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On Sale 8/13/24! Get Your Copy Today!


NEW YORK TIMES essayist and Foreword Indies 2019 award winner Rebecca Anne Nguyen’s stunning debut.


In The 23rd Hero, an ordinary woman with an extraordinary memory travels back in time to sixteenth-century France to stop climate change before it starts and return to the man she loves.


“A thrilling, escapist ride through time.”

— Mandy Berman, author of The Learning Curve and Perennials


“A surprising and magical combination of dystopian science fiction, call to environmental action, and passionate love story."

— Melodie Winawer, critically acclaimed author of The Scribe of Siena and Anticipation


“Nguyen’s razor-sharp humor, gorgeous prose, and lush world-building had me turning pages late into the night.”

— Jessica Pearce Rotondi, author of What We Inherit: A Secret War and a Family’s Search for Answers


In a world ravaged by climate change, a mysterious time travel agency known as the Program sends carefully selected Heroes back in time on missions to reverse the course of history, preventing environmental damage before it happens.


Sloane Burrows secretly longs to be a Hero and restore the natural world of her childhood, when gulls still soared above Coal Harbor and fish still swam in the sea. It’s a world she can envision with absolute clarity because of her superpower memory, which makes her exactly what the Program is looking for in a Hero. But her white father raised mixed-race Sloane to believe her “freak memory” is a shameful flaw that should be hidden from the world.


Sloane stuffs her dream of being a Hero and conceals her memory to the point of making herself sick. Her only respite from the constant nausea and shame is the recurring dream she’s been having for nearly a decade. In the dream, a breathtakingly beautiful man makes her feel accepted and loved in a way she never has in waking life—not despite her memory, but because of it.


But when the man in the dream shows up in real life, Sloane’s world is turned upside down. Not only is Bastian a flesh-and-blood person, but he’s from the Program, and he wants her to do the one thing that will shatter her chances of ever winning her dad’s love: become a Hero, travel back in time to sixteenth-century France, and use her superpower memory to save the world.


Fans of the survival themes in Micaiah Johnson’s The Space Between Worlds will love Sloane’s journey to overcome impossible odds in the near future and distant past, while the passion and humor that bind Sloane to Bastian across the centuries will excite fans of Outlander and The Princess Bride.


Advance Praise for The 23rd Hero:


“A love story that transcends time with a hero the reader will never forget. This compulsively-readable debut will transport you from a dystopian future to the idyll of 16th century France, all on the wings of a love story for the ages.”


— Jessica Pearce Rotondi, author of What We Inherit: A Secret War and a Family’s Search for Answers


"Rebecca Nguyen’s novel THE 23RD HERO is a breathtakingly original and gripping story -- A fabulous debut!" -- Melodie Winawer, critically acclaimed author of The Scribe of Siena and Anticipation


"THE 23RD HERO is a thrilling, escapist ride through time, an old-fashioned romance, a modern parable about climate change, and, most importantly, the story of a woman finding her purpose. This is a delightful page-turner by an exciting new voice in fiction. " -- Mandy Berman, author of The Learning Curve and Perennial

The 23rd Hero by Rebecca Anne Nguyen



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