Best New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: January 30

New SFF Books - January 30.png

January is already nearing its end, but there are always new books! And I have to admit, this week has the first book of the new year that I'm really excited about, The Hazel Wood. Of course, it's billed as a dark, creepy, fairy tale-inspired contemporary fantasy, so it should come as no surprise that it's a must read for me (and based on all the glowing reviews, for you, too). 

Speaking of fairy tale love... this week also has a reissue of book two in Joan D. Vinge's sci-fi classic The Snow Queen Cycle, World's End. I loved this series when I was a teen — it's one of the inspirations for my own sci-fi version of Snow White — and I'm super excited that it's available in print again, and also in ebook!

Rounding out the best of this week's new sci-fi and fantasy books are an urban fantasy set during WWII that features secret Allied sorcerers battling it out with Nazi sorcerers, what's sure to be an exquisitely written collection of quirky short stories from Jo Walton, and a new time travel series with a super cool premise: 600 years of Earth's timeline are shattered and jumbled together. It's 21st century Britain surrounded by a Pleistocene wilderness, which sounds fun AF.

Check out the best new sci-fi and fantasy books out today...

The Hazel Wood

YA | Fantasy

Melissa Albert

Welcome to Melissa Albert's The Hazel Woodthe fiercely stunning contemporary fantasy with six starred reviews everyone is raving about:

“Thoroughly, creepily captivating.” —Kristin Cashore, author of Graceling and Jane, Unlimited
“Will be your next obsession.” —Stephanie Garber, author of Caraval
“Destined to be a classic.” —Kami Garcia, author of The Lovely Reckless 
“Breathtaking.” —Seanan McGuire, author of Every Heart a Doorway
“Mesmerizing.” —Karen McManus, author of One of Us Is Lying
“One of the best books I’ve read in years.” —Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away—by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began—and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Goodreads 4.04 ★ ★ ★ ★ (1,411 ratings)

The Midnight Front

Urban Fantasy | WWII

David Mack

From New York Times bestselling author David Mack comes a visionary World War II-era adventure. The Midnight Front is the epic first novel in the Dark Arts series.

On the eve of World War Two, Nazi sorcerers come gunning for Cade but kill his family instead. His one path of vengeance is to become an apprentice of The Midnight Front—the Allies’ top-secret magickal warfare program—and become a sorcerer himself.

Unsure who will kill him first—his allies, his enemies, or the demons he has to use to wield magick—Cade fights his way through occupied Europe and enemy lines. But he learns too late the true price of revenge will be more terrible than just the loss of his soul—and there’s no task harder than doing good with a power born of ultimate evil.

Goodreads 4.36 ★ ★ ★ ★ ¼ (14 ratings)


Fantasy | Short Story Collection

Jo Walton

“Exquisitely written feats of imagination, each one leaving an impression long after it’s done.”—Kelley Armstrong, bestselling author of Rituals.

In this intimate first collection from award-winning novelist Jo Walton (Among OthersThe King’s PeaceNecessity) are captivating glimpses of her subtle myths and wholly reinvented realities. An ancient Eritrean coin uncovers the secrets of lovers and thieves. The magic mirror sees all but can do almost nothing. A search engine logically proceeds down the path of an existential crisis. Three Irish siblings thieve treasures with ingenuity, bad poetry, and the aid of the Queen of Cats. Through eclectic stories, intriguing vignettes, inspired poetry, and more, Walton soars with humans, machines, and more than a hint of magic.

Goodreads 3.36 ★ ★ ★ ¼ (69 ratings)

Time Shards

Science Fiction | Time Travel

Dana Fredsti & David Fitzgerald

Our world is gone, instantly replaced by a new one made of scattered remnants of the past, present, and future, dropped alongside one another in a patchwork of “shards”. Monsters from Jurassic prehistory, ancient armies, and high-tech robots all coexist in this deadly post-apocalyptic landscape.

A desperate group of survivors sets out to locate the source of the disaster. They include 21st century Californian Amber Richardson, Cam, a young Celtic warrior from Roman Britannia, Alex Brice, a policewoman from 1985, and Blake, a British soldier from World War II. With other refugees from across time, they must learn the truth behind the Event, if they are to survive.

Goodreads 4.5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ (2 ratings)

World's End: An Epic Novel of the Snow Queen Cycle

Science Fiction | Fairy Tale | Retelling

Joan D. Vinge

First published in 1984, book two of Joan D. Vinge's beloved Snow Queen cycle of classic science fiction is back in print and now in ebook format!

When BZ Gundhalinu’s irresponsible older brothers go missing in World’s End, a badlands rumored to drive people mad, he begrudgingly goes after them. The further in he travels, the stranger things get.

The Snow Queen Series:
The Snow Queen (reissue)
World’s End
Summer Queen (reissue)
Tangled Up In Blue

Goodreads 3.73 ★ ★ ★ ★ ¾ (1,157 ratings)