2024 debut books to support, thanks Cait Corrain

Cait Corrain tanked their writing career by review-bombing debut books by authors of colour whom they considered competition. See their victims’ exciting books here.

Cait Corrain scandal

If you’ve been on Twitter recently–or read the normal human news–you will have heard about the Cait Corrain review bombing scandal. If you live in a cottage in the woods without internet (in which case how are you reading this?), the short version is that Cait, who was to be a 2024 debut author, created a bunch of fake Goodreads accounts to give 1-star ratings and nasty reviews to a bunch of 2024 debuts written by authors of colour, while giving 5-star reviews to their own book.

If you want the long version, which reads like an inept villain story, withcindy gives a much more detailed explanation in this video.

After trying to cover up their appalling behaviour with lies, Cait finally confessed and (sort of) apologised, blaming mental health issues, but made no mention of their racism:

Cait Corrain's "apology": "mental health issues made me racist".
An adequate apology? I’ll leave it to you to decide.

As a result of all this, Cait lost their publishing deal and agent.

But we’re not here to talk about Cait. We’re here to talk about the authors Cait attacked.

Here are their beautiful books, available for preorder now. I know I’ll be buying some of them.

So Let Them Burn by Kamilah Cole

The cover of So Let Them Burn by Kamilah Cole

Whip-smart and immersive, this Jamaican-inspired fantasy follows a gods-blessed heroine who’s forced to choose between saving her sister or protecting her homeland—perfect for fans of Iron Widow and The Priory of the Orange Tree. 
Faron Vincent can channel the power of the gods. Five years ago, she used her divine magic to liberate her island from its enemies, the dragon-riding Langley Empire. But now, at seventeen, Faron is all powered up with no wars to fight. She’s a legend to her people and a nuisance to her neighbors.
When she’s forced to attend an international peace summit, Faron expects that she will perform tricks like a trained pet and then go home. She doesn’t expect her older sister, Elara, forming an unprecedented bond with an enemy dragon—or the gods claiming the only way to break that bond is to kill her sister.
As Faron’s desperation to find another solution takes her down a dark path, and Elara discovers the shocking secrets at the heart of the Langley Empire, both must make difficult choices that will shape each other’s lives, as well as the fate of their world.

“By turns hopeful and devastating, So Let Them Burn is a masterful debut with a blazing heart. I was captivated from beginning to end by Cole’s sharp, clever prose and by her protagonists—two remarkable sisters with an unforgettable bond.” — Chelsea Abdullah, author of The Stardust Thief

The Poisons We Drink by Bethany Baptiste

The cover of The Poisons We Drink by Bethany Baptiste

In a country divided between humans and witchers, Venus Stoneheart hustles as a brewer making illegal love potions to support her family.

Love potions is a dangerous business. Brewing has painful, debilitating side effects, and getting caught means death or a prison sentence. But what Venus is most afraid of is the dark, sentient magic within her.

Then an enemy’s iron bullet kills her mother, Venus’s life implodes. Keeping her reckless little sister Janus safe is now her responsibility. When the powerful Grand Witcher, the ruthless head of her coven, offers Venus the chance to punish her mother’s killer, she has to pay a steep price for revenge. The cost? Brew poisonous potions to enslave D.C.’s most influential politicians.

As Venus crawls deeper into the corrupt underbelly of her city, the line between magic and power blurs, and it’s hard to tell who to trust…Herself included.

The Poisons We Drink is a potent YA debut about a world where love potions are weaponized against hate and prejudice, sisterhood is unbreakable, and self-love is life and death.

Voyage of the Damned by Frances White

The cover of Voyage of the Damned by Frances White

The mind-blowing murder mystery debut with magical passengers, epic adventure, and a twist you can’t guess.

If Agatha Christie wrote fantasy, this would be it!

For a thousand years, Concordia has maintained peace between its provinces. To mark this honorary feat, the emperor’s ship embarks upon a twelve-day voyage to the sacred Goddess’s Mountain.

Aboard are the twelve heirs to the provinces of Concordia, each graced with a unique and secret magical ability known as a blessing.

All except one: Ganymedes Piscero – class clown, slacker, and all-round disappointment.

When a beloved heir is murdered, everyone is a suspect. Stuck at sea and surrounded by powerful people, odds of survival are slim.

But as the bodies pile higher, Ganymedes must become the hero he was not born to be. Can he unmask the killer and their secret blessing before this bloody crusade reaches the shores of Concordia?

Or will the empire as he knows it fall forever?

Mistress of Lies by K. M. Enright

The cover of Mistress of Lies by K. M. Enright

The daughter of a powerful but disgraced Blood Worker, Shan LeClaire has spent her entire life perfecting her blood magic, building her network of spies, and gathering every scrap of power she could. Now, to protect her brother, she assassinates their father and takes her place at the head of the family. And that is only the start of her revenge.

Samuel Hutchinson is a bastard with a terrible gift. When he stumbles upon the first victim of a magical serial killer, he’s drawn into the world of magic and intrigue he’s worked so hard to avoid – and is pulled deeply into the ravenous and bloodthirsty court of the vampire king.

Tasked by the Eternal King to discover the identity of the killer cutting a bloody swath through the city, Samuel, Shan and the mysterious Royal Bloodworker Isaac find themselves growing ever closer to each other. But Shan’s plans are treacherous, and as she lures Samuel into her complicated web of desire, treason, and vengeance, he must decide if the good of their nation is worth the cost of his soul.

The Gods of Hunger Series by R.M. Virtues

The covers of the four books in the Gods of Hunger Series by R. M. Virtues: Drag Me Up; Keep Me Close; Let Me In; Love Me Now.

Drag Me Up: Gods of Hunger #1:

They say he’s a myth…

And Hades prefers it that way. He may do all the work, and Zeus may get all the credit, but at least it allows Hades to preserve the one thing he truly cares to have: his solitude. The mere mention of the Wraith of Khaos Falls is enough to keep order, and he is rarely forced to leave the shadows of Casino Asphodel.

She belongs in the spotlight…

And Persephone clawed her way out of Demeter’s shadow to reach it. Now she’s lead in Calliope’s Cirque production but not without great cost, and there is not enough money in the world to pay off the debt accrued for the simple mistake of trusting Zeus. Though it’s easier to ignore the bars when she still has room to fly. Landing a residency at the legendary Casino Asphodel is everything she trained for.

Meeting a man she’d been convinced didn’t exist? She could never be prepared for that. Hades isn’t prepared for her either, but it’s soon evident they’re a force when together. He gives her a soft place to land, and she makes him want to reach for the stars. But when Zeus ups the stakes, they must be willing to go all in, even if it means coming down from the sky. Or stepping into the light.

The Hurricane Wars by Thea Guanzon

The cover of The Hurricane Wars by Thea Guanzon

The fates of two bitter enemies with opposing magical abilities are swept together in The Hurricane Wars, the spellbinding debut in a fantasy romance trilogy set in a Southeast Asia–inspired world ravaged by storms, perfect for fans of Fourth Wing and A Court of Thorns and Roses

The heart is a battlefield.

All Talasyn has ever known is the Hurricane Wars. Growing up an orphan in a nation under siege by the ruthless Night Emperor, she found her family among the soldiers who fight for freedom. But she is hiding a deadly secret: light magic courses through her veins, a blazing power believed to have been wiped out years ago that can cut through the Night Empire’s shadows.

Prince Alaric, the emperor’s only son and heir, has been tasked with obliterating any threats to the Night Empire’s rule with the strength of his armies and mighty shadow magic. He discovers the greatest threat yet in Talasyn: a girl burning brightly on the battlefield with the magic that killed his grandfather, turned his father into a monster, and ignited the Hurricane Wars. He tries to kill her, but in a clash of light and dark, their powers merge and create a force the likes of which has never been seen.

This war can only end with them. But an even greater danger is coming, and the strange magic they can create together could be the only way to overcome it. Talasyn and Alaric must decide… are they fated to join hands, or destroy each other?

An exquisite fantasy brimming with unforgettable characters and sizzling enemies-to-lovers romance set in a richly drawn world, The Hurricane Wars marks the breathtaking debut of an extraordinary new writer.

Knives, Seasoning, & a Dash of Love by Katrina Kwan

The cover of Knives, Seasoning, & a Dash of Love by Katrina Kwan

Meet Alexander Chen, one of the most talented chefs to ever grace the culinary world. Now meet Eden Monroe, his newly hired sous chef who may or may not have (definitely) embellished a lot on her resumé to land herself the job.

Alexander rules his kitchen with an iron fist and fiery temper. Mistakes simply won’t be tolerated. It’s no secret that if you can’t handle the heat, he’ll gladly toss you out with the trash. As one of the very first Chinese-American chefs to claw his way to the top of the world of French haute cuisine, he has a lot to prove and a massive chip on his shoulder.

But he wasn’t always like this. Eden knew him back when he still went by his real name, Shang. He used to be sweet and helpful and definitely not the second coming of the devil himself.

Eden won’t say anything, though, no matter how hot her curiosity burns. Especially not if it could cost her this job. She needs to save as much as she can if she wants any hope of hiring a private detective to find something she lost long ago.

All she needs to do is fly under the radar. It’s just a shame that she and her new boss butt heads more often than they fulfill orders. What will happen when things finally boil over, and they discover that things between them are spicier than they first ordered?

The Empire Wars by Akure Phénix

The Empire Wars is a powerful YA debut set in a world dominated by a nationalist military regime, where survival and magic are a deadly mix.

Coa, who was born feral in the North Transatlantic wilds, has just been captured. Now, she is subject to public humiliation and execution in a gruesome spectacle known as The Great Hunt.

If participants die in the Great Hunt their entire family will be executed–in front of everyone. Coa’s best hope of survival might be Princess Ife–born of privilege, but newly married into the ruling authoritarian family.

Her riskier choice is a cunning fellow participant, marked as a traitor to his militant nation. Coa entangles herself with the captivating young man, but soon finds he could be her ultimate downfall …

Which of these books are you excited to read?

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Author: A.S. Akkalon

By day, A.S. Akkalon works in an office where the computers outnumber the suits of armour more than two-to-one. By night, she puts dreams of medieval castles, swords, and dragons onto paper.

6 thoughts on “2024 debut books to support, thanks Cait Corrain”

  1. I love how Cait Corrain’s weird hate-driven scheme backfired to the point where her review-bombing is propelling her targeted books to fame (although I might believe her on the mental illness thing — even so, none of us is 100% mentally healthy all of the time, yet we can still choose to be decent). And I love how reading the synopses of each of these is a handy lesson in writing the middle part of a query letter! There are several on this list I want to read, but the cover I absolutely cannot resist is Frances White’s “Voyage of the Damned.” Yes, covers matter big time to me. Call me shallow.

    1. I love how the scandal helped me find a bunch of books I might otherwise have missed! 🙂 That’s funny, I totally thought that about the synopses too. And I am in the middle of trying something different for my query – maybe they’ll help.

      VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED does have an incredible cover, but I think I’m most excited for SO LET THEM BURN, partly because of the title. It just reeks of passion and a character with character. And it has dragons, so…

  2. I completely missed that story (not surprising, considering how little time I spend on commercial news sites and the fact I abandoned Twitter a year ago…)

    Sad that someone did that. Not surprising they did – such cheating and ‘zero sum game’ mentality are nothing new (I recall an incident when I was at University many years ago where one student deliberately withheld information they’d been asked to distribute by a tutor so they’d have an unfair advantage over their peers).

    Best of luck to all these other authors, though – hopefully the whole saga will be a net positive for their careers!

    I have to say, ‘Voyage of the Damned’ is the one that intrigues me the most. I’ve wanted to try my hand at writing a fantasy mystery for a while, so it’d be interesting to see how someone else did it

    1. It’s always incredible to me what some people will do out of jealousy. And that anyone thinks a few Goodreads reviews will make or break a book. Yep – I’m hopeful too that this whole episode will help the authors who were attacked. At least it looks like most of the writing community is firmly behind them.

      I do love a good fantasy mystery. I even read non-fantasy mysteries when the mood strikes me. I expect I’ll have to read VOYAGE OD THE DAMNED too. 🙂

  3. Wow, I missed this entirely, although I did forsake Twitter and I’ve been sort of a hermit with news this month! It’s messed up how an author could even consider doing that to another author: Lift each other up, don’t tear each other down! Sadly, it’s not the first time I’ve seen review bombing either, a blogging friend was targeted via Goodreads on one of her books that hadn’t been released yet too.

    I’m glad my attention has been drawn to Voyage of the Damned though, because magic, murder, and M/M romances are 100% my thing and I’m terrible at finding books unless I stumble across them by accident 😀 I also like the look of Hurricane Wars though, because I can’t resist enemies to lovers!

    1. Hi, Louise! It’s lovely to see you here. 🙂

      It was insane to watch the whole thing go down in real time on Twitter. So messed up! I’ve heard of review-bombings before, but nothing as big as this, or with such stark consequences. Sorry to hear about your friend. That’s awful.

      I’m glad I could bring some awesome-looking books to your attention. I tend to come across books pretty randomly too, so I know where you’re coming from. I had seen THE HURRICANE WARS before–in my search for comps–but the others were all new to me.

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