Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish, and this week’s prompt was “Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Second Half of the Year.”
Damn, that’s a mouthful.
2016 has been the best year for book releases — most of my reads have been 4 or 5 stars, and only one has sorely disappointed me. Not only is it the best year for releases, but it’s also the best year for debuts, and I’m super excited to share some books I’m looking forward to reading!
1. Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
October 2016. US: Knopf Books for Young Readers/UK: Rock the Boat UK
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.
But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.
Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.
I mean, how cool does that sound? I can’t wait! Illuminae rocked my world, and as someone who isn’t a huge fan of funky-formatted books, I ripped through the first book in under two days. I barely paused to breathe.
2. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
August 2016. US: Thomas Dunne Books/UK: HarperVoyager
In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.
Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.
Okay, so I have a confession to make: I cheated. I was actually sent an ARC of Nevernight by the truly lovely team at Harper Voyager, and you guys. HOLY SMOKES, YOU GUYS! This book is epic. I gave it 5/5 stars, and am totally going to reread it the moment it comes out.
SO GOOD. SO FREAKIN’ GOOD.
3. Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas
September 2016. US: Bloomsbury Children USA/UK: Bloomsbury Children UK
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.
As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?
Of course I’m excited for this bad boy. Also I hear it’s almost 800 pages. Yet, it’s still not going to be enough. I NEED ALL THE WRITINGS NOW.
4. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
September 2016. US: HarperTeen/UK: MacMillan Kids
Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.
If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.
*whispers* I also have an ARC of this but unfortunately I can’t read it yet, and so I must wait, and be excited and nervous with all you lovely people. But it sounds so good and kickass, and I mean — twins? Who must battle to the death? TO RULE? *gasps for air* It sounds too good to be true!
5. Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
October 2016. US: Bloomsbury Kids USA/UK: Bloomsbury Children
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she’s not crazy and doesn’t belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.
Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn’t what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid–her true home–with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she’s sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything…including Snow’s return to the world she once knew.
This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.
“This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain.” SAY NO MORE. THIS BOOK IS FOR ME. ALL THE YES TO VILLAINS. MORE VILLAINS, please and thank you! I need this now. *throws tantrum/cries/sacrifices virgin souls to the book gods*
6. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
September 2016. US: Henry Holt & Co./UK: Orion Children
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.
I mean, it’s the sequel (and finale, I hear!) to the much loved Six of Crows. How could I not add it to this list? It also helps that I loved the hell out of Six of Crows, and in particular Kaz (KAZ FOR PRESIDENT) and I would quite literally sell my own soul for this baby.
Also, I’ve heard the pages are going to be sprayed red. RED. THE COLOUR OF QUEENS. And Leigh Bardugo is most definitely a Queen.
7. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
November 2016. US: Feiwel & Friends/UK: Penguin
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.
Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
What is up with all these cool YA fantasy novels coming out that revolve around villains? Not that I’m complaining (in fact I’m ecstatic) — it’s marvellously fantastic, and I need more. MOAR.
Anyway, it’s also Alice in Wonderland. Kerching! That’s the sound of my bank throwing money at the publisher. BUY THEM ALL.
8. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
September 2016. US: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/UK: Hodder & Stoughton
Strange the Dreamer is the story of:
the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep.
How ominous and fabulous does that sound? Also is it just me, or does it sound like it could possibly… *takes deeeeep breath* might take place after Daughter of Smoke & Bone? But even if it doesn’t, I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS BAD BOY. It makes me sad that there are no ARCs, otherwise you can guarantee I’d be all over that like an uncomfortable rash.
9. Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge
September 2016. US: Balzer + Bray
When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.
The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.
Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.
Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.
Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . .
Rosamund Hodge writes some dark stuff, you guys, and I love it so much it hurts my stone cold heart. I actually have a digital ARC of Bright Smoke, Cold Fire but I’m so scared to read it in case it ruins me in a thousand different ways. Gah.
10. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
August 2016. US: Razorbill/UK: HarperVoyager
A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.
In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.
Okay, okay, so I didn’t love An Ember in the Ashes, but I have it on good authority that A Torch Against the Night is ten times better. I’ve been told that it’s Throne of Glass’ Crown of Midnight and that has me SOLD, people. SOLD.
What books are you excited to read? Let me know in the comments!