I know, I know, talking about next year already seems a little premature. However, this is my second-to-last column of the calendar year before we descend into finals madness, and I’m saving the last one to talk about books of the decade, so here we are. I’ve got some books on my to-be-read list that I’m planning on actually tackling in 2020 and a bevy of new releases from some of my favorite authors that I’m looking forward to getting my hands on.
Sequel to “King of Scars” by Leigh Bardugo (TBA)
My most anticipated read going in 2019 was Bardugo’s spin-off novel about Nikolai from her debut fantasy “Grisha Trilogy,” who also makes an appearance in my all-time favorite series, “Six of Crows.” “King of Scars” released in January, and with Bardugo’s consistently beautiful prose, exciting plot development and vivid characterization, it did not disappoint. I’m a little concerned that the title nor the release date have been announced, so I’m guessing it won’t be out until the summer or fall. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the action and reveal at the end of the first book will no doubt make for an exciting finale.
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins (May 19, 2020)
The announcement of this revisit to the world of “The Hunger Games” brought some mixed emotions. If you’ve read my column before, you know that “The Hunger Games” is one of my favorite books and has a special place in my heart, and hearing that Collins would be writing another book in the universe was a pleasant surprise. However, my expectations may be too high, so I’m a little wary about reading it. I’m also disappointed that as a prequel, Collins decided to focus on the Tenth Hunger Games as opposed to the Hunger Games of any of the characters in the original trilogy, like Haymitch. But nonetheless, I’m looking forward to Collins’ newest release since “Mockingjay.”
“Lady Midnight” and “Chain of Gold” by Cassandra Clare (March 3, 2020)
I’ve kind of dropped the ball on keeping up with Clare’s endless releases in the Shadowhunters universe. Clearly, I’m not the biggest fan, however, the good reception surrounding “The Dark Artifices” convinced me that I should read the latest series. “Lady Midnight,” a solid find at The Book Barn, sits unopened on my shelf at home, so I’m determined to actually read it next year.
“The Mortal Instruments” didn’t really blow me away, which is probably why I haven’t kept up with Clare’s books. However, the prequel series “The Infernal Devices” definitely proved to be one of my favorite reads in middle school, so the return to Tessa’s story in “Chain of Gold” earns a spot on my shelf.
“The Kingdom of Back” (March 3, 2020) and “Skyhunter” (Fall 2020) by Marie Lu
Lu definitely has a well-deserved fanbase, but I still feel like the way she has been able to consistently churn out high quality novels is underrated. With the exciting release of “Rebel” earlier this year, when she announced that she was releasing not one but two novels in 2020, I was thrilled but also not surprised. The first release, a historical fantasy about Mozart’s forgotten prodigy sister, Nannerl, is a sharp contrast to the sci-fi/fantasy series coming out later in the year, but displays Lu’s versatility.
“The Midnight Lie” by Marie Rutkoski (March 3, 2020)
I don’t know what’s up with all of these books coming out on March 3, but I guess I have to prepare my credit card for all of these pre-orders. Rutkoski also is carrying on the 2020 trend of returning to the universe of her prior books, as this LGBTQ+ romantic fantasy takes place in the world of one of my favorite series, “The Winner’s Curse,” even if in a different setting. I have no doubt this novel will have Rutkoski’s masterful prose and complex character relationships, and I really hope that it doesn’t let me down.
Honorable mentions: “A Heart So Fierce and Broken” by Brigid Kemmerer (January 7, 2020), “Serpent & Dove” by Shelby Martin, “Ember Queen” by Laura Sebastian (February 4, 2020), “The Trials of Apollo” by Rick Riordan, “The Priory of the Orange Tree” by Samantha Shannon, “The Ten Thousand Doors of January” by Alix E. Harrow, “The Winternight Trilogy” by Katherine Arden, “The Nevernight Chronicle” by Jay Kristoff, “Spinning Silver” by Naomi Novik
Hollie Lao is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.