After last week’s posts on my Anticipated Books for Winter/Spring 2013, today I bring you the fifteen books I anticipate reading the most in the coming six months. Last year I couldn’t get the number down to ten so I stuck to fifteen and since I struggled to get the list down to even fifteen, I stuck with that number. I had to do a lot of gouging to get the list down from the initial twenty-five books to fifteen. There are a lot of books I’m really anticipating reading that I decided to exclude right off the bat, such as all the next books in series I’ve started in the past year. If I loved a book last year, you can bet that I’ll want to read the next instalment. Examples of these are Anne Lyle’s The Merchant of Shadows, Lou Morgan’s Blood and Feathers: Rebellion and Giles Kristian’s Brothers’ Fury. Another book that would have been sure to have been on this list is Laura Lam’s Pantomime if not for the fact I’ve already read and reviewed it here on the blog. And there a couple of historical novels and YA novels that I went back and forth over, but ended up scrapping. So below in alphabetical order by author is my list, with a little explanation of why I really can’t wait to read these books. Do you agree or would you have chosen differently from last week’s lists?
Clifford Beal – Gideon’s Angel (Solaris)
Ever since reading Anne Lyle’s Alchemist of Souls I’ve become more and more enchanted with historical fantasy. Of course this shouldn’t be surprising as it combines my two most favourite genres into a fabulous new whole. Add that to the fact that Beal’s debut novel is set in an era of British history that I’ve only recently come to read more about, but has demons and magic to boot and it had to be a given that I’d want to read this book.
Lauren Beukes – The Shining Girls (HarperCollins)
My favourite read for 2011 was Zoo City, while Moxyland grabbed third place last year, and I’ve been waiting impatiently for a new novel by Lauren Beukes ever since finishing Moxyland. And now The Shining Girls is almost here! I can’t wait to see what Beukes has in store for us, but the premise sounds amazing and I really look forward to seeing her take on a crime novel.
C. Robert Cargill – Dreams and Shadows (Gollancz)
Look at that cover. Tell me that isn’t a pretty cover! But more importantly, the book sounds really interesting and whisky-swilling genies and foul-mouthed wizards can’t be anything other than a good thing. Besides, comparisons to Gaiman, Del Torro, and Burroughs? I’m intrigued.
Cassandra Rose Clarke – The Mad Scientist’s Daughter (Angry Robot Books)
One of my favourite debuts this year was Cassandra Rose Clarke’s YA fantasy The Assassin’s Curse. So when Angry Robot announced they were publishing her first novel for adults and it was an SF story about robots, I was immediately on board. Then they released the cover and I really couldn’t wait for the book. Luckily, I received and ARC, so I’ll be able to read and review the book sooner rather than later!
Tara Conklin – The House Girl (William Morrow)
The first historical novel on the list and it’s one that piqued my interest for a number of reasons. First of all, it deals with one of the most difficult subjects to write about in US history: slavery. Set in the frame of a modern day law firm setting, the synopsis drew me in immediately. This looks like a very interesting story and as I know embarrassingly little of the history of slavery beyond what I was taught in grammar school, I thought this might be a good place to learn some more.
Neil Gaiman – The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Headline)
When Headline announced that they’d signed Neil Gaiman for a new adult novel, the internet went kind of crazy. While reading The Graveyard Book and Neverwhere finally clued me in on why people turn into such rabid fans and Gaiman charmed my socks off with his ‘Make Good Art’-commencement speech, I’m still woefully under-read in his works, so I have to read this one, just to make sure I don’t get farther behind. Plus, that synopsis? It sounds amazing!
Rosie Garland – The Palace of Curiosities (HarperCollins)
Set in the Victorian age, in a circus and the characters are a lion-faced girl and a man risen from the dead? Done. What more can I add? Oh, perhaps that this is another title I have an ARC for, so look for a review of this title soon!
Helen Grant – Silent Saturday (Random House Children’s Books)
For Christmas 2010 I was given a copy of Helen Grant’s The Glass Demon by Liz. And oh, how I loved that book. Then I went to London and got my hands on Helen’s two other books The Vanishing of Katharina Linden and Wish Me Dead and devoured both of those. And then I had to wait, and wait… I had to wait till 2013 to get my hands on Helen’s next book. Fortunately, Silent Saturday is part of a trilogy and even more fortunately, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a very early ARC. So now I won’t have to wait so very long to finally return to the mysteries and creepiness that always pervade Grant’s writing.
Snorri Kristjansson – The Swords of Good Men (Jo Fletcher Books)
I’m going to cheat and just quote what I wrote over on the Jo Fletcher Books blog for my look at their spring 2013 debuts:
Vikings! What more do I need to say? Well, actually, there is a lot more to say about this debut. It’s a book in which the Old Gods confront the new and where betrayal is just around the corner. It’s also written by a true Viking descendant, as Snorri is originally from Iceland. However, the book was written in English, a feat I find astonishing, because even if my English isn’t shabby, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to write an entire novel in it. Then again, I can’t imagine writing a novel in Dutch either, so I’m impressed by anyone who can write a good story. The Swords of Good Men has been on my radar ever since Jo announced she’d signed Snorri and I’m looking forward to finally being able to read the book come June.
Elizabeth May – The Falconer (Gollancz)
Again Victorian –
not steampunk the author let me know that the story is steampunk – Edinburgh, an aristocratic young Lady out for revenge, fairies?! Count me in. This is another book that’s been on my radar since its acquisition was announced and I can’t wait to read it.
Amy McCulloch – The Oathbreaker’s Shadow (Random House Children’s Books)
The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is the debut for Amy McCulloch, commissioning editor over at HarperVoyager UK and part of the Lucky 13’s. I love the premise of this one: that the promises you make are binding, even if they are made for you. From the synopsis, it also looks to have an interesting setting and a great classic fantasy feeling, so this is another one I’ve been eagerly awaiting for months.
Will McIntosh – Love Minus Eighty (Orbit)
Love Minus Eighty is based on Bridesicle, a short story McIntosh wrote for which he won a Hugo and which I heard on Escape Pod during their Hugo Month in 2010. I adored the story and I was really excited to hear that McIntosh was developing the story into a novel. The story sounds amazing and I know the concept for the world is strong, so roll on June.
Terence Morgan – The Shadow Prince (Macmillan)
This is a book I discovered going through the catalogues in preparation for this season’s Anticipated Books and the subject immediately caught my eye. The story of the Princes in the Tower has always fascinated me and some part of me always hopes they were smuggled out and lived happily ever after, or at least long and peaceful lives, away from the turbulence and violence their family was caught up in, however unlikely the chance that happened is. So the legend of Perrin Warbeck was one that has always been attractive to me and Terrence Morgan’s take on his story sounds like an intriguing one.
Emma Newman – Between Two Thorns (Angry Robot Books)
I’ve posted about Emma Newman and Between Two Thorns before and I’ve even hosted a story in her Split Worlds project on the blog. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Between Two Thorns is included on this list. In fact, I think you can well say that this is my most anticipated read for the next few months! I’m lucky enough to have received an ARC for it, so this is one title you can be sure will be reviewed sooner rather than later!
Benjamin Percy – Red Moon (Hodder & Stoughton)
A month or two ago a mysterious envelope appeared in my mailbox. In it was nothing but a business card with on it the title Red Moon with the subtitle They Are Amongst Us. On the back it said ‘Have there been lycans sightings in your local area? Do you think someone you know might be infected? Please report any suspicious activity. Call the Lobos Helpline:’ with a UK number listed, followed by ‘Or go to www.banthelycans.co.uk.’ To say I was intrigued was putting it mildly and from what I’ve been able to find out about the novel so far, I really want to read it, when it comes out.