Cover Image: Fall 2019 Debut Fiction Sampler

Fall 2019 Debut Fiction Sampler

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is a GREAT way to get insight to future releases and a fabulous way to build your TBR! I hope to see one of these for 2024!

Was this review helpful?

Fall 2019 Debut Fiction Sampler contains extracts from The Off-Islander by Peter Colt, How Quickly She Disappears by Raymond Fleischmann, A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill, The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez, The Better Liar by Tanen Jones, All That's Bright and Gone by Eliza Nellums, The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott, What Red Was by Rosie Price, On Swift Horses by Shannon Pufahl and Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. This sampler was a great way to discover books by authors I might never have found otherwise.

The Off-Islander is a mystery/thriller based on the New England Coast featuring veteran and private detective Andy Roark. I didn't enjoy the writing style of the extract despite this book having an interesting premise as the repetitive use of short sentences made it feel very jerky and lack any flow. Therefore I won't be finishing this book or the rest of the series that it is part of.

How Quickly She Disappears is a historical, mystery/thriller set in Alaska in the 1940s. I love the idea of the setting of this as well as its intriguing premise so was excited to read this extract. The beginning of this story has hooked me so I could definitely see myself getting round to reading this.

A Cosmology of Monsters is a horror novel about Noah who can see monsters. Usually horror isn't really my thing and I wasn't particularly interested by the synopsis of this book. The extract did nothing to change that so I won't be reading any more of this book.

The Vanished Birds is a science fiction novel involving aspects of time travel. I was slightly confused by this premise of this book however I did enjoy the extract and would be intrigued to see how the character's and the story develops so may pick this up if I'm in the mood for something a bit different.

The Better Liar is a thriller about a woman who conceals her sister's death in order to claim her share of the inheritance. The premise of this book sounded excited and I love domestic thrillers so this sounded right up my street. The writing in the extract had me captivated and I'm desperate to know how this story ends.

All That's Bright and Gone is a mystery novel following a young girl as she tries to uncover her family's secrets. The extract is written from the point of view of a six year old which is unique however it didn't really work for me and I won't be continuing this novel.

The Secrets We Kept is a historical, spy novel set in Russia during the Cold War. The extract was interesting and I thought the premise made for a very suspenseful read. I could one hundred percent see myself picking up the rest of this book and really enjoying it.

What Red Was is a literary fiction about two friends who meet at university and explores themes of class and privilege. From the extract I didn't really connect with the characters at all so I feel I would struggle to get through the rest of this book so won't be reading it.

On Swift Horses is a historical fiction novel set in post war America. The premise didn't intrigue me very much and I didn't enjoy the writing style of the extract and find any element of the book that would make me want to read on.

Such a Fun Age is a literary fiction which explores themes of race, privilege and coming of age. I read this sampler in 2023 and this book has gone viral on TikTok. I read this book however I found it disappointed. The message it was trying to portray was really important but sometimes the pacing got too slow.

Was this review helpful?

I’m so addicted to these I’ve even been hunting down the old ones to see if there’s any interesting books I’ve missed!

Was this review helpful?

I always like these samplers. They give you good little snippets of books that you may not have come across before. I added several titles to my TBR list.

Was this review helpful?

Excerpts for The Off-Islander by Peter Colt. How Quickly She Disappears by Raymond Fleischmann, A Cosmology of Monsters: A Novel by Shaun Hamill, The Vanished Birds: A Novel by Simon Jiminez, The Better Liar: A Novel by Tanen Jones, All That's Bright and Gone: A Novel by Eliza Nellums, The Secrets We Kept: A Novel by Lara Prescott, What Red Was: A Novel by Rosie Price, On Swift Horses: A Novel by Shannon Pufahl, and Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid are provided. My favorites are Such a Fun Age, How Quickly She Disappears, A Cosmology of Monsters, The Better Liar, and The Secrets We Kept. Several of these novels are very intriguing - will be adding most to my TBR. Highly recommended!

Was this review helpful?

Even though this sampler was put out in 2019, I had never read or even heard of most of these books. I love these samplers because I can read little bits of a lot of books and decide which ones I want to add to my TBR list.

Was this review helpful?

Once again the sampler never fails to add so many good books to my TBR. I look forward to each issue.

Was this review helpful?

I love being able to read a sample of several books that I’ve heard so much about all in one place! It’s so great to be able to see if I like the writing style of an author before buying the book! Thanks so much for putting this together!

Was this review helpful?

I loved being able to take a look at these novels from Penguin Random House. One I have read and loved already and a few others are now on my radar.
Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the advance copy.

Was this review helpful?

I just love to get fiction samplers, especially ones featuring debut novels so I can source out new authors. This one has 10 fine previews in an array of genres from mysteries and thrillers to historical fiction. A delicious treat!

5 of 5 Stars
Pub Date 13 Aug 2019
#Fall2019DebutFictionSampler # NetGalley

Thanks to Penguin Random House and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

What a great read! I liked this sampler of novels a lot. Reading this excerpts now in fall 2020 I have to say, I hadn’t heard of any of this great and interesting novels before reading the sampler and neither did the authors ring a bell with me. But I throughly enjoyed reading this short pieces from the books. I would very much like to read some of these books. I especially enjoyed „A Cosmology of Monsters“ which has a great start. I liked that the book covers were included in the sampler because you can get a good impression of the whole book that way. It would be great, if there were some short biographies of the authors included, too.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Random House for the chance to read these excerpts!

THE OFF-ISLANDER by Peter Colt is an Andy Roark mystery. The dialogue kept throwing me off because contractions were used sparingly, which kept reading as oddly formal to me. The setting is interesting though--it's the 1980s, Reagan is President, and PI Andy Roark's latest clients think the husband might be able to get elected as a Republican in the Bay Area. He's been hired to check for any potential scandals with a missing father who hasn't been seen in years. The excerpt cuts off right around there, but I'm guessing things will get more complicated from there, otherwise there wouldn't be a whole book! The political angle is interesting to see how liberal and conservative and political discourse were different back then. I wasn't alive and I'm not a student of political science so I don't bring much context to it, but I bet people who remember the 80's will get more out of it.

HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS by Raymond Fleischmann has a cover blurb about how is it dark and harrowing and that was my first clue this would not be a book for me. And the excerpt is suitably creepy -- a woman and her daughter are alone in a tiny Alaska town while the husband is away for work in Juneau. The guy who delivers packages from a plane is subbing for the usual one, and claims his plane is broken and keeps sticking around, staying overnight at their house. The setting is extremely remote, and it's the 1940s so there's no cell phones, and it's Alaska in summer so everything is really bright and sunny all the time, even at night, which you'd think would make it less creepy but just throws everything out of whack. It certainly seems like it will deliver on the promise of a creepy book but I won't be the one to find out!

A COSMOLOGY OF MONSTERS by Shaun Hamill is yet another creepy book. The first sentence is about suicide notes, if you needed any clue. Then we flash back to the narrator's mother, growing up in the 60's, and flirting with two very different boys. The more rebellious Harry shows her HP Lovecraft, and an illustration of Cthulhu, then the mother starts seeing monsters out of the corner of her eye while she's on a date with goody two shoes Pierce.

THE VANISHED BIRDS by Simon Jiminez is sci-fi, taking place on a spaceship where they won't dock for four months. This claustrophobic setting intensifies when a strange orphan child starts being bullied and no one will admit to it. This excerpt starts out with chapter 2, which makes for a little bit of a rocky start as you try to figure out what's happening -- it even took me a few pages to realize this was a spaceship.

THE BETTER LIAR by Tanen Jones opens with narration by Robin Voigt's ghost, then we have the POV of her sister Leslie who doesn't seem to think very highly of Robin, even though Robin's narration adored her sister. From the title I'm guessing maybe we'll have conflicting POVs with unreliable narrators, and the better liar will get the reader on her side?

ALL THAT'S BRIGHT AND GONE by Eliza Nellums is yet another dark and depressing story in this collection. Here, we are viewing things from the POV of 6-year-old Aoife (ee-fah), who can see her dead brother's ghost and is being psychologically examined by doctors.

THE SECRETS WE KEPT by Lara Prescott successfully sucked me in, talking about women who were typists and secretaries in the war effort against Soviet Russia and how much they were blending in and taken for granted...but then hinting at something big they did behind the scenes. I'm excited to find out just what it is!

WHAT RED WAS by Rosie Price seems like a family drama about a grandmother dying suddenly. I couldn't really get a sense of what was happening

ON SWIFT HORSES by Shannon Pufahl only gives us chapter 3 of the excerpt, with protagonist Muriel listen to horse racers chatting in a bar in 1957.

SUCH A FUN AGE is the only book in this collection I'd actually heard about, and I know it had a lot of buzz. Reading the sample, I'm not surprised. This excerpt was incredibly resonant in today's America. We start with a girl in her twenties partying with friends, suddenly asked to help babysit for a while to get the kid away from the house when the police come to investigate a broken window. This leads to an incredibly tense situation in a supermarket when some Nice White Lady reports on them, and things rapidly escalate when the security guard questions Emira, who is Black and a little buzzed and dressed in party clothes, holding a 3-year-old white girl. I was on the edge of my seat and can't wait to read more.

A lot of this collection was dark and depressing and completely not my style, and sometimes disorienting when excerpts bypassed chapter 1. However, I look forward to reading THE SECRETS WE KEPT and SUCH A FUN AGE.

Was this review helpful?

I love seeing these previews of books to come. It is exciting to potentially find new authors to add to my favorite list!

Was this review helpful?

This was another informative selection of up and coming books, many of which I wouldn't have read if it weren't for this book.

Was this review helpful?

5 stars.

An excellent collection of 2019 debuts. Had I not picked this up i wouldn’t have known about some of these debuts.

I highly recommend this.

Was this review helpful?

I always love scrolling through the Debut Fiction Sampler. It gives me a glimpse of what's to come and all of the titles I will want to add to my reading list and what to recommend to others as each book is published.

Was this review helpful?

I received a complimentary review copy of the Fall 2019 Debut Fiction Sampler from NetGalley.

This sampler includes extended previews of 10 novels. I really enjoyed being able to preview enough of the book to know whether I'd be interested enough to read the whole thing. Each excerpt starts with a full-color page showing the book cover, and the publication date is shown on the following copyright page.

Was this review helpful?

<img class=" size-full wp-image-9102 alignright" src="" alt="debut fiction sampler" width="255" height="377" />I'm back with yet another fiction sampler to review, this time the debut fiction from Fall 2019. There were a lot of books in this one so bear with me as I go through them. While I wasn't interested in the majority of these novels, there were a few that stood out. I'm going to be addressing them one by one in the order that they were in the sampler, so you'll have a quick bit of insight into each story included.

<em>The Off-Islander </em>by Peter Colt is practically a poster child for why I tend to not read adult fiction. It blends the mystery of a missing father, a private detective character having gone through a divorce, and a young lawyer in such a way that, for me, is nothing but capital D <em>Dull</em>. I'm sure there are plenty who would enjoy this one. I nearly fell asleep from boredom.

Raymond Fleischmann's <em>How Quickly She Disappears</em> is another that I really just couldn't see myself reading anything further in. The book, as a whole, just sounds like it's bound to be absolutely <em>miserable</em> and nothing in the writing and sample provided really endeared me to any interest in finding out more.

I don't read horror. I don't watch horror. I don't even read YA horror. So, unfortunately, <em>A Cosmology of Monsters</em> is just not for me. That said, what I read was well done. I can't genuinely see myself really reading further, but I think if you're a horror fan, this book does genuinely have a lot of potential.

I suppose this is where my love of science fiction really shines through because I am already utterly invested in <em>The Vanished Birds</em> by Simone Jimenez. I want to know everything about this little boy. I'm thoroughly excited about this one and you're sure to see me adding it to my TBR later.

I'm undecided about <em>The Better Liar </em>by Tanen Jones. I know, unquestionably, that this isn't the sort of book I would typically pick up. The sample wasn't really tantalizing enough for me to decide that I do really want to read it, however, I'm intrigued enough to consider.

Eliza Nellums' <em>All that's Bright and Gone</em> is definitely not for me. There are some occasions in which I'll pick up a book like this, but for the most part I find myself shying away from them. The last novel I read that was even slightly similar, while intriguing, just got so boring after a while.

I was turned off by <em>The Secrets we Kept</em> insanely fast. I'll be honest here, I don't like war novels. I never have. And while I've read a good number of them, I find that I drift off the majority of the time when I read these kinds of books. It's very rare that I'll find myself interested in a book like this.

<em>Yikes. </em>I am definitely adding <em>The Red Was</em> to my TBR. I make a point to read books that discuss consent rather often. I know a big reason for this ties into my past, but another reason is simply that I find topics like this <em>extremely</em> important. I also see it as necessary to make sure that any books discussing themes such as this handle the subject matter appropriately.

<em>On Swift Horses</em> by Shannon Pufahl, while decently written, sounds like a book I would get bored of quickly. I can't say for sure whether that will be the case throughout the entire novel, but I definitely had moments while reading the sampler.

<em>Such a Fun Age </em>by Kiley Reid discusses racism. That social commentary is 90% of the reason why I intend to read it. Again, books like this are important to me. And while, in the case of racism, I cannot say for certain that everything is being handled appropriately I at least want to be sure I am making an effort to read more novels that discuss these issues prevalent in our society.

Review to go live on blog 03/27/20.

Was this review helpful?

I love these samplers of upcoming books! Such an easy and exciting way to discover new authors. I've added so many titles to my "must read" list after browsing the latest samplers. Thanks and please keep them coming!

Was this review helpful?

The samplers are so invaluable for the planners of reviewers! What a great selection.

Thanks to the hardworking publicists who put these editions together.

Was this review helpful?