Title: One of Us is Next (One of Us is Lying #2)
Author: Karen McManus
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Genre: Mystery / YA
SYNOPSIS: Come on, Bayview, you know you've missed this.
A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one's been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.
This time it's not an app, though—it's a game.
Truth or Dare.
Phoebe's the first target. If you choose not to play, it's a truth. And hers is dark.
Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.
But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it's that they can't count on the police for help. Or protection.
Simon's gone, but someone's determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there's a whole new set of rules. (Goodreads)
Karen McManus' first installment into these sets of books, One of Us is Lying, was a cozy and comforting mystery that took me back to the feels of the 80s. Just like advertised, it had huge Breakfast Club vibes...with a dead body thrown in and a set of teens bound together to find out who did the crime. I'm expecting the same thing in One of Us is Next, along with a fun new story to follow and a new cast that will be thrown into the dangerous mix. I cannot wait!
Title: The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious #3)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publication Date: January 21, 2020
Genre: Mystery / YA
SYNOPSIS: Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie’s greatest triumph . . .
She knows who Truly Devious is. She’s solved it. The greatest case of the century.
At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it’s hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow—somehow—all these things connect. The three deaths in the present. The deaths in the past. The missing Alice Ellingham and the missing David Eastman. Somewhere in this place of riddles and puzzles there must be answers.
Then another accident occurs as a massive storm heads toward Vermont. This is too much for the parents and administrators. Ellingham Academy is evacuated. Obviously, it’s time for Stevie to do something stupid. It’s time to stay on the mountain and face the storm—and a murderer.
In the tantalizing finale to the Truly Devious trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson expertly tangles her dual narrative threads and ignites an explosive end for all who’ve walked through Ellingham Academy. (Goodreads)
There's just something about a school campus setting in a story that makes me happy. It's a joy that I am more than glad to sink into, and if a mystery is involved, all the better. Lead Stevie has unapologetically been her “weird” (I say unique) self in this trilogy since Truly Devious, and she has become one of my favorite characters in the last few years to read. She's the kind of girl detective that I would've loved to be had I actually sunk my claws into that sort of lifestyle (I came to reading Nancy Drew too late in life to fully get into the role, I think). She's the main thing that makes reading these novels entertaining, but the fact that the story is coming to a close and we are finally going to be having all of our questions answered has me making eager grabby hands for this book. Alice Ellingham, what really happened to you???
Title: The Sun Down Motel
Author: Simone St. James
Publication Date: February 18, 2020
SYNOPSIS: The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.
Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn't right at the Sun Down, and before long she's determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden… (Goodreads)
We all have our comfort reads. And from the last two books in this list, I think it's obvious that mystery is a comfort read of mine. Add even the smallest smidgen of the supernatural to that and it's pure bliss. While Simone St. James' books don't always showcase that element in an obvious way, there's a flair to her novels that makes you settle into that mind-space. I love her stories; I've breezed through almost every single one of them save for Lost Among the Living. I am a fan. I have no doubt that I'm going to be delighted by this new release.
Title: House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Genre: Fantasy / NA
SYNOPSIS: Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it. (Goodreads)
At this point, anything that Sarah J. Maas releases, I want. I want to read it, hold it, cherish it, protect it with the same zealousness with which Gollum keeps his preciousssss. I am addicted to her writing and the stories that she weaves. Whatever disappointment I might have felt over the fact that there is no future release date in 2020 for any other novel in the ACOTAR series, was more than alleviated when I found out that a first book in her new Crescent City series was being published. There were squeals, there was shock, there may have even been a little danced jiggle in the middle of my room. And don't think me insane for taking personal delight in the fact that House of Earth and Blood releases in March, my birthday month, and therefore I think that's totally a gift meant just for me. I'm fine, reaaaaally.
Title: Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #2)
Author: Tamsyn Muir
Publication Date: June 2, 2020
Genre: Fantasy / Sci-Fi
SYNOPSIS: She answered the Emperor's call.
She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend.
In victory, her world has turned to ash.
After rocking the cosmos with her deathly debut, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth, a mind-twisting puzzle box of mystery, murder, magic, and mayhem. Nothing is as it seems in the halls of the Emperor, and the fate of the galaxy rests on one woman's shoulders.
Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath — but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.
Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor's Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off? (Goodreads)
Holy crap was I shocked by the fact that I liked Gideon the Ninth as much as I did. I did not take the synopsis seriously when I first read it, and at the end picked up the book because I could not make up my mind on what else to read. To me, it sounded like a flippant, floppy, satirical novel of what something dark and dreary was meant to be—whatever it is meant to be, depending on one's own personal belief. But halfway through the first chapter, I was hooked. I may or may not have shed a tear at the ending, I may or may not have been a bit heartbroken, and I may or may not still hold (probably pathetic) hope that what happened will be remedied. But, even if that's not the case, Harrow the Ninth promises to be just as badass as Gideon the Ninth was. After all, Harrow is one of the most delightful anti-villians I've come across. Or is she an anti-hero? With Harrow, you never really know, and that's terrific.
Title: Forest of Souls (Shamanborn #1)
Author: Lori M. Lee
Publication Date: June 23, 2020
Genre: Fantasy / YA
SYNOPSIS: Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.
And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.
Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for. (Goodreads)
It's happened spontaneously, but since then, little by little I've been drawn to reading novels—mostly fantasy—that draw from Asian lore. It's always a gamble, and I'm not as well versed in the original works as others, but I find these stories so beautiful and lyrical that whenever I find a new one, I am instantly prompted to add it to my TBR mountain. Forest of Souls sounds intriguing, with a promising lead, and a fascinating setting. Plus, let's face it, any place in a novel called the Dead Wood just made that story ten times more gripping.
Title: Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Publication Date: September 3, 2020
SYNOPSIS: Twenty-seven years have passed since the last sunrise, and for almost three decades, the creatures of the night have walked the day without fear. Once, humanity fought bravely against the coldblood legions, but now, we exist only in a few scattered settlements—tiny sparks of light in a growing sea of darkness.
Gabriel de León is the last of the Silversaints, a holy order dedicated to defending realm and church, now utterly destroyed. Imprisoned for the murder of the vampiric king, Gabriel is charged with telling the story of his life.
His tale spans years, from his youth in the monastery of San Michel, to the forbidden love that spelled his undoing, and the betrayal that saw his order annihilated. Most importantly, Gabriel will tell of his discovery of the Grail—the legendary cup prophesied to bring an end to the eternal night.
But the Grail was no simple chalice; and its secret was held by a smart-mouthed teenage urchin named Dior. Their journey with a band of unlikely allies would see Dior and Gabriel forge an unbreakable bond, and set the broken paragon on a road to redemption.
But now, the Grail is shattered. And with the cup of the Savior destroyed and the last Silversaint awaiting execution, what can bring an end to this unholy empire? (Goodreads)
Granted, I've never read a book written solely by Jay Kristoff—this must be remedied as soon as possible. But I did read the Illuminae Files, written alongside Amie Kaufman, some of the most entertaining and uniquely formatted novels I've experienced. I fully intend to make Empire of the Vampire my first of his works—if nothing else falls onto my lap before then. It's been quite a while since I've read a vampire novel, and this one sounds like it'll have a few traces of that inviting darkness which makes these stories all the more satisfying. I'm ever so slightly worried about the similarity drawn from Interview with the Vampire, but I hold my hopes up. It can still—and likely will—turn out to be something phenomenal.
Title: Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove #2)
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Genre: Fantasy / YA / Romance
No synopsis or cover art yet available, sadly. However, Serpent & Dove was one of the biggest surprises for me in 2019. It was not the best rendition of witchcraft in fiction that exists out there, although what was presented was very entertaining. And the romance/chemistry between the leads was so much fun that it more than made up for anything else that may have been lacking. It was a guilty little pleasure. I'm not sure whose story follows in Blood & Honey, and quite frankly, I do not care. All that I know is that I am incredibly eager to keep reading more of this story.
Title: UNTITLED (Dreamer Trilogy #2)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Genre: Fantasy / YA
No synopsis or cover art yet available, sadly yet again. I have not yet read Call Down the Hawk, I confess it. I do, however, fully intend to make that my first read of 2020, and I already love the world of this story so much that I cannot possibly imagine how I could ever dislike it (may I not have to bite back my words). Which is why I'm so excited to see that there is already a second novel in the works to release later in the year. Mr. Ronan Lynch was my favorite character from The Raven Cycle series, that the fact that he gets his own set of books makes my fan-girl heart soar with joy.