Books I’m looking forward to in 2021 – Part 2

Every time I look at what’s publishing next year there are even more books to add to my 2021 list – it looks like its going to be a great publishing year. This is part 2 of my list – if you want to read part 1 you can find it here.

The Coward by Stephen Aryan

Who will take up the mantle and slay the evil in the Frozen North, saving all from death and destruction? Not Kell Kressia, he’s done his part…

Kell Kressia is a legend, a celebrity, a hero. Aged just seventeen he set out on an epic quest with a band of grizzled fighters to slay the Ice Lich and save the world, but only he returned victorious. The Lich was dead, the ice receded and the Five Kingdoms were safe.

Ten years have passed Kell lives a quiet farmer’s life, while stories about his heroism are told in every tavern across the length and breadth of the land. But now a new terror has arisen in the north. Beyond the frozen circle, north of the Frostrunner clans, something has taken up residence in the Lich’s abandoned castle. And the ice is beginning to creep south once more.

For the second time, Kell is called upon to take up his famous sword, Slayer, and battle the forces of darkness. But he has a terrible secret that nobody knows. He’s not a hero – he was just lucky. Everyone puts their faith in Kell the Legend, but he’s a coward who has no intention of risking his life for anyone…

This sounds amazing and sort of includes one of my favourite fantasy tropes – the Farmboy (or in this case man I suppose). A little tweaked but I still love the idea of a retired hero being pulled out of a simple life to take up the mantle again.

The Coward is due to publish June 2021

The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird

Only men are affected by the virus; only women have the power to save us all.

The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland–a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic–and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien–a women’s world.

What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus’s consequences, told through first-person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the male plague; intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal–the loss of husbands and sons–to the political–the changes in the workforce, fertility and the meaning of family.

I enjoy a dystopian fiction novel form time to time and this one sounds great. the concept is really interesting and I’ve seen some positive reviews already.

The End of Men is due to publish April 2021

The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers

With no water, no air, and no native life, the planet Gora is unremarkable. The only thing it has going for it is a chance proximity to more popular worlds, making it a decent stopover for ships traveling between the wormholes that keep the Galactic Commons connected. If deep space is a highway, Gora is just your average truck stop.

At the Five-Hop One-Stop, long-haul spacers can stretch their legs (if they have legs, that is), and get fuel, transit permits, and assorted supplies. The Five-Hop is run by an enterprising alien and her sometimes helpful child, who work hard to provide a little piece of home to everyone passing through.

When a freak technological failure halts all traffic to and from Gora, three strangers—all different species with different aims—are thrown together at the Five-Hop. Grounded, with nothing to do but wait, the trio—an exiled artist with an appointment to keep, a cargo runner at a personal crossroads, and a mysterious individual doing her best to help those on the fringes—are compelled to confront where they’ve been, where they might go, and what they are, or could be, to each other.

I’ve really enjoyed the other books in the Wayfarers set, so I have equally high hopes for this one. I enjoy Becky Chambers’ writing style and the character driven Sci Fi that she writes.

The Galaxy and the Ground Within is due to publish February 2021

The Lock In by Phoebe Luckhurst

Whilst nursing The Hangover from Hell Ellen finds the kitchen filling with water.

After a desperate attempt to find the fuse box, the three flatmates become trapped in the attic with Ben, Alexa’s Hinge date from the night before.

As the hours tick by, Ellen nurses her sore head and swears she knows Ben whilst he and Alexa awkwardly get to know each other.

Will these flatmates ever get out of this attic? Will they even be able to look each other in the eye ever again? And will Jack please stop live-tweeting this whole fiasco…

This one wasn’t on my radar at all until a couple of days ago when I read a sample – it was so good I wanted to keep on reading and find out more about everyone and what was going on. That makes it a definite for a space on my list for next year. No final cover image is available for this one yet.

The Lock In is due to publish May 2021

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