Currently Anticipated & Pre-Ordered Titles | 2020

I have a lot of anticipated books this year! I try to keep my TBR somewhat low and realistic to the books that I really want to read. Most of what’s currently on there are books which are announced, but have no release date outside of 2020, or books which are definitely coming out this year, and which I’ve preordered.

Firstly, we have V.E. Schwab. Author of the Darker Shades of Magic trilogy, as well as Vicious and Vengeful (two of my favorites), she has two books which are currently announced. One, is titled The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and follows a French girl and the devil over the span of 300 years. The book is slated for release in October 2020, but does not yet have a cover. The other is currently untitled, but is a sequel to Vicious and Vengeful. This book does not have a year anywhere attached to it, but whenever it comes out I’ll be rushing to read it.

Next on my list is Grady Hendrix. He’s quickly become my favorite horror author. I have one of his prior works left, but his new release, titled The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is coming out on April 7th of this year. Described as “Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meets Dracula” this book is about a women’s book club which is trying to protect its suburban community from a vampire. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book from Quirk Books, so I’m hoping to read this right before it comes out.

Riley Sager is an author who was new to me last year. I read his three previous titles, and his most recent book called Home Before Dark comes out this July. This follows a woman returning to the house that was made famous by her father, a horror writer. The description is ominous, and is vague about whether or not there are paranormal aspects to this book, or if it’s grounded in reality. Either way I’m excited to see what Riley Sager does this time around.

The next one on my list is Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power. I really liked her debut novel, Wilder Girls, last year and I’m excited to see what she continues to do. This is one of the few young adult books that I have on this list. It’s described as horror, but if it’s anything like her previous book, it’ll be more in the vein of Annihilation. This book is also expected to come out in July

Though this book doesn’t have any title, cover, or release information, I’m probably the most excited about it. Sylvain Neuvel, author of Sleeping Giants, Waking Gods, and Only Human is writing a new novel under the series title Take Them to the Stars. It looks like this is going to be science fiction, and I’m very excited to see what his next series brings. I’m really hoping that we do get more information about this book soon, and that it comes out in 2020.

Next I have an author who’s new to me, and I’m excited to see what their second novel brings! The Devil and the Dark Water is the newest book by Stuart Turton, author of The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I enjoyed his first book a lot, and I’m excited to see what he continues to do in the mystery genre. Though we don’t have a cover yet, if it’s anything like the design of his first book I’m really excited about it.

My most anticipated fantasy is the spin-off series to the Book of the Ancestor series, titled Book of the Ice. The first book is going to be coming out on April 30th, and is titled The Girl and the Stars. This book brings us back to the planet Abeth from the previous series, but follows a character named Yaz who lives as part of the ice tribes in the book. It’s unclear from the synopsis if this takes place before, during, or after the events of Book of the Ancestor, so I’m really excited to dive into this when it releases.

The final book on this list is from Emily St. John Mandel, who wrote Station Eleven that I read last year. This is her first book since 2014, and is titled The Glass Hotel. The story follows Vincent, a bartender at the Hotel Caiette. Taking place on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. There’s crime, and crisis, and survival, the book is already getting rave reviews. This book just came out two days ago and I’m really excited to start reading it.

These are all of my most anticipated reads for 2020. I’ve got a lot of great authors and reads on this list, and I know that this will also continue to grow as the year goes on.

-Siobhan

Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence | Book Review

★★★★☆
January 18th – 20th

I put off reading the finale to this series for a very long time. Most of that was because I didn’t want the series to end, but I was also very apprehensive about how I would feel about the ending. From a few reviews I read, people felt just okay, and that concerned me. The first book was such an unexpected surprise, and after feeling like the second book was building up to something large, I couldn’t help but be scared that it would all be for nothing.

I liked this ending a lot. Mark Lawrence set up a lot of questions to be answered, most of which I won’t go into here for spoiler reasons. Seventy pages from the end, I was concerned about the ending. I was afraid of my favorite characters not making it, my favorite plot points going unanswered, and my favorite locations getting burned to the ground. Only some of those things happened.

I have to commend Lawrence for his attention to detail in this series. This is one of the rare cases where I couldn’t find myself wondering why a character didn’t do x thing which seemed slightly more obvious to me. I was constantly surprised by the setup and payoff that he was able to produce, and he’s a master at hinting at things in the beginning which will be needed at the end.

Following the events of the second book, as well as the novella, Nona Grey is back at Sweet Mercy, finishing up her training. This book bounces between present day and three years earlier, when Nona and Zole were escaping from the final events of the previous book. I liked the chance in pace between the two, and the time jumps were crafted so that the lessons learned in each were relevant to the other without it feeling forced.

My favorite part of all three books has always been the combination of the setting and the relationships, and this book was no different. The world building in this series is some of my favorite that I’ve ever read, and I loved seeing Nona’s friendships and what they mean to her grow and continue to expand over the course of the three books. I think that Mark Lawrence did a great job writing a character who grows and changes and becomes an adult from a young kid. It’s also great to see that type of growth in a very dark setting.

I think that for people who were invested in the romantic side of the relationships, this book may have been a slight letdown. Romance is always my least favorite part of books, so I was more than okay with the way the book ended on that front. I honestly wish more books would have hints of romance in the background without feeling the need to pull it into the main plot of the story.

That’s a whole other topic that I won’t get into though.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who likes fantasy and science fiction, and who likes combat and a bit of magic.

I was really excited to learn that Abeth, the planet that the Book of the Ancestor series takes place on, is being returned to in Mark Lawrence’s next series, Book of the Ice. the first book comes out in April. I’m excited to see where that series takes place, and what else Mark Lawrence has in store for me. There are three other series of his which I can also check out in the meantime.

-Siobhan