Our most anticipated releases of 2021: January to March

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It’s a new year and time for a slew of new releases!

We know what you’re probably thinking, ‘my tbr pile is already huge’, but that’s okay! So is ours… and everyone else’s, but that shouldn’t mean you miss out on all these great titles that will soon be hitting the digital shelves (excuse us while we daydream about being able to walk through a bookstore once again).

Jess is the biggest reader out of the pair of us and a genre-jumping one at that. Whether it’s fantasy, sci-fi, horror, thriller (we could go on) there is likely to be an anticipated release that fits its description. We hope you’re as excited about some of these releases as we are!

The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell

As the age of the photograph dawns in Victorian Bath, silhouette artist Agnes is struggling to keep her business afloat. Still recovering from a serious illness herself, making enough money to support her elderly mother and her orphaned nephew Cedric has never been easy, but then one of her clients is murdered shortly after sitting for Agnes, and then another, and another… Why is the killer seemingly targeting her business?

Desperately seeking an answer, Agnes approaches Pearl, a child spirit medium lodging in Bath with her older half-sister and her ailing father, hoping that if Pearl can make contact with those who died, they might reveal who killed them.

But Agnes and Pearl quickly discover that instead, they may have opened the door to something that they can never put back…

The Mask Falling (The Bone Season, #4) by Samantha Shannon

Dreamwalker Paige Mahoney has eluded death again. Snatched from the jaws of captivity and consigned to a safe house in the Scion Citadel of Paris, she finds herself caught between those factions that seek Scion’s downfall and those who would kill to protect the Rephaim’s puppet empire.

The mysterious Domino Program has plans for Paige, but she has ambitions of her own in this new citadel. With Arcturus Mesarthim-her former enemy-at her side, she embarks on an adventure that will lead her from the catacombs of Paris to the glittering hallways of Versailles. Her risks promise high reward: the Parisian underworld could yield the means to escalate her rebellion to outright war.

As Scion widens its bounds and the free world trembles in its shadow, Paige must fight her own memories after her ordeal at the hands of Scion. Meanwhile, she strives to understand her bond with Arcturus, which grows stronger by the day. But there are those who know the revolution began with them-and could end with them…

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

A chilling, atmospheric novel in which a female detective must uncover the truth behind a luxury hotel’s dark past and stop the killer in their midst

Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Once a sanatorium treating tuberculosis patients, it was abandoned years ago and had fallen into disrepair. Long plagued by troubling rumors, it has recently been renovated into a lavish hotel.

An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place detective Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin’s on a career break, scarred by a particularly brutal case she just can’t shake. So when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiance, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept.

But when Elin wakes the following morning to discover Laure is missing, Elin must trust her instincts if they hope to find her. And she soon realizes that Laure is not the first person to have vanished mysteriously from the old sanatorium.

As one of the worst snowstorms in thirty years descends, Elin starts to connect the dots between Laure’s disappearance and the hotel’s troubling history. Just when she thinks she’s making progress, a body is found, staged to send a terrifying message. With avalanches closing off all access to the hotel, Elin is under pressure to uncover the sanatorium’s secrets and find her brother’s fiance before the killer strikes again.

The Project by Courtney Summers

Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died, Lo’s sister, Bea, joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo in the care of their great aunt. Thanks to its extensive charitable work and community outreach, The Unity Project has won the hearts and minds of most in the Upstate New York region, but Lo knows there’s more to the group than meets the eye. She’s spent the last six years of her life trying—and failing—to prove it.

When a man shows up at the magazine Lo works for claiming The Unity Project killed his son, Lo sees the perfect opportunity to expose the group and reunite with Bea once and for all. When her investigation puts her in the direct path of its leader, Lev Warren and as Lo delves deeper into The Project, the lives of its members it upends everything she thought she knew about her sister, herself, cults, and the world around her—to the point she can no longer tell what’s real or true. Lo never thought she could afford to believe in Lev Warren . . . but now she doesn’t know if she can afford not to.

The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1) by Namina Forna

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

Faithless in Death (In Death, #52) by J.D. Robb

The scene in the West Village studio appears to be classic crime-of-passion: two wine glasses by the bed, music playing, and a young sculptor named Ariel Byrd with the back of her head bashed in. But when Dallas tracks down the wealthy Upper East Side woman who called 911, the details don’t add up. Gwen Huffman is wealthy, elegant, comforted by her handsome fiancé as she sheds tears over the trauma of finding the body–but why did it take an hour to report it? And why is she lying about little things?

As Eve and her team look into Gwen, her past, and the people around her, they find that the lies are about more than murder. As with sculpture, they need to chip away at the layers of deception to find the shape within–and soon they’re getting the FBI involved in a case that involves a sinister, fanatical group and a stunning criminal conspiracy

A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4) by Sarah J. Maas

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

The Echo Wife is a non-stop thrill ride, perfect for readers of Big Little Lies and enthusiasts of “Killing Eve” and “Westworld­”

Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research. She’s patient and gentle and obedient. She’s everything Evelyn swore she’d never be. And she’s having an affair with Evelyn’s husband.

Now, the cheating bastard is dead, and the Caldwell wives have a mess to clean up. Good thing Evelyn Caldwell is used to getting her hands dirty.

The Shadow in the Glass by J.J.A. Harwood

A smouldering, terrifying new spin on Cinderella – perfect for fans of Laura Purcell and Erin Morgenstern.

Once upon a time Ella had wished for more than her life as a lowly maid.

Now forced to work hard under the unforgiving, lecherous gaze of the man she once called stepfather, Ella’s only refuge is in the books she reads by candlelight, secreted away in the library she isn’t permitted to enter.

One night, among her beloved books of far-off lands, Ella’s wishes are answered. At the stroke of midnight, a fairy godmother makes her an offer that will change her life: seven wishes, hers to make as she pleases. But each wish comes at a price and Ella must to decide whether it’s one she’s willing to pay it.

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet they are all lies…

You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. That’s where you’re wrong.

In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it’s not what you think…

Thank you for reading!

Please note: affiliate links (for Bookshop.org) may be used in this post and will be marked with an asterisk. This means that if you purchase a book using these links, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Buying books via bookshop.org will benefit and finance local independent booksellers.

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We’d love to hear from you!

  • Which 2021 titles over the next couple of months are you most looking forward to reading? Did any of your picks make our list?

  • Were there any 2020 releases you didn’t get around to reading last year that you’re hoping to slip into your 2021 reading list?

  • Did we miss any new releases? Let us know what books you think we’ll enjoy reading!

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