Most Anticipated Novels of 2020

With the New Year – and the New Decade – having finally arrived, it is time to turn my attention to the year ahead. And by that, I obviously mean which books I plan on reading this year. As usual, this list is predominantly YA Fantasy and/or Science Fiction, but since I am attempting to branch out (and as some of my favourite authors migrate to the Adult demographic), some other books have made it onto this list! That being said – this list is by no means inclusive, as it lists the novels I am most excited to read this year, not those which are (overall) most anticipated by the reading community at large.

*Please note that the following dates are based upon information provided by Indigo Books & Music Inc, and/or Goodreads, and that the below dates reflect the expected release date of a given book in Canada, as it is listed on January 1, 2020. Release dates are subject to change. 

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Indigo Teen Staff Picks of the Month 2019

If this happens to be the first time you are hearing about the Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month for the first time, you may be curious as to just what it is – as you should be! In short, Indigo Staff Picks of the Month is an initiative run by Chapters/Indigo Books & Music Inc., with the goal of featuring new and exciting book releases for various demographics and/or genres. The Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month focuses specifically on the Teen/Young Adult demographic, with books from various genres, including Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Contemporary.

Each month, 100 staff members read a number of teen and YA books, and then vote for their pick of the month! Each monthly pick is announced by Chapters/Indigo at the beginning of each month, and each of the picks are kept secret until then!

If you’re shopping in store, you can easily identify current, and past, Indigo Staff Picks of the Month by spotting the black, circular sticker on their cover (see below). If you’re shopping online, you can check out current and past Indigo Staff Picks of the Month here. If you happen to pick up your own copy of an Indigo Staff Picks of the Month book, please be sure to show it off on social media by using the hashtag #IndigoStaffPicks!

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Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin is a brilliant debut, full of everything readers of the genre love: a sparkling and fully realized heroine, an intricate and deadly system of magic, and a searing romance that will keep readers reading long into the night. Released on September 3rd, 2019, Mahurin’s debut novel is the Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month – and also featured in their most recent Indigo Book Box!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin  from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned. As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage. Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.

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There Will Come A Darkness (ARC) by Katy Rose Pool

There Will Come A Darkness is Katy Rose Pool’s debut novel, which is set to release in North America on September 3rd, 2019. There Will Come A Darkness promises to be showstopping debut YA fantasy perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows meets Kristin Cashore’s Graceling. 

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young, in exchange for an honest review.

The Age of Darkness approaches. Five lives stand in its way. Who will stop it . . . or unleash it? For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations-until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared. All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. With chaos on the horizon, five souls are set on a collision course: A prince exiled from his kingdom. A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand. A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.  A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone. And a dying girl on the verge of giving up. One of them-or all of them-could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer? 

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The Girl the Sea Gave Back (ARC) by Adrienne Young

Set to release on September 3rd, 2019, The Girl the Sea Gave Back is Adrienne Young’s second novel, following in the footsteps of Sky in the DeepThe Girl the Sea Gave Back promises to be a moving coming-of-age tale, perfect for those who appreciate the wild and the wildlings, strong female protagonists, and cinematic battles.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young, in exchange for an honest review. 

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse. For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

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Midnight Beauties (ARC) by Megan Shepherd

The witches, beasties, goblins, and Royals return in this spellbinding conclusion to New York Times best-selling author Megan Shepherd’s Grim Lovelies duology, released in North America on August 13th, 2019. Wicked and delightful, this spellbinding sequel and conclusion to Grim Lovelies is perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and The Hazel Wood.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd, in exchange for an honest review. 

Ever since she discovered her affinity for magic, seventeen-year-old Anouk has been desperate to become a witch. It’s the only way to save her friends who, like Anouk, are beasties: animals enchanted into humans. But unlike Anouk, the other beasties didn’t make it out of the battle at Montélimar in one piece. With her friends now trapped in their animal forms, Anouk is forced into a sinister deal involving a political marriage with her sworn enemy, a wicked plot to overthrow London’s fiercest coven of witches, and a deadly trial of fire to become a witch. The price for power has always been steep in the world of the Haute. Now, it will cost Anouk everything.

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Bright Star (ARC) by Erin Swan

Released on August 13, 2019, Bright Star is Erin Swan’s YA fantasy debut, filled to the brim with adventurous tales of rebellion, romance, and finding one’s voice in the heart of a storm.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Readers’ Edition of Bright Star by Erin Swan, in exchange for an honest review. 

Paerolia has been at peace for two centuries, and all is well in the land-or so it seems. Beneath the surface, a tyrant is rising to power. A traumatic experience in Andra’s childhood has left her mute and subdued, a servant in the Chief Judge’s manor. But when an assassination team, led by the secretive and alluring Kael, infiltrates the manor and makes a quick escape, she takes her chance and flees with them. Andra is thrust into the ranks of a secret rebellion – a group of outcasts and believers seeking to overthrow the Chief Judge and replace the corrupt government with new members, ones who will restore and preserve the land they love. Now, the girl who was once an outcast must somehow become the leader Paerolia needs. But she is stronger than she believes – and with the help of a fiercely loyal dragon, she may just be the one to lead them all to victory.

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The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

Released in North America on July 30th, 2019, The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen promised to be a powerful debut novel, filled to the brim with vengeance, survival, and sacrifice – perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

A future chieftain – Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime. A fugitive prince – When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses – and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns. A too-cunning bodyguard – Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own? 

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Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

If you’ve been itching to get your hands on Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, now is the perfect time! Released on July 9th, 2019, Spin the Dawn is not only the Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month for August, but it is also a stunning read!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job. Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise. And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

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