As we’re quickly arriving at the end of 2017, I can’t help but reflect on the year that’s been. It’s been terrible for a lot of us, but there have also been some great things in between. It’s easy to dwell on the negative and forget the small triumphs and achievements we’ve each made. I’m certainly guilty of doing this.
Losing ourselves in what we read reminds us of why we work toward something better. I love the feeling of finishing a book and feeling refreshed, finding new energy reserves to face a new day. (Let’s face it, sometimes getting out of bed in the morning is a heroic act.) The books on this list will provide the escape you might need, but they’ll also remind you of the good and great things in this world (and out of it). We all need that reassurance sometimes.
This Mortal Coil - Emily Suvada (Simon Pulse, November 7)
Honestly, it’s pretty easy to get me intrigued by a book, and the cover of this one is enough to hook me. It’s about a hacker named Catarina who doesn’t work with computers; she can hack genes. In the world Catarina lives in, tech allows people to recode their DNA. When she receives news that her father, who was working on a cure for a plague that’s devastating humanity, was killed, she must use all her gene-hacking skills to figure out what the cure might be and what really happened to her father. It sounds like there’s a lot going on in this book, but I’m certainly interested.
Supergirl: Age of Atlantis - Jo Whittemore (Amulet Books, November 7)
If you’re a fan of the Supergirl series on The CW, then you shouldn’t miss this novelization. This adventure is based on the CW series (rather than other superhero novelizations, which often stand on their own) — think of it as just another episode of the series. It’s a middle-grade adventure, so in book-speak, that means it’s appropriate for middle-schoolers. Whether you have a young person in your life who enjoys the show or you want your own escape, this novel is worth picking up.
Jade City - Fonda Lee (Orbit Books, November 7)
This adult fantasy novel is set on an island that values jade above all else. It’s an incredibly valuable substance; warriors even use it to enhance their own magical abilities. But when a drug appears on the market that allows anyone, not just a select few, to wield jade, everything changes on the island of Kekon. It’s the first in a trilogy, and I’m incredibly intrigued by both the description, as well as the setting.
Eight Days on Planet Earth - Cat Jordan (HarperTeen, November 7)
When Matty meets a gorgeous girl, Priya, in the field next to his farm, he’s immediately intrigued. What makes it strange, though, is that it’s the exact same spot that a spaceship was supposed to have landed 50 years ago, according to local legend. But Priya insists that she’s there waiting for a spaceship to come pick her up and take her back home. It’s bizarre — but could it be true? It’s a story of believing in things you can’t see, of taking a leap of faith, and I’m definitely eager to give it a try.
The City of Brass - S.A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager, November 14)
It’s hard to describe just how gorgeous and intricate this fantasy novel is. The first in a trilogy, The City of Brass is a novel that is set in Cairo in the 18th century. But there’s a different world in parallel with this the one we know, one of jinns and spirits, and Nahri finds herself caught between the two as she discovers her true identity. I don’t want to say more than that, because it’s best to go into this lush novel without too much information, but trust me. This is a GOOD one.
Ice - Anna Kavan (Penguin Books, November 14)
Ice is actually a classic sci-fi book that’s being re-released this month, though current audiences might not be too familiar with it. It was originally published in 1967, and is set in a post-apocalyptic Earth where a man roams the frozen countryside looking for a girl. That’s all I know about it, but it seems like a great read for a chilly night by the fire.
Artemis - Andy Weir (Crown, November 14)
Andy Weir’s second novel, after the acclaimed The Martian, has pretty high expectations — but is it any good? My answer: Yes. It’s very different than The Martian, so inevitably there will be some disappointment in that respect (especially because there’s less of a science/engineering focus). But I really enjoyed this novel, set on a lunar colony and featuring a young woman named Jazz Bashara, for what it was. It’s been a few months since I’ve read it, so the details are a bit fuzzy at this point, but if you’re interested in it, I’d say it’s worth the read.
Oathbringer - Brandon Sanderson (Tor, November 14)
The third book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight series is incredibly highly anticipated, though (confession) I haven’t read any of these books. They are Game of Thrones-sized tomes, which is part of the reason I haven’t waded into this universe yet, but it’s coming soon. I’ve heard so many great things about these books, which start with The Way of Kings and are an incredibly intricate epic fantasy.
Djinn City - Saad Hossain (Unnamed Press, November 14)
Saad Hossain draws from Arabian mythology in this fantasy novel. When 10-year-old Indelbad’s father falls into a coma, he makes a startling discovery: djinns, or spirits, are in fact real, and they’re hunting Indelbad because his father used to be an emissary to the djinn world. I’m definitely intrigued by this fantasy world, not the least because it’s set in South Asia (Indelbad lives in Bangladesh). I’m definitely curious to learn more.