{Story Diary} The Quiet Is Loud by Samantha Garner

May 24, 2021



Happy Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month



the quiet is loud by samantha garner
The Quiet Is Loud by Samantha Garner
Literary Speculative Fiction, Supernatural / Occult
May 4, 2021 from Invisible Publishing

The perfect marriage of literary and speculative fiction for readers of Kazuo Ishiguro and NK Jemisin.

When Freya Tanangco was ten, she dreamed of her mother’s death days before it happened. Freya’s life since has been spent in hiding: from the troubled literary legacy created by her author father, and from the scrutiny of a society that is hostile to vekers—people who, like her, have enhanced mental abilities.

When her prophetic dreams take a dangerous turn, Freya finds herself increasingly forced to sacrifice her own anonymity—and the fragile safety that comes with it—in order to protect those around her.

Interwoven with themes of Filipino Canadian and mixed-race identity, fantastical elements from Norse and Filipino mythology, and tarot card symbolism, The Quiet Is Loud is an intergenerational tale about the consequences of secrets and what happens when we refuse to let others tell our stories for us.

Samantha Garner‘s short fiction and poetry have appeared in Broken Pencil, Sundog Lit, Kiss Machine, The Fiddlehead, Storychord, WhiskeyPaper and The Quarantine Review. She lives and writes in Mississauga.



★ Praises for The Quiet Is Loud


“The Quiet is Loud made me believe wholeheartedly in the paradextrous powers of its characters and their world, so wholeheartedly that at times I forgot that what I was reading was not possible. Garner’s is an exciting new voice.” —Liz Harmer, author of The Amateurs and Strange Loops

“Samantha Garner’s rich prose deftly weaves together family politics, estrangement, and finding one’s own place in the world. A lovely exploration of friendship, and identity, and what it means to be truly accepted.” —Lindsay Zier-Vogel, author of Letters to Amelia

“In The Quiet is Loud, Samantha Garner has deftly crafted a world that left me breathless. Getting to know Freya Tanangco’s story, watching her weave together the strands of her Norwegian-Filipino identity and the unexpected power she wields, was both suspenseful and filled with quiet illumination. At the heart, the novel is a gripping journey of self-discovery and the family bonds that hold us all together.” —Julia Zarankin, author of Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder


Settings / Places


Toronto, Ontario, Canada


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Mississauga, Ontario, Canada


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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Kelowna, British Colombia, Canada


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Greater Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada


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Paradextrous / Veker


People with enhanced telepathic and telekinetic abilities who are disgraced and scrutinized by society to the point of often being met with violence. This prompts them to hide their identities and abilities. Feared and misunderstood, the term veker is used as a slur more than an identifier or label.

Paradextrous' abilities ranges from person to person -- from mind reading to premonition and more.

The MC, Freya, is a paradextrous who has prophetic dreams, which had her spend her life in hiding and make a living by offering tarot readings online.

Themes / Tropes


☾ Filipino, Norse and Okanagan mythology
☾ Prophecies
☾ Secret societies
☾ Multicultural identity
☾ Intergenerational familial bond
☾ Psychic abilities
☾ Self-discovery
☾ Tarot card symbolism

Rep


☀ Filipino-Norwegian Canadian MC
☀ Filipino-Norwegian Canadian author
☀ Indigenous Native American (Colville-Okanagan) mythology

Content / Trigger Warnings


➤ Past death of parent







Samantha Garner is a Canadian SF/F author living in the Greater Toronto Area.

Her literary sci-fi novel THE QUIET IS LOUD was published by Invisible Publishing May 4, 2021.

Samantha’s stories and poems have been published in print and online, in publications such as The Fiddlehead, Kiss Machine, Storychord, WhiskeyPaper, Sundog Lit, and The Quarantine Review. She’s also been blogging since 1997. She is represented by Kelvin Kong at K2 Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, she’s out walking around, trying to photograph her long-suffering dog, playing a video game, or boring a loved one with the latest historical fact she’s just learned.












As we celebrate AAPIHM/APIHM, it's also important to be informed of the rising Asian hate crimes that's increased over the past year and do what you can to help support fellow Asians and stop Asian hate.

Stop Asian hate in the U.S. and around the world by contacting elected officials, donating, signing petitions, volunteeringattending bystander intervention trainings, supporting Asian businesses/creators, reporting anti-Asian hate crimes near you, and more: Stop AAPI Hate, Stop Asian Hate carrd, Anti-Asian Violence Resources carrd, Asian American Commission, Asian American Advocacy Fund, Asian Mental Health Collective, and this comprehensive list of Asian-led orgs and resources via NYMag. More resources in the sidebar as well. ➔


Support Pacific Islanders in Oceana and abroad by signing petitions to protect their land or donating to their causes and mutual aids. Some orgs/aids to donate to: Covid: Hawai'i Resilience FundPasifika Medical Association, Hawai'i Food BankHawai'ian Way Fund via Council for Nativa Hawai'ian Advancement, sign petitions to protect Hawai'i Mauna Kea (and here and here and here), and send an open letter to Hawai'i governor. Get to know some amazing Pacific Islander folks and meet these Pasifika artists/activistscheck out these lists of Pasifika books to read and this thread of Pasifika artists! Into podcasts? Check out these podcastsHere's a list of films to peruse via IMDB. Be sure to check out their works and support and uplift them in any way you can.

Help raise awareness and free Palestine from Israel's apartheid and settler colonization by protesting, donating to Palestinian mutual aid and recovery funds, demanding your elected officials to cut ties with Israel and to pass H.R. 2590 (for U.S.), get involved in the BDS movement, and educate yourself and family members via DecolonizePalestine. More ways to help on palestinematters.carrd.co

Resources + educational tools on what's going on around the world right now and ways to help: worldissues.carrd.co | issuesintheworld.carrd.co | getinformed.carrd.co | currentinfo.carrd.co | dotherightthing.carrd.co

{Story Diary} Counting Down With You by Tashie Bhuiyan

May 10, 2021



Happy Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!



Counting Down With You by Tashie Bhuiyan
Young Adult Contemporary Romance
May 4, 2021 from Inkyard Press

In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi teenager has twenty-eight days to make the biggest decision of her life after agreeing to fake date her school’s resident bad boy.

How do you make one month last a lifetime?

Karina Ahmed has a plan. Keep her head down, get through high school without a fuss, and follow her parents’ rules—even if it means sacrificing her dreams. When her parents go abroad to Bangladesh for four weeks, Karina expects some peace and quiet. Instead, one simple lie unravels everything.

Karina is my girlfriend.

Tutoring the school’s resident bad boy was already crossing a line. Pretending to date him? Out of the question. But Ace Clyde does everything right—he brings her coffee in the mornings, impresses her friends without trying, and even promises to buy her a dozen books (a week) if she goes along with his fake-dating facade. Though Karina agrees, she can’t help but start counting down the days until her parents come back.

T-minus twenty-eight days until everything returns to normal—but what if Karina no longer wants it to?



★ Praises for Counting Down With You


"I. Love. This. Book. I adore the emotional depth that Bhuiyan gives to Karina, and I am reminded of the power of contemporary fiction to both shine a light and uplift those of us who have been largely ignored." —Mark Oshiro, award-winning author of Anger Is a Gift and Each of Us a Desert

"Tashie Bhuiyan has done an excellent job of portraying the conflicts faced by many South Asian diaspora kids in this debut. Counting Down with You is a must-have addition to any YA bookshelf." —Sabina Khan, author of Zara Hossain Is Here and The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali

"This 'love letter to young brown girls; explores a topic that can be taboo in desi culture: anxiety. Bhuiyan guides Karina through it with care… Hand to fans of Netflix hit Never Have I Ever." —Booklist

“With sarcastic, witty humor and a heartfelt exploration of familial relationships, Bhuiyan masterfully sucks you into Karina's world." —Buzzfeed, New Young Adult Books Out Spring 2021



Setting


Long Island City, New York, U.S.


Reasons to Read Counting Down With You


ya lit aesthetic
Dadu. That's it - that's the only reason. Go read it now! (We stan a badass and loving grandmother. She's probably one of my top favorite characters in this story.)

♥ The authors note was deeply personal, raw, and incredibly uplifting. I hope it resonates with you as it did me and most importantly to ownvoices readers. As Tashie says in the authors note, this book is for all the "young brown girls" out there.

The friendships. The chaotic girl squad. Karina and her BFFs are so hilarious, fun, relatable and together are equally wholesome as they are chaotic. Get you a friend group of clowns that you can laugh with. "My best friends might be clowns, but they're mine and I wouldn't trade them for the world." Yeah, they're everything. ðŸ‘¯‍♀️🤡💛

Character growth. Our MC, Karina, goes through things in her life (some of which we see in real time throughout this book) and learns along the way, which affords her the agency and room for growth. Y'all know we stan growth in this kingdom. ðŸŒ±

Open and in-depth discussions about mental health. Mental health is taboo in Asian communities and never taken seriously in the U.S. so it was absolutely vital to have discussions about mental health so openly especially for teenagers like the ones in this book. ðŸ’š

♥ Addresses the emotional struggles of the South Asian immigrant experience, including the toxicity they often go through, specifically from their own families coming from a good place, and how it affects them in their formative years.

♥ It'll make you cry tears of joy, sadness and empathy almost as much as it'll make you laugh along with Karina and her chaotically loveable BFFs.

The bad boy love interest, Ace, promises to buy Karina a dozen books a week? He's a keeper. Can you imagine a whole lifetime of adding dozens of books to your shelves every week? I mean I'm sure it'll hurt his wallet after a while and all but come on... BOOKS. And Ace. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Lol. Books aside, their relationship is refreshingly healthy and I love that for them. To see it flourish throughout the days they spend together, growing closer, bringing out the best in each other, and developing real feelings for each other was so cute and swoon-worthy. ðŸ˜ðŸ“šðŸ˜ŽðŸ’—📆

🎶 I like them bad, bad, bad, bad boys ðŸŽ¶


The portrayal of Karina's complex family dynamic was explored so organically and was so relatable. The pressures and expectations from parents put on the eldest daughter of immigrant families regarding academics, career choices, ideal romantic partners, sibling comparisons, etc., are some of the things Karina can relate to and even deals with firsthand. The ups and downs of such experiences were explored well and truly authentic.

♥ The FOOD. Y'all. All the food in this book... I'm getting hungry just thinking about it again. It was great to get to know what food from Karina's culture she enjoys and how she connects her with her family and heritage. ðŸ¥˜ðŸ›

Literary References


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald     Othello, William Shakespear

Themes / Tropes


☾ Fake dating
☾ Lionhearted MC
☾ Bad boy/secret musician LI
☾ Complex family dynamics
☾ Close proximity due to tutoring
☾ Chaotic girl squad
☾ Stargazing date
☾ Book hauls as bribery

Rep


☀ Bangladeshi American Muslim MC
☀ #OwnVoices author (Bangladeshi American, anxiety)
☀ Mental health (anxiety disorder)
☀ Indian American Sikh side character
☀ Biracial (Chinese, white) bisexual side character
☀ Black wlw side character
☀ Queer side characters

Content / Trigger Warnings


➤ Toxic family relationships (verbal and emotional)
➤ Anxiety attacks
➤ Homophobia toward side character


counting down with you aesthetic








From the authors note:


The older I am, though, the more I realize that there is no "right" way to represent all of us, since we are not a monolith.

--Tashie Bhuiyan, Counting Down With You



I’m not a bad person for wanting a life different than what’s expected of me. I’m not a bad person for wanting to pursue something I love.

--Tashie Bhuiyan, Counting Down With You



I wish we could all live our lives in peace, without these expectations that seem to dictate our every breath.

--Tashie Bhuiyan, Counting Down With You


[Quotes are taken directly from an unedited review copy and are subject to change in the final publication]

Karina's Playlist





Karina x Ace Playlist









Tashie Bhuiyan is a Bangladeshi American writer based in New York City. She recently graduated from St. John’s University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, and is an Author Mentor Match alum. Born and raised in Queens, she’s been a New Yorker her entire life and grew up in the city that never sleeps. As a writer (and avid reader), she’s used to not getting that much sleep anyway.

Since she was in sixth grade, she’s been attempting her hand at telling stories. Her first novel was an outstanding six pages. From the middle grade summers spent in the library, where her mother used to work, to the high school years spent in the hallways of Bronx Science writing thousands and thousands of words that will thankfully never see the light of day, she’s developed an intense passion for the written word.

Nowadays, she can be found in either a bookstore or a Chipotle in midtown rambling about the ten billion book ideas in her head (or the latest meme she happened to come across on Twitter) using a significant amount of hand gestures.

Her debut YA contemporary novel COUNTING DOWN WITH YOU (Inkyard/HarperCollins) releases on May 4th, 2021. She is represented by the lovely JL Stermer at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.










♥ The countdown is up and Counting Down With You is finally here!
Are you excited for this awesome fake dating romance?
If you've read (and reviewed) it, let me know your thoughts and leave links in the comments below! ♥



As we celebrate AAPIHM/APIHM, it's also important to be informed of the rising Asian hate crimes that's increased over the past year and do what you can to help support fellow Asians and stop Asian hate. 

Stop Asian hate in the U.S. and around the world by contacting elected officials, donating, signing petitions, volunteeringattending bystander intervention trainings, supporting Asian businesses/creators, reporting anti-Asian hate crimes near you, and more: Stop AAPI Hate, Stop Asian Hate carrd, Anti-Asian Violence Resources carrd, Asian American Commission, Asian American Advocacy Fund, Asian Mental Health Collective, and this comprehensive list of Asian-led orgs and resources via NYMag. More resources in the sidebar as well. ➔


Support Pacific Islanders in Oceana and abroad by signing petitions to protect their land or donating to their causes and mutual aids. Some orgs/aids to donate to: Covid: Hawai'i Resilience FundPasifika Medical Association, Hawai'i Food BankHawai'ian Way Fund via Council for Nativa Hawai'ian Advancement, sign petitions to protect Hawai'i Mauna Kea (and here and here and here), and send an open letter to Hawai'i governor. Get to know some amazing Pacific Islander folks and meet these Pasifika artists/activistscheck out these lists of Pasifika books to read and this thread of Pasifika artists! Into podcasts? Check out these podcastsHere's a list of films to peruse via IMDB. Be sure to check out their works and support and uplift them in any way you can.

Resources + educational tools on what's going on around the world right now and ways to help: worldissues.carrd.co | issuesintheworld.carrd.co | getinformed.carrd.co | currentinfo.carrd.co | dotherightthing.carrd.co | allcards.carrd.co

15 Asian SFF Hidden Gems to Read

May 4, 2021

SFF books by Asian authors

Happy Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!


As promised in my contemporary books by Asian authors post, here are 15 SFF books by Asian authors to check out this APIHM and all year round! Since many well-deserved popular titles are buzzing around the blogosphere and such, I wanted to dedicate this to some hidden gems that deserves more love. I've enjoyed all of these books and hope you will too! Titles in this list range from YA to adult fic, and I've included dystopian, speculative fic and mythologies in this SFF list too, so hopefully there's something for everyone.

If any of the featured titles interests you, be sure to add them to your TBRs on Goodreads/Storygraph/Book Hype, request them at your local library and/or indie bookstore, and purchase if you're able to. Let's support Asian authors in any way we can!

Without further ado, let's get to all the SFF books!


  

Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur


A genre-defying, continents-spanning saga of Korean myth, scientific discovery, and the abiding love that binds even the most broken of families.

Elsa Park is a particle physicist at the top of her game, stationed at a neutrino observatory in the Antarctic, confident she's put enough distance between her ambitions and the family ghosts she's run from all her life. But it isn't long before her childhood imaginary friend—an achingly familiar, spectral woman in the snow—comes to claim her at last.

Years ago, Elsa's now-catatonic mother had warned her that the women of their line were doomed to repeat the narrative lives of their ancestors from Korean myth and legend. But beyond these ghosts, Elsa also faces a more earthly fate: the mental illness and generational trauma that run in her immigrant family, a sickness no less ravenous than the ancestral curse hunting her.

When her mother breaks her decade-long silence and tragedy strikes, Elsa must return to her childhood home in California. There, among family wrestling with their own demons, she unravels the secrets hidden in the handwritten pages of her mother’s dark stories: of women’s desire and fury; of magic suppressed, stolen, or punished; of the hunger for vengeance.

From Sparks Fellow, Tin House alumna, and Harvard graduate Angela Mi Young Hur, Folklorn is a wondrous and necessary exploration of the myths we inherit and those we fashion for ourselves.

CW/TW: generational trauma; past death of parent; racism; microaggression

 ➤ Buy Folklorn: Half Price BooksIndiebound | Blackwell's (INT'L) | Better World Books (INT'L) | Wordery (INT'L)

The Quiet is Loud by Samantha Garner


When Freya Tanangco was ten, she dreamed of her mother's death ten days before it happened. That’s when she realized she was a veker, someone with enhanced mental abilities and who is scorned as a result. Freya's adult life has been spent in hiding: from the troubled literary legacy created by her author father, and from the scrutiny of a society in which vekers often meet with violence.

When her prophetic dreams take a dangerous turn, Freya finds herself increasingly forced to sacrifice her own anonymity—and the fragile safety that comes with it—in order to protect those around her.

Interwoven with themes of Filipino-Canadian and mixed-race identity, fantastical elements from Norse and Filipino mythology, and tarot card symbolism, The Quiet Is Loud is an intergenerational tale of familial love and betrayal, and what happens when we refuse to let others tell our stories for us. 

CW/TW: past death of parent; forced hiding; prejudice

 ➤ Add to: Goodreads, Storygraph
 ➤ Buy The Quiet Is Loud: Chapters Indigo (CAN/US)

Serpentine by Cindy Pon


Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.

When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.

 ➤ Buy Serpentine: Half Price BooksIndiebound | Blackwell's (INT'L) | Better World Books (INT'L) | Wordery (INTL)

Book #2, Sacrifice, is out now!


  

The Heartless Divine by Varsha Ravi


In this unexpected twist on mythology inspired by Sangam India, reincarnated lovers find themselves bound together, connected to their past by a centuries old tragedy that only one of them remembers.

In the ruthless martial empire of Naja, Suri is the crown’s unfailing blade. But the princess dreams of a life exploring the lands beyond the borders, unshackled by blood. The king and queen offer her freedom, at a price: marriage to a king she’s meant to kill, and the death of Athri, a kingdom her family once nearly destroyed.

Her only obstacle lies in the mountains above the Athrian capital of Marai, where a young prophet sees a world struck by catastrophe—a world where a girl lies dead in the temple of the fire god, and the city lies burning below.

 ➤ Buy The Heartless Divine: Half Price BooksIndiebound | Blackwell's (INT'L) | Better World Books (INT'L)

Shadow Frost by Coco Ma


IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes.
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm.
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned.

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed.

To kill it.

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known.

That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

 ➤ Buy Shadow Frost: Half Price BooksIndiebound | Blackwell's (INTL) | Better World Books (INTL) | Wordery (INTL)

Book #2, God Storm, is out now!

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake


The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.

Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications.

 ➤ Buy The Atlas Six: Half Price BooksIndieboundBetter World Books (INTL)


  

Rebelwing by Andrea Tang


Business is booming for Prudence Wu.

A black-market-media smuggler and scholarship student at the prestigious New Columbia Preparatory Academy, Pru is lucky to live in the Barricade Coalition where she is free to study, read, watch, and listen to whatever she wants. But between essays and exams, she chooses to spend her breaks sweet-talking border patrol with her best friend, Anabel, in order to sell banned media to the less fortunate citizens of the United Continental Confederacy, Inc.

When a drop-off goes awry, Pru narrowly escapes UCC enforcers to find that her rescuer is, of all things, a sentient cybernetic dragon. On the one hand, Pru is lucky not to be in prison, or worse. On the other, the dragon seems to have imprinted on her permanently, which means she has no choice but to be its pilot.

Drawn into a revolution she has no real interest in leading, Pru, Anabel, and friends Alex and Cat become key players in a brewing conflict with the UCC as the corporate government develops advanced weaponry more terrifying and grotesque than Pru could have ever imagined.

 ➤ Buy Rebelwing: Half Price BooksIndiebound | Blackwell's (INTL) | Better World Books (INTL)

Book #2, Renegade Flight, is out now!

The Chanter's Blade by A.A. Lee


The moon-eating serpent is coming.

Tasked to complete the seven blades, Makanas has traversed many lands, spending countless gold and waging wars. But when the last chief he has to face isn't blinded by gold nor fear the blade, Makanas employed his last weapon—deceit to infiltrate his household.

Just when he thinks his plan is going well, colonizers who now rule the land uncover the chief's traitorous plan. Lin-ay, the chief's secluded daughter awakens the blade to protect her family—something Makanas has trained for and failed.

To defeat the giant moon eating serpent, he must get Lin-ay to the bolo warrior village, but first, she must trust him.

Inspired by Bakunawa from Philippine mythology, The Chanter's Blade is perfect for fans of Shadow of the Fox.

 ➤ Buy The Chanter's Blade: Indiebound | Blackwell's (INTL) | Better World Books (INTL)

Crowning Soul by Sahira Javaid


Nezha Zaman considers her gift to control fire a dangerous secret. A secret that unravels when she encounters a vengeful shadow jinni in a maze garden that has been stalking her family, and knows about her power. Weeks after seeing the demonic being, Nezha is torn from her world through her backyard pond and transported to another dimension which sought out the light inside her heart.

Nezha learns from two unicorns that the dimension is her family’s roots, and the light is a fragment of an angel’s shattered soul. The three must work together to find the soul’s shards in a land teeming with shape-shifting jinn. If Nezha fails to stop the corrupted Iron Prince, the malevolent jinn at his side will shatter her soul next.

 ➤ Buy Crowning Soul: Half Price BooksIndiebound | Blackwell's (INTL) | Better World Books (INTL)

Book #2, Crowning Essence, is coming out soon!


  

The Girl and the Goddess by Nikita Gill


Bestselling poet, writer, and Instagram sensation Nikita Gill returns with a collection of poetry and prose exploring Hindu mythology and legend.

Let her be a little less human, a little more divine
Give her heart armor so it doesn't break as easily as mine

Meet Paro. A girl with a strong will, a full heart, and much to learn. Born into a family reeling from the ruptures of Partition in India, we follow her as she crosses the precarious lines between childhood, teenage discovery, and realizing her adult self. In the process, Paro must confront fear, desire and the darkest parts of herself in the search for meaning and, ultimately, empowerment.

Nikita Gill's vivid poetry and beautiful illustrations have captured hearts and imaginations--but in The Girl and the Goddess, she offers us her most personal and deeply felt writing to date: an intimate coming-of-age story told in linked poems that offers a look into the Hindu mythology and rich cultural influences that helped her become the woman she is today.

 ➤ Add to: Goodreads, Storygraph, Book Hype
 ➤ Buy The Girl and the Goddess: Half Price BooksIndiebound | Blackwell's (INTL) | Better World Books (INTL) | Wordery (INTL)

Toxic by Lydia Kang


Hana isn't supposed to exist. She's grown up hidden by her mother in a secret room of the bioship Cyclo until the day her mother is simple gone - along with the entire crew. Cyclo tells her she was abandoned, but she's certain her mother wouldn't leave her there to die. And Hana isn't ready to die yet. She's never really had a chance to live.

Fenn is supposed to die. He and a crew of hired mercenaries are there to monitor Cyclo as she expires, and the payment for the suicide mission will mean Fenn's sister is able to live. But when he meets Hana, he's not sure how to save them both.

As Cyclo grows sicker by the day, they unearth more secrets about the ship and the crew. But the more time they spend together, the more Hana and Fenn realize that falling for each other is what could ultimately kill them both.

 ➤ Add to: Goodreads, Storygraph, Book Hype
 ➤ Buy Toxic: Half Price BooksIndiebound | Blackwell's (INTL) | Better World Books (INTL)

The Descent of the Drowned by Ana Lal Din


As the sacred slave of a goddess, Roma is of a lower caste that serves patrons to sustain the balance between gods and men. What she wants is her freedom, but deserters are hunted and hanged, and Roma only knows how to survive in her village where women are vessels without a voice. When her younger brother is condemned to the same wretched fate as hers, Roma must choose between silence and rebellion.

Leviathan is the bastard son of an immortal tyrant. Raised in a military city where everyone knows of his blood relation to the persecuted clans, Leviathan is considered casteless. Lowest of the low. Graduating as one of the deadliest soldiers, he executes in his father's name, displaying his worth. When he faces judgement from his mother's people—the clans—Leviathan must confront his demons and forge his own path, if he ever hopes to reclaim his soul.

Set in a colonised Indo-Persian world and inspired by pre-Islamic Arabian mythology, The Descent of the Drowned is a tale about power, identity, and redemption, and what it takes to hold on to one's humanity in the face of devastation.

 ➤ Add to: Goodreads, Storygraph, Book Hype
 ➤ Buy The Descent of the Drowned: Half Price BooksIndiebound | Blackwell's (INTL) | Better World Books (INTL)


  

Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh


After a great war, the East Pacific is in ruins. In brutal Neo Seoul, where status comes from success in combat, ex-gang member Lee Jaewon is a talented pilot rising in the ranks of the academy. Abandoned as a kid in the slums of Old Seoul by his rebel father, Jaewon desires only to escape his past and prove himself a loyal soldier of the Neo State.

When Jaewon is recruited into the most lucrative weapons development division in Neo Seoul, he is eager to claim his best shot at military glory. But the mission becomes more complicated when he meets Tera, a test subject in the government’s supersoldier project. Tera was trained for one purpose: to pilot one of the lethal God Machines, massive robots for a never-ending war.

With secret orders to report on Tera, Jaewon becomes Tera’s partner, earning her reluctant respect. But as respect turns to love, Jaewon begins to question his loyalty to an oppressive regime that creates weapons out of humans. As the project prepares to go public amidst rumors of a rebellion, Jaewon must decide where he stands—as a soldier of the Neo State, or a rebel of the people.

Pacific Rim meets Korean action dramas in this mind-blowing, New Visions Award-winning science fiction debut.

 ➤ Add to: Goodreads, Storygraph, Book Hype
 ➤ Buy Rebel Seoul: Half Price BooksIndiebound | Blackwell's (INTL) | Better World Books (INTL) | Wordery (INTL)

Book #2, Rogue Heart, is out now!

Never Have I Ever: Stories by Isabel Yap


Spells and stories, urban legends and immigrant tales: the magic in Isabel Yap’s debut collection jumps right off the page, from the joy in her new novella, 'A Spell for Foolish Hearts' to the terrifying tension of the urban legend 'Have You Heard the One About Anamaria Marquez'.

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 ➤ Buy Never Have I Ever: Half Price BooksIndiebound | Blackwell's (INTL) | Better World Books (INTL) | Wordery (INTL)

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean


Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren't hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.

Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.

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 ➤ Buy Empress of All Seaons: Half Price BooksIndiebound | Blackwell's (INTL) | Better World Books (INTL) | Wordery (INTL)


Have you read any of the books on this list?
Any Asian SFF's I might've missed?
What are your favorites? Let's talk about it!



As we celebrate AAPIHM/APIHM, it's also important to be informed of the rising Asian hate crimes that's increased over the past year and do what you can to help support fellow Asians and stop Asian hate. 

Stop Asian hate in the U.S. and around the world by contacting elected officials, donating, signing petitions, volunteeringattending bystander intervention trainings, supporting Asian businesses/creators, reporting anti-Asian hate crimes near you, and more: Stop AAPI Hate, Stop Asian Hate carrd, Anti-Asian Violence Resources carrd, Asian American Commission, Asian American Advocacy Fund, Asian Mental Health Collective, and this comprehensive list of Asian-led orgs and resources via NYMag. More resources in the sidebar as well. ➔


Support Pacific Islanders in Oceana and abroad by signing petitions to protect their land or donating to their causes and mutual aids. Some orgs/aids to donate to: Covid: Hawai'i Resilience FundPasifika Medical Association, Hawai'i Food BankHawai'ian Way Fund via Council for Nativa Hawai'ian Advancement, sign petitions to protect Hawai'i Mauna Kea (and here and here and here), and send an open letter to Hawai'i governor. Get to know some amazing Pacific Islander folks and meet these Pasifika artists/activistscheck out these lists of Pasifika books to read and this thread of Pasifika artists! Into podcasts? Check out these podcastsHere's a list of films to peruse via IMDB. Be sure to check out their works and support and uplift them in any way you can.

Resources + educational tools on what's going on around the world right now and ways to help: worldissues.carrd.co | issuesintheworld.carrd.co | getinformed.carrd.co | currentinfo.carrd.co | dotherightthing.carrd.co | allcards.carrd.co


If you've found this list helpful, consider buying me a ko-fi.
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