Okay, so: Long and Short Reviews has a new set of prompts for their Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge for 2020. I had a lot of fun doing the challenges from 2019, so I'll be participating again this year. (If you'd like to join me, the prompts are here and you can check in on their home page every Wednesday to find a post with links to people's responses. (If you do participate, add your own links so the rest of us can come and read them!)
This week's challenge is Books I Can't Wait To Read In 2020...
Which is a great way to start the year, in my opinion.
So here we go -- my Top Five:
1. Network Effect: A Murderbot Novel by Martha Wells. Because ye gods, I love Murderbot SO MUCH.
You know that feeling when you’re at work, and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favorite shows? And you're a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congratulations, you're Murderbot.
Come for the pew-pew space battles, stay for the most relatable A.I. you’ll read this century.
I’m usually alone in my head, and that’s where 90 plus percent of my problems are.
When Murderbot's human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.
Drastic action it is, then.
2. A Pale Light in the Black: A NeoG Novel by K.B. Wagers. Sort of like the Coast Guard, but in space - and there'll be mystery, intrigue, and plenty of action.
For the past year, their close loss in the annual Boarding Games has haunted Interceptor Team: Zuma’s Ghost. With this year’s competition looming, they’re looking forward to some payback—until an unexpected personnel change leaves them reeling. Their best swordsman has been transferred, and a new lieutenant has been assigned in his place.
Maxine Carmichael is trying to carve a place in the world on her own—away from the pressure and influence of her powerful family. The last thing she wants is to cause trouble at her command on Jupiter Station. With her new team in turmoil, Max must overcome her self-doubt and win their trust if she’s going to succeed. Failing is not an option—and would only prove her parents right.
But Max and the team must learn to work together quickly. A routine mission to retrieve a missing ship has suddenly turned dangerous, and now their lives are on the line. Someone is targeting members of Zuma’s Ghost, a mysterious opponent willing to kill to safeguard a secret that could shake society to its core . . . a secret that could lead to their deaths and kill thousands more unless Max and her new team stop them.
Rescue those in danger, find the bad guys, win the Games. It’s all in a day’s work at the NeoG.
3. We Free The Stars by Hafsah Faizal. Sequel to We Hunt The Flame, so this will be a fantasy adventure in a very Arabian Nights sort of setting.
After the battle on Sharr ... Zafira and Nasir return to a ghostly Sultan’s Keep, low on resources and allies alike. The dark forest has fallen, but the kingdom teems with fear of the Lion of the Night’s return. As Nasir fights to command the dark power in his blood, Zafira fights against a very different darkness festering through her bond with the Jawarat.
4. Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. Sequel to Gideon the Ninth, which means more mysteries, more mystical powers, and even more lesbian necromancers in space.
She answered the Emperor's call.
She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend.
In victory, her world has turned to ash.
After rocking the cosmos with her deathly debut, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth, a mind-twisting puzzle box of mystery, murder, magic, and mayhem. Nothing is as it seems in the halls of the Emperor, and the fate of the galaxy rests on one woman's shoulders.
Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath — but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.
Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor's Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off?
5. Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan. The sequel to Wicked Saints, this will be a fantasy adventure with a strong flavor of Russian folktale: strange powers, mysterious gods, and a trio of teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands.
Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who--and what--he’s become.
As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. Their paths are being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.