UPCOMING READS: Book of Sand by Mo Hayder

(created by Sarah Riedlinger / courtesy Gizmodo)

Sand. A hostile world of burning sun.

Outlines of several once-busy cities shimmer on the horizon. Now empty of inhabitants, their buildings lie in ruins.

In the distance a group of people—a family—walks toward us.

Ahead lies shelter: a “shuck” the family calls home and which they know they must reach before the light fails, as to be out after dark is to invite danger and almost certain death.

To survive in this alien world of shifting sand, they must find an object hidden in or near water. But other families want it too. And they are willing to fight to the death to make it theirs.

It is beginning to rain in Fairfax County, Virginia, when McKenzie Strathie wakes up. An ordinary teenage girl living an ordinary life—except that the previous night she found a sand-lizard in her bed, and now she’s beginning to question everything around her, especially who she really is …

Two very different worlds featuring a group of extraordinary characters driven to the very limit of their endurance in a place where only the strongest will survive. (synopsis courtesy Gizmodo)

(courtesy Kirkus Reviews)

Technically Book of Sand isn’t upcoming since it’s been out in Australia for six months and is releasing today Stateside, but it seems as good a post type as any to talk about what a remarkable book this looks to be.

Hailed as an “utterly original novel” by author Karin Slaughter, Book of Sand, which has an excerpt available via Gizmodo which you must read because it will compel you to buy the book, reads from almost the first word like one of those stories that will subsume and envelop you so captivatingly accessible are the characters who feel alive and relatably human and so arrestingly different yet familiar are the settings.

That’s a real art – to make something indisputably one-of-a-kind and yet make it feel like something you connect with; it’s like the holy grail of novels for this reader who loves books that feel like nothing he’s ever read and yet speak to me on some level.

The tragedy is that Mo Hayder, writing as Theo Clare, has died from motor neurone disease which means Book of Sand is being published posthumously but we can be thankful we have this novel, and so many others by this gifted writer, to remember her by.

Book of Sand is out now.

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