WORLD SERIES Of the six books making their debut on the hardcover fiction list this week — all in their first week on sale — none are standalone novels. Each of these new bestsellers is part of a series, the story of which has been going on for readers long before the book even hits the shelves.
#2, for example, is “Diablo Mesa,” the third installment in Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s Nora Kelly series, which follows an archaeologist at a privately funded dig in Roswell, NM, at the historic site where a farmer mysteriously debris was found in 1947 and led to theories about a UFO crash. When the dig turns into a crime scene, Kelly reconnects with FBI Agent Corrie Swanson to solve the case.
And there’s ‘Moon Witch, Spider King’, the second book in Marlon James’s Dark Star trilogy, which started in 2019 with ‘Black Leopard, Red Wolf’. Entering the list at number 10, the new installment in this “non-linear” African fantasy series tells the same story from the perspective of Sogolon, the titular moon witch, who appeared in “Black Leopard” as a thieving and murderous antagonist. Our reviewer calls the novel a “bildungsroman with a character sloppier than Arya Stark, smarter than Jane Eyre, crude as a mobster, with the world-weary humor of a private detective and the unfathomable morals of an antihero.”
The title of Stephen King and Richard Chizmar’s Gwendy’s Button Box trilogy, like the box itself, belies the horror inside. In the series, Gwendy Peterson has grown up from a 12-year-old girl to a novelist and aspiring politician, always accompanied by a cryptic box gifted to her as a child by a stranger. If she presses one of the seven buttons, danger arises. In “Gwendy’s Final Task,” which enters the list at number 14, Senator Peterson must now protect this deadly object from evil entities trying to get hold of it.
Like these five previous authors, Sarah J. Maas has also managed to captivate enough readers of her imaginary world to place her latest manifestation on the bestseller list – in her case at number 1. Continuing her steamy dark fantasy series Crescent City, “House of Sky and Breath” finds the half-human Bryce Quinlan and the fallen angel Hunt Athalar – who together saved their city from a demon in the first book, “House of Earth and Blood” – in need of rest. Enter the rebels who will take power from the good unless Bryce and Hunt can do something about it.