massive Attack looks into Bristol’s past to explore how the city helped shape one of the most successful and innovative musical movements of the last 30 years. Chemam gives a unique insight into Massive Attack – 3D, Daddy G and Mushroom – their influences, collaborations and politics and the way in which they opened the door for other Bristol musicians and artists including Banksy. MORE / BUY

Jim Bob From Carter: In The Shadow Of My Former Self * Jim Bob * 9781909454712 * PB * £14.99 * Cherry Red Records

Between 1987 and 1997, Jim Bob rode a decade-long rollercoaster from the UK’s pub and club scene to the top of the album charts and back again, leaving behind a trail of hit records, legendary gigs and enough t-shirts to clothe a small nation. Jim Bob From Carter: In The Shadow Of My Former Self documents Jim’s ongoing journey as a solo artist and author – a man in search of who he is, while constantly being reminded who he was. This is a funny music book – the funniest music book ever written, according to the author – about Jim Bob’s extended gap year between the acrimonious break-up of Carter in 1997 to their eventual reformation in 2007 (and crinomious break-up again in 2014). MORE / BUY

London Made Us: A Memoir of a Shape-Shifting City * Robert Elms * 9781786892119 * HB * £16.99 * Canongate

Robert Elms has seen his beloved city change beyond all imagining. London in his lifetime has morphed from a piratical, still bomb-scarred playground, to a swish cosmopolitan metropolis. Motorways driven through lost communities, murder miles becoming estate agents’ dreams, accents changing, towers appearing. Elms takes us back through time and place to myriad Londons. He is our guide through a place that has seen scientific experiments conducted in subterranean lairs, a small community declare itself an independent nation and animals of varying exoticism roam free through its streets… MORE / BUY

Children’s and Young Adult

Witchsign * Den Patrick * 9780008230012 * PB * £8.99 * HarperVoyager

From celebrated fantasy author Den Patrick comes WITCHSIGN, the first novel in a fresh and exciting new fantasy trilogy. It has been seventy-five years since the dragons’ rule of fire and magic was ended. Since then, the tyrannical Synod has worked hard to banish all manifestations of the arcane from existence. However, children are still born bearing the taint of the arcane. Vigilants are sent out across the continent of Vinterkveld to find and capture all those bearing the mark. No one knows when the Vigilants of the Synod will appear and enforce the Empire’s laws. But today they’re coming. And gods help those who bear the sign of the witch. MORE / BUY

The Quiet at the End of the World * Lauren James * 9781406375510 * PB * £7.99 * Walker Books

How far would you go to save those you love? Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking and looking for treasure – until a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Now Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide what to sacrifice to save the whole human race… MORE / BUY

Graphic Novels

Fantastic Four by Dan Slott * Dan Slott, Sara Pichelli et al * Marvel Edition – 9781302913496 * PB * £13.50 / Panini Edition – 9781846539541 * PB * £11.99

*** One of Marvel’s – and the comic industry’s – greatest scripting talents brings back the Fantastic Four in their own magazine, with superb art by Sara Pichelli! ***

Since the end of Secret Wars, there’s been a gap in the Marvel Universe. A void no other team can fill. And its time for the world to move on. But can it? A life-changing decision by the Thing! A momentous declaration by the Human Torch! A clarion call-to-arms that summons Doctor Doom! And a signal in the sky that heralds the return of hope to the Marvel Universe! Marvel Edition: MORE / BUY * Panini Edition: MORE / BUY

The Wicked + The Divine Volume 8: Old is the New New * Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, Andre Lima Araujo, Matt Wilson, Kris Anka, Jen Bartel; Jamie McKelvie (co-creator, regular artist) * 9781534308800 * PB * £15.99 * Image Comics

Modernist poets trapped in an Agatha Christie Murder Mystery. The Romantics gathering in Lake Geneva to resurrect the dead. What really happened during the fall of Rome. The Lucifer who was a nun, hearing Ananke’s Black Death confession. As we approach the end, we start to see the full picture. Also includes the delights of the WicDiv Christmas Annual and the Comedy special. Collects all six of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE’s essential Specials. MORE / BUY

Shades of Magic Volume 1: The Steel Prince * VE Schwab * 9781785865879 * PB * £13.99 * Titan Comics

Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab and torn from the universe of the Shades of Magic sequence, this all-original comic book prequel to A Darker Shade of Magic is perfect for fans of bloody, swashbuckling adventure and gritty fantasy! Delve into the thrilling, epic tale of the young and arrogant prince Maxim Maresh, long before he became the king of Red London and adoptive father to Kell, the lead of A Darker Shade of Magic! Collects Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince #1-4. MORE / BUY

Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman: Deluxe Edition * Various * 9781401285388 * HB * £25.00 * DC Comics

Join DC to celebrate the 80th anniversary and 1,000th issue of one of the most important publications ever, DETECTIVE COMICS. Over the past eight decades, Batman has remained at the forefront of popular culture, which is in no small part because of this comic book series that is synonymous with the Dark Knight! Celebrate DETECTIVE COMICS with DC, as we revisit classic stories from comics from the 1930s onward, featuring some of Batman’s greatest allies and villains and work from some of the greatest creators ever to grace the graphic-literature medium! MORE / BUY

The Handmaid’s Tale * Margaret Atwood, Renée Nault * 9780224101936 * HB * £20.00 * Jonathan Cape

Now, in this stunning graphic novel edition of Margaret Atwood’s modern classic, the terrifying reality of Gilead is brought to vivid life like never before. Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships. She serves in the household of the Commander and his wife, and under the new social order she has only one purpose: once a month, she must lie on her back and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if they are fertile. But Offred remembers the years before Gilead, when she was an independent woman who had a job, a family, and a name of her own. Now, her memories and her will to survive are acts of rebellion. MORE / BUY


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