2021 New Releases on Our Radar (Part 1 – First Half of the Year)

We have feasted our eyes on MANY of the new books coming out this year … just check out the list at LitHub or The Millions … so many beauties! Well, we can’t possibly read all of them because … older books need love too and well – that would be impossible – but these are the ones we’re most looking forward to reading.


I have so seen so many titles that I’m interested in reading, but the ones I’m most excited for are those coming from authors I’ve read before.

Remote Control, Nnedi Okorafor

Jan. 19, 2021. We’ve mentioned Okorafor’s books here quite a few times already. Akata Witch was the first book I read by Okorafor and I have so much love for that novel. It’s a story with a magical hidden World in Nigeria that sounds so amazing that I kept re-reading the sections that featured it. The Binti series of novellas is also amazing and are the last books I read by Okorafor.

Source // Nnedi Okorafor Instagram

The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From hereon in she would be known as Sankofa­­–a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past. Her touch is death, and with a glance a town can fall. And she walks–alone, except for her fox companion–searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell and when she was yet unchanged; searching for answers. But is there a greater purpose for Sankofa, now that Death is her constant companion?

How Beautiful We Were, Imbolo Mbue

Mar. 9, 2021. Mbue is back with her 2nd novel after Behold the Dreamers which was my favorite book read in 2018 and I for one am 100% here for it! Her first book was amazeballsss and judging from the little sneak peak I’ve had of this one – I’m sure it’s going to be another favorite. The first line reads, “

How Beautiful We Were

Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, How Beautiful We Were tells the story of a people living in fear amidst environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of clean-up and financial reparations to the villagers are made – and ignored. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back. Their struggle would last for decades and come at a steep price.

A Master of Djinn (Fatma el-Sha’arawi #3), P. Djeli Clark –

May 11, 2021. I was just introduced to P. Djeli Clark books a little over month ago when I read the short-story A Dead Djinn in Cairo (available for free on Tor.com) – the first in the Fatma el-Sha’arawi series. After that I promptly read the 2nd novella – The Haunting of Tram Car 015 and his book Ring Shout. As I said in This Is How We Read [The 2020 Edition] – I fell down a rabbit hole and just kept reading everything by him that I could find. And unbelievably, I just have a few months before being blessed with another book that’s set in a magical alternate history Cairo and our favorite detective at the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities.

Source | Tordotcom Instagram

Cairo, 1912: Though Fatma el-Sha’arawi is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, she’s certainly not a rookie, so when someone murders a secret brotherhood dedicated to one of the most famous men in history, al-Jahiz, Agent Fatma is called onto the case. Al-Jahiz transformed the world 50 years ago when he opened up the veil between the magical and mundane realms, before vanishing into the unknown. This murderer claims to be al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions.

Later, Stephen King

Ummm … it’s Stephen King. If he releases a book – I’m going to read it.

The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine – as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave.

+ On Kim’s Release Radar +

Winterkeep (Graceling Realm #4), Kristin Cashore

January 19. 2021. I adored the Graceling series when I read it years ago and, at the time, felt it was one of the most creative fantasy YA series out there. I was 100% thrilled when I noticed that a fourth book was slated to be published in 2021! I thought I’d put these characters to rest in my mind but I’m really excited to visit this world again.

Taking place four years after Bitterblue, Winterkeep is a land of telepathic people and telepathic animals. But something has gone wrong. when Bitterblue’s envoys to Winterkeep drown under suspicious circumstances, she and Giddon and her half sister, Hava, set off to discover the truth–putting both Bitterblue’s life and Giddon’s heart to the test when Bitterbue is kidnapped. Giddon believes she has drowned, leaving him and Hava to solve the mystery of what’s wrong in Winterkeep.

Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake #3), Victoria Schwab

March 2, 2021. I love this YA series about a girl who can see spirits, has a best friend who is a ghost himself, and parents who host a TV show about ghost hunting. This is supposed to be the third book in the series and it takes place in New Orleans! 

Cass thinks she might have this ghost-hunting thing down. But nothing can prepare Cass for New Orleans, which wears all of its hauntings on its sleeve. In a city of ghost tours and tombs, raucous music and all kinds of magic, Cass could get lost in all the colorful, grisly local legends. And the city’s biggest surprise is a foe Cass never expected to face: a servant of Death itself.

Victories Greater Than Death, Charlie Jane Anders

April 13, 2021. I’m new to Charlie Jane Anders writing but I’ve seen her books buzzed about for awhile now. This one is touted as Star Wars meets Doctor Who so, of course, I have to check it out. 

Tina has always known her destiny is outside the norm—after all, she is the human clone of the most brilliant alien commander in all the galaxies (even if the rest of the world is still deciding whether aliens exist). But she is tired of waiting for her life to begin. And then it does—and maybe Tina should have been more prepared.

The Whispering Dead, Darcy Coates

May 4, 2021. Boy have I fallen hard for Darcy Coates books. They are the perfect ghost stories for our #WickedGoodReads even and I have begun to read one or two of them ever year. I’m excited that this one takes place in an actual grave yard as her usual setting is an old, spooky house/manor. 

Homeless, hunted, and desperate to escape a bitter storm, Keira takes refuge in an abandoned groundskeeper’s cottage. Her new home is tucked away at the edge of a cemetery, surrounded on all sides by gravestones. The cemetery is alive with faint, spectral shapes, led by a woman who died before her time…and Keira, the only person who can see her, has become her new target.

Mister Impossible (Dreamer Trilogy #2), Maggie Stiefvater

May 18, 2021. I read Call Down the Hawk in 2020 after falling completely in love with The Raven Boys trilogy years ago. I love me some Ronan Lynch and this series is so fun as he joins forces with others who share his gift for dreaming. 

Do the dreamers need the ley lines to save the world . . . or will their actions end up dooming the world? As Ronan, Hennessy, and Bryde try to make dreamers more powerful, the Moderators are closing in, sure that this power will bring about disaster.

Malibu Rising, Taylor Reid Jenkins

May 25, 2021. I adored The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six was a great read too. Taylor Reid Jenkins has solidified herself on my list of must read authors and I look forward to reading her next book. If it’s as good as the two above, I’ll be gushing all year long, I’m sure.

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas siblings. By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames.

Sorrowland, Rivers Soloman

After reading, and loving, An Unkindness of GhostsI’m very excited to read even more of Rivers Soloman’s writing. This one looks amazing. 

Vern – seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised – flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world. But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. 

Are you looking forward to reading any of these books? Which new release do you have to read as soon as it comes out?


// Comments //

  1. I loved the Graceling series when I read it quite a few years ago now, so I’d like to read Winterkeep

    • @Shelleyrae This was one of my favorite fantasy series back in the day. I’m so excited for Winterkeep.

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