In today’s post, I’m going to be talking about six 2022 new releases that I am excited to pick up and read for myself! There is a diverse range of books on this list, and even more besides out there in the big wide world.
The six books I list in today’s post are books that are already on my TBR; some of which I have copies of already. I’m looking forward to today’s post and telling you why I can’t wait to read these new releases… so let’s just get to it!
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: 23 Aug 2022
Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.
1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation — also known as Babel.
Babel is the world’s center of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect. Silver-working has made the British Empire unparalleled in power, and Babel’s research in foreign languages serves the Empire’s quest to colonize everything it encounters.
Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, is a fairytale for Robin; a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge serves power, and for Robin, a Chinese boy raised in Britain, serving Babel inevitably means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to sabotaging the silver-working that supports imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide: Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? What is he willing to sacrifice to bring Babel down?
Babel — a thematic response to The Secret History and a tonal response to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell — grapples with student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of translation as a tool of empire.
I am really looking forward to receiving my copy of Babel. Not only does the plot sound dark and twisty, but one of my favourite BookTubers (Ashleigh @ A Frolic Through Fiction) absolutely adored reading this.
Through one of Ashleigh‘s discussions of this book, it became clear that this isn’t strictly just a fantasy. There’s a lot of depth and detail into the translation side of things. As somebody who nearly went to university to study linguistics, this focus on language and the detail put into it also appeals to me.
Not long ago, I signed up to the Illumicrate book-only subscription, and this is going to be the first book I receive!
Genre: Greek Mythology
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: 3 May 2022
The House of Atreus is cursed. A bloodline tainted by a generational cycle of violence and vengeance. This is the story of three women, their fates inextricably tied to this curse, and the fickle nature of men and gods.
The sister of Helen, wife of Agamemnon – her hopes of averting the curse are dashed when her sister is taken to Troy by the feckless Paris. Her husband raises a great army against them, and determines to win, whatever the cost.
Princess of Troy, and cursed by Apollo to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it. She is powerless in her knowledge that the city will fall.
The youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Elektra is horrified by the bloodletting of her kin. But, can she escape the curse, or is her own destiny also bound by violence?
I find that I want to explore more books about Greek mythology of late. Having read and enjoyed Pandora’s Jar just last month, I am continuing with reading about Greek mythology. I have also added a few to my TBR of late, including both Ariadne and Elektra.
I’m also enjoying the emphasis of female narratives in Greek mythology. As Natalie Haynes points out in Pandora’s Jar, Greek myths as we know them today have been warped considerably from their original tellings. Sadly, it is a more modern change in which we see women’s roles changed to make them insignificant, or altogether evil. I enjoyed how this book put the stories to rights, and I want to read more. I can only hope that I get this, and more, from Elektra.
The Blood Trials
Audience: Young Adult/New Adult
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: 5 Apr 2022
It’s all about blood.
The blood spilled between the Republic of Mareen and the armies of the Blood Emperor long ago. The blood gifts of Mareen’s deadliest enemies. The blood that runs through the elite War Houses of Mareen, the rulers of the Tribunal dedicated to keeping the republic alive.
The blood of the former Legatus, Verne Amari, murdered.
For his granddaughter, Ikenna, the only thing steady in her life was the man who had saved Mareen. The man who had trained her in secret, not just in martial skills, but in harnessing the blood gift that coursed through her.
Who trained her to keep that a secret.
But now there are too many secrets, and with her grandfather assassinated, Ikenna knows two things: that only someone on the Tribunal could have ordered his death, and that only a Praetorian Guard could have carried out that order.
Bent on revenge as much as discovering the truth, Ikenna pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials–a brutal initiation that only a quarter of the aspirants survive. She subjects herself to the racism directed against her half-Khanaian heritage and the misogyny of a society that cherishes progeny over prodigy, all while hiding a power that–if found out–would subject her to execution…or worse. Ikenna is willing to risk it all because she needs to find out who murdered her grandfather…and then she needs to kill them.
Mareen has been at peace for a long time…
Ikenna joining the Praetorians is about to change all that.
Magic and technology converge in the first part of this stunning debut duology, where loyalty to oneself–and one’s blood–is more important than anything.
I heard about The Blood Trials when watching another BookTuber, Becca and the Books. She had been sent a copy of the book to read and review, and the synopsis caught my attention straight away. It reminded me to a certain extent of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.
I also love that this book has diverse representation. It sounds like it has a classic fantasy structure, detailed world-building and complex inter-character relations, so this is full of promise.
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Publication Date: 25 Jan 2022
Our ability to pay attention is collapsing. From the New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections comes a groundbreaking examination of why this is happening–and how to get our attention back.
In the United States, teenagers can focus on one task for only sixty-five seconds at a time, and office workers average only three minutes. Like so many of us, Johann Hari was finding that constantly switching from device to device and tab to tab was a diminishing and depressing way to live. He tried all sorts of self-help solutions–even abandoning his phone for three months–but nothing seemed to work. So Hari went on an epic journey across the world to interview the leading experts on human attention–and he discovered that everything we think we know about this crisis is wrong.
We think our inability to focus is a personal failure to exert enough willpower over our devices. The truth is even more disturbing: our focus has been stolen by powerful external forces that have left us uniquely vulnerable to corporations determined to raid our attention for profit. Hari found that there are twelve deep causes of this crisis, from the decline of mind-wandering to rising pollution, all of which have robbed some of our attention. In Stolen Focus, he introduces readers to Silicon Valley dissidents who learned to hack human attention, and veterinarians who diagnose dogs with ADHD. He explores a favela in Rio de Janeiro where everyone lost their attention in a particularly surreal way, and an office in New Zealand that discovered a remarkable technique to restore workers’ productivity.
Crucially, Hari learned how we can reclaim our focus–as individuals, and as a society–if we are determined to fight for it. Stolen Focus will transform the debate about attention and finally show us how to get it back.
There are distractions all around, and when I saw the title and focus of this book, it resonated with me. There are times when I am really distracted. Sometimes, it manifests as the need to multitask and my brain constantly flits between multiple things at once. Inevitably, the job would probably get done better and maybe even quicker if I dealt with one at a time. That’s the thing with our modern world – we have countless information inputs that we ingest constantly. We always need to be doing more… and better.
Other times, I can just drift and lose my attention to something completely meaningless. It is easy to think of a lack of attention as a personal failing, but I’m interested to see the psychology behind it and also how I can take back control and improve my focus.
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Publication Date: 27 Jan 2022
London, 1799. Dora Blake is an aspiring jewellery artist who lives with her uncle in what used to be her parents’ famed shop of antiquities. When a mysterious Greek vase is delivered, Dora is intrigued by her uncle’s suspicious behaviour and enlists the help of Edward Lawrence, a young antiquarian scholar. Edward sees the ancient vase as key to unlocking his academic future. Dora sees it as a chance to restore the shop to its former glory, and to escape her nefarious uncle.
But what Edward discovers about the vase has Dora questioning everything she has believed about her life, her family, and the world as she knows it. As Dora uncovers the truth she starts to realise that some mysteries are buried, and some doors are locked, for a reason.
Gorgeously atmospheric and deliciously page-turning, Pandora is a story of secrets and deception, love and fulfilment, fate and hope.
This historical fiction novel dips into Greek mythology that I was talking about earlier. However, it is just an introductory foundation to a completely different story – one that I can’t wait to read. This blend of a mystery and historical fiction novel has a lot of components to it.
I believe there are also elements of romance. By and large, I don’t read a lot of romance or focus on romance in a book. Naturally, it happens, but it’s not something that I actively seek out. At the same time, if it’s not a huge pivotal element to the story, and it’s more of a sideline, that’s easier for me to read. It will be interesting to see just where this book is on the scale, and how much I enjoy it in comparison.
The First Binding
Publication Date: 16 Aug 2022
All legends are born of truths. And just as much lies. These are mine. Judge me for what you will. But you will hear my story first.
I buried the village of Ampur under a mountain of ice and snow. Then I killed their god. I’ve stolen old magics and been cursed for it. I started a war with those that walked before mankind and lost the princess I loved, and wanted to save. I’ve called lightning and bound fire. I am legend. And I am a monster.
My name is Ari. And this is the story of how I let loose the first evil.
The First Binding is released later this month, and I have been excited about this book since January. I am really fortunate to be taking part in the publication blog tour for this book – at the time of writing this post, I am currently reading it!
At around 250 pages, I can say this is living up to my expectation. Grand in nature, The First Binding is truly an epic fantasy. Full of magic and deceit, with themes of prejudice and racial discrimination, The First Binding is a narrative of one man who has gone to the ends of the world, loved and lost, made mistakes… and paid for them dearly.
The book is heavily inspired by The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and it’s for this reason that I have been really excited to read this book. I read The Name of the Wind as a teenager, and I adored the way in which the story was told from the very beginning. Told candidly from the perspective of our main character in hindsight, both of these books do not glamourise the deeds these men have done. In fact, they shed light on how their tales have been altered in the telling by others, and setting right those wrongs.
I can’t wait to finish this book and share my thoughts with you later this month!
So, those are my top 2022 new releases that I can’t wait to read! Have any of these caught your eye? Have you read any of these books? Are there any other 2022 new releases I didn’t feature in this post that you think I should have? Let me know in the comments or on social media. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
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