Like last week, there's quite a bit of YA fantasy in this week's new releases, from the final book in Amy Tintera's bestselling Ruined series to a novella bridging events in between books of the massively popular A Court of Thorns and Roses, along with the start of a Game of Thrones-ish series full of magic and devious plots and betrayals.
Unlike last week, there's also new adult fantasy as well — and both books feature diversity, which makes me happy! There's the start of a romantic New Adult fantasy series set in a treacherous world of magic and discrimination. And there's a fantasy series debut inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century that's also filled with treachery and magic, but being hailed by some as the fantasy debut of the year. The reviews for this are all kinds of amazing, which is why it's one of my reading picks this week.
On the sci-fi front, this week brings the conclusion to the Themis Files, an awesome giant robot invasion series (which hopefully means that now they'll finally get cracking on the movie adaptation). There's also my second reading pick of the week, which is a Jane Eyre retelling. But, like, in space. Yes, Jane Eyre. In space. On a ship called the Rochester. I mean... how could you not want to read this?
With that, here are this week's best new sci-fi and fantasy books...
YA | Fantasy
Goodreads (4.4 ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ | 50 Ratings)
In the final book in the New York Times bestselling Ruined series, the romance of The Selection and the epic stakes of Red Queen come together in a story of revenge, adventure, and unexpected love.
Emelina Flores and her sister, Olivia, were determined to bring peace to the people of Ruina. But as the war for liberation raged on, what triumph and freedom meant to Em and Olivia slowly changed. As Olivia’s violence and thirst for vengeance became her only ambition, Em was left to pick up the pieces.
But it’s not only Em who is upset by Olivia’s increased violence. Other members of the Ruined army are beginning to see the cracks, and soon a small group of them defects from Olivia’s army and joins Em instead.
The two sisters are soon pitted against each other in an epic battle for the kingdom and the future, and only one will win.
YA | Sci-Fi | Retelling | Jane Eyre
Goodreads (4.06 ★ ★ ★ ★ | 221 Ratings)
Stella Ainsley leaves poverty behind when she quits her engineering job aboard the Stalwart to become a governess on a private ship. On the Rochester, there’s no water ration, more books than one person could devour in a lifetime, and an AI who seems more friend than robot.
But no one warned Stella that the ship seems to be haunted, nor that it may be involved in a conspiracy that could topple the entire interstellar fleet. Surrounded by mysteries, Stella finds her equal in the brooding but kind nineteen-year-old Captain Hugo. When several attempts on his life spark more questions than answers, and the beautiful Bianca Ingram appears at Hugo’s request, his unpredictable behavior causes Stella’s suspicions to mount. Without knowing who to trust, Stella must decide whether to follow her head or her heart.
Alexa Donne’s lush and enthralling reimagining of the classic Jane Eyre, set among the stars, will seduce and beguile you.
😍 MY READING PICK THIS WEEK!
A Court of Frost and Starlight
A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1
Sarah J. Maas
YA | Fantasy | Novella
Goodreads (4.53 ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ | 811 Ratings)
Narrated by Feyre and Rhysand, this bridges the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin and the upcoming novels in the series.
Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can't keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated—scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.
Themis Files #3
Goodreads (4.1 ★ ★ ★ ★ | 176 Ratings)
Pacific Rim meets The Martian in the explosive follow-up to Sleeping Giants (“One of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory.”—NPR) and Waking Gods (“Pure, unadulterated literary escapism.”—Kirkus Reviews).
Brilliant scientist Rose Franklin has devoted her adult life to solving the mystery she accidentally stumbled upon as a child: a huge metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. The discovery set in motion a cataclysmic chain of events with geopolitical ramifications. Rose and the Earth Defense Corps raced to master the enigmatic technology, as giant robots suddenly descended on Earth’s most populous cities, killing one hundred million people in the process. Though Rose and her team were able to fend off the attack, their victory was short-lived. The mysterious invaders retreated, disappearing from the shattered planet . . . but they took the scientist and her crew with them.
Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find a devastating new war—this time between humans. America and Russia are locked in combat, fighting to fill the power vacuum left behind after the invasion. Families are torn apart, friends become bitter enemies, and countries collapse in the wake of the battling superpowers. It appears the aliens left behind their titanic death machines so humankind will obliterate itself. Rose is determined to find a solution, whatever it takes. But will she become a pawn in a doomsday game no one can win?
The Poppy War
Fantasy | Historical | Military | Diversity
Goodreads (4.44 ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ | 88 Ratings)
A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.
When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.
But surprises aren’t always good.
Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.
For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .
Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.
😍 MY READING PICK THIS WEEK!
Song of Blood & Stone
Earthsinger Chronicles #1
New Adult | Fantasy | Romance | Diversity
Goodreads (3.78 ★ ★ ★ ¾ | 539 Ratings)
L. Penelope's Song of Blood & Stone is a treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers.
Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive--an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.
Jack's mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagrimar is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and its people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda's Earthsong to do it. They escape their vicious captors and together embark on a perilous journey to save the land and to uncover the secrets of the Queen Who Sleeps.
Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.
The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.
The Smoke Thieves
YA | Fantasy
Goodreads (3.8 ★ ★ ★ ¾ | 291 Ratings)
Unforgiveable betrayals, devious motives, and forbidden love collide in the first installment of internationally bestselling author Sally Green’s epic new fantasy series, perfect for Game of Thrones fans.
In a land tinged with magic and a bustling trade in an illicit supernatural substance, destiny will intertwine the fates of five players:
A visionary princess determined to forge her own path.
An idealistic solider whose heart is at odds with his duty.
A streetwise hunter tracking the most dangerous prey.
A charming thief with a powerful hidden identity.
A loyal servant on a quest to avenge his kingdom.
All are driven by ambition, honor, and desperation on the cusp of war. But who will be left standing when the smoke clears?