If my “one-on-one-off” pattern of previous years holds true, it’s 2024’s turn to be a fantastic reading-year. With some of these anticipated releases, I have high hopes that this prediction might come true. In previous years, I’ve attempted to narrow this list down to my 10 most anticipated releases. This year, I’m adding 5 continuations of series I’m in the middle of to that mix.
At this point, we all know release-dates are subject to change as they year progresses, so take all of them with a small grain of salt. Because of that, and to change things up slightly, I've ordered this list not chronologically, but based on excitement-level at the time compiling it. Starting off with my most-anticipated release, and working my way down:
Expected release date: June 6th Why I’m Excited: Julia Armfield previous two works are among my all-time-favourites and I’ve been impatiently waiting for whatever she does next, ever since Our Wives Under The Sea. If it’s anywhere close to the quality of her other works, this is already a strong candidate for the favourite-list of 2024. Synopsis: It’s been raining for a long time now, for so long that the lands have reshaped themselves and the cities have retreated to higher storeys. Old places have been lost. Arcane rituals and religions have crept back into practice.
Sisters Isla, Irene and Agnes have not spoken in some time when their estranged father dies. A famous architect revered for making the new world navigable, he had long cut himself off from public life. They find themselves uncertain of how to grieve his passing when everything around them seems to be ending anyway.
As the sisters come together to clear the grand glass house that is the pinnacle of his legacy, they begin to sense that the magnetic influence of their father lives on through it. Soon it becomes clear that others have also taken an interest in both his estate and in them, and that perhaps their inheritance may not be theirs alone.
Expected release date: April 16th Why I’m Excited: I’ve been eagerly awaiting anything by this author for quite some time now, but had never expected a companion to one of my all-time favourite novels. Not a direct sequel, but a loose companion to Elatsoe was more than I’d ever hoped. Synopsis: Shane works with her mother and their ghost dogs, tracking down missing persons even when their families can't afford to pay. Their own family was displaced from their traditional home years ago following a devastating flood - and the loss of Shane's father and her grandparents. They don't think they'll ever get their home back.
Then Shane's mother and a local boy go missing, after a strange interaction with a fairy ring. Shane, her brother, her friends, and her lone, surviving grandparent - who isn't to be trusted - set off on the road to find them. But they may not be anywhere in this world - or this place in time.
Expected release date: March 19th Why I’m Excited: the cover drew my in, the synopsis had me hooked and the sneak-peak I read of the first chapter had me invested. Frankenstein-meets-botany in a Victorian horror novel. If that doesn’t sound like my perfect horror novel, I don’t know what will… Synopsis: It is an unusual thing, to live in a botanical garden. But Simon and Gregor are an unusual pair of gentlemen. Hidden away in their glass sanctuary from the disapproving tattle of Victorian London, they are free to follow their own interests without interference. For Simon, this means long hours in the dark basement workshop, working his taxidermical art. Gregor's business is exotic plants – lucrative, but harmless enough. Until his latest acquisition, a strange fungus which shows signs of intellect beyond any plant he's seen, inspires him to attempt a masterwork: true intelligent life from plant matter.
Driven by the glory he'll earn from the Royal Horticultural Society for such an achievement, Gregor ignores the flaws in his plan: that intelligence cannot be controlled; that plants cannot be reasoned with; and that the only way his plant-beast will flourish is if he uses a recently deceased corpse for the substrate.
The experiment – or Chloe, as she is named – outstrips even Gregor's expectations, entangling their strange household. But as Gregor's experiment flourishes, he wilts under the cost of keeping it hidden from jealous eyes. The mycelium grows apace in this sultry greenhouse. But who is cultivating whom?
Expected release date: March 28th Why I’m Excited: this needs little explanation: Adrian Tchaikovsky is one of my all-time favourite novels and I will basically read anything by him that sounds even remotely interesting. The story of an xeno-ecologist sent to a prison colony on an alien planet sure foots that bill. It’s synopsis reminds me a lot of Cage of Souls, which happens to be my favourite book by the author. Let’s hope it strikes the right balance between being like that one, but not too similar… Synopsis:
The planet of Kiln is where the tyrannical Mandate keeps its prison colony, and for inmates the journey there is always a one-way trip. One such prisoner is Professor Arton Daghdev, xeno-ecologist and political dissident. Soon after arrival he discovers that Kiln has a secret. Humanity is not the first intelligent life to set foot there.
In the midst a ravenous, chaotic ecosystem are the ruins of a civilization, but who were the vanished builders and where did they go? If he can survive both the harsh rule of the camp commandant and the alien horrors of the world around him, then Arton has a chance at making a discovery that might just transform not only Kiln but distant Earth as well.
Expected release date: February 6th Why I’m Excited: this book hits so many of my buzzwords, it’s unbelievable. A fantasy-detective story in which a protagonist duo ala Sherlock and Watson investigate a murder in a dystopian world where plant-based magic is central. SIGN ME UP NOW. Synopsis: In Daretana’s most opulent mansion, a high Imperial officer lies dead—killed, to all appearances, when a tree spontaneously erupted from his body. Even in this canton at the borders of the Empire, where contagions abound and the blood of the Leviathans works strange magical changes, it’s a death at once terrifying and impossible.
Called in to investigate this mystery is Ana Dolabra, an investigator whose reputation for brilliance is matched only by her eccentricities.
At her side is her new assistant, Dinios Kol. Din is an engraver, magically altered to possess a perfect memory. His job is to observe and report, and act as his superior’s eyes and ears--quite literally, in this case, as among Ana’s quirks are her insistence on wearing a blindfold at all times, and her refusal to step outside the walls of her home.
Din is most perplexed by Ana’s ravenous appetite for information and her mind’s frenzied leaps—not to mention her cheerful disregard for propriety and the apparent joy she takes in scandalizing her young counterpart. Yet as the case unfolds and Ana makes one startling deduction after the next, he finds it hard to deny that she is, indeed, the Empire’s greatest detective.
As the two close in on a mastermind and uncover a scheme that threatens the safety of the Empire itself, Din realizes he’s barely begun to assemble the puzzle that is Ana Dolabra—and wonders how long he’ll be able to keep his own secrets safe from her piercing intellect.
Expected release date: April 11th Why I’m Excited: Sinead Gleeson is the author one of the most beautifully written memoirs I’ve read in years, so I already know her way with words is incredible. Of course, I can’t wait to see how that translates into her fiction-debut. Synopsis: The sea is steady for now. The land readies itself. What can be done with the woman on the cliff?
On a wild and rugged island cut off and isolated to some, artist Nell feels the island is her home. It is the source of inspiration for her art, rooted in landscape, folklore and the feminine. The mysterious Inions, a commune of women who have travelled there from all over the world, consider it a place of refuge and safety, of solace in nature.
All the islanders live alongside the strange murmurings that seem to emanate from within the depths of the island, a sound that is almost supernatural – a Summoning as the Inions call it. One day, a letter arrives at Nell’s door from the reclusive Inions who invite Nell into the commune for a commission to produce a magnificent art piece to celebrate their long history. In its creation, Nell will discover things about the community and about herself that will challenge everything she thought she knew.
Expected release date: July 9th Why I’m Excited: this one might be a bit of a wild-card as it’s technically a debut. That being said, Anton Hur has lent his narrative voice to many a translation that I’ve loved, and it always intrigues me to see what someone so skilled with words can conjure up on his own. Add to that the literary-sci-fi genre and the comparison to Emily St. John Mandel, and I’m basically sold. Synopsis: In a near-future world, a new technological therapy is quickly eradicating cancer. The body’s cells are entirely replaced with nanites—robot or android cells which not only cure those afflicted but leaves them virtually immortal. Literary researcher Yonghun teaches an AI how to understand poetry and creates a living, thinking machine he names Panit, meaning Beloved, in honor of his husband. When Yonghun—himself a recipient of nanotherapy—mysteriously vanishes into thin air and then just as suddenly reappears, the event raises disturbing questions. What happened to Yonghun, and though he’s returned, is he really himself anymore? When Dr. Beeko, the scientist who holds the patent to the nanotherapy technology, learns of Panit, he transfers its consciousness from the machine into an android body, giving it freedom and life. As Yonghun, Panit, and other nano humans thrive—and begin to replicate—their development will lead them to a crossroads and a choice with existential consequences.
Expected release date: May 7th Why I’m Excited: Sarah Perry’s fourth novel returns to the setting of her best work The Essex Serpent, with a completely different historical tale about astronomy, faith and lifelong friendship. I love Sarah’s writing and can’t wait to see what she does with this latest concept. Synopsis: Thomas Hart and Grace Macaulay have lived all their lives in the small Essex town of Aldleigh. Though separated in age by three decades, the pair are kindred spirits—torn between their commitment to religion and their desire to explore the world beyond their small Baptist community. It is two romantic relationships that will rend their friendship, and in the wake of this rupture, Thomas develops an obsession with a vanished nineteenth-century astronomer said to haunt a nearby manor, and Grace flees Aldleigh entirely for London.
Over the course of twenty years, by coincidence and design, Thomas and Grace will find their lives brought back into orbit as the mystery of the vanished astronomer unfolds into a devastating tale of love and scientific pursuit. Thomas and Grace will ask themselves what it means to love and be loved, what is fixed and what is mutable, how much of our fate is predestined and written in the stars, and whether they can find their way back to each other.
Expected release date: July 6th Why I’m Excited: it’s Sarah Beth Durst writing cosy fantasy with cottage-core vibes… And if nothing else, the cover will be a piece of art to brighten up my shelves… Synopsis: Kiela has always had trouble dealing with people, and as librarian at the Great Library of Alyssium, she hasn’t had to. She and her assistant, Caz, a sentient spider plant, have spent most of the last eleven years sequestered among the empire’s precious spellbooks, protecting the magic for the city’s elite. But a revolution is brewing and when the library goes up in flames, she and Caz steal whatever books they can and flee to the faraway island where she grew up. She’s hoping to lay low and figure out a way to survive before the revolution comes looking for her. To her dismay, in addition to a nosy—and very handsome—neighbor, she finds the town in disarray.
The empire with its magic spellbooks has slowly been draining power from the island, something that Kiela is indirectly responsible for, and now she’s determined to find a way to make things right. Opening up a spell shop comes with its own risks—the consequence of sharing magic with commoners is death. And as Kiela comes to make a place for herself among the quirky townspeople, she realizes that in order to make a life for herself, she must break down the walls she has kept so high.
Expected release date: April 9th Why I’m Excited: despite the fact that the authors last book burned me, I’m still in desperate need of a good sci-fi horror book. I’m truly hoping this one will scratch that itch. Synopsis: Psychologist Dr. Ophelia Bray has dedicated her life to the study and prevention of ERS—a space-based condition most famous for a case that resulted in the brutal murders of twenty-nine people. When she's assigned to a small exploration crew, she's eager to make a difference. But as they begin to establish residency on an abandoned planet, it becomes clear that crew is hiding something.
While Ophelia focuses on her new role, her crewmates are far more interested in investigating the eerie, ancient planet and unraveling the mystery behind the previous colonizer's hasty departure than opening up to her.
That is, until their pilot is discovered gruesomely murdered. Is this Ophelia’s worst nightmare starting—a wave of violence and mental deterioration from ERS? Or is it something more sinister?
Mirrored Heavens – Rebecca Roanhorse Book 3 in the Beyond Earth and Sky trilogy Expected release date: June 4th
What Feasts at Night – T. Kingfisher Sequel to What Moves the Dead Expected release date: February 13th
Greenwild: The City Beyond the Sea – Pari Thomson Book 2 in the Greenwild Saga Expected release date: June 4th
Somewhere Beyond the Sea – TJ Klune Prequel/Companion to The House in the Cerulean Sea Expected release date: September 10th
My most anticipated releases will make up half of the 20 books that will function as my 2024 Master-TBR, which you can find on my Goodreads. Here you can also keep track of my reading throughout the year, if you fancy a more shortform format than this blog. With that, we reach the conclusion of my Year in Review of 2023, and quick glance ahead at 2024. I hope you had incredible holidays, and I wish you the best for your new (reading) year. Happy reading!