January Most Anticipated New Releases

Woot, it’s two-posts-in-a-day kind of day.

Today I’m bringing you my most anticipated book releases for the month of January 2016. There are SO MUCH HYPE surrounding these books. I’m really excited to read them. Dear hype, please don’t fail me. Please note that some of these books are sequel or part of a series as indicated in the “stand-alone or series” box. I also put the links to the goodreads page in case you want to read the synopsis.

Release Date: January 5th 2016

Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard | GOODREADS PAGE


Stand-alone or series: The first book in The Witchlands series.

Genre: high fantasy

Truthwitch tells the story of Safiya, a Truthwitch, and her Threadsister, Iseult as they fought for their freedom and for their life. I’ve had the opportunity to read an extended excerpt for Truthwitch, and it only makes me more excited to read this book. Truthwitch is also one of the most hyped YA book release in the first half of 2016.

Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken | GOODREADS PAGE


Stand-alone or series: the first book in a series

Genre: science fiction, time travel, romance, historical(-ish)

Passenger, the first book in a new series by Alexandra Bracken, is essentially a time travel story mixed with romance. Etta, the protagonist, found herself inheriting an ability to time travel after a devastating night that cost her everything she loves. She was thrusted back in time where a family called the Ironwoods tried to capture her because they believe she could help them find a stolen object. Etta met Nicholas who assisted her in her adventure.
I am yet to find a YA book  about time traveling that I like. Maybe this will be the one?

Release Date: January 6th 2016

Steel Scars (Red Queen #0.2) and Cruel Crown (Red Queen #0.1 – 0.2) by Victoria Aveyard | GOODREADS PAGE 01 | GOODREADS PAGE 02

Stand-alone or series: novella from the Red Queen series. They are prequels to Red Queen.
Cruel Crown is a paperback bundle of the previously released Queen Song (Red Queen #0.1) and Steel Scars. If you’re not a fan of e-book, but want to read the novellas, you can pick up the physical copy of Cruel Crown on January 6th.

Genre: fantasy

Steel Scars told the story of Farley prior to her meeting Mare in Red Queen. If you’re interested in her backstory, this is the one to get.
Cruel Crown is a paperback bundle of Queen Song and Steel Scars. Queen Song gave us a look back to the life of Queen Coriane, her courtship with the crown prince, the birth of her son, Cal, and the danger awaiting her in royal palace.

Release Date: January 19th 2016

Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz | GOODREADS PAGE


Stand-alone or series: so far, it’s a stand-alone, but there’s a possibility of continuation.

Genre: thriller

Sarah has been accepted into the most elite prep school, but when her roommate went missing, she has to investigate the mystery behind the school.
The premise sounds okay, if not original, but the early reviews are quite positive. I am in the mood for some YA thriller, or any kind of thrillers actually. I hope this book delivers.

Release Date: January 26th 2016

The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn #6) by Brandon Sanderson | GOODREADS PAGE


Stand-alone or series: The sixth book in the Mistborn series. It’s also the third book in the second Mistborn tetralogy (?). You see, Mistborn are a series of series, the first series starts with The Final Empire and the second one starts with The Alloy of Law. THIS is the third book of that second series. There’ll be another book after The Bands of Mourning titled The Lost Metal.

Genre: high fantasy, (somewhat) steampunk

Just when you thought I could get through a post without mentioning Brandon Sanderson. NOPE.
In my defense, this one was not on me, it was on Tor. After all, I didn’t pick release date for this book. More importantly, I cannot possibly summarize this book for you because I (embarrassingly) haven’t read the second mistborn trilogy *collective gasps*. Not that I need to summarize it, right? Sandersonites, you already know what to expect. Everyone else, please go and read Mistborn: The Final Empire.

That’s it for this month. Let me know if any of those books is on your most anticipated releases for this month. What other books are in your list?

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ETA: The original post mentioned that The Bands of Mourning is the last book in the second Mistborn trilogy. This is in fact incorrect. I have corrected the related paragraph above. Let me know if you find another inaccuracy.

Sneak Peek: Truthwitch

This is a review for the preview excerpt that contains the first 15 chapters.

Sneak Peek: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Book title Truthwitch
Series The Witchland #1
Author Susan Dennard
Pages 416
Expected Publication January 5th 2016
Publisher Tor Teen

Official Summary

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Disclaimer: I received a preview excerpt from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review (for Preview Excerpt)

Truthwitch told the story of two young witches, Safiya and Iseult. They live in The Witchlands, in a small city called Venaza City, with their mentors. Until one day, a heist gone wrong leaving Safiya, who is part of a very rare breed called Truthwitch, hunted by a Bloodwitch. Safiya and her Threadsister, Iseult, went on the run to escape the Bloodwitch.

Okay. Before your eyes glaze over after reading so many unfamiliar terms, I’ll let you know that the first few pages of Truthwitch contains many of those. Dennard using so many strange words and throwing them at us without explaining what each term means. It could be daunting at first but soon enough I understood them. In fact, that’s the beauty of Truthwitch. We’ll come to understand what these terms mean, Threadsister, Heart-Thread, and more, without a character come in and explicitly explained them to you ala game tutorial. (note: I don’t know if the complete book has a glossary)

Safiya and Iseult are likeable main characters even though I found that it took me some time to warm up to Safi. There are moments when I feel they’re being childish and whiny, but I like that Dennard doesn’t make them perfect. Before I continue, I have to mention that there are two other main POVs in this book apart from Safi and Iseult. They are Merrik and to a lesser extent, we get the view from the Bloodwitch, Aeduan. I honestly love to see the story from Aeduan’s POV because he offers a unique perspective to the story. Merrik, a prince from Nubreva, came to Venaza City for a summit to discuss truce between the empires in Withclands but somehow became tangled in Safi and Isseult’s trouble. The interaction between these characters is Truthwitch’s biggest appeal.

There are multiple layers of stories in Truthwich. Although it was mainly Safi’s story, Iseult and Merrik bring their own problem to the table. I suspect their problems will interlink with each other, but since I only read the first fifteen chapters, I wouldn’t know (translation: GIVE ME THE BOOK NOW).

Since Truthwitch is a high fantasy, world building is very critical. Dennard succesfully differentiate the busy Venaza City with the small settlement of the Nomatsi. The diverse races, including—unavoidably—discrimination, also take a somewhat center role in how the plot was weaved. Culture, belief, and tradition also play important parts in this book.

The fifteen chapters I read are action-packed and never boring. I hope that the rest of the book is at least as interesting.


Although limited by the amount of chapters available to me, so far I am enjoying Dennard’s writing. I cannot wait to explore The Witchlands in Truthwitch and its planned sequels. If magic, witches, and fantasy are something you enjoy, I think you’ll want to give Truthwitch a try.

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