By Andrés Muñoz

2022 will be known in entertainment as the year of the releases of epic shows like House of the Dragon, The Rings of Power, and many more. But now, it is time to look into the future. While television adaptations might come and go, the zeitgeist a book can create has a different feeling, and it’s where all those VFX-laden shows originate. I’ve always loved reading and recommending books, especially any titles we might welcome in the upcoming year! 

Considering this, here are my top five book recommendations for 2023. Some will definitely be fantasy-related, but I’ve suggested some titles covering other topics too! I’ll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum!

Yellowface By R. F. Kuang

Chinese-American author R. F. Kuang appears with an intriguing story involving writers Athena and June. While both were brought up as writers, Athena has become a successful Asian-American novelist. In contrast, the white and ordinary June has barely been able to reach the same level of success. When Athena dies in a strange accident, June is faced with a decision that will throw her into an intricate path of deception and deceit. 

Rebecca F. Kuang achieved success with her debut novel, The Poppy War, in 2018 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literature at Yale University. Yellowface is expected to be released on May 16, 2023.

How To Sell A Haunted House By Grady Hendrix

Many people lost their parents to the pandemic, and the new American horror writer Grady Hendrix’s How To Sell A Haunted House has us face this situation’s aftermath. After their parents die, Louise is forced to return to her hometown to sell her parents’ house. She must now contend with her estranged brother, Mark, who, like her, is facing financial difficulties of his own. 

Mark and Louise are in for a surprise, as the house where their parents lived has a lesson or two to teach them about how the past can not only protect us, but haunt, suffocate, and trap us too! 

One of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival, Hendrix, is an author, public speaker, and screenwriter. How To Sell A Haunted House is expected to hit the shelves on January 14, 2023. 

The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi By Shannon Chakraborty

Pirates of the Indian Ocean, anyone? Shannon Chakraborty is releasing The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi, a brand new trilogy full of scallywags, magic, and adventure on the high seas, on March 2, 2023. 

Amina Al-Sirafi has been a successful pirate, evading countless close shaves with death along the way. As she prepares to retire from the pirate life, she is asked to recover a former crewmate’s kidnapped daughter. In one final adventure with her crew, she has a chance to right a wrong from her past while making a fortune. What could possibly go wrong?

Shannon Chakraborty started writing what she calls “historical fanfiction” during the financial crisis of 2008. This became her first book, The City of Brass. She released two other books, The Kingdom of Copper and The Empire of Gold, in 2019 and 2020.   

Chain Gang All Stars By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

My list would only be complete with good old dystopian fiction. Chain Gang All Stars takes us deep into the vicious and bloody world of legalised prison gladiators. The Criminal Action Penal Entertainment (CAPE) is a controversial prison that allows its inmates to fight to the death for their freedom. 

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s story follows two prisoners, Loretta Thurwar and Hamara “Hurricane Staxxx” Stacker, as they face their opponents, corruption, and the sheer will to survive. The book is a futuristic exploration of maintaining one’s humanity while doing whatever it takes to be free.

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is an American author who focuses on social commentary. His debut novel was Friday Black, a collection of dystopian/near-future short stories exploring black identity. This book will be published on April 4, 2023. 

The Winds Of Winter By George R. R. Martin 

Wishful thinking on my behalf, but one can only hope that George R. R. Martin finishes the sixth instalment of the seven-volume A Song of Ice and Fire series, the saga behind HBO’s Game of Thrones. Known for taking an extremely long time to complete his books, we’ve been patiently waiting over ten years for The Winds of Winter to be released. 

Most of us know how the series took a dive when the script caught up with the published books, and the show’s writers had to improvise based on what Martin had told them. Now, I’d like to give the American author a chance to redeem himself and deliver a solid narrative that leaves us waiting another ten years for the final instalment!

What other titles are you craving for this upcoming year? Let us know in the comments section below!