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 this latest Top Ten Tuesday participants need to list their top anticipated releases for the second half of 2021.
2021 has so far been a pretty amazing year for books, with some outstanding and impressive novels coming out and blowing me away. However, the year is far from over and there are a number of incredible and epic-sounding novels set for release in the second half of 2021. To fill out this list I have scoured my list of anticipated upcoming releases and tried to work out which of the books coming out between the start of July and the end of December I am most looking forward to.
This proved to be a rather hard list to finalise, mainly because of how many awesome novels are coming out in the next six months. I honestly had enough awesome upcoming novels on my radar to turn this into a Top 20, but I decided instead to make some hard decisions, and I ended up cutting out several impressive upcoming releases, leaving me with a list mostly featuring books from some of my favourite authors. Despite this, I am rather happy with the eventual choices that I made, and I think that this list reflects which upcoming novels I am going to have the most fun reading. Due to how much potential that I think the entries on this list have, several have previously appeared in my weekly Waiting on Wednesday articles, as well as on my recent Winter TBR list. However, there are also some interesting new books that I am discussing for the first time here, which gives 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 second half of 2021.
Top Ten List (by release date):
This list is off to an extraordinarily strong start as it features the second awesome entry in the Rogue Team International series by the always impressive Jonathan Maberry, Relentless. Spinning off from Maberry’s outstanding Joe Ledger series (which features such epic reads as Patient Zero, Code Zero and Deep Silence), the Rogue Team International series continues to follow action hero Joe Ledger as he goes up against crazy opponents wielding the weirdest science and technology. The first novel in this thrilling series, Rage, was an amazing read that was one of my favourite books (and audiobooks) of 2019, and which ended on a fantastic, if tragic, note. This sets up Relentless to be a gripping and bloody novel filled with revenge as an emotionally compromised Ledger goes up against a new breed of dangerous enemies.
One of my absolute favourite fantasy authors of all times, R. A. Salvatore, returns with the first book in a brand-new series that sets his iconic and long-running protagonists on a whole new adventure. This first book, Starlight Enclave, will follow on from the events of the previous trilogy (made up of Timeless, Boundless and Relentless), and should result in a very impressive and exciting fantasy read.
The master of dark fantasy, Joe Abercrombie, returns with the third and final entry in his intense and addictive Age of Madness trilogy. Both previous novels in the series, A Little Hatred and The Trouble with Peace, have been incredible masterpieces with some deeply impressive stories to them and I am expecting great things for this final novel. The Wisdom of Crowds will focus on the aftermath of the revolution that occurred at the end of The Trouble with Peace and should result in an epic and captivating tale.
Following his incredible debut novel, The Thursday Murder Club, comedian Richard Osman returns with a much-anticipated sequel novel, The Man Who Died Twice, which will present his retired protagonists with another intriguing case. The Thursday Murder Club was one of the runaway hits of last year, and it was easily one of the best novels, audiobooks, and debuts, I had the pleasure of reading in 2020. As a result, I have extremely high hopes for The Man Who Died Twice, and I cannot wait to see what hilarious and clever things are featured in this new novel.
The Bone Ship’s Wake by R. J. Barker – 28 September 2021
Over the last two years, the deeply impressive R. J. Barker has been wowing me, and the rest of the fantasy community, with his epic and captivating novels about the notorious crew of the Tide Child. The Tide Child trilogy, which has so far consisted of The Bone Ships and Call of the Bone Ships, is an outstanding and compelling series, which places a great group of characters in a dark and bloody fantasy world, where crews of condemned men fight aboard ships made from dragon bone. The final entry in this trilogy, The Bone Ship’s Wake, looks set to provide an epic and memorable conclusion to this incredible series, especially after Barker ended Call of the Bone Ships on such a fantastic and moving cliff-hanger. Unfortunately, there has been no preview of The Bone Ship’s Wake’s cover yet but based on how cool the covers for the other entries in The Tide Child trilogy have been, I am sure it is going to be something extremely awesome.
After a bumper 2020 where he released two fantastic crime novels, Fair Warning and The Law of Innocence, bestselling crime fiction author Michael Connelly returns with another intriguing and exciting novel, The Dark Hours. The third entry in the Ballard and Bosch sub-series, which has so far consisted of Dark Sacred Night and The Night Fire, The Dark Hours will set its protagonists on the trail of a clever and conniving killer. This has the potential to be one of the best crime novels of 2021 and I cannot wait to see what unique case Connelly has come up with this time.
I was a little surprised earlier this year when I saw that highly acclaimed author, Ken Follett, was releasing a novel this year, especially after The Evening and the Morning, came out last year. However, I am not one to complain when another awesome Follett novel drops into my lap, especially as his new upcoming book, Never, looks set to be an intriguing world-spanning thriller novel. With an intense and captivating sounding narrative, Never, should be an incredible read and I am exceedingly keen to check it out.
Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters by Charles Soule, Luke Ross and Neeraj Menon – 23 November 2021
While I was very tempted to include the new upcoming Thrawn Ascendancy novel, Lesser Evil, on this list, it quickly became apparent that the piece of Star Wars fiction I am most looking forward to in the second half of 2021 is the major crossover comic, Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters. War of the Bounty Hunters, which is set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, details a brutal fight to claim Han Solo’s frozen body after a major returning character steals it from Boba Fett. Serving as a crossover between the four current Star Wars ongoing series, Star Wars (2020), Darth Vader (2020), Doctor Aphra (2020), and Bounty Hunters, this crossover series sounds like awesomeness personified, and there have already been some major twists and reveals. I cannot wait to check this comic out, although I probably will wait until the collected edition comes out in November. This will be one of the biggest Star Wars events of the year, and as a Star Wars mega-fan, I am deeply, deeply excited for it.
Perhaps the greatest authors of fantasy and science fiction in the world today, the legendary Brandon Sanderson, has a new novel coming out in November, and it is one that I am particularly eager to get my hands on. This new book, Cytonic, is the third entry in the gripping and clever Skyward series of young adult science fiction novels, which has so far featured two exceptional novels, Skyward and Starsight. Featuring an intriguing and complex narrative around humans fighting aliens in a deadly war for survival, the Skyward series has been deeply impressive and thrilling, and I have had so much fun with the first two novels. This next book in the series, Cytonic, looks set to take its likeable protagonist on another unique adventure, this time into a whole new dimension. This novel has an immense amount of potential, and I already now it is going to be epic beyond belief.
A Practical Guide to Conquering the World by K. J. Parker – 25 November 2021
The final entry on this list is A Practical Guide to Conquering the World by K. J. Parker, which is probably going to be the funniest books I read all year. Over the last two years, Parker has released two outstanding and hilarious fantasy novels as part of The Siege series, which takes place during an insane and long-lasting siege of a fantasy city. Featuring two very clever and loosely connected novels, Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City and How to Rule an Empire and Get Away With It, this series featured two fantastic narratives around unqualified, but devious men, taking control of the siege and attempting to win it through unconventional means. I have absolutely loved the first two novels in this series, and I was very excited to see that a third entry, A Practical Guide to Conquering the World, is set for release in November. While no plot details are currently available, I am extremely confident that this will be a fantastic tale political intrigue, treachery, and humorous ambition, as a new non-hero rises to the challenge of ruling the world.
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 every one of the books I mentioned above has some amazing potential, and most, if not all, will probably end up with a full five-star rating from me. I cannot wait to see what awesome and exciting stories the entries on this list contain, and I think that I am going to have an incredible time in the second half of 2021. While I am waiting to get my hands on these books, why not let me know if any of the above interest you, and let me know what your most anticipated releases for the next six months are in the comments below.