Friends, my bank account is WEEPING from all the books I want to get that are being released in January! Can you believe it is almost 2019?! Where has the year gone?! I am not convinced that we didn’t somehow enter a wormhole that accelerates how we perceive time without knowing it.
2018 has been an amazing year of fantastic releases, and by the looks of it 2019 is off to a great start! There are honestly so many books that I want to read, and I narrowed it down kind of for January. Let’s get started!
As always, if I have read the title I will include a link to my review, and clicking on the title will bring you to Goodreads.
Source: Playbill on Tumblr
Slayer (Slayer #1) by Kiersten White
Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Into every generation a Slayer is born…
Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.
Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.
Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.
As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…
But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.
One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.
I tried to sell my soul to get my hands on an ARC of this book, but apparently everyone knows that I sold it already to my friend Parker in 2003 in exchange for $10 in quarters. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my favorite show and was the first one that I became invested in and watched weekly. I was 13 when the series premiered and felt like I grew up alongside the Scoobies; this show fostered my love of fantasy and the paranormal… and probably my unhealthy obsession with villain redemption arcs. I am a little nervous to read it after hearing that there’s some Buffy bashing and the possibility of needing to read Season 8, but I hope that I will enjoy this book!
White Stag (Permafrost #1) by Kara Barbieri
Young Adult, Fantasy
The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.
As 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.
This book sounds so magical and dark, as horrible as it makes me sound I love reading stories where the main character struggles between good and evil. In this tale it seems that love and loyalty may play a key connection to her humanity, and one that may make the ruthless monsters a little less so. I’m also intrigued by Janneke’s being raised as the male heir and am interested to see how that plays out between her and her sisters.
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi
Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fantasy
📖 Full ARC Review
Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.
Paris, 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.
I was incredibly fortunate to have the honor to read an advanced copy of this book, and it is incredible. It’s one of the most effortless diverse books that I have ever read. I love the Found Family trope and each of our characters are precious and must be protected. I cannot wait for this book to be out in the world, and I can’t wait for my copy to join my collection!
The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) by Maureen Johnson
Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.
For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.
The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for. In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel of the Truly Devious series, nothing is free, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.
It’s almost here!!! I read and adored Truly Devious earlier this year and have been not-so-patiently waiting for the sequel to be released. I am still salty about that ending and I just need more in this “true crime” feeling series.
Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen
Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Time Travel
📖 ARC Review to Come
To save his daughter, he’ll go anywhere—and any-when…
Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, 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.
A uniquely emotional genre-bending debut, Here and Now and Then captures the perfect balance of heart, playfulness, and imagination, offering an intimate glimpse into the crevices of a father’s heart and its capacity to stretch across both space and time to protect the people that mean the most.
I am a sucker for time travel novels and Here And Now And Then sounds incredibly unique, interesting, and heartbreaking. Trapped between two worlds and lives, how does one choose? How? Also this is a standalone. A STANDALONE! Standalones are like freaking unicorns in sff. Anyways… Looking forward to reading my ARC of this book soon, so look for my review here on the blog in the coming weeks!
The Plotters by Un-su Kim
Adult Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
“A work of literary genius; a quirky, compelling, intelligent, darkly funny, highly original and thought-provoking thriller like nothing I’ve read.”– Karen Dionne, author of The Marsh King’s Daughter
From the novelist dubbed “the Korean Henning Mankell” (The Guardian) comes a fantastical crime novel set in an alternate Seoul where assassination guilds compete for market dominance. Perfect for fans of Han Kang and Patrick deWitt.
Behind every assassination, there is an anonymous mastermind–a plotter–working in the shadows. Plotters quietly dictate the moves of the city’s most dangerous criminals, but their existence is little more than legend. Just who are the plotters? And more important, what do they want?
Reseng is an assassin. Raised by a cantankerous killer named Old Raccoon in the crime headquarters “The Library,” Reseng never questioned anything: where to go, who to kill, or why his home was filled with books that no one ever read. But one day, Reseng steps out of line on a job, toppling a set of carefully calibrated plans. And when he uncovers an extraordinary scheme set into motion by an eccentric trio of young women–a convenience store clerk, her wheelchair-bound sister, and a cross-eyed librarian–Reseng will have to decide if he will remain a pawn or finally take control of the plot.
Crackling with action and filled with unforgettable characters, The Plotters is a deeply entertaining thriller that soars with the soul, wit, and lyricism of real literary craft.
I really enjoy historical fantasy, where one little tweak to the history can alter the reality that we all know. This isn’t the kind of novel that I would normally gravitate towards; however, I am intrigued and something about this one is calling to me. Maybe it is the Illuminati-esque society calling the shots, or maybe the assassin who knows too much (and maybe will have a redemption arc). Regardless, I have my eye on The Plotters.
King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Young Adult, Fantasy
Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured 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.
I have a confession to make: I’ve never read any of the Grishaverse. *gasp* But I am highly interested in the world, so this book is on my list even though I won’t be reading it anytime in the near future because I am a completionist and have many books to read first.
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.
The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.
Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.
I am a total sucker for these kinds of stories, and I have no idea why. This sounds similar to Pretty Little Liars but with the added fun of a whole new town and a history of secrets. I am excited to read this one and see how it shapes up.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Fall in love, break the curse.
It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.
Beauty and the Beast meets Enchanted, kind of. Well, that is what my brain instantly thought after reading the synopsis once I was sucked in by the amazingly beautiful cover. I adore retellings and this one sounds promising.
The Cerulean (Untitled Duology #1) by Amy Ewing
Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQIAP
Sera has always felt as if she didn’t belong among her people, the Cerulean. She is curious about everything and can’t stop questioning her three mothers, her best friend, Leela, and even the High Priestess. Sera has longed for the day when the tether that connects her City Above the Sky to the earthly world below finally severs and sends the Cerulean to a new planet.
But when Sera is chosen as the sacrifice to break the tether, she doesn’t know what to feel. To save her City, Sera must throw herself from its edge and end her own life. But something goes wrong and she survives the fall, landing in a place called Kaolin. She has heard tales about the humans there, and soon learns that the dangers her mothers warned her of are real. If Sera has any hope to return to her City, she’ll have to find the magic within herself to survive.
This cover is absolutely stunning and I want a print of it for my walls. But I digress, this book sounds so magical. I love curious characters that are just hungry to understand everything, and Sera sounds like an inquisitive girl that puts her people above herself in the ultimate sacrifice. Looking forward to reading this book and finding out more about her world and Kaolin.