13 Best New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: December 2018

With the holidays upon us, there are a handful of new sci-fi and fantasy books coming out in time to add to your wish list—or at least in time to snag before the new year.

There’s a healthy mix of sequels and standalones in a variety of genres. For a plausible sci-fi future, check out Arwen Elys Datyon’s Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful, which envisions human perfection via alteration and the very definition of “humanity.” If you’re looking to return to a classic fantasy world, the latest from Christopher Paolini revisits Eragon after the events of the Inheritance Cycle.

If you want a bite-sized bit of post-apocalyptic fiction, there’s Mira Grant’s Kingdom of Needle and Bone, which looks at one doctor’s difficult decision to save a sickly world. Or, for a longer post-apocalyptic adventure with some magic thrown in, there’s Nora Robert’s follow up to 2017’s Year One.

If you’re looking for some more gift ideas for a friend (or for yourself), you might find it in this list of promising upcoming sci-fi and fantasy to wrap up 2018.

Here’s the list:

Jump to:

December

Splintered Suns (Humanity’s Fire #5) by Michael Cobley

Release date: December 4
Publisher: Orbit
Page count: 528 (paperback)

The latest installment in Michael Cobley’s Humanity’s Fire series is a standalone that combines genres and promises to invert expectations.

Pyke and his team, tasked with what appeared to be a simple heist, expect to break into a museum on a desert planet to find a tracking device that will locate a long-lost ship on the planet’s surface.

They have competition, however—a nemesis of Pyke’s, Raven Kaligara. On top of that, the museum has concealed the tracking device in a bio-engineered vault, and the ship in question is massive, ancient, and quite possibly holding the key to the secrets of an ancient civilization.

The stakes are high in this story of a heist gone wrong in a brilliantly imagined space-opera setting.

Buy it here


Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton

Release date: December 4
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Page count: 384 (hardcover)

From the publisher:

For fans of television shows Black Mirror and Westworld, this compelling, mind-bending novel is a twisted look into the future, exploring the lengths we’ll go to remake ourselves into the perfect human specimen and what it means to be human at all.

The future is curious.

STRONGER

Today our bodies define us. We color our hair; tattoo our skin; pierce our ears, brows, noses. We lift weights, run miles, break records. We are flesh and blood and bone.

FASTER

Tomorrow has different rules. The future is no longer about who we are–it’s about who we want to be. If you can dream it, you can be it. Science will make us smarter, healthier, flawless in every way. Our future is boundless.

MORE BEAUTIFUL

This is a story that begins tomorrow. It’s a story about us. It’s a story about who comes after us. And it’s a story about perfection. Because perfection has a way of getting ugly.

Buy it here


Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare

Release date: December 4
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Page count: 912 (hardcover)

Cassandra Clare returns to urban fantasy with the final installment in The Dark Artifices trilogy, which pits the Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs against her greatest challenges yet.

The world of the Shadowhunters is in more danger than ever before, and it may be due to the forbidden love of Emma and Julian. Warlocks are plagued by a mysterious disease, and several members of the Blackthorn family are headed to Los Angeles to discover its cause. Emma and Julian must go to Faerie to find the Black Volume of the Dead—but a dark secret awaits them in the Court that may change the future of the Shadowhunters forever. However, they’re racing against the power of their magical bond—the parabatai—which threatens to punish them for their love and destroy them before they have a chance to save the world of the Shadowhunters.

Buy it here


Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of the One #2) by Nora Roberts

Release Date: December 4
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Page count: 464 (hardcover)

Nora Roberts continues her post-apocalyptic-meets-urban-fantasy series  Chronicles of the One series with Of Blood and Bone, which picks up several years after the first volume.

The world has had a few years to adjust to the changes brought on by the Doom, a sickness that wiped out much of humanity and brought civilization to its knees. People are building new lives and new families. Magick has taken the place of technology, and those who wield it hold an edge in surviving in this new, violent world.

Fallon doesn’t remember the world before, the world that her parents watched crumble. She is fortunate enough to be gifted, but as she approaches thirteen, she is about to learn that she is The One. She is in danger because of her gift, and she must learn to heal, fight, and control her power from the ancient Mallick.

This coming-of-age story continues Robert’s epic series that blends sci-fi and fantasy in a world turned upside down.

Buy it here


The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm: Tales from Alagaësia (Volume 1: Eragon) by Christopher Paolini

Release date: December 31
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Page count: 288 (hardcover)

It’s been a long time since we visited Alagaësia, but Christopher Paolini is returning with this story collection that follows Eragon’s adventures after the events of Inheritance.

Eragon has been searching for the ideal location to train the next generation of dragon riders for a year. This is no easy task. He’ll have to create a new dragonhold, protect dragon eggs, and deal with those who would impede his efforts.

With original art by the author and a look at the upcoming memoir of Angela the herbalist, written by Angela Paolini, this is a book that fans of the Inheritance Cycle won’t want to miss. This definitely won’t be the last we see of Alagaësia.

Buy it here


Siege of Stone (Sister of Darkness: The Nicci Chronicles #3) by Terry Goodkind

Release date: December 31
Publisher: Tor
Page count: 560 (hardcover)

The sorceress Nicci is up against a challenge that will test her wits and her powers as an ancient threat draws nearer to the protected city of Ildakar.

Set in the same world as his Sword of Truth series, Terry Goodkind pairs Nicci with the wizard Nathan Rahl and Bannon the swordsman for the third installment in this new series.

After a revolution that freed the slaves of Ildakar and overthrew the Wizard Council, the ancient army of General Utros, once petrified fifteen centuries prior, is on the move again. Wizard Commander Maxim has removed the spell that turned the massive army into stone, and the city of Ildakar is once again under siege.

The Old World and the land of D’Hara are in danger, and Nicci is the only one who stands a chance at stopping a powerful ancient adversary.

Buy it here


Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant

Release date: December 31
Publisher: Subterranean
Page count: 128 (hardcover)

Mira Grant (also known as Seanan McGuire) explores moral dilemmas in an effort to save humanity from a deadly disease in this novella, illustrated by Julie Dillon.

Modern medicine has led humanity to view disease as a thing from history books. Vaccinations and antibiotics have succeeded in preventing widespread disease and have led to longevity, quality of life, and prosperity. But this is an illusion, and it is shattered when Morris’s disease begins wiping people out by the millions. Dr. Isabella Gauley has a connection with the disease’s origin—her niece was the first to fall ill.

With more people dying every day, the solution is one that many would find abhorrent. Isabella knows what has to be done, and she knows how she will be judged.

Buy it here


November

The Subjugate by Amanda Bridgeman

Release date: November 6
Publisher: Angry Robot
Page count: 400 (paperback)

What if criminals could be corrected not through imprisonment but through neurological tampering?

This is the question asked in The Subjugate, in which a series of murders have occurred in a deeply religious town filled with Serenes—criminals whose minds have been altered to make them calm and passive. Salvi Brentt and Mitch Grenville are two detectives on the case, and the list of suspects is long in this dark town.

Bridgeman’s morally complex premise is intriguing, showing a lot of promise for this low-sci-fi mystery.

Buy it here


Breach by W. L. Goodwater (Cold War Magic #1)

Release date: November 6
Publisher: Ace
Page count: 368 (paperback)

W. L. Goodwater’s debut novel launches a series imagining an alternate Cold War history in which the Berlin wall is made of arcane magic created by the Soviets.

Ten years after the wall’s creation, it is failing. Chaos has been held at bay, and years of espionage may soon turn into something more magical. While the East and West are poised in Berlin, a magician named Karen is sent by the American Office of Magical Research and Development to study the wall and possibly repair it.

This task is more difficult than expected, and tensions are high as an isolated city in the middle of a global conflict.

Goodwater’s magical alternate history premise is a bold one that aims to take a unique look at a fascinating part of the Cold War.

Buy it here


How to Fracture a Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen

Release date: November 6
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Page count: 320 (paperback)

Jane Yolen follows up her acclaimed 2017 collection The Emerald Circus with another retelling of classic stories through a new lens.

In this story collection, Yolen promises to once again break down familiar tales. She’ll explore straw spinners under scrutiny from the law, bridges that are lonely without trolls, and more. These stories are accompanied by a poem and a note by the author further exploring these refurbished and reimagined tales.

Yolen has long been a major voice in children’s literature, and this story collection offers a chance to meld fairy tales with fantasy with the same brilliance of The Emerald Circus.

Buy it here


Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Release date: November 6
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Page count: 528 (hardcover)

The latest from the writing machine known as Brandon Sanderson is the first in a new YA sci-fi series.

Skyward introduces Spensa, a young woman born in a world under constant attack. She longs to become a pilot, but going to flight school may not be easy—her father was killed shortly after abandoning his mission. Nonetheless, Spensa is determined to achieve her dream and defend the home that she loves. There isn’t much of the human race left, but the fight is continuing. When Spensa makes a discovery in a strange cave, her luck may be due for a change.

This is a non-Cosmere book from Sanderson, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be epic. Sci-fi is not his normal genre, but this only makes this new series more intriguing. The best part about Skyward? According to Sanderson’s website, he’s already finished the first draft of book 2.

Sanderson has been releasing the first several chapters of Skyward on his Instagram page. When an author is advertising the release of their book with the book itself, you know it’s going to be good.

Buy it here


Archenemies (Renegades #2) by Marissa Meyer

Release date: November 6
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Page count: 496 (hardcover)

Marissa Meyer’s Archenemies is the second book in the Renegades trilogy, continuing the complicated story of Nova, a young woman with dangerous powers who is bent on revenge against the renegades.

She is living a double life. Some know her as “Insomnia”, a member of the heroic Renegades who patrol and protect Gatlon City. She works alongside a Renegade named Adrian (or “Sketch”), and their confusing feelings for each other are making Nova question herself and her mission.

As “Nightmare,” Nova works for what she truly believes in—destroying the Renegades who have wronged her.

Morality is complicated in Gatlon City, and being a hero is no simple task.

Meyer succeeded in bringing superheroes to the format of fiction in Renegades, and there’s no doubt she can pull it off again in Archenemies.

Buy it here


The Winter Road by Adrian Selby

Release date: November 13
Publisher: Orbit
Page Count: 496 (paperback)

Following his 2016 debut, Snakewood, Adrian Selby returns with The Winter Road, a grimdark story of the taming of a dangerous place.

The Circle is a massive region of warfare and wilderness, currently under the control of a rising warlord and a deadly clan. The people of the Circle are helpless against the brutal hordes.

To Teyr Amondsen, a former soldier, the Circle is the place she once called home. She has returned, along with a team of mercenaries, to build a road that crosses the Circle and conquers its dangers and its oppressors.

This premise sounds like it will lend well to Selby’s intense and brutal style, once again promising to put readers in a world of bloody battles and hard choices.

Buy it here


Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Release date: November 13
Publisher: Orbit
Page count: 496 (paperback)

Another promising debut for November—Tasha Suri brings bits of Mughal India to a new and fresh fantasy setting in Empire of Sand.

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited. Unbeknownst to her, she can manipulate the dreams of the gods to alter the face of the world.

When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she is coerced into their service, as they are determined to harness her magic for the glory of the Empire. She must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist the mystics’ cruel agenda — and should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…

Buy it here


Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin

Release date: November 20
Publisher: Bantam
Page count: 736 (hardcover)

In the first of a two-book history of the Targaryens (named Fire & Blood), Martin offers a thorough look at Westeros throughout some of its most interesting periods.

Including over 80 illustrations by Doug Wheatley, this dazzling book might not complete any A Song of Ice and Fire fans’ collections, but it will certainly look nice on the shelf.

Fire & Blood opens with the creation of the Iron Throne and follows the Targaryens who strove to hold it. Readers will get a look at a Westeros in the time of dragons, and many of the most fascinating parts of the Targaryens’ story will be explored in never-before-seen content.

Buy it here


How Long ‘til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin

Release date: November 27
Publisher: Orbit
Page count: 416 (hardcover)

N. K. Jemisin broke a record when she won the Hugo award for the third consecutive year in 2018, earning her one win for “Best Novel” for each of her Broken Earth trilogy books. She is one of the most prominent and experimental voices in fantasy, and she’s clearly not going anywhere.

In a new collection of short stories, Jemisin explores narratives that ask difficult questions through bizarre and intriguing premises:

Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow South must save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story “The City Born Great,” a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis’s soul.

If you’ve never read Jemisin before, this may be a great place to start.

Buy it here


 

October Books

October brings a healthy mix of sci-fi and fantasy, featuring some classic authors and some modern-day pioneers. If you’re in the mood for grand space operas or kingdoms at war, this just might be your month.

Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea Cycle gets a gorgeous illustrated edition with artwork by Charles Vess, and Terry Brooks explores a new genre with his sci-fi adventure, Street Freaks. And Steven Erikson has an interesting take on humanity’s first contact with aliens and how this event might change the planet.

The bestselling YA fantasy series Throne of Glass concludes with Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas, and Saga gets its ninth volume of star-hopping action. And we finally have the follow up to Seth Dickinson’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant.

It’s a sequel-heavy month without a doubt, but that just means you should catch up on these series if you haven’t already.

Here’s the list:

Street Freaks by Terry Brooks

Release date: October 2
Publisher: Grimm Oak Press
Page count: 384 (hardcover)

Better known for his epic fantasy like The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks is venturing into sci-fi with this futuristic thriller.

Ashton Collins has a mysterious video message from his father. “Go into the Red Zone. Go to Street Freaks.” The Red Zone is at the center of sprawling Los Angeles—it’s a place he has never been permitted to go to before. If he finds Street Freaks, Ash may answer questions about who his father was, and maybe learn a bit about himself in the process.

Street Freaks promises a dark and plausible future of megacities and omnipotent corporations, with one of the masters of fantasy behind the wheel.

Buy it here


Saga Volume 9 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Release date: October 2
Publisher: Image Comics
Page count: 152 (paperback)

The universe’s most unusual and stressed-out family continues their search for solace in the ninth volume of Saga.

This star-hopping space opera follows parents Marko and Alana, a bi-species couple that a galaxy at war won’t leave alone. With them is their daughter, Hazel, who narrates the comics as the family tries to hold everything together and scrape by, all while avoiding assassins, slavers, and dangerous creatures.

If you’re new to the series, there’s plenty of story to catch up on, but with Staples’s cinematic artwork and Vaughan’s imaginative writing, it won’t take you long to get up to speed.

Buy it here


The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018, edited by N. K. Jemisin and John Joseph Adams

Release date: October 2
Publisher: Mariner Books
Page count: 384 (paperback)

N. K. Jemisin, who recently became the first author to win the Hugo Award three consecutive years, is the guest editor of this year’s collection of notable works from American pioneers of the genre.

Jemisin is bound to bring her craving for the unusual and the experimental in this year’s collection. If you enjoy short fiction or just want to keep a finger on the pulse of SF/F, this collection is a must-have.

Buy it here


A Map of Days (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #4) by Ransom Riggs

Release date: October 2
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Page count: 496 (hardcover)

Ransom Riggs continues his best-selling series of mysterious gifted children with A Map of Days.

From the publisher:

Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back where his story began, in Florida. Except now Miss Peregrine, Emma, and their peculiar friends are with him, and doing their best to blend in. But carefree days of beach visits and normalling lessons are soon interrupted by a discovery—a subterranean bunker that belonged to Jacob’s grandfather, Abe.

Clues to Abe’s double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, secrets long hidden in plain sight. And Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he has inherited—truths that were part of him long before he walked into Miss Peregrine’s time loop.

Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom—a world with few ymbrynes, or rules—that none of them understand. New wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children. Their story is again illustrated by haunting vintage photographs, now with the striking addition of full-color images interspersed throughout for this all-new, multi-era American adventure.

Buy it here


Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor

Release date: October 2
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page count: 528 (hardcover)

Laini Taylor’s follow-up to the bestselling Strange the Dreamer revisits Lazlo and Sarai after the events that changed their lives and their relationship irreversibly.

Lazlo Strange is wrestling with his recently discovered abilities, and Sarai, after a deal with the revenge-bent GodSpawn Minya, is a ghost. This has complicated their lives a bit.

Minya has vowed to destroy the lost city of Weep, and Lazlo must decide between saving the city or Sarai. And while Sarai feels useless in her new form, she has only begun to discover who she really is.

This sequel promises to once again push characters to new limits to discover themselves and further unravel the mysteries of a world once filled with gods.

Buy it here


The Consuming Fire (The Interdependency #2) by John Scalzi

Release date: October 16
Publisher: Tor Books
Page count: 320 (hardcover)

Hugo Award winner and sci-fi master John Scalzi is quickly following up his 2017 The Collapsing Empire with another sweeping space opera.

The second book in the Interdependency series begins with an empire on the brink of disaster. The Flow, the technology that allows for rapid travel through space, is falling apart, rendering parts of the galaxy splintered and fragile. If the Flow vanishes completely, civilization will struggle to survive.

With civil war drawing near and all aspects of society in a fractious state, Emprox Grayland II must quash the theories that the Flow’s collapse is a myth while gathering her allies to oppose rising political dissidents.

The scope of The Consuming Fire is ambitious but ambitious is what Scalzi does best.

Buy it here


Rejoice, A Knife to the Heart by Steven Erikson

Release date: October 16
Publisher: Promontory Press Inc.
Page count: 460 (hardcover)

Steven Erikson, best known for his Malazan Book of the Fallen high fantasy series, ventures into the unknown with this unusual first contact story.

The Intervention begins when sci-fi writer Samantha August vanishes in a ray of light. She is transported to a ship in orbit above Earth, where she learns about the Intervention Delegation, an alien committee that seeks to preserve earth as a viable habitat. The result is a new Earth in which crime, war, and aggression are rendered impossible.

Erikson’s limitless imagination and empathetic storytelling are bound to make Rejoice, A Knife to the Heart a memorable and thought-provoking sci-fi tale.

Buy it here


Kingdom of Ash (A Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas

Release date: October 23
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Page count: 992 (hardcover)

In what is bound to be one of 2018’s biggest YA releases, Sarah J. Mass concludes her high fantasy series Throne of Glass with this high-stakes finale.

After doing everything within her power to save her people, Aelin Galathynius is faced with yet another trial as she is tortured by the Queen of the Fae while trapped in an iron coffin for months.

Meanwhile, Aedion and Lysandra are the only ones left to protect Terrasen from Erawan’s armies. Rowan is doing everything he can to find and rescue Aelin before it’s too late. The world is on the precipice of disaster before a final fight for freedom.

These characters have come far from their roots in the beginning of the series, and Kingdom of Ash promises to cement their fates, for better or worse, in a thrilling conclusion.

Buy it here


Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson

Release date: October 23
Publisher: Orbit
Page count: 464 (hardcover)

Kim Stanley Robinson, best known for his Mars trilogy, takes a smaller leap into the future than he’s accustomed to in Red Moon.

Thirty years from the present day, the moon has been colonized, and Fred Fredericks is making his first visit to put in a communications system. Shortly after he lands, he witnesses a murder and must do what he can to protect himself without drawing undue attention.

Ta Shu, a reporter, is also on his first visit—and it doesn’t take him long to learn that the moon harbors dangers for anyone.

Chan Qi, daughter of the Minister of  Finance, attempts to leave the moon and return to China, but there are much larger events in motion on a small rock burdened with economic and political significance.

Buy it here


The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition by Ursula K. Le Guin and Illustrated by Charles Vess

Release date: October 30
Publisher: Saga Press
Page count: 1,008 (hardcover)

A new hardcover collection of Ursula K. Le Guin’s classic Earthsea Cycle gathers all of her Earthsea works in one tome for the first time.

Charles Vess, known for his imaginative style and intricate details, brings over 50 illustrations that will capture Le Guin’s vision in a new way.

The Earthsea books and stories remain one of fantasy’s most empathetic and powerful; this is the ultimate Earthsea collection.

Buy it here


The Monster Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade #2) by Seth Dickinson

Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: October 30 (expected)

The sequel to the outstanding The Traitor Baru Cormorant is finally here. Seth Dickinson’s debut novel follows Baru Cormorant, a young woman whose people have nearly been destroyed by the Empire of Masks. Rich in intrigue and worldbuilding, this powerful novel stands well on its own, but the sequel is more than welcome.

Baru Cormorant is a lord in the empire she despises. Her best hope of destroying it is by remaining on the inside, leading her foes to doom, and hopefully sparking all-out war. But her mind is racked by a wound that muddies her own thoughts and beliefs.

She has a chance to destroy the Masquerade, but only if she can figure out who she is.

Buy it here


September Books

Hidden Sun (Shadowlands #1) by Jaine Fenn

Release Date: September 4
Publisher: Angry Robot
Pages: 448 (paperback)

British science fiction writer Jaine Fenn introduces her Shadowlands duology with Hidden Sun, a mystery set in a strange world of light and darkness.

The many shadowlands divide the light of the skyland. The shadowland of Shen is home to Rhia Harlyn, a noble with an unladylike interest in science and a brother gone missing.

A strange murder case remains open, and due to its suspicious timing, Rhia partners with the search team en route to the mysterious skylands. There, she will meet powerful and complicated characters as she searches for her brother—or learns the truth of his fate.

Buy it here


Two Dark Reigns (Three Dark Crowns #3) by Kendare Blake

Release Date: September 4
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 464 (hardcover)

With one of this year’s biggest YA releases, Kendare Blake continues her Three Dark Crowns series with Two Dark Reigns, the penultimate book in the quartet.

Now that Queen Katharine finally has the crown she has wanted for so long, things are getting complicated. Her rule isn’t as firm as it could be—her sisters may not actually be dead, and a strange specter has appeared on the mainland and may be the legendary Blue Queen with an ominous message.

Meanwhile, the powerful naturalist Jules is gathering a rebel force to challenge Katharine’s rule. And the Blue Queen may be behind this development.

Return to Fennbirn with this story of a kingdom in chaos as threats approach from every direction.

Buy it here


Port of Shadows (The Chronicles of the Black Company #1.5) by Glen Cook

Release date: September 11
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 400 (hardcover)

The soldiers of the Black Company don’t ask questions, they get paid. But being “The Lady’s favored” is attracting the wrong kind of attention and has put a target on their backs, and the Company’s historian, Croaker, has the biggest target of all.

The one person who was taken into The Lady’s Tower and returned unchanged has earned the special interest of the court of sorcerers known as The Ten Who Were Taken. Now, he and the company are being asked to seek the aid of their newest member, Mischievous Rain, to break a rebel army. However, Croaker doesn’t trust any of the Taken, especially not ones that look so much like The Lady and her sister…

Buy it here


The Golden Tower (Magisterium #5) by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Release Date: September 11
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 256 (hardcover)

Two of YA fantasy’s biggest authors, Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, are finishing their epic Magisterium series with The Golden Tower.

The  ancient mage Constantine Madden achieved immortality by living inside the young Callum Hunt. Callum has been through a lot, from studying magic in Magisterium for four years to conquering the armies of chaos. Now, at the end of his training, Callum is closer than ever to vanquishing evil. But it will take everything he’s learned to take on this foe.

Hopefully Clare and Black can bring this high-stakes series to a solid close.

Buy it here


Worldshaper (Worldshapers #1) by Edward Willett

Release Date: September 18
Publisher: DAW
Pages: 368 (paperback)

Shawna Keys’s world is perfect. She has everything she could want, between her pottery studio and her incredible partner.

Her perfect world is ruined in a single day when her best friend is killed—and no one can remember that her friend ever existed except for Shawna and a stranger who claims to have answers.

Shawna’s world was as ideal as it was because someone designed it. It was a Shaped world, created to be without flaws. In the Labyrinth of Shaped worlds, someone is destroying them one by one. Shawna’s world is already lost, but there are countless other worlds that can still be saved if she acts quickly and seeks the Lady in the center of the Labyrinth.

Edward Willett is known for his fantastic worlds—and in this new series with literal worldbuilding as its premise, we’ll see more of his worlds than ever before.

Buy it here


Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds by Brandon Sanderson

Release Date: September 18
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 352 (hardcover)

Brandon Sanderson’s Legion novellas are collected in one place for the first time in Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds. Included is Lies of the Beholder, the latest and final installment.

Though he’s best known for his Cosmere fantasy series like Mistborn and The Stormlight Archive, Sanderson has proven himself a versatile and talented storyteller. Legion is yet another example of his skills in characters and innovation.

Stephen Leeds is an unparalleled genius, but he’s also accompanied by several hallucinatory personalities. Each hallucination manifests as an expert in a particular field, lending advice to Stephen as he combats terrorist organizations and tries to understand his strange condition.

For longtime fans of Legion and newcomers to the series, this is bound to be a great c0llection with one of Sanderon’s classic explosive finales.

Buy it here


Barren (Demon Cycle #5.5) by Peter V. Brett

Release Date: September 25
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Pages: 144 (paperback)

Peter V. Brett revisits his Demon Cycle series with this prequel novella, following Selia Square, also known as Barren.

Demons have long threatened a humanity with no way to fight, until the rediscovery of combat wards. In Tibbet’s Brook, old rivalries and clans pose another threat.

Selia does what she can to maintain order in Tibbet’s Brook, but when a mind demon threatens her people, it’s not easy to unite everyone against a common foe. Selia’s history in the community is complicated, and only by understanding her own past can she do what she must to save her people.

This prequel story gives fans of the Demon Cycle series another glimpse of this beloved fantasy world.

Buy it here


Vengeful (The Villains #2) by V. E. Schwab

Release Date: September 28
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 480 pages (hardcover)

In the long-awaited sequel to Vicious, Schwab takes a different turn with the story by introducing a new protagonist: Marcella Riggins.

There’s a new and powerful force in the city of Merit, and she’s doing everything she can to conquer the city. Marcella is a loner, but she intends to use the rivalry of Victor Vale and Eli Ever as fuel for her schemes. Combine this with her ability to turn people into ash, and it’s clear that a new force is on the rise.

Schwab has a lot of books in the works, but Vengeful is easily her biggest upcoming title.

Buy it here


August Books

Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons 3#) by Sarah J. Maas

Release date: August 7
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: 384 (hardcover)

The third book in the bestselling DC Icons series comes from Sarah J. Maas, the author behind the massively popular Throne of Glass series.

Selina Kyle is a slum dweller turned wealthy, now undercover as Holly Vanderhees in a Gotham City without Batman.

After teaming up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, she becomes an infamous thief who catches the attention of Batwing, also known as Luke Fox.

Selina comes to know Luke Fox as her neighbor while eluding Batwing at night, all while she strives to pull off a major heist.

Buy it here


Relic by Alan Dean Foster

Release date: August 14
Publisher: Del Rey
Pages: 320 (hardcover)

A standalone from Alan Dean Foster envisions a post-human universe, save one man: Ruslan.

Humanity’s reach was vast, spanning many stars, but biological warfare ultimately put an end to human civilization.

Ruslan is alone and aimless after being rescued from his home planet by the alien race known as the Myssari. After spending his days as a sightseeing attraction for the aliens, they offer him a chance to go on a great mission: find humanity’s home planet, Earth. If it really exists.

This hope-filled space journey sounds like it could offer an unusual look at humanity in a dark and distant galaxy.

Buy it here


The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

Release date: August 21
Publisher: Tor.com
Pages: 112 (hardcover)

Alternate-Civil-War-era Louisiana brings orisha, airships, and super weapons to an America both alien and familiar.

Creeper has valuable information about a weapon referred to as the Black God’s Drums by a Haitian scientist—she hopes this intel will be enough to get her aboard the airship the Midnight Robber.

Things get out of hand quickly once Creeper finds her way onto the Midnight Robber, and she and the crew find themselves on a mission to stop the Black God’s Drums from completely destroying New Orleans.

On top of all this, Creeper hears the voice of Oya, orisha of wind and storms, in her mind.

There’s a lot packed into this novella from a great new voice in sci-fi.

Buy it here


Foundryside: A Novel (The Founders Trilogy #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Release date: August 21
Publisher: Crown
Pages: 512 (hardcover)

Robert Jackson Bennett, author of City of Stairs, is embarking on a dark and deeply new magical trilogy with Foundryside.

Sancia Grado, an experienced thief with her share of tricks up her sleeve, has been

tasked with stealing something more important than she could imagine.

The capitalist city of Tevanne is wired and fueled by magic. Sentient objects, created by wealthy Merchant Houses, are ubiquitous. If the Merchant Houses came into possession of the very object Sancia steals, they could potentially change the rules of reality for the worse.

It doesn’t take long for Sancia to become a target, and if she wants to survive, she won’t be able to emerge unchanged.

Jackson has proven his ability to create a great story within the confines of one magical city before—and hopefully he can create something just as uniquely mysterious in Foundryside.

Buy it here


The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal

Release date: August 21
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 384

Just this July we saw the release of The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal’s first Lady Astronaut book. The sequel is coming out a month later in August.

The Fated Sky continues the story of Elma York—now a famous Lady Astonaut—and her ambitions to be a part of humankind’s journey to Mars.

This alternate history series imagines an Earth in the mid 20th century, shortly after an asteroid destroyed parts of the U. S. and turned the planet into an increasingly inhospitable place for humans. The only option is to look to the stars out not just curiosity but necessity and survival.

Elma would love to be chosen by the Aerospace Coalition to be on the mission to Mars. But she would have to put her hopes of starting a family on hold, and with the Civil Rights movement taking flight, there are questions about how everyone will treat each other when they colonize Mars.

Kowal’s award-winning story, “Lady Astronaut of Mars,” created a bold vision of a very different past; hopefully The Fated Sky isn’t the last we see of Elma York.

Buy it here


Night Flights by Philip Reeve, Illustrated by Ian McQue

Release date: August 28
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 192 (hardcover

With the Peter-Jackson-produced film adaptation of Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines due in December, the release of Night Flights has great timing.

This illustrated book is a collection of stories following Anna Fang, an aviatrix in a war-torn world where mobile “traction” cities hunt each other down. After Anna’s home city was eaten (as these mobile cities tend to do to one another) by the predator city of Arkhangel, she was enslaved and sent to work in its deep gut. But she is tenacious and cunning, and freedom is within view.

Anna Fang is one of the most beloved and complicated characters from the world of Mortal Engines, and the three stories in this collection offer to answer some questions about the woman who will become a powerful leader and dangerous terrorist.

Ian McQue’s stellar cover art and illustrations bring flavor to an already brilliant world.

Buy it here


Mirror Gate (The Harbinger Series #2) by Jeff Wheeler

Release date: August 28
Publisher: 47North
Pages: 348 (paperback)

Jeff Wheeler’s rapid fire The Harbinger series is getting its second installment in August, with a third book due in November.

Mirror Gate picks up from the first book with Princess Sera Fitzempress continuing her struggle to master magic, known as the Mysteries. Her success is crucial; with the emperor dead, she will need to be cunning and powerful to outmaneuver the one other person eyeing the throne: her father.

Mastering the Mysteries isn’t easy. Learning this powerful magic isn’t easy, and it’s usually reserved for those with money and proper training. But for Cettie, a waif from the earthbound people below the sky manors, this magic comes naturally. This power brings great opportunity, as well as great enemies.

Only by working together can Cettie and Sera navigate two sides of a society on the brink of war.

Buy it here


Bloody Rose (The Band #2) by Nicholas Eames

Release Date: August 28
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 560 (paperback)

This standalone fantasy is set in the same world as Nicholas Eames’ rowdy and hilarious Kings of the Wyld from 2017.

In a world where mercenaries are essentially rock stars, Tam Ashford is a bartender at the local pub who is tired of listening to other people’s stories of adventure.

When the world’s most renowned mercenary band gives Tam the chance to escape, she seizes it, leaving behind her humdrum life for one of danger, adventure, and glory.

Eames’s fast-paced and comedic style are an absolute blast. Don’t miss out on another rockin’ adventure from the world of Kings of the Wyld.

Buy it here


The Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R. Tolkien (Illustrated by Alan Lee and Edited by Christopher Tolkien)

Release date: August 30
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Pages: 304 (hardcover)

The latest posthumous release from J.R.R. Tolkien and edited by his son, Christopher Tolkien, is a full-length version of the story previously included in The Silmarillion with illustrations by Alan Lee.

This story includes pieces of Tolkien’s earliest known writings on Middle-Earth, which explores the struggle between the great powers of Morgoth and Ulmo. Morgoth is the first Dark Lord of Middle-Earth and has a massive army at his command, while Ulmo controls the seas who helped in the formation of the world.

The hidden city of Gondolin is ruled by Turgon King of Gondolin and coveted by Morgoth. Tuor, a man and cousin of Túrin, comes to the city with the aid of Ulmo just before the tragic fall of Gondolin.

For Tolkien collectors, Lee’s artwork and Christopher Tolkien’s skill full research and editing make this a must-have that will look great on the shelf.

Buy it here

See Also:

July Books

Black Chamber (Tales from the Black Chamber #1) by S. M. Stirling

Release date: July 3
Publisher: Ace
Page count: 400 (paperback)

In a new alternate history series, S. M. Stirling explores America under Theodore Roosevelt, who is president for the second time, during World War I.

To prevent the Central Powers from continuing to dominate Africa and Europe, the president calls on Luz O’Malley Aróstegui, a spy in the top secret Black Chamber organization. Luz takes the disguise of a Mexican revolutionary to gain the trust of the German agent Imperial Sword. Her success is vital—the Germans have a new weapon that they plan to unleash on America. The war is at a turning point, and Luz may be in the right place and the right time to prevent catastrophe.

This alternate-history espionage novel offers a chance to view World War I through a new lens—and knowing Stirling, there are bound to be some twists and surprises.

Buy it here.


Age of War (Legends of the First Empire #3) by Michael J. Sullivan

new post apocalyptic books 2018

Release Date: July 3
Publisher: Del Rey
Page Count: 448 (hardcover)

Michael J. Sullivan (author of Riyria Revelations) is known for writing a series in its entirety before publishing the first novel, and he’s done it again with his Legends of the First Empire series. This allows him to flesh his ideas out before publishing, and you don’t have to worry about the series going unfinished.

His latest series takes place thousands of years before the events of Riyria Revelations. This third installment is due in May, and the next one won’t be far off.

Buy it here.


The Calculating Stars (The Lady Astronaut #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal

Release Date: July 3
Publisher: Tor Books
Page Count: 384 (paperback)

Set in the same world as her Hugo-Award-winning Novella, The Lady Astronaut of Mars, Mary Robinette Kowal invokes the retro style of Ray Bradbury in this historical space sci-fi.

When a meteorite wipes out Washington D.C. in 1952, the U.S. government (for obvious reasons) collapses and Earth becomes a dangerous place to live. The space race takes on a new meaning as humanity desperately tries to find a new home, looking to nearby celestial bodies.

Elma York is a mathematician and pilot who wants nothing more than to become the first Lady Astronaut. Societal norms would prefer if she didn’t, but Elma is highly qualified and highly determined.

The Lady Astronaut series is a departure for Kowal (known for her Glamourist Histories novels), but her skilled writing and memorable characters are sure to make it an exciting ride.

Did I say Lady Astronaut series? Yes, I did — the second novel comes out less than two months later, on August 23. If you want to get a headstart, you can find the award-winning short that inspired the series here.

Buy The Calculating Stars here.


A Study in Emerald Graphic Novel by Neil Gaiman and Rafael Albuquerque

Release date: July 10
Publisher: Dark Horse
Page count: 88 (hardcover

Neil Gaiman’s Hugo-award-winning short story is getting a graphic novel adaptation with artwork by Rafael Albuquerque.

Set in a Cthulhu-mythos- and Sherlock-Holmes-inspired world, the story examines an investigation that becomes increasingly convoluted and grim.

Though the story is far from new, this is bound to be a gorgeous edition that will bring new life to one of Gaiman’s most celebrated stories.

Buy it here.


Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Release Date: July 10
Publisher: Del Rey
Page Count: 256 (hardcover)

Naomi Novik (author of Uprooted) brings us another retelling, this time drawing from the tale of Rumpelstiltskin to create a fresh story.

Miryem’s father has lent out most of his wealth and his wife’s dowry, and Miyrem takes it upon herself to collect her family’s money. She discovers that she has a knack for this, but her talent draws unwanted attention and soon finds herself in a dangerous predicament.

Novik’s Uprooted was wonderfully written and imagined, and I’m sure Spinning Silver will be no different.

Buy it here.


Apocalypse Nyx by Kameron Hurley

Release date: July 17
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Page count: 288 (paperback)

One of Kameron Hurley’s most beloved characters is finally getting a new book. Though most of these five stories have been published before, they can be difficult to track down, and Apocalypse Nyx gathers them in one binding.

To say Nyx is tough is an understatement. She’s ruthless, ambitious, and lethal. This is what’s required to survive in a hellish world like hers, though. She’ll face magicians, massive bugs, and deadly environment—whatever it takes to survive and collect a paycheck.

This short story collection is a must have for fans of Hurley’s Bel Dame Apocrypha books.

Buy it here.


The Girl in the Green Silk Gown (Ghost Roads #2) by Seanan McGuire

the girl in the green silk gown

Release date: July 17
Publisher: DAW
Page count: 352 (paperback)

There aren’t many ghost protagonists—Rose Marshall is probably the only one who’s also a hitchhiker.

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown picks up from where Sparrow Hill Road left off, following the forever-sixteen ghost of Rose, who was killed by the immortal Bobby Cross almost 70 years ago. Rose’s existence has been spectral for so long that she doesn’t know anything other than wandering from truck stop to truck stop. So when the very man who killed her resurrects her, Rose must find a way back to her old life as a ghost. Unfortunately, the task isn’t as easy as it seems.

McGuire’s unconventional American urban legend continues in what is sure to be a grim and ghastly follow-up.

Buy it here.


Thrawn: Alliances (Thrawn #2) by Timothy Zahn

Release date: July 24
Publisher: Del Rey
Page count: 368 (hardcover)

Timothy Zahn’s legendary character returns in a sequel to 2017’s Thrawn.

Set during the events of Star Wars Rebels, this new canon story follows the enemies Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Vader as they vie for Emperor Palpatine’s approval. A new threat to the empire is growing on Batuu, and Darth Vader and Thrawn must ally to investigate this new danger.

This tale of a young Vader and powerful Thrawn explores a new part of the Star Wars story—and suggests that Zahn could have more Thrawn in store for us.

Buy it here.


Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers #3) by Becky Chambers

Release Date: July 24
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Page Count: 400 (paperback)

Becky Chambers knows how to come up with a book title! Following The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit, this book takes us  back to the Galactic Commons for another standalone novel.

The Exodus Fleet is the craft that carried humanity out of our solar system and into the Milky Way. It was the home to many generations, though the original adventurers never made contact with any of the aliens in the galaxy. Their descendants did, however, and some even chose to remain on the vessel that carried humankind away from Earth.

Record of a Spaceborn Few is the story of several individuals who call the Exodus Fleet their home and their reasons for staying, or leaving, the Exodus Fleet.

Chambers has created a massive, diverse, and thriving galaxy filled with wonderful characters and stories. Don’t miss out on the next installment in her Wayfarers series.

Buy it here.


June Books

The Hills Have Spies (Family Spies #1) by Mercedes Lackey

Release date: June 5
Publisher: DAW
Page count: 368 pages (hardcover)

A new Valdemar series is on the way from bestselling author Mercedes Lackey. The first book in the Family Spies series is called The Hills Have Spies, and it continues Mags’s and Amily’s stories as they raise their children in a dangerous world.

Mags has given his son Justyn the skills he needs to protect himself, and he has decided to send his son on a reconnaissance mission by enlisting him in a troupe of traveling musicians. While Justyn explores a world away from home, he learns dangerous and discomfiting things about a society known as the Hawkbrothers. Unrest is growing among the Hawkbrothers, and there is no easy solution. Justyn will have to act cautiously and tactfully to defuse a dangerous situation.

This unfortunately-titled book offers a chance to herald in a new generation of Valdemar, giving us a look at the beginnings of legendary characters.

Buy it here.


Brief Cases (The Dresden Files #15.1) by Jim Butcher  

Release date: June 5
Publisher: Ace
Page count: 448 (hardcover)

While The Dresden Files fans wait for the next novel in the series, Peace Talks, they can tide themselves over on an anthology of Dresden-based stories.

Many of these stories have been previously published, and not all of them feature Harry Dresden as a protagonist. However, the brand new novella Zoo Day makes this collection worth picking up for any fan of The Dresden Files. Zoo Day follows the perspectives of Maggie and Mouse.

Each story is introduced by Butcher with explanations of the story’s context in the scope of The Dresden files. With Peace Talks still out of view, this collection is a welcome addition to Butcher’s urban fantasy saga.

Buy it here.


The Memory of Fire (The Walking Land #2) by Callie Bates

Release date: June 5
Publisher: Del Rey
Page count: 448 (hardcover)

The follow up to her debut novel, The Walking Land, features a magical world under new rule. But the sense of peace is short lived as word of an impending invasion led by the Paladisan Emperor.

Jahan Korakides must return to Paladis to prevent the incoming war. But with magic banned, he must tread carefully. This ruse is more difficult than he expected, and his former royal allies have abandoned him, leaving him friendless and exposed in a hostile empire.

Meanwhile, Elanna Valtai is without magic after exerting herself to protect her homeland. When she is captured and brought to Paladis, Jahan will have to face his past in order to save the woman he loves.

Buy it here.


Bruja Born (Brooklyn Bruja #2) by Zoraida Córdova

Release date: June 5
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page count: 352 (hardcover)

The follow up to Labyrinth Lost introduces a new cast of bruja—extremely powerful witches—in a deeply magical world that resembles ours in some ways but is deeply unusual in others, with its Alice’s-Adventures-in-Wonderland vibe mixed with Latin American cultures.

Bruja Born follows Lula, the older sister of Alex, in her struggle to cope with the fatal bus crash that killed all of her classmates, including her boyfriend, Maks.

The only way to make things right is to bring Maks and her classmates back from the dead. Fortunately, Lula’s bruja healing powers make this possible—but bending the laws of death has unintended consequences.

This sequel returns readers to the imaginative world of Córdova while giving them a plot distinct from the first book in the series. The third book is expected sometime in 2019.

Buy it here.


Revenant Gun (Machineries of Empire #3) by Yoon Ha Lee

Release date: June 12
Publisher: Solaris
Page count: 400 (paperback)

Concluding the space-empire-filled trilogy that began with Ninefox Gambit, Revenant Gun takes place ten years after the events of the second book in the series, and things have gotten complicated.

Shuos Jedao thinks he is a 17-year-old cadet, but he is in the body of an older man. Fans of the series might have an idea of why this is the case. Jedao is ordered by Hexarch Nirai Kujen to conquer and reunite the hexarchate by leading an army of Kel soldiers. Needless to say, Jedao does not feel prepared by this.

A past that he cannot remember defines his life and how others view him, Jedao is hated by his soldiers for reasons he cannot remember, and a dangerous enemy seems to know more about Jedao than anyone else.

This concluding book takes the Machineries of Empire trilogy in a new direction, but it promises to be filled with twists that will keep fans guessing until the end.

Buy it here.


A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir

Release Date: June 12
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count: 464 (hardcover)

The fantasy genre needs more ancient Rome, and Sabaa Tahir’s bestselling An Ember in the Ashes quartet delivers.

The third installment in the series brings us back to the Empire, threatened by an inevitable war.

While Helene Aquilla and Emperor Marcus desperately try to support a fragile Empire, Laia of Serra is in the East fighting the real threat — the Nightbringer. And Elias Veturius has surrendered his freedom to become Soul Catcher, but this decision may have consequences for all of humanity.

With this stakes higher than ever, A Reaper at the Gates will be an explosive installment in Tahir’s critically acclaimed series.

Buy it here.


Starless by Jacqueline Carey

Release Date: June 12
Publisher: Tor
Page Count: 592 (hardcover)

From legendary fantasy author Jacqueline Carey comes a standalone adventure set in a new world.

Starless introduces a world of royalty, astronomical events, prophecies, and evil gods. At the center of it is Khai, who is tasked with protecting the princess Zariya, who was born at the exact same moment as Khai. The court of the Sun-Blessed is a menagerie of intrigue and danger, and Khai must act carefully to protect his soul’s twin.

With destruction looming, Khai and Zariya must trust unlikely allies before a great evil spreads across the world.

The fantasy genre could use more epic standalones. If anyone can pull it off, it’s Jacqueline Carey.

Buy it here.


The Skaar Invasion (The Fall of Shannara #2) by Terry Brooks

Release date: June 15
Publisher: Del Rey
Page count: 384 (hardcover)

The classic epic fantasy series that began in 1977 is one book closer to its end with The Skar Invasion, the second part of the quartet that will conclude Brooks’s Shannara series.

War is coming to the Four Lands, and the Druid Order may be witnessing the beginning of the end. Dar Leah knows that their chances are slim without Druid Drisker Arc, who is trapped inside the vanished fortress Paranor.

While Drisker tries to free himself, Dar learns that what looked like the invading force of a mysterious magical foe may actually be a small part of a massive army. The trolls have already been conquered—and the druids are next.

Buy it here.


Storm Glass (Harbinger #1) by Jeff Wheeler

Release date: June 19
Publisher: 47North
Page count: 353 (paperback)

Jeff Wheeler’s new series begins with Storm Glass, introducing a world divided into two classes. The wealthy upper class live in sky manors powered by a magic known as “the Mysteries.” Those who live on the ground are trapped in a society that won’t let them climb into the clouds.

Cettie Pratt is lifted from the ground when an admiral adopts her and her life changes completely. But though she now lives in the clouds, things are far from perfect.

The admiral’s daughter, Sera Fitzempress, longs to meet the new servant, but her father doesn’t see the need. Both girls are curious about the strange world the other inhabits.

Wheeler’s world is hinged on the dichotomy between two drastically different places and classes. The second book, The Mirror Gate, is due on August, and the third may be out later this year, making this a highly bingeable fantasy series.

Buy it here.


The Privilege of Peace by Tanya Huff (Peacekeeper #3) by Tanya Huff

Release date: June 19
Publisher: DAW
Page count: 352 (hardcover)

Torin Kerr’s last adventure is captured in the latest from Tanya Huff, The Privilege of Peace.

The third book in the Peacekeeper trilogy opens with a retired Kerr who has finally escaped war to a peaceful life. Kerr answers the call to arms one last time, becoming Gunnery Sergeant Kerr once more.

The ship Big Yellow has reappeared, and the Silsviss are preparing to launch an attack on the Confederation.

Closing the story that began with Huff’s Confederation series and continued with the Peacekeeper trilogy, this last installment says goodbye to one of Huff’s toughest characters.

Buy it here.


May Books

The summer season of publishing is getting started with a fantasy-heavy May. Series debuts and companion novels stand out this month, as well as a lot of epic fantasy and ambitious storytelling.

Sylvain Neuvel’s The Themis Files trilogy gets its final installment, and Raymond E. Feist kicks off his new Firemane Saga. R. F. Kuang makes her debut with The Poppy War, the first book in a trilogy with its roots in Chinese history.

Hopefully your TBR shelf is clear so you can start stocking up for summer reading. Whether you’re looking for a new series, a standalone, or a satisfying conclusion to a series, you can find it among these May releases.

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

Release date: May 1
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Page count: 544 (hardcover)

R. F. Kuang’s literary debut is a military fantasy set in the Nikara Empire, resembling 20th-century China in its turmoil and shifting power.

Rin is an orphan of low standing from Rooster Province who somehow passed the Empire’s test to enter the Academies. She soon develops dangerous shamanic powers and learns that the ancient gods aren’t dead after all.

The first two Poppy Wars were devastating, but most denizens of the Nikara Empire enjoy peaceful lives—but everything is in place for a third Poppy War. Rin must use her newfound powers and her connection to the vengeful Phoenix god to protect her future from an incoming war.

The Poppy War is the first book in a planned trilogy.

Buy it here.


Only Human (The Themis Files #3) by Sylvain Neuvel

Release Date: May 1
Publisher: Del Rey
Page Count: 352

The Themis Files trilogy comes to a close with Only Human, picking up 10 years after the cliffhanger ending to Waking Gods, following in the series’ tradition of time skips.

The Themis Files began with Rose Franklin’s discovery of a massive metal hand buried in South Dakota. She and her team discovered the scattered parts that were assembled to create the mysterious robot Themis. Twenty years later, Dr. Rose Franklin, returns to an Earth in danger after spending ten years on another world.

Neuvel tells this ambitious sci-fi saga through several interviews, which allows him to capture events on a global scale and from a variety of perspectives. Despite this, he still manages to create memorable characters and a narrative full of powerful moments.

Buy it on Amazon.


A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses series) by Sarah J. Maas.

Release date: May 1
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Page count: 272 pages (hardcover)

This accompanying story follows the events A Court of Wings and Ruin and prepares readers for the next books in the series.

Told by Feyre and Rhysand, A Court of Frost and Starlight chronicles the recovery of the Night Court’s after the battle that changed the world. Feyre must adjust to her new role as High Lady and the demands of a wounded court. Though the Winter Solstice provides a brief calm, she and Rhys must be prepared to navigate a changing world.

Buy it here.


Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells

Release Date: May 8
Publisher: Tor
Page Count: 160 (hardcover)

Murderbot earned its name in a massacre that it can’t recall with much clarity. It knows that it can be lethal, and in order to discover the answers to its past, Murderbot returns to the mining facility where it lost control.

Martha Wells is sure to deliver another sci-fi adventure filled with moral dilemmas… and killing.

Buy it on Amazon here.


The Plastic Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Release date: May 15
Publisher: 47North
Page count: 236 (hardcover)

Holmberg’s next novel revisits the world of The Paper Magician, introducing Alvie Brenchenmacher, a young woman seeking to learn the art of Polymaking, the magic of commanding plastic.

Alvie is ambitious and determined to make as many breakthroughs as possible while studying under the famous Marion Praff. Together, the mentor and student create something incredible, but a rival magician aims to take credit before they can show their invention to the world.

Buy it here.


Wrath of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder #2) by Brian McClellan

Release Date: May 15
Publisher: Orbit
Page Count: 656 (hardcover)

Set in the same world as his bestselling Powder Mage trilogy, this follow up to Sins of Empire presents a young country in a state of unrest and chaos. Our heroes, Lady Flint, Michel Bravis, and Ben Syke, are battling threats to their county on all sides.

McClellan’s Powder Mage books introduced an unusual “flintlock fantasy” setting that feels fresh and fast-paced compared to a more traditional medieval world. If you’re a fan of Brandon Sanderson’s worldbuilding and magic systems, don’t skip McClellan’s latest fantasy series.

Buy it here.


The King of Ashes (The Firemane Saga #1) by Raymond E. Feist

Release date: May 8
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Page count: 512 (hardcover)

Raymonde E. Feist, best known for his Riftwar Cycle, is beginning a new trilogy with The King of Ashes.

The five major kingdoms of Tembria lived in harmony until four kingdoms betrayed one: the Kingdom of Flames, Ithrace. When the ruler of Ithrace is killed, Tembria falls into what will forever be known as the War of Betrayal.

Much later, the secret heir of Ithrace is raised in the Kingdom of Night, known of its lethal assassins. The heir does not know his own greatest secret. When he befriends a weaponsmith named Declan, the two men begin to discover the dangerous truth of the War of Betrayal.

The first book of the The Firemane Saga promises to be a tale of fate and discovery in a world of bitter kingdoms.

Buy it here.


In the Region of the Summer Stars (Eirlandia #1)  by Stephen R. Lawhead

Release date: May 15
Publisher: Tor Books
Page count: 336 (hardcover)

A new series from Stephen R. Lawhead is a historical Celtic fantasy, introducing Eirlandia, a land of tribes at war who must unite to face the powerful Scálda or perish.

Conor is the son of the Celtic King, wrongly accused and exiled. Away from his tribe, he must prove his innocence in order to reveal secrets about the Scálda that are vital to the survival of Eirlandia.

Buy it here.


Season of Storms (Witcher #8) by Andrej Sapkowski

Release Date: May 22
Publisher: Orbit
Page count: 432 (hardcover)

Five years after its 2013 Polish release, Season of Storms is finally getting an English-language edition from Orbit.

This standalone work is set between two stories in The Last Witch, the story collection that introduced Geralt of Rivia. Though it can be read on its own, the story contains connections to other Witcher books and collections.

In this story, Geralt is without the tools that make him a Witcher, and the world is becoming a dark and dangerous place. Geralt needs his weapons back to prepare for the season of storms.

Buy it here.

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