I have never tried this before because I can barely predict what books I read each year. But I’ve been seeing a number of these posts pop up over the last month and I thought I’d see how accurate (or not) I’d be predicting books I’ll enjoy this year (if I even read them).
I’ll post something in December then to look back on these predictions. Until then, here are the ones I feel I’ll really enjoy!
Book of Night by Holly Black
#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of Ninth House and The Night Circus
In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.
Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.
With sharp angles and prose, and a sinister bent, Holly Black is a master of shadow and story stitching. Remember while you read, light isn’t playing tricks in Book of Night, the people are.
I’ve been getting into dark academia lately. I absolutely adored A Deadly Education and Ninth House. I have no idea if this will be absolutely amazing but the synopsis has me super excited.
Nothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManus
Be sure to keep your friends close . . . and your secrets closer.
Four years ago, Brynn left Saint Ambrose School following the shocking murder of her favorite teacher—a story that made headlines after the teacher’s body was found by three Saint Ambrose students in the woods behind their school. The case was never solved. Now that Brynn is moving home and starting her dream internship at a true-crime show, she’s determined to find out what really happened.
The kids who found Mr. Larkin are her way in, and her ex–best friend, Tripp Talbot, was one of them. Without his account of events, the other two kids might have gone down for Mr. Larkin’s murder. They’ve never forgotten what Tripp did for them that day. Just like he hasn’t forgotten that everything he told the police was a lie.
Digging into the past is bound to shake up the present, and as Brynn begins to investigate what happened in the woods that day, she begins to uncover secrets that might change everything—about Saint Ambrose, about Mr. Larkin, and about her ex-best friend, Tripp Talbot.
Four years ago someone got away with murder. The most terrifying part is that they never left.
I love mysteries and there’s no one else in YA mystery besides Karen who repeatedly astounds me with her writing. Whether this will be 5 star or 4 star, only time will tell.
Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li
Ocean’s Eleven meets The Farewell in Portrait of a Thief, a lush, lyrical heist novel inspired by the true story of Chinese art vanishing from Western museums, about diaspora, the colonization of art, and the complexity of the Chinese American identity.
History is told by the conquerors. Across the Western world, museums display the spoils of war, of conquest, of colonialism: priceless pieces of art looted from other countries, kept even now.
Will Chen plans to steal them back.
A senior at Harvard, Will fits comfortably in his carefully curated roles: a perfect student, an art history major and sometimes artist, the eldest son that has always been his parents’ American Dream. But when a shadowy Chinese corporation reaches out with an impossible—and illegal—job offer, Will finds himself something else as well: the leader of a heist to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing centuries ago.
His crew is every heist archetype one can imagine—or at least, the closest he can get. A conman: Irene Chen, Will’s sister and a public policy major at Duke, who can talk her way out of anything. A thief: Daniel Liang, a premed student with steady hands just as capable of lockpicking as suturing. A getaway driver: Lily Wu, an engineering student who races cars in her free time. A hacker: Alex Huang, an MIT dropout turned Silicon Valley software engineer. Each member of his crew has their own complicated relationship with China and the identity they’ve cultivated as Chinese Americans, but when Will asks, none of them can turn him down.
Because if they succeed? They earn fifty million dollars—and a chance to make history. But if they fail, it will mean not just the loss of everything they’ve dreamed for themselves but yet another thwarted attempt to take back what colonialism has stolen.
With poetic language, a fun, commercial hook, and a plot that spans the Western world, Portrait of a Thief is both a cultural heist and an examination of the Chinese American identity, as well as a necessary critique of the lingering effects of colonialism that readers won’t want to miss.
This is the only debut book and new author I’ve put on this list. Probably because I don’t know what to expect from them even if I like the synopsis. But there’s just something about this book that has me super excited! Helps that early reviews are praising it.
A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross
House of Earth and Blood meets The Witch’s Heart in Rebecca Ross’s brilliant first adult fantasy, set on the magical isle of Cadence where two childhood enemies must team up to discover why girls are going missing from their clan.
Jack Tamerlaine hasn’t stepped foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university. But when young girls start disappearing from the isle, Jack is summoned home to help find them. Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, and she hopes Jack can draw them forth by song, enticing them to return the missing girls.
As Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together, they find they make better allies than rivals as their partnership turns into something more. But with each passing song, it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than they first expected, and an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.
With unforgettable characters, a fast-paced plot, and compelling world building, A River Enchanted is a stirring story of duty, love, and the power of true partnership, and marks Rebecca Ross’s brilliant entry on the adult fantasy stage.
I adore Rebecca Ross and I am so excited for her adult debut. She always creates such interesting worlds even if they may not be the most complex. I feel this book has a similar style that is uniquely hers so I can’t wait to see what she brings to adult fantasy.
The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn
The New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Codereturns with an unforgettable World War II tale of a quiet bookworm who becomes history’s deadliest female sniper. Based on a true story.
In the snowbound city of Kiev, wry and bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son–but Hitler’s invasion of Russia sends her on a different path. Given a rifle and sent to join the fight, Mila must forge herself from studious girl to deadly sniper–a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. When news of her three hundredth kill makes her a national heroine, Mila finds herself torn from the bloody battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America on a goodwill tour.
Still reeling from war wounds and devastated by loss, Mila finds herself isolated and lonely in the glittering world of Washington, DC–until an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and an even more unexpected connection with a silent fellow sniper offer the possibility of happiness. But when an old enemy from Mila’s past joins forces with a deadly new foe lurking in the shadows, Lady Death finds herself battling her own demons and enemy bullets in the deadliest duel of her life.
Based on a true story, The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever.
Fives and I did buddy reads for two of Kate’s historical books. One we loved and one we struggled with. This can be a hit or miss but I love the origin idea of this female assassin sniper.
The Song that Moves the Sun by Anna Bright
Rora is tired of being afraid. Exhausted by a mind that sees everything through a prism of fear. Claudia would do anything to ease her best friend’s anxiety, but lately her own life has been spiraling out of control.
It should be the two of them against the world—but the rest of the world has been descending into chaos too. Every day brings increasingly alarming news: waves of accidents, surging crime statistics, natural phenomena scientists can’t explain. It seems like something has gone seriously wrong with the universe.
Then they meet two boys at a concert and discover that something has. Major and Amir come from one of nine secret cities of the spheres, ruled by the magic of the astrological signs. They say there’s a disruption in the magical symphony that maintains the balance between the worlds. And they need help.
To find the source of the disharmony, Rora and Claudia will embark on a whirlwind journey of secrets, romance, and powerful truths—about themselves, each other, and two long-ago explorers named Dante and Beatrice, who were among the first to chart this course toward the stars.
I read this synopsis and initially thought nothing of it but the more I think about it, the more intrigued I am. The world building has so much potential and I feel I could really love this one if the writing and characters work out for me.
Kingdom of the Feared by Kerri Maniscalco
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stalking the Jack the Ripper series comes the steamy conclusion to Kingdom of the Wicked trilogy.
A reckoning all have feared.
And a love more powerful than fate. All hail the king and queen of Hell.
Emilia is reeling from the shocking discovery that her twin sister, Vittoria, is alive. But before she faces the demons of her past, Emilia yearns to claim her king, the seductive Prince of Wrath, in the flesh. Emilia doesn’t simply desire his body, she wants his heart and soul—but that’s something the enigmatic demon can’t promise her.
When a high-ranking member of House Greed is assassinated, Emilia and Wrath are drawn to the rival demon court. Damning evidence points to Vittoria as the murderer and she’s quickly declared an enemy of the Seven Circles. Despite her betrayal, Emilia will do anything to solve this new mystery and find out who her sister really is.
Together Emilia and Wrath play a sin-fueled game of deception as they work to stop the unrest that’s brewing between witches, demons, shape-shifters and the most treacherous foes of all: the Feared.
Emilia was warned that when it came to the Wicked nothing was as it seemed. But, have the true villains been much closer all along? When the truth is finally revealed, it just might end up costing Emilia her heart.
I haven’t even read book 2 yet but book 1 surprised me so much I think the conclusion to the trilogy has to end off with a bang. At least, fingers crossed right?
The Shattered City by Lisa Maxwell
Once, Esta believed that she could change the fate of magic. She traveled to the past and stopped the Magician from destroying a mystical book that held the key to freeing her people from the Brink, an energy barrier that traps all Mageus who cross it.
But the Book was more than she bargained for. So was the Magician she was tasked to steal it from.
Hunted by an ancient evil, Esta and Harte have raced through time and across a continent to track down the powerful artifacts they need to bind the Book’s devastating power. They’ve lost family, betrayed friends, and done what they’d both vowed never to do: fallen in love with the one person who could truly destroy them.
Now, with only one artifact left, their search has brought them back to New York, the city where it all began. But nothing in Manhattan is as they left it. Their friends have scattered, their enemies have grown more powerful, and as the deadly Brink beckons, their time is running out.
If they can’t find a way to end the threat they’ve created, then the very heart of magic will die—and it will take the world down with it.
The Last Magician was one of the first historical fantasies I fell in love with and this storytelling has me so excited to dive back into the magical world Lisa Maxwell created. I thought it would be a trilogy but here’s to book 4 in a wonderful series I hope to finish someday. Also that cover!!
Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights and Our Violent Ends comes the first book in a captivating new duology following an ill-matched pair of spies posing as a married couple to investigate a series of brutal murders in 1930s Shanghai.
It’s 1931 in Shanghai, and the stage is set for a new decade of intrigue.
Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was brought back from the brink of death, but the strange experiment that saved her also stopped her from sleeping and aging—and allows her to heal from any wound. In short, Rosalind cannot die. Now, desperate for redemption from her traitorous past, she uses her abilities as an assassin for her country.
Code name: Fortune.
But when the Japanese Imperial Army begins its invasion march, Rosalind’s mission pivots. A series of murders is causing unrest in Shanghai, and the Japanese are under suspicion. Rosalind’s new orders are to infiltrate foreign society and identify the culprits behind the terror plot before more of her people are killed.
To reduce suspicion, however, she must pose as the wife of another Nationalist spy, Orion Hong, and though Rosalind finds Orion’s cavalier attitude and playboy demeanor infuriating, she is willing to work with him for the greater good. But Orion has an agenda of his own, and Rosalind has secrets that she wants to keep buried. As they both attempt to unravel the conspiracy, the two spies soon find that there are deeper and more horrifying layers to this mystery than they ever imagined.
Did you SEE that cover? It’s even more gorgeous than the others from Chloe! And I’m super excited to see Rosalind’s story after having her around as a secondary character in Chloe’s previous books.
The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber
The fiercely-anticipated sequel to the Sunday Times bestseller Once Upon a Broken Heart, starring Evangeline Fox and the Prince of Hearts on a new journey of magic, mystery, and heartbreak.
I haven’t even read OUABH yet but I’ve only heard good things and I loved Caraval so fingers crossed both will get high on my ratings/expectations. Hopefully not setting MYSELF up for heartbreak.
Do you have any high expectations for any of these 2022 releases? Let me know in the comments below!