With 2020 mere days away, it's time for a series of posts I love to do around this time of year: my 2019 in Review, in which I'll be talking about my most surprising, disappointing, best, worst and more. Before this week of reflection starts however, I wanted to do some prospecting as well. Therefore part one of my Year in Review will be about 5 books per favourite genre that I'm excited for in 2020.
All novels will be linked to their respective Goodreads pages, where you can find a more extensive synopsis and actual releasedate (as those are subject to change).
The first book on this list is solely here by merit of the author. Emily St. John Mandel is the author of one of my favourite books of all time (Station Eleven), and so I'll automatically be interested in any of her new works. As I myself am planning on going in blind, I'll direct you towards Goodreads for an indepth synopsis if you're interested. For me, the promise of more of Emily's writing is enough to put this high on my list.
Releasedate: February 15th 2020
2. The Lost Book of Adana Moreau – Michael Zapata
This novel was brought to my attention by one of my friends, who described this as "The Shadow of the Wind but better". Although that's a bold claim, it did grab my attention, and in all fairness: the synopsis does remind me quite a bit of Ruiz Zafons famous novel.
In 1929 in New Orleans, a Dominican immigrant named Adana Moreau writes a science fiction novel titled Lost City. Decades later in Chicago, Saul Drower is cleaning out his dead grandfather’s home when he discovers a mysterious package containing a manuscript titled A Model Earth, written by none other than Adana Moreau. We follow Saul on his search to find out more about this mysterious writer, what became of her family, and how the book ended up in his hands in the end.
Releasedate: February 4th 2020
3. The Island Child – Molly Aitken The Island Child was brought to my attention by one of my favourite authors and booktubers Jen Campbel in her video on her most anticipated novels of 2020. In all fairness, that recommendation alone is usually enough for me to put a novel on my TBR. In addition, the synopsis reminded me somewhat of The Gloaming, which is one of my all-time favourite novels, which got me even more hyped to read this debut about identity and motherhood, freedom and fate and the healing power of stories, deeply rooted in Irish Folklore. Releasedate: March 3rd 2020
4. The Bass Rock - Evie Wyld Surging out of the sea, the Bass Rock has for centuries watched over the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries the fates of three women are linked: to this place, to each other.
In the early 1700s, Sarah, accused of being a witch, flees for her life.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, Ruth navigates a new house, a new husband and the strange waters of the local community.
Six decades later, the house stands empty. Viv, mourning the death of her father, catalogues Ruth’s belongings and discovers her place in the past – and perhaps a way forward.
Each woman’s choices are circumscribed, in ways big and small, by the men in their lives. But in sisterhood there is the hope of survival and new life. Intricately crafted and compulsively readable, The Bass Rock burns bright with anger and love.
Releasedate: March 26th 2020
Conjure Women is a sweeping story that brings the world of the South before and after the Civil War vividly to life. Spanning eras and generations, it tells of the lives of three unforgettable women: Miss May Belle, a wise healing woman; her precocious and observant daughter Rue, who is reluctant to follow in her mother's footsteps as a midwife; and their master's daughter Varina. The secrets and bonds among these women and their community come to a head at the beginning of a war and at the birth of an accursed child, who sets the townspeople alight with fear and a spreading superstition that threatens their newly won, tenuous freedom.
Releasedate: April 7th 2020
A mysterious child lands in the care of a solitary woman, changing both of their lives forever in this captivating debut of connection across space and time. This literary science fiction novel follows the bond between a woman outside time and a mysterious silent boy, broken by his past. This promises to be exactly the type of science fiction I love: mysterious, thoughtprovoking and touching. Releasedate: January 14th 2020
2. The Sisters Grimm - Menna van Praag
"Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She's got five."
Despite the fact that I didn't really enjoy N.K. Jemisins writingstyle in her Broken Earth Trilogy, I love her ideas, creativity and the effort she puts into worldbuilding. I'm very intrigued to see how that skill translates into a more modern and familiar setting.
Releasedate: March 26th 2020
3. The Girl and the Stars – Mark Lawrence On Abeth the vastness of the ice holds no room for individuals. Survival together is barely possible. No one survives alone.
Yaz is torn from the only life she’s ever known, away from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her days with, and has to carve out a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of difference and mystery and danger. Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she learns to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people. Only when it’s darkest you can see the stars. The Girl and the Stars is the first in a new high fantasy series by Mark Lawrence, set in the same world as his Ancestors trilogy.
Releasedate: April 30th 2020
As children, Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea dreamed of a strange otherworld: a nightscape of mists and fog, perpetually falling leaves and hungry ivy, lit by an unwavering moon. Here, in this shadowland of Everwhere, the four girls, half-sisters connected by blood and magic, began to nurture their elemental powers together. But at thirteen, the sisters were ripped from Everwhere and separated. Now, five years later, they search for one another and yearn to rediscover their unique and supernatural strengths. Goldie (earth) manipulates plants and gives life. Liyana (water) controls rivers and rain. Scarlet (fire) has electricity at her fingertips. Bea (air) can fly.
To realize their full potential, the blood sisters must return to the land of their childhood dreams. But Everwhere can only be accessed through certain gates at 3:33 A.M. on the night of a new moon. As Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea are beset with the challenges of their earthly lives, they must prepare for a battle that lies ahead. On their eighteenth birthday, they will be subjected to a gladiatorial fight with their father’s soldiers. If they survive, they will face their father who will let them live only if they turn dark. Which would be fair, if only the sisters knew what was coming.
So, they have thirty-three days to discover who they truly are and what they can truly do, before they must fight to save themselves and those they love. Released: TBA February 2020
I started an fell in love with The Diviners series during 2019, so I couldn't be happier for book 4 to be visible on the horizon. King of Crows is the finale in this stunning supernatural fantasy quartet, set in 1920's New York, and is bound to be as magical, hilarious, touching and unsettling as its predecesors. Releasedate: February 4th 2020
2. Turtle Under Ice – Juleah Del Rosario You all know about my love for books that handle grief well, so no surprise, there had to be one on such themes on this list: After Rowena's mother died a few years ago, she and her sister, Ariana, drifted into their own corners of the world, each figuring out in their own separate ways how to exist in a world in which their mother is no longer alive.
But then Ariana disappears under the cover of night in the middle of a snowstorm, leaving no trace or tracks. When Row wakes up to a world of snow and her sister’s empty bedroom, she is left to piece together the mystery behind where Ariana went and why, realizing along the way that she might be part of the reason Ariana is gone. Releasedate: February 11th 2020
3. The Vanishing Deep – Astrid Scholte
The Vanishing Deep has a synopsis that is too long for me to cover completely in this list, so if you're interested, I'd happily direct you to its Goodreads page. All I'll say here is that this is a marine fantasy by the author of Four Dead Queens, set in a world where the dead can be revived, if only for a price.
Frankly: I didn't need to know much more.
Releasedate: March 3rd 2020
4. How to Disappear Completely - Ali Standish While her grandmother was alive, Emma’s world was filled with enchantment. But now Gram is gone, and suddenly strange spots are appearing on Emma’s skin. Soon, she’s diagnosed with vitiligo—a condition that makes patches of her skin lose their color—and the magic in her world is suddenly replaced with school bullies and doctor appointments.
But when Emma writes one last story in the journal she shared with Gram, something strange happens. Someone writes back to her, just like Gram used to. Who’s writing to Emma? And just what is her story going to be, now that everything is so different? Releasedate: April 30th 2020
You are the girl who can walk in the rain, and I am the boy who knows the way. The Eve of Saints approaches and the poison rain which shrouds Castle Marcosza strains at its boundaries. When Beata's brother is taken by the rain, Beata and her friend Benedek must make a perilous journey of discovery to uncover the root of her secret - why she is the only person who can walk through the rain unscathed. But Beata is soon caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse with mysterious Liljana, a girl with hidden powers of her own. And with magic outlawed in Marcosza, can the pair find a way to work together to harness their forbidden ability and unleash its full potential? Or will they find themselves seduced by power and all that it offers.. Releasedate: May 7th 2020
Follow me on Goodreads to stay up to date with my daily reading, and stay tuned this week for more 2019 in Review.