January 19, 2013 by Heidi
The time has come! I’m here to talk about what books I’m most excited to read in 2013. In my usual lack of follow through, I only ended up reading 6 out of 10 of my most anticipated reads for 2012 (but do plan to read the rest at some point). Two of those made it onto my Top 10 (Scarlet and Brides of Rollrock Island), and one into my notable reads for the year (The Diviners).
I read so many great releases last year, but I was also disappointed. A lot. So I hereby dub 2013–The Year of Playing It Safe. That’s right. The bulk of books on my list today are continuations of series I love, or new books by authors I adore. And I’m okay with that. I’m not saying I won’t try new things this year, but am I as excited to as I once was? Oh hells no. Still, I’ve put together a list of 15 titles this year that have me living in anticipation.
2013 Releases I’m Most Excited For
(In order of publication.)
The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.
Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California – and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.
As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfil her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.
In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.
I’ve loved the first two books in this series set in my home state of Wyoming. I’m so nervous but also excited about the final book–I don’t even know what future I want for Clara, so hopefully that will put me behind whichever she chooses for herself.
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.
Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.
Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous-it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.
In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.
I’ll admit it, I still haven’t read The Near Witch. And shame on me because I have a beautiful signed copy on my shelf. In fact, I’ll probably get to that stand alone first, but Victoria’s writing and ideas excite me. Does this premise remind anyone else of Doctor Who’s The Library?
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
February 5th, 2013 by Feiwel and Friends
Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.
As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to read this sequel to Cinder early, and let me tell you guys, it is even better. If you aren’t already crazy excited for Scarlet yet, you should be.
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
April 2nd, 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.
But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?
This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.
If you haven’t experienced the sheer awesomeness of assassin nuns that started in Grave Mercy, you are missing out. I cannot wait to read slightly crazy Sybella’s story, and I love the companion novel format Robin has chosen for this series.
While running away from home for reasons that are eminently defensible, Emilie’s plans to stow away on the steamship Merry Bell and reach her cousin in the big city go awry, landing her on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure. Taken under the protection of Lady Marlende, Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine, and with the assistance of Lord Engal, journey to the interior of the planet in search of Marlende’s missing father. With the ship damaged on arrival, they attempt to traverse the strange lands on their quest. But when evidence points to sabotage and they encounter the treacherous Lord Ivers, along with the strange race of the sea-lands, Emilie has to make some challenging decisions and take daring action if they are ever to reach the surface world again.
Martha Wells, whose Books of the Raksura series I plan to devour asap is publishing a middle grade! I’ve heard only the best things about her fantastical mind, and I can’t wait.
The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy
April 30th, 2013 by Walden Pond Press
No blurb for this one yet, but that’s okay, I don’t need one. I adored the fun middle grade fairy tale adventure of the Princes Charming in The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, so I’m lined up and ready to go for book two.
In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters—wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds—all bent on destroying the world.
The gods died a long time ago.
Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history—because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.
However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids—led by Matt—will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen’s lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.
Kelly Armstrong and Melissa Marr banding together to write a Norse mythology inspired Middle Grade? I kind of feel like this is a present written especially for me.
When fifteen year old Mio Yamato furtively sneaks the katana – an ancestral Japanese sword – out of its hiding place in her parent’s attic to help liven up her Christmas party costume, she has no idea of the darkness she is about to unleash on modern day London, or the family secrets that she is going to uncover.
The paralysing paranoia that descends on her before she gets to her friend’s party is her first clue. The vivid and terrifying visions that nearly get her killed are a pretty good warning too.
The giant nine-tailed cat demon that comes after the sword and tries to rip her throat out? Overkill.
Seconds away from becoming kitty-food, Mio is saved by Shinobu, a mysterious warrior boy. But it’s already too late. Mio has ruptured the veil between the mortal realm and the Underworld, and now the gods and monsters of ancient Japan stalk the streets of London, searching for her and the sword.
With the help of her best friend Jack, a fox spirit named Hikaru – and the devoted protection of the betwitchingly familiar Shinobu – Mio attempts to discover the true nature of the sword and its connection to the Yamato family. Because if she doesn’t learn how to control the katana’s incredible powers, she’s in danger of being overwhelmed by them. And if she can’t keep the sword safe from the terrible creatures who want it for their own, she’ll lose not only her own life… but the love of a lifetime.
I was really taken with the fantasy world Marriott created in Shadows on the Moon, and I’m really excited to see what she can do with urban fantasy and the same Japanese influences.
The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke
June 4th, 2013 by Strange Chemistry
After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.
Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.
Ah!!! I loved The Assassin’s Curse, the start to this duology, and am positively dying for a kiss already! Fork it up, Cassandra.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
June 18th, 2013 by William Morrow Books
It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.
His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.
Don’t make me fangasm here. I think this one is obvious to everyone.
Drachomachia by Rachel Hartman
July 9th, 2013 by Random House Children’s Books
No cover or blurb yet, but after Seraphina landed a spot on my 2012 Top 10, it should be no surprise that I’m ready to dive back into the world of half-dragons.
Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier
July 9th, 2013 by Knopf BFYR (I’m assuming anyway)
Neryn has finally found the rebel group at Shadowfell, and now her task is to seek out the elusive Guardians, vital to her training as a Caller. These four powerful beings have been increasingly at odds with human kind, and Neryn must prove her worth to them. She desperately needs their help to use her gift without compromising herself or the cause of overthrowing the evil King Keldec.
Neryn must journey with the tough and steadfast Tali, who looks on Neryn’s love for the double agent Flint as a needless vulnerability. And perhaps it is. What Flint learns from the king will change the battlefield entirely-but in whose favor, no one knows.
Shadowfell wasn’t my favorite Marillier book, but not my favorite Marillier book is still leaps and bounds ahead of so many of the books I’ve read. I’m very excited to see where this series is headed.
Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews
July 30th, 2013 by ACE (Date tentative)
Kate Daniels #6!! Obviously I’ve become a huge Ilona Andrews fangirl in the past year, and there’s no chance of that train slowing down anytime soon.
The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand
August, 2013 by Simon and Schuster BFYR
12-year-old Olivia Stellatella and her father have sold all their belongings to keep her father’s orchestra from going bankrupt. Now, they live out of suitcases in the back rooms of Emerson Hall, where the orchestra performs.
Olivia hates it there.
She hates her squeaky cot and shabby clothes. She hates her father, too, for being so obsessed with music that he drove Olivia’s mother out of the house and got them into this mess. Most of all, Olivia hates the orchestra. It’s the orchestra’s fault that her father’s the way he is. She can’t wait for it to fail.
Until the ghosts come.
They’re lonely, frightened, and stuck in our world. Only if Olivia and the 12-year-old usher, Henry, can help the ghosts solve the mysteries of their deaths — deaths that are somehow related to the Hall’s past — will they be able to move on and find peace. But time — and money — is running out. The mayor wants to bulldoze the Hall to the ground, which would put Olivia and her father out on the streets and trap the ghosts in our world permanently. And other ghosts — bad ones — will do anything to keep them here. As the “ghosts of Emerson Hall” craze sweeps the city, Olivia faces life-changing family secrets and must fight for her life when her world, and the world of Death, collide.
THE YEAR OF SHADOWS is a middle grade ghost story about loss, magic, music, and the power of friendship.
I really enjoyed Legrand’s debut, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, and I’m super excited for another creepy middle grade on the horizon.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
September 1st, 2013 by Little Brown BFYR
A refreshing and inventive new twist” on the vampire genre; set in the not-so-distant future, where the vampire population has surged, resulting in the establishment of quarantined cities of vampires and humans where predator and prey coexist in a never-ending blood party of revelry.
Not much info yet, but if one can judge from the amazing Curse Workers trilogy, Black knows how to rock YA Urban Fantasy, and I’ll be there to watch.