Most Anticipated Books of 2016, Part 2

With Allegiance of Honor devoured and midsummer approaching, it’s time, I think, to reveal the second part of my most anticipated reads list for the year.  First up, for no other reason than pure nostalgia, is:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
Release Date: July 31, 2016

I read my first Harry Potter novel, Chamber of Secrets, in an act of self-preservation.  Otherwise, I would have had no idea what my niece and nephew were talking about.  I fell instantly in love with the wizarding world and harbored an unashamed, though childish, desire for a Nimbus 2000.

The Blurb:

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-7d89c09d2df9777b38fbd808bb3ffb1aWild Embrace by Nalini Singh
Release Date: August 23, 2016

We get Stephen the mysterious, Felix and Dezi, and Kenji and Garnet in one bundle of awesomeness. The peek at Dorian’s struggle is the chocolate drizzle on this triple chocolate cake.

The Blurb:

The “alpha author of paranormal romance” presents a stunningly sensual collection of four all-new Psy-Changeling novellas, in which taboos are broken, boundaries are crossed, and instincts prove irresistible…

Echo of Silence
In a deep-sea station, Tazia Nerif has found her life’s work as an engineer, keeping things running smoothly. But she wants nothing more than to break down the barrier of silence between her and her telekinetic Psy station commander…

Dorian
A changeling who can never shift lives a life of quiet frustration—until he learns how to let his leopard come out and play…

Partners in Persuasion
Still raw from being burned by a dominant female, wolf changeling Felix will never again risk being a plaything. But for dominant leopard Dezi, he’s the most fascinating man she’s ever met. She just has to convince this gun-shy wolf that he can trust the dangerous cat who wants to take a slow, sexy bite out of him…

Flirtation of Fate
Seven years ago, Kenji broke Garnet’s heart. Now the wolf packmates have to investigate the shocking murder of one of their own. And the more Kenji sees of the woman Garnet has become, the deeper he begins to fall once more. But even his primal instincts are no match for the dark secret he carries…

goodreads-badge-add-plus-7d89c09d2df9777b38fbd808bb3ffb1aThe Risen by Ron Rash
Release Date: September 6, 2016

Anything written by Ron Rash is sure to be a pleasure to read, every page just dripping with Southern goodness.  A cross between a sweet iced-tea and a mint julep.

The Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash demonstrates his superb narrative skills in this suspenseful and evocative tale of two brothers whose lives are altered irrevocably by the events of one long-ago summer—and one bewitching young woman—and the secrets that could destroy their lives.

While swimming in a secluded creek on a hot Sunday in 1969, sixteen-year-old Eugene and his older brother, Bill, meet the entrancing Ligeia. A sexy, free-spirited redhead from Daytona Beach banished to their small North Carolina town until the fall, Ligeia will not only bewitch the two brothers, but lure them into a struggle that reveals the hidden differences in their natures.

Drawn in by her raw sensuality and rebellious attitude, Eugene falls deeper under her spell. Ligeia introduces him to the thrills and pleasures of the counterculture movement, then in its headiest moment. But just as the movement’s youthful optimism turns dark elsewhere in the country that summer, so does Eugene and Ligeia’s brief romance. Eugene moves farther and farther away from his brother, the cautious and dutiful Bill, and when Ligeia vanishes as suddenly as she appeared, the growing rift between the two brothers becomes immutable.

Decades later, their relationship is still turbulent, and the once close brothers now lead completely different lives. Bill is a gifted and successful surgeon, a paragon of the community, while Eugene, the town reprobate, is a failed writer and determined alcoholic.

When a shocking reminder of the past unexpectedly surfaces, Eugene is plunged back into that fateful summer, and the girl he cannot forget. The deeper he delves into his memories, the closer he comes to finding the truth. But can Eugene’s recollections be trusted? And will the truth set him free and offer salvation . . . or destroy his damaged life and everyone he loves?

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Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
Release Date: October 4, 2016

First, I know that’s not the official cover, but I like it better.  It’s more colorful.  I loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette, so I can’t wait to get my hands on Semple’s new novel.

The Blurb:

A brilliant novel from the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.

Eleanor knows she’s a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother’s company. It’s also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he’s on vacation. Just when it seems like things can’t go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.

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Genghis Khan and the Quest for God: How the World’s Greatest Conqueror Gave Us Religious Freedom by Jack Weatherford
Release Date: October 25, 2016

Weatherford’s Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World is awesome.  It’s rare to find a history that reads like a novel but that’s exactly what it is.  Indian Givers is also really good.  Can’t wait for this.

The Blurb:

Genghis-Quest_WeatherfordA landmark biography of one of history’s most effective conquerors by The New York Times bestselling author of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World that reveals how he harnessed the power of religion to rule the largest empire the world has ever known

Throughout history the world’s greatest conquerors have made their mark not just on the battlefield, but also in the societies they have transformed. Genghis Khan conquered by arms and bravery, but he ruled by commerce and religion. He transformed the silk road into the world’s most effective trading network, established new laws, and drastically lowered taxes for merchants. But he knew that if his empire was going to last, he would need something stronger and more binding than trade. He needed religion. And so, unlike the Christian, Taoist, and Muslim conquerors who had come before him, he gave his subjects freedom of religion using an argument that would directly influence Thomas Jefferson. But before that, he looted their shrines and killed their priests. Genghis lived in the thirteenth century, but he struggled with many of the same problems we face today: How should one balance religious freedom with the need to rein in fanatics? Can one compel rival religions—driven by deep-seated hatred—to live together in peace?

A celebrated anthropologist whose bestselling Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World radically transformed our understanding of the Mongols and their legacy, Jack Weatherford has spent eighteen years exploring areas of Mongolia closed until the fall of the Soviet Union and researching The Secret History of the Mongols, an astonishing document written in code that was only recently discovered. He pored through archives and found groundbreaking evidence of Genghis’s influence on the founding fathers. Now, with this masterpiece of historical erudition and religious insight, he has written his most personal and resonant work.

goodreads-badge-add-plus-7d89c09d2df9777b38fbd808bb3ffb1aArchangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh
Release Date: November 1, 2016

Okay, just what are the Luminata, and how do they relate to the Legion?  And from what supernatural being does Elena descend?  Personally, part of me is hoping it’s Dmitri.  Wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants for both of them?  But I doubt that’s the case.  It’s a fair bet her angelic superpower will have something to do with plants.  That has to be a clue.  Which angel has a similar ability, I wonder?

The Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us into a dangerous and exhilarating world where a deadly, beautiful archangel and his once-mortal consort are caught in a fury of twisted darkness…

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

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