M. L. Rio Announces Two New Books: Hot Wax and Graveyard Shift

In 2017, M. L. Rio took the world by storm with her debut novel, If We Were Villains. It sold over 180,000 copies and is still one of the staples of the dark academia subgenre. 

I have a full review of If We Were Villains here, but if you don’t know, this book is about a group of theatre students at a prestigious university, a mysterious death (or murder), and Shakespeare. It’s told in two different timelines — in one of them, we see Oliver Marks leave prison and tell his story to the detective that led his case; in another, we see what happened all those years ago, through Oliver’s perspective. The novel expertly explores the world of theatre and how roles we play can bleed into real life, for better of for worse. 

If We Were Villains is set to be adapted for screen in the form of a TV show. It’ll be produced by Blink49 studio and Eleven (who worked on Sex Education). The show has first been announced in 2022. Recently, Kristina Lauren Anderson has been attached to write the script for this series.

Since releasing If We Were Villains, M. L. Rio hasn’t released any new full-length novels. She has, however, worked on a dark academia short story anthology, In These Hallowed Halls, along with Olivie Blake (The Atlas Six), Susie Yang, and others. It was well-received, but fans have been begging for more (longer) work from this author. 

And finally, it’s here. 

M. L. Rio's New Book announcement, Graveyard Shift

On December 15th, M. L. Rio announced a new novella, to be released on September 24, 2024 by Flatiron Books. It’s called the Graveyard Shift (Goodreads link here, if you want to add it to your TBR). 

What’s M. L. Rio’s New Book About?

M. L. Rio’s new book, Graveyard Shift is a novella about five night-shift workers who discover the secret of an open grave at a cemetery. The cover of Graveyard Shift is now available:

No other information has been released so far, but the author herself has said that she hopes the novel will be both familiar and refreshing. Based on the premise, I expect something spooky, mysterious, twisted, and of course, beautifully written (because, have you read If We Were Villains?). 

I’ll keep a close eye on any news regarding this book and keep this post updated as more info (like the cover of Graveyard Shift, more detailed synopsis, early reviews, etc.) comes in. Stay tuned!

M. L. Rio Announces Hot Wax

We’re blessed with another new book by M. L. Rio and this time, it’s a full novel. On January 20th, 2024, she posted on her Instagram account that Simon & Schuster got the rights to publish Hot Wax, as well as another book (currently in the works).

We don’t know much about Hot Wax so far, but we have a tentative synopsis. As the author herself said, it’s about “a young girl who discovers the joys and dangers of life on tour with her father’s band and the cross-country journey she takes decades later to flee the claustrophobic reality of her present, only to encounter the very kind of violence she thoughts she had buried in the past”.

Based on that, I would say that it strays away from the dark academia genre, but I also think it will be a thrilling story to read. I’ll keep this page updated with any news as they come.

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