Last night I was incredibly lucky to have been invited to the Headline Books New Voices 2018 Roadshow in Manchester. Booksellers, bloggers and friends all gathered for a night of books, drinks and food. Firstly, a massive thank-you to Headline for the invite and for making me so welcome. Secondly, an equally massive thank-you to the five lovely authors who took time to chat to each of us about their books, their interests and randomly Preston train station. I had a fantastic evening and walked away with a bag of incredible novels, all of which are to be released throughout 2018. You don't want to sleep on these titles. Mark your calendars, get your pre-orders in, pester your friendly local bookseller.
In Our Mad and Furious City* by Guy Gunaratne
Coming on May 3rd In Our Mad and Furious City* follows the lives of Selvon, Ardan and Yusuf, three young men growing up under the towers of Stones Estate. They spend summers like anyone else, playing football and listening to music. That is until a soldier is killed and riots erupt across the city. Selvon and Ardan attempt to maintain some normalcy but Yusuf is caught up in another storm. Radicalism has started sweeping across his mosque and he's determined to protect his troubled older brother from it, no matter the cost.
Considering the current political climate across the world I couldn't think of a more apt time for a novel like this to be released. Islamophobia is sadly very prevalent in our society and it's novels like this that I hope will assist in the decrease of it. Immediately, I felt as though this would be a similar but aged up version of Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed. I cannot wait to read this.
Coming 14th June The Tall Man* is a psychological thriller spanning decades. Strange things happen and the only connection between them is a shadowy figure known only as The Tall Man. Three girls go looking for him in the woods, a young mother disappears leaving behind her daughter and husband and a teenage girl is charged with murder.
I'm not usually the biggest fan of thrillers or crime novels but when speaking to Phoebe (who also writes YA under her real name) she mentioned that initially she struggled to get the story right. It was only when adding in the somewhat supernatural element to the novel did everything click into place. Rivers of London, which is one of my favourite novels, fits this kind of structure too. It's a detective novel with magic. So, I have a very strong feeling that I'm going to love The Tall Man.
Coming April 3rd The Wolf sees the revival of an age old feud between two rival races. The Anakim are a very stoic people, their lives measured in centuries not years and their ancient ways are forged in Unthank silver. In contrast the Sutherners live in the moment, their vitality much more immediate and ephemeral than their Anakim neighbors. The tenuous peace is shattered when the Sutherners invade the North.
The minute I saw the cover of this I started squealing. It looks so much like the armor from Skyrim (one of my favourite games) and had to ask if that was the inspiration behind it...WHICH IT WAS (I think, the room was very loud). I know this is going to be an incredible high fantasy, I couldn't help reading the first few pages and it was a struggle to then put it down. Look out for a review coming soon! Also the author is so accomplished, at 26 he's already publishing a novel, is a Cambridge Graduate, now studying medicine and has lived in a tent in the High Arctic. I'm 21 and it's a miracle if I take all my pots and glasses down into the kitchen!
Coming March 8th The Perfect Girlfriend wants to make her boyfriend happy, she's even become an attendant for the Airline he's with. The fact that he broke up with her seven months ago doesn't matter, she will get him back.
So I'm getting Stephen King Misery vibes every so slightly with the amount of obsession involved in this. Again I'm not normally a huge fan of thrillers but I like the premise for this one. Sounds like the kind of book I can spend a Sunday curled up with whilst it throws it down (or Snows) outside. My mum also loves the sound of this, when I showed her what I'd received at the event this was the novel she was most interested in. So, I know where this is going to end up!
Last but by no means least coming on January 25th (though I have seen copies in stores already) The Feed controls everything, knows everything. Your memories, your knowledge, your dreams. But no-one knows what happens if The Feed goes down, what the people will become. Six years Kate and Tom have spent fighting to survive the collapse of the world, each day tougher than the last. When their daughter goes missing they start to question who can they trust, they question if they can trust each other.
So, as I'm writing this I squealed (I squeal a lot) because I've just looked on the blurb and seen that this has been likened to The Girl with all the Gifts by M R Carey, which is one of my favourite ever novels. I think I'm going to be picking this one up pretty soon, if the impending TBR allows. When talking to Nick he spoke about his inspiration for the novel, which was a dream where he was refreshing his dreams as though on a twitter feed. I'm thinking this is Black Mirror-esque with a little more post apocalyptic setting. Also, I have to say the man knows how to mash an avocado to perfection.