These 16 books are highly rated and readable and were published within the last six months. Seven science fiction books, six fantasy novels, and three titles that bend genres. Watch this blogs companion Instagram live video at instagram.com/p/COTNU7jH_t3.
How the multiverse got its revenge by K. Eason is book two of the Thorne Chronicles, after How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse. The first book was billed as a Sci Fi fairy tale, Princess Leia meets the Princess Bride. In book 2, the crew runs into a mysterious abandoned ship with a sentient rose plant that wants to escape. But, before they can, the aliens that own the ship return. Everyone is now caught up in a war for humanity’s survival.
In Dead Space by Kali Wallace, a friend of the protagonist learns a key fact that might connect the prior attacks both the friend and the protagonist individually experienced. Then, that friend is murdered. When the protagonist starts investigating, they learn that nothing is how it seems, including her friend, and her outpost. Secrets that powerful people want buried are revealed. Kali Wallace is also the author of Salvation Day. Mostly sci fi with a mystery thriller edge.
The Arrest by mystery author Jonathan Lethem considers what happens when all our appliances, machines, and electronics spontaneously quit. Sandy, a former screen writer and now called the Journeyman, is living in post-arrest Maine with his sister Maddy. Peter Todbaum was a powerful man in Hollywood pre-arrest. Post-arrest, Todbaum shows up at Maddy’s organic farm with a nuclear-powered retrofitted digger vehicle and simply re-joins the lives of Sandy and Maddy, without an obvious motive. This book is about the past and the present and what we take for granted.
Machine by Elizabeth Bear is book two in the White Space duology, after Ancestral Night. Both space opera stories stand on their own, sharing a world. In Machine, Dr. Jens answers a distress call and discovers a new ship docked on an ancient one, suffering from a strange sickness and memory lapses. An investigation of the ships, their crew, and their cargo, leads to life-changing discoveries.
To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Lui, author of the Three-Body Problem, is a collection of short stories by the Chinese author previously published between 2000 and 2020. Many of the stories are high-concept and make use of the relationship and disparities between “the great” and “the small”. Stories involve dinosaur overloads, children stopping alien invasions, the collapse of the universe, apocalyptic technology, and humanity’s new beginning ten thousand years from now.
Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule is part of Star Wars: The High Republic; a collection of graphics novels, full length novels for various age groups, and picture books for young children, premiering in 2021. Light of the Jedi takes place in the golden age of the republic. The Jedi race to clean up a large-scale disaster after a jump to hyperspace tears a ship to shreds. However, it might not have been an accident. There is a threat hiding from the republic with a great secret.
The Future is Yours by Dan Frey is a techno-thriller. A computer was invented that can connect to the internet one year in the future from today. The inventors become silicon valley’s latest hot ticket. Until the computer starts predicting apocalyptic looking events. The story is inventively told through written communication forms such as emails, texts, reddit posts, and transcripts.
Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi takes place in a café in Tokyo with a time traveling seat. Travelers only get to revisit their past for as long as it takes their coffee to get cold and they cannot leave the cafe. This novel features the stories of four travelers’ interactions with loved ones as they sit in the café’s lucky chair.
Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey is a lgbtq science fiction alternate future meets American western mashup featuring librarians. Esther is escaping the arranged marriage. Her father set her up with a man previously engaged to Esther’s best friend, who was executed. This alternate future involves librarian spies on horseback, fascists, propaganda, and bandits. By the author of Magic for Liars.
Remote Control is a stand-alone story by Nnedi Okorafor, author of the Binti series, with elements of both science fiction and fantasy. In Remote Control, Fatima forgot her name and she became death’s adopted daughter, Sankofa. Sankofa has deadly powers and roams alone with her fox companion, searching for answers and an object given to her by the sky during a meteor shower.
King of the Rising by Kacen Callender is book two in the Islands of Blood and Storm series, after Queen of the Conquered. The book starts out in the wake of a slave revolt on a Caribbean island. Loren is tasked with leading survivors in a quest for freedom, except, they are running out of supplies and options. Loren is faced with a risky choice that could change the game.
Burning God by R. F. Kuang is book three in the Poppy War Trilogy. This fantasy trilogy is influenced by actual Chinese history. In Burning God, Rin needs allies to defeat the Dragon Republic and the Hesperians. She returns to her roots in the southern provinces. There, she finds opportunity and realizes that power rests in the millions of common people who revere her like a god.
Dark Archive by Genevieve Cogman is book seven in the Invisible Library series after the Secret Chapter. Irene, the protagonist, and her new assistant experience both kidnapping and assassination attempts and decides it’s time for the assistant to learn via trial by fire. A librarian’s skillset and her team will come in handy during a search to identify and face a new enemy in this magical mystery.
Mask of Mirrors by M. A. Carrick is book one in the Rook & Rose Series. Con artist Ren wants to find her way into a noble house in the city of Nadezra. When nightmare magic spreads through the city, Ren is caught up in the feuds between noble houses and dangers the impoverished face. For readers of S. A. Chakraborty’s Daevabad Trilogy.
Beneath the Keep is a prequel to the Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. The book takes place when the world has resorted to feudalism and gaps between the rich and the poor grow wider. Lazarus spent his life underground enlisted as an assassin. Not everything is at is it appears with Niya. And Princess Elyssa is torn between the throne and the idealists of the Blue Horizon. All three characters will be called into a conflict for a better world. Re-hashes some events discussed during the main series, with a few new events and details for the reader to discover.
The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson is book one in a new series. The book begins when Kindred Greyreach receives news that her grandmother, legendary captain, the Marchess, has died. The Marchess leaves Kindred a note that leads her to believe that it was not suicide. Kindred then decides to follow in the Marchess’ footsteps and face conflicts of epic proportion, searching for what waits in the depths of the Forever Sea.