Top Ten Tuesday: My Most Anticipated reads of 2020

It’s that time again where I think about the books that I am most looking forward to that are definitely being released in 2020, this is a bit of a sad list as the one book that I was looking forward to the most was from an indie author and the prequel to a series I loved. The authors online presence has completely disappeared though so I hope she’s ok and will be back to writing soon. But onto the list!

This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada

The final book in the trilogy, it’s out this month and is one of my ban breaking pre-orders! This is such a great dystopian series, with thriller pacing and a heavy dose of STEM, I defy anyone to be able to put them down once they’ve started and given the way that book 2 ended, the end of January can’t come soon enough!

Though the outbreak has been contained, a new threat has emerged—one that’s taken the world to the brink of a devastating war. With genetic technology that promises not just a cure for the plague, but a way to prevent death itself, both sides will stop at nothing to seize control of humanity’s future.
Facing her smartest, most devastating enemy yet, Cat must race against the clock to protect her friends and save the lives of millions on the planet’s surface. No matter the outcome, humanity will never be the same.
And this time, Cat can’t afford to let anything, or anyone, stand in her way.

Shadow Killer by Victoria Kinnaird

The Red Sun Rises series was a real surprise favourite for me. I’m not hugely into vampires as a rule but this series really stood out for me and I really recommend it if you’re after a YA LGBT read. When a sequel was announced last year I squealed with excitement and with it confirmed as being out later this year I really can’t wait to get back to the characters that I loved. There’s not much to go on yet and I don’t have a cover to share with you, but it’s definitely coming in 2020!

Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury

So I’m not usually a contemporary fan but lets face it, I love Melinda Salisbury’s books and there’s no reason why this one should be any different. I feel like it will be good for the soul to mix up the genres a bit too from my normal reads, I excited to broaden my reading horizons with this one!

Everyone knows what happened to Alva’s mother, all those years ago. But when dark forces begin to stir in Ormscaula, Alva has to face a very different future – and question everything she thought she knew about her past…

Venom by Bex Hogan

It’s no secret that one of my favourite reads of 2019 was Viper. I loved meeting Bex Hogan at Yalc and the small excerpt at the end of Viper had me screaming out for more. The cover is amazing and if it’s even half as good as book 1 it will top my lists for 2020 too!

Marianne has never wanted to be a fighter, but with unrest and discord threatening the Twelve Islands, she will have to battle threats both inside and out in an attempt to attain peace for her homeland.
Marianne is now the Viper, but her hopes for peace in the Eastern Isles are being frustrated. The corrupt King remains on the throne, bandits are proving hard to stop and Marianne is not sure who among her crew she can truly trust.
For the islands to prosper, the invisible bond that once existed uniting land and sea must be reinstated. There’s only one way that can happen – the return of magic. To do that Marianne must put aside all her fears: she must return to her roots, the Western Isles, and call on the power that runs in her blood.
She must become a Mage.
Only then, can she possibly command the army needed to finally take down the King.

Dark Skies by Danielle L Jensen

This is an interesting continuation as its not a continuation as such but a parallel, its a concept that I love and explains a lot about how Dark Shores was written. I’m excited to find out what was going on with the other characters and how the two stories come together in preparation for the finale!

Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.
Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.
With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.

Ascent by Bethany Adams

One of my favourite series of all time that remains consistently strong. I’m really looking forward to how a particular character moves forward with Ascent and how the bigger arc continues! I’m hugely grateful to Bethany Adams for letting me share a first look at the blurb with you all!

A lost prince

Between years surviving on the streets and an ill-advised stint with Kien’s group of half-blood fae, Fen has seen his fair share of darkness. Sure, he helped capture Kien and put an end to the trouble he caused, but his actions contributed to one of the greatest upheavals of all—the return of magic to Earth. Now Fen’s mother has named him the heir to the Unseelie throne, and he has discovered he has two mates he is unworthy to claim.

A deadly healer

The daughter of a Seelie artisan and a human woman, Maddy can’t find anyone among her father’s people willing to teach her to heal without causing harm. But finally, she has hope—a healer on Moranaia has agreed to help her. The problem? Maddy will have to travel to their world, leaving her girlfriend Anna unprotected on Earth. For the return of magic has awakened Anna’s latent water abilities, and the temptation of the nearby river could prove too much without Maddy near.

A canny enemy

When a slip of the tongue reveals that Fen could share a mate bond with both Maddy and Anna, all three must come to terms with their insecurities—and quickly. The poison they believed eradicated has appeared again, and Meren, the traitorous Seelie noble who had once worked with Kien, has returned from hiding. Together, Anna, Fen, and Maddy might be able to defeat the rising threat. But first, they must conquer their pasts.

Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

With Squad Goals to rival even my beloved Rampion Crew, i’m getting all fangirl excited just typing about this book being released later this year! There is just so much going on and so many answers needed, did someone mention heist, and can we just admire that cover of Kal for a second longer?

Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.
First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.
Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.
And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.
Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.
When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.
Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

So forgetting that I’m not really feeling the cover and gutted that it’s not the Hunger Games that Mags won, i’m still ridiculously excited to get to read the backstory and hopefully what happened to district 13!

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

I’ve really been enjoying Veronica Roth’s jump out of the Divergent world, Carve the Mark was great and really showed that she could write amazing fantasy, so with this adult fiction venture I can’t wait to see what she produces. It has all kinds of Umbrella Academy vibes too!

A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.
Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

So I ummed and ahhed about adding this one to the list because honestly I’m still not sure about it. I’m not big on the whole fallen angel thing and I’m also not the biggest lover of contemporary settings. However, I love all the worlds that she has created and ACOTAR and TOG brought such emotion out in me I think it would be silly to avoid it when the chances are I will adore it!

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

Review of Nyxia Unleased by Scott Reintgen

Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn’t take long for him to learn that Babel’s competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one.
Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population.
But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces—Babel and the Adamites—with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it’s too late?

When I reviewed Nyxia I was uncertain how I felt about the story continuing on the surface of Eden because the environment was totally different and the competition element wasn’t there. Having finished Nyxia Unleashed I have to admit that after less than stellar start, this book did manage to pick up the pace and dynamics of book one and pack it into a whole world of double crossing and hidden agenda’s.

The arrival on Eden is far from seamless, with the horror of Emmett and the others’ final acts weighing heavily, the group are dispersed on arrival and so find themselves alone on a strange planet with little concept of the dangers that may lurk. Babel’s presence on the surface was strangely larger than I thought it would be though which actually was a relief as that allowed for more of a feeling of being back on Genesis to develop. Some of the old divisions remain but being on the surface allows unlikely friendships to develop and I actually enjoyed how much more depth that allowed to bring to more of the characters. Even the Adamites took me by surprise as a race, especially given what we knew of them they came across in some ways gentle, steeped in their own history but actually quite savvy in many ways, again i’m not sure why I felt that they would be so primitive.

There is a large amount of social commentary here that brings a new depth to the series, whilst on Genesis, poverty was the driving force for the teams, the hierachial structure of the rings and the throwaway nature of how it treats it’s members of society seems horrific, but then you think that actually our veterans form large proportions of the homeless community so it’s really not to far a throw to think that it would happen on an alien world. This did allow me to form much more of a bond with the story and its from the time that they visit the Sixth Ring that the story comes into its own. As Babel’s secrets are uncovered as well as plenty of Eden’s own, the characters situation goes flat out and we jump from planetary exploration to all out action. I just could not put the book down at this point, battles and revelations coming in wave after relentless wave, I hardly had time to catch a breath. The situation on Eden running a parallel with those above the planets surface it really does make for a cataclysmic finale with one hell of sweetener for book 3 to boot.

The few downsides were that the different POV’s didn’t exactly work well, the story is still 95% from Emmetts perspective and I thought that there would be more of a flip and especially for one of the characters it felt almost an unnecessary addition. The start was very slow too and whilst we were thankfully saved from too much mining the move to the surface took a long time to bed in with the group dynamics.

This is still a great continuation of the series though and I will definitely be picking up with book 3!





Six For Sunday: Bookish Resolutions

Yay, it’s the first #sixforsunday of 2020! This has been one of my favourite prompts to do since in discovered it last year through Jemma at Fantasticbooksawtft. The prompt has been created by Steph over at A Little But a Lot blog, please go and check her out. This one is all about bookish resolutions and whilst I’m not usually one to jump on the resolution train I do have to try and keep better control on my reading.

Bringing down my TBR

From the middle of December I have been not been buying books. I have 2 or 3 pre-orders that I had already made but other than that I am focused on bringing my list of unread books down. I still would love to have a tbr cart as a more visual reminder but it’s sadly a cost that I can’t justify. I have so many books that I am desperate to read but I never find time for – that’s all going to change this year, thanks in small part to me stopping my book box subscriptions.

Balance my monthly reading list

I want to make sure that each month my tbr has an equal balance of Arc’s, traditionally published and Indie published books. I feel like I have lost touch a little with the Indie community and I want to bring that back around again. I find I tend to go from one extreme to the other and sometimes all I read are arc’s which means that my purchased books get pushed aside.

Reading journal

I have tried for the last 2 years to complete a reading journal, I start with good intentions with a bujo style but inevitably I give up after the first couple of months because I simply don’t have the time. I discovered however some great reading goal bookmarks from Jessica Jade Designs which are simple for tracking the number of reads and favourite book each month. I think they’re really clever, so I have ordered  a couple and hopefully I can stick with them!

Clear out my bookshelf

As a blogger I am so lucky and privileged to receive finished copies of books for review, sadly I don’t always love them all and some of them I know I have no intention of reading again however, they remain on my shelf because i’m a book hoarder and they may come in handy for bookstagram. We have an Oxfam bookstore in town and I need to gather the books and donate them!

Fall back in love with my Kindle

A few years ago I read resolutely on my kindle, I think that’s because I read entirely indie books and that was the cheapest way to read. I have kind of fallen out of love with my kindle though, I have a bit of damage on my screen which means that sometimes words are unreadable and I also find that my mind wanders more than with a physical book. However, I have an absolute ton of amazing reads lined up on their including some series continuations as well as Netgalley reads so I’m going to try and do better.

Finish Priory of the Orange Tree

Yup, so I failed with my goal to finish this book by the end of 2019, I think I only managed another 50 or so pages which leaves me still with around 300 to go. I have to reiterate that this is a good book, its just massive and therefore hard to read. I rarely have time to commit to such a large story too and ultimately I then start stressing about reviews I have to get to. I may have to set myself a side goal each month of reading a set number of chapters from this.

Have you set yourself any reading goals this month?

Bookish Ramblings: January TBR

It’s the start of a new year and the start of me bringing down my TBR before buying new books! So what has made the cut for my first reads of 2020!

The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan

This is the start of my tbr cut down, I’ve had this since March last year and I’m so excited to be buddy reading this book! It had me sold at heist…

The city has always been. The city must finally end.
When three thieves – an orphan, a ghoul, and a cursed man – are betrayed by the master of the thieves guild, their quest for revenge uncovers dark truths about their city and exposes a dangerous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born.
Cari is a drifter whose past and future are darker than she can know.
Rat is a Ghoul, whose people haunt the city’s underworld.
Spar is a Stone Man, subject to a terrible disease that is slowly petrifying his flesh.
Chance has brought them together, but their friendship could be all that stands in the way of total armageddon.

A Throne of Swans by Katherine and Elizabeth Corr

I’m super excited to be part of the blog tour for this book, a retelling of Swan Lake it sounds amazing and I can’t wait to share my review with you all on the 9th!

When her father dies just before her birthday, seventeen-year-old Aderyn inherits the role of Protector of Atratys, a dominion in a kingdom where nobles are able to transform at will into the bird that represents their family bloodline. Aderyn’s ancestral bird is a swan. But she has not transformed for years, not since witnessing the death of her mother – ripped apart by hawks that have supposedly been extinct since the long-ago War of the Raptors. 
With the benevolent shelter of her mother and her father now lost, Aderyn is at the mercy of her brutal uncle, the King, and his royal court. Driven by revenge and love, she must venture into the malevolent heart of the Citadel in order to seek the truth about the attack that so nearly destroyed her, to fight for the only home she has ever known and for the land she has vowed to protect.

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

I got the whole trilogy for Christmas, I have heard so much about these books that I can’t push them to the back of the queue – if all goes to plan I’ll read one a month consecutively!

Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she’d ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.

Victory Day by Rachel Churcher

The final instalment of the Battle Ground series, there was a huge event at the end of book 4 – where will it all end up! Check back on next week for my review and another amazing guest post by the author! There’s no blurb for this one yet, but not long to wait for the actual release.

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa

I loved Shadow of the Fox and I was lucky enough to be granted both that and this follow up from Netgalley. It’s a proper adventure full of mysticism and mythology.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.
Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos