Here are 14 Anticipated Reads for January 2020
This post is late and it is the fault of all the amazing releases coming out in January! Literally the two times I have gotten prepared to write this post, another January title called to me and I decided it would be more fun to read it. Oops?
We are starting 2020 off with a bang and we’re sure to not climb out from our TBR Mountains anytime soon. I narrowed my initial list of 24 shiny releases for January down to 14; January 7th and 21st will prove to be TBR ruining. Hold on to your wallets, friends!
📝 In case you are wondering how I manage to keep track of upcoming releases and choose the books I am most excited to highlight, check out my Edelweiss 2.0 Guide!
Source: Playbill on Tumblr
✨✨ January 7 ✨✨
Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez
Young Adult, Fantasy
Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.
When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.
She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.
I read an extract of this one and friends, I am so excited to read the rest of it! The narrative is beautifully crafted and accessible to any reader despite their pre-existing knowledge of Bolivian politics. I love that Spanish phrases are present to cement the story in its roots, and the magic system is explained well in its introductory pages. Don’t sleep on this one, friends!
Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars #1) by Tara Sim
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Amaya wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of deception—and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she’s plotting to bring down—the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she realizes she must trust no one…
Packed with high-stakes adventure, romance, and dueling identities, this gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo is the first novel in an epic YA fantasy duology, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo.
I am here for a gender-bent retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo.
Chosen (Slayer #2) by Kiersten White
Young Adult, Fantasy
Now that Nina has turned the Watcher’s Castle into a utopia for hurt and lonely demons, she’s still waiting for the utopia part to kick in. With her sister Artemis gone and only a few people remaining at the castle—including her still-distant mother—Nina has her hands full. Plus, though she gained back her Slayer powers from Leo, they’re not feeling quite right after being held by the seriously evil succubus Eve, a.k.a. fake Watcher’s Council member and Leo’s mom.
And while Nina is dealing with the darkness inside, there’s also a new threat on the outside, portended by an odd triangle symbol that seems to be popping up everywhere, in connection with Sean’s demon drug ring as well as someone a bit closer to home. Because one near-apocalypse just isn’t enough, right?
The darkness always finds you. And once again, it’s coming for the Slayer.
Have I read Slayer yet? No. Still too chicken. But I am still excited that this book is coming out and plan on going to the launch day event. Because of course I am.
Oasis by Katya de Becerra
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Thriller
Alif had exciting summer plans: working on her father’s archaeological dig site in the desert with four close friends . . . and a very cute research assistant. Then the sandstorm hit.
With their camp wiped away, Alif and the others find themselves lost on the sands, seemingly doomed . . . until they find the oasis. It has everything they need: food, water, shade—and mysterious ruins that hide a deadly secret. As reality begins to shift around them, they question what’s real and what’s a mirage.
The answers turn Alif and her friends against one another, and they begin to wonder if they’ve truly been saved. And while it was easy to walk into the oasis, it may be impossible to leave . . .
Katya de Becerra’s new supernatural thriller hides a mystery in plain sight, and will keep you guessing right up to its terrifying conclusion.
ARC Review to Come
This is my next ARC read and I am pretty darn excited for it!
✨✨ January 14 ✨✨
A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen
Adult, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic
Six years after a global pandemic wiped out most of the planet’s population, the survivors are rebuilding the country, split between self-governing cities, hippie communes and wasteland gangs.
In postapocalyptic San Francisco, former pop star Moira has created a new identity to finally escape her past—until her domineering father launches a sweeping public search to track her down. Desperate for a fresh start herself, jaded event planner Krista navigates the world on behalf of those too traumatized to go outside, determined to help everyone move on—even if they don’t want to. Rob survived the catastrophe with his daughter, Sunny, but lost his wife. When strict government rules threaten to separate parent and child, Rob needs to prove himself worthy in the city’s eyes by connecting with people again.
Krista, Moira, Rob and Sunny are brought together by circumstance, and their lives begin to twine together. But when reports of another outbreak throw the fragile society into panic, the friends are forced to finally face everything that came before—and everything they still stand to lose.
Because sometimes having one person is enough to keep the world going.
I absolutely adored Mike Chen’s 2018 debut Here And Now And Then, and am really looking forward to this post-apocalyptic set in San Francisco. I also downloaded an eARC about fifty times but refrained because ARC Mountain.
Beyond the Shadowed Earth (Beneath the Haunting Sea #2) by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Young Adult, Fantasy
Years later, her hold on the empire begins to crumble and her best friend unexpectedly grows sick and dies. Gnawed by guilt and betrayal, Eda embarks on a harrowing journey to confront the very god who gave her the kingdom in the first place. However, she soon discovers that he’s trapped at the center of an otherworldly labyrinth and that her bargain with him is more complex than she ever could have imagined.
Set in the same universe as Joanna’s debut, Beneath the Haunting Sea, Beyond the Shadowed Earth combines her incredible world building and lush prose with a new, villainous lead.
I’ll admit that I didn’t realize this was a sequel until about five minutes ago, but you know what? This sounds awesome and I still want to read it.
Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, LGBTQIAP+
Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward a boy who knows the dancing fever’s history better than anyone: Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there’s more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows, and discovering the truth may decide whether Rosella survives the red shoes.
With McLemore’s signature lush prose, Dark and Deepest Red pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal.
This is a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes combined with historical events (a dancing “plague” in 1518). Which is up my freaking alley. Like Kiersten White, I own a lot of Anna-Marie’s books but haven’t read them. Yet. But I know they are for me!
✨✨ January 21 ✨✨
Spellhacker by M.K. England
Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTIAP+
In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.
Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.
But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.
ARC Review to Come
Heists. A squad. Conspiracy. I jumped at the chance to nab an ARC of this one and am looking forward to reading it soon!
Rogue Princess by B.R. Myers
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling
Princess Delia knows her duty: She must choose a prince to marry in order to secure an alliance and save her failing planet. Yet she secretly dreams of true love, and feels there must be a better way. Determined to chart her own course, she steals a spaceship to avoid the marriage, only to discover a handsome stowaway.
All Aidan wanted was to “borrow” a few palace trinkets to help him get off the planet. Okay, so maybe escaping on a royal ship wasn’t the smartest plan, but he never expected to be kidnapped by a runaway princess!
Sparks fly as this headstrong princess and clever thief battle wits, but everything changes when they inadvertently uncover a rebel conspiracy that could destroy their planet forever.
ARC Review to Come
You had me at gender-swapped science fiction retelling of Cinderella. This is another one of the last-minute downloads that added my Arc Mountain, and to be honest? I couldn’t be more pleased with myself & excited to read it!
Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi
Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Rooted in foundational loss and the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is both a global dystopian narrative an intimate family story with quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.
Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella—through visits both mundane and supernatural—tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.
This sounds like such a beautiful but painful read, one I look forward to reading.
This Vicious Cure (This Mortal Coil #3) by Emily Suvada
Young Adult, Science Fiction
Cat’s hacking skills weren’t enough to keep her from losing everything—her identity, her past, and now her freedom. She’s trapped and alone, but she’s survived this long, and she’s not giving up without a fight.
Though the outbreak has been contained, a new threat has emerged—one that’s taken the world to the brink of a devastating war. With genetic technology that promises not just a cure for the plague, but a way to prevent death itself, both sides will stop at nothing to seize control of humanity’s future.
Facing her smartest, most devastating enemy yet, Cat must race against the clock to protect her friends and save the lives of millions on the planet’s surface. No matter the outcome, humanity will never be the same.
And this time, Cat can’t afford to let anything, or anyone, stand in her way.
*incoherent sobbing* I AM A MESS. I can’t believe one of my favorite series EVER is coming to a close! I can’t wait to buddy read with the squad and basically devolve into a pile of snot on January 21.
A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier
Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Way up in the Swiss mountains, there’s an old grand hotel steeped in tradition and faded splendor. Once a year, when the famous New Year’s Eve Ball takes place and guests from all over the world arrive, excitement returns to the vast hallways.
Sophie, who works at the hotel as an intern, is busy making sure that everything goes according to plan. But unexpected problems keep arising, and some of the guests are not who they pretend to be. Very soon, Sophie finds herself right in the middle of a perilous adventure–and at risk of losing not only her job, but also her heart.
ARC Review to Come
This is the reason this post is late, and I have zero regrets. It was a delightful and fun read that makes excellent use of one of my favorite plot devices: starting at the end. I really enjoyed trying to unravel everything, and I was surprised a couple of times!
Diamond City (Diamond City #1) by Francesca Flores
Young Adult, Fantasy
Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.
Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.
DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.
To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn’t want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.
Full of action, romance and dark magic, book one of Francesca Flores’ breathtaking fantasy duology will leave readers eager for more!
ARC Review to Come
This is another new addition to ARC Mountain.But this sounds like the kind of story I have been craving: assassins, found family, and possibly some backstabbing.
Highfire by Eoin Colfer
In the days of yore, he flew the skies and scorched angry mobs—now he hides from swamp tour boats and rises only with the greatest reluctance from his Laz-Z-Boy recliner. Laying low in the bayou, this once-magnificent fire breather has been reduced to lighting Marlboros with nose sparks, swilling Absolut in a Flashdance T-shirt, and binging Netflix in a fishing shack. For centuries, he struck fear in hearts far and wide as Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie—now he goes by Vern. However…he has survived, unlike the rest. He is the last of his kind, the last dragon. Still, no amount of vodka can drown the loneliness in his molten core. Vern’s glory days are long gone. Or are they?
A canny Cajun swamp rat, young Everett “Squib” Moreau does what he can to survive, trying not to break the heart of his saintly single mother. He’s finally decided to work for a shady smuggler—but on his first night, he witnesses his boss murdered by a crooked constable.
Regence Hooke is not just a dirty cop, he’s a despicable human being—who happens to want Squib’s momma in the worst way. When Hooke goes after his hidden witness with a grenade launcher, Squib finds himself airlifted from certain death by…a dragon?
The swamp can make strange bedfellows, and rather than be fried alive so the dragon can keep his secret, Squib strikes a deal with the scaly apex predator. He can act as his go-between (aka familiar)—fetch his vodka, keep him company, etc.—in exchange for protection from Hooke. Soon the three of them are careening headlong toward a combustible confrontation. There’s about to be a fiery reckoning, in which either dragons finally go extinct—or Vern’s glory days are back.
A triumphant return to the genre-bending fantasy that Eoin Colfer is so well known for, Highfire is an effortlessly clever and relentlessly funny tour-de-force of comedy and action.
I’ll be honest – the vodka-drinking dragon is what drew me in. I haven’t read Artemis Fowl so I have no clue if I will dig the writing, but this sounds amusing as hell.
Are any of these books on your TBR? Have you read any of them yet? What are the January releases that you can’t wait to get your hands on?