This is a concept I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, but I didn’t feel ready before. Predicting five star books is something that requires a lot of self-knowledge, which I probably don’t own. But I feel like I have grown in the past year and I’m curious to see what my predictions will say about myself. So let’s do it!
Ghosts of Harvard is a mystery about Cadence, who wants to find out what happened to her brother, a Harvard student and Schizophrenic who committed suicide. The only thing she has is his notebooks and she starts hearing voices of two important figures. She’s brought into a world of mystery.
This feels like a dark academia book, which is a theme in books I want to discover. I’m also curious what will happen around the brother’s suicide and his mental issues. I feel like the book has a good chance of surprising me, positively.
Set Fire to the Gods is a fantasy about Ash, a descendant of a long line of gladiators, who throws the Earth and Fire Gods into a conflict, that can only be settled by Gladiator games. She meets Madoc, who owns fire magic, and realizes his powers are needed for a rebellion against the Gods.
This book seems to be action packed and I think it’ll show a lot of world building to explain the Gods and the elemental magic of Gladiators. I’m hoping the book will take me into a vivid environment.
Wench is another fantasy about a girl going on a quest to the Queen. After her guardian dies she’s about to lose the tavern which is her life, so she decides to take the journey and request the throne to let her keep it. On this quest she has to dodge and avoid guards, a group of thieves and an enchanted feather.
Sounds weird enough, right? I think this will be a very light, fun read and I’m hoping the quest the main character goes on brings a lot of silly antics.
Black Water Sister is a contemporary fantasy about a woman hearing the voice of her grandmother, who happens to be the avatar of the deity Black Water Sister. Her grandmother wants to settle a score against a mob boss who offended the deity and her granddaughter is caught up into the ordeal.
I think this book will bring a lot of surprises, about the family secrets and gods. The summary talks about making deals with spirits and I think a fantasy contemporary sounds very interesting.
The Taking of Jake Livingston is a horror book about Jake, who can see ghosts. Mostly the ghosts behave but one boy, who did a school shooting a few years ago, turns out be vengeful and starts haunting Jake. Then things escalate when people turn up dead.
I mean, it sounds very interesting and tenseful. I think this book will play with my emotions and bring a lot of dark moments. I think it will also handle the theme of school shootings in a sensitive way (or at least, I hope so).
The Maidens is a mystery by the author of The Silent Patient, a book that I really enjoyed. It’s about a group therapist who’s convinced a Greek Tragedy professor is murdering women. He’s being doted on by a secret society called The Maidens, based on Persephone, and when one of its members turns up dead, the therapist becomes obsessed.
The Silent Patient was a good debut thriller for me and I think the author will take the feedback in this, to make it a five stars for me. I’m very curious what will happen, it’s my most anticipated release of 2021.
Dark Matter is another author-motive of this list. I read Recursion and also enjoyed it but I heard Dark Matter is better. It’s about a man who wakes up in a different reality; his wife is not his wife and they don’t have a son.
Recursion played with my mind and I loved that. Sometimes it got very technical which is why it was a 4 stars for me, but I think Dark Matter will bring me back into the vibe and I’ll be prepared this time.
The Hollow Places is a horror about a woman finding a bunker, that holds portals to other worlds. They’re filled with cryptic mysteries and monsters, and the woman becomes obsessed with them.
Going off two of my favorite horrors, The Year of the Witching and The Only Good Indians, I think this can be a favorite because it hints to supernatural themes in a horror story, something I think I will like.
Elatsoe is a book by an Indigenous author, which I want to explore more of. It’s about a girl that can raise ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed on from her Apache heritage. Her cousin ends up murdered and the girl wants to find out what secrets lay beneath their small village.
I think this will be awesome. I’m very curious about the Lipan Apache culture this book holds and I have a feeling the storytelling is going to be very vivid.
She Who Became the Sun is a historical fantasy based on the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty. It’s about girl who receives the fate of nothingness, but who steps up to take up the part of her brother, who received a fate full of promise and meaning.
I think this book will have it all. Strong characters, vivid world building, history throughout the story. I think it’ll feature some very deep meanings rooted into this story and I can’t wait to read it.
Last but not least, the only sequel on this list. We Free the Stars is the anticipated sequel to one of my top 2020 books, We Hunt the Flame. The main story is about a Huntress and a Prince/Hashashin, who each struggle with their identity and feelings. The Huntress is sent to retrieve something that will save the world from dark magic and the Prince is sent to kill her and steal the item.
I love We Hunt the Flame as a dark fantasy with a found family. It gave me a lot of emotions and twists and I’m convinced the author will give us another breathtaking journey.
That’s the list! I think it will be fun to look back at this list after reading these books and see if I really do know myself. Maybe I’m right and these will join my favorites list or I’ll hate them all together. Let’s see later this year. What are your five star predictions?