Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. For the first Top Ten Tuesday list of the year, participants need to list their most anticipated releases for the first half of 2021.
Despite only just starting, 2021 is already shaping up to be an epic and exciting year for books with a huge range of impressive and highly anticipated novels due for release in the next 12 months. This includes exciting debuts, anticipated sequels and the latest entries in beloved bestselling series. The first half of the year is looking particularly awesome, with a substantial number of incredible upcoming releases that I am deeply looking forward to.
Due to how many awesome books are currently set for release between 1 January 2021 and 30 June 2021, this ended up being a rather difficult list to pull together. There were way too many extraordinary upcoming books that I could have included, and I ended up having to make some very tough calls and cutting several novels that have an immense amount of potential. Despite this, I am rather happy with the eventual choices that I made, and I think that this list reflects the upcoming novels and comics I am going to have the most fun reading. I have mentioned several of these books before in my weekly Waiting on Wednesday articles, and some of them also appeared on my recent Summer TBR list. However, there are also some interesting new books that I am discussing for the first time here, so that should give this list a bit of variety. So let us get to my selections and find out which upcoming novels are my most anticipated releases for the first half of 2021.
Firefly: Life Signs by James Lovegrove – 16 March 2021
Top Ten Tuesday (By Release Date):
Exciting thriller writer Gregg Hurwitz is set to return later this month with the latest entry in his awesome Orphan X series. I have deeply enjoyed the previous two books in this series, Out of the Dark and Into the Fire, and Prodigal Son looks like it will have a fun and fantastic story to it.
This next novel on this list is The Three Paradises, the second entry in the Alexander’s Legacy series that examines the wars fought in the aftermath of Alexander the Great’s death. The Three Paradises serves as a sequel to the excellent 2020 novel, To the Strongest, and it should turn out be a fun and entertaining read.
Following on from his 2020 hit, One Minute Out (which was one of my favourite books and audiobooks of 2020), outstanding thriller author Mark Greaney returns with Relentless, the 10th entry in his Gray Man series. In his latest novel, Greaney’s assassin protagonist will attempt to get to the bottom of a lethal conspiracy involving several missing intelligence agents. I have extremely high hopes for this book and I think it has the potential to be one of the top books of 2021.
While there are several awesome pieces of Star Wars fiction coming out in the first half of 2021, the one that I am most excited for is Victory’s Price by Alexander Freed, the third and final book in his Alphabet Squadron series. The previous two entries in the series, Alphabet Squadron and Shadow Fall, have been some of the strongest Star Wars novels in recent years and I have deeply enjoyed this intense, character driven series. This final entry will feature the final showdown between two rival groups of pilots and should be quite the emotional thrill ride.
Breakout is an intriguing thriller novel that I really like the sound of. Breakout will follow an imprisoned former cop’s attempt to escape a flooded supermax prison filled with the most dangerous convicts in the country. This cool sounding book has the potential to be one of the most awesome and exciting releases of the year and I am really looking forward to reading it.
I had the very great pleasure of reading Sarah Beth Durst’s standalone fantasy novel, Race the Sands, last year, which proved to be one of the best books of 2020. Since then, I have been keeping a close eye out for any new books from this acclaimed fantasy author and I was very excited when I saw she was releasing another standalone novel in a few short months. This upcoming book will follow a group of damaged fantasy heroes, many years after their legendary victory over a great evil. The Bone Maker sounds like it will be an incredible, character driven epic and I am deeply excited for it.
In 2020 I was blown away by Nick Martell’s impressive and clever fantasy debut, The Kingdom of Liars, which saw a fantastically flawed protagonist attempt to find the truth in a corrupt kingdom where magic costs people their memories. This was an extremely compelling and exciting novel, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the upcoming sequel, The Two-Faced Queen, which I believe will be another outstanding read.
Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 35: Homecoming by Stan Sakai – 14 April 2021
It should as no surprise to anyone familiar with me that the entry I am most excited about is a Usagi Yojimbo comic. The Usagi Yojimbo series is easily my favourite comics of all time and each year I eagerly await the one new volume that comes out. This upcoming volume, Homecoming, will be the 35th overall volume of the series and the second volume published fully in colour (the first being 2020’s Bunraku and Other Stories). Homecoming sounds like it is going to have some major storylines that will see Usagi return to his childhood village, where many enemies and painful memories await him. I have no doubt whatsoever that I am going to absolutely love this latest Usagi Yojimbo comic and it is going to be one of the best things I read all year.
The Girl and the Mountain by Mark Lawrence – 5 May 2021
Last year I was lucky enough to get a copy of my first Mark Lawrence novel, The Girl and the Stars, which contained an epic and impressive fantasy storyline set deep beneath the ice of an unforgiving world. I deeply enjoyed this novel, and I am quite excited to check out the sequel, The Girl and the Mountains, which looks set to continue the fantastic and captivating narrative from the first book.
The final entry on this list is The Last Graduate by bestselling author Naomi Novik. The Last Graduate will serve as a sequel to A Deadly Education, a fun and addictive fantasy novel that was one of my favourite books of 2020. I had an outstanding time reading A Deadly Education (I powered through it in about a day), and I cannot wait to see how Novik continues this incredible story.
That is the end of this list. I am extremely happy with how my latest Top Ten Tuesday article turned out and this list contains an intriguing collection of upcoming books that should prove to be incredible reads. I think that nearly every one of these books has the potential to get a full five-star rating from me and I cannot wait to see what amazing and exciting stories they contain. While I am waiting to get my hands on these books, why not let me know if any of the above interest you, as well as what your most anticipated releases for the next six months are in the comments below.