Bookriot’s Read Harder Challenge has got us all thinking: what are we really, really looking forward to reading this year? You may already have a ‘to-read’ list that’s out of control, but if there’s one thing we know about the book trade, it’s that nobody will wait for you to finish one good book before they publish another! The books featured in this two-part post are all due for release in 2016.
The Winds of Winter by George R R Martin
Nobody is safe from author George R R Martin- who will survive the winds of winter?
Will The Winds of Winter finally get published in 2016? Who knows! Two days ago, author George RR Martin announced that he has failed to meet his publisher’s latest deadline- he has hundreds of pages down, but hundreds still to go! His previous novel A Dance with Dragons was released in 2011, 5 years later than anticipated. The hugely popular TV series will overtake the books when it airs in April- the writers have been let in on some major secrets, but it’s likely the series will diverge considerably from GRRM’s original plan. We predict a timely winter release.
The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch
The love of Locke Lamora’s life goes by ‘The Rose of Camorr- can he live up to the title of ‘Thorn of Emberlain’?
Locke Lamora, Jean Tannen and Sabetha Belacoros are the only remaining Gentleman Bastards, a team of con-artists trained since childhood to swindle pirates, gangs and politicians out of their hard-earned gold. Locke has thoroughly angered the local magicians-for-hire, who in turn persuaded Sabetha to disappear. Will Locke and Sabetha (who have been rivals and sweethearts forever) reunite to face Locke’s (other) enemy, the Falconer? If you’re a fan of Sherlock, or anyone who ‘isn’t what they seem’, we highly recommend Scott Lynch’s series, beginning with The Lies of Locke Lamora. The Thorn of Emberlain is released in July.
The Last Star by Rick Yancey
Read the final book in Rick Yancey’s trilogy before The 5th Wave hits cinemas in 2016
The final instalment in Richard Yancey’s trilogy will be released alongside the film adaptation of his first novel, The 5th Wave. Cassie and her younger brother Sammy made it through the first three ‘waves’ of an alien invasion: loss of power, flooding, and a viral epidemic. Then Sammy and the other children were taken (the silent 4th wave) and trained to fight the last remaining humans as part of the deadly 5th wave. Only 1% of humanity survived, and Cassie, her friend Ringer and their remaining band of rebels seem to stand no chance against the invaders. Will we find out why the aliens, who are seemingly all-powerful, have chosen to destroy the humans piece by piece? Opinions differ on whether it’s best to read a book before the film comes out- this adaptation stars Chloe Grace Moretz (Kickass, Let Me In) as Cassie and Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as the ruthless Colonel Vosch.
Thor Vol 1: The Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron and Jorge Molina
Female fans have been cosplaying Thor long before a woman claimed the title.
Thor has been brought down mid-battle and can no longer lift Mjolnir, his legendary hammer. Someone must protect the earth, and the only person worthy of the hammer is a woman- the first female Thor in the comic’s history. We won’t reveal her identity here, as it remains a secret until the end of this volume, but we’ll tell you this: it’s someone you’ve met before. Lots of female heroes featured in Marvel’s 2015 line-up: Scarlet Witch and Black Widow appeared in Age of Ultron, Peggy Carter and Jessica Jones starred on TV, and Ms Marvel, Captain Marvel and Squirrel Girl sold well in print. Thor will be mostly missing from Captain America: Civil War (more on that in Thor: Ragnarok in 2017!) so catch up on some hammer-wielding magic now!
Bee and Puppycat by Natasha Allegri
Expect lots of pastel panels in Bee and Puppycat’s first graphic novel
Natasha Allegri was best known as a writer on Adventure Time before her original series Bee and Puppycat appeared online on the Cartoon Hangover channel. Bee is long-term unemployed and takes on temp jobs in other dimensions, accessed via the magical powers of Puppycat! Puppycat is voiced by the Vocaloid program and is highly cute, and Bee’s apartment and uniforms are clearly inspired by kawaii culture. The comics are published by KaBOOM! Studios, who licence Bravest Warriors, Steven Universe and Fionna and Cake (first designed and written by Natasha!) Whether you’ve followed the artist on Tumblr for years, or just want to read some simple, short comics, Bee and Puppycat is a sweet marshmallow for your soul.
Star Wars: Lando by Charles Soule
There’s no sign of Lando in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but you can reunite with the galaxy’s (second) coolest smuggler in this Marvel series.
Longtime fans of Star Wars were distraught when Disney announced the huge back-catalogue of comics, novels and other tie-ins were no longer ‘canon’ (bearing no relation to the series). Rumour has it that both Han Solo and Boba Fett will have origin movies soon, but Cloud City diplomat Lando Calrissian is the first to get a Disney re-write. Famous for rocking a cape (and turning Han over to Darth Vader and Boba Fett…), Lando began his career as a smuggler-slash-scavenger-slash-scoundrel. In this new story, he ends up on the run after stealing a luxury space-yacht belonging to the Emperor himself… Charles Soule has run with Marvel characters like badass attorney She-Hulk and anti-hero Wolverine- we hope he can handle Lando with similar style!
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Do you keep a blog? We dream about Between the Lines going viral- but then, we don’t post anything personal!
Riley Cavanaugh is genderfluid, which is to say they don’t identify fully with the gender they were assigned at birth. Sometimes Riley feels like a girl, sometimes like a boy- but they aren’t ‘out’ yet, and share their feelings only via an anonymous blog. When Riley starts getting threatening messages, they have to decide whether to delete the evidence (and lose their online following) or confront their right-wing family with the truth about their gender. The novel is written in the first person, and since Riley never uses pronouns, we never find out their biological sex. Early reviews suggest that Symptoms of Being Human is more than just a primer for those who have never come across non-binary genders- it’s been compared to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, so if you’re a fan, track this book down from 2nd February.
The 3 Body Problem by Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu)
The Cultural Revolution changed China forever, but arguably less than an alien invasion.
This novel’s title refers to the study of 3 objects and how they move in relation to each other- typically the Earth, the moon and the sun. Ye Wenjie narrowly escaped execution during China’s Cultural Revolution by joining Red Coast Base, a Communist Party project to contact alien species. She sends a message to far-off Trisolaris, a solar system wrecked by the gravitational pull of three suns. It is eight years before she gets a reply- a lowly alien secretary with a pacifist nature tells her NOT to welcome the Trisolarians to Earth. Ye Wenjie, who has witnessed human cruelty first-hand, decides that Earth is due a violent shake-up. Her colleagues are close to discovering her plans, so Ye Wenjie appeals for others who are highly disillusioned to come forward, and help her welcome Earth’s new alien overlords! The 3 Body Problem is one of China’s best-selling sci-fi novels, and a film adaptation is planned for 2016. Most sci-fi movies feature hulking American astronauts and inevitable human victories- if you’d like to witness a proper humans vs aliens battle, we recommend T3BP.
Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
Do you have any “book boyfriends”? We don’t. Of course not. That’s just silly.
Here’s a story we can relate to…16 year old Phoebe is always deep in a fantasy book, barely noticing the real world around her. When she hears a rumour that Dev, the cutest guy in the school band, might have a bit of a crush on her, she panics, before turning to her fictional friends for help. Phoebe has never been on a date or shared a kiss, but she feels prepared for any eventuality- after all, she’s read thousands of books about love! But Dev doesn’t seem to be reading from the same script. Can Phoebe use her nerd skills to rewrite a potential tragedy? Bookishly Ever After is already in bookshops.
Part two of our list of Most Anticipated Books of 2016 will be up soon, featuring short stories and books that defy categorisation!
Twipzdeeauxilia Game of Thrones accessed at https://flic.kr/p/oAQEoz on 22/12/2015
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