Cover Image: Spring 2016 Debut Fiction Sampler

Spring 2016 Debut Fiction Sampler

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Spring 2016 Debut Fiction Sampler contains extracts from Dodgers by Bill Beverly, A Fine Imitation by Amber Brock, Tumbledown Manor by Helen Brown, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley, And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile, Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger, The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake, The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis, Twisted River by Siobhán MacDonald, Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, The Year of the Runawways by Sunjeev Sahota, Speakers of the Dead by J. Aaron Sanders, The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay, Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon, The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins and Daredevils by Shawn Vestal. This sampler was a great way of discovering new authors I might not have found otherwise.

Dodgers is a crime fiction novel about gangs set in LA. From the synopsis and extract, this book sounds exciting and one I would feel inclined to pick up.

A Fine Imitation is a historical fiction novel set in New York in the 1920s. The premise of this sounds interesting and I may eventually get round to picking this up if I feel like something a bit different to what I would usually read.

Tumbledown Manor is a romance novel set in Melbourne countryside. I love the setting in this extract and would pick this up in the summer as a beach read.

Homegoing is a historical fiction novel set in Ghana. Usually historical fiction isn't my thing however in 2023 this book is extremely popular so I might be tempted to read it based on its hype.

We Could Be Beautiful is a mystery/thriller about a rich woman who can trust no one. I didn't enjoy the narrator in the extract so won't be picking this up.

And After Many Days is a literary fiction novel set in Nigeria. I didn't find the premise of this interesting personally and the extract didn't change my mind on this so I won't be reading this book.

Lilac Girls is a historical fiction set during World War 2. I thought it was interesting that this book chose to focus on women during the war and would definitely be intrigued to read more.

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge is an urban fantasy novel. I have limited experience with fantasy as a genre but I found I didn't enjoy this extract so won't be finishing the book.

The Translation of Love is a historical fiction set in post-war Japan. The premise of this sounded interesting and I could be tempted to read this when I fancy something different.

The Wolf Road is a post apocalyptic thriller. The premise of this sounds very unique and I was immediately drawn into the extract so will definitely finish this at some point.

Twisted River is a mystery/thriller novel set in Ireland. I love the setting and would definitely be intrigued to see how this story develops throughout the book.

Sleeping Giants is a science fiction novel. Usually sci-fi isn't really my thing and I found the same with this extract so I wouldn't continue reading this book or the rest of the series.

The Year of the Runaways is a literary fiction novel which follows the lives of four characters over a year. The premise of this sounded interesting so I will definitely get round to reading this at some point.

Speakers of the Dead is a mystery novel and the first in the Walt Whitman series. I didn't find this very unique so I probably wouldn't choose to read it above other mystery novels.

The Mirror Thief is a historical fiction novel set in Venice in the 16th century. The setting for this sounded interesting however I found the writing in the extract wasn't for me.

Try Not to Breathe is a mystery/thriller novel about a journalist trying to solve a cold case. I loved this title so was very intrigued to find out what this about. I'm now desperate to read this.

The Last Days of Magic is a fantasy novel based on elements of mythology. I found the extract difficult to understand so therefore have no interest in carrying on reading this.

Daredevils is a historical fiction novel set in Arizona and Idaho in the mid 1970s. This premise didn't drawn me in and the extract didn't change this opinion so I probably won't read this.
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 love these samplers because I always find new-to-me authors.  In this one, I found many and I think it is because it was published in 2016 before I was reading as many books as I do today.  Thank you for making me add to my ever-growing TBR!!
Was this review helpful?
Even though this sampler was put out in 2016, 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?
Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for the chance to read these excerpts!

I think the title DODGERS by Bill Beverly cued me, but between that and a gang of boys with a man telling them what to do, I was thinking of a modern Oliver Twist. The part where a little Black girl gets shot for no reason by the police was rough reading, and felt gratuitous.

The cover of A FINE IMITATION by Amber Brock is gorgeous! I enjoyed reading this story of rich socialite Vera, jumping between her college years and making an unlikely friend Bea, and ten years later she is a lonely wife whose mother wants her to look at painting that I'm guessing might turn out to be...A Fine Imitation?

TUMBLEDOWN MANOR by Helen Brown sucked me in to a story of a woman whose awkward surprise 50th birthday party gets more awkward when the flowers for her husband's mistress (complete with handwritten note) accidentally get delivered to her. I can't stand cliche "he's cheating on me" opening scenes, but this one really got to me. I'm intrigued to see how the posh Upper East Side apartment translates into the cute countryside manor on the cover.

HOMEGOING by Yaa Gyasi I had seen in another collection already. It has a really interesting premise of two half-sisters from Ghana, where one marries an Englishman and the other is enslaved on his land, and follows the two sets of descendants through generations. Since this is an excerpt we obviously don't really get to see the scope, and in fact we mostly only see the former's story, with just a few pages of the horrific conditions that the other woman is sentenced to.

I would much rather read WE COULD BE BEAUTIFUL by Swan Huntley as a "seasoned" romance novel, but I get the sense that this will be much more depressing.

I laughed at the cover of AND AFTER MANY DAYS by Jowhor Ile only because that made two in a row featuring out-of-focus faces. The excerpt is much more serious, about a missing brother.

LILAC GIRLS by Martha Hall Kelly caught my attention because it started out with so much process about putting together this gala, and I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff. I really enjoyed the story and I'm sad that it cut off JUST as we get the WWII development, will be interesting to see if it continues balancing isolationist "normal" American life against the war goings-on in Europe.

The heroine at LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE seemed really stuck up (it seems classist to be shocked that being a server is really hard?) and I didn't care for her, but I really enjoyed the recipe and history tidbits at the end of the chapter, so I might read just for those.

THE TRANSLATION OF LOVE by Lynne Kutskake seems like it might be a tearjerker. Aya is Japanese-American (or -Canadian?) and was exiled to Japan, but of course heritage does not mean you immediately know the language or culture or anything, and school is pretty rough for her. But we get a hint at the end that friendship might be in her near future!

I had to skim through THE WOLF ROAD by Beth Lewis because the highly stylized prose and the violence just wasn't working for me.

TWISTED RIVER by Siobhan Macdonald starts out with my least favorite thing ever, the murderer POV. But then we move on to totally different people, two halves of a miserable married couple. I'm not really sure where it's going but this is much too bleak for me.

SLEEPING GIANTS by Sylvain Neuvel is very, very cool. It's weird because I just read AXIOM'S END by Lindsay Ellis so all the parallels were pinging at me, which is the problem when you read things out of publication order. Anyway I love the epistolary format, I am just such a sucker for it especially when it's not just 19th century letters back and forth, and this is no exception.

THE YEAR OF THE RUNAWAYS by Sunjeev Sahota took me a bit to figure out what was going on (I don't really know what not adding "ji" to someone's name is, and I don't really know what "tracksuit bottoms" are, so I had multiple points of cultural cluelessness) but I hope that this tale of a man paying a woman to marry him for a work visa turns into a tentative but real relationship.

I spent the whole SPEAKERS OF THE DEAD by J Aaron Sanders excerpt trying to figure out if it's Walt Whitman-Walt Whitman, and when poetry was going to come in! Again with the random connections, this one reminded me of HIS GIRL FRIDAY with the execution racing against the deadline and stories from both sides.

I am honestly not sure what has happened in THE MIRROR THIEF by Martin Seay but I think I let it get to my head that the excerpt started with chapter 23.

TRY NOT TO BREATHE by Holly Seddon caught my attention -- the 15-year-old with a secret older man who disappears, and 15 years later has been in a coma the whole time and catches the attention of a medical journalist who knew her -- what a hook!

THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC by Mark Tompkins was a pretty dense fantasy intro, with lots of names and places and lore packed in. Since the twins are 13-going-on-14, does that mean it's YA fantasy? Curious since everything else in the collection has been fairly adult.

Finally, DAREDEVILS by Shawn Vestal seems like it will be utterly too bleak for me, given we're starting out with an abusive father and a mother sending the heroine off to a cult.

There were a lot of excerpts and a lot of them weren't for me but I'm excited to check out A FINE IMITATION, TUMBLEDOWN MANOR, LILAC GIRLS, LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE, SLEEPING GIANTS, and TRY NOT TO BREATHE. Thanks again!
Was this review helpful?
I received a complimentary review copy of the Spring 2016 Debut Fiction Sampler from NetGalley. 

This sampler includes extended previews of 18 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 page showing the book cover, and the publication date is listed in the table of contents.
Was this review helpful?
I'm a fan of these collections as they often help me find a new favorite book; however, I didn't find myself getting super excited about anything in this one. It was a miss for me, but I will be looking forward to future editions in setting out my book wishlists.
Was this review helpful?
I love the opportunity to read excerpts from new books! I am always on the lookout for a good read and appreciate the opportunity to preview new authors or catch up with my favorites.
Was this review helpful?
What an extensive and interesting collection of samplers! The standout for me was Homegoing. I love that the sampler included a vast array of selections, this is such a helpful way to whittle down the TBR pile!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for this sampler! Many of these books look interesting and I've put several of these novels on my tbr/interest list.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for this interesting and varied sampler. I love ear-marking books for review and these excerpts make it so much easier.
Was this review helpful?
I love these debut samples. It's a great way to uncover new authors over a wide variety of genres. I didn't realize this compilation was for books from 2016 but it contains many of my favorites but my top three are:

Homegoing: A Novel by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf, June 2016)

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (Del Rey, April 2016)

The Year of the Runaways: A Novel by Sunjeev Sahota (Knopf, March 2016)

If you're looking for simple ways to find new authors, new genres, these samplers are a low-commitment but a much better to find favorites than reading reviews since you're reading parts of the actual book and can make your own decisions :)
Was this review helpful?
Sorry, I am trying to remove this from my bookshelf. I downloaded this by accident and did not read it.
Was this review helpful?
This is from 2016, but I still very much enjoyed reading debuts by new writers.  A few of these books I have since read in their entirety, and they are very good.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Penguin Random and Netgalley for this great fiction sampler. 
I enjoyed reading excerpts of books, discovering new to me authors and adding to my TBR pile !
A great way to get a taste for fiction books all in one place.
Was this review helpful?
I always love a good collection of samplers because it is a great way to add titles to my "to-read" pile & get inspired to read more new releases. Especially excited for Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel.
Was this review helpful?
Wow, what a great opportunity to sample nearly 20 of the Spring 2016 fiction releases. So many lure me, so having this sampler as a guide is a great help.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for making the Penguin Random House Library Marketing Spring 2016 Debut Fiction Sampler available to readers like me.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you so much for posting these to look through. It introduces me to books I may not pick up before and gives me a chance to get a taste for what's to come later this year. It gets me so excited! I wouldn't have known about these otherwise. I'm a huge fan of Penguin Random House and I cannot wait to read Sleeping Giants after seeing this!
Was this review helpful?
Samplers are so helpful to prioritize what new books to read next. This way I can spend time with books I already know I can really dive into!
Was this review helpful?
I received this advanced read through Netgalley and this is my honest review. 

 This book was basically a “tease”. It gave a chapter or so of several new  fiction novels  and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t know this type of book was an option, I loved being able to read a part of a novel before I purchased the actual book    As far as the content, I have so many new books to my TBR pile now!  If you would like to sample some really great literature this is for you. You can always tell if a book is good because each chapter could almost be a story on its own, yet leaves you wanting more    That’s exactly what these samples did    I will definitely be reading almost all of these books in the near future
Was this review helpful?