Highlights from the Dey Rey UK 2021 Virtual Showcase!
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In April I took part in the Del Rey UK 2021 Virtual Showcase on Zoom and got to watch some brilliant interviews with Max Brooks, Andy Weir and Noami Novak, as well as promotional videos from several other authors introducing their new and upcoming releases. By the end of it, I had about 7 and 1/2 pages of notes about some incredible new upcoming books (a bunch of which swiftly got added to my own TBR list 😉 ) and this is the result of those notes; a list of highlights from the Del Rey UK 2021 Virtual Showcase!

I hope you’ll enjoy this peek at the books on the way soon from Del Rey and at the minds of those who wrote them! I managed to get my hands on some advanced reader copies for a few and will be reviewing them over the next few months. You can find out more about that at the end of this post. Without further ado, let’s dive into the highlights!

Del Rey Virtual Showcase Highlights: Max Brooks "Devolution"

Max Brooks

His new book is Devolution and it’s available to buy now.

For Max Brooks, his new novel Devolution is a huge passion project stemming from his own childhood fear of bigfoot. In this novel, he asks the question what if bigfoot is actually real? As with his previous work he confronts nature head-on and anthropologises it, stating that “nature does not care” humans. It’s a view that is especially poignant right now as the world tries to leave the COVID-19 pandemic behind, and Max was asked about his interest in writing about disasters and pandemics. He’s known for World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, a novel that offers first-hand accounts of the Zombie plague and the global conflict caused by it. While it’s a work of fiction, the parallels between it and the COVID-19 pandemic are unnerving; the virus started in China and worldwide responses differ as various countries choose to respond in their own way to the pandemic.

When asked why he chooses to focus on this subject for his novels Max said that he wanted to help bring these subjects to people’s attention and help educate the world. He said that when people are given information in a certain format and told to pay attention, this is important, etcetera, many will choose to ignore it or not take it in. However, if the information is packaged in an alternate format, such as stories, they pay more attention.

Buy Max Brooks’ new book Devolution

Buy Devolution:

Amazon UK/US | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Forbidden Planet | Waterstones | Wordery

Del Rey Virtual Showcase Highlights: Heather Walter "Malice"

Heather Walter

Her new book Malice and is available to buy now.

In a promotional video, Heather Walter introduced her debut novel Malice and discussed what inspired her to write a novel from the perspective of a villain. She talked about other fairytale villains, remarking how many were shown to be one dimensional and shallow. Their goals were simple and petty, and she wanted to create a female villain that was different. A female villain who didn’t just care about her looks, for example, and had layers to her character. She also mentioned that she doesn’t consider Malice to be a retelling but rather a story told using the Sleeping Beauty mythos.

Buy Malice:

Amazon UK/US | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Forbidden Planet | Waterstones | Wordery

Del Rey Virtual Showcase Highlights: Robert Dinsdale "Paris by Starlight"

Robert Dinsdale

His new book Paris by Starlight and it’s available to buy now.

Robert Dinsdale’s video introduced his new novel Paris by Starlight a novel focused on the themes of immigration and displacement. Told from the perspective of a Parisian woman, the novel tells the story of people who used to live nocturnally and have had to abandon their home to find a new one in Paris. The older generation tells the younger ones stories about what it used to be like and soon they begin to desire to live as their ancestors did. As their desire grows magic begins to appear in Paris; nocturnal water dogs start appearing, night finches fill the skies and the Eiffel Tower lit up by strange ethereal flowers.

But not everyone in Paris is won over by the spectacle of Paris-by-Starlight and Paris by Starlight is about the fear of the other and of strangers seeking a new home. Robert spoke about how the current refuge issues influenced this novel, referring to how the city of Paris sits side by side with refuge tents. This juxtaposition and thoughts about fractured families were on his mind when he was writing Paris by Starlight.

Buy Paris by Starlight:

Amazon UK/US | The Book Depository | Forbidden Planet | Waterstones | Wordery

Del Rey Virtual Showcase Highlights: Andy Weir "Project Hail Mary"

Andy Weir

His new book Project Hail Mary and it’s available to buy now.

In his interview, Andy Weir introduced Project Hail Mary, his next science fiction thriller which takes us back to Mars with the promise of many more thrills. This time it’s one man against an apocalypse as the protagonist has to try to stop an extinction-level event. When asked where he begins with his research Weir admitted that he always starts with Google, and something he found out why researching for Project Hail Mary that fascinated him was that it is amateur astronomers are most likely to discover an extinction-level event such as a supernova. It was that idea that led to the creation of the main character of Project Hail Mary and he explained that this is the first protagonist that is not based on him in any way. Even Jazz, the protagonist of Artemis, is based on him; she’s him at 26 he told us.

When asked what he would take into space with him Weir said that it would be every remaining episode. In regards to what readers take away from Project Hail Mary, for him it isn’t about a moral story or education; he just hopes they enjoy it and if anything they take away a feeling of positivity and of faith in humanity.

Buy Project Hail Mary:

Amazon UK/US | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Forbidden Planet | Waterstones | Wordery

Del Rey Virtual Showcase Highlights: Ava Reid "The Wolf and the Huntsman"

Ava Reid

Her new book The Wolf and the Woodsman and it’s available to buy now.

In her promotional video, Ava Reid introduced her debut book The Wolf and the Woodsman a fantasy novel using her own Hungarian and Jewish Folklore. She described it as being a story about enemies who connect over their shared status as enemies in a world filled with magic and religious angst.

Buy The Wolf and the Woodsman:

Amazon UK/US | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Forbidden Planet | Waterstones | Wordery

Del Rey Virtual Showcase Highlights: A. E. Warren "Subject Twenty One"

A. E. Warren

Her new books Subject Twenty One and The Hidden Base and they are available to pre-order now.

Through a promotional video A. E. Warren introduced two books, Subject Twenty One and its sequel The Hidden Base. Set two hundred years in the future this science fiction duology is about the ethics of genetic engineering and scientists have not only brought back the dinosaurs, they have brought back a neanderthal. Subject twenty one is that neanderthal and lives in a cage. In a world where genetic status equates to social status as a non-human subject twenty one has no rights. Equality is a core theme of these novels and A. E Warren explained that the novel examines the effects of genetic engineering on society, such as what happens if you can’t afford it and therefore, are unable to change your social status.

Pre-Order Subject Twenty One:

Amazon UK | The Book Depository | Forbidden Planet | Waterstones | Wordery

Pre-Order The Hidden Base:

Amazon UK | The Book Depository | Forbidden Planet | Waterstones | Wordery

Del Rey Virtual Showcase Highlights: Chuck Wendig "The Book of Accidents"

Chuck Wendig

His new book The Book of Accidents and it’s available to pre-order now.

Chuck Wendig described his new upcoming book, The Book of Accidents, as classic horror in his promotional video, stating that it appears to fit right into the classic haunted house genre right up until it doesn’t. It’s a story he has been trying to write for twenty years about the entanglements of family, and it’s inspired by the work of Cherie Priest.

Pre-Order The Book of Accidents:

Amazon UK/US | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Forbidden Planet | Waterstones | Wordery

Del Rey Virtual Showcase Highlights: Naomi Novak "The Last Graduate"

Naomi Novak

Her new book The Last Graduate and it’s available to pre-order now.

The final interview of the virtual showcase was with Naomi Novak who was talking about The Last Graduate the second book in The Scholomance trilogy. After writing the nine-book Temeraire series, Novak explained that she hadn’t intended to write another series just yet and somehow ended up doing so anyway. Her inspiration for The Scholomance trilogy is mainly fairytales although she emphasised that it is not a retelling of any fairytales as she is not following any specific plots. The folklore for the Scholomance itself came from a random footnote in a Dracula book that alluded to Dracula attending a school in which the devil took the last graduate. Novak combined that idea with Harry Potter and created the Scholomance, noting that everyone as a teenager was just trying to survive adolescence.

When asked to describe the new book in three words Novak said: “don’t hate me” and admitted that the second book is worse than the first one’s cliffhanger.

Pre-Order The Last Graduate:

Amazon UK/US | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Forbidden Planet | Waterstones | Wordery

Del Rey Virtual Showcase Highlights: Alexandra Bell "The Winter Garden"

Alexandra Bell

Her new book The Garden and it’s available to pre-order now.

After the interviews, we were introduced to two new upcoming books from Del Rey and the first was The Winter Garden by Alexandra Bell. It was described as a book about grief, hope and female that is set in Victorian pleasure gardens.

Pre-Order The Garden:

Amazon UK | The Book Depository | Forbidden Planet | Waterstones | Wordery

Highlights from the Del Rey UK 2021 Virtual Showcase!: Nicole Glover "The Undertakers"

Her new book The Undertakers (Murder and Magic #2) and it’s available to pre-order now.

The second book was The Undertakers by Nicole Glover, the second book of her Murder and Magic series. It’s post-civil war America with magic and Glover wanted to write about people and things that she had never seen written about anywhere else.

Pre-Order The Undertakers:

Amazon UK/US | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Forbidden Planet | Waterstones

Kiersten White

Her new book Hide has just been announced.

Announced earlier that day, Hide is Kiersten White’s adult fiction debut and first publication with Del Rey. It’s about fourteen reality TV competitors who are camped out at an old fairground for a hide and seek competition and unbeknownst to them, there is a monster hiding in the fairground with them. There is nowhere for them to hide.

Keep an eye out for more details about Hide and add it to your GoodReads here!

Highlights from the Del Rey UK 2021 Virtual Showcase!- Highlights from the Del Rey UK 2021 Virtual Showcase featuring books from authors such as Max Brooks, Andy Weir, Naomi Novak and Heather Walter.

Over to you

I hope you enjoyed reading through the highlights from the Del Rey UK 2021 Virtual Showcase and have gotten some fantastic new reads for 2021 to add to your reading list! I know I certainly did have a bunch to add to my TBR 🙂 I was very fortunate to be able to get my hands on some copies to review and you can see what book reviews I have upcoming over the next few months here. I have already reviewed The Wolf and the Woodsman which was so good and I highly recommend it! You can check out my review for it here 🙂

If you want to catch any of my other reviews then following me on Twitter, Facebook or GoodReads is the best way to ensure you don’t miss anyway.

Also, if any of these books did catch your eye and you’re planning to grab yourself a copy it would be greatly appreciated if you used one of the affiliate links in this post. Affiliate links help me keep this running and also let me buy more books and thus write more reviews for brand new releases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and all you have to do is click a link 🙂

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