It’s coming to the end of the year, and considering I only have Oathbringer on Nov 14th to look forward to for the rest of 2017, it’s time to check 2018 out! A new year, with new books and new authors to be discovered. Considering that 2016 was an amazing year for me in terms of good reads, it’s a reason for me to maybe not look as hard at 2017 yet for this year’s recap, and just skip forward to all the good to come in 2018. Let’s dive right in!
True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at the prestigious Ellingham Academy. She is obsessed with solving the twenty year old mystery cold case, when the founder’s wife and daughter were kidnapped shortly after the school first opened. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, and signed with the pseudonym “Truly, Devious”. Stevie’s busy life keept interfering with her investigation, but then Truly Devious returns to Ellingham Academy. The past and future intersect in more ways than one when the two mysteries interweave in this book.
It’s the first of a trilogy, which is unusual for this kind of YA novel. I usually don’t care for thrillers, but I love a good murder mystery when it’s from Agatha Christie, and Truly, Devious certainly has that vibe. I really hope it’s going to be a challenging plot, and I can’t wait to check it out!
Reign of the Fallen (read review)
Odessa is a master necromancer in the world of Karthia, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost: the dead must remain shrouded at all times. If they show even a bit of skin, they start to transform into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. So when there is a dramatic rise in Shade attacks, the community becomes uneasy. Someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead. Odessa is faced with a terrible question: what if her necromancer magic is the weapon that tears her kingdom down?
It is a fantasy novel, and it has zombies. This is a no-brainer! I find it so enticing to stumble upon books that mix the elements of two or more genres – I had the same reaction when The Bone Season mixed fantasy with scifi. Reign of the Fallen sounds like it could be original, and once again I can’t wait to check it out.
The Cruel Prince (read review)
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered, and she and her two sisters got stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. And Jude hates him so much that sometimes, she can hardly breathe. It is him, of course, that she must defy to win a place at the Court. Jude becomes embroiled in palace intrigue and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to overtake the Courts of Faerie, Jude must enter a dangerous alliance to save her sisters as well as Faerie.
I am always looking for good YA that takes place in Faerie, and I’m all for trying out The Cruel Prince. I never read anything by Holly Black before and I think it’s time I start. Also, what can I say? I’m a sucker for the hate-to-love trope. I don’t really consider this book to be new and original (which I usually look for), but the promise that Jude is going to discover her capacity for bloodshed makes me think I might be in for a kick-ass heroine.
The Hazel Wood (read review)
Alice and her mother spend most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck always chasing them. But then Alice’s grandmother dies, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book filled with pitch-dark fairytales. Subsequently, her mother is stolen away by a figure claiming to be from the Hinterland – the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice has no choice but to ask some of her crazy cultish fans for help, specifically classmate Ellery Finch. First they must go to her grandmother’s estate, the Hazel Wood, and then into the world grandmother’s stories came from. It might be the answer to everything.
This reminded me of Splintered, and I assume there are some Alice in Wonderland parallels. It has dark fairytales, an unexplored world and probably some sassy banter – as these books usually do. I am excited to check it out, and I really hope there is some good world building. I like a lot of substance with my YA, and I think The Hazel Wood has the potential to deliver that. It’s a debut novel and currently it’s treated as a standalone.
When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like there are no downsides. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo our environmental damage and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered. For Jules Addison, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunities for science. As long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot the place.But when a dangerous confrontation leaves them shook, they are forced to form a tentative alliance after arriving on Gaia. The two engage in a race against the clock to decode secrets and survive alien traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more wrong it feels.
Amie Kaufman can do no wrong in my eyes, I loved Illuminae and Gemina and I am so excited for this one! From the description it sounds as if it’s going to be a predictable storyline, but the forementioned books taught me that there is ALWAYS a next level of awesomeness waiting around the corner. Unearthed is going to be great, I just know it to be. And later in the year, Obsidio is going to be released as well.
Heart of Iron
Ana was found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09. She was saved by a fearsome space captain and the crew she now calls family. But D09, one of the last remaining illegal Metals, has been glitching and Ana will stop at nothing to fix him. It leads her to steal coordinates of a lost ship, but at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons, and doesn’t care what he has to sacrifice. But then everything goes wrong, and she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives.
From the description, I wasn’t immediately all that interested in Heart of Iron, to be honest. But then I read some of the early reviews and realised that more than one character is LGBT, which changes the dynamics between them considerably. And for the better, I might add. I despise love triangles. It also means the plot is ~probably ~ much more open to actual storytelling instead of just teen angst. And February is a slow month for me, so it’s going on the list!
The Queen’s Rising
Growing up in the southern kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House, Brienna is supposed to find and follow her passion. But after struggling with all of the five, she belatedly settles on knowledge. Her biggest fears come true when her graduation does not go as planned and she is left without a patron. Months later, a disgraced lord offers it to her anyway. Suspicious of his motives she has no choice but to accept, and soon discovers she is there to get revenge. There is a dangerous plot brewing to overthrow the king of Maevana, the neighbouring country, and restore the rightful queen. Brienne must choose her loyalty, because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle. Brienne must determine the ultimate decision: who will be that queen?
Again, from the description, not exactly into it. But the reviews talked so much of rich storytelling, really good world building and an intriguing story that I became intrigued myself. I need to see if it lives up to the hype and again: February is a slow month, so why not?
In search of (read review)
This multi-generational story introduces us to a mother (Marilyn) and daughter (Angie). To seventeen-year-old Angie, who is mixed race, Marilyn is her hardworking, devoted white single mother. But Marilyn was once young too: when she was seventeen, she fell in love with Angie’s African-American father. But Angie has never met him, and Marilyn has always told her he died before she was born. When Angie discovers evidence of an uncle she never met, she begins to wonder if her father isn’t still alive as well. So she sets off on a journey to find him, hitching a ride to LA from her home in New Mexico with ex-boyfriend Sam. Along the way she uncovers some hard truths. The story alternates between Angie at 17 and Marilyn at 17.
I don’t read much contemporary YA, but every now and then I come across a story that sounds really interesting. In Search Of looks like the kind of book I will enjoy. I like that the POV shifts between a mother and a daughter, and that it also shifts between two different timelines.
Obsidio (read review)
The conclusion to the Illuminae Files. Kady, Ezra, Hanna and Nik are now all in one place, and narrowly escaped Heimdall station with their lives. They find themselves crammed in with 2000 refugees on the container ship Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza – but who knows what they’ll find, seven months after the invasion? Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin Asha survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys – an old flame from Asha’s past – reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space.
I am FREAKING OUT ABOUT THIS RELEASE. I love, love, love Illuminae and Gemina. I cannot decide between the two books which is more awesome, and I have really high hopes for the conclusion. Obsidio brings all characters together and we will finally see how the core group is going to take BeiTech down. Every single page has been stacked with drama, twists, sexy tension and unimaginable grossness (those poor space cows). If you haven’t started this series, omg, DO.
To kill a kingdom
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of all, with the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection. But then a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen turns her into the one thing they loathe most – a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen, or remain human forever. For Prince Elian, the ocean is the only place he calls home, despite being heir to the most powerful human kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman, she is more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all sirenkind for good, but can he trust her?
Those of you who know me, know that I have a weakness for fairytales turned dark and twisted. I also have an immense love for The Little Mermaid. Giving me a book that has turned that fairytale upside down in a dark and twisted YA? I need to have it right now, and I so hope it’s good.
Theo was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, she has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “ash princess”. Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she’s not enduring brutal whippings, she keeps her head down. When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can’t take it any longer. She vows revenge, and throws herself in a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser’s warrior son, helped by a group of magical and volatile rebels. She did not expect to develop feelings for him, or for the rebels to challenge her friendship with Cress, the only person who has ever been kind to her. Theo must decide how far she’ll go to save her people, and how much of herself she is willing to sacrifice to become queen.
I think this could be a good story if executed well, and by that I mean ample intrigue and a rich plot. I always like viper-in-the-nest stories, but I love them even more if they are twisted in a way that you don’t know who is right anymore. So I hope Ash Princess challenges itself!
Ace of shades
Enne Salta was raised proper, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes – the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must follow her trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted. Frightened and alone, her only lead is Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, he is not a gentlemen. He’s a street lord and con man. Levi is also one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman living a double life. But Enne’s offer of compensation could solve all his problems. Their search leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them. They ensnare him in a vicious execution game where the players alwasy lose. To save him, Enne must surrender herself to the city… and play.
This sounds like just quirky enough to become really interesting! It’s an unusual setting, and I like for things to be a little out of the ordinary. When you read as much as I do, you become tired of repeating settings and tropes. Ace of Shades at least offers a nice change of pace where the setting it concerned, so I think it sounds promising.
A Court of Thorns and Roses novella 3.5
Months after the explosive events in A Court of Wings and Ruin, Feyre, Rhys and their companions are still busy rebuilding the Night Court, and the vastly changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she had anticipated – scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.
I am SO PSYCHED for this book! I constantly find myself hoping this just turns into a full blown novel , just like Tower of Dawn did. I really need more of the Night Court in my life, and I am so happy there is going to be another trilogy set in this world.
This is the second installment, following Caraval. The colourful, mesmerising and immersive world of Caraval is back, now with a different POV. It follows Scarlett’s younger sister Tella, as she journeys to the empire’s capital to fulfill a mysterious bargain.
I really enjoyed Caraval, despite some issues I had with how the story wrapped up and what that implied for Scarlett’s character development. The story is quite different from usual and I think that to continue it, it needs the POV switch to Tella to keep the second book as interesting as the first. And I hope that the character development has improved.
When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle risks everything to save him – exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should be in possession are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation, and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the sun queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed. Unless the trials kill her first. A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable, until her mother’s vanishing forces her to join a rebel captain on a dangerous mission. As Rielle and Eliana fight in an epic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect. The shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world – and each other.
This one actually sounds really amazing. Furyborn promises two kick-ass heroines, who are probably going to be very different people, and two storylines a thousand years apart. It certainly looks like it’s going to be a unique story and – if pulled off well – one that is going to be epic. I am really excited for this one!
The smoke thieves
Four teens have the fate of the world in their hands as four nations are destined for conflict. In Brigant, princess Catherine prepares for a loveless marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for gruff demon hunter Gravell. Who will rise and who will fall?
This sounds like it could be a great YA, intersecting four very different storylines. And did I see the words “demon hunter” mentioned in there? I’m quite interested to see how these four people will interact with one another, considering there is – at the moment – no obvious OTP present.
Save the date
Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait. For the first time in years all of her older siblings will be under one roof, and it will finally be like it used to be. Her parents won’t put the house up for sale, her mom will finally pay attention to them again. Making decisions about what college to attend and reuniting with her crush Jesse can wait – Charlie wants to focus on making the weekend perfect. Yet, the problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster. From the howling dog to the trigger-happy alarm. Relatives who aren’t speaking, the awful girl her favourite brother brought home. The missing tuxedo and a storm that threatens to drown the wedding. And the wedding planner’s nephew is… distractingly cute. Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she expected about the family she thought she knew.
This sounds like such fun! I’ve always had a penchant for Katie Fforde novel’s, and this sounds like the same kind of lovable chaos. Save the Date is probably going to be a very fun read, and it’s definitely going on the list.
That’s it for january ’till june!
I will probably write a few extra update posts to come, as more books will get release dates. So don’t forget to check back in or follow the site to get notifications of my posts.