Top Ten Late 2019 Releases in the “Maybe” Pile

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, a weekly meme that now resides at That Artsy Reader Girl. The meme first came about because of a love of lists. Who doesn’t love lists? The original creators also wanted their lists to be shared with fellow book lovers and to ask that we in turn share ours with them and connect with other book bloggers. To learn more about participating, stop by their page dedicated to it and dive in!

This week’s topic: Top Ten Upcoming Releases I’m On the Fence About (Late 2019)

It was serendipitous that today’s official Top Ten Tuesday topic is about books that are outside my comfort zone, because as it happens, I was also due to make my list of books that I’m on the fence about for late 2019, hence I’m adapting this theme a little to suit my purposes this week. I made similar lists for early 2019 and mid-2019, featuring some titles that didn’t quite make it onto my “Must-Read” pile but that I was curious about nonetheless. A lot of these books sound really good, but for one reason or another, I’m just not sure if they’ll be for me, but if experience has taught me anything, sometimes daring to try something new or different can pay dividends. So without further ado, these are ten books I’ve been hemming and hawing over for a while now, but if you think there are any that I should change from a “maybe” to a “must”, please let me know!

The Throne of the Five Winds by S.C. Emmett

Two queens, two concubines, six princes. Innumerable hidden agendas. Yala, lady-in-waiting to the princess of a vanquished kingdom, must navigate their captors’ treacherous imperial court.

The Emperor’s palace — full of ambitious royals, sly gossip, and unforeseen perils — is perhaps the most dangerous place in Zhaon. A hostage for her conquered people’s good behavior, the lady Komor Yala has only her wits and her hidden maiden’s blade to protect herself — and her childhood friend Princess Mahara, sacrificed in marriage to the enemy to secure a tenuous peace.

But the Emperor is aging, and the Khir princess and her lady-in-waiting soon find themselves pawns in the six princes’ deadly schemes for the throne — and a single spark could ignite fresh rebellion in Khir.

And then, the Emperor falls ill, and a far bloodier game begins…

Sabbath by Nick Mamatas

Highlander meets Seven in Nick Mamatas’s Sabbath.

The infamous eleventh-century warrior Hexen Sabbath is plucked from death and certain damnation by a being claiming to be an angel of the Lord, and finds himself dropped into contemporary Manhattan with no clothes, no weapons, no resources, and one mission–to track down and kill the living personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins before they bring about Armageddon.

With time running out and his only ally a destitute art gallery owner, Sabbath must fight his way through New York’s elite and challenge the world’s most powerful man, or an eternity of suffering will be his, and our, only reward.

Salvaged by Madeleine Roux

In this dark science fiction thriller, a young woman must confront her past so the human race will have a future.

Rosalyn Devar is on the run from her famous family, the bioengineering job she’s come to hate, and her messed-up life. She’s run all the way to outer space, where she’s taken a position as a “space janitor,” cleaning up ill-fated research expeditions. But no matter how far she goes, Rosalyn can’t escape herself. After too many mistakes on the job, she’s given one last chance: take care of salvaging the Brigantine, a research vessel that has gone dark, with all crew aboard thought dead.

But the Brigantine’s crew are very much alive–if not entirely human. Now Rosalyn is trapped on board, alone with a crew infected by a mysterious parasitic alien. The captain, Edison Aries, seems to still maintain some control over himself and the crew, but he won’t be able to keep fighting much longer. Rosalyn and Edison must find a way to stop the parasite’s onslaught…or it may take over the entire human race.

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason

First in a duology that reimagines fairy tale tropes within a space opera—The Princess Bride meets Princess Leia. 
 
Rory Thorne is a princess with thirteen fairy blessings, the most important of which is to see through flattery and platitudes. As the eldest daughter, she always imagined she’d inherit her father’s throne and govern the interplanetary Thorne Consortium. 
 
Then her father is assassinated, her mother gives birth to a son, and Rory is betrothed to the prince of a distant world.
 
When Rory arrives in her new home, she uncovers a treacherous plot to unseat her newly betrothed and usurp his throne. An unscrupulous minister has conspired to name himself Regent to the minor (and somewhat foolish) prince. With only her wits and a small team of allies, Rory must outmaneuver the Regent and rescue the prince.
 
How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a feminist reimagining of familiar fairytale tropes and a story of resistance and self-determination—how small acts of rebellion can lead a princess to not just save herself, but change the course of history.

An Orc on the Wild Side by Tom Holt

Winter is coming, so why not get away from it all?

Being the Dark Lord and Prince of Evil is not as much fun as it sounds, particularly if you are a basically decent person. King Mordak is just such a person. Technically he’s more goblin than person, but the point is that he is really keen to be a lot less despicable than his predecessors.

Not that the other goblins appreciate Mordak’s attempts to redefine the role. Why should they when his new healthcare program seems designed to actually extend life expectancy, and his efforts to end a perfectly reasonable war with the dwarves appear to have become an obsession?

With confidence in his leadership crumbling, what Mordak desperately needs is a distraction. Perhaps some of these humans moving to the Realm in search of great homes at an affordable price will be able to help?

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

The Andromeda Evolution by Daniel H. Wilson and Michael Crichton

The Evolution is Coming.

In 1967, an extraterrestrial microbe came crashing down to Earth and nearly ended the human race. Accidental exposure to the particle—designated The Andromeda Strain—killed every resident of the town of Piedmont, Arizona, save for an elderly man and an infant boy. Over the next five days, a team of top scientists assigned to Project Wildfire worked valiantly to save the world from an epidemic of unimaginable proportions. In the moments before a catastrophic nuclear detonation, they succeeded.

In the ensuing decades, research on the microparticle continued. And the world thought it was safe…

Deep inside Fairchild Air Force Base, Project Eternal Vigilance has continued to watch and wait for the Andromeda Strain to reappear. On the verge of being shut down, the project has registered no activity—until now. A Brazilian terrain-mapping drone has detected a bizarre anomaly of otherworldly matter in the middle of the jungle, and, worse yet, the tell-tale chemical signature of the deadly microparticle.

With this shocking discovery, the next-generation Project Wildfire is activated, and a diverse team of experts hailing from all over the world is dispatched to investigate the potentially apocalyptic threat.

But the microbe is growing—evolving. And if the Wildfire team can’t reach the quarantine zone, enter the anomaly, and figure out how to stop it, this new Andromeda Evolution will annihilate all life as we know it.

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag

A little more than a century from now, our world has been utterly transformed. After years of slowly overtaking the continent, rising floodwaters have obliterated America’s great coastal cities and then its heartland, leaving nothing but an archipelago of mountaintop colonies surrounded by a deep expanse of open water.

Stubbornly independent Myra and her precocious seven-year-old daughter, Pearl, fish from their small boat, the Bird, visiting dry land only to trade for supplies and information in the few remaining outposts of civilization. For seven years, Myra has grieved the loss of her oldest daughter, Row, who was stolen by her father after a monstrous deluge overtook their home in Nebraska. Then, in a violent confrontation with a stranger, Myra suddenly discovers that Row was last seen in a far-off encampment near the Artic Circle. Throwing aside her usual caution, Myra and Pearl embark on a perilous voyage into the icy northern seas, hoping against hope that Row will still be there.

On their journey, Myra and Pearl join forces with a larger ship and Myra finds herself bonding with her fellow seekers who hope to build a safe haven together in this dangerous new world. But secrets, lust, and betrayals threaten their dream, and after their fortunes take a shocking—and bloody—turn, Myra can no longer ignore the question of whether saving Row is worth endangering Pearl and her fellow travelers.

A compulsively readable novel of dark despair and soaring hope, After the Flood is a magnificent, action packed, and sometimes frightening odyssey laced with wonder—an affecting and wholly original saga both redemptive and astonishing.

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

A hilarious, offbeat debut space opera that skewers everything from pop culture to video games and features an irresistible foul-mouthed captain and her motley crew, strange life forms, exciting twists, and a galaxy full of fun and adventure.

Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy syndicate that holds people hostage in cryostasis, Eva must undergo a series of unpleasant, dangerous missions to pay the ransom.

But Eva may lose her mind before she can raise the money. The ship’s hold is full of psychic cats, an amorous fish-faced emperor wants her dead after she rejects his advances, and her sweet engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. The worse things get, the more she lies, raising suspicions and testing her loyalty to her found family.

To free her sister, Eva will risk everything: her crew, her ship, and the life she’s built on the ashes of her past misdeeds. But when the dominoes start to fall and she finds the real threat is greater than she imagined, she must decide whether to play it cool or burn it all down.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth. 

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians–it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction. 

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

 

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35 Comments on “Top Ten Late 2019 Releases in the “Maybe” Pile

  1. I’ve been on the fence about Salvaged too. I like the sound of The Andromeda Evolution.

    After the Flood sounds amazing! I’m definitely getting that one. 🙂

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  2. I’ve actually only heard about the starless sea..! I do like the cover of Chilling effect haha!

    (www.evelynreads.com)

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  3. The Starless Sea is definitely on my TBR even though I’m yet to read the Night Circus. It sounds quite intriguing to me though. I hadn’t heard of it before but im quite curious about the first book on this list now too.

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  4. The Throne of the Five Winds is next on my reading list (after the very amusing Apocalypse How?), so I’ll let you know. It’s actually Lili Saintcrow writing as S.C. Emmett, which is what pushed this from maybe to give-it-a-chance for me.

    I love Andromeda Strain, but am always hesitant when another author steps in to write a sequel. The Andromeda Evolution might be one I wait to read in mass-market paperback.

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    • Oh my goodness, I did not know S.C. Emmett is actually Lilith Saintcrow! Hmm, now I’m torn, lol! I didn’t love the last book I read by her, but that was UF and it was a weird one. And I’m kinda curious how she’ll tackle epic fantasy 😀

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  5. What a great way to combine a post. You know, I saw the Orc one on Booktube and thought I might give it a go – talk about out of my comfort zone. I do plan on reading Chilling Effect and Rory Thorne sounds up my alley too. I grabbed The Vine Witch as my Prime free book just yesterday so I guess I”ll be giving it a go eventually too. Hope these work out for you!

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  6. The sequel for The Andromeda Strain is a welcome surprise – although I might need to refresh my memory on the original story… And I love the concept for Sabbath, while Throne of the Five Winds looks like the kind of story I enjoy losing myself in 🙂

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  7. I’ve got ARCs for THRONE OF THE FIVE WINDS and SALVAGED. Throne was one I wrote and begged Orbit for because it sounded like it was checking all of my favorite boxes. SALVAGED I picked up at Comic Con, I’m not usually a big horror fan, but the premise sounded intriguing enough I decided I wanted to check it out. Hope some of these end up working for you!

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  8. Awesome list! I too was on the fence, and still am, for An Orc on the Wild Side. And I am also super skeptical about Erin Morgenstern’s next book, unfortunately. Hopefully, I’ll be seeing a bunch of glowing reviews around to get me to try it out myself hahah

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  9. Ooo some interesting picks. The S.C. Emmett one is something my dad my quite enjoy, don’t think I’ve ever come across the author before either. Will check that one out as it’s his birthday at the end of the month so thank you!!
    Caz xx

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    • Someone in the comments above said that S.C. Emmett is actually Lilith Saintcrow writing under a pen name, which is interesting! I’ve read her UF, which I wasn’t so crazy about, but I’m always curious to check out authors trying their hand at epic fantasy!

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  10. I’ve got a couple of these in my maybe pile too, although probably more likely next year at this rate. I’ll admit, I’m really intrigued by the Rory Thorne book, I’ve heard some pretty interesting things.

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