14 january 2022 releases: my chang’e prayers were answered

Happy New Year, everyone! 🍾✨ I hope that 2021 treated you well despite all the chaos that went down, especially since COVID is still disrupting our lives. Personally 2021 was filled with great moments. I’ve reached milestones and reflected upon the highlights. Last year was pretty hectic but I managed to read and blog. While my previous job gave me the luxury to do that, my new role will demand more time and effort from me. How my reading and blogging journey would be like in 2022 will be a mystery.

Back to the main point of this post: I’ll be showcasing monthly upcoming releases that I have on my ever-growing TBR. For the past year, I did such posts based on the genres and on a 6-months period. Decided to improve the whole format in 2022 so I’m testing out this layout and style. Do let me know if you think it’s a little bit too wordy with the synopsis at the side of each book!

In January, there are three new authors–Akshaya Raman, Leslie Vedder, and Sue Lynn Tan–whose debut novels I’m looking forward to! For the rest of the authors, I’ve read at least one book from. Morgan Rhodes, Jodi Meadows, and Kendare Blake each have a new series coming out. The only middle grade and sci-fi in this list is Tiger Honor by Yoon Ha Lee. Serendipity is an anthology of love stories by multiple authors that I like.


duology: the ivory key #1
January 4th 2022 by Clarion Books
age range: young adult
genre: fantasy
rep: Indian, lgbt (gay mc, lesbian sc)

trigger and content warnings:
  • graphic descriptions of dead bodies (specifically on page 1 & Chapter 6), high volume of discussion of grief and loss, death of family members (specifically parents–the deaths occur off page but are discussed throughout), recovering from trauma, blood, violence, emotional manipulation, alcohol, discussion of identity policing/microaggressions directed toward a biracial character, allusions to human experimentation, discussions of war/an invading country
  • taken from akshaya raman’s website

Vira is desperate to get out of her mother’s shadow and establish her legacy as a revered queen of Ashoka. But with the country’s only quarry running out of magic–a precious resource that has kept Ashoka safe from conflict–she can barely protect her citizens from the looming threat of war. And if her enemies discover this, they’ll stop at nothing to seize the last of the magic. 

Vira’s only hope is to find a mysterious object of legend: the Ivory Key, rumored to unlock a new source of magic. But in order to infiltrate enemy territory and retrieve it, she must reunite with her siblings, torn apart by the different paths their lives have taken. Each of them has something to gain from finding the Ivory Key–and even more to lose if they fail. Ronak plans to sell it to the highest bidder in exchange for escape from his impending political marriage. Kaleb, falsely accused of assassinating the former maharani needs it to clear his name. And Riya, a runaway who cut all family ties, wants the Key to prove her loyalty to the rebels who want to strip the nobility of its power. 

They must work together to survive the treacherous journey. But with each sibling harboring secrets and their own agendas, the very thing that brought them together could tear apart their family–and their world–for good.

🌱 Excited about the dynamics amongst the four estranged siblings since everyone has an agenda for working together to find the Ivory Key.


duology: echoes and empires #1
January 4th 2022 by Razorbill
age range: young adult
genre: fantasy, romance

Josslyn Drake knows only three things about magic: it’s rare, illegal, and always deadly. So when she’s caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and infected by a dangerous piece of magic—one that allows her to step into the memories of an infamously evil warlock—she finds herself living her worst nightmare. Joss needs the magic removed before it corrupts her soul and kills her. But in Ironport, the cost of doing magic is death, and seeking help might mean scheduling her own execution. There’s nobody she can trust.

Nobody, that is, except wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. And though she’s not thrilled to be working with a thief, especially one as infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) as Jericho, Joss is desperate enough to accept.

But Jericho is nothing like Joss expects. The closer she grows with Jericho and the more she sees of the world outside her pampered life in the city, the more Joss begins to question the beliefs she’s always taken for granted—beliefs about right and wrong, about power and magic, and even about herself.

In an empire built on lies, the truth may be her greatest weapon.

🌱 Have been keeping a lookout for Morgan Rhodes books after finishing the Falling Kingdoms series. Wanted to read the discontinued Spirits and Thieves series but I’m worried that the ending of book two might not be conclusive. Now that she’s writing a new series, I’m here for it!


standalone anthology
January 4th 2022 by Feiwel Friends
age range: young adult
genre: contemporary, romance

The secret admirer.
The fake relationship.
The matchmaker.

From stories of first love, unrequited love, love that surprises, love that’s been there all along, ten of the brightest and award-winning authors writing YA have taken on some of your favorite romantic tropes, embracing them and turning them on their heads. Readers will swoon for this collection of stories that celebrate love at its most humorous, inclusive, heart-expanding, and serendipitous.

🌱 As a romance reader, Serendipity is perfect for me. I can’t wait to dive into a collection of stories with people falling in love.


standalone: happily ever afters #2
January 4th 2022 by Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
age range: young adult
genre: contemporary, romance
rep: Black cast

Lenore Bennett has always been a force. A star artist and style icon at her high school, she’s a master in the subtle art of not giving a . . . well, you know what. But now that graduation is here, she’s a little less sure.

She’s heading to NYU in the fall with a scarlet U (for “undeclared”) written across her chest. Her parents always remind her that Black kids don’t have the luxury of figuring it out as they go—they have to be 110 percent prepared. But it’s a lot of pressure to be her ancestors’ wildest dreams when Lenore’s not even sure what her dreams are yet.

When her family embarks on a post-graduation Mediterranean cruise, her friend Tessa is sure Lenore’s in for a whirlwind romance. But Lenore knows that doesn’t happen in real life. At least not to girls like her.

Then she meets Alex Lee. After their parents bond over the Cupid Shuffle, she ends up stuck with him for the remainder of the cruise. He’s a hopeless romantic and a golden boy with a ten-year plan. In short, he’s irritating as hell.

But as they get to know each other during the picturesque stops across Europe, he may be able to help her find something else she’s been looking for, even if she doesn’t want to admit it to herself: love.

🌱 Elise Bryant’s Happily Ever Afters was initially a standalone so when I heard about the news that this will become a series, I had to add One True Loves into my list.


duology: nightrender #1
January 4th 2022 by Holiday House
age range: young adult
genre: fantasy

In the middle of nothingness is the continent of Salvation.

Reality bends easily here. Villages disappear. Forests burn forever. Pockets of inconsistent time are everywhere, their boundaries strung with yellow ribbon. And the three kingdoms of Salvation have been at war for a thousand years.

But the greatest threat is the Malice, an incursion from the demon plane slowly tearing its way through the world’s weakest seams. Seams that–once split–will lead to the total unraveling of night and day, light and dark, life and death.

Not that the human world takes much interest. Of more concern is the upcoming marriage of Rune Highcrown, Prince of Caberwill, and Johanne Fortuin, Princess of Embria–the serpent bride, a girl of famous cunning–which offers a possible end to the ancient conflict. But Rune has noticed the growing darkness, and he is determined to summon mankind’s only defense: Nightrender, the hammer of the gods, an immortal warrior more weapon than girl.

There is only one problem. The last time she was summoned, she slaughtered every royal in Salvation, and no one knows why. Will she save humanity from the Malice… or plunge it deeper into the fires of eternal war?

🌱 I’m just excited for another Jodi Meadows series after reading the Incarnate trilogy and The Orphan Queen. Not sure what to expect but I’m intrigued by the synopsis.


series: in every generation #1
January 4th 2022 by Disney-Hyperion
age range: young adult
genre: paranormal

A new Slayer for a new generation…

Frankie Rosenberg is passionate about the environment, a sophomore at New Sunnydale High School, and the daughter of the most powerful witch in Sunnydale history. Her mom, Willow, is slowly teaching her magic on the condition that she use it to better the world. But Frankie’s happily quiet life is upended when new girl Hailey shows up with news that the annual Slayer convention has been the target of an attack, and all the Slayers—including Buffy, Faith, and Hailey’s older sister Vi—might be dead. That means it’s time for this generation’s Slayer to be born.

But being the first ever Slayer-Witch means learning how to wield a stake while trying to control her budding powers. With the help of Hailey, a werewolf named Jake, and a hot but nerdy sage demon, Frankie must become the Slayer, prevent the Hellmouth from opening again, and find out what happened to her Aunt Buffy, before she’s next.

🌱 I didn’t grow up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer which In Every Generation is inspired from. Regardless, I’m still looking forward to a paranormal book in a sea of fantasy novels coming out in 2022.


series: thousand worlds #2
January 4th 2022 by Rick Riordan Presents
age range: middle grade
genre: science fiction
rep: Korean, lgbt

Sebin, a young tiger spirit from the Juhwang Clan, wants nothing more than to join the Thousand World Space Forces and, like their Uncle Hwan, captain a battle cruiser someday. But when Sebin’s acceptance letter finally arrives, it’s accompanied by the shocking news that Hwan has been declared a traitor. Apparently, the captain abandoned his duty to steal a magical artifact, the Dragon Pearl, and his whereabouts are still unknown. Sebin hopes to help clear their hero’s name and restore honour to the clan.

Nothing goes according to plan, however. As soon as Sebin arrives for orientation, they are met by a special investigator named Yi and his assistant, a girl named Min. Yi informs Sebin that they must immediately report to the ship Haetae and await further instructions. Sebin finds this highly unusual, but soon all protocol is forgotten when there’s an explosion on the ship, the crew is knocked out, and the communication system goes down. It’s up to Sebin, three other cadets, and Yi and Min to determine who is sabotaging the battlecruiser. When Sebin is suddenly accused of collaborating with the enemy, the cadet realizes that Min is the most dangerous foe of all… 

🌱 Dragon Pearl was my introduction to Yoon Ha Lee’s writing and the middle grade sci-fi genre, and I absolutely loved reading it.


January 4th 2022 by Christy Ottaviano Books
age range: young adult
genre: contemporary
rep: Black

There are many watchers and they are always white. That’s the first thing Echo notices as she settles into Dartmouth College. Despite graduating high school in Cleveland as valedictorian, Echo immediately struggles to keep up in demanding classes. Dartmouth made many promises it couldn’t keep. The campus is not a rainbow-colored utopia where education lifts every voice. Nor is it a paradise of ideas, an incubator of inclusivity, or even an exciting dating scene. But it might be a portal to different dimensions of time and space—only accessible if Echo accepts her calling as a Chosen One and takes charge of her future by healing her past. This remarkable challenge demands vulnerability, humility, and the conviction to ask for help without sacrificing self-worth.

🌱 Echo Brown’s debut, Black Girl Unlimited, left a deep impression when I read it in 2020. When the author announced she was releasing another book, I had to put this in the list.


duology: wings of ebony #2
January 11th 2022 by Denene Millner Books/Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
age range: young adult
genre: fantasy
rep: Black

Rue has no memory of how she ended up locked in a basement prison without her magic or her allies. But she’s a girl from the East Row. And girls from the East Row don’t give up. Girls from the East Row pick themselves back up when they fall. Girls from the East Row break themselves out.

But reuniting with her friends is only half the battle. When she finds them again, Rue makes a vow: she will find a way to return the magic that the Chancellor has stolen from her father’s people. Yet even on Yiyo Peak, Rue is a misfit—with half a foot back in Houston and half a heart that is human as well as god, she’s not sure she’s the right person to lead the fight to reclaim a glorious past. 

When a betrayal sends her into a tailspin, Rue must decide who to trust and how to be the leader that her people deserve…because if she doesn’t, it isn’t just Yiyo that will be destroyed—it will be Rue herself.

🌱 Really enjoyed Wings of Ebony so it’s no surprise that Ashes of Gold appeared on January’s list.


duology: the celestial kingdom #1
 January 11th 2022 by Harper Voyager
age range: young adult
genre: fantasy, retelling
rep: Chinese

trigger and content warnings:

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.

Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.

To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. But when treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream—striking a dangerous bargain in which she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.

🌱 One of my most, most anticipated releases of the year. I remember thinking that I wanted a story based on the Chinese mythology of Chang’er, the Moon Goddess, and Sue Lynn Tan announced her book swiftly after. It was as if she could hear my prayers. Look at the cover, it’s gorgeous!


series: the bone spindle #1
 January 11th 2022 by Razorbill
age range: young adult
genre: fantasy, romance, retelling
rep: lgbt (lesbian)

Fi is a bookish treasure hunter with a knack for ruins and riddles, who definitely doesn’t believe in true love.

Shane is a tough-as-dirt girl warrior from the north who likes cracking skulls, pretty girls, and doing things her own way.

Briar Rose is a prince under a sleeping curse, who’s been waiting a hundred years for the kiss that will wake him.

Cursed princes are nothing but ancient history to Fi–until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle while exploring a long-lost ruin. Now she’s stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose until she and Shane can break the century-old curse on his kingdom.

Dark magic, Witch Hunters, and bad exes all stand in her way–not to mention a mysterious witch who might wind up stealing Shane’s heart, along with whatever else she’s after. But nothing scares Fi more than the possibility of falling in love with Briar Rose.

🌱 I was sold the moment when I saw “Sleeping Beauty + Indiana Jones retelling”. No further convincing needed.


January 18th 2022 by Henry Holt and Co.
age range: adult
genre: thriller, mystery
rep: biracial Black sapphic mc, lesbian li, intersex mc, Cuban mc, Black mc, character with scoliosis, gay side characters

trigger and content warnings:

It’s 1999 and Samantha has danced for years at the Lovely Lady strip club. She’s not used to mixing work and friendship―after all, between her jealous boyfriend and his young daughter, she has enough on her plate. But the newest dancer is so clueless that Samantha feels compelled to help her learn the hustle and drama of the club: how to sweet-talk the boss, fit in with the other women, and make good money. One night, when the new girl needs a ride home, Samantha agrees to drive: a simple decision that turns deadly.

Georgia, another dancer drawn into the ensuing murder and missing person investigation, gathers information for Holly, a grieving detective determined to solve the case. Georgia just wants to help, but her involvement makes her a target. As Holly and Georgia round up their suspects, the story’s point of view shifts between dancers, detectives, children, club patrons―and the killer.

🌱 First off, love this setting. I can’t wait to experience Chicago in 1999. Secondly, it’s a mystery/thriller with murders to be solved. I’ve only read fantasy series from Marie Rutkoski so this will be a whole new journey.


January 25th 2022 by Feiwel & Friends
age range: young adult
genre: historical fiction, mystery
rep: Korean

To enter the palace means to walk a path stained in blood…

Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, eighteen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, and perhaps finally win her estranged father’s approval.

But Hyeon is suddenly thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics when someone murders four women in a single night, and the prime suspect is Hyeon’s closest friend and mentor. Determined to prove her beloved teacher’s innocence, Hyeon launches her own secret investigation.

In her hunt for the truth, she encounters Eojin, a young police inspector also searching for the killer. When evidence begins to point to the Crown Prince himself as the murderer, Hyeon and Eojin must work together to search the darkest corners of the palace to uncover the deadly secrets behind the bloodshed.

🌱 I mean, it’s June Hur. What else do I need to say? June Hur is finally writing a book with romance inside. I can’t wait 😍😍


duology: loveboat, taipei #2
January 25th 2022 by HarperTeen
age range: young adult
genre: contemporary, romance
rep: Taiwanese

It’s a classic tale of girl-meets-boy, boy-meets-other-girl, heart-gets-broken, revenge-is-plotted, everything-blows-up. Spectacularly.

At least they’re friends now. They’ve left the drama behind them back in Taipei—at their summer program, Loveboat—forever.

Now fall is here, and it’s time to focus on what really matters. Sophie is determined to be the best student Dartmouth’s ever had. Forget finding the right guy to make her dreams come true—Sophie is going to make her future happen for herself. Xavier, on the other hand, just wants to stay under his overbearing father’s radar, collect his trust fund when he turns eighteen, and concentrate on what makes him happy, for the first time ever.

But the world doesn’t seem to want Sophie and Xavier to succeed. Sophie’s college professor thinks her first major project is “too feminine.” Xavier’s father gives him an ultimatum: finish high school or be cut off from his inheritance.

Then Sophie and Xavier find themselves on a wild, nonstop Loveboat reunion, each trying to resist the chemistry that originally led to them to combust. As they grow closer, they hatch a plan to take control of their own futures. Step one? Break all the rules.

🌱 I have been waiting for a continuation since Loveboat, Taipei. We’ll be back in Taiwan with the characters. Wonder what kind of shenanigans they’ll be up to this time round.


Which January releases are you looking forward to? If I have to choose within this list, it’s probably Daughter of the Moon Goddess and The Red Palace.


3 thoughts on “14 january 2022 releases: my chang’e prayers were answered”

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