Friday, 29 March 2019

Gollancz Preview Evening 2019

Last Wednesday I was lucky enough to be invited to one of my favourite events of the year....the Gollancz Preview Evening! I love this event because they're always a lot of fun, I love chatting to all my fellow bookish people...and you know, pizza. Sorry, I'm weak to cheese. 

Anyway, we heard about a lot of books that night, from Gollancz and from a couple of other imprints, and I want to talk to you about the ones that caught my attention! The ones I'm excited for, the ones that piqued my interest and sound right up my street, and the ones I think you guys will be interested in too! 

First up we have Angel Mage by Garth Nix, it's out in October. You've probably all heard about this via Twitter, I think a lot of people are as excited for this as I am! I was so excited to hear more about it and what the inspiration of it was! This is Nix's first adult fantasy novel and oh my god, I need it now! It turns out he wrote it because he wanted to write something he wanted to read himself, and it's inspired by Dumas and the Three Musketeers, but with angels and angelic magic, icons used to summon angels and it's got a gender equal world! Sounds awesome right!? I do love the Musketeers, and I'm so intrigued by the magic and angels aspect for this! 

Next up is Smoke in the Glass by Chris Humphreys, which is out in May! This is the first in a trilogy and I did manage to grab an arc of this so keep an eye out for my review! The author for this is apparently well known for his historical books, and this is his first historical fantasy. You're all aware I'm a history nerd, and this sounded so up my street!  I didn't quite catch the inspiration but I believe it was Aztec or Incan so...of course I needed it! We have a world were immortals exist but you only find out you're immortal when you die, there are going to be three heroes and there's three kingdoms, along with a fourth one that's planning to take over the other three. 

Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard is also out in May and is a Red Queen novella collection! It's going to have 3 brand new novellas along with Steel Scars and Queen Song that were released in Cruel Crown. It's also going to include journal entries, maps, flags and bonus scenes! 

At this point, we were treated to a video from Joe Abercrombie to tell us all about his new book A Little Hatred which is out in September. This video is the funniest thing I have seen in a long time, and honestly...all Gollancz need to do is put it up on their site, GoodReads, YouTube, Twitter...everywhere and let Joe sell his book himself. He went full on extra AF for this video, and he obviously had fun creating it. We're talking lying in front of a fire on a rug, peeking between leaves and bannister bars, and I lost it completely watching the video. Gollancz could have warned me I'd be laughing so hard I'd cry! Anyway, according to Joe, you can read this one without having read his other books, but you may see some familiar faces if you're familiar with the other books! 

The Sky Weaver by Kristin Ciccarelli is the next standalone set in the Last Namsara world and it's going to be hitting shelves in November! This one is Safire's tale, she's a soldier for Firgaards King, and we also have her enemy Eris. Eris is a deadly pirate known as Death Dancer because she can give enemies the slip by slipping between worlds. Both of them are searching for Asha, The Last Namsara and it's set on the high seas as well as a world between worlds! It is a standalone, so you can read it without having read the other two books but I'd recommend reading them in publication order to get the full experience! 

Starsight is coming in December, and it's the sequel to Brandon Sanderson's Skyward. We'll be finding out what happened to Spensa after the events of Skyward, and for those of you who don't know, it's about Spensa who wants to be a pilot and fight against the aliens but her dad was a traitor and so she can't get in to flight school. Luckily she comes across an ancient ship that has a soul. 

Next is one of my most anticipated reads of the year, Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo! This is out in October and it's Leigh's first adult novel! We got a video from Leigh telling us about the inspiration for this book and it's made me even more intrigued than I already was! Ninth House is about secret societies and the occult, and a world that's one step from our own. Galaxy aka Alex ends up at Yale, a place she doesn't think she belongs due to her past involving a murder and some other shady activities, but she was offered a second chance in order to turn her life around. But she soon gets drawn in to the occult dealings of the Secret Societies of Yale....and then the murder happens. No-one suspects the secret societies but Alex things there's more to it. 

Leigh told us that the book is inspired by her college years and a mausoleum and cemetery that she saw when she was picking up her mail one day. It was a tomb of Book and Snake, one of the oldest societies at Yale and Leigh thought what if secret societies were repositories of ancient occult magic...and here we are! The other thing you guys might find interesting? Leigh said she'd see us in the fall. *prepares mountain of books to be signed* 

Last up is yet another of my most anticipated reads, Sanctuary by V.V. James! This is out in August and I'm so excited for it, I can't wait! Vic is one of my favourite authors, she's such a lovely person and I completely and utterly loved her Darkest Gifts trilogy, it's completely brilliant! I remember reading the arc for Gilded Cage and being completely sucked in and blown away and so devastated when the trilogy came to an end! We got an original, intriguing and slightly twisted from our own, world. Plus we had two of my favourite characters, Gavar and Silyen. Morally grey and the kind of characters you so badly want to do the right thing and not turn out to be completely evil! 

Ever since I heard chatter of her new book...I knew I was going to love it. It's been described as Big Little Lies but with Witches. I don't know what Big Little Lies is but I'm so here for witches and Vics writing! We have a small town rocked by the death of its star quarterback. It appears to be an accident but...Harper, his ex-girlfriend, was there, and she's the daughter of a witch. She also has an accusation about him that no-one believes. Who did it? Why? Was it magic? Because every town only has one witch...

We have witches and it's set in New England so Vic headed to Salem to do some research, among other places and I was so here for all the information she had for us! She even had pictures and video so we could see what it was like in Salem and how it embraces it's past with witches now, when previously the people of Salem refused to talk about it. I've always wanted to go and check out Salem, so I was loving getting a closer look at it, and all the history tidbits Vic had to share with us. 

She also shared with us that the book is rooted in the real world and our issues, as well as her job. It turns out she was in the US soon after Trumps election, during the women's marches. She was inspired by that, the Lana del Ray headline about hexing Trump, and the Brett Kavanaugh Case. Contemporary American society, with issues that affect us all, like the Me Too movement and believe women and so on and the question of is an accusation enough? Along with the politically relevant world building, it's also fundamentally about a Witch Trial, with Harper being accused because her mother is a witch. Magic is seen as real but it's trivialised in this world, so did it actually kill the boy? 

Vic said that she wanted to put courage in to the book. Courage to speak your truth and stand up and so on, as well as exploring what happens when herd mentality takes over and people empower each other to do things they wouldn't normally do or which aren't acceptable in society usually. I ran long, but I was already excited for this book, and I got even more excited hearing all about the research and what's in the book! 

I also have to mention that we got to watch the trailer for Good Omens and now I guess I'm going to have to watch it!? 

I had a brilliant evening, there were plenty of books in the line up that piqued my interest, and that I'm excited to read when they're released! I also got to have a cocktail or two...purely in the interests of helping to vote, you understand. I also managed to grab a couple of books and retain all of my limbs in the frenzy! 

Thank you once again to Stevie for the invitation! I always feel so grateful to be invited to these events, and I had a blast at this one, although I didn't get to talk to many people before having to rush off! 

Which of these upcoming releases are you excited for? 
I linked all the titles to their GoodReads pages to make it super easy for you to add them to your TBR!

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