After being suitably retrospective with my ‘Best Of’ and ‘Year in Review’ posts, I’m now looking forwards towards the releases which I personally am anticipating in the first three months of 2017. There are a few sequels being released next year that I’m itching to get my hands on (I need them like yesterday) as well as a few books by debut authors, or new-to-me authors, that I’m intrigued to try out for myself. Although I’m going to make a concerted effort in 2017 to read my own damn books, that doesn’t mean there isn’t also room for some shiny book acquisitions of brand spankin’ new releases, like these…
Look at the shiny shiny. Now, let’s see how the year looks in a little more detail…
(and I don’t think I need to warn you that if you’re not caught up on a series mentioned, then please don’t read the synopses below, there be spoilers!)
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Del Rey, 10 Jan 2017)
“In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church. But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods…” (Synopsis taken from Penguin)
Why?: If the synopsis wasn’t intriguing enough, it’s also marketed towards fans of Neil Gaiman and The Night Circus so… I’m sold. Yes, I am that easy.
RoseBlood by A.G. Howard (Amulet Books, 10 Jan 2017)
“Rune has a mysterious affliction that’s linked to her musical talent. Her mother believes creative direction will help, so she sends Rune to a French arts conservatory rumoured to have inspired The Phantom of the Opera. When Rune begins to develop a friendship with the elusive Thorn, she realizes that with him she feels cured. But as their love grows, Thorn is faced with an impossible choice: save Rune or protect the phantom haunting RoseBlood the only father he’s ever known.” (Synopsis taken from Amazon)
Why?: It’s a Phantom of the Opera retelling. I don’t know why but I’m hooked. This could be very terrible (based on reviews I’ve heard of Howard’s other writing) but it could also be very good – and I’m willing to take a chance on it. If nothing else… France, I do like me a book set in France.
The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman (Walker Books, 26 Jan 2017)
“Brighton, July 1812. Lady Helen Wrexhall is spending the summer season in Brighton, where she will continue her Reclaimer training and prepare for her duties as a fully fledged member of the Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, believes that a Grand Deceiver has arrived in England, and there is no time to lose in preparing Helen to fight it. As she rushes to complete her training, Helen finds herself torn between her loyalty to Carlston and the orders of the Home Office, who wish to use her to further their own agenda. Meanwhile, the Duke of Selburn seems determined to try and protect her, irrespective of the risk to himself. With so much at stake, Helen must make an agonizing choice between duty and devotion.” (Synopsis taken from Walker)
Why?: Think Jane Austen meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No, seriously. I adored the first book, so I downright need this sequel. I hope for more demon slaying followed by a spot of afternoon tea.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber (Hodder & Stoughton, 31 Jan 2017)
“Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems. Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show. Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father. When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.” (Synopsis taken from Hodder)
Why?: It is difficult to avoid the hype for this book. It’s also difficult to avoid pre-ordering it when you hear it’s like The Night Circus. I’m pretty sure nothing is quite like The Night Circus but I’m willing to be proved very wrong. In fact, I’d love to be proved wrong and have Garber’s debut be as dark, enchanting, and evocative as Erin Morgenstern’s book.
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury, 7 Feb 2017)
“The great Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling – from Tolkien, Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff to Game of Thrones and Marvel Comics. They are also an inspiration for Neil Gaiman’s own award-bedecked, bestselling fiction. Now he reaches back through time to the original source stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales. Gaiman’s gods are thoroughly alive on the page – irascible, visceral, playful, passionate – and the tales carry us from the beginning of everything to Ragnarök and the twilight of the gods. Galvanised by Gaiman’s prose, Thor, Loki, Odin and Freya are irresistible forces for modern readers and the crackling, brilliant writing demands to be read aloud around an open fire on a freezing, starlit night.” (Synopsis taken from Bloomsbury)
Why?: Neil Gaiman + Norse mythology… do I need more of a reason? Didn’t think so. But, in case there’s any doubt, let me repeat: Neil Gaiman does Norse mythology. I rest my case, your honour.
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (Titan Books, 21 Feb 2017)
“Londons fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire, and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes struggle. The final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees the newly minted New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab reach a thrilling conclusion concerning the fate of beloved protagonists – and old foes.” (Synopsis taken from Amazon)
Why?: I’m dying over here – I need to know what happened after the end of A Gathering of Shadows. Whilst I know it would be ridiculous to expect any shiny happy endings for everyone involved, I do hope Schwab doesn’t rip out my heart and stomp on it gleefully during the course of this book. But, if there’s anyone I’d happily let rip out my heart, it would probably be her and/or her characters.
The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon (Bloomsbury, 7 Mar 2017)
“A rebel who becomes a queen. […] Following a bloody battle against foes on every side, Paige Mahoney has risen to the dangerous position of Underqueen, ruling over London’s criminal population. But, having turned her back on Jaxon Hall and with vengeful enemies still at large, the task of stabilising the fractured underworld has never seemed so challenging. Little does Paige know that her reign may be cut short by the introduction of Senshield, a deadly technology that spells doom for the clairvoyant community and the world as they know it…”(Synopsis taken from Bloomsbury)
Why?: Much like with V.E. Schwab, I would probably sell my soul to Samantha Shannon, or just give her it freely. If she’d like to exchange it for a sneak peek of The Song Rising, however, that would be optimal. The Bone Season and The Mime Order tapped into my psyche in a way I didn’t know possible when they started to weave the story of dystopian Oxford and London, complete with Victorian-style gangs and crime syndicates. I need to know where else Shannon is going to take this story next, I need to.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Hodder & Stoughton, 28 Mar 2017)
“The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel […] the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.” (Synopsis taken from Hodder)
Why?: I’ve only read the first book in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series but one book is quite enough to say that I find Taylor’s writing style evocative and intriguing. Actually, one chapter, hell one page, is enough to make that case. That alone would be enough, if it weren’t also for the phrase “citadel of murdered gods”. Um, yes please.
2017 looks like it’s going to shape up to be a pretty damn exciting year for books, especially for sequels. I’ve been waiting for The Song Rising for months, years actually, and I can’t wait to get my grubby little paws on it come March. Likewise, I’m equal parts excited and nervous to read the conclusion of V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic triology – she’s not afraid to give her characters hell, and I love every minute of it. Another shoutout definitely has to go to The Dark Days Pact, what will be the second book in Alison Goodman’s Lady Helen series – I adored the first book so I have very high hopes for the next instalment – I’m sure I won’t be let down!
What books are you anticipating in January, February, and March?
Are there any obvious releases I’ve missed completely that you think I’d enjoy?
If so, please do comment below with your recommendations!