The 16 Best New Books This Week Feature Dark Magic, Espionage, And Poison

Fall is one of the best seasons to be a reader: There's all the awards (The National Book Awards are announced in November, and the Man Booker Award is announced in October, among others), there's the chilly temperatures, which make for the perfect excuse to stay indoors with a novel, and there's the new book releases.

This week's best new books include plenty of fantasy novels to keep you company during the dreary days ahead. V.E. Schwab's highly anticipated Vicious sequel, Vengeful, is here, which means you can spend the next few days cuddled up with a book about pure revenge (which, considering the news cycle, is not the worst idea.) Plus, there's plenty of novels out this week that center on the power of female magic, in all its light and darkness: Beth Revis tackles necromancy in Give the Dark My Love, Kiersten White retells the story of Frankenstein in The Dark Descent Of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Heidi Heilig gives readers a tale of blood magic in For A Muse of Fire, L.L. McKinney spins a modern version of Alice in Wonderland in A Blade so Black, and Rena Rossner introduces readers to two sisters with magic in their veins in The Sisters Of The Winter Wood.

Even if you're not in the mood for magic, there's plenty of new novels this week to keep you entertained until winter. Here are the 16 new books to know this week:

'Vengeful' by V.E. Schwab

The long-anticipated sequel to V.S. Schwab's super-villain novel, Vicious, is finally here, and it's worth the wait. Vengeful follows Marcella Riggins, who finally has the power she's long desired. With it, she plans to take control of the city of Merit. But in order to so, she'll need the leverage the rivals from book one, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other.

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'Transcription' by Kate Atkinson

If you're looking for a fall book with a heaping helping of espionage, have I got the novel for you. Transcription, the latest from Life after Life author Kate Atkinson, is the story of Juliet Armstrong, who at 18-year-old was recruited by MI5 to monitor British Fascist sympathizers during World War II. Ten years later — just when she's thought she's put it all all behind her — Juliet must confront her complicated, dangerous past.

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'For A Muse of Fire' by Heidi Heilig

Jetta uses blood magic to bind puppets to the souls of the newly departed. It's forbidden magic, but it's literally made her family famous as shadow players throughout the land — and earned them all a spot on a ship to Aquitan, where it's rumored there's a spring that could cure any ailment. With the help of a young smuggler, Jetta sets off on to find this spring — because binding spirits isn't the only part of her that needs to be cured.

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'A Blade So Black' by L.L. McKinney

In this deliciously imaginative Alice in Wonderland retelling, Alice is a black girl in modern day Atlanta who has been training to battle monsters with magical weapons in the dark realm known as Wonderland. But when she's not fighting mythical creatures, she's got the same problems as every other teenager: school, an overprotective mother, and a romance that's got her all mixed up.

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'The Dark Descent Of Elizabeth Frankenstein' by Kiersten White

In this haunting retelling of Frankenstein from Elizabeth Frankenstein's point-of-view, Kiersten White spins a tale of abuse, power, privilege, and, of course, horror. But while the monster is very real in White's version, it isn't the true villain.

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'An Absolutely Remarkable Thing' by Hank Green

In his first novel, Hank Green (who you may know as John Green's brother) spins a tale of internet fame and its far-reaching ramifications through the story of April May, who unexpectedly goes viral after she and a friend upload a video of a strange sculpture they stumbled upon in the park. What April doesn't know is that the sculpture — The Carl — is part of a bigger, stranger mystery than she could have imagined. Now she must figure out what they are — and how to navigate her new life in the spotlight.

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'The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters' by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger

When Jackie Kennedy Onassis died at the age of 64, her sister Lee was shocked to discover that she had been written out of her will. "I have made no provision in this Will for my sister," it read. "...because I have already done so during my lifetime." In a nonfiction book that reads like fiction, Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger explore the complicated relationship of two sisters whose glamorous facades masked the jealous, rivalry, and tumult of their relationship.

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'What We Keep' by Bill Shapiro and Naomi Wax

Everyone owns something that holds deep meaning for them — their mom's ring, a book gifted to them by an ex-lover, a blanket hand-knit by a relative. Whatever it is, there's probably a powerful story behind it. In What We Keep, authors like Cheryl Strayed and Janet Mock, business leaders like Melinda Gates and Mark Cuban, and comedians like Hasan Minhaj share the touching stories behind their most prized possessions.

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'American Like Me' edited by America Ferrera

In American Like Me, 31 public figures share their stories of life between cultures and, in the process, paint of picture of America that reflects its vast and varied colors.

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'Give The Dark My Love' by Beth Revis

This novel truly has it all: boarding schools, dark magic, deadly plagues... need I say more?

Nedra Brysstain is a scholarship student at a prestigious academy for alchemy (hell yes) who doesn't quite fit in with the wealthy students. But then she meets Grey, who is immediately taken by her. At the same time, a deadly plague has been sweeping the north, threatening Nedra's family. In order to stop the plague and save her family, Nedra must do the unthinkable: channel her own dark magic.

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'The Sisters Of The Winter Wood' by Rena Rossner

A fantasy about the magic and power of sisterhood, The Sisters of the Winter Wood follows Liba and Laya, who have grown up on the edge of the vast forests on the border of Moldova and Ukraine. As darkness edges into their village, Liba and Laya become privy to family secrets and learn about the magic that lives within them. But can they use it to save themselves, their family, and their village?

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'The Poison Squad' by Deborah Blum

Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah Blum returns to to her field of expertise (poison, naturally) in this nonfiction history of the work of Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, a chemistry professor who led the crusade to eliminate dangerous chemicals from food and make it, well, actually edible.

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'The Caregiver' by Samuel Park

When Mara's mother, Ana, becomes involved in a civilian rebel group in Brazil, their strong relationship begins to unravel and Mara is forced to escape to California. There, she lives as an undocumented immigrant and finds employment as a caregiver to a woman dying of cancer. There, she also must reckon with her secrets — and her mothers.

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'The Shape Of The Ruins' by Juan Gabriel Vasquez

The Shape of Ruins begins with a thwarted theft: a man attempts to steal the bullet-ridden suit of a Colombian politician from a museum, and is arrested in the act. What follows is an intriguing story about two political murders and the conspiracy theories that emerge around them.

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'Waiting for Eden' by Elliot Ackerman

The latest from National Book Award finalist Elliot Ackerman, Waiting for Eden is the story of three people: Eden, who lies unconscious in a hospital due to injuries sustained in war; his wife, Mary; and the fellow soldier who never made it home, yet narrates the novel. When Eden unexpectedly discovers a way to communicate on Christmas Day, he and Mary must confront a painful decision.

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'Black Wings Beating' by Alex London

A fantasy unlike anything you've seen before, Alex London's Black Wings Beating circles on two twins: Brysen, who wants nothing more than to be a great falconer, and Kylee, who would prefer to leave behind the sport altogether. But a war is coming to their land, and no falconer is safe.

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