February anticipated releases

There are LOTS of books due for release in February which I am really looking forward to reading. There are a few I’ve been lucky enough to have early access to. I have read A Storm of Sisters and Rivals on the Track, both of which I will be getting for my class library as they are brilliant continuations of series I love.

I’ve taken the synopsis for each of these books from the Waterstones website. Some of these are continuation of series I’ve loved; some are by authors whose previous books I’ve really enjoyed; and, others are by new-to-me or debut authors whose books have caught my interest!

Release Date: 3rd February

When the Widdershins sisters and Granny are called away in deepest winter to look after cousin Clarissa, it doesn’t take long for adventure – or trouble – to find them. The town of Little Nipping has plenty to explore with its frozen lake and winter market, as well as being haunted by a doomed highwayman, searching for lost treasure. But the legends are true and seeing a ghostly figure one night, the girls realise that Granny is in terrible danger. As an icy storm rages, the race to save her begins – can they reach the treasure before the highwayman claims another soul?

After one trick too many, Loki is banished to live on Earth as a “normal” school boy. Forbidden from using his AWESOME godly powers, Loki must show moral improvement. As he records his lies THE TRUTH in his magical (judgemental) diary, it becomes clear Loki hasn’t a clue how to tell good from evil, trust from tricks, or friends from enemies.

No human has ever returned from Navia, the Slavic afterlife. But twelve-year-old Mara is not entirely human. She is the granddaughter of Stribog, the god of winter winds and she’s determined to bring her beloved father back from the dead. Though powerless, Mara and her best friend Torniv, the bear-shifter, set out on an epic journey to defy the gods and rescue her father. On their epic journey they will bargain with forest lords, free goddesses from enchantments, sail the stormy seas in a ship made of gold and dodge the cooking pot of the villainous Baba Latingorka. Little do the intrepid duo know of the terrible forces they have set in motion, for the world is full of darkness and Mara will have to rely on her wits to survive.

When twelve-year-old Ami arrives at The Escape, she thinks it’s just a game – the ultimate escape room with puzzles and challenges to beat before time runs out. Meeting her teammates, Adjoa, Ibrahim, Oscar and Min, Ami learns from the Host that they have been chosen to save the world and they must work together to find the Answer. But as he locks them inside the first room, they quickly realise this is no ordinary game. From a cavernous library of dust to an ancient Mayan tomb, a deserted shopping mall stalked by extinct animals to the command module of a spaceship heading to Mars, the perils of The Escape seem endless. Can Ami and her friends find the Answer before it’s too late?

Malaya, 1942. Nisha’s home is destroyed by war and she and her mother, Amma, flee to her father’s ancestral house in England, perched on a cliff top on the cold Northern coast. When Amma falls gravely ill, Nisha is left to face her formidable grandmother alone. Grandmother’s rules are countless, and her Anglo-Indian granddaughter is even forbidden from climbing the old weeping tree. But when a ghost child beckons Nisha to sit under its boughs, and promises her Amma’s life in return for three truths, its pull proves irresistible…

When Frank John Davenport inherits piles of money from a grandma he didn’t know he had, things take an unexpected turn… Because the money comes with STRICT instructions… and a NEW grandpa. Frank quickly compiles a list of all the ways he can spend the money and look after his grumpy grandpa. Money may buy hot-air balloon rides, monster-truck lessons and epic parkour experiences, but can Frank discover that happiness is, in fact, priceless?

Bea Black is all settled into her new life in Little Spellshire, a town with a magical secret. She’s made tonnes of friends at witch school, learned how to levitate frogs (just about) and been working hard on polishing up her broom skills. So when the Winter Solstice Grand Tournament rolls round, she’s ready to rise to the next challenge and fly high. But then Ms Sparks decides that this year’s tournament will be a bit … er … different. That is, it won’t be an Extraordinary Grand Tournament at all, but rather a very ordinary sports day with Spellshire Academy! With magic firmly forbidden and rivalry reaching new heights, who will emerge victorious? And more importantly, will Bea’s friendship with her best non-witchy friend Ash survive the competition?

Archie Crumb is having a tough time. Picked-on at school, picked last for any team; his home has been sad and quiet since Dad left and his luck feels like its run out. But things start looking up when Archie bumps his head and literally sees stars: his favourite famous football player standing in front of him, granting him nine wishes. This is INCREDIBLE! Unlimited ice cream, a whole day of eating pizza and playing on the X-Box, revenge on the bullies, becoming the star player in a televised football tournament: finally, all his dreams can come true! Will Archie wish his way to happiness? Or will he realise that magic wishes may be wonderful, but only he has the true power to change his life?

Dido is the only girl ever to have raced to victory at the Circus Maximus, Rome’s greatest sporting arena. Now she and her beloved horse, Porcellus, are in hiding, and the Emperor Caligula has put a price on their heads. Can she outwit the emperor and his bounty hunters? And will a shocking family secret stop her in her tracks, or spur her on to make a daring return, helped by a one-eyed mare with a heart as brave as her own?

Strange things have been happening to Layah and her younger sister, Izzie, ever since their mother dragged them to a rain-soaked cottage miles from anywhere in the Lake District: there is a peculiar whistling at night, a handful of unusual feathers appear on their doorstep and there are murmurings of a shadowed woman in the forest. And their mother is behaving very oddly. Layah is mourning the loss of her dear grandmother in Poland – and can almost hear her Babcia’s voice telling her the old myths and fairy tales from that magical place. And as the holiday takes on a dark twist, Layah begins to wonder if the myths might just be real. 

Ash has always lived in Last Village, lonely since the day his father left and never came back. The world is unbearably hot, water is drying up, and life is hard. After a vicious thunderstorm, Ash wakes to find that the village’s water has completely run out, and all the other villagers have mysteriously disappeared. Accompanied by the outcast Bronwyn, Ash sets off in search of water, for answers about what happened to the villagers, with hope they might find ‘The Kingdom’ – a rumoured land to the north where life still flourishes. Ash and Bronwyn have to survive a journey across an arid landscape, discovering that other people out there are even more dangerous than the lightning strikes that follow them. Then they reach The Wall – beyond it, something impossible. Lying in wait are the answers Ash is searching for, and maybe even the truth about what happened to his father. If only he could get past The Wall… Sometimes all it takes is just one spark.

Washed up as a baby beside a remote lighthouse and raised by a mermaid, Alpha Lux was the first foundling at Haven Point. Now the lighthouse is a ramshackle home for any disabled person who needs somewhere to belong. Looting from passing ships to make a living, they call themselves the Wrecklings, and for the children of Haven Point life is spent adventuring on the wild shore (and getting into trouble with the grown-ups). But when Alpha spots a strange light up on the headland, she realizes that her beloved family are in danger of being discovered by Outsiders. With their home under threat, the Wrecklings must decide what kind of future they want… and what they’re willing to do to get it.

Edinburgh is a city filled with magical creatures. No one can see them… until Ramya Knox. As she is pulled into her family’s world of secrets and spells, Ramya sets out to discover the truth behind the Hidden Folk with only three words of warning from her grandfather: Beware the Sirens. Plunged into an adventure that will change everything, Ramya is about to learn that there is more to her powers than she ever imagined.

Sheba the wolf girl joins an unusual troupe of performers that includes Pyewacket, a witch’s imp; Gigantus the giant and Sister Moon, a knife thrower. For the first time in her life she feels she might make true friends, and learn a real stage craft. But soon that’s not all she has to think about… Children are being sucked into the Thames and there have been strange sightings of a mechanical monster. The carnival troupe know first-hand that looks only tell half a story – they become determined to find these forgotten children. Perhaps they will unravel the mystery that has defied even the law!

Victoria Stitch has escaped from the confines of Wiskling Wood and flown into the human world. Here, she breaks the most sacred of all wiskling laws and speaks to a human. Where she is feared and disgraced in Wiskling Wood, she is adored and revered in the human world. But the net is closing in. There are wisklings who would like to end Victoria Stitch’s famous reign in the human world for good. Will her beloved twin, Celestine, be able to warn her in time? And even if she can, will Victoria Stitch listen?

Release Date: 17th February

Ever since Cordelia discovered the hidden map in her father’s precious telescope, she’s been searching the streets of London by starlight and trying to uncover its secrets. She’s sure that her missing father is out there somewhere, and that if she follows his map, she’ll finally discover the truth about his disappearance. She never expects to stumble upon a secret society of Mapmakers – or to learn that magic isn’t limited to the few Maker families, but is instead is all around, if you just know where to look… But danger is lurking around every corner, and Cordelia must convince the rival Maker families to work together for once – not only to bring her father home, but to save the very essence of magic itself…

Billionaire train enthusiast August Reza has invited Harrison Beck and Uncle Nat on the maiden voyage of the Solar Express – the winning design of his Reza’s Rocket competition. But during the journey, they discover the train has been sabotaged, hurtling passengers into a heart-stopping, action-packed, thrill ride across the Australian Outback. Can Hal find the saboteur and stop the runaway train before disaster strikes?

Release Date: 24th February

Thirteen-year-old Ivy North is an adventurer. She can pitch a tent in four minutes flat, knows the local landscape like the back of her hand, and she’s an expert map reader. There’s just one problem. She’s afraid to go outside. But when her little brother is transformed into a kestrel by a powerful sorcerer, Ivy is the only one who can rescue him. Following him through a mysterious hole in the garden wall, she emerges in Underfell — an enchanted realm that seems like the Lake District she knows, but is dangerously different. Battling her dread of being out in the open, Ivy must gather all her courage to navigate a path across this extraordinary world, where powerful fairies with birds’ wings fly through purple skies and a ghostly spectre haunts her every step. With the help of an unexpected new friend, can Ivy break the spell — before her brother becomes a bird forever?

February just proves why I will never, ever get anywhere near the bottom of my TBR! I’m looking forward to reading all of these, and adding them to my class bookshelf. Do any of these pique your interest?

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