9 Best New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books to Read: April 2016

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fantasy books april 2016I don’t know about the rest of you readers, but nothing puts me in the mood to curl up with a book like a little inclement weather. So, with the notoriously rainy month of April upon us, what better time to peruse our monthly list of upcoming fantasy and sci-fi gems?

As usual, we’ve hand-picked a variety of titles from horror to epic fantasy to humor, so there is certain to be something for every reader. Or maybe you’re like us, and you want to mark every single one of these on your calendar (and add them to your ever-growing TBR pile).

Here are the best new sci-fi and fantasy books to read in April 2016 (you can also check out May’s list here):

See Also: Best Fantasy Books 2016

1. Flamecaster (Shattered Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

Flamecaster shattered realms

Release Date: April 5th, 2015

Flamecaster is the first in a new four-book YA fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima, set in the same universe as her highly acclaimed Seven Realms series, just twenty years later. You could easily start this series without having read the other, but be warned, Flamecaster may spoil Seven Realms for you if you plan to read it after. This new series follows the stories of Ash (a healer) and Jenna (a girl born with a mark that makes her a target, for reasons unknown to her) as they cross paths and unite against a common enemy: the king. Initial reviews are largely positive, citing the strong character development and compelling plot. Fans of YA fantasy won’t want to miss this, and it may be a good introduction to Chima’s work for those who aren’t familiar (if you’re not afraid of potential spoilers).

Buy it here.

2. In The Labryinth of Drakes (Memoir by Lady Trent #4) by Marie Brennan

best new books to read

Release Date: April 5th 2016

Personally, I would read this book for the stunning cover art alone. That having been said, In The Labryinth of Drakes is the latest installment in the Memoir by Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan. The Victorian-era alternate history series begins with A Natural History of Dragons; it chronicles the studies of Lady Trent, a prominent dragon naturalist, and is written in the style of her memoirs. In The Labryith of Drakes details how she came by a position in the Royal Scirling Army, and her expedition to the deserts of Akhia, where she will head their desert drake breeding program. Far from being a textbook on the study of dragons, the books follow the exhilerating adventures that Lady Trent’s studies often lead her on, as well as her struggles against the social constructs of her time period, As a narrator, Lady Trent is engaging and intuitive, and following her character development is interesting.

Buy it here.

3. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

every heart a doorway book

Release Date: April 5th 2016

I absolutely love the premise for Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan Mcguire. Basically, it’s a fantasy novella about a boarding school for children who have stumbled upon a magical land (think The Chronicles of Narnia or Alice in Wonderland), were sent back, and are now hopelessly stuck in the real world. If you’ve ever wondered what life is like for children who visit a fantasy land when the story is over and they are forced to live in the mundane world, this is the book for you. It is darkly magical and fascinating (she manages to describe ten distinct fantasy worlds in a span of 160 pages), with a wonderfully diverse cast of characters that truly feel like misfits in every sense of the word. Fantasy fans young and old won’t want to miss this short-but-sweet book, which proves that great fantasy doesn’t need to be 1000+ pages.

Buy it here.

4. Almost Infamous: A Supervillian Novel by Matt Carter

new books to read

Release Date: April 19th, 2016

Every once in a while we like to include a more lighthearted book on our to-read lists, and Almost Infamous by Matt Carter is one such book. It’s a story about 18-year-old Aidan Salt, who is possessed of superpowers but doesn’t want the responsibility that comes with being a superhero. He desires the fame, though, which spurs him to become Apex Strike – a supervillian in a world where they have been all but eradicated by superheroes. He finds his new career path when he discovers that there are superheroes willing to hire him to play the supervillian in order to stay relevant in the villian-free world, but soon discovers that the caped life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. This is a fun read that puts a unique twist on an already well-established concept.

Buy it here.

5. The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey

new sci-fi books to read

Release Date: April 19th, 2016

Okay, so this month we’ve included two books on the lighter end of the spectrum. Fans of Chris Moore are sure to enjoy The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey, a humorous novel about a thief specializing in magical objects who unwittingly steals a doomsday device from an angel. Fans of Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series will find this book to have a much lighter, less edgy feel (which may or may not be disappointing). For those that aren’t familiar, though, this fantastically witty standalone novel would be a great introduction to his work. It would also be a great introduction to a new series, so in the event that it becomes one, don’t miss your chance to get on that bandwagon.

Buy it here.

6. Sharp Ends (First Law World #7) by Joe Abercrombie

fantasy books april 2016

Release Date: April 26th, 2016

Occasionally, we also come across a collection of short stories worth mentioning, as is the case with Sharp Ends by New York Times bestseller Joe Abercrombie.  It contains thirteen short stories, both previously published and brand-new, all set in the world of his First Law books. Readers will see familiar characters as well as some new faces, along with a mix of previously visited and as-yet-unknown locales. Each story is beautifully crafted and compelling, with a cast of fully realized characters, and full of Abercrombie’s characteristic wit. This could work as an introduction to Abercrombie’s work for those who haven’t read it yet, but readers would probably get more out of it having read his The First Law and First Law World trilogies first. If you’re one of the many who have, you don’t want to miss this fantastic anthology.

Buy it here.

7. The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven king book

Release Date: April 26th, 2016

Side note: we’re officially calling April the month for awesome cover art (this one vaguely reminds us of Harry Potter’s patronus). That having been said, we are sad to announce the conclusion of #1 New York Times bestseller Maggie Stiefvater’s highly popular The Raven Cycle series with the fourth installment, The Raven King. The main character is a girl named Blue, who has always been warned that she will cause the death of her true love. As young girls are wont to do, she ignores this warning, believing that it will never be relevant because true love doesn’t exist. It becomes much more challenging to ignore, however, when she becomes entangled with the Raven Boys. The series definitely stands out from the plethora of YA urban fantasy out there, and if you haven’t read it, I suggest you start with The Raven Boys right now. We also included The Raven King on our list of the most anticipated and potentially best fantasy books of 2016.

Buy it here.

8. Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel

fantasy books april 2016

Release Date: April 26th, 2016

Sleeping Giants is a spectacular debut from emerging science fiction author Sylvain Neuvel. It is vaguely reminiscent of World War Z and The Martian in that it is written as a series of transcribed interviews as opposed to a continuous narrative. To sum it up, a teenage girl falls into a hole and finds herself lying in the palm of a giant metal hand. Fast forward a few years, and she becomes a physicist leading a team on a quest to discover more giant body parts and solve the mystery of their origin, as well as the implications for humanity. The best news, though? This is only the first book of what will eventually be a series called Themis Files. Initial reviews are looking great, so make sure to get your (normal-sized) hands on this when it releases.

Buy it here.

9. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

sci-fi books april 2016

Release Date: April 26th, 2016

The bestselling Dutch novel Hex from Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Thomas Olde Heuvelt is now being published in English for the first time, but be warned: it is the stuff of nightmares. The setting has also been transferred to a small town in the U.S., just to make it feel a little more close-to-home. The town is haunted by a 17th-century woman known as the Black Rock Witch, whose eyes and mouth were sewn shut. She wanders into peoples’ houses and stands next to their beds for days on end; however, the residents are unable to leave due to a high-tech quarantine imposed by the elders of the town. Some teenagers, however, decide to publicize the haunting via the internet, with unforeseen and drastic consequences. Prepare to be seriously creeped out; the juxtaposition of modern-day technology and an ancient haunting makes for a truly horrifying tale.

Buy it here.

See Also

Best Fantasy Books 2016

Top 50 Best Sci-Fi Books to Read

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