We’re really getting into the thick of it now with new releases, peeps. The next few months have sooooooooo many amazing-sounding sci-fi/fantasy books coming out! Instead of struggling to find enough books for each post, I’ll be struggling to decide how many to include so that these posts don’t get too long. But I’m not complaining, too many great books to be excited about is a good problem to have ;-) So here are some May and June books to look forward to!
Romanov by Nadine Brandes // May 7
The history books say I died.
They don’t know the half of it.
Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.
Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .
That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.
An Anastasia retelling, magic, and possibly a forbidden romance. This sounds amazing!
Hell Divers V: Captives by Nicholas Sansbury Smith // May 7
Humanity has finally found a new home, but the price is blood …
After a long, perilous journey, Hell Divers Xavier Rodriguez and Magnolia Katib discover the Metal Islands, a sunny habitable zone where thousands of people live by fishing and farming. But this “paradise” is really a violent warrior society ruled by the cannibal king el Pulpo. For the first time in X’s life, he is forced to lay down his arms and surrender.
Back on the airships, the Hell Divers are recovering from a gruesome discovery at Red Sphere, where they learned the truth about World War III. Now they must fight one last war-this time for what remains of their own endangered species. As the battle approaches, alliances will be forged, and others broken.
Forced to fight in the Cazador army, X faces his toughest mission yet. Will he help his people come down from the sky and claim the promised land, or will humanity go extinct?
This is the fifth book in this incredible post-apoc series, and it sounds like it’s going to be another intense and gripping one!
The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad // May 14
Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population — except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.
But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.
Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences.
You know I love me some djinn books, and this one sounds like it has a lot of really cool stuff going on!
The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta // May 14
The spellbinding tale of six queer witches forging their own paths, shrouded in the mist, magic, and secrets of the ancient California redwoods.
Danny didn’t know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms like queer and witch like they’re ordinary and everyday, though they feel like an earthquake to Danny. But Danny didn’t just find the Grays. They cast a spell that calls her halfway across the country, because she has something they need: she can bring back Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, missing since the summer night she wandered into the woods alone. But before Danny can find Imogen, she finds a dead boy with a redwood branch through his heart. Something is very wrong amid the trees and fog of the Lost Coast, and whatever it is, it can kill. Lush, eerie, and imaginative, Amy Rose Capetta’s tale overflows with the perils and power of discovery — and what it means to find your home, yourself, and your way forward.
Magic, mystery, witches, forests, LGBT+ rep—sounds great, right??
Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron // May 16
Brody Fair feels like nobody gets him: not his overworked parents, not his genius older brother, and definitely not the girls in the projects set on making his life miserable. Then he meets Nico, an art student who takes Brody to Everland, a “knock-off Narnia” that opens its door at 11:21pm each Thursday for Nico and his band of present-day misfits and miscreants.
Here Brody finds his tribe and a weekly respite from a world where he feels out of place. But when the doors to Everland begin to disappear, Brody is forced to make a decision: He can say goodbye to Everland and to Nico, or stay there and risk never seeing his family again. Will Nico take the last bus to Everland?
I’m already intrigued by this Everland place, and who doesn’t love a good story about finding where you belong?
Kingdoms of the Cursed by Greg Keyes // Jun 4
Three young friends must navigate dangerous magical worlds—and their own inner selves—in this sweeping fantasy from Greg Keyes, the sequel to The Reign of the Departed.
Errol Greyson is awake and back in his own body, thanks to his friends Aster the witch and Veronica the half-dead girl. Unfortunately, due to the attempted suicide that led to his months-long coma and temporary reincarnation in Aster’s wooden automaton in the first place, he’s also in a mental hospital.
But when the last person Errol expects breaks him out and forces him back to the magical Kingdoms, he has no other option but to attempt to undo a deadly curse threatening reality itself, in hopes of returning the realm to equilibrium. It’s dangerous business, especially in Errol’s merely-human form, weakened from months in bed.
Fearing for their friend’s life, Aster and Veronica follow, but are quickly separated. Aster is captured by an ancient evil—the source of the curse—while Veronica confronts a mysterious admirer, her own evolving nature, and the dark spirit that murdered her years earlier.
As vast armies collide and dragons take wing, the friends must find each other—and themselves—again.
I became attached to these imperfect characters, their relationships, and the unique fantasy realms they visited in the first book, so I’m excited to see where the second book goes!
Five Midnights by Ann Davila Cardinal // Jun 4
Ann Dávila Cardinal’s Five Midnights is a “wickedly thrilling” (William Alexander) and “flat-out unputdownable” (Paul Tremblay) novel based on the el Cuco myth set against the backdrop of modern day Puerto Rico.
Five friends cursed. Five deadly fates. Five nights of retribución.
If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they’ll have to step into the shadows to see what’s lurking there—murderer, or monster?
I’m not familiar with the el Cuco myth, but I’m certainly intrigued now!
The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey // Jun 11
From the bestselling author of the Sandman Slim series, a lush, dark, stand-alone fantasy built off the insurgent tradition of China Mieville and M. John Harrison—a subversive tale that immerses us in a world where the extremes of bleakness and beauty exist together in dangerous harmony in a city on the edge of civility and chaos.
The Great War is over. The city of Lower Proszawa celebrates the peace with a decadence and carefree spirit as intense as the war’s horrifying despair. But this newfound hedonism—drugs and sex and endless parties—distracts from strange realities of everyday life: Intelligent automata taking jobs. Genetically engineered creatures that serve as pets and beasts of war. A theater where gruesome murders happen twice a day. And a new plague that even the ceaseless euphoria can’t mask.
Unlike others who live strictly for fun, Largo is an addict with ambitions. A bike messenger who grew up in the slums, he knows the city’s streets and its secrets intimately. His life seems set. He has a beautiful girlfriend, drugs, a chance at a promotion—and maybe, an opportunity for complete transformation: a contact among the elite who will set him on the course to lift himself up out of the streets.
But dreams can be a dangerous thing in a city whose mood is turning dark and inward. Others have a vision of life very different from Largo’s, and they will use any methods to secure control. And in behind it all, beyond the frivolity and chaos, the threat of new war always looms.
This sounds like just my kind of dark and thrilling story!