Ah, a fresh new month in a fresh new year means that there shall be some bitchin’ fantastic fresh new book releases! When I sat down to compile this list, I expected five or ten interesting picks, but then I became thoroughly surprised with fifteen! A few of them are additions to pre-existing serials that I’ve been keeping a close eye on for a while, which gets my bibliophilic blood boiling with excitement. However, then there is a neat stack of unknowns that I was rather pleasantly surprised to uncover during a quick search around the bookish spheres.
Check out all of these amazing sounding books that are dropping throughout the month of January! I’ve included genres and snippets. For anything that is a continuation in a series, the snippet will be of the first book, as to avoid serial spoilers and also to give you an intro to what the series shall be about!
Longing and Other Stories by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki: (Japanese Literature) A collection of three stories about family life from the first decade of the author’s career that foretells the themes that would make Tanizaki one of the finest writers of Japanese history. “Longing” follows a young boy’s journey through an unsettling night-time landscape full of scenic imagery and strange human encounters. “Sorrows of a Heretic” is about a Uni student and aspiring writer that resides in degrading poverty, as he rebels against his family amid illness and death. “The Story of an Unhappy Mother” tells a tale of a spirited yet self-absorbed woman’s severe transformation in the wake of an accident involving her son and daughter-in-law.
Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes: (Science-Fiction Horror) The story follows a woman and her crew as they board a luxury cruise ship that has been lost for many decades. What they discover is an incredible wreckage that is as nightmarish as it is still alive.
How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu: (Satirical Science-Fiction) Spanning hundreds of years, the narrative follows a cast of meticulously interconnected characters as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a horrible climate plague.
Light Years from Home by Mike Chen: (Chinese-American Science-Fiction) Fifteen years ago, Evie and Kass Shao’s father and brother vanished from a camping trip. Since then, they’ve been estranged. Their dad showed up days later, dehydrated and all kinds of confused, making claims of having been abducted by aliens. Each sister had their own separate ways of dealing with and processing the experience. When a new event is uncovered, one of the sisters goes to investigate to see if there was any truth to her father’s decade and a half old claim.
The Shattered Skies by John Birmingham: (Galactic Science-Fiction) The second novel in a trilogy, following The Cruel Stars, which follows five intrepid heroes as they unite to save civilisation after a long-dormant enemy awakes to wreak havoc and devastation.
A Practical Guide to Conquering the World by K.J. Baker: (Humorous Fantasy) The third novel in The Siege series, with the first two being Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City and How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It. In the first book, the tale begins with an approaching siege with a city that is utterly unprepared for it. Folx have no food nor weapons and are about to face an enemy that’s sworn to kill them all. In order to save the city, a colonel of engineers will have to put aside his shady endeavours in order to help the people survive.
The Amber Crown by Jacey Bedford: (Dark Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery) Three social outcasts must find a way to work together so they may satisfy the orders of a dead king’s ghost, or risk having their nation getting ripped apart at the seams to a terrible tyrant.
Engines of Empire by R.S. Ford: (Sword & Sorcery) A sweeping tale that takes place in the nation of Torwyn, which is run entirely on the power of industry, and revolves around clashing guilds, magic-fuelled machines, and a great revolution.
Gods and Dragons by Kevin J. Anderson: (Epic Fantasy)The third instalment in a trilogy, following Spine of the Dragon and Vengewar respectively, wraps up a story that began with two continents that have been divided via bloodshed for many, many generations. However, when a long-forgotten outside threat returns with the hopes of reawakening an ancient race by slaying a mythological dragon of hatred and spite, the two nations must find a way to put aside their violent differences in order to formulate an alliance to fight this newly arisen peril. However, the dark powers of shifting political allegiances have absolutely no intention for peace and partnership and would rather bathe the world in chaos and death for ultimate power and superiority rather than reign in goodwilled harmony.
Servant Mage by Kate Elliott: (Gaslamp Fantasy) A lowly fire mage gets terribly intertwined in an empire-spanning conspiracy to kill the last royal child when a group of rebel Monarchists free her from indentured servitude and take her on an expedition to rescue other trapped compatriots from an underground complex of mines.
The Starless Crown by James Rollins: (Fantasy Action-Adventure) A special student prophesies an apocalypse and as a reward she receives a death sentence. When she flees for survival, she ends up being pulled into a team of exiles that must learn to trust one another so they can uncover ancient secrets that shall hold the key to their ultimate salvation.
Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire: (Queer Portal Fantasy) The seventh instalment in the author’s Wayward Children series, this volume takes us to another school for kiddoes that tend to fall through doors and find their ways back out again. Except it isn’t nearly as friendly and warm as Eleanor’s Home for Wayward Children. And it’s about as far from safe as anyone can imagine.
All the White Spaces by Ally Wilkes: (Queer Historical Horror Thriller) Following the First World War, Jonathon Morgan stows away on an Antarctic expedition, determined to find his rightful place in the world of men. Aboard this awesome ship, Jonathan finally has the chance to live as his true self—and true gender—and have the adventures of a lifetime. However, a catastrophe strikes in the frozen Weddell Sea and the men must take to land to survive. But they aren’t alone out on the ice. Something lethal and shadowy begins stalking them, picking away one member at a time.
Devil House by John Darnielle: (Supernatural Horror) A true crime writer with grisly success, Gage Chandler, gets offered then a huge break: to move into a house where a pair of infamous murders occurred by the hands of disenchanted teens during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. He begins his research with enthusiasm and ends up being led into a puzzle that’ll shine a new light into who he is as a person, and the work he’s been doing career-wide.
Such a Pretty Smile by Kristi Demeester: (Psychological Thriller) Known only as The Cur, they are out there killing and tearing apart bodies of girls who are on the brink of becoming women, women known in town as troublemakers that refuse to conform and “know their place.” Alternating between 2004 and 2019, the book follows two girls that chase the source of their unrelenting discomfort fifteen years apart, unveiling many malignant secrets and monsters in the process.
What did you think of this list? Do any of these novels sound interesting to you? What are some books that you are supremely ecstatic for this month? Come chat with me in the comments and make my day brighter! Until next time, happy reading and Happy New Year!