So this post comes a little late [three months into the year, to be exact] but I still thought it would be sweet to share some of my most anticipated YA and adult reads of this year with you. I’ll include in this list some of the books I’ve already read in Jan/Feb just because, and since it’s so long, I’m going to divide it into three-month parts so it doesn’t look like a mountain of books. So, without any more waffling, here are the novels I can’t wait for in 2018. Remember as well that the dates on show are for UK releases [and may not prove a hundred percent accurate].
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. Released: Jan 2nd
Holly Black is known as the Queen of Faeries. She’s written several books about the Fae [if you haven’t read them check out Tithe, Ironside and Valiant as well as The Darkest Part of the Forest] so the news that this is a whole new series had me jumping for joy. I was lucky enough to get hold of an ARC ebook in December, but it was so good I knew I was itching for a physical copy of the novel. I don’t want to spend too much time talking about the plot, but if you want a quick synopsis, have a look here.
Everless by Sara Holland. Released: Jan 2nd
Also released on 2nd January is Sara Holland’s debut, Everless about a world where time is used like currency. The rich tax the poor through their blood, increasing their own life spans even while depleting others. The Gerlings are one such family, and Jules Ember knows it. She and her father worked as servants at the Gerlings’ mansion, known as Everless, at least until a fateful incident forces them to escape in the middle of the night. Now, Jules’ father is penniless, and the only way to pay his taxes is to drain himself dry. Jules can’t let that happen, so she chooses to go back to the one place she swore she’d never return to, drawing herself back into the mysterious and deadly world of Everless. It’s another novel I got to read early, having bought a secondhand Fairyloot box for December. It’s another book I’d highly recommend, and the world is so intriguing you can’t help but fall in love with it.
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. Released: Jan 16th.
A story of murder and mystery by one of the biggest YA authors. The principal of Ellingham Academy, a private school devoted to the brightest thinkers and learning is a game, is excited to be working at the school, until his wife and daughter are kidnapped. Their murders were never solved, and all anybody knows is that they were carried out by someone called Truly Devious. When true-crime aficionado Stevie Bell goes to Ellingham, she begins to hope for the impossible– that she might be the one to solve this cold-case. But before she can, tensions rise even higher. It seems that Truly Devious has returned, and they plan to get away with murder. I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on my list and I’m really hoping to get round to it soon.
Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu. Released: Jan 2nd.
Marie Lu is one of my all-time favourite YA authors. Her Young Elites novels had me marking off my calendar in preparation for the next book, and Warcross was a delight to read. So I was very excited to hear she would be one of the authors tackling the YA DC origins stories which have been coming out recently. Following the release of the first, Leigh Bardugo’s Wonderwoman: Warbringer, there are two more books out this year, including Batman… This is the novel of a young pre-Batman Bruce Wayne who has to complete community service cleaning at Arkham Asylum. The problem is, he’s getting far too close to one of the criminals imprisoned there– Madeleine, who is a member of the Nightstalker gang terrorising Gotham’s elite. He might be their next target, and with every confusing word out of Madeleine’s mouth, Bruce doesn’t know who to trust. I’m not hugely big on the comics, so I can’t judge how well Lu has crafted this origin story, but it fits in quite neatly to the recent Christian Bale movies, and Gotham series.
Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones. Released: Jan 30th.
Shadowsong is the follow-up to the immensely successful Wintersong, a retelling of the film Labyrinth. I loved book one, with its chilling and saccharine descriptions which seemed to melt in the mouth, but I was a little mixed about this book. I wasn’t sure if we needed a second novel, since the first ended in a rather melancholy but rounded-off way. Still, Shadowsong made this list because I really loved what S. Jae-Jones did with the first novel, and I thought the whole plot of goblins and Erlkoning made such a delightful tale.
Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton. Released: Jan 30th.
Another book that made the list that I was initially unsure of. I loved book two of the series, Traitor to the Throne, but book one, Rebel of the Sands left me scratching my head and wondering what all the hype was about. I was hoping this one would be a lot more like book two, and I knew there was so much plot to be packed into this final novel in the series, so in the end I was super-hyped to buy a copy and get right into it and find out what the hell was going on. The world-building and mythology and stuff is really cool, and I cared a lot about some of the [fairly large] cast of characters, so I needed to know what happened next.
A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole. Released: Jan 2nd.
This one is totally new for me, and I’ve yet to read it, so I’m simply going to post the synopsis from Amazon: Octavia has always dreamed of becoming a whitecoat, one of the prestigious N’Terra scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. So when the once-secretive labs are suddenly opened to students, she leaps at the chance to see what happens behind their closed doors. However, she quickly discovers that all is not what it seems on Faloiv, and the experiments the whitecoats have been doing run the risk of upsetting the humans’ fragile peace with the Faloii, Faloiv’s indigenous people. As secret after disturbing secret comes to light, Octavia finds herself on a collision course with the charismatic and extremist new leader of N’Terra’s ruling council. But by uncovering the mysteries behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family, she threatens to be the catalyst for an all-out war.
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. Released: Feb 8th.
Fairy tales, check. Creepy forests, check. Adventure in New York City, check. The Hazel Wood has a lot going for it. It’s one of the most anticipated books of the year, about a girl whose grandmother wrote a famous collection of fairy tales, known as Tales from the Hinterland, and now lives as a recluse in her home in the forest, The Hazel Wood. Grandaughter Alice has been followed by bad luck wherever she goes. Now Alice’s grandmother has died in her estate, and Alice’s luck has only gotten worse– now her mother has been kidnapped, and the only trace of her is a note saying: ‘Stay away from The Hazel Wood.’
Sightwitch by Susan Dennard. Released: Feb 13th
A spin-off tale from Dennard’s phenomenal Truthwitch series, Sightwitch follows the tale of Ryber Fortizia. From Amazon: Before Safi and Iseult battled a Bloodwitch… Before Merik returned from the dead… Ryber Fortiza was a Sightwitch Sister at a secluded convent, waiting to be called by her goddess into the depths of the mountain. There she would receive the gift of foretelling. But when that call never comes, Ryber finds herself the only Sister without the Sight. Years pass and Ryber’s misfit pain becomes a dull ache, until one day, Sisters who already possess the Sight are summoned into the mountain, never to return. Soon enough, Ryber is the only Sister left. Now, it is up to her to save her Sisters, though she does not have the Sight–and though she does not know what might await her inside the mountain. On her journey underground, she encounters a young captain named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he got there. Together, the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, their road filled with horrors, and what they find at the end of that road will alter the fate of the Witchlands forever.
Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce. Released: Feb 6th
From Amazon: Arram Draper is on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting trouble. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram realizes that one day–soon–he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie. In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmal-n came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. Released: March 8th
This one has been really well received by almost everyone who managed to swipe an ARC of it, and that includes me. Children of Blood and Bone is an amazing tale of a girl on a quest to bring magic back to her country. She’s the daughter of a Reaper, who was murdered for her magic, and now Zelie, who has inherited the ability, wants to strike against the monarchy who have banished magic. But Zelie hasn’t quite learned to control her powers yet, and she and her allies are being hunted by a crown prince running from his own demons. I thoroughly recommend this one, and since there’s news of a movie on the horizon, I really suggest grabbing a copy soon!
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. Released: March 6th.
To Kill a Kingdom is currently my favourite read of this year, and I ended up awarding it a 10/10. It’s the story of a siren princess, Lira, who has been raised with one goal in mind– to rip out the hearts of human princes to showcase her ruthlessness to her mother, the Sea Queen, and earn the right to wear the crown. The problem is, Lira has accidentally saved her latest target, Prince Elian, from a murderous mermaid, killing her rival in the process. As punishment, Lira is banished from the sea, given legs, and is told she can only return to her home if she proves she is vicious enough to kill Elian in human form. Unfortunately, this is proving more difficult than anticipated. Prince Elian is a sea-faring pirate, known as a siren killer, and he’s now searching for a weapon capable of wiping out the Sea Queen and all her sirens for good. Lira is now faced with a choice– should she help Elian to rid the world of her mother, or should she save her people from the destruction he would reap? No matter which choice she makes, she’ll be betraying somebody she cares about.
Orphan, Monster, Spy by Matt Killeen. Released: March 8th
Another book I had the good fortune to grab an ARC of, earlier in the year. This one is a YA historical fiction, perfect for fans of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. This book follows Sarah, a Jewish girl trying to hide from the Nazis during World War Two. She’s discovered by a British spy, who wants her to infiltrate an elite school for the daughters of high-ranking Nazi officials and keep an eye on them, filtering information back to him. It’s incredibly risky, and Sarah soon finds herself fighting for survival. Orphan, Monster, Spy is a rollercoaster of a novel, and not to be missed.
The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw. Released: March 8th.
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
Two centuries ago, in the small, isolated town, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return from the depths, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them down to their watery deaths. Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into or the fact that his arrival will change everything…
Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters. But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.