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Aya de León Books In Order

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Publication Order of Justice Hustlers Books

Uptown Thief (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Boss (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Accidental Mistress (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Side Chick Nation (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Spy in the Struggle (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Queen of Urban Prophecy (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Aya de León Children's Books

Puffy: People Whose Hair Defies Gravity (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

About Aya de León

The American author and artist Aya de León is well known due to her in-depth and well plotted novels that delve into a number of different issues. Dealing with complex themes and ideas in her work, she never forgets to make it entertaining either, really delivering on several different levels. This has worked in her favor over the years, allowing her to ultimately carve out a niche that’s entirely unique and different to that of her contemporaries. Setting herself apart, she says exactly what it is that she wants to say as an author, giving her many readers something new and exciting in the process.

Finding a huge audience worldwide, she’s managed to find a large following of readers, gaining people from a variety of different backgrounds. Often speaking and writing from her own perspective, she makes her voice universal, resonating with her audience far and wide. Whether it’s spoken word or the written word, she’s never afraid to speak her mind and truly express herself through her work. Often using poetry to help create a sense of rhythm in her work too, she really manages to create a sense of pacing quite unlike any other.

Using genre novel tropes, such as the heist, she turns them on their head, saying something entirely different and new. Whether this is through her conveying a feminist message, or writing about her heritage, she always manages to provide a new angle and perspective to her writing. Through her use of characters too, she creates personalities that speak out to the reader, directly engaging them from the page. She isn’t a writer that’s going to stopping soon either, as she builds upon her writing career, moving onwards and upwards.

Early and Personal Life

Born in 1967 in Los Angeles, Aya de León would grow up with a passion for language, much of this being evident in her love of spoken-word. Gaining prominence as an artist in the field of spoken-word, she would gain a large amount of attention in the San Francisco Bay Area. She would also perform as a hip-hop theater artist, allowing her to find an even larger audience, all while making a name for herself.

Attending Harvard University she would gain a Bachelor of Arts, before going on to spoken-word poetry slam tournaments back in the Bay Area. Later she would also go on to teach at Stanford University, followed by earning a Master of Fine Arts from Antioch University Los Angeles in fiction. Still writing to this day, Aya de León is of African-American, Puerto Rican, West Indian heritage, which is a factor that has helped define both her and her work.

Writing Career

The first book that Aya de León would write was titled ‘Uptown Thief,’ and this would come out in 2016, setting up the ‘Justice Hustlers’ series. Four novels would follow in the same series, and she would also bring out two stand-alone titles, the first of which was called ‘A Spy in the Struggle’ in 2020. Working on many essays and poetry too, she has a lot more to come still, as there’s plenty more titles planned on the horizon.

A Spy in the Struggle

Initially published through the Kensington Books publishing label, this would first come out in 2020 on the 29th of December. It would be a stand-alone thriller novel, not being a part of any overall series as such, following its own self-contained story. Easy to pick and and difficult to put down, it’s a spy thriller with elements of romance at the heart of it all.

There’s a lot to unpack here, as there’s plenty of themes and ideas lurking just under the surface of this exciting and tense novel. It has a lot of tension throughout, along with a romance as well, as it says a lot about various different social and climate issues. The story moves along at an exciting pace, really saying something important in the process, keeping the reader hooked throughout.

Fighting her way up from poverty and through law school and Harvard Law, Yolanda Vance goes on to work for a New York law firm. The firm is then raided by the FBI and, in order to save herself, she cooperates fully, ending up going to work for them. This then leads to an assignment whereby Yolanda must infiltrate a so-called ‘extremist’ faction looking to put an end to a biotech firms exploitation of the local neighborhood, and a romance begins to wake her up to the reality of the situation. Will she be able to go against the FBI though? Can she help bring down this nefarious biotech firm? What will become of a spy in the struggle?

Side Chick Nation

Originally brought out through the ‘Dafina Books’ publishing outlet, this would first come out in 2019 on the 25th of June. Marking the fourth book in the ‘Justice Hustlers’ series of novels, it follows on in terms of themes and ideas, but with a whole new story. The series uses a basic premise of individuals hustling, but the stories are stand-alone, so can be read in a different order.

This effective use of genre tropes really works well, as Aya de León makes excellent use of them to thrilling effect. Subverting the conventions here, she really pushes the format of the thriller novels to the limit, being both entertaining and informative in equal measure. Truly a testament to her skills as a writer, she makes the most of both the setting and the characters, saying just what she wants to say.

With an eye for unpredictable and dangerous men, Dulce is both beautiful and savvy, and ex-side chick who has just stolen her Miami drug dealer boyfriend’s stash. Heading down to the Caribbean, she hopes to start a new life, bit this is interrupted when faced with the effects of climate change in the form of Hurricane Maria, followed by the ruthless who want to plunder in the aftermath. Then there’s Marisol who’s a master-thief and she wants to get her family out of Puerto Rico after they’re targeted by a CEO, as she plans a heist with Dulce in mind. Will they be able to pull off the job though? Can they manage to make it through their hardships? What will happen in side chick nation?

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