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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Most Anticipated Reads of 2010

I'm too indecisive to pick a "best of" anything list of 2009.  Instead, I'm offering a look into the titles I'm most looking forward to reading in the next year.  All of these are new releases; most of them are sequels.

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

If you're a fan of fantasy books and haven't read The Name of the Wind, you've probably heard of it.  You might also have heard how this book's release got pushed back due to a lot of really horrible things happening in Pat's personal life. Fear not!  Kvothe is back and if you're like me, this is in the top five most anticipated releases of 2010.  It's rare that I read epic fantasy.  The Name of the Wind had all the makings of one of those: dictionary sized, nature-y cover with a strange, mysterious, dream-ish male on the cover (I read the first edition), a long set-up and exposition, lots of world-building, magic.  I even put it down after the first 100 or so pages because frankly, I wasn't impressed. Thanks to a coworker, I picked it up again and I'm glad I did! Now I can't wait for the next in the Kingkiller Chronicles.
Release Date: May 5, 2010

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

I've been a staunch supporter of Sanderson since I first shelved a brand new copy of Elantris.  He wowed me with his innovative fantasy tropes (albeit, I'm hoping this one has nothing to do with gods) that completely blew away every preconceived bias I had against epic fantasy.  As predicted, he's become an even more fantastic author and quite a popular one.  Brandon is even finishing off Robert Jordon's series that challenges the Oxford English Dictionary in size and scope: The Wheel of Time.  I'm not a Robert Jordan fan, but The Way of Kings is the first in a new series by Sanderson that I won't let myself miss out on.
Release Date: August 17, 2010

Kraken by China Miéville

At one point I might have said this man can write no bad.  Then I read Looking For Jake and lost my rose colored glasses.  Don't worry, when it comes to break-through Science Fiction authors, Miéville is still one of my favorites.  His latest, like this year's The City & The City, leaves the familiar New Crozubon behind for a dark London, a mysterious theft, and the threat of an apocalypse.  Miéville's cities are always heaving monstrosities, as alive as his characters and at times steal the spotlight from their fleshy counterparts.  His writing is intricate, complex, and incredibly alluring.  I have no doubt this will be a promising read.
Release Date: June 29, 2010

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

I'm such a huge Philippa Gregory fangirl and have been since I read The Other Boleyn Girl.  I don't care if she's historically inaccurate--she writes historical fiction.  I'm in it for the context, not necessarily the details.  Her books are always fun to read.  They're filled with sex, scandal, romance, mystery, intrigue... the list goes on, really.  The Red Queen is the second in her Cousins War Trilogy.  Her first, The White Queen, followed Elizabeth Woodville, future York Queen, and the historically epic War of the Roses.  There's so many names and titles to keep track of (especially who's on which side and when) that I needed a map to navigate the genealogy of the Yorks and Lancasters.  Luckily, I hear the final print edition includes such a map.  Alas, I read an ARC and had to look on Wikipedia.  Here's to hoping book two comes with a map, too!
Release Date: August 3, 2010

The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell

Speaking of historical fiction, I first started Cornwell's Saxon Chronicles series while at UC Davis completing my BA.  A professor of mine encouraged me to take a graduate course on Borders and recommended The Last Kingdom since it was part of the course reading.  At first I was pretty wary.  My only experience with historical fiction had been Philippa Gregory and Cornwell is clearly no Philippa Gregory.  Luckily, I warmed right up to Uhtred and his crazy Viking ways.  This is the 5th in a series that, apparently, hasn't ended yet. I guess that goes to show how much I know about Britain's history?  The series follows the rise of King Alfred the Great through Uhtred's point of view who, heaven help him, can't stand Alfred.  It's a great series with lots of blood, violence, and lusty Danes.  And it's out early in the year!
Release Date: January 1, 2010

Dark Moon of Avalon by Anna Elliott

I really love Arthurian legends although I haven't read too much in that area.  As far as popular fiction goes, I couldn't wait for the first in Anna Elliot's debut trilogy, Twilight of Avalon, to be released.  It dealt with the elusive figures of Tristan and Isolde.  The next book, Dark Moon of Avalon, promises to grow from the painful past Isolde pushed away to deal with extenuating circumstances a normal person would crumble under.  And, rumor has it, there's a budding romance sure to please readers eager for the familiar aspects of this legend.  Plus, it looks like it has another John William Waterhouse cover!  I'm drooling already.
Release Date: May 11, 2010

The Hunger Games #3 by Suzanne Collins

This might be one of the more popular titles on my most anticipated 2010 list.  I may not particularly like Katniss that much, but my aversion to her as a character makes her more appealing to me than if she were nothing but good and self-sacrificing (i.e. boring).  I'm excited to read about District 13 and see how Collins handles her nuclear fall-out, if the nuclear explosion wasn't just cover story for something more sinister.  She created such a wider world in Catching Fire than what we'd seen in The Hunger Games; I'm eager to see how the trilogy wraps up.  Also: hoping Peeta catches a break.
Release Date: August 24, 2010

Star Wars Fate of the Jedi 4: Backlash by Aaron Allston

Oh boy.  Where do I begin with this series?  It started out slow and never picked up in the two books after the initial release.  In fact, the first two books were so similar, I wasn't sure if there wasn't some confusion as to which one should have been set-up and which was the next installment.  It seems the folks at LucasBooks heard the plea of fans 'round the globe and decided something had to be done about this.  Not only were the books short (200 pages short), they were hardcover releases.  I don't know about you, but unless it's a stand alone or super ultra mega edition, 200 pages is undeserving of the cost of a hardcover.  To alleviate our wallets and the cramped storyline, authors now have more wiggle room between deadlines.  Hopefully this reinvigorates a stale, semi-interesting plot.  After all, there are 5 more books in the series after this.  Things gotta start happening.  Seriously.  And, it's out the week after for my birthday so of course I'm looking forward to it!

Release Date: March 9, 2010

The Thirteen Curses by Michelle Harrison

This is actually a UK release since the first book in this series (trilogy?) won't be out in the US until 2010.  The Thirteen Treasures was a pretty amazing MG fantasy book with wicked fairies, dark promises, and terribly long, hidden passageways in an old musty home.  The Thirteen Curses follows Tanya and Fabian into the depths of the Fairy Court and the evils that lurk beneath.
Release Date: January 7, 2010

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

I'm not sure if this will even be released next year, but it's on the list anyway.  I loved Graceling and Fire.  Cashore writes my favorite female protagonists: strong, independent, capable, and always tangled up in realistic and complicated romantic relationships.  Bitterblue was such an interesting character in Graceling, I'm looking forward to a book featuring her in the future!
Release Date: ?

Tails of Wonder and Imagination edited by Ellen Datlow

This is a collection of short stories about our beloved feline friends.  It's mystical, it's magical, and it's about cats.  And it's edited by Ellen Datlow, one phenomenal lady.  While I haven't finished The Green Man or The Faery Reel, I did start them awhile ago and really loved what I read so far.  And there are usually pretty familiar and popular fantasy authors in her collections, so that's always nice to look forward to!  And, you know, the kitties.
Release Date: February 15, 2010

Fables vol. 13 by Bill Willingham

Goodness me, I love these comics.  I've never been one to pick up singles as they're released.  It's true across the board: I wait until TPBs are out and then stock up for comic binge reading.  The only exception to this was the Star Wars Union comics.  Those were the ones where Luke and Mara actually got married.  But, it's Luke and Mara.  How could I wait?  In any event, the Fables comics appeal to my love of fairy tales and darker, adult fantasy.
Release Date: February 9, 2010

This list is by no means comprehensive.  I could go on and on about the books I'm looking forward to coming out next year.  For instance, the next two Cherie Priest books in her Boneshaker universe, the next in Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series, Holly Black's latest, White Cat , Paul S. Kemp's Star Wars: Crosscurrent, the next Clone Wars book by Karen Miller, Gambit Stealth.  There's even Star Wars books that were axed that I'm still hoping I get a chance to read.  Trust me, there are a lot more.  It looks like it's going to be a fun year anyway.

What about you? What are you most looking forward to reading in 2010?


Erika said...


Erika said...

Testing 2...

Lily Child said...

I am dying to read the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy! :P

Lily Child said...

Yay!!!! Your comments work! :D

Erika said...

@Lily Child I know, I'm about as excited about the comments as you are, lol. I just have to figure out how to fix that buggy alignment!

Oh, there's so much anticipation for the third Hunger Games book. I'm just glad I didn't have to wait the year between the first two books because that would have been torture. ;)

Anonymous said...

I want that title/cover announcement from Collins!

Erika said...

@TJ I thought it was the publisher that announced the release date? That's enough for me! ;)

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