I Can’t Wait For…The Dawnhounds by Sascha Stronach

Posted 22nd December 2021 by Siavahda in Can't-Wait Wednesday / 2 Comments

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about but haven’t yet read. Most of the time they’re books that have yet to be released, but not always. It’s based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme, which was originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

This week my Can’t-Wait-For is The Dawnhounds by Sascha Stronach!

The Dawnhounds by Sascha Stronach
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Science Fantasy
Published on: 14th June 2022

Gideon the Ninth
meets Black Sun in this queer, Māori-inspired debut fantasy about a police officer who is murdered, brought back to life with a mysterious new power, and tasked with protecting her city from an insidious evil threatening to destroy it.

The port city of Hainak is alive: its buildings, its fashion, even its weapons. But, after a devastating war and a sweeping biotech revolution, all its inhabitants want is peace, no one more so than Yat Jyn-Hok a reformed-thief-turned-cop who patrols the streets at night.

Yat has recently been demoted on the force due to “lifestyle choices” after being caught at a gay club. She’s barely holding it together, haunted by memories of a lover who vanished and voices that float in and out of her head like radio signals. When she stumbles across a dead body on her patrol, two fellow officers gruesomely murder her and dump her into the harbor. Unfortunately for them, she wakes up.
Resurrected by an ancient power, she finds herself with the new ability to manipulate life force. Quickly falling in with the pirate crew who has found her, she must race against time to stop a plague from being unleashed by the evil that has taken root in Hainak.

Honestly, folx… Describing Dawnhounds as ‘Gideon the Ninth meets Black Sun‘?

Is actually UNDERselling this freaking book.

But Sia! you cry. How can you know that??? Did you get an ARC and not tell us??? Also, how dare you claim something could be better than Gideon AND Black Sun!!!

I dare because I care, my friends, and also because it’s TRUE. And no, I don’t have an ARC. What I do have is a copy of the first edition of Dawnhounds, released back in 2019 by a micropress called Little Hook Press. That edition was pulled just a few days after I bought my copy, because Stronach got a trad-publishing deal, but that didn’t stop me from reading it!

AND IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME. It was all-our-millennia-of-evolution-failed-to-equip-us-with-the-ability-to-comprehend-this-level-of-awesome levels of awesome. It was the-entire-width-and-breadth-and-depth-of-the-English-language-is-not-enough-to-describe-this-much-freaking-WOW kind of awesome. When I say it blew my fucking mind, I mean Dawnhounds set off a second Big Bang inside my skull.

(I’m still finding random quasars and nebulae buried in my brain wrinkles over a year later. They’re like pennies down the back of a sofa, I swear.)

So to say I was excited to hear it was getting a trad release – one that would hopefully get it into the hands of way more readers – is A LITTLE BIT OF AN UNDERSTATEMENT.

But then. BUT THEN.


Excuse me??? EXCUSE ME?! I was expecting a new cover, maybe polishing away the (very few!) typos, a paper copy I could buy for my bookshelf (the 2019 edition only ever printed a 100 or so paper copies AND I NEED THIS ON MY SHELF OKAY)!

But now you tell me this book – THIS BOOK, which is already SO FUCKING GOOD, and SO FUCKING WEIRD AND QUEER AND INDIGENOUS IN ALL THE BEST WAYS – now you tell me the new edition will be EVEN WEIRDER? And EVEN GAYER? And EVEN MORE INDIGENOUS?!

Now you tell me that all the stuff that was cut because maybe audiences wouldn’t get it has GONE BACK IN???


So no, I cannot wait for this. I couldn’t wait ALREADY.

Now I literally cannot EVEN.


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