Make Some Room: February

Header (text): MAKE SOME ROOM (there's always room for one more)

I made noises at the end of 2018 about joining in with Can’t Wait Wednesday (hosted by Wishful Endings) but I never quite got round to it. This year, I’m going to end each month looking at some of the releases about to head for our shelves. If There’s Always Room For One More, these are books I need to make some room for…

2019 was a remarkable year of new releases and 2020 looks set to be just as good. It’s incredibly exciting and slightly overwhelming: I’ve long since realised I can’t read all the books, so it will be a year-long struggle of what to add to my shelves.

Maybe by virtue of the fact it’s just around the corner so the line-up is pretty much set, but February is jam-packed with releases I’m excited for. March is looking pretty good too, and June… well, it’s going to be quite a summer. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves!

So, what’s coming our way next month?

First up, the next volumes in or adjacent to existing series. February 18th sees the final flight of the Trouble Dog as Gareth L Powell’s award-winning Embers of War trilogy comes to an end in Light of Impossible Stars. I’ll be armouring my heart and strapping in.

A new PC Grant novel is always an event, and after the climactic events of Lies Sleeping it seems that Peter is in for a change of job as well as a change in circumstances. False Value will be released on February 20th. Property damage expected.

For epic fantasy fans, Katharine Kerr returns to Deverry on February 20th after a hiatus of over a decade. Sword of Fire is the first in a new trilogy featuring all-new characters (including a female bard, a scholarly noblewoman and a silver dagger) challenging the feudal powers of the nobility.

Next, let’s look at novels set in fresh worlds – whether stand-alone or series openers. Sarah Gailey is back on February 4th with a rollicking tale of a wilder, queerer near-future West. If librarian spies taking on fascists is your thing (it’s certainly mine), look no further.

Since we’ve got the dials set to escapades, my next pick is Michael R Underwood’s space opera debut, Annihilation Aria, available from February 11th (may be import only). Lots of my favourite tropes collide as a pair of married artifact hunters and their snarky cyborg pilot find themselves at the heart of a rebellion against an empire of betentacled tyrants. Underwood has form for epic swashbuckling, and I can’t wait to see what he does IN SPACE.

If SFF isn’t your thing, you’re okay – There’s Always Room For One More favourite Silvia Moreno-Garcia has two novels coming out this year. Her first crime thriller, Untamed Shore, will land on February 11th, drawing a bored Mexican teenager into a web of murder and deceit in 1979 Baja California.

Last but not least, look at this epic line-up of debuts heading our way next month! Technically this is a rerelease for KS Villoso as The Wolf of Oren-Yaro was previously self-published, but I’m including it here because YAS look at that bad-ass cover art! The Bitch Queen joins us in her glossy new coat on February 6th to try and atone for errors past.

Imagine if unfinished books ended up in the devil’s own library. Imagine if their characters sometimes escaped. Imagine if the Head Librarian had to retrieve them. Pretty sure the screaming in the wind is the excitement of a country full of bookworms lining up to get their hands on this one. The Library of the Unwritten by AJ Hackwith gets its UK release on February 11th.

Marian Womack brings us a Gothic mystery in which a woman with a talent for finding the lost is hired to solve the mystery of three long-vanished stepdaughters. The Golden Key promises mystery, dark magic and atmosphere amidst the Norfolk Fens on February 18th.

We’ll finish this month with the one that’s possibly generating the most buzz in my timeline (which is saying something given what I’ve already looked at). The Unspoken Name by AK Larkwood is a cross-genre mash-up that gives us a half-orc priestess turned badass assassin on a quest to recover a mysterious artefact before it falls into the hands of the cult that tried to sacrifice her to their gods. Stir in air ships for interplanar travel between worlds, snake goddesses, revenant armies and queer romance, and simmer with anticipation until February 20th.

All release dates quoted are for the UK. US readers should also check out All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace, which I’ll look at next month.