This week's new sci-fi and fantasy books are all about the zombies in alt-historical times! That, or series' prequels and sequels and third books... or sixteenth, in the case of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward.
Personally, I'm most excited for Justina Ireland's Dread Nation, an alternate post-Civil War era tale about an ass-kicking young black girl training to be a zombie killer. I've been waiting for this book since last fall, and now that it's here my Kindle is gonna be lit!
And if Civil War era zombies aren't your thing, maybe Jazz Age zombies are more your speed? You'll find those this week too, as well as a unique dystopian I want to read despite brutally low reviews because every review has commented on the beautiful writing — and to be honest, "beautifully written dystopian" is something I will always give a chance to, no matter how weird.
Here are this week's best new sci-fi and fantasy books...
YA | Fantasy | Alt-History | Horror | Zombies
At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, Dread Nation is Justina Ireland's stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar—a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.
Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever.
In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead.
But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It's a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.
But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston's School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose.
But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies.
And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.
Goodreads (4.29 ★ ★ ★ ★ ¼ | 284 Ratings)
😍 MY READING PICK THIS WEEK!
Defy the Worlds
Defy the Stars #2
YA | Science Fiction
This is the thrilling and romantic sequel to Defy the Stars from the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Lost Stars and Bloodline.
An outcast from her home -- Shunned after a trip through the galaxy with Abel, the most advanced cybernetic man ever created, Noemi Vidal dreams of traveling through the stars one more time. And when a deadly plague arrives on Genesis, Noemi gets her chance. As the only soldier to have ever left the planet, it will be up to her to save its people...if only she wasn't flying straight into a trap.
A fugitive from his fate -- On the run to avoid his depraved creator's clutches, Abel believes he's said good-bye to Noemi for the last time. After all, the entire universe stands between them...or so he thinks. When word reaches him of Noemi's capture by the very person he's trying to escape, Abel knows he must go to her, no matter the cost.
But capturing Noemi was only part of Burton Mansfield's master plan. In a race against time, Abel and Noemi will come together once more to discover a secret that could save the known worlds, or destroy them all.
In this thrilling and romantic sequel to Defy the Stars, bestselling author Claudia Gray asks us all to consider where--and with whom--we truly belong.
Goodreads (4.16 ★ ★ ★ ★ ¼ | 73 Ratings)
Book of the Ancestor #2
The second novel in a brilliant fantasy series from the international bestselling author of Prince of Thorns.
Behind its walls, the Convent of Sweet Mercy has trained young girls to hone their skills for centuries. In Mystic Class, Novice Nona Grey has begun to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the convent, Nona must choose which order to dedicate herself to--and whether her path will lead to a life of prayer and service or one of the blade and the fist.
All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the designs of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a knife, and the vengeance of the empire's richest lord.
As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she is sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pulls of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.
And in all this only one thing is certain: there will be blood.
Goodreads (4.58 ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ | 80 Ratings)
Dystopian | Post-Apocalyptic
Set 500 years in the future, a mad cow-like disease called “Bent Head” has killed off most of the U.S. population. Those remaining turn to magic and sacrifice to cleanse the Earth.
Wonderblood is Julia Whicker's fascinating literary debut, set in a barren United States, an apocalyptic wasteland where warring factions compete for control of the land in strange and dangerous carnivals. A mad cow-like disease called "Bent Head" has killed off millions. Those who remain worship the ruins of NASA's space shuttles, and Cape Canaveral is their Mecca. Medicine and science have been rejected in favor of magic, prophecy, and blood sacrifice.
When traveling marauders led by the bloodthirsty Mr. Capulatio invade her camp, a young girl named Aurora is taken captive as his bride and forced to join his band on their journey to Cape Canaveral. As war nears, she must decide if she is willing to become her captor's queen. But then other queens emerge, some grotesque and others aggrieved, and not all are pleased with the girl's ascent. Politics and survival are at the centre of this ravishing novel.
Goodreads (3.32 ★ ★ ★ ¼ | 72 Ratings)
YA | Fantasy | Alt-History | Horror | Zombies
And the three teenage Clarke sisters thought what they'd wear to dinner was their biggest problem…
Lady Kate, the entitled eldest.
Lady Grace, lost in the middle and wishing she were braver.
Lady Lizzy, so endlessly sunny, it's easy to underestimate her.
Then there's Will Harvey, the proud, to-die-for—and possibly die with!—stable boy; Daniel Murray, the resourceful second footman with a secret; Raymond Allen, the unfortunate-looking young duke; and Fanny Rogers, the unsinkable kitchen maid.
Upstairs! Downstairs! Toss in some farmers and villagers!
None of them ever expected to work together for any reason.
But none of them had ever seen anything like this.
Goodreads (4.08 ★ ★ ★ ★ | 48 Ratings)