September releases are all about secrets. Get lost in a wide range of mysteries — aliens, political intrigue, family secrets, time travel and immortality.
1. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
Hank Green — co-creator of Crash Course, Vlogbrothers, and SciShow — writes about a young woman who becomes an overnight celebrity before realizing she’s part of something bigger, and stranger, than anyone could have imagined. The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at 3am, 23 year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture that looks like a 10-foot-tall Transformer wearing samurai armor. April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls around the world and April, as their first documentarian, is at the center of an international media spotlight.
“Funny, thrilling, and an absolute blast to read. I knew Hank would be good at this, but I didn’t know he would be this good on the first try.” —John Scalzi, New York Times bestselling author and Hugo Award winner
2. Black Swan Rising by Lisa Brackmann
Sarah Price’s career in politics is threatened by her secret past. Sarah is trying to keep this past hidden while she works on a San Diego congressman’s reelection campaign. Casey Cheng is an ambitious local television reporter who needs to get her career back on track after being seriously injured in a mass shooting. When Casey investigates the man who nearly killed her, she finds a connection to a group of online harassers called #TrueMen. Casey realizes the group may have inspired other killers as well. Casey’s investigation and Sarah’s secret put them both in the crosshairs of a hate group that targets anyone they’ve deemed to be against their cause, including Sarah’s boss, the congressman. Will Sarah and Casey hide or fight back?
“Lisa Brackmann’s Black Swan Rising is a savvy, riveting thriller that’s also deeply human, with characters who are as authentic as they are compelling.”—Lou Berney, Edgar Award–winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone
3. The Caregiver by Samuel Park
Mara Alencar’s mother Ana is a brave and impulsive woman who does everything to care for her little girl. With no other family or friends, Ana eclipses Mara’s entire world. They take turns caring for each other—in ways big and small.
Their arrangement begins to unravel when Ana becomes involved with a civilian rebel group attempting to undermine the city’s torturous police chief, who rules over 1980s Rio de Janeiro. Ana makes decisions that indelibly change their shared life. When Mara is forced to escape, she emigrates to California where she becomes a caregiver to a young woman dying of stomach cancer. It’s here that Mara begins to grapple with her past and starts to uncover vital truths—about her mother, herself and what it means to truly take care of someone.
“The Caregiver soars like a hymn, delivering heartbreak and joy and lifting readers into a place of compassion and understanding that feels entirely new.” —Jim Gavin, author of Middle Men and creator of AMC’s Lodge 49
4. The Wildlands by Abby Geni
This novel explores the bond between siblings and the animal instincts that threaten to destroy them.
Darlene, Tucker, Jane, Cora are transformed into orphans when a massive tornado sweeps the Oklahoma plains, disappearing their childhood home, their barn animals and their father. Darlene, now a legal guardian, scrapes together a subsistence for the siblings instead of going to college. Their new life is sufficient for Jane and for Cora (whose memories extend no further back than the tornado) but is untenable for Tucker. He runs away and becomes a dangerously zealous animal rights activist.
On the three-year anniversary of the tornado, a cosmetics factory is bombed and the lab animals trapped within are released. Tucker reappears, injured from the blast, and seeks the help of nine-year-old Cora who agrees to accompany him on a cross-country mission to make war on human civilization.
“Geni’s fascination with the borders between human and animal drives this distinctive sophomore novel . . . Geni continues to create works of art with perfect voices that are simultaneously thrillers and meditations on nature. It is an incredible trick.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
5. Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness
In this paranormal combination of time travel, adventure and romance we learn what it takes to become a vampire. On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon who offers him a chance at immortality and a new life. Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not easy and the traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality and brotherhood.
Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor–the young woman Marcus has fallen for–is about to embark on her journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers the challenges are no less formidable than they were in the 18th century. The shadows Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both–forever.
“Harkness’s world-building skills are top notch, and this latest addition is destined to join her other works as a best seller. Not to be missed by historical fantasy fans.” —Library Journal