Today brings a new week, a new school year for some, a new moon and solar eclipse... and for SFF book lovers, another slate of new releases! Instead of the usual Tuesdays, I'll be sharing these on Mondays so you can take advantage of any pre-order deals.
Like last week, this week is much heavier on the fantasy in the SFF new book equation. But, at least lovers of science and space have a cool, real world astronomical event to enjoy today!
With the first total solar eclipse in nearly forty years (and the first whose path of totality stays completely in the US since the US became a thing back in 1776), maybe it's kinda fitting that darkness should be a theme this week — in the form of dark humor, dark fantasy, or just dark themes like death.
On that sunny note, here are this week's new releases in sci-fi and fantasy (but mostly fantasy):
The Dire King (Jackaby #4)
William Ritter | YA • Paranormal • Historical Fantasy
The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times best-selling series the Chicago Tribune called “Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer” sends the eccentric detective and his indispensable assistant into the heart of a war between magical worlds.
The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push Earth and the Otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve the daily mysteries of New Fiddleham, New England — like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why zombies are appearing around town. At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for 926 Augur Lane’s ghostly lady, Jenny, begins to give way. Before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.
The epic conclusion to the New York Times best-selling Jackaby series features sly humor and a quirky cast of unforgettable characters as they face off against their most dangerous, bone-chilling foe ever.
Myths & Magic
A Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection (Boxed Set)
MYTHS & MAGIC sends you on a wild ride across universes where a safe return cannot be guaranteed.
Abolished magic returns to Earth. Telekinetic sorcerers, witches, and fairies discover their powers. Humans become cyborgs. Dragons prowl the depths of Iceland's volcanoes.
All this and more is packed inside one boxed set overflowing with stories from today's hottest USA Today and International Bestselling authors!
From dystopian thrillers to steampunk romance, from gothic fantasies to paranormal adventures, come journey with unlikely heroes, valiant shifters, rogue vampires, and even a sensual brujo. Dabble in scientific espionage, thwart scheming sorcerers, and challenge hordes of vengeful demons. And maybe fall in love...
If you're ready for 21 exclusive full-length novels and novellas, including some BRAND NEW material, in a boxed set where vampires, shifters, ghosts, demons, and even Djinn haunt the pages, then fall into MYTHS & MAGIC, a collection of science fiction, fantasy, and a dash of paranormal romance that will take you to the edge of your imagination.
Including stories from...
USA Today bestselling author Kerry Adrienne * Award-Winning author Bec McMaster * Award Winning author Felicia Beasley * USA Today bestselling author L.B. Gilbert * USA Today bestselling author Jade Kerrion * Anne Renwick * Lisa Lace * Izzy Shows * USA Today bestselling author M. H. Soars * Melle Amade and Michael Trozzo * USA Today bestselling author Lily Thorn * Ilana Waters * Award-Winning author Erin Richards * R. E. Vance * Cheri Schmidt and Tristan Hunt * CC Dragon * Award-Winning author Bradon Nave * D.A. Roach * Award-Winning author Katalina Leon * Award-Winning author Boone Brux * Eric Padilla
The Rattled Bones
S.M. Parker | YA • Paranormal Thriller
Unearthing years of buried secrets, Rilla Brae is haunted by ghostly visions tied to the tainted history of a mysterious island in this haunting novel from the author of The Girl Who Fell.
Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.
Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about--if they know about it at all--due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there--an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam's work and the ghostly girl's song lure Rilla to the island's shores.
As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island's many secrets, Rilla's visions grow--until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it's a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla's past.
Michael Poore | Humorous Fantasy
A wildly imaginative novel about a man who is reincarnated over ten thousand lifetimes to be with his one true love: Death herself.
First we live. Then we die. And then . . . we get another try?
Ten thousand tries, to be exact. Ten thousand lives to “get it right.” Answer all the Big Questions. Achieve Wisdom. And Become One with Everything.
Milo has had 9,995 chances so far and has just five more lives to earn a place in the cosmic soul. If he doesn’t make the cut, oblivion awaits. But all Milo really wants is to fall forever into the arms of Death. Or Suzie, as he calls her.
More than just Milo’s lover throughout his countless layovers in the Afterlife, Suzie is literally his reason for living—as he dives into one new existence after another, praying for the day he’ll never have to leave her side again.
But Reincarnation Blues is more than a great love story: Every journey from cradle to grave offers Milo more pieces of the great cosmic puzzle—if only he can piece them together in time to finally understand what it means to be part of something bigger than infinity. As darkly enchanting as the works of Neil Gaiman and as wisely hilarious as Kurt Vonnegut’s, Michael Poore’s Reincarnation Blues is the story of everything that makes life profound, beautiful, absurd, and heartbreaking.
Because it’s more than Milo and Suzie’s story. It’s your story, too.
Starfire: A Red Peace
Spencer Ellsworth | Sci-Fi • Space Opera
A Red Peace, first in Spencer Ellsworth's Starfire trilogy, is an action-packed space opera in a universe where the oppressed half-Jorian crosses have risen up to supplant humanity and dominate the galaxy.
Half-breed human star navigator Jaqi, working the edges of human-settled space on contract to whoever will hire her, stumbles into possession of an artifact that the leader of the Rebellion wants desperately enough to send his personal guard after. An interstellar empire and the fate of the remnant of humanity hang in the balance.
Spencer Ellsworth has written a classic space opera, with space battles between giant bugs, sun-sized spiders, planets of cyborgs and a heroine with enough grit to bring down the galaxy's newest warlord.
Swarm and Steel
Michael R. Fletcher | Dark Fantasy
Zerfall awakens in an alley, wounded and unable to remember her past. Chased by an assassin out into the endless wastes of the desert, she is caught, disfigured, and left for dead. Her scabbard is empty, but the need for answers—and the pull of her sword—will draw her back to the city-states.
When Jateko, a naïve youth, accidentally kills a member of his own tribe, he finds himself outcast and pursued across the desert for his crimes. Crazed from dehydration, dying of thirst and hunger, he stumbles across Zerfall.
Hunted by assassins and bound by mutual need, both Zerfall and Jeteko will confront the Täuschung, an ancient and deranged religion ruled by a broken fragment of Zerfall’s mind. Swarm, the Täuschung hell, seethes with imprisoned souls, but where gods—real or imagined—meddle in the affairs of man, the cost is high.
In Swarm and Steel, the power of belief can manifest and shape reality, and for political and religious leaders, faith becomes a powerful tool. But the insane are capable of twisting reality with their delusions as well, turning increasingly dangerous as their sanity crumbles. It is here that a long prophesied evil will be born, an endless hunger. The All Consuming will rise.
The Tiger’s Watch
Julia Ember | YA • Fantasy
Ashes of Gold: Book One
Tashi is a spy and killer—an elite warrior known as an inhabitor—taught from a young age to use their bond with the tiger Katala. When an enemy force captures the city, Tashi has no option but to escape. Their safety doesn’t last long, however. Soon the conquering army arrives at the secluded monastery where Tashi is hiding, needing a place to treat their wounded. It’s not long before their leader, Xian, takes an interest in Tashi.
Xian is cold, ambitious, and even cruel—at least at first glance. But Tashi is skilled at watching and reading people, and they find a softer side to the young commander—one that intrigues them.
Tashi’s loyalties are strained when they learn they have been deceived by the people who trained them, and they must choose between their countrymen and a budding romance with Xian. But fierce Katala faces no such conflict, and she massacres the soldiers she sees as invaders. Xian’s men are determined to take revenge against the tiger, but an inhabitor’s bond with their animal cannot be severed—neither can survive if the other is killed.
Rebecca Gomez Farrell | YA • Fantasy
To end a civil war, Lansera's King Turyn relinquished a quarter of his kingdom to create Medua, exiling all who would honor greed over valor to this new realm on the other side of the mountains. The Meduans and Lanserim have maintained an uneasy truce for two generations, but their ways of life are as compatible as oil and water.
When Vesperi, a Meduan noblewoman, kills a Lanserim spy with a lick of her silver flame, she hopes the powerful display of magic will convince her father to name her as his heir. She doesn't know the act will draw the eye of the tyrannical Guj, Medua's leader, or that the spy was the brother of Serrafina Gavenstone, the fiancèe of Turyn's grandson, Prince Janto. As Janto sets out for an annual competition on the mysterious island of Braven, Serra accepts an invitation to study with the religious Brotherhood, hoping for somewhere to grieve her brother's murder in peace. What she finds instead is a horror that threatens both countries, devouring all living things and leaving husks of skin in its wake.
To defeat it, Janto and Serra must learn to work together with the only person who possesses the magic that can: the beautiful Vesperi, whom no one knows murdered Serra's brother. An ultimate rejection plunges Vesperi forward toward their shared destiny, with the powerful Guj on her heels and the menacing beating of unseen wings all about.
Readers of all ages will enjoy Wings Unseen, Rebecca Gomez Farrell's first full-length novel. It is a fully-imagined epic fantasy with an unforgettable cast of characters.
★ Weekly Pick: Michael Poore’s Reincarnation Blues, because I am morbid and also fascinated with the idea of reincarnation. And, I mean, it's described as Neil Gaiman meets Kurt Vonnegut. Also, that cover! It looks fun, and I'm totally judging this book by it.
What's going on your to read list this week?