Welcome to May’s list of upcoming releases that I am rather hyped about reading! May is a fantastic month for reading and it is the perfect lead-up to the onslaught of unbelievable releases that are hitting the shelves in June and beyond (I’m talking about you Crowfall and Dark Dawn). Apparently the 2nd and the 16th of May are key days in the book industry so keep an eye out on social media for plenty of exciting releases. This wish list is a bit optimistic of me as there are 14 titles but I just get so carried away with new reads. I probably need to recruit about 15 people to read for about 19 hours a day for a year (not exaggerating) to get through my current TBR but a couple more books wouldn’t hurt I guess…
As usual, please enjoy the list and let me know any of the following: Are any of these books on your radar? Have you been lucky enough to read any of these already? Is there a particular book that you are looking forward to in May? How do you think 2019 is shaping up for books so far?
Book Releases I Am Looking Forward To Reading – May 2019
Published by: John Murray
Synopsis: Government minister Patrick Macready has been found dead in his flat. The coroner rules it an accident, a sex game gone wrong.
Jon Swift is from the old stock of journos – cynical, cantankerous and overweight – and something about his friend’s death doesn’t seem right. Then days after Macready’s flat is apparently burgled, Swift discovers that his friend had been researching a string of Russian government figures who had met similarly ‘accidental’ fates.
When the police refuse to investigate further, Swift gets in touch with his contacts in Moscow, determined to find out if his hunch is correct. Following the lead, he is soon drawn into a violent underworld, where whispers of conspiracies, assassinations and double-agents start blurring the line between friend and foe.
But the truth will come at a price, and it may cost him everything.
My Thoughts: Journalism thrillers always seem to grab me and Moscow Night just has a cool classic feel to it that I am eager to explore. I have no idea where this novel might take me (other than Moscow of course) but I am ready to get involved.
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Synopsis: So many of us believe that we are free to shape our own destiny. But what if free will doesn’t exist? What if our lives are largely predetermined, hardwired in our brains – and our choices over what we eat, who we fall in love with, even what we believe are not real choices at all?
Neuroscience is challenging everything we think we know about ourselves, revealing how we make decisions and form our own reality, unaware of the role of our unconscious minds. Did you know, for example, that:
* You can carry anxieties and phobias across generations of your family?
* Your genes and pleasure and reward receptors in your brain will determine how much you eat?
* We can sniff out ideal partners with genes that give our offspring the best chance of survival?
Leading neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow draws vividly from everyday life and other experts in their field to show the extraordinary potential, as well as dangers, which come with being able to predict our likely futures – and looking at how we can alter what’s in store for us.
Lucid, illuminating, awe-inspiring The Science of Fate revolutionises our understanding of who we are – and empowers us to help shape a better future for ourselves and the wider world.
My Thoughts: I love having conversations about fate with people as the answers are always drastically different but ultimately the same. I am 100% intriguied to see this topic from a neuro-scientific perspective as it opens up so many more avenues of discussion. How much of our decision making is actually pre-determined through our biology and physiology? Let’s find out!
Published by: Little, Brown
Synopsis: The intelligence service puts two years and over £100k into the training of new field officers. You’re shown how to steal cars, strip weapons, hack bank accounts. There are courses on the use of blackmail and improvised explosives, two workshops solely dedicated to navigating by the stars. But nothing about what I had heard one old spy call whiplash. No one tells you how to go home.
There is a dark side to MI6 that needs men like Elliot Kane – mercurial, inquisitive, free floating. He’s spent fifteen years managing events overseas that never make the papers, deniable and deeply effective. Kane is a ghost in his own life, picking up and dropping personalities as each new cover story comes into play. But when a woman he loves, Joanna Lake, vanishes without a trace in Kazakhstan, he is forced centre stage.
Drawn ever deeper into a realm of deception, Kane moves from merely infiltrating events to steering them. He’s used to a new mode of hybrid psychological warfare – but snowbound Kazakhstan presents unique challenges. Poised between China, Russia and the West, dictatorship and democracy, state intelligence and an increasingly powerful world of private agencies, it’s impossible to work out who is manipulating who. And Kane’s not the only one trying to figure out where Joanna Lake has gone or what she learned before disappearing.
Unable to trust anyone, hunted by his own colleagues, and with the life of someone he loves at stake, Kane needs to work out who is driving events, and why…
My Thoughts: This is just another cool thriller that I can lose myself in. I have been reading a lot of heavy, emotional or complex books as of late and it might be time to just kick back and get stuck into some high stakes thrills. This novel sounds edgy, ambitious and seriously cool. I just hope it reads that way…
Published by: Point Blank
Synopsis: The fourth instalment in Syd Moore’s spooktacular witch detective series
Halloween in Essex and the Mystery and Suspense creative writing course at old Ratchette Hall is off to a satisfyingly creepy start. But things take a turn for the worse when the course administrator is discovered dead, clutching a marble finger to his chest. For why would anyone, undead or alive, want to kill mild-mannered Graham?
Luckily Rosie Strange and Sam Stone are on the case. Soon, however, they are digging up more questions than answers: who are the unearthly howls emanating from neighbouring Witch Wood every night? How has a stone crusader, on display in the church, managed to lose a finger? And, more sinister yet, why is one of the tombs missing a corpse?
My Thoughts: This is an incredibly interesting series by an incredibly interesting woman. Syd Moore studies local mythology and it translates so well into her fiction. This is a must read set of books right here.
Published by: Titan Books
Synopsis: On an island off the coast of Maine, a man is found dead. There’s no identification on the body. Only the dogged work of a pair of local newspapermen and a graduate student in forensics turns up any clues, and it’s more than a year before the man is identified. And that’s just the beginning of the mystery. Because the more they learn about the man and the baffling circumstances of his death, the less they understand. Was it an impossible crime? Or something stranger still…? No one but Stephen King could tell this story about the darkness at the heart of the unknown and our compulsion to investigate the unexplained. With echoes of Dashiell Hammett’s THE MALTESE FALCON and the work of Graham Greene, one of the world’s great storytellers presents a moving and surprising tale whose subject is nothing less than the nature of mystery itself…
My Thoughts: Stephen King. Nuff said.
Published by: Chatto & Windus
‘I really am so very, very sorry about this,’ he says, in an oddly formal voice… They strike the side of a grain silo. They are travelling at seventy miles per hour.
A newborn baby is the sole survivor of a terrifying plane crash.
She is raised in wealthy isolation by an overprotective father. She knows nothing of the rumours about a beautiful young woman, hidden from the world.
When a suitor visits, he understands far more than he should. Forced to run for his life, he escapes aboard The Porpoise, an assassin on his tail…
So begins a wild adventure of a novel, damp with salt spray, blood and tears. A novel that leaps from the modern era to ancient times; a novel that soars, and sails, and burns long and bright; a novel that almost drowns in grief yet swims ashore; in which pirates rampage, a princess wins a wrestler’s hand, and ghost women with lampreys’ teeth drag a man to hell – and in which the members of a shattered family, adrift in a violent world, journey towards a place called home.
My Thoughts: This has to be one of the best blurbs I have read in such a long time. It actually blew my mind. If this book is half as good as it sounds then it will be a classic in my eyes. God I hope it is. Consider my expectations unfairly high!
Published by: Titan Books
Synopsis: At the height of their success, the electric folk band Black Dog invited journalists to a desolate island for an infamous publicity stunt: the burning of a million dollars. But the stunt backfired and the band split up, increasing the value of their final album vastly. It’s this album that Tinkler’s got his eye on, and he hires none other than the Vinyl Detective and Nevada to hunt a copy down.
Narrowly avoiding a killing spree, negotiating deranged Black Dog fans, and being pursued by hack celebrity Stinky Stamner and his camera crew, the Vinyl Detective and Nevada discover that perhaps all was not as it seemed on the island—and that in the embers of that fire are clues to a motive for murder…
My Thoughts: The Vinyl Detective series is incredibly nostalgic and satisfying with an interesting cast. I have reviewed every instalment so far and I have had a great time doing so. I did mention in my last review that I hope we might explore the main man himself a little more. One can hope! I am hyped for this. If you haven’t had the chance, check this series out.
Published by: W&N (Orion)
Synopsis: ‘The future hasn’t happened yet. The idea that our civilisation is doomed is not established fact. It is a story we tell ourselves.’
In the 1980s, we gave up on the future. When we look ahead now, we imagine economic collapse, environmental disaster and the zombie apocalypse. But what if we are wrong? What if this bleak outlook is a generational quirk that afflicted those raised in the twentieth century, but which is already beginning to pass? What if we do have a future after all?
John Higgs takes us on a journey past the technological hype and headlines to discover why we shouldn’t trust the predictions of science fiction, why nature is not as helpless as we assume and why purpose can never be automated. In the process, we will come to a better understanding of what lies ahead and how, despite everything – despite all the horrors and instability we face – we can build a better future.
My Thoughts: I thought this was a cool concept for a book. Doom mongering seems to be a popular past time these days and media tries to keep one upping each other on how bleak they can make the future of the human race seem. It is going to be refreshing to see someone take the opposite stance for once. Can’t wait.
Published by: Headline Books
Synopsis: All is chaos. All is confusion. The Jure’lia are weak, but the war is far from over.
Ebora was once a glorious city, defended by legendary warriors and celebrated in song. Now refugees from every corner of Sarn seek shelter within its crumbling walls, and the enemy that has poisoned their land won’t lie dormant for long.
The deep-rooted connection that Tormalin, Noon and the scholar Vintage share with their Eboran war-beasts has kept them alive so far. But with Tor distracted, and his sister Hestillion hell-bent on bringing ruthless order to the next Jure’lia attack, the people of Sarn need all the help they can get.
Noon is no stranger to playing with fire and knows just where to recruit a new – and powerful – army. But even she underestimates the epic quest that is to come. It is a journey wrought with pain and sacrifice – a reckoning that will change the face of Sarn forever.
Join forces with the heroes of the WINNOWING FLAME TRILOGY as they strive to silence the Jure’lia’s poison song once and for all.
My Thoughts: Yes! I didn’t know this was set to come out until today so this one is a huge win. Jen Williams is a superb fantasy author. I did a Q&A with her about her second instalment The Bitter Twins and her passion is addictive. Check out The Ninth Rain and The Bitter Twins and meet me here for the last instalment. It’s going to be awesome!
Published by: Penguin
Valentyne has lived many lives – physician, philosopher, soldier – but his defining work has been his ability to stop the clock. He has lived for centuries, as has his dog, Tomorrow.
Inseparable, they’ve voyaged across Europe, using their time wisely. They’ve attended royalty in a dozen courts, healed soldiers on a hundred battlefields, and met with the greatest minds of the Renaissance. Until one day, in watery Venice, Valentyne vanishes without trace.
Broken-hearted, Tomorrow begins a search that will endure for centuries. But as the continent collapses into war, he must risk everything to find his master – or lose him forever.
My Thoughts: Another outstanding concept for a novel. I enjoyed Matt Haig’s How To Stop Time. I hope this is just as interesting and engaging. I tend to steer clear of books with dogs in as they are more inclined to be killed off than not and that makes me depressed. But a novel where the dog is the main event? This could be next level stuff!
Published by: Viking
Helen Clapp is a physics professor. She doesn’t believe in pseudo-science, or time travel and especially not in ghosts. So when she gets a missed call from Charlie, her closest friend from university with whom she hasn’t spoken in over a year, Helen thinks there must be some mistake. Because Charlie died two days ago.
Then when her young son, Jack, claims to have seen Charlie in their house just the other day, Helen begins to have doubts.
Through the grief of the husband and daughter she left behind, Helen is drawn into the orbit of Charlie’s world, slotting in the missing pieces of her friend’s past. And, as she delves into the web of their shared history, Helen finds herself entangled in the forgotten threads of her own life.
Lost and Wanted is a searing novel from one of America’s most exciting writers about the sacred knottiness of female friendship, the forces which fuse us together and those which drive us apart.
My Thoughts: I know this sounds quite cliche (rational vs supernatural) but the perspective sounds really interesting and I am curious to see how such a narrative may develop. Plus I am always up for a ‘searing’ novel. Let’s get involved!
Published by: Del Rey
The new gripping page-turning thriller for fans of BLACK MIRROR from the bestselling author of HER LAST MOVE and THE ONE – soon to be a major Netflix series.
When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course.
The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife – and parents of two – who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?
My Thoughts: A lot of people when they see BLACK MIRROR references are beginning to get a bit weary at the thought. Me? Nah! This novel sounds so messed up. I am most certainly going to be reading this through my fingers. I like the concept. It is kind of like Saw but with technology. Driverless cars aren’t even mainstream yet and I am already going to be sh*t-scared of them by the end of this read!
Honourable Mention #1
Published by: Gollancz
Synopsis: Lynx and the rest of the Cards are heading south. There’s money in their pockets, beer in their hands and a simple job ahead – sun, sea and not getting shot at much. Throw in the prospect of a bar fight and it’s almost a holiday.
But the volatile Mage Islands are a powder-keg, one just waiting for a spark. A bloody-handed exile perhaps, or the agent of a foreign power preparing for war. Maybe even a bunch of trigger-happy drunks who’ve upset the balance of magic across the Riven Kingdom.
Or all three together, that’d definitely work…
My Thoughts: I recently saw that Knight Of Stars was coming up and let’s just say I was rather ecstatic by its existence. This fantasy series is so good and Tom Lloyd has done the genre a service. There are amazing characters, concepts and landscapes (or underworlds) to savour and an opportunity to delve back in is very welcome here on my blog!
Honourable Mention #2
Published by: Orbit
Synopsis: FOR TEAGAN FROST, SH*T JUST GOT REAL.
Teagan Frost is having a hard time keeping it together. Sure, she’s got telekinetic powers – a skill that the government is all too happy to make use of, sending her on secret break-in missions that no ordinary human could carry out. But all she really wants to do is kick back, have a beer, and pretend she’s normal for once.
But then a body turns up at the site of her last job – murdered in a way that only someone like Teagan could have pulled off. She’s got 24 hours to clear her name – and it’s not just her life at stake. If she can’t unravel the conspiracy in time, her hometown of Los Angeles will be in the crosshairs of an underground battle that’s on the brink of exploding . . .
Full of imagination, wit and random sh*t flying through the air, this insane adventure from an irreverent new voice will blow your tiny mind.
My Thoughts: This book has serious David Wong vibes and I am exceedingly curious about its intensity! The novel pulls on several familiar concepts but here’s hoping Ford can weave them all together well so I can sit back and have a great time with this read!
Thank you for coming by to see another mammoth list of books. It was so much longer before I cut a few out… I mainly do these lists to motivate myself with exciting reads to propel me through my TBR and it has been working well so far. May is just a warm up month as we get towards June and July were there are some huge novels dropping and I cannot wait. I hope as always you enjoyed the list and you have picked up a few potential books for your own TBRs. If by chance you have already read any of these books then please fill me in with what you thought of them! Thanks for supporting this post and I look forward to sharing my reviews of these books in the future.