The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
ya, thriller, debut author
Avery Grambs is suddenly and unexpectedly willed the entire fortune of billionaire Tobias Hawthrone, but she has no idea who he is. She moves into the Hawthorne family home, surrounded by the family who were just passed over for inheritance.
This book is being compared to Knives Out, which I’ve seen around 3-4 times. So this one got added to my goodreads wish-list immediately based off that comparison.
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
adult, contemporary, literary
Gifty is a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.
I have Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi sitting on my shelf, glaring at me right now. I fully expect to love it, so I am anticipating Gyasi’s next novel to be right up my alley as well.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
adult, fantasy, gothic
Piranesi lives in an infinite labyrinthine house with an ocean trapped inside, but he loves and understands the tides like an instinct. There is one other person in the house-a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell was one of the best reads I’ve had all year. I adored the writing to the point where the lengthy portions of the book that felt like they had no plot relevance were a decadent snack to enjoy. Piranesi sounds almost bizarre, but I am here for anything Susanna Clarke writes at this point.
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
adult, fantasy, dark academia
This school of magic has no teachers, no holidays and no way to escape: you graduate or you die. El Higgins might be alone but she is powerful and she is determined to graduate. Her dark power is her greatest advantage, but if she uses it she could kill every other student, so she won’t use it unless there is no other choice.
This year I read Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo and I absolutely fell in love with it. I realised that dark academia could be the subgenre for me, so when this popped up by an author who I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about it seemed too good to be true.
We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu
ya, fantasy, lgbt+, thriller, debut author
This is a mystery/thriller book with supernatural elements following Noemi after her friend Link Miller drowns, miles away from the nearest body of water. Noemi knows that Link drowned in a lake that only she can find, but now Link is contacting Noemi from beyond the grave.
I haven’t read a mystery/thriller with supernatural elements before so I’ve had my eye out for one. I was drawn in by the gorgeous cover and I prefer domestic style thrillers with a focus on relationships (eg: married couple, family or friends). I’m hoping for suspenseful, creepy Raven Boys vibes.
Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald
ya, fantasy, lgbt+, debut author
An ambitious woman destined for a platonic marriage to her wealthy best friend has her greatest secret revealed on her wedding night: she can create water from blood. Now she’s on the run trying to fix her mistakes and save her city. The author says “This book is my love letter to the “unlikable female protagonist.” It’s weird and dark, and dark and weird, and I’m so excited for people to read it.”.
Arranged platonic marriage had me from the start. I also love magic using blood, especially when its treated as taboo or horrifying. The author blurb kind of sealed it for me.
Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee
ya, fantasy, lgbt+
Gyen Jebi is jobless and desperate; recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the occupying government’s automaton soldiers. But when Jebi discovers the depths of the Razanei government’s horrifying crimes—and the awful source of the magical pigments they use—they find they can no longer stay out of politics.
The slogan to this book is “Dragons. Art. Revolution.” I like the idea of a more passive character who doesn’t want to become a rebel, who is just trying to keep their head down and find a job getting swept up into politics.
The Midnight Bargain by C. L. Polk
adult, fantasy, historical fiction, witches
In this historical fantasy, Beatrice is a sorceress whose magic will be cut off at marriage to prevent her magic harming her unborn children. She knows her debt ridden family are relying on her making a good match but Beatrice dreams of becoming a fully fledged Magus. When the opportunity presents itself to become a Magus Beatrice has to balance familial expectations and her own dreams.
This is my most anticipated release in the list! I cannot stress how much it speaks to me: the gorgeous cover, magic, marriage. A few early reviews are referring to this one as “regency romance” and “fantasy romance”, so I have high hopes for a compelling relationship.
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
adult, historical, lgbt+, dark academia
This is a “sapphic-gothic-comedy“ set at Brookhants School for Girls. In 1902 two girls who are obsessed with each other and their favourite author are found dead after being swarmed by yellow jackets. Over a century later the girls’ story is retold by a successful author and adapted to film. As filming beings at the school, past and present becomes grimly entangled.
Did I mention I love the idea of dark academia and want to read as much as I can? Plain Bad Heroines is giving me exactly those vibes. This book is probably the book on this list I want to read most based just off the plot. Other books have authors I love, or might be continuations of series, but this one based on the blurb on goodreads alone was screaming my name.
We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu
adult, fantasy, historical, mystery
When Leo returns home, he discovers a lot has changed about the town and Claire Dryden is now the town’s first Magister. But when Leo first meets Claire he senses a connection between them, even though they’ve never met before. Told across two timelines between his school time diary entries and his current day return to his home town to teach at the same school, The Betrayals is following Leo Martin as he uncovers the truth about his past.
I remember Bridget Collins’ debut got a lot of buzz when it released, but as the plot didn’t particularly grab me I was happy to wait and see what else this author had in store. And I am so glad I did, because The Betrayal sounds like it is going to be one of those books you need to read straight through without breaks.
Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson
adult, fantasy, continuing series
After a quick look at goodreads, I’m not going to give a blurb as I feel like it would spoil the series for myself and anyone who hasn’t caught up.
This is book four in the Stormlight Archive series, which I started this year. I’m fairly new to Sanderson, but I do intend on reading through the whole Cosmere universe. I found Mistborn Era one to be a solid trilogy that surprised me and kept me engaged throughout. Way of Kings was even stronger, and I’ve found myself really attached to one of the plotlines in particular. I can’t wait to catch up and read book four as it releases so I can be part of the buzz.