Wednesday, 1 January 2014

My Most Anticipated Releases of 2014!

Happy New Year!

Yesterday I gave you my Top 13 Books of 2013, and today I am here with the seven books I am most looking forward to this year. Seven's kind of an odd number (I'm so punny), I know, but there aren't a heap of books I'm super excited for. There are a lot of trilogies ending this year - Michelle Hodkin's Mara Dyer trilogy, Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me trilogy, and Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky trilogy just to name a few - but I'm very behind on my YA series and haven't read any of these.

I loved my time at university, but studying English Literature really made me fall back on my reading so I'm not as 'down with the kids' as I used to be. Not to mention I already have a huuuuge pile of unread books on my shelves that have been waiting there for years. What I'm basically trying to say is don't expect to see all of the 'obvious' releases in this list.

Let's start off with three books that are all the third installment of a series.

by Marissa Meyer
Expected Publication Date: 4th February, 2014 by Feiwel & Friends

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard. 

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

by Maria V. Snyder
Expected Publication Date: 3rd January, 2014 by Harlequin (UK)

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.

But there's a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.

by Moira Young
Expected Publication Date: 13th May, 2014 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Saba is ready to seize her destiny and defeat DeMalo and the Tonton...until she meets him and he confounds all her expectations with his seductive vision of a healed earth, a New Eden. DeMalo wants Saba to join him, in life and work, to create and build a healthy, stable, sustainable world…for the chosen few. The few who can pay.

Jack’s choice is clear: to fight DeMalo and try to stop New Eden. Still uncertain, her connection with DeMalo a secret, Saba commits herself to the fight. Joined by her brother, Lugh, anxious for the land in New Eden, Saba leads an inexperienced guerilla band against the powerfully charismatic DeMalo, in command of his settlers and the Tonton militia. What chance do they have? Saba must act. And be willing to pay the price.

To be honest I think everyone is anxiously awaiting the release of Cress, the third book in Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles; the series that has given the Grimms Fairy Tales a sci-fi twist as Cinder (Cinderella), Scarlet (Little Red Cap) and Cress (Rapunzel) fight against the Evil Queen, who just so happens to live on the moon. 

Both Taste of Darkness and Raging Star are final books in their respective trilogies: with the Healer trilogy Maria V. Snyder, known for her Study series, took us to the fantastical land of Kazan where a plague has ravaged the world and turned everyone against the healers. The Dust Lands trilogy on the other hand is a dystopian/post-apocalyptic series which follows angry, honest Saba, who finds herself battling against a sinister group of people known as the Tonton.

Now I have to admit something a little naughty: so far I've only read the first book in all three of these series. So why are they on my list? Well I'm hoping to read the second installments of each of them soon - Scent of Magic and Rebel Heart are two of the books on my shelves waiting to be read, and it won't be long before I get my hands on a copy of Scarlet. Not only that, but I thoroughly enjoyed Cinder, Touch of Power and Blood Red Road; in fact all of them were listed in my Top 13 Reads of 2013.

Now for two brand spanking new novels!

by Emma Pass
Expected Publication Date: 24th April, 2014 by Corgi Childrens

The Fearless. An army, powered by an incredible new serum that makes each soldier stronger, sharper, faster than their enemies. Intended as a force for good, the serum has a terrible side-effect - anyone who takes it is stripped of all humanity, empathy, love. And as the Fearless sweep through the country, forcing the serum on anyone in their path, society becomes a living nightmare.

Cass remembers the night they passed through her village. Her father was Altered. Her mother died soon after. All Cass has left is her little brother - and when Jori is snatched by the Fearless and taken to their hellish lair, Cass must risk everything to get him back.

by Sally Green
Expected Publication Date: 4th March, 2014 by Viking Juvenile

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Let's face it, Emma Pass's The Fearless just sounds cool, doesn't it? Pass's first novel, Acid, was released in 2013. I haven't read it myself and it's hard to tell if I'd enjoy it if I did purely because there are so many mixed reviews on Goodreads. The Fearless, however, really interests me. What's exciting about it is that it's a standalone (currently - perhaps that will change in future) and YA dystopia is severely lacking in its standalones. Everything's a trilogy nowadays, and while a good trilogy is brilliant I love a good standalone just as much.

Sally Green's debut novel Half Bad, on the other hand, is the first book in the Half Life trilogy, and it sounds like an interesting concept. In some ways it sounds a little similar to Laura Powell's Burn Mark - one of the books I received for Christmas - in that both of them centre around witchcraft in the modern day. One of the main reasons Half Bad is on my list is because, as a writer, I'm a firm believer in reading what you want to write. Not everyone agrees with this idea, and that's fine, but I find it really useful; the novel I'm currently working on for my MA is a piece of historical fiction which deals with the subject of witchcraft, so I love seeing how other authors write about it. Reading a wide range of what I call 'witcherature' (I'm pathetically proud of this name) not only prevents me from writing the same story as someone else, but also inspires me when I'm lacking in witchy inspiration.

Finally, two books which unfortunately still don't have covers just yet...

by Sherry Jones
Expected Publication Date: October, 2014 by Gallery Books

He is the most famous philosopher in the world, the arrogant headmaster of the Notre Dame Cloister School, and a poet whose songs and good looks make women swoon. She is Paris’s most brilliant young scholar, beautiful and wry, and his student. Forbidden by the church and society to love each other, Heloise and Abelard defy the rules to follow their hearts, risking everything that matters to them — including each other. An illicit child, a secret marriage, an abusive uncle: nothing, it seems, can come between them — until a vicious attack tears them apart forever. Or does it?

by Garth Nix
Expected Publication Date: September, 2014

What can I say? I'm a hopeless romantic who loves history, so Sherry Jones's The Sharp Hook of Love was bound to have a place on this list. Those of you who are unfamiliar with the story of Abelard and Heloise are missing out on a story that rivals Romeo and Juliet.

One of the most exciting things about this release is that it's the first novelisation of Abelard and Heloise's story since the discovery of 113 "Lost Love Letters" in 1999 which the pair sent to one another. This should hopefully mean that the novel is going to include excerpts from the letters themselves, which in turn suggests what I love to see in historical fiction - historical accuracy! Needless to say, I'm excited!

As you can see Clariel doesn't even have a blurb or an exact expected publication date yet, never mind a cover, so whether it's actually going to be released in 2014 I don't know. But I can hope! The Old Kingdom series is one of my favourite fantasy series out there, so when Garth Nix announced he intended to write Clariel - a prequel which was originally titled Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen - I was very excited. It feels like one of those novels that's been in progress for years, but according to Garth Nix Clariel is currently in progress and will take place a few centuries before the events of Sabriel.

So those are the seven new releases I'm most looking forward to this year. I'm currently in North Yorkshire, celebrating the New Year with my best friend, but when I return to my parents' house in South Wales I might just treat myself to a copy of Taste of Darkness which should be in shops from this Friday!

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! I'd love to hear which releases you're most looking forward to this year, so feel free to tell me in the comments!

Happy New Year! Let's hope it's a good one!


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