What’s on your reading list for fall? I’m eagerly anticipating a couple of sequels (one more than a decade in the works) plus a couple of new books from favorite authors.
Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
Release Date: September 19
Synopsis: Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.
Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.
Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price. (Goodreads)
Why I’m anticipating it: Cashore is a talented writer, and she writes feminist, sex-positive, imaginative fantasy for teens. She’s not super prolific: her most recent book, Bitterblue, was published in 2012. A new release from her is noteworthy. Early reviews call this book ambitious, genre-bending, and challenging, all things I can appreciate.
The Book of Dust Volume 1: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
Release Date: October 19
Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them, a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua… (Goodreads)
Why I’m anticipating it: In my very first post for Stacked, I wrote about how His Dark Materials was and is the most important series of books I’ve ever read. Pullman has been working on this companion book (now a companion series) for well over a decade, and I’ve been anticipating it just as long. The fact that it’s actually completely written now, with a synopsis and a publication date and a cover, is almost beyond belief.
The Empress by S. J. Kincaid
Release Date: October 31
Synopsis: It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.
But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.
Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it? (Goodreads)
Why I’m anticipating it: The Diabolic was my favorite book of 2016. It was intended as a standalone and it works well as one, but I am eager to see where Nemesis’ story takes her next. Kincaid has a winning combination of setting, plot, and character in this series – it’s rare that I read science fiction with such imaginative world-building executed so well.
Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Release Date: November 7
Synopsis: The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.
Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both. (Goodreads)
Why I’m anticipating it: The Lunar Chronicles is one of the best YA science fiction series written in the past decade. While I enjoyed Meyer’s follow-up, Heartless, it wasn’t nearly as good. Renegades is her return to science fiction, which I think suits her better. I’m curious to see how Meyer fares with a story not based upon a fairy tale or other classic tale, and of course, I always love a good superhero book.