Anticipated Releases 2020

Hello,

This is the time of year for either reflection or looking ahead to the new year. And this post will be one of the looking ahead ones. Lets have a look at my most anticipated released for 2020

This won’t be a definitive list of all the releases I’m interested in. I do have a more definitive list and add to it throughout the year. This list lives under the Anticipated Reads tab.

Warning my thoughts on these books and why I’m excited will some time be incoherent ramblings of excitement. I’ll also include the currently available synopsis of each of these books.

Each photo is linked to the corresponding goodreads pages. So if you like the sound of it, you can add it to your goodreads TBR

They are listed in release order. Also these may be subject to change

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The Boy Made of Snow

The Boy Made of SnowAuthor: Chloe Mayer

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Published: 14 November 2017

Rating: 5 stars

Professional Reader

‘I looked at the sunbeams, hoping to see the constellations inside them, but there was nothing there but dust in the air.’

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.

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Bayou Born

Author: Hailey EdwardsBayou Born

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Published: 31 October 2017

Rating: 4 stars

Professional Reader

‘The urge to pat him came out of nowhere. One did not pat grown men in praise for learning a new trick.’

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.

This book is a mystery, thriller all wrapped up in an urban fantasy bow. Bayou Born follows the story of strange wild child who was found in the swampy bayou of Canton, Mississippi. She had no memories, no family and is covered in mysterious markings; swirls of metal bands embedded into her skin. The policeman, Edward Boudreau, who rescued her, adopts her. 15 years later Luce follows in the footsteps of her beloved father and joins the police force determined to prove her worth and distance herself from her controversial past.

Luce and her partner, Rixton, are working on finding missing girl, Angel Claremont, when there’s a call about a body in the swamp. On arrival they discover this isn’t the girl they were looking for because of the strange markings on her skin. Markings that match Luce’s own. A freelance security group called The White Horse show up on the scene to help. They’ve been hired by Angel’s parents to help with the rescue effort. The security group stays to help fish out the unconscious Jane Doe. Hope blooms within Luce. Maybe this is her chance to find out about her past, a chance to learn about her markings and her family. From here the story unfolds with Luce trying to find the missing girl and helping Jane Doe. However, there’s more of a battle ahead than Luce could possibly imagine. She may be an orphan without a past, but no one – including Luce herself – could ever be prepared for the truth of her dark, powerful destiny.

This was a fantastic start to a new series. The world building was amazing. I really enjoyed that we got to spend time with Luce and get to know the cases she’s working on before the fantastical elements kicked in. It was like the more Luce unraveled in the case the more it became obvious that it wasn’t the work of a regular person. The magic elements went in a direction that I did not expect but I super glad they did. I haven’t read many books like it.

I love seeing the relationship Luce had formed and how different they were. I also adore that a female friendship, between Luce and schoolteacher, Maggie, was at the heart of this novel. These relationships are hugely important to see especially given the bullying and ostracised nature of how the other people in Canton treat her.

Luce herself is a well-crafted character. Yes she is snarky and gives off a vibe of apathy but that’s not all. We see just how much she does care through her relentless word effort. She wants to fit it so much, despite what she may say, that she join a career where the staff take care of one another. Her humor is darkly funny and at time self-deprecating which again is another layer to keep her from being venerable. I found her highly relatable.

I cannot wait for the second book! So many questions left unsaid. Highly recommend for any urban fantasy fan out there.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow

Author: Jessica TownsendThe Trials of Morrigan Crow

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Books Australia

Published: 10 October 2017

Rating: 5 stars

Professional Reader

‘A tornado of questions swirled in her head, and all she could do was try to grab them as they flew by.’

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.

Miss Morrigan Crow has known since she was born that she will die on Eventide. Although she is the daughter of the distinguished Chancellor Corvus Crow the people of Jackalfax, her family included, will not mourn her passing. Morrigan is wonderful and whimsical eleven-year-old girl, who is desperate to find family and appreciation, all the while resigned to accept the responsibility for all bad luck that plagues Jackalfax. This is the dark reality of being a cursed child. On the eve of Eventide Morrigan receives an invitation to the Wundrous Society sponsored by a man named Jupiter North. Survival and Nevermoor await her.

Morrigan Crow is a fantastic character. She finds herself as the blame of all kinds of disasters from a burnt batch of jam to a boy losing the spelling bee to the Crow’s gardener’s heart attack. But thanks to Jupiter she finds herself living in a hotel that adapts to its guests’ needs and mingles with a cast of crazy characters. She finds out that for her to stay in this wonderful world she must get into The Wundrous Society and in turn face four trails which aren’t what they seem.

This is why I love middle-grade fantasy. I flew through this. It was so much fun and at times suspenseful. There something about this genre that allows the worlds to be innovative, creative and refreshing. Cursed children, brolly rails, secret societies, giant talking cats, magic trails and my new favourite holiday, Hallowmas. Townsend has mixed the whimsy of worlds like Wonderland and Whoville with the dark humour of Lemony Snicket. The Trials of Morrigan Crow is a wondrous adventure, which will ignite the imagination of any reader.

Townsend hasn’t only created a relatable protagonist and an amazingly creative world; she also created a cast of amazing secondary characters. These characters are all well rounded and aren’t just there as props to support Morrigan. Jupiter North is really the child at the heart of this story. He is a mysterious man who is an explorer, hotel proprietor, member of the Wundrous Society and Morrigan’s Patron and guardian. I adore Morrigan and Jupiter’s friendship, mostly how the roles seem reversed with Morrigan being the reserved and sensible one. Along with Jupiter, we have, Fenestra the talking Magnificat, Jupiter’s broody nephew, Jack, a vampire dwarf, an opera singer whose voice summons woodland critters and Hawthorne, Morrigan friend and fellow competitor in the Wundrous Society trials. I adore all these characters and they have—Hawthorne and Jupiter especially—become some of my all-time favourite characters.

I have a feeling this book is going to create a new generation of readers much like Harry Potter did when I was a kid. Please, pretty please can we have some kind of TV or film adaptation! I need to see Nevermoor in Technicolor! All I can say is it’s going to be a long wait for the squeal and my Wundrous Society Invitation.

The Last Namsara

Author: Kristen CiccarelliThe Last Namsara

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Published: 3 October 2017

Rating: 4 stars

Professional Reader

‘Asha lured the dragon with a story.’

I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.

This book reaffirms my love of YA fantasy and my love of dragons. The world Ciccarelli has created is new and exciting. I adore the idea of telling stories to dragons and having the dragons tell you stories in return. I highly recommend!

Our protagonist, Asha is a dragon slayer and she wants to destroy them all. This is her amends for telling stories as a child and causing a dragon named, Kuzo, to burn down Firgaard. If she kills Kuzo and gives his head to her father she will fulfill her task and bring an end to the Old Ways. But more importantly, if she can kill Kuzo she won’t have to marry Jarek.

Sure we’ve seen the whole princess wants to terminate her arranged marriage. But it’s not often you see the princess than falls in love with a slave. I will point out that the slave, Torwin, was never her slave but her betrothed’s. I really enjoyed seeing their relationship unfold. It was a slow burn, which was believable. Asha is a girl who has been told her whole life of cautionary tales of what happens to people who fall in love with slaves and that they are not like her. She spends most of the narrative fighting against the romance. She struggles with these beliefs but in the end, Torwin proves to be loyal and treats her like no one else does.

At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to like Asha. We see that she is the best dragon slayer but the reason she is the best is that she breaks the law and tells old stories to lure them. She comes across as arrogant, entitled and more than a little dangerous—the perfect mix for an unlikable character. But, as the narrative unfolds, it’s as though she starts to trust the reader and shows us who she is beneath the dragon slayer exterior.

The dragons are not just sprinkled in there as standard fantasy elements. They are just as dangerous, threatening and intelligent as Asha. When they aren’t fighting for survival you see a side of them that’s curious and protective which reminds me of Toothless or Saphira.

I adore the way Ciccarelli weaves in the stories of this world. After a chapter, there might be a story told in fairy tale tradition. The story will be the one Asha tells within that previous section. This is an amazing idea. We get the story without it clogging up the pace of the action scenes.

While I adore the world and the dragons, I would say that it does feel like a debut and the plot feels predictable. However, since I was so captivated by the world, the predictable plot didn’t affect my enjoyment of reading this book.

Similarly, the secondary characters are only there to further Asha’s narrative arc. I don’t feel like I know them. Her brother, while mentioned multiple times he only appears when she’s in trouble. Her cousin, Safire, exists only as a hurdle to Asha’s task and to show her humanity. Everything that happens to Safire is done as a way to keep Asha in line. I would love to see these characters become more fleshed out in the rest of this series.

Overall this is a pretty fantastic start to a new series! I adore Asha and Torwin! The world is amazing—Arabian inspired, dragons, and storytelling. Who could ask for more? All I can say is that it’s going to be a long wait for the squeal!