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Top Ten Upcoming 2017 Book Releases!

I may have mentioned at some point that I write bi-weekly reviews for a local newspaper [suindependent.com]. Recently they requested an upcoming releases feature and I was more than happy to oblige. Some of the text may look familiar from other posts I’ve done, but don’t let that distract from your excitement of these awesome new books!

Top Ten Upcoming 2017 Book Releases!


Book Info: Apex by Mercedes Lackey [Hunter #3]

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Mercedes Lackey strikes again!! Hunter and Elite are easily my favorite YA releases from the last couple of years. They have interesting characters, great action, awesome fantasy elements (with a slight dystopian twist), and a storyline revolving in no small part around competition. I totally devoured them, and have been waiting impatiently all year for the next book.


Book Info: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson [Stormlight Archive #3]

Release Date: November 14, 2017

I imagine Oathbringer is number one on most people’s list of most anticipated releases of 2017. The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance are two of the best books I’ve ever read and I consider them must-reads for the genre. Having read everything Sanderson has on the market, I’m justifiably confident that this third Stormlight Archive book is going to be amazing! I CAN’T WAIT!!!


Book Info: Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson [Goldseer #3]

Release Date: October 10, 2017

Carson’s Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy is my all time favorite teen fantasy series, and I have to say, even though the Walk on Earth a Stranger and Like a River Glorious leaned more towards historical fiction than fantasy, I enjoyed them immensely. This author writes amazing characters, compelling plot lines, and completely immerses her readers into her stories. I have no doubt Into the Bright Unknown will be a stellar conclusion to this great series.


[May 16, 2017] Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb

Book Info: Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb [Fitz and the Fool #3]

Release Date: May 9, 2017

I’m very passionate about Hobb’s epic Fitz and the Fool saga. There have been so many profound moments throughout it, and it only seems to get more poignant with each book. I’m especially excited for Assassin’s Fate because it’s likely going to incorporate characters from The Rain Wilds series (which focused heavily on dragons <3), so I couldn’t be more excited. This is the sort of armchair adventure series that’s guaranteed to be a good read every time. I can’t wait!


Book Info: Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead [Glittering Court #2]

Release Date: June 27, 2017

Richelle Mead has long been one of my top authors. The Glittering Court was the perfect cure for my Selection (the series by Kiera Cass) hangover. It had smart writing, girls in pretty dresses, and a fun dynamic between all the characters. Even though the story took an odd turn (for my tastes, anyway), I’m still eager to see where things go in the Midnight Jewel.


Book Info: Iron Gold by Pierce Brown [Iron Gold #1]

Release Date: October 31, 2017

If you haven’t yet read Red Rising [check out my Trilogy Review], chances are good that you’ve at least heard of it. And let me assure you, it’s worth every bit of the hype it receives. Iron Gold is a next-generation continuation of the story, and you’d better believe I’m excited to read it. Brown created such a cool framework for his society, and I am most eager to see how it has evolved after Morning Star’s events. October can’t come too soon!


August 15, 2017

Book Info: Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

Release Date: August 15, 2017

I raved about this series in my reviews of Fifth Season & Obelisk Gate, and can’t imagine Stone Sky being any less brilliant. It’s such a unique story. Maybe a little hokey on occasion, but I guarantee you’ve never read anything quite like it. I’m mostly looking forward to having all of my questions answered… there are so many layers of mystery in this series that will hopefully come together with a bang.


Book Info: Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey [The Expanse #7]

Release Date: December 5, 2017

Reason for Recommending: The Expanse series is easily my favorite space opera science fiction on the market. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every book so far and hope Persepolis Rising regains some of that awesome momentum that Babylon’s Ashes was missing. The series has a lot of action, great characters, and tons of memorable moments. If you haven’t picked it up yet, what are you waiting for? It’s awesome!


Book Info: Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan [Draconis Memoria #2]

Release Date: June 27, 2017

Reason for Recommending:  The Waking Fire is one of the best books I’ve ever read – it felt like it was written just for me! Dragons, adventure, steampunk, and so much more – it was awesome! Sandrunners: A Draconis Memoria short story was pretty good, but it didn’t do much to hold me over. I’m so excited for Legion of Flame, I can hardly stand it. Is it June yet?


Book Info: Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh [Ivory and Bone #2]

Release Date: June 13, 2017

If you caught my recent review of Ivory and Bone, you’ll remember me saying I really enjoyed the book, but had a few issues with the logistics feeling a bit forced. Eshbaugh was modeling the story after Pride and Prejudice, trying to follow the same basic storyline. I am really hopeful that this sequel will feel a little more organic and free-flowing. I’m anticipating liking it even more. Ivory and Bone had such a cool prehistoric setting that I find myself already eager for more!


With so many great upcoming releases to look forward to, I feel I still have the best of 2017 to look forward to. I’ve added all of these amazing books (plus a few honorable mentions) to a shelf on my Goodreads page if you’d like to go read more about them. Please note that release dates are subject to change at any moment (and do), so don’t take my word as final. Happy reading! :-)

by Niki Hawkes

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Coming Soon: Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh

Title: Obsidian and Stars

Author: Julie Eshbaugh

Series: Ivory and Bone #2

Genre: Teen Fiction

Release Date: June 13, 2017

The Overview: After surviving the chaotic battle that erupted after Lo and the Bosha clan attacked, now Mya is looking ahead to her future with Kol. All the things that once felt so uncertain are finally falling into place. But the same night as Kol and Mya’s betrothal announcement, Mya’s brother Chev reveals his plan to marry his youngest sister Lees to his friend Morsk. The only way to avoid this terrible turn of events, Morsk informs Mya when he corners her later, is for Mya to take Lees’ place and marry him herself. Refusing to marry anyone other than her beloved, and in an effort to protect her sister, Mya runs away to a secret island with Lees. And though it seems like the safest place to hide until things back home blow over, Mya soon realizes she’s been followed. Lurking deep in the recesses of this dangerous place are rivals from Mya’s past whose thirst for revenge exceeds all reason. With the lives of her loved ones on the line, Mya must make a move before the enemies of her past become the undoing of her future. -Goodreads

Nik’s Notes:

If you caught my recent review of Ivory and Bone, you’ll remember me saying I really enjoyed the book, but had a few issues with the logistics feeling a bit forced. Eshbaugh was modeling the story after Pride and Prejudice, trying to follow the same basic storyline. I am really hopeful that this sequel will feel a little more organic and free-flowing. I’m anticipating liking it even more. Ivory and Bone had such a cool prehistoric setting that I find myself already eager for more!

What books are you excited for?

by Niki Hawkes

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Coming Soon: Lifeblood by Gena Showalter

lifebloodTitle: Lifeblood

Author: Gina Showalter

Series: Everlife #2

Genre: Teen Fantasy

Release Date: February 28, 2017

The Overview: With her last living breath, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences. Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right? But Ten’s competition is Killian, the boy she can’t forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she’s never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory. -Goodreads

Nik’s Notes:

Have you ever wanted to read a series solely because of the gorgeous covers??? Something about the upcoming release of Lifeblood has me itching to finally give this series a try. Admittedly, I’m not totally enamored by the covers alone. I’ve read a few paranormal romances by Gena Showalter and thought they were a lot of fun. If Firstlife is even half as good, then we’re in good shape. :-)

What books are you waiting for?

by Niki Hawkes

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Coming Soon: the Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead

April 25, 2016

Title: Midnight Jewel

Author: Richelle Mead

Series: The Glittering Court #2

Genre: Teen Fiction

Release Date: April 25, 2017

The Overview: A refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best. In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining the Glittering Court. Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to… -Goodreads

Nik’s Notes:

Richelle Mead has long been one of my top authors. The Glittering Court was the perfect cure for my Selection (the series by Kiera Cass) hangover. It had smart writing, girls in pretty dresses, and a fun dynamic between all the characters. Even though the story took an odd turn (for my tastes, anyway), I’m still eager to see where things go in the Midnight Jewel. The release date is so far away that I hope I remember all the things ha ha.

What books are you waiting for?

by Niki Hawkes

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Book Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Title: The Glittering Court

Author: Richelle Mead

Series: The Glittering Court #1

Genre: Teen Fiction

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Overview: Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court. Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

The Review:

Richelle Mead has been one of my top authors for several years now, and I’m pretty sure I’ve read all of the 25+ books she has on the market to date. Most people know her for her YA “Vampire Academy” series, which is ironically my least favorite of her works even though I still enjoyed it (until it hit book #4, then it was pure magic). No, I very much prefer her urban fantasy “Georgia Kincaid” series or even “Bloodlines” – a spinoff to the “Vampire Academy.” Specific series aside, I can claim with confidence that Richelle Mead has never let me down, her books always ranging from “really good” to “omg, this is one of the best things I’ve ever read in my entire life.”

“The Glittering Court” (so far, at least) drifts closer to the “really good” category.

It’s much different than anything she’s done to date, but still had excellent, well-developed characters, great pacing, and an entertaining storyline. The basic premise involves an establishment that teaches eager young women to become proper noblewoman for the purpose of being sold as brides newly settled land across the sea. The main character, a young countess of a failing household, sees the Glittering Court as an opportunity to escape the obligations that bound her life and start anew. And then the fun begins!

The whole book was a delightful read, especially the portions that took place in the Glittering Court, which reminded me fondly of “The Selection” series by Kiera Cass – one of my all-time favorites. The remaining portion had a very alternate-history feel that seemed almost interchangeable with England’s colonization of “The New World.” It’s rustic frontier atmosphere was a stark contrast to the earlier glitz and glam. Oddly enough, all of these elements worked really well together and I liked the wide variety it had to offer.

Overall, it was highly entertaining from start to finish. I’m not sure I’m totally excited about where the story is headed next (The Glittering Court itself being my favorite element from this book), but I trust Richelle Mead enough to be confident that it’s going to be fabulous, whatever direction it takes. Mead has this brilliant way of building incredible momentum throughout her series, escalating everything to a point where you’re simply breathless, exhausted, and elated by the end. I can’t wait to see if she does the same with “The Glittering Court” series.

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes

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ARC Book Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead

Soundless by Richelle Mead

Title: Soundless

Author: Richelle Mead

Series: Stand-Alone

Genre: Teen Fiction

Release Date: November 10, 2015

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Overview: For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation. But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

The Review:

Since I’d been stalking the author, the publisher, and all my blogging friends for the chance to snag an early copy of Soundless since the cover was first revealed in March, you can imagine how off-the-wall excited I was to be selected by Penguin’s First to Read program to receive a digital copy (thank you First to Read – you made my year!).

And, at the end of the day, all that clamoring was worth it – Soundless was a great read!

The setting, cultural immersion, and unique conflict (nobody in this mining town can hear, and now they’re all starting to lose their vision, too) were easily my favorite elements to the story. I can honestly say I’ve never read anything quite like it, so major kudos to Mead for originality.

But all the great atmosphere in the world wouldn’t be worth as much if there weren’t also compelling characters to go along with it. I really enjoyed seeing the world through Fei’s eyes (and hearing it, for that matter – it was fascinating to be immersed in someone experiencing sound for the first time). I also loved her interactions with the other characters – specifically with her sister and the love interest. Fei always seemed a strong, capable girl, and that’s definitely what I like to see in my YA heroines. Could she have possibly used her sharp wit a little more often? Probably, but I think that over-criticism stems from how enamored I still am with the brilliance that is Sydney Sage (Bloodlines), so I guess maybe I should cut Fei some slack. :-)

I’ve read everything Richelle Mead has published, and one of the main reasons she’s one of my top authors is the experience she creates by building this amazing momentum across each respective series. The stories always climb steadily for a long while before finally hurtling towards the end like one giant snowball. It’s truly fantastic! And while I feel Soundless had a decent bit of that momentum, at the end of the day, there’s just no way for a stand-alone novel to compete with a six book series – there’s just simply not enough time! I believe this is the only reason I wasn’t quite as emotionally invested as I have been with her works in the past, but Soundless was still a great story – one I’m sure I’ll find myself recommending often.

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes