Upcoming Releases: Winter 2021-22

Most of the new books I’ve been really hyped for this year were packed into autumn, so winter’s looking a little sparse… but there are still a few gems coming up! (Most notably, for a lot of people, the new Crescent City book, though I won’t be picking that one up myself…) So here are my most exciting picks for December, January & February:

[All dates are taken from Goodreads unless stated otherwise, and are correct as of 23/11/2021.]

The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling (7th December)

A YA sapphic romance between a girl with the unsettling ability to see the deaths of anyone she touches, and a vampire who’s been sent to help her learn to control her power. There’s a murder mystery in there, too, I believe, though naturally I’m not sure whether the mystery or the romance will be the book’s greater focus. I’m no longer as desperate for vampire romances as I was a couple of months ago, but this one looks promising (and is giving me slight Mediator vibes, which would be fun! 😁). Excitement level: 7/10

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske (9th December)

The first in a new fantasy series set in an alternative Edwardian England, following a man who’s appointed as the non-magical liaison to a hidden magical society. Again, I’m not sure what this book is really about, but I’ve been hearing glowing reviews from early readers, and apparently the magic system is based on Cat’s Cradle (which I always sucked at)! Also, this is another queer romance, which is nice to see. ☺️ Excitement level: 7/10

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett (13th January)

The second novel from the author of The Appeal, an unusual, multi-media murder mystery… and from the sound of things, The Twyford Code will be much the same – though this time the mystery will be centred around an old book that supposedly contains a hidden code. I struggle a lot with mysteries, however original, and however interesting they sound, so I won’t be picking this one up myself, but if I hear even half as much praise for it as I have for The Appeal, I expect I’ll be buying it for all my more criminally-inclined relatives in 2022! 😅 Excitement level: 5/10

Honourable Mentions:

  • Munro by Kresley Cole (25th January) – a new entry in the Immortals After Dark series.
  • A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine (8th February, in paperback) – the sequel to A Memory Called Empire, for which I’ve been patiently waiting for the paperback.

Upcoming Releases: Spring 2021

The sun is shining ☀️, flowers are beginning to poke out 🌷… and a ton of exciting new books are on the horizon! It must be spring! 😉 This was a pretty challenging list to narrow down (and I’ve removed a lot of sequels-to-books-I-only-wish-I’d-read, lest the honourable mentions take up a whole post by themselves), but here are my most anticipated releases for March, April & May:

[All dates are taken from Goodreads unless stated otherwise, and are correct as of 27/2/2021.]

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (2nd March)

The tale of Klara, an Artificial Friend, as she watches the humans who come in and out of the shop where she’s for sale, and waits for one of them to buy her. The humantity (or not) of AI is a subject that’s always really interested me, and I’m excited to see what Ishiguro’s take on the topic will be; I’ve only read one of his other books (Never Let Me Go), but I was really impressed by its impactful and insightful storyline – crossed fingers that this one will follow suit! 🤞 Excitement level: 7/10

A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine (2nd March)

The sequel to A Memory Called Empire, and final (I think) book in the Teixcalaan series, this will presumably follow the continuing adventures of Mahit and Three Seagrass, which I am very eager to see. (Along with a more prominent romance, perhaps? If there’s room for one alongside all the plot that’s bound to happen.) The world and characters that Martine has developed in this series are fantastic, and the last book left off on a really dramatic note… so bring on the sequel! Excitement level: 8/10

World Book Day books! (4th March)

This year, World Book Day will be taking place on 4th March, and their selection of £1 books are actually already available for purchase, though I haven’t had a chance to pick any up yet. The one’s I’m most interested in are The River Whale by Sita Brahmachari and Kill Joy by Holly Jackson (a prequel to A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder), though I may also pick up Skysteppers by Katherine Rundell, which is set in the same world as RooftoppersExcitement level: 6/10

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint (29th April)

A retelling of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, with a focus on the character of Ariadne, princess of Crete and Theseus’ lover. I’m really loving this recent trend of telling the stories of the women of Greek mythology, and Ariadne’s story is a particularly tragic one, so I’m hoping that this book will be appropriately affecting… and I don’t have much more to say about this one… except that I believe that this is Jennifer Saint’s debut novel, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she’ll do with this story. Excitement level: 7/10

Honourable Mentions:

  • Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo (30th March) – the final book in the Nikolai Duology, and sequel to King of Scars.
  • The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne (6th May) – the first in a new, Norse-inspired series… with dragons!
  • Heartstopper volume 4 by Alice Oseman (13th May) – the next installment in Oseman’s cute comic series.

#Bookoplathon Update 1 & Review

JUST FINISHED: A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine.

Mahit Dzmare of Lsel Station is summoned to the capital of the vast Teixcalaan Empire in order to serve as an emergency replacement ambassador for her people. But although her primary goal is clear – to prevent the Empire from devouring her home – the revelation that her predecessor was murdered leaves her with a slew of additional questions: Who killed Ysakndr? Why was he replaced with such urgency? And what had be been involved in in Teixcalaan, to make anybody believe that murder was a necessary action?

Things I’ve learnt that I love in sci-fi include: unusual takes on perspective, intricate worldbuiling with a focus on surprising traditions, and linguistic minutiae… And A Memory Called Empire has all of these in spades, along with the additional bonus of an action-packed, compelling plot, and a cast of complicated, realistic characters – with concerns and hangups that make complete sense when considering the societies that formed them.

Mahit was an excellent protagonist, but my favourite character was definitely Three Seagrass; I loved her as an individual, as well as her relationships with both Mahit and her friend Twelve Azalea. Yskandr was also a very interesting character, and I wish that I’d been able to learn more about him – though his absence certainly made for a tenser plot… And untangling the mess that he left behind him was a fascinating (if confusing) journey.

And last but not least, although I’m not a poetry fan in general, I really enjoyed the Teixcalaanli preoccupation with poetry; how they use it for any kind of point-making; and the fun they all seem to have coming up with (and interpreting) clever verses. As someone who loves languages and word-play (without being any good at them), it’s easy to see how Mahit would have become enchanted by this incredibly important aspect of Teixcalaanli custom.CURRENT READATHON STATUS: I probably haven’t been reading as much as I normally would be during a readathon, but this a bit of an odd one, since I’ll need to sustain myself all month… In any case, though, I’m pretty pleased to have finished my first book (& to have knocked off my first challenge, to read a book with a dark cover)! 😊 For my next physical read, I plan to start on Never Let Me Go, and I’m also now a couple of hours into Exile, which I’ve finally decided on for my audiobook prompt… 😅

Books Completed: 1
Pages Read: 438
Hours Listened: 2:32
Challenges Completed: 1

September #Bookoplathon TBR!

Like much of the internet, I’ve been completely obsessed with TBR games recently, and with Becca’s Bookopoly in particular! So for a while I’ve been thinking about trying something similar (though way less complicated), but lo and behold! I was beaten to the chase, as Becca decided to create a Bookopoly-themed readathon! 😁 And with this round lasting for the whole month, I thought it’d be the perfect time to try it out. Here’s a link to all the information and resources for the readathon, in case any of you guys were also thinking of taking part.



Dark Cover: For this prompt I decided to pick out A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, a book which I just bought and am ridiculously excited for. To be honest, I don’t know too much about this one, but it was strongly recommended to me by one of my co-workers on the basis of my extreme love for Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it.

Ebook or Audiobook: I’m still undecided on what I’ll read for this prompt, because although I like to have an audiobook on the go at all times, and I currently have two of them queued up for me (or I will do once I’ve finished the last few hours of my current listen), I’m not really in the mood for either of them… I would like to fulfil this prompt with an audiobook, however, so (despite my general reluctance to buy audiobooks while I still have unfinished ones waiting) I may cave and buy a new one… Otherwise, my pick for this prompt will be either The Toll by Neal Shusterman (on audio) or The Loving Cup by Winston Graham (on kindle).

Young Adult: Back to the easy choices! I don’t have a huge amount of YA on my unread shelves at the moment, but one that I’m desperate to get to soon is Loveless by Alice Oseman, which is about the complexities of asexuality, and discovering the possibility of true love in a platonic relationship.

Fire on Cover: I was going to go for The Fire in the Forging for this prompt, but in expectation of having finished (or mostly-finished) it by the time September rolls around, I decided to be strict with myself and choose something else – but not too strict! So instead I’ll be reading Batman: War Drums by (primarily, I think) Andersen Gabrych, which is a graphic novel and therefore short. 😉 Like Loveless, however, it’s not a book I packed to take on holiday with me, so I’ll have to pick it up towards the end of the month.

Community Shelf: Being lazy, I didn’t make any community cards, so I decided to search online for a random prompt generator to fulfil this roll… and I didn’t find any for reading prompts, but I did find a writing-prompt generator which I decided to use instead. The prompt I came up with was “Such a common time, this time of cruelty”, which is nice and vague, and which I’ve decided to interpret as something that I think will contain cruelty as a part of the characters’ ordinary life. So I’ve decided to go for Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, which may or may not embody this. (In any case, I’ve heard that it’s sad.)

Chance Card: Once again, being lazy, I didn’t make any specific cards to use for this square, so I decided to just pick something from my TBR jar (which contains all my unread books, both physical and digital)… and ended up with The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, which is another pretty recent purchase that I’m quite curious about. I’m not a huge fan of thrillers or mysteries, so I’m not sure how this’ll go, but hopefully the time-travel/body-swapping elements will keep me hooked. 🤞

TBR Veteran: And finally, I needed to pick out a book that’s been on my unread shelf for quite a while, of which there are quite a few… Since I’d already picked out my holiday books before deciding to participate in the Bookoplathon, though, and there was one in that stack that I’ve owned for six years already, I may as well go for Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick, which is about two lovers searching for one another over the course of several lifetimes, as they’re reincarnated (I believe) over and over again.

… And we’re done! I was originally aiming for five rolls, but those two doubles landed me with seven – but this still feels like a manageable amount for me to be reading in a month. I’m also going to be on holiday for the first couple of weeks of September, so I may even be able to read more than this! (In which case I’ll do some more rolls when the time comes.) 😊 Wish me luck! 🍀