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5 Books To Look Out For In 2015

By Optical Express

Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuk out TBA 2015

‘I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.’ The only astonishing point to note about this upcoming release is that it will have taken just shy of two decades for Palahniuk to pen a sequel to Fight Club. This is despite a huge cult following that has developed in that time. For the sake of full disclosure, there is one surprising element this time around; Palahniuk is using the medium of the graphic novel for the sequel. You can therefore expect to indulge in nihilistic themes and comically dark yet unavoidably truth filled scenes in full illustrated colour. Graphic novels are becoming more and more popular and are not to be confused with comics. They feature the same depth of prose as a traditional novel while adding extra flavour in the form of pictures. This medium is so far advanced now that the texts are even used within English Literature degree programmes around the country. Fight Club is a huge act to follow but Palahniuk’s brave choice to write a graphic novel will keep things fresh and introduce some fans of the original to an exciting new concept.

Eternity’s Wheel by Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves and Mallory Reaves (HarperTeen) out May 19, 2015

The creator of Coraline, Neil Gaiman, has dreamt up another incredible setting for the Interworld trilogy of which Eternity’s Wheel forms the thrilling conclusion. Many heroic figures in literature have been charged with saving the world. Eternity’s Wheel features Joey as its hero however and he needs to save all of the ‘worlds’. To qualify such a strange statement, he needs to save all of the Earths in all of the possible parallel universes that exist concurrently with his own. Masterful use of the opposing forces, and plot devices, magic (Hex) and science (Binary) will once again provide much of the impetus for Joey and his quest. You have just enough time to catch up by reading Interworld and The Silver Dream, the first and second novels in the trilogy respectively, before Eternity’s Wheel is released, so that you too can revel in the culmination of Joey’s epic mission. Who’s to say you haven’t done that already in one or many parallel realities?

Prodigal Son by Danielle Steel (Delacorte Press) out Feb 24, 2015

Peter McDowell (star investment banker no less) loses everything in the financial crash and returns to his home town to be reunited with his twin brother Michael. During this homecoming, Peter discovers his mother’s journal and what he reads in there will change their lives forever. While this synopsis of the Prodigal Son does little to answer criticism that Steel’s novels are formulaic (often featuring a celebrity or wealthy character who suffers from the introduction of a crisis in their lives which in turn has consequences upon their relationship with others), it is an intriguing concept and begs for an answer. What does he find? I suppose we will just need to wait until February to find out. We will be in good company however because with 800 million books sold to date, Danielle Steel is the best-selling living author, and many fans of her work will be queuing up come February 24th for the chance to unravel this mystery too.

The Winds of Winter by George R. R. Martin (Voyager Books) out 2015 (hopefully)

At least four long years will have passed, by the time The Winds of Winter is released, since Martin’s last instalment of the popular A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy series. It has recently been better known as the Game of Thrones series but you would be wise not to make such a faux pas in the presence of seasoned veterans of the books, lest you wish to be lectured about how this is simply a contraction of the title of the first book in the series. They are epitomised by fluid, believable dialogue, uncompromising themes and a refreshingly gritty take on the fantasy setting. Oh and don’t get too attached to your favourite characters because they don’t tend to last very long. This sixth book in the series is sure to be an engrossing addition and fans have been chomping at the bit to find out what will happen next in the world that they have become so invested in since 1996. Not interested because you will just wait for the inevitable TV series adaptation? Producers are worrying that they will run out of material sooner rather than later and thus face the prospect of having to halt shooting while they wait for further books to be released. The prediction of a 2015 release for the book is also perhaps hopefully optimistic but at the same time not totally unreasonable.

Finders Keepers: A Novel by Stephen King (Gallery Books) out June 2, 2015

From one mystery themed novel to another and in this instance again keeping with 2015 theme of being the year of the sequel (and threequel), King’s latest book is the follow up to the New York Times #1 Bestseller Mr. Mercedes. Focussing once again on Detective Bill Hodges, the novel tells the story of a famous author who is killed by an obsessed fan. The subject matter might perhaps seem to be a little close to the bone for such a prolific and much sought after writer like Stephen King but he has never been one to shy away from the morbid. In much the same way as his dark writing made famous his horror novels, he applies it just as aptly to any other genre he puts his mind to. In this case it is crime fiction. The key point however is that when you read a Stephen King novel, especially at this point in his career as a now sober and incredibly experienced writer, you are almost guaranteed a level of quality and craftsmanship that few of his contemporaries are able to replicate. It may not be a horror book, but Stephen King transcended being known for only one genre decades ago.

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