Today we’re talking science fiction and fantasy, a genre I used to devour in elementary school and high school, yet seemed to abandon these past few years. To be honest, coming up with this list was a little tricky: sci-fi/fantasy writers love their series. Unfortunately, I tend to come late to the game and am a bit (okay, a lot) behind, so I didn’t feel right mentioning the fifth Queen’s Thief novel, the fourth Gentlemen Bastard novel, the third Shades of Magic novel, the final book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy, the upcoming Django Wexler, the latest Memoirs of Lady Trent novel, etc etc. Instead, the books I’ll be highlighting today (thanks to my own laziness) are either brand new series, standalones, or sequels to books I actually did read!
Heartstone by Elle Katharine White | January 17, 2017
I’m starting the list with a book I actually have don’t judge me. I’ve said this SO many times it’s unreal, but despite never having read a single Jane Austen novel (my friend Elizabeth I think has made it her life’s mission to change that ha!) I absolutely love retellings. Heartstone is pitched as Pride & Prejudice with dragons. Um yes please. There’s basically a mythological menagerie at play here: gryphons, direwolves, banshees, the list goes on. They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones | February 7, 2017
Last autumn I was invited to read a sneak peek of this one and fell hard. I pestered the poor publicist until I finally got my hands on a full-length copy and am SO ready to dive in. This is a Labyrinth retelling set in 18th century Bavaria, y’all. Do I need to say more?
The Bone Snatcher by Charlotte Salter | February 14, 2017
I love Middle Grade. I love creepy Middle Grade. The Bone Snatcher seems like it would be a wonderful call-back to my early days of discovering Roald Dahl. Sophie Seacove is trapped in a crumbling, decaying mansion and is surrounded by sea monsters and gruesomely haunting people. That’s really all I know about this one, and all I need to know!
Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood | March 21, 2017
A few years ago Caroline Carlson dropped by my local indie to do a book reading/signing and afterwards we got into a big discussion about our favorite Middle Grade authors/books. We both fangirled HARD over Diana Wynne Jones and then Caroline recommended an author I had never heard of: Sage Blackwood. More specifically, the Jinx series. Now she has a new novel – and a standalone at that! – and I couldn’t be more thrilled. When all of the sorceresses in town (including Miss Ellicott) mysteriously disappear one day, Chantel must rescue them and save the Kingdom. There’s a dragon and a crossbow-wielding boy and I am so there.
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves | March 28, 2017
Admittedly I was a little hesitant to include this one: it sounds like it could either be really fun and entertaining or a typical run-of-the-mill YA fantasy. People are comparing it to Red Queen, which I have yet to read, though it’s been on my To Read list for ages eep! I’m less interested in a society where your blood can either make or break you (in this case, Anna’s blood is defected, leaving her unable to do the simplest of spells and effectively shunning her) and more by the setting (Hungary) and that the story is inspired by Hungarian folklore. Bring it on!
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel | April 4, 2017
Cheating again! I received a copy of this one last week and am so excited to dive in! Waking Gods is the sequel to last year’s Sleeping Giants, an epistolary novel about massive robots. I’m slowly warming up to epistolary novels and Sleeping Giants certainly helped: the story is told entirely through interview transcripts, camera footage, personal journal logs, etc. I really enjoyed the first novel and have high hopes for its sequel!
A Twist in Time by Julie McElwain | April 4, 2017
Another sequel! 2016’s A Murder in Time completely caught me off guard: I honestly wasn’t expecting to like it nearly as much as I did! A rising star at the FBI, the youngest agent to ever be hired, is well on her way to a bright future…until a raid gone bad leaves half her team dead. Wounded herself, she goes rogue, leaving the country and flying to England where she’s determined to track down the man responsible for the death of so many fellow agents. While there, however, things go awry and Kendra finds herself transported back in time, back to 1815. Mistaken for a lady’s maid, Kendra is sucked into the hustle and bustle at Aldrich Castle until a body is discovered. In order to solve the crime, Kendra not only has to convince the men that she’s fully capable of doing so and must figure out how to go about tracking down the murderer without 21th century technology. It was a really fun, intense read and am I so looking forward to jumping back into that world!
Dreamfall by Amy Plum | May 2, 2017
I have never read any of Amy’s books and they seem to be more along the paranormal vein, while this new one is definitely sci-fi. One early reviewer said it was Nightmare on Elm Street meets The Matrix and ummm I’m intrigued. Cata suffers from debilitating insomnia and agrees to take part in an experimental procedure. HOWEVER, when the equipment malfunctions, Cata and six others are plunged into a dream world where their worst nightmares have come to life. The ‘trapped in a dream world where your worst fears come alive’ reminds me of Rhiannon Frater’s Dead Spots, a novel I enjoyed immensely!