Top 5 Most Anticipated Releases of February 2012

A new month, new books! This year, our Top 5 Most Anticipated Releases lists will see a small change. No longer will they consist solely of fantasy releases, but instead will contain all speculative subgenres. After all, most of us who love fantasy also pick up the occasional science fiction or horror book, and most of our favorite publishers serve all speculative fiction. Don’t worry, though: we are still big fans of fantasy, and all genres will get the attention they deserve.

Unfortunately, due to unexpected circumstances, we missed January’s anticipation list, but if you’re still looking for great books published last month, we suggest checking out Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds, Control Point by Myke Cole, or Seven Princes by John R. Fultz.

Without further ado, here are The Ranting Dragon’s top picks for February, as compiled by Stephan and Michelle:

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1. Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
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Saladin Ahmed isn’t a usual name for an epic fantasy author, but it is not an unfamiliar name either. After all, Ahmed is already renowned for his short fiction—he was a finalist for both the John W. Campbell Award and the Nebula Award for Best Short Story. Complete with a mesmerizing cover, Ahmed’s Arabian-influenced debut novel promises to bring something new to both the epic fantasy and sword and sorcery subgenres. In Throne of the Crescent Moon, we follow Doctor Adoulla Makhslood on one of his adventures. Murders and brewing revolution lead him to discover a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.
Published by DAW on February 7.
2. Exogene by T.C. McCarthy
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Exogene is the second book in The Subterrene War and the indirect sequel to T. C. McCarthy’s outstanding debut novel, Germline. This time around, we see the war through the eyes of Catherine, a genetically modified super-soldier. ‘Genetics’ are created with a limited lifespan and indoctrinated into a cult of Faith and Death from the moment they leave the gene vats. Any who survive to the age of eighteen become increasingly unstable and are shot. However, Catherine craves something more than war and death. She craves life and she will stop at nothing to get it. This novel promises to be just as—if not more—brilliant, uncomfortable, and effective than its predecessor.
Published by Orbit on February 28.
3. Partials by Dan Wells
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You may know of Dan Wells as a close friend to Brandon Sanderson and contributor to the Writing Excuses podcast. You may also know of Dan Wells through his popular urban fantasy/horror John Cleaver trilogy. Soon, though, I predict you will get to know him because of his new post-apocalyptic stand-alone novel Partials, which promises us a stunning story of human extinction. A weaponized virus from the war with the Partials has left human population reduced to only tens of thousands. Since the threat of the Partials is still imminent, no baby has been born immune to the RM virus in more than a decade, and time is running out.
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 28.
4. City of Dragons by Robin Hobb
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After two science fiction novels, it is time to return to genuine epic fantasy in this list. What better novel to list than the latest novel from one of fantasy’s best known and most popular authors? City of Dragons is the third volume in Robin Hobb’s The Rain Wilds Chronicles, which runs concurrently with and following the events of the Tawny Man Trilogy. City of Dragons tells a tale of—what else?—dragons. These magnificent creatures once reigned the Rain Wilds, tended by privileged human servants known as Elderlings. But due to a series of cataclysmic events, the last of their kind have one hope for survival: to undertake a harsh journey back to their ancient city of Kelsingra.
Published by Harper Voyager on February 7.
5. Carpathia by Matt Forbeck
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When a novel is published by Angry Robot Books, you know you’re in for a weird and exhilarating ride. When that novel is written by Matt Forbeck, author of great novels like Vegas Knights and Amortals, you know it’s a must-read. Carpathia, however, promises to be a dark, alternative history of survivors of the Titanic being saved by a haunted steamship. With such an interesting premise, we’ll read it regardless of author and publisher. Right?
Published by Angry Robot on February 28.

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If you’re anything like we are, five books are not nearly enough. Luckily, there are many more new releases that are definitely worth a look despite not making our Top Five. We also suggest you look out for:

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Arctic Rising by Tobias S. Buckell
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Arctic Rising is a science-fiction thriller involving a scientific creation made with the intent to combat global warming—a creation that could well be an unparalleled superweapon if used by the wrong hands.
Published by Tor on February 28.
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
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In this young adult dystopian thriller set in a future America under military rule, Ember’s mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. One of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings… the only boy Ember has ever loved.
Published by Tor Teen on January 31.
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
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Born Wicked is the debut novel by Jessica Spotswood and the first book in The Cahill Witch Chronicles. Aimed at a young adult audience, it tells the story of Cate Cahill and her sisters. While they are considered by many to be too pretty, too smart, and too eccentric for their own good, the truth is far more dangerous: they are witches.
Published by Putnam Juvenile on February 7.
The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan
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Margo Lanagan’s latest novel is an atmospheric literary fantasy written for both adults and young adults. On remote Rollrock Island, a sea-witch called Misskaella discovers she can draw a girl from the heart of a seal. So, for a price, any man might buy himself an irresistibly enchanting sea-wife for a bride. But what cost will be born by the people of Rollrock—the men, the women, the children—once Misskaella sets her heart on doing such a thing?
Published by David Fickling Books on February 2.
Enormity by W.G. Marshall
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Enormity tells the tale of Manny Lopes, a young man who is not only physically small, but feels rather insignificant. When a quantum explosion renders Manny a mile tall colossus, he becomes a near unstoppable force and chaos ensues.
Published by Night Shade Books on February 2.
A Good and Useful Hurt by Aric Davis
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An imaginative thriller in which a tattoo artist discovers he and his clients can communicate with the dead by mixing crematory ashes into tattooing ink.
Published by 47North on February 21.
Greatshadow: The Dragon Apocalypse by James Maxey
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A group of adventurers are chosen to slay an elemental evil, the dragon Greatshadow, before it can destroy mankind. However, if they are to succeed, they will need to refrain from slaying each other in the process. Easier said than done.
Published by Solaris on January 31.
The Kingdoms of Dust by Amanda Downum
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The third book in the Necromancer Chronicles sees Isyltt exiled to Assar, the empire she recently worked to undermine. Soon she is drawn into a battle between captive spirits and the mages who bind them, the results of which could raze the Empire to dust.
Published by Orbit on February 28.
Raven Calls by C.E. Murphy
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In the seventh book of the Walker Papers, being bitten by a werewolf is suddenly the least of Joanne Walker’s problems. With her personal life in turmoil and her job as a cop over, she’s been called to Ireland by the magic within her. Though Joanne’s skills have grown by leaps and bounds, Ireland’s magic is old and very powerful…
Published by Luna on February 21.
The Ritual by Adam Nevill
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When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. However, they soon stumble upon the site of an ancient pagan sacrifice. They will discover that while the pagans may be gone, the woods are haunted from their sacrifices.
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin on February 14.
The Scar by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko
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Egert is a brash, confident member of the elite guards and an egotistical philanderer. After he kills an innocent student in a duel, a mysterious man known as “The Wanderer” challenges Egert and slashes his face with his sword, leaving Egert with a scar that comes to symbolize his cowardice. The Scar is the story of a man driven by his own feverish demons to find redemption and the woman who just might save him.
Published by Tor on February 28.
The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett
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The Troupe tells the tale of George Carole, a sixteen-year-old boy who runs away to join a strange Vaudeville troupe. However, there is more to his new companions than it seems, and he must discover their secret before it’s too late.
Published by Orbit on February 21.
The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers
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Jocelyn’s twin brother, Jack, was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes; now he’s dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from “Jason December”—the code name her brother formerly used when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers.
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on February 14.
The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice
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The ever popular author of The Vampire Chronicles offers her own take on the werewolf using modern day setting to explore an enduring myth.
Published by Knopf on February 14.

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Agree with this month’s choices? Disagree? Let us know what you’re anticipating on The Ranting Dragon forums. Whatever your interests, we wish you all a great month of reading!

About Stephan van Velzen

Stephan van Velzen
A 31 year-old Communications student, Stephan loves publicity and design, particularly web design. When he’s not designing websites, he can be found in a comfy chair reading a fantasy book. In The Ranting Dragon, he has found a way to combine these passions and discover a new love for writing to boot. Stephan lives in a small town in The Netherlands with his wife Rebecca, an editor for The Ranting Dragon, and their two cats.

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2 comments

  1. Quite the February lineup we have on tap!

  2. I have review copies of “The Wolf Gift” and “Partials”, both of which I’m looking forward to reading, but oh, I REALLY want to get my hands on “Throne of the Crescent Moon!”

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