Friday, March 19, 2021

Spring 2021 Reads

 Hey'a, everyone! So, after winter's rather underwhelming release lineup, this spring's list looks amazing — though, honestly, it would look amazing compared to just about any release lineup. While we don't have long-anticipated releases on the level of Return of the Thief, we have some reads on this list that I already know are amazing and a lot of others that I have high hopes for. And when I say "a lot," I really mean a lot. When I made my original list of all the books releasing this spring that I was interested in, there were over 20 books on it. Even after I cut the ones I was less enthusiastic about or that I was uncomfortable with based on early reviews or other newly-released information, I had a solid seventeen titles that I wanted to feature in my release posts. So, this list is going to take a little time to get through . . . but trust me, it's worth it.

Spring 2021 Reads

1. The Bright and the Pale by Jessica Rubinowski (March 2). I want to start by stating that I really like this cover. The colors, the art style, the little bits of northern lights in the sky, the typeface and the little icicles on the word pale . . . it's just very pretty. The story sounds like it has a great deal of potential too; it's Russian-inspired fantasy, and some of the reviews suggest it has that edge of creepiness that can make for a really enjoyable tale.

2. Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olsen (March 9). So this is a genderbent Phantom of the Opera retelling told from the perspective of the Phantom equivalent, and while I'm not a huge Phantom fan (mostly because I think Christine Daae is largely an idiot), this does sound pretty cool? The idea of memory magic has a lot of potential, and it sounds like the romantic relationships might be handled a bit better. We'll see.

3. Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley (March 16). Obviously I don't usually go in for contemporary. But I love a good mystery, and I'm still trying to read more books outside speculative fiction, so we're going to give this a try. It does sound pretty exciting.

4. The Seventh Raven by David Elliott (March 16). There are not enough Six Ravens/Wild Swans retellings out there — I only know of one other, and that one was . . . disappointing, to say the least. So I have very high hopes for The Seventh Raven! I'm hoping for a good focus on family ties and sibling relationships and all that sort of thing. The book is also written in verse instead of prose, which will be quite different from my usual fare.

5. Wingfeather Tales by Andrew Peterson and friends (March 23). I shared my thoughts on this anthology last week, but to sum up: if you read the Wingfeather Saga when it re-released last year (or in general) and you want more tales from Aerwiar, this book is just the thing to satisfy that appetite. There's something in this anthology for everyone, and the stories range from an Arabian-Nights-esque adventure in "The Prince of Yorsha Doon" to a high-seas look at a favorite Wingfeather character's past in "From the Deeps of the Dragon King" to a heartbreakingly raw and beautiful journey in "The Places Beyond the Maps." (And there's a Florid Sword comic! Which is awesome.)

6. The Werewolf of Whitechapel by Suzannah Rowntree (March 25). THIS BOOK, Y'ALL. There isn't a single book on this list I'm more excited about than The Werewolf of Whitechapel. I signed up for an eARC of it and read it earlier this week, and oh my pumpernickel. It's one of my favorite books I've read this year. It reminds me a lot of W.R. Gingell's Masque — which, you may recall, I utterly adore and read twice in a single year — but set in a fantastical alternate-history England, in which mythological monsters hold the thrones of Europe. And it's SO GOOD. And I need EVERYONE ELSE to buy it and read it AT ONCE so y'all can experience the AWESOMENESS and appreciate Miss Sharp with me.

7. Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo (March 30). On one hand, I was kind of meh about King of Scars — which is tragic, given how much I loved Nikolai in the original Grisha trilogy and Nina in the Six of Crows duology. (In all fairness, Nikolai's character is of the type that often works best when seen from a POV other than his own.) On the other hand . . . maybe the second book will be better since I won't have such high expectations? And I do want to see how things end.

8. Broken (In the Best Possible Way) by Jenny Lawson (April 6). I read Jenny's other two books over the last couple months, and while I didn't love them, they have a certain mad charm to them. So, I'm looking forward to reading Broken (and I hope I enjoy it, because I won a copy off Goodreads and it would therefore be a shame if I end up disliking it). If nothing else, her books are always an interesting shift from my usual speculative fiction fare.

9. The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman (April 6). Here's a little sci-fi to liven up the list! Though apparently this is actually a blend of sci-fi and fantasy, which just makes it even better. And we've got an evil AI, which always makes for an interesting story . . . though it also means I'll end up comparing however they portray AI to what we talked about when I took a class on the philosophy of AI, so there's that.

10. A Thieving Curse by Selina R. Gonzalez (April 7). I am always immensely fond of Beauty and the Beast retellings, and dragons, of course, just make everything better! So, of course, I'm very excited to have discovered this book in time to feature it. There's also a preorder campaign with some pretty nice book swag, for anyone who's inclined to order the book early! (I'm torn between that and saving my money for a Werewolf of Whitechapel paperback, personally.) Also, can we take a moment to appreciate that beautiful cover art?

 11. Love and Memory by Kendra E. Ardnek (April 19). It's been a while since Kendra's brought us back to Rizkaland, but the wait is very nearly over! One of Kendra's greatest strengths as a writer is that she's often willing and eager to ask "What happens next?" where other authors might write "Happily Ever After" (or "Unhappily Ever After," as the case may be) and be done with it. That's one of the things I love about her Bookania Quests, and I'm immensely excited to see her do it again in Love and Memory. Petra, Reuben, Andrew, and Clara may be home from Rizkaland . . . but now they have to figure out how to pick up the pieces of their lives, and, well . . . let's just say it's a struggle.

12. Invading Hell by Bryan Davis (April 16/May 15). This is the second book in the Oculus Gate series, the first of which released last summer. (I posted my thoughts on that book, Heaven Came Down, as a Friday 5s post, if you want to read them.) While I had mixed feelings about the end of book 1, I'm excited to see some of my favorite characters (by which I mostly mean Leo and Iona) again. And, hey, you know when you pick up a Bryan Davis that it's guaranteed to be out of the ordinary.

13. Luck of the Titanic by Stacy Lee (May 4). I feel like this is going to be a tragedy on some level. I get the impression that most Titanic stories are. (I only have two data points to draw from, though, so I could be wrong.) It sounds like it has a lot of potential, though, and it's a sibling story, so I'm looking forward to that.

14. Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (May 11). Nomance! Non-European fantasy! Conspiracies! Secrets! Lore! And also a main character who's described as a "scholar," which I hope means he'll have some delightful moments of "The thing I learned about . . . the thing I studied . . . it's real and now and right in front of me oh this is so cool." I would also accept some moments of "Danger? What danger? This is an unprecedented research opportunity!" (Side note: I think I may've just realized another reason I really like the Stormlight Archives.)

15. The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman (May 15). Something about this book's blurb is giving me Knight and Rogue-but-way-darker vibes, and I'm here for it. I really hope we get a delightful friendship between the main characters; any kind of positive relationship between the straight-laced, honorable noble warrior and the clever, sneaky, live-by-my-wits-and-my-speed rogue tends to be so much fun to read. Also, apparently there's a kraken. Or multiple kraken. And I'm so here for that too.

16. The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green (May 16). For those unaware, The Anthropocene Reviewed was originally a podcast created by John Green, in which he reviews parts of the world and society on a five-star scale. He covers everything from Canada Geese to Diet Dr. Pepper to pineapple on pizza to plague in a gentle, meditative fashion, discussing the history of the thing and how it impacts and reflects aspects of the world as a whole. I've only listened to a small portion of it (I'm not a big podcast person, unlike . . . basically the rest of the world, it seems like), but I enjoyed what I did listen to. I'm looking forward to seeing what I love translated into my favorite form of media.

17. The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis (May 18). This is a historical urban fantasy with maybe a hint of mystery? It sounds like it might be a mystery, and we all know I hope it's a mystery. Early reviews are coming in mixed, but the blurb sounds good. And it sounds like we may be getting some science and magic mixing, which I almost always enjoy.

What book releases are you excited for this spring? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!


  1. Ooh, what a lineup! I've fallen out of keeping good track of all the books releasing next (I blame my lack of blogging) but I'm excited for A Thieving Curse, and Troll Queen just released, and I'm looking forward to Gingell's upcoming Between book, though I have to catch up on the last couple books before it. Oh, and Between Two Worlds which is Roman/Celtic historical fiction releasing in April. So I guess I have a few I'm waiting for after all! I love these posts of yours because they're a nice mix of also-excited and ones I've never heard of and may have to look into! Also, random, but I'm not a podcast person either. XD Hope you have a lovely spring of reading!

    1. I need to catch up on the Between series. I read the first two, and I read all Gingell's snippets on FB, but I just haven't read the books themselves. That and Elven Alliance. So many books. :P But I think I saw Between Two Worlds and thought it looked interesting. And yay, I'm glad you enjoy these posts! Hope some of the new-to-you ones end up being awesome!

    2. I've been reading the snippets too. Book 3 (Between Floors) is my favorite!! I'm reading them aloud with my siblings and we're on book 6.

  2. Son of the Storm looks fascinating-- I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

    1. I'll make sure to do a post on it if/when I read it, then! (Or at least a Goodreads review. I think we're friends on GR?)


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