A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
…and one more, because why not?
I love how new year seems to wipe the reading slate clean, and the previous year’s sagging TBR shelf loses its power in the face of new reading challenges and beautiful new books.
1. My first offering for this list is by one of our own Author Allsorts, Kerry Drewery. FINAL 7, the final instalment in the CELL 7 dystopian thriller trilogy comes out on 11th Jan, and it is one I’ve been looking forward to ever since I listened to the first in the series on audiobook. (The audio is fantastic, btw.) Set in a world where criminals are sentenced to live or die via Big Brother-style public voting, Martha stands accused of killing a beloved celebrity. But did she do it? Without giving anything away, this last book in the series is set to raise the stakes all around, and I’m bracing myself for what is sure to be an epic conclusion.
2. I read Martin Stewart’s breathtaking RIVERKEEP back in 2016, and have been hankering for his next book ever since. THE SACRIFICE BOX is another January release, and sounds like exactly my cup of tea: a group of friends make a dark pact over an ancient stone box they find in the forest, and 4 years later, begin to see the sinister repercussions when one of them breaks their promise.
3. Speaking of highly anticipated sophomore books, Angie Thomas is due to follow up her bestselling THE HATE U GIVE with a new book in May; ON THE COME UP is set in the same world as THUG, and focuses on an up-and-coming young rapper. I don’t know much more than that, but to be honest, I don’t need to. I was lucky enough to hear Angie Thomas talking about her writing and inspiration when she visited the UK last year, and I would gladly pre-order anything she has written without knowing anything but that her name is on the cover.
4. Another must-read for me is Cecilia Vinesse’s second YA contemp romance, THE SUMMER OF US, which focuses on a group of friends travelling through Europe the summer before university, trying to figure things out amid tangled relationships and looming separation. I absolutely loved her first novel, SEVEN DAYS OF YOU, so I know this one is going to be a summery treat when it releases in June.
5. One of my reading resolutions for 2018 is to continue what I started in 2017 and read at least one adult book per month. I’m quite a fan of historical mysteries, so when I spotted the forthcoming THE WICKED COMETH by Laura Carlin, I promptly added it to my list. 1831, and something terrible is happening to people in the murky alleyways of London. Hester White has escaped the slums and been taken in by the prestigious Brock family, and now finds herself working closely with the enigmatic Rebekah Brock to uncover the darkness plaguing the city. This February release sounds darkly thrilling and romantic, and has an absolutely beautiful foiled cover, so it’s a no-brainer for me.
BONUS! Welcome to the end of my list, and the promised extra book, because I have one coming out later this year (yay!) THREE STRIKES is an anthology of three creepy, thrilling novellas coming in October from Firefly Press. It includes The Matchstick Girl by Rhian Ivory (HOPE, THE BOY WHO DREW THE FUTURE), The Darkness by Lucy Christopher (THE KILLING WOODS, STOLEN), and The Twins of Blackfin by meeeeee. Mine is a prequel to BLACKFIN SKY, which I’m excited to share, and I cannot wait to read the novellas by Lucy and Rhian — both brilliant authors who I’m honoured to be published alongside. There’s no cover yet, but follow me on Twitter for more announcements about the book.
Happy new year – and happy new reads!
Kat Ellis is a YA author from North Wales, where she grew up immersed in ancient myths about dragons and giants, and spent her childhood getting into trouble while exploring the local cemetery. Her books include Blackfin Sky (YA fantasy thriller), Breaker (YA suspense), and Purge (YA sci-fi thriller).