cover image Saturnalia


Stephanie Feldman. Unnamed, $27 (256p) ISBN 978-1-951213-64-0

The bacchanalian festival of Saturnalia—one of the most celebrated holidays in a near-future, climate change–ravaged world—provides the backdrop for this grim, bewitching fantasy thriller from Feldman (The Angel of Losses). Nina lives in an alternate Philadelphia studded with historic social clubs honoring ancient gods from around the world. She was a rising star in the exclusive, alchemy-obsessed Saturn Club, until a devastating incident during Saturnalia three years before the start of the novel spurred her to abandon the life. Now, strapped for cash, she agrees to do a job for an old friend who’s still a member: under cover of the festival’s chaos, she’ll sneak into the club’s building and steal a mysterious box from the library. This heist sets off a chain of increasingly disturbing events that lead Nina to reckon with the trauma inflicted upon her three years ago as she works desperately to save several other lives along with her own. The story features moments of bizarre, distressing cruelty and occasional gore, but it’s grounded in themes of belonging, friendship, and the potential costs of ambition. Feldman brings impressive richness and depth to both Nina’s emotional evolution and the masterful worldbuilding. This is sure to win the author many fans. Agent: Stacia Decker, Dunow, Carlson, and Lerner. (Oct.)