Wow, look at the time! Making my list for May’s most anticipated book releases almost got away from me, but I can’t be too upset about that. Not when I’m staring out at the ocean, hearing the waves crash and the seagulls call, drinking some peach vodka as I’m writing this.
I’m at such low stress right now, and these upcoming publications are only adding to my contentedness.
I became an instant fan of Jay Kristoff after reading his trilogy, The Lotus Wars. Now, he’s capturing my imagination with LIFEL1K3, a story about a scrapper girl named Eve and an android named Ezekiel, set in a harsh world of robotics and puritanical rulers.
Some things about the synopsis remind me of The Lotus Wars, like the radiation sky and the emphasis on metal versus flesh, so I’ll be interested to see how Kristoff has differentiated the two stories. I already want to meet Lemon Fresh, who sounds fun, and her robot conscience, Cricket, and how they’ll join Eve and Ezekiel on their quest to figure out what the hell is going on and how to save their loved ones from doom. Kristoff has grown so much as a descriptive storyteller over the years, so I’m sure reading about his world will be as mesmerizing as it is horrifying. He likes that kinda thing, and so do I!
Release date: May 29th
I highly enjoyed Stephanie Garber’s Caraval last year, but my anticipation for Legendary has been much more high. I loved Tella as a character even though we didn’t see much of her, but the ending chapter between her and the figure who might have been Legend was charged, and I’ve needed the sequel featuring them ever since.
While I’m interested to see what Garber does to make Caraval fresh and how she reveals Legend, I’ve also become a little hesitant. A friend of mine, Cassie, received an ARC of Legendary, and we have very similar tastes, and she was underwhelmed. Hopefully, that won’t be the case for me, but I’m excited all the same.
Release date: May 29th
I can’t decide if The Smoke Thieves reminds me more of Six of Crows or the Falling Kingdoms series, but either way, I’d like it to be a happy medium, with better storytelling than Falling Kingdoms and a way to help fill the void Six of Crows left behind.
Sally Green introduces us to four kingdoms: Brigant, Calidor, Pitoria, and the barren northern territories, featuring a character from each. Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage orchestrated by her ambitious father. March is a servant hungry for revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. Edyon is a wandering thief who steals whatever baubles he wants for the thrill of it. Tash is running for her life, operating as bait for Gravell, a demon hunter, and she’s only thirteen. Somehow, these four will have their lives and futures linked as alliances shift and magic and war arrive. “Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?”
Release date: May 1st
While Furyborn sounds amazing, I’m wondering how Claire Legrand is going to pull it off.
First we have Rielle Dardenne, who reveals that she can control all seven kinds of elemental magic after saving her best friend, the crown prince, from an assassination attempt. Someone like her is one of two prophesied queens, one of light and salvation and one of bloodshed and destruction. Rielle is determined to prove she is the former and must survive seven trials to test her magic or be executed.
A thousand years later, Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora, a bounty hunter who has chosen a life of violence to protect her family after the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom. When her mother and countless other women go missing, she embarks on a mission with a rebel captain to find them and discover the true evil of the empire.
These two women are each caught in a cosmic struggle and are somehow connected, their choices determining both the fate of the world and of each other. I’m both intrigued and concerned with how Legrand is going to manage this and keep tension built, but it sounds like an ambitious and fun reading experience.
Release date: May 22nd
Out of all the X-Men, Rogue has always been my favorite, so when I saw that What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine features a protagonist with similar powers, I immediately added it to my to-read list.
Maisie Cothay has never known the feel of another person’s skin since a single touch from her could kill or resurrect. She’s lived her days cooped up in her family’s manor situated on the edge of a mysterious forest. Her father, who treats her more as an experiment, warns her to never go into the wood, for it addles the minds of all the men who have entered.
But unknown to Maisie, she has been cursed just like all the women in her family have been for over a millennia, each one destined to enter the wood and never return. When her father disappears, she must leave her home and the wood to find him–but the farther she travels, the more the wood calls her back, entreating her to discover her power and the wildest parts of herself. This sounds almost like an inverse of The Hazel Wood, and I’m hoping I like it better.
Release date: May 8th
I’m usually not one for westerns much, but The Bone Roses by Kathryn Lee Martin sounds absolutely incredible!
Rags is sixteen and already the most feared Rustler in the world. And between raiding the post-Yellowstone Kingdom’s settlements for supplies to keep her own frontier, Rondo, alive and fighting off witch hunt-happy villagers who want to kill her for her rare blue eyes, she’s incredibly busy.
After the Kingdom retaliates, killing Rag’s best friend and sending its second-in-command to destroy her frontier, Rags must either choose revenge or to save the ones she loves who are scheduled to be slaughtered in a kingdom-wide broadcast. Now Rags must raise hell on the Kingdom, navigate an attraction to a sly Kingdom informant, and avoid getting killed due to the bounty on her head, and she only has four days to do it.
Release date: May 8th
There’s so much going on with the plot of Mindee Arnett’s Onyx and Ivory, and I’m going to do my best to sum it up.
Kate Brighton is known as Traitor Kate, the daughter of the man who tried to assassinate the high king, foiled by Kate’s first love, the high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane. Now Kate lives as an outcast and member of the Relay, the imperial courier service, where only those who are the most skilled in riding and bow hunting can join. They have to be for when the Nightdrakes come out to hunt. Kate is also a wilder, born with magic that influences the minds of animals, a magic that is punishable by death or exile. It’s her gift that leads her to a caravan slaughtered by nightdrakes in broad daylight, with Corwin as the only survivor.
Corwin never wants to claim the throne and doesn’t expect to, even as he waits for the uror, a once-in-a-generation ritual that chooses the next ruler from the king’s children. However, his peacekeeping tour has given him too much time to think about his father and the night he saved his life, about Kate and her father. So much so that he agrees to lead a caravan to the remote city-states to investigate rumors of unrest–only for nightdrakes to attack during the day.
Now Kate and Corwin have to set the past aside and discover why and how the nightdrakes are active in daylight, leading towards more threats against the kingdom, truths about Kate’s father and his assassination attempt against the king, and a brewing civil war.
It’s weird, but I have a feeling that the synopsis is actually blander than what the book is actually going to be. The cover’s too pretty and the title too symbolic to make me believe otherwise.
Release date: May 15th
That’s all for this month. I’m actually kinda sad that there wasn’t more to choose from for my birthday month, but all these books I did find I’m super here for.
Have you read any ARCS of these? Are you excited for them, too? What other May book releases are you waiting for?