Six Authors for the Second Half of the Year

We are now in the second half of the year, which means it’s a great time to look ahead at some upcoming releases.

In this post, I’m listing sequels I’m looking forward to reading (many of the SF&F books here are taken from this list), as well as second books, by which I mean new books by authors I have previously enjoyed (which are not direct sequels).

This list contains: chick-lit, contemporary literature, fantasy and sci-fi.

SF&F

Harrow the Ninth – Tamsyn Muir

I definitely enjoyed the first book of this series, but I don’t know how to feel about this sequel as the ending felt strange to me. It was both a bit unsatisfying and also concluded. At the same time, you may ask? Yes! It’s a strange book! The whole concept mixes fantasy and sci-fi together gloriously, with a lot of fun gothic world building and a really excellent mystery. It does take you a while to get to grips with what’s going on but it is also very fun.

Therefore, I am intensely curious about what happens after the end, so this is deffo on the TBR despite any apprehensions. I’m also looking forwards to the new perspectives this sequel will give us, hopefully shedding light on some unanswered questions that remain from Gideon the Ninth.

Synopsis: She answered the Emperor’s call. She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend.

Call of the Bone Ships – R. J. Barker

I reviewed the first book of this series here, which will explain all of why I want to read this sequel, but suffice to say that I’m looking forward to it! What’s not to love about dragons, pirates and badass women?

Synopsis: Dragons have returned to the Hundred Isles. But their return heralds only war and destruction. 

The Burning God – R. F. Kuang

The third book of The Poppy War series? Yes. Please. Throughout the past two books, every plot point has been incredibly satisfying because I’m just never able to guess what will happen next — even, and especially, if I think I do know. I am also very attached to the characters now, which should probably make me less eager to read this book as I anticipate what fate Kuang is going to give them.

This is going to be the final book in the trilogy, which I am both looking forwards to, in order to see the conclusion of many loose ends, but also not, as I have really enjoyed the writing in this series. I definitely recommend checking it out if you haven’t already.

Synopsis: (for book 1) When Rin aced the Keju – the test to find the most talented students in the Empire – it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who had hoped to get rich by marrying her off; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free from a life of servitude.

Aurora Burning – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I have a complicated relationship with Aurora Rising. Did I like it? Yes. Was it good? Undecided on that front. (I will post a review soon.) However, I do want to continue the series, which is perhaps telling enough – if only because I’m on a real sci-fi kick at the moment.

In this second book of the series, I’m looking forwards to more developed characters, as they did feel a little one-dimensional in the first book, and some fun new mysteries. Of course, I am also planning to read this partly because the Aurora Cycle books are such fan faves I don’t want to be accidentally spoiled.

Synopsis: Our heroes are back. Kind of. 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.

Contemporary Fiction

The Betrayals – Bridget Collins

Honestly the first time I read The Binding I was quite taken aback by the creative and thoroughly engaging storytelling. It uses unreliable narrators excellently, in a way I honestly thought was very innovative, and also changed my perspective on how deliberately eliminating parts of the story works. I’ve always thought that was a bit of a cheat’s way to create mystery and tension, but it worked very well in The Binding.

I’m therefore keen to read Collins’ second book. It is nothing to do with the first, but it’s set in a mysterious and isolated academy and involves magic so I’m really already a fan.

Synopsis: At Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, the best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu: an arcane and mysterious contest. Léo Martin was once a student there, but lost his passion for the grand jeu following a violent tragedy. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning with his political career in tatters.
 

The Book of Two Ways – Jodi Picoult

I have not properly read any of Picoult’s book since My Sister’s Keeper, which I’m sure almost everyone read a very long time ago. Mostly this is because Picoult writes a lot on grief and death which are not really topics I find easy to get through on the regs. This one is also about death, but it’s also about the possibilities of opportunities and it sounds intriguing. I look forward to reading it – and moving a bit beyond always reading SF&F!

Synopsis: Dawn is a death doula, and spends her life helping people make the final transition peacefully. But when the plane she’s on plummets, she finds herself thinking not of the perfect life she has, but the life she was forced to abandon fifteen years ago – when she left behind a career in Egyptology, and a man she loved. Against the odds, she survives, and the airline offers her a ticket to wherever she needs to get to – but the answer to that question suddenly seems uncertain.

Ghosts – Dolly Alderton

Have you read Everything I Know About Love? I recently listened to the audiobook which, read by Alderton in almost the exact way she presents on The High/Low, (one of my fave book podcasts), was very comforting. Now she turns her hand to fiction! This is about a food writer who becomes ghosted when she tries online dating for the first time, and how this coincides with kind of the rest of her life slowly spiralling downwards as she comes up against the idea that time is running out.

Synopsis: Nina Dean has arrived at her early thirties as a successful food writer with loving friends and family, plus a new home and neighbourhood. When she meets Max, a beguiling romantic hero who tells her on date one that he’s going to marry her, it feels like all is going to plan. A new relationship couldn’t have come at a better time – her thirties have not been the liberating, uncomplicated experience she was sold.

So 👏🏽 many 👏🏽 books ! Here’s hoping I actually read them and don’t relegate them to be forgotten about on the TBR ! but I am pretty enthusiastic about all of them so I have high hopes.

What series and authors are you returning to in the next six months?

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