Looking Forward: 2012, the Year of the Sequel

I’ve barely finished my Best of 2011 lists, and already, I’m gearing up for 2012 releases. But I’m not alone. We book people are always looking for the next best thing, aren’t we? And as much as I’m looking forward to some fantastic stand-alone books next year, 2012 is going to be all about sequels. Some of my favorite books of 2011, 2010 and before have follow-ups being released in 2012. I’m splitting my list into Adult and YA new releases, but I fully encourage cross-over. I loved the originals of all of these books, and they’ve all been on several lists for most anticipated releases for 2012.

Adult

  1. The Twelve by Justin Cronin (expected pub date: August 2012). The second in a planned trilogy, Cronin’s follow-up to 2010’s The Passage is already getting significant buzz. The Passage was one of the first in what became a recent trend – literary authors taking on genre fiction – and The Twelve promises to delve deeper into the post-apocalyptic vampire nightmare first introduced to readers two years ago. If the sequel is anything like the first novel, I’ll spend a non-stop weekend tearing through it, with nary a break to sleep or eat. Highly anticipated!
  2. Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan (expected pub date: June 2012). Though Duncan’s raunchy, scintillating novel The Last Werewolf gave a hint of a sequel, I wasn’t positive one was in the works because the end ties up nearly all of the novel’s loose end. So imagine my glee when I found out that Talulla Rising was being published, and I would get to revel in Duncan’s unique storytelling at least once more. Just like Cronin, Glen Duncan took a literary bent to the genre novel, and turned it on it’s head. No word yet on if this is a planned trilogy, but a girl can dream.
  3. The Reckoning  by Alma Katsu (expected pub date: June 2012). The Reckoning follows up this year’s The Taker, a book I read very recently and completely loved. I’m sensing a theme here…Katsu’s twisting tale had more of the hallmarks of genre fiction, but the writing is certainly more literary. The Taker didn’t at all wrap up neatly, so I’m dying to see what happens next.
  4. Wild Thing by Josh Bazell (expected pub date: February 8, 2012). The first in this series, Beat the Reaper, was published in 2009 (it was actually the very first book I featured on my own blog two years ago) and I didn’t even realize Bazell had planned on continuing the character’s arc with more books, but I’m giddy that he decided to. Bazell’s writing is gritty but funny, two descriptors that don’t seem to go together, but mesh so well under his pen.
  5. Broken Harbour by Tana French (expected pub date: July 2012). I admit, I’ve not been keeping up with my Tana French, but sometime before next July, I will read Faithful Place before Broken Harbour – the fourth in her Dublin Murder Squad series – is published. I almost universally love when women write crime fiction – the details and exposition are so different than male authors’ – and French is a perfect example of why. If you haven’t read her yet, start with In The Woods. You can thank me later.
  6. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (expected pub date: July 2012). I own the first book in this trilogy, Discovery of Witches, but like so many others, I haven’t read it yet. I hope that 2012 will be like 2011 in the amount of magical novels I read, and both of Harkness’ books will be on the top of that TBR list.

Young Adult

  1. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (expected pub date: February 28, 2012). As cookie cutter as some YA novels can be, Oliver’s fresh take on dystopian fiction explores a slightly different narrative while still staying true to the themes I’ve come to known and love. Oliver is a gifted writer and I’m hoping that Pandemonium will be just as raw and refreshing as Delirium, the first in the series.
  2. Insurgent by Veronica Roth (expected pub date: May 1, 2012). I just read Divergent, Roth’s first book in this series, in a single day – a week day at that – and I definitely agree with many of the lists out there, calling it the best YA of the year. I could easily see this becoming the next Hunger Games.
  3. Fever by Lauren DeStefano (expected pub date: February 21, 2012). Hitting the shelves shortly before Pandemonium, February promises to be a dystopian-heavy month, and I’m so excited. DeStefano’s first book in this series, Wither, took a future similar to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and turned it on it’s head. Crossing my fingers that the sequel will be equally as harrowing and fist-pumpingly awesome.
  4. Thumped by Megan McCafferty (expected pub date: April 24, 2012). The conclusion to this year’s Bumped breaks the standard trilogy mold that most YA dystopians fall into now. Which is great for me because I hate having to wait for a conclusion. Luckily, I can read both books after this sequel is published in April and I can get the whole story at once.

What other sequels are you looking forward to in 2012? I know I’ve missed many YAs, but how about adult fiction? Any firsts in a series I should catch up on?

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Rachel Manwill is working toward a Master’s in Publishing and writes about books at A Home Between Pages. Follow her on Twitter: @homebtwnpages

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