Book Recs: 5 Diverse Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books Set in the US


Today, the day that I’m originally posting this, is the 4th of July. Independence Day, for the United States!

And while we’re celebrating the US, I thought it would be great idea to celebrate the diversity we have, so I’ve decided to share some diverse/inclusive books that are set here.

I came up with this post idea at the last minute, so I had to keep it short, but hopefully you’ll still find some new books for your TBR!

American Hippo by Sarah Gailey
Vespers by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt
Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil
Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

American Hippo by Sarah Gailey

Ever wondered what would happen if you combined the Old West with hippos? Now is your chance to find out! I read this book recently, and I’m bummed there won’t be more because it’s got writing, characters, and a story I want to keep reading about! It’s also got main characters who are POC and queer. [Review]

Vespers by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt

If you think there’s nothing new that can be done with vampire romance stories, you need to give this amazing M/M series a try. It’s about a twenty-something, who’s Indian and a non-practicing Hindu, dating a vampire, who’s devoutly Catholic—all while fighting demons and other supernatural threats in and around New Orleans. [Review]

Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil

This one is a gritty supernatural police procedural set in Miami and filled with vampires both good and bad, but the twist here is that the main character is—wait for it—an Egyptian mummy! Don’t worry, there was at least one scarab joke ;-) [Review]

Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen

If new adult and/or sci-fi are more your thing, you might enjoy this mysterious, new adult book with a main character who’s gay, has a mental illness, and is a quarter Comanche. [Review]

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

I’ve not read this one yet, but golems come from Jewish mythology, jinn come from Arabian and Islamic mythology, and the blurb for this book calls it, “a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.” It sounds like a great book with an interesting mix of cultures and ideas!


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What diverse books set in the US have you enjoyed or are you looking forward to trying?


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  1. verushka

    Oh hello The Golem and The Jinni in NY! I swear though the cover looks like it’s the Arc de Triomphe in Paris *scratches head* American Hippo lol I will never get tired of that cover!

  2. Danya @ Fine Print

    American Hippo! Gah, I want to read Sarah Gailey’s stuff so badly. Did you hear that she has a full-length novel in the works, too? I remember seeing your review of Graveyard Shift and thinking that a mummy MC was super cool…I may have to pick that one up soon!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yes, READ IT! I heard, but I’m not really an automatic author person though, so I’ll have to read the blurb once it has one and see if it sounds like my kinda book. The mummy thing is so cool! I demand more mummy MCs!

  3. Olivia Roach

    I remember you review of American Hippo and it was curious enough for me to want to read it! I’m curious to know what you’ll think of The Golem and the Djinn as well. I read a series about golems a few years back – okay more than that, when I was a child – and I loved it. So much that I looked into golems myself and researched them!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It was such a good book! I’m looking forward to The Golem and the Jinni. I just need to get a copy of it first, haha. That’s awesome you read a whole series about golems! That sounds like me. I love researching supernatural creatures lol. I haven’t read much about golems, but I know I briefly looked them up the first time I read about one because I had no idea what they were.

  4. Daniela Ark

    oh this remind me I had a post planned for 4th july too [sobs!] that never saw the daylight [sobs] LOVE LOVE LOVE that you are doing recommendations now! That’s my wifey! I will have to check out Scardust even though it is NAt!!! love that title and you had me at gay, mysterious, and mental illness! :)

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’ve done rec posts before! I just didn’t used to do them very often, but lately I’ve decided I want to do more of them :-) Hope you like Scardust if you try it!

  5. sjhigbee

    I love the sound of Graveyard Shift and Scardust:). I’m glad you enjoyed Sarah Gailey’s hippo series and thank you for these intriguing recommendations.