Science Fiction · YA

Binti: The Complete Trilogy – Nnedi Okorafor

4 stars

Nnedi Okorafor has spun a fantastical world in her Binti novellas, one that is full of wonder and an incredible desire for peaceful solutions.

40382407.jpgIn her Hugo- and Nebula-winning novella, Nnedi Okorafor introduced us to Binti, a young Himba girl with the chance of a lifetime: to attend the prestigious Oomza University. Despite her family’s concerns, Binti’s talent for mathematics and her aptitude with astrolabes make her a prime candidate to undertake this interstellar journey.

But everything changes when the jellyfish-like Medusae attack Binti’s spaceship, leaving her the only survivor. Now, Binti must fend for herself, alone on a ship full of the beings who murdered her crew, with five days until she reaches her destination.

There is more to the history of the Medusae–and their war with the Khoush–than first meets the eye. If Binti is to survive this voyage and save the inhabitants of the unsuspecting planet that houses Oomza Uni, it will take all of her knowledge and talents to broker the peace.

The world Okorafor has built is so carefully crafted. I love that space travel is done via giant shrimp ships and that Oomza Uni is a planet sized school that has just about seen it all. I love that rationality and reason have an effect, and that emotions and tradition are still sometimes impervious to the former.

Binti is an interesting character, she’s not violent, more of a pacifist than anything, but absolutely not a coward. Binti is constantly being torn in half. She is constantly stuck in the middle of two sided battles. Between her desires and those of her people, the Himba; between the Koush and Medusae; between violence and peace; between Earth and space; between two tribes; between duty and learning. Binti wants to do what is right, and she is finding that the path is not an easy one. But, Binti is both resourceful and a Master Harmonizer, one who brings harmony. She will have to be prepared to sacrifice everything in the end.

Binti: The Complete Trilogy is on shelves now!

Thank you to DAW for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review. 

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Fantasy

Sisters of the Fire – Kim Wilkins

4 stars

Kim Wilkins’ Blood and Gold series is the sweeping epic fantasy series that I’ve been looking for. Book two, Sisters of the Fire is packed full of strong, courageous ladies taking control of their futures.

39904181Four years have passed since the five royal sisters—daughters of the king—worked together to restore their father to health and to the throne while fracturing the bonds among themselves almost irreparably. Only Bluebell remains at home, dutifully serving as heir to her father’s kingdom. Rose has been cast aside by her former husband and hides in exile with her aunt, separated forever from her beloved daughter, Rowan. Ash wanders the distant wastes with her teacher, learning magic and hunting dragons, determined that the dread fate she has foreseen for herself and her loved ones never comes to pass. Ivy rules over a prosperous seaport, married to an aged husband she hates yet finding delight in her two young sons and a handsome captain of the guard. And as for Willow, she hides the most dangerous secret of all—one that could destroy all that the sisters once sought to save.

In Sisters of the Fire we follow the daughters of the Storm King Bluebell, Willow, Ash, Rose, Ivy and his granddaughter Rowan as they lead their separate lives woven together by fate, circumstance and political plot. Much like Game of Thrones, there are sections from the point of view of each of the leading ladies, and even a few side characters – all woven together by complex political machinations. Unlike Game of Thrones, it’s not unbearably depressing. Sisters of the Fire certainly has dire situations and epic battles, but has a decidedly more hopeful tone than the bleak GoT.

Plots and conspiracies abound in Sisters of the Fire and the book is an absolute page-turner. Each of the sisters (and Rowan) is very different and have very different motivations and desires for their lives. They’re well fleshed out, and engaging characters, written to frustrate and delight. Bluebell and Ash are my favorite sisters, and it’s difficult not to adore Rowan as well.

This sweeping epic isn’t without its flaws however. With five adult women leading the show, you’d think that at least one of them might be queer, but no. Alas this book is very, very straight. I also found some of the pieces that should have been twists as somewhat predictable. Especially later in the book, it felt like Wilkins was just a little too heavy handed with her hints so by the time some of the twists came about, I had already seen them coming.

Sisters of the Fire is on shelves now.

Thank you to Del Rey for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. 

Science Fiction

Here and Now and Then – Mike Chen

3.5 stars

Here And Now And Then is a sweet story about the lengths a father will go to to save his daughter.

To save his daughter, he’ll go anywhere—and any-when…36630924

Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in I.T., trying to keep the spark in his marriage, and struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.

Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late.

Their mission: return Kin to 2142 where he’s only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember.

Torn between two lives, Kin is desperate for a way to stay connected to both. But when his best efforts threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself, his daughter’s very existence is at risk. It’ll take one final trip across time to save Miranda—even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process.

The trouble with time-travel books is that they always ask me to suspend some kind of belief, because the story always hinges on some sort of absurd premise that is somehow less believable than fairies. In Here and Now and Then the premise is that a time-traveler’s brain can only handle one era at a time. But that just doesn’t work for me. The human brain is super malleable and has the capacity and flexibility to remember lots of things about lots of time periods and living it makes it even more possible. Because of this, I bounced off of some of what makes up the central premise of the story.

That all being said, I otherwise really enjoyed Here and Now and Then quite a lot. Kin’s struggle to reconnect with his life in the future after living for 18 years in the past and his desire to stay connected to his life in the past felt real. His desperation to stay connected to his daughter and save her from forces beyond her reckoning leaked off the page. My heart broke for him over and over.

Here and Now and Then is very character driven, and the side characters are all engaging and fleshed out, with their own lives, desires and fears.

This book is so full of little twists and is thoughtfully woven together, which makes it a bit of a challenge to review, since even characters are spoilers!

I’ll just say this, if you love stories driven by love for family and are looking for a great new read and want a bit of time traveling chaos added to the mix, Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen is your book.

Also, Mike’s a super nice guy. I met him at a discussion at WorldCon last August and he was awesome. Here and Now and Then is his debut, and I can’t wait to see what he writes next.

Thank  you to Mira Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review. 

Middle Grade · Science Fiction

Dragon Pearl – Yoon Ha Lee

4.5 stars

Dragon Pearl is an amazing #ownvoices Middle Grade Korean-inspired space opera. I’ve been reading more middle grade novels lately, as adult and YA authors I love branch out into the age range. I am a big fan of Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire space opera trilogy for adults. They’re very complex and well-crafted novels so I jumped at the opportunity to read something written for a younger audience.

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To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.

When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name.

Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.

Dragon Pearl is a fun space opera for the  middle-grade audience. Min’s decisions are the decisions of youth and she quickly finds herself in more trouble than she bargained for. But she perseveres and finds her way.

The writing and pacing are a little simpler and slower than in an adult or YA novel, which makes sense for the MG audience, but the book still moves at a pretty quick clip. Min accomplishes a lot in a pretty short span of time. She’s cunning like a fox (hah) and that cleverness and her sheer determination to see everything to the end serve her well.

I really love what the Rick Riordan Presents publishing group has been doing, actively publishing #ownvoices MG stories, exposing kids to a wide range of new stories and cultures.

Thank you to Yoon Ha Lee for providing me with an ARC. 

Fantasy · YA

The Kingdom of Copper – S. A. Chakraborty

5 Stars

One of the best things I read in 2018 was S. A. Chakraborty’s City of Brass and I’ve been dying for the sequel ever since I finished CoB. I am so delighted to report that the sequel, The Kingdom of Copper is equally amazing.

39988431.jpgNahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.

Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of the battle that saw Dara slain at Prince Ali’s hand, Nahri must forge a new path for herself, without the protection of the guardian who stole her heart or the counsel of the prince she considered a friend. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family and one misstep will doom her tribe.

Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid the unpredictable water spirits have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.

And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve.

It’s hard to discuss how amazing The Kingdom of Copper is without spoiling some of the major plot points, but I’ll do my best.

Where City of Brass was about survival and discovery for Nahri as she learns to navigate the world of the Daeva and djinn, The Kingdom of Copper is heavily focused on what comes next. Nahri has carved out her place as the emir Muntadhir’s wife and the Banu Nahida. But of course, being a pawn in someone else’s game has never been Nahri’s plan. But Nahri isn’t the only one making plans. There are other forces at work in and out of Daevabad and Nahri is at the center of everything whether she likes it or not.

Ali forges a new life for himself in Am Gezira, but a quiet village life isn’t enough to save him from the machinations of Daevabad and the same forces that have swept Nahri up  sweep Ali up in their nets as well.

These political machinations are full of bombshells for both the readers and the main characters. Characters both new and old struggle to make Daevabad a better place, though it’s clear that they disagree on what “better” means. Daevabadis and djinn and shafit alike are all entrenched in centuries of clashing and getting any side to let anything go, to move on or to forgive is a monumental task.

The Kingdom of Copper is packed full of Middle Eastern lore, magic and customs and is as richly described as City of Brass was. Chakraborty has an incredible talent to paint scenes so they feel as though they’re jumping off the page. I feel as if I’m on the streets of Daevabad watching everything unfold around me.

The book ends on a massive cliffhanger. I am beside myself with impatience for the third book in the trilogy.

The Kingdom of Copper is on shelves now and is not to be missed.

Thank you to Harper Voyager for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review. 

Fantasy · historical fiction · Uncategorized · YA

The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi

4.5 stars

Are you in the mood for a lush, richly imagined, fantastical heist set in historical Paris and featuring a team of talented protagonists with secrets, agendas and well-written depths? If so, have I found the book for you. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi is an absolute delight.

39863498Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

First, can we pause to drool over this gorgeous cover? Because I haven’t stopped drooling since I first laid my eyes on it. The rich green, the lovely, lush texture. /swoon

If Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and Robert Bennet Jackson’s Foundryside were tossed in a blender and set in 1889 Paris The Gilded Wolves is what would pour out. I can’t help but compare The Gilded Wolves to Six of Crows because The Gilded Wolves fills the hole in my heart Bardugo left when Six of Crows ended. Severin and his team are not cheap copies, but rather polished contemporaries of Bardugo’s crew. That said, The Gilded Wolves is less dark, less bleak and just as fierce.

The system of technological advancement in The Gilded Wolves is called Forging and is controlled by Houses and is absolutely magical. Chokshi’s mashed up elements I’d never have thought to combine myself. Vines that bloom cocktails and champagne chandeliers. Her imagination is delightful and I loved all the wonderful things she poured onto the page. This system also serves to enable technological advancements that would have been hundreds of years out of place, but necessary to the heist plot in a clever way.

Chokshi also weaves in themes of racism, classism and sexism in interesting ways. The diversity is deftly woven into the motivations and desires of her characters.

The Gilded Wolves is on shelves now and you’ll be missing out if you don’t add it to your TBR yesterday

Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review.  

Fantasy · Uncategorized

White Stag – Kara Barbieri

4 stars

Kara Barbieri’s debut novel White Stag is a fresh, fun take on an epic fantasy. Instead of your traditional elves, White Stag is all about goblins and her take is so interesting.

39863517.jpgAs the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

I really enjoyed White Stag. The book flowed together well, and kept me intrigued. When I wasn’t reading, it was knocking around in my head, and ultimately the end of the book surprised me. Some elements were predictable, but the final twist was a welcome surprise.

Janneke/Janneka is a fierce survivor, living through a century of horror. I admired her strength and drive and really felt her struggle. She fights for her future, for choice, for her own freedom.  Her relationship with Soren, her captor and companion for decades was interesting to watch unfold. It may not be the hot, passionate declarations that are so popular and pervasive in fantasy right now, but watching Janneke decide if Soren was truly trustworthy or not was wonderful.

The Permafrost is a wonderful and richly imagined setting. Barbieri’s system of power and magic is fresh and one I’m looking forward to exploring more of.

White Stag is on shelves now and is a debut not to miss.

Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review. 

Fantasy · YA

In An Absent Dream – Seanan McGuire Review and *Buddy Read Part 1*

5 stars

Welcome to part one of the fourth buddy read of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series! For this read, I am teaming up once again with Marzie’s Reads and guest commenter and friend of the blog, Janelle.

In An Absent Dream is the fourth in the Wayward Children series of novellas if you read the books in publication order, and is now the first book chronologically, as it takes place before Down Among The Sticks and Bones. We’re reading the books in publication order for this discussion.

38244358This is the story of a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

For anyone . . .

In An Absent Dream is my new favorite installment in the Wayward Children series.

I identify with Lundy more closely than I have with any other of the Wayward Children so far, and the Goblin Market sounds like a world I could find happiness in. The Goblin Market has rules, and if you follow those rules, you can be at home in the Market. But breaking those rules comes at a very steep cost.

The Goblin Market reminds me a lot of my own relationships with friends, not that we are transactional but that we trade off on doing things for each other. The core of our friendship is that we are both willing to give to the other in roughly equal measure. The internal logic of the Market appeals to my sense of fairness in interactions. Those who do not give fair value are punished.

I understand and empathize with what drives Lundy. While my upbringing was less restrictive than hers, I (an many other avid readers) identified strongly with her escapism through reading. I would have found the door as irresistible as she did.

I also loved the Archivist and Moon. These are the other two main characters in In An Absent Dream that add depth and richness to the Goblin Market and made me feel as though I had fallen through the door behind Lundy.

Once again, Seanan has written the words that speak to hidden parts of my soul.

Read on below for part one of our Buddy Read discussion!

***THERE WILL BE SPOILERS***

Continue reading “In An Absent Dream – Seanan McGuire Review and *Buddy Read Part 1*”

Fantasy

The Winter of the Witch – Katherine Arden

5 Stars

The conclusion to Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy in The Winter of the Witch is stunning and satisfying. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect ending.

Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the 36621586Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

The beginning of The Winter of the Witch picks up right where The Girl in the Tower ends and keeps on running. The Winter of the Witch never slows down and as a reader, I could feel Vasya’s energy and weariness and determination seeping off the page.

Katherine Arden has absolutely given new life to these characters from classic Russian folklore. Morozko and Medved and Vasya all leap off the page with flaws and weaknesses and strength and motivation. I was sucked in and captivated from the start.

I will say though, I had to close the book for a moment when a very traumatic scene came up. There’s a pretty heartbreaking character death very early on in the book, and unlike some books, the loss is palpable and resounds throughout the whole book in a way that feels genuine. I never found myself impatient with Vasya’s grief, because I myself felt it along the way. I was so invested in this character that their death hurt.

The ending is the perfect kind of ending for a fairytale like the Winternight Trilogy. It’s exactly how the story needed to end. Arden says in the notes at the back of the book that she has had the ending planned since the beginning, and it certainly feels as though she did. It doesn’t feel rushed or desperate. The ending fits Vasya’s story perfectly.

The Winter of the Witch is on sale now.

Thank you to Del Rey for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. 

Blog Housekeeping · That Reading Life

My Most Anticipated Reads of 2019!

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2019 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years in publishing! I am so excited about what’s coming out and below I’ve highlighted the books I’m most excited about hitting shelves in the coming months.

In An Absent Dream

#4 in the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire is promising to be one of the best in the series and I’m dying to dive right in!

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This is the story of a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

For anyone . . .

Empress of Forever

I am beside myself with excitement for the upcoming standalone space opera from Max Gladstone. I love everything he writes and I am prepared to be devastated by Empress of Forever.

A wildly successful innovator to rival Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, Vivian Liao is prone 40380954.jpgto radical thinking, quick decision-making, and reckless action. On the eve of her greatest achievement, she’s trying to outrun those who are trying to steal her success.

In the chilly darkness of a Boston server farm, Viv sets her ultimate plan into motion. A terrifying instant later, Vivian Liao is catapulted through space and time to a far future where she confronts a destiny stranger and more deadly than she could ever imagine.

The end of time is ruled by an ancient, powerful Empress who blesses or blasts entire planets with a single thought. Rebellion is literally impossible to consider–until Vivian arrives. Trapped between the Pride, a ravening horde of sentient machines, and a fanatical sect of warrior monks who call themselves the Mirrorfaith, Viv must rally a strange group of allies to confront the Empress and find a way back to the world and life she left behind.

The Unkindest Tide

#13 in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire

We don’t have a synopsis or a cover yet, but goodness I can’t wait for this installment. Book #12 Night and Silence was such an escalation in the story that I am almost breathless with excitement to find out what happens next.

Winter of the Witch

#3 in Katherine Arden’s stunning Winternight trilogy. I loved the first two, and am so excited to find out how this story ends!

Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the 36621586.jpgbestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

Gideon the Ninth

We don’t have a cover yet for Tamsyn Muir’s debut novel but based on the synopsis and everything I’ve heard about it so far I can’t WAIT to get my hands on it.

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

King of Scars

Leigh Bardugo’s new Grishaverse series is one I’ve been anticipating for MONTHS. Nikolai was my favorite character from the original Grisha series and I can’t wait to see where his story goes.

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he 36307634.jpgendured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

The Kingdom of Copper

S.A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass was so incredible that I cannot wait to get into the sequel. The world Chakraborty built is so immersive and intense – I need to know what’s next for Nahri!

Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a 35839460.jpgformidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.

Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of the battle that saw Dara slain at Prince Ali’s hand, Nahri must forge a new path for herself, without the protection of the guardian who stole her heart or the counsel of the prince she considered a friend. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family and one misstep will doom her tribe.

Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid-the unpredictable water spirits-have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.

And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve.

Middlegame

Seanan McGuire’s taking off from her existing worlds and forging ahead in a new novel, Middlegame. I’m still not sure if it’s a standalone or part of a series, but either way, I WANT IT!

Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him.

35965482.jpgHe instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.

Aurora Rising

Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman gave us the Illuminae Files and they’re about to break our hearts again with The Aurora Cycle and I can’t wait.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned 30075662.jpgtheir first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

This Is How You Lose the Time War

Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone are two of my favorite people, and when I found out that they were teaming up to write a novella I about fell out of my chair.

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Time travel isn’t my favorite topic, but for them I’ve already pre-ordered the book.

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.

And thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more.

Except discovery of their bond would be death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right?

Storm of Locusts

Rebecca Roanhorse is back with her sequel to her debut novel Trail of Lightning and I’m sure it’s going to be just as much of a heavy hitter as ToL was.

It’s been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie,37920490.jpg Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she’s lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she’s somehow found herself responsible for a young girl with a strange clan power.

Then the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie’s door with the news that Kai and the youngest Goodacre, Caleb, have fallen in with a mysterious cult, led by a figure out of Navajo legend called the White Locust. The Goodacres are convinced that Kai’s a true believer, but Maggie suspects there’s more to Kai’s new faith than meets the eye. She vows to track down the White Locust, rescue Kai, and make things right between them both.

Her search leads her beyond the Walls of Dinétah and straight into the horrors of the Big Water world outside. With the aid of a motley collection of allies, Maggie must battle body harvesters, newborn casino gods, and, ultimately the White Locust himself. But the cult leader is nothing like she suspected, and Kai might not need rescuing after all. When the full scope of the White Locust’s plans are revealed, Maggie’s burgeoning trust in her friends, and herself, will be pushed to the breaking point, and not everyone will survive.

Greystar

C.L. Polk hit me right in the feels with Witchmark last year and I am prepared and excited to be absolutely emotional ruined by Greystar.

As a broken nation tries to patch itself together, one journalist fights to reveal the 41473380.jpgtruth behind the disaster, while keeping her head above the rising tides of revolution.

The second installment follows Avia Jessup, a newswoman whose former lover set Miles on his collision course with truth. As Aeland is invaded by fae visitors and wracked by brutal winter storms, Avia begins to pick at the threads of conspiracy, and finds that every trail leads her to Grace Hensley. The beautiful Chancellor is keeping secrets that could break the country apart, and Avia will have to decide whether exposing the truth is worth the price of blood and fire, and worth risking the budding romance between herself and Grace.

Darkdawn

The final book in the Nevernight Chronicle from Jay Kristoff is going to be bloody good fun and I can’t wait. Mia is going to make me bleed feels all over the page. I am so excited.

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo 23264672.jpgand rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

What are YOU excited to read in 2019?