Friends, it was so hard for me to even narrow this post down to 15 releases and I think that February 5th will bankrupt me. So much for all that savings in January, eh?
There are so many books that I am excited to read eventually, and each of the fifteen listed in this post have earned a spot on my monstrous TBR. I know it might take me a century to get through everything, but I certainly want to try!
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
Blood for Blood (Ziba MacKenzie #1) by Victoria Selman
Adult Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Ziba Mackenzie profiles killers. Now one is profiling her.
Rush hour, London. A packed commuter train is torn apart in a collision. Picking through the carnage, ex-special forces profiler Ziba MacKenzie helps a dying woman who passes on a cryptic message: He did it. You have to tell someone.
When a corpse is found bearing the gruesome signature of a serial killer dormant for twenty-five years, Ziba is pulled into the hunt for the perpetrator. As the body count rises it becomes clear he’s on a new spree. But what’s brought the London Lacerator back after such a long hiatus? And does his sudden return have anything to do with the woman on the train?
Ziba scrambles to profile the killer in the hope of predicting his next move. But time is running out. And the closer she gets to uncovering his identity, the closer he gets to destroying hers.
Shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger Award
This book sounds so incredibly interesting to me – a random encounter bringing an investigator into a man-hunt for a serial killer, only she is now on the serial killer’s radar. I love psychological thrillers and this sounds really promising!
Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy #1) by Marlon James
Adult Fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy
Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.
As Tracker follows the boy’s scent—from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers—he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?
I almost have downloaded an eARC of this book about fifteen time from Edelweiss but it is 640 pages and I don’t have the time to dedicate to this book with my other reading responsibilities. Dubbed as the “African Game of Thrones,” this first-in-trilogy title sounds like the high fantasy adventure that I have been needing in my life!
Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology #1) by Robin LaFevers
Young Adult Fantasy | ✨ Pre-Order Incentive
Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…
Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.
Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.
As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?
Political intrigue, disguises, and sacrifice are all themes that I adore in my fantasy reads. This sounds like a book with strong female characters, which you know is my jam, and I am a sucker for political subterfuge.
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.
I was drawn in by this beautiful cover, I am a sucker for anything that looks like it takes place in the sky or in space. Stories of female sacrifice for the good of everyone have been prevalent throughout history (and practiced in some ancient societies), and there is something about that selflessness and strength in sacrifice that will never get old for me.
Stolen Time (Dark Stars #1) by Danielle Rollins
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel | 📖 ARC Review to Come!
Dorothy spent her life learning the art of the con. But after meeting a stranger and stowing away on his peculiar aircraft, she wakes up in a chilling version of the world she left behind—and for the first time in her life, realizes she’s in way over her head.
New Seattle, 2077
If there was ever a girl who was trouble, it was one who snuck on board Ash’s time machine wearing a wedding gown—and the last thing he needs is trouble if he wants to prevent his terrifying visions of the future from coming true.
I love time travel stories so incredibly much, and was super excited to receive an ARC of this from the publisher via Edelweiss! As much as I love the future, I have a soft spot in my heart for the 1910s – 1920s and am really excited to dive into the possibilities and the past, especially since we have a female protagonist that seems to break the gender norms of the time period.
The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Malaysian Rep | ✨ Pre-Order Incentive
A music-loving teen with OCD does everything she can to find her way back to her mother during the historic race riots in 1969 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in this heart-pounding literary debut.
Melati Ahmad looks like your typical moviegoing, Beatles-obsessed sixteen-year-old. Unlike most other sixteen-year-olds though, Mel also believes that she harbors a djinn inside her, one who threatens her with horrific images of her mother’s death unless she adheres to an elaborate ritual of counting and tapping to keep him satisfied.
But there are things that Melati can’t protect her mother from. On the evening of May 13th, 1969, racial tensions in her home city of Kuala Lumpur boil over. The Chinese and Malays are at war, and Mel and her mother become separated by a city in flames.
With a 24-hour curfew in place and all lines of communication down, it will take the help of a Chinese boy named Vincent and all of the courage and grit in Melati’s arsenal to overcome the violence on the streets, her own prejudices, and her djinn’s surging power to make it back to the one person she can’t risk losing.
**Content warnings: Racism, graphic violence, on-page death, OCD and anxiety triggers.**
This debut looks so good, and I have seen a lot of positive own-voices reviews so far! I can’t wait to read this book, especially for the anxiety representation.
Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion #1) by Jessie Mihalik
Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.
In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars.
Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. To ensure she cannot escape again, the fiery princess is thrown into a prison cell with Marcus Loch. Known as the Devil of Fornax Zero, Loch is rumored to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion, and the Consortium wants his head.
When the ship returning them to Earth is attacked by a battle cruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancé captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape.
But when you make a deal with an irresistibly attractive Devil, you may lose more than you bargained for . . .
You had me at space opera and unlikely allies! I am all for stories where women reject that which is expected of them to seek out their own destiny and this story sounds like it could feature a strong female protagonist. If I am being honest I am a bit nervous about the romance part, depending on how much that plays a role in the overall plot and if it overshadows worldbuilding my enjoyment may not match expectations. But the world sounds cool so I wanna give this a read!
Crown of Feathers (Crown of Feathers #1) by Nicki Pau Preto
Young Adult, Fantasy
I had a sister, once…
In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.
I promised her the throne would not come between us.
Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.
But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.
Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.
Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.
A fantasy world ruled by warrior queens that ride on phoenixes? I didn’t know that I needed this book until now and I am so excited to read this debut! And look at that cover!
Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction | ✨ Pre-Order Campaign
A YA murder mystery in which a young reporter must use her supernatural visions to help track down a killer targeting the young women of Paris.
Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day’s new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine. That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered–from the perspective of the murderer himself.
When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine days later, Paris begins to buzz with rumors that this victim may not be the last. Nathalie’s search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs. As the killer continues to haunt the streets of Paris, it becomes clear that Nathalie’s strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover the killer’s identity–and she’ll have to do it before she becomes a target herself
Paris in the 1880s. A protagonist that has visions of a murder as it happens from the perspective of the murderer. A search for answers. This sounds so incredibly cool, although I am a little intrigued by the protagonist’s age being sixteen.
The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
“If you control our sleep, then you can own our dreams… And from there, it’s easy to control our entire lives.”
Set on a planet that has fully definitive, never-changing zones of day and night, with ensuing extreme climates of endless, frigid darkness and blinding, relentless light, humankind has somehow continued apace — though the perils outside the built cities are rife with danger as much as the streets below.
But in a world where time means only what the ruling government proclaims, and the levels of light available are artificially imposed to great consequence, lost souls and disappeared bodies are shadow-bound and savage, and as common as grains of sand. And one such pariah, sacrificed to the night, but borne up by time and a mysterious bond with an enigmatic beast, will rise to take on the entire planet–before it can crumble beneath the weight of human existence.
This is probably my most highly anticipated release of February, and I have a copy of it pre-ordered. Science fiction is one of my favorite genres, and this book sounds absolutely incredible: the themes of control, the use of light access for control, and the idea of time’s meaning being dictated by others all sound like a compelling read.
Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller
Young Adult, Fantasy | ✨ Pre-Order Incentive
How do you kill a god?
As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.
There are so many February releases with strong, badass female characters and I am here for it! I am really interested to dive into this world where a woman could be a chosen heir, this feels like a genderbent telling of the typical male coming-of-age trials.
Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Retellings
Sixteen years ago, rebellion swept the galaxy known as the Belt of Jewels. Every member of the royal family was murdered–down to their youngest child, Princess Anya–and the Union government rose in its place. But Stacia doesn’t think much about politics. She spends her days half-wild, rambling her father’s vineyard with her closest friends, Clio and Pol.
That all changes the day a Union ship appears in town, carrying the leader of the Belt himself, the Direktor Eminent. The Direktor claims that Princess Anya is alive, and that Stacia’s sleepy village is a den of empire loyalists, intent on hiding her. When Stacia is identified as the lost princess, her provincial home explodes into a nightmare.
Pol smuggles her away to a hidden escape ship in the chaos, leaving Clio in the hands of the Union. With everything she knows threading away into stars, Stacia sets her heart on a single mission. She will find and rescue Clio, even with the whole galaxy on her trail.
This cover. Rebellion. Royalty. A society living among a star system. Friendship and missions to save the ones you love. Sign me the heck up.
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Adult, Fantasy | ✨ Pre-Order Incentive
From the internationally bestselling author of The Bone Season, a trailblazing, epic high fantasy about a world on the brink of war with dragons–and the women who must lead the fight to save it.
A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction–but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.
I’ve been waiting for this book and am so ready to have the tome in my hands! I read the first 100 pages or so via NetGalley and… I need more.
Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
Young Adult, Fantasy | ✨ Pre-Order Incentive
A divided nation. Four Queens. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.
Get in quick, get out quicker.
These are the words Keralie Corrington lives by as the preeminent dipper in the Concord, the central area uniting the four quadrants of Quadara. She steals under the guidance of her mentor Mackiel, who runs a black market selling their bounty to buyers desperate for what they can’t get in their own quarter. For in the nation of Quadara, each quarter is strictly divided from the other. Four queens rule together, one from each region:
Toria: the intellectual quarter that values education and ambition
Ludia: the pleasure quarter that values celebration, passion, and entertainment
Archia: the agricultural quarter that values simplicity and nature
Eonia: the futurist quarter that values technology, stoicism and harmonious community
When Keralie intercepts a comm disk coming from the House of Concord, what seems like a standard job goes horribly wrong. Upon watching the comm disks, Keralie sees all four queens murdered in four brutal ways. Hoping that discovering the intended recipient will reveal the culprit – information that is bound to be valuable bartering material with the palace – Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt, the Eonist messenger she stole from, to complete Varin’s original job and see where it takes them.
That bolded section at the top of the blurb has me hooked and I’m ready for this book like last year.