Another year gone, and another year of new books ahead of us! This week I want to continue my yearly tradition of rounding up all the books that I’m most looking forward to in the new year. I hope to look back at this list when picking out my next read.
- Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire (set to be released January 9)
Last year, I reviewed the first two books in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series: Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones, the latter of which was one of my absolute favorite books from 2017. Now we get to start off 2018 by diving right back into the series. In DATSAB, we had gone back in time before the events of the first book to follow the adventures of Jack and Jill as they crossed into a gothic fantasy world. With Beneath the Sugar Sky, we jump ahead to after the events of the first book, in which Sumi, a young teenager who had traveled to a nonsense world of colorful candy, was murdered at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. Before her death, Sumi spoke of a prophecy about her future daughter, which now seems impossible to come true. Yet despite Sumi’s death, Rini was born anyway, and she’s determined to bring her mother back. The aesthetic of this books sounds like it will stand in stark contrast to the gothic gloom of Down Among the Sticks and Bones, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be deceptively dark.
- Beneath the Haunting Sea by Joanna Ruth Meyer (set to be released January 9)
Okay, it’s kind of cheating to put this one on the list, because I’ve already read an advanced copy, but I want you all to be excited about it, too! This debut novel is set in a fantasy world with its own complex mythology. Sixteen-year-old Talia, who has been raised in the luxury of the Emperor’s court, never really believed in the old myths and the gods whose stories they told. But after being banished from her homeland and forced to journey across the sea, she starts to hear something calling for her from beneath the waves. Could her destiny be tied up in these ancient tales of gods and curses? Check back for a full review next week!
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (set to be released March 6)
This debut novel by a Nigerian-American author already has a movie deal in the works! Children of Blood and Bone is the first book in a new YA fantasy series set in the world of Orïsha where a tyrannical king has made it his mission to kill all magic-users and eradicate magic. Zélie lost her mother in these magi killings, but is now coming into powers of her own. If she wants to bring back magic and take down the monarchy she’ll need to join forces with the rogue princess, Amari. Sign me up! I’m really digging all these new books set in fantasy worlds that don’t just resemble stale reincarnations of medieval Europe.
- The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror by Mallory Ortberg (Set to be released March 13)
This collection of short fiction contains classic fairy tales retold as horror stories with a queer and feminist spin. Eleven different tales combine elements of familiar children’s stories with the more obscure, and add to them some dark and disconcerting twists. I love retellings, and I’m digging the idea of feminist horror, so I’ll be counting down the days until this one comes out! You may recognize the author as one of the co-founders of the feminist literary website The Toast.
- The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton (set to be released March 27)
This new novel by the author of the well-loved Blood Journals series is a retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear in what some have described as the style of Game of Thrones. The island of Innis Lear has been drained of its magic by a crazy and indecisive king. Now the king’s three daughters prepare to go to war to determine which of them will be crowned the next sovereign and given the chance to revive their island. Shakespeare and fierce, fighting women—sounds like the perfect combination!
- Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys (set to be released July 10)
This is the second book in Ruthanna Emrys’s Innsmouth Legacy series, which takes place within H. P. Lovecraft’s world of underwater gods, creepy seaside communities, and terrifying soul-jumpers, but subverts some of his more problematic aspects. The first book, Winter Tide, came out last year. I reviewed it in Auxiliary magazine, so I haven’t yet shared my thoughts on here at The Gothic Library. But let me just tell you how refreshing it is to see Lovecraft’s world filled with diverse representation and meaningful female characters. The series follows Aphra Marsh, one of the lone survivors of the vilified community whose mixed bloodlines mark their connection to the water and who worship the Deep Ones beneath the waves. In this new book, Aphra struggles with how to restore her former community at Innsmouth after the population has been wiped out in government internment camps, but in the meantime she discovers a mystery involving a number of missing people. I’m so excited for this series to continue, and I’ll share my thoughts on the first book soon!
- Tiny Crimes edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Neto (set to be released June 1)
This anthology brings together over a dozen very short stories in a variety of genres from mystery to true crime. The collection is edited by the same duo that brought us Gigantic Worlds, a sci-fi anthology of flash fiction in a similar vein. I don’t recognize any of the authors included, but I’m always down to discover new writers! I’ve been getting really into short story collections lately, because I lead a busy life but it’s easy to squeeze in a bite-size story here and there.
- The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (set to be released October 2)
I put the first book in this series on my list last year and still haven’t gotten around to reading it, though I certainly will before the sequel comes out! In The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, a roguish English gentleman named Monty embarked on the traditional Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend Percy—with whom he’d kind of like to be more than friends. Monty’s younger sister Felicity was dragged along for the ride in the first book, but now she gets to have her own adventures in the sequel! Not much information is available yet on Lady’s Guide, but I have heard that Felicity gets to team up with a pirate queen’s daughter to chase sea monsters, so it sounds like a winner to me.
- Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly(no release date yet)
Last spring I read and reviewed Lara Elena Donnelly’s debut novel Amberlough, which takes a gritty tale of espionage and forbidden love and sets it in a decadent fantasy world that resembles 1930s Europe. Its highly anticipated sequel should be coming out some time in 2018. Armistice will follow cabaret performers Aristide and Cordelia after they flee the new fascist regime in Amberlough and take refuge within the film industry of a tropical nation to the south. Thrown into the mix is a new character, Lillian, a reluctant diplomat serving the fascist state. Each of these three has their own agenda—and their own secrets. It looks like we’re in for another round of loving, scheming, and elaborate world-building!
- Miss Violet and the Great War by Leanna Renee Hieber (no release date yet)
The final book of Leanna Renee Hieber’s Strangely Beautiful Saga is at last going to be gracing us with its presence! This is my absolutely favorite series by Leanna, as you might be able to tell from my glowing reviews of Strangely Beautiful and Perilous Prophecy. The first book followed Miss Percy Parker as she came into her goddess-given powers and found companionship within London’s ghost-fighting Guard, while the subsequent prequel gave some background on the Guard and the god and goddess whose legacy they protect. Now in the final installment, Percy’s daughter Violet will be coming of age right when a Great War is brewing in Europe.…
EDIT: One more! I made my list too soon!
I’m also really excited for Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, set to be released April 3. This books is about a zombie infestation set during the American Civil War. In this era of inequality, the job of hunting the undead is foisted upon the more marginalized members of society, while the wealthy and privileged live in relative safety. Black and Native children are sent to special combat schools where they are trained as zombie-killers. But Jane McKeene isn’t satisfied with this life. Unfortunately for her, fighting the undead may soon become the least of her problems….
What books are you looking forward to in 2018? Will you be adding any of these to your list? Let me know in the comments!