Science fiction and fantasy books are some of the most imaginative novels out there—we love how they can completely transport us to new worlds. And whether you prefer dystopian sci-fi, romantic fantasy, or even historical fiction with a touch of magic, these new releases include something for everyone.
This list of recommendations fulfills one of our 2021 Summer Reading Challenge prompts. Sign up to participate in the challenge now!
Gather the Fortunes
Renaissance Raines works among the psychopomps—those who help souls pass through the Seven Gates of the Underworld. She normally avoids drawing the attention of either gods or mortals, but when a young boy escapes his death, Renai has no choice but to get involved in a mystery full of deities that's unfurling in New Orleans.
This boy didn't cheat fate on his own—rather, someone helped him in order to steal power for themselves. Only one thing is for sure: once Renai figures out who's responsible, there's going to be hell to pay.
Creatures of Charm and Hunger
World War II is nearly over, and the Nazis are desperate to use anything—including a demonic superweapon—to overpower the Allies. In the south of Germany, diabolists attempt to create just such a thing in a secluded castle.
Across the English Channel is the Société des Éclairées, an international organization of diabolists. There, best friends Jane Blackwood and Miriam Cantor study for the Test that will determine whether or not they too will be diabolists.
When Miriam learns her missing parents are suspected of helping the Nazis, she sets out on a mission to clear their names. But her journey will be more arduous and dangerous than she ever could have imagined.
Related: 5 Empowering, Witchy Reads
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020
Edited by Diana Gabaldon, author of the famous Outlander series, this collection of short science fiction and fantasy from 2019 features a diverse range of stories that represent the best of today's SF&F authors.
"This long-running anthology series continues its tradition of excellence with guest editor Gabaldon's selections... The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020 is highly recommended for anyone interested in contemporary speculative fiction, or just some of the best current American fiction, period." --Booklist, starred review
During the Civil War, Hetty Rhodes and her husband, Benjy, both served as Conductors on the Underground Railroad. Now that the war is over, their skills become useful in a new way: solving mysteries that the white authorities have no interest in.
Hetty and Benjy get to the bottom of all kinds of strange deaths and magical curses—but when an old friend is murdered by a cold-blooded killer who knows how to test their magic, they may be in over their heads.
A Dark Queen Rises
A mother's quest to protect her daughter is the driving force of the fantastical follow up to the first book in the Burnt Empire saga. Queen Agreen leaves her husband Jarsun before he can use her daughter to stake his claim to the Burning Throne of Hastinaga. But she'll have to keep moving to stay ahead of Jarsun, who has the power to summon legions of demoniac forces. Indian gods also have a heavy influence in this fantasy world created by Ashok K. Banker, one of the most famous modern Indian fantasy writers.
The Apocalypse Seven
Fans of irreverent dystopian or post-apocalyptic fiction, this one is for you. After waking up to realize he's seemingly the only person left in Cambridge, Touré dubs his new reality "the whateverpocalypse." Soon enough he does find a couple more Harvard freshmen, but they also have no idea how the city became overgrown with vegetation overnight, or where all the wild animals came from.
As they find more strange things and more people—bringing their group total to seven—they grow tired of having no answers and being hunted by things they can't explain. So they decide to become the hunters themselves. And that's when thing really get strange.
You may know Veronica Roth as the bestselling author of the YA book Divergent—now, she's written a novel for adults.
Ten years ago, Sloane Andrews became a Chosen One: one of five otherwise normal people who, thanks to a prophecy, was chosen to take down The Dark One destroying cities. Now all Sloane wants is to be left alone—no one understands how much she hates being celebrated for the terrible things she endured. But it turns out the Dark One's plan wasn't quite finished, and Sloane is going to have to figure out how she can muster the will to save the world. Again.
The Ninth Metal
Initially, people stared in awe at the tear drop that appeared in the sky. But the tear was in fact a comet that flew too close to Earth, leaving behind a trail of celestial debris that caused the sky to rain fire, annihilating homes and cratering forests in Northfall, Minnesota. Among the destruction, a new metal was discovered—one that could serve as a new energy source, and a new weapon.
When he returns to Northfall, John Frontier thinks he's just attending his sister's wedding, only to find out his family has become embroiled in the fight to control mining operations. The world has become more technologically advanced than ever—but this fight feels just like the Wild West.
Jurassic Park meets Westworld meets Dungeons and Dragons in this wild ride of a book. Literature professor Addie Cox is offered an unusual job by Harris Lang, a famously eccentric (and famously rich) tech genius. He wants her to lead a mercenary team sent to infiltrate his private island, on which he's built a resort where high-roller guests can live out their Middle Earth fantasies. One of the island's employees has gone rogue and activated a forcefield to cut off all outside communication. And the top suspect is Addie's ex-boyfriend, the project's head designer Dominic Brand.
These Hollow Vows
Looking for a little bit of YA romance with your fantasy? Look no further. Brie hates the Fae and swears she'll have nothing to do with them. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king, she has no choice. The king demands Brie steal three magical relics from the Seelie court—and the only way Brie can pull off the task is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan.
Soon Brie's fake feelings for Ronan become real, which is all the more confusing when she also becomes entranced by Finn, the leader of a band of Unseelie misfits. Now Brie needs to decide which deserves her loyalty—and her heart.
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