The new year has begun, and that means it’s time for another annual roundup of new releases that I’ll be eagerly anticipating throughout 2017. Last year I only got around to reading a handful of the books that made my 2016 list, so this year I’m hoping to make more of an effort to keep on top of these releases. Check out some of these upcoming gothic reads:
- Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty (Set to be released January 31, 2017)
You may have noticed by now that I’m a huge fan of genre crossovers. Six Wakes is a sci-fi murder mystery set in space. Six clones wake up aboard the starship Pituitary to find that their previous incarnations have all been gruesomely murdered. Someone on board the ship is the murderer, but which of them could have done it? I’m not usually super into space, but if anything could draw me out into the final frontier, it would be a good, bloody whodunnit.
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (Set to be released February 7, 2017)
Famed author of gothy classics from The Sandman comic series to Coraline and The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman is coming out this year with a novelistic retelling of the old Nordic legends. Norse mythology has strongly influenced modern fantasy, and elements of it can be seen in everything from Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones, as well as in several of Gaiman’s own works. However, many people today are largely unfamiliar with the myths themselves, apart from the loosely inspired versions of Thor, Odin, and Loki that have gained popularity from recent Marvel movies. I’m hoping that Gaiman’s interpretation will help make these myths more accessible to a general audience, so that they can enjoy the tales of the World Tree, the ice giants, and the bloody battle of Ragnarok. Personally, I feel that Gaiman’s writing is strongest when he’s writing the mythic, so I’m excited to pick up a copy of this book for myself.
- Amberlough by Lara Donnelly (Set to be released February 7, 2017)
Lara Donnelly’s debut novel is a spy thriller set in a dystopian world with a 1920s aesthetic. In decadent Amberlough City, a gay spy and his smuggler lover chafe under the growing power of an oppressive government. When Cyril’s cover is blown, he must become a double agent—working for the regime he despises to protect the man he loves. Streetwise cabaret dancer Cordelia becomes entangled in the lies and deception as these three fight to save each other—and themselves. A story about queer rebels who fight against a fascist government could be just what we need in early 2017.
- Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys (Set to be released April 4, 2017)
Winter Tide is the first book in Ruthanna Emrys’s new Innsmouth Legacy series—which is basically a reimagining of Lovecraft but with more women and less racism. The story combines Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos with a cold war thriller, expanding upon the world Emrys created in her short story “The Litany of the Earth.” I’d read this short story sometime last year in a collection of short fiction from Tor.com, and this brief taste has made me eager for the full-length book. In Winter Tide, Aphra and Caleb Marsh are the only two who survived persecution for their ancient religion, worshiping their Deep One ancestors. But now the U.S. government needs their secrets, lest the Communists gain the upper hand through their stolen knowledge of arcane mysteries. Can Aphra work with the government that sought to eliminate her family, her heritage, and her power?
- Perilous Prophecy by Leanna Renee Hieber (Set to be released June 20, 2017)
It’s another new (old) Leanna Renee Hieber book! Last year Leanna relaunched her out-of-print Strangely Beautiful saga with the release of the re-edited, author-preferred, two-part edition of Strangely Beautiful, which tells the story of Miss Percy Parker and her struggle to embrace her growing powers and banish evil, all while attending boarding school in the middle of spirit-plagued Victorian London. (See my review of Strangely Beautiful.) Now Leanna is continuing the relaunch with the prequel to the series, Perilous Prophecy, originally published as The Perilous Prophecy of God and Goddess. Set in mid-nineteenth-century Cairo and London, Perilous Prophecy tells the backstory only hinted at in Strangely Beautiful. Before Alexi, Rebecca, Michael, Elijah, Josephine, and Jane took up the mantle of guarding London from malevolent spirits, a different Guard, led by a woman named Beatrice, held the darkness at bay. What happened to them? And how did they help to set the stage for Percy’s arrival? We’ll find out in June when Perilous Prophecy is released!
- The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (Set to be released June 20, 2017)
A while back, I reviewed Mackenzi Lee’s debut novel This Monstrous Thing, which reimagined Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with a few more gears and automatons. Now she’s out with a new novel, a queer historical romance starring wayward libertines of a bygone era. The rakish and reckless protagonist Monty is reminiscent of the infamous Oscar Wilde—in both his flair and taboo sexuality—though his era is a good century before Wilde’s. When Monty sets off on a grand tour of Europe with his best friend and secret crush, Percy, it seems like the perfect opportunity for some simple flirting and fun, even with Monty’s younger sister in tow. But their adventure turns into more than the boys had bargained for, and I hear tell that it involves pirates…
- Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh (Set to be released July 25, 2017)
This middle-grade ghost story is the latest novel by the founder of the We Need Diverse Books movement, Ellen Oh. I’ve been following WNDB since its inception a few years ago, and have great respect for Ellen Oh’s work in activism. It’s probably about time that I check out some of her writing, too. In Spirit Hunters, 12-year-old Harper Rain and her family move into a haunted house. When a dangerous spirit possesses her younger brother, Harper knows that it’s up to her to save him.
- They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (Set to be released September 5, 2017)
Adam Silvera caught my attention two summers ago when I saw him speak on a panel about his debut novel, More Happy Than Not, which features a gay teen in the Bronx struggling with his sexuality and with the less than supportive community around him. I haven’t read the book yet, but Adam was adorable and precious! This year, he’s got a couple of new novels coming out, one of which has a delightfully morbid premise. The title They Both Die at the End kind of gives it away: Mateo and Rufus live in a sci-fi future where everyone is alerted on the day that they will die. An app called Last Friend allows you to partner up with someone also experiencing their End Day and find a meaningful way to spend your final twenty-four hours. Mateo and Rufus have only one day to live a lifetime together… Bring your tissues.
What books are you looking forward to, this year? Are any of these on your list? Let me know in the comments!