May 17, 2019


Book Review - The Second Life of Eddie Coyne (by Louis K. Lowy)

Title: The Second Life of Eddie Coyne
Series: -
Author: Louis K. Lowy
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Dark Contemporary Fantasy
Publisher: IFWG Publishing
Release Date: May 27th, 2019
Format: Paperback

Pages: 245

"Eddie Coyne loves playing the horses. Loves it so much it's ruining his relationship with his wife and six-year-old son. In a last ditch effort to prove he’s not a loser in their eyes, Eddie places a seemingly impossible bet on a long shot and hits pay dirt.

But before he can cash in and make amends with his family, he’s attacked and left for dead by a greedy hoodlum looking to cash in on Eddie’s winnings. Dying, Eddie wakes up in the presence of the Jesses, a monolithic group of six whose job it is to decide who enters heaven and who enters hell. The Jesses tell Eddie he's stuck in the middle—not good enough for heaven, not bad enough for hell. They entice him to go in on one final bet to break the dead heat.

If he triumphs, they stamp his ticket to paradise. If he loses, he spends eternity in the netherworld. The bet? Eddie must prevent someone chosen by the Jesses from taking their own life. Thinking it will be a piece of cake, Eddie agrees. He quickly learns the Jesses are more cunning than he'd imagined."

The Second Life of Eddie Coyne
(click to read an excerpt)

- Review -
What Made Me Read It
I was sent a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The author described it as "the story of a dying gambler who takes on one final bet for the ultimate prize—a chance to save his soul"; the synopsis sounded interesting and with potential good character development so I decided to give it a try.

The Plot
Eddie Coyne doesn't have a gambling problem, he manipulates odds and uses them to his benefit. All he needs is one big win at the Hialeah Racetrack to prove to his wife Carly and   6-year-old son Ben that he's not a loser.

When Jonah the Whale decides to collect his debt ahead of time, Eddie is sent tumbling down the stairs and into the presence of the Jesses, 6 ageless gray-hooded figures in charge of the afterlife. Not entirely dead yet, Eddie is stuck in limbo, a neutral ground between the higher regions and the lowlands of the hereafter. To tip the scale in the final direction, the Jesses propose a new wager that will decide Eddie's eternal fate: if he can stop any one of 3 chosen people from taking their own lives he can move on to the upper levels, but if he fails he'll be sent down to his own personal hell.

The rules are simple: he must never reveal his identity or the purpose of his mission, and the chosen suicidal must hold her hand and repeat the phrase "I accept life". Escorted by Charles, a gangly unassuming young man in charge of observing and recording his performance, Eddie accepts the bet - to convince either Angel, Amelia or Lu to choose life over death. Eddie has had better odds than 1-in-3 and the Jesses keep changing the house rules, but beating the odds has to do with calculation, not emotions, and for Carly and Ben's sake he must not lose this bet...

The Good
"The Second Life of Eddie Coyne" is an urban fantasy novel with the main plot set in modern days Miami, but also including a few historical fiction elements. It follows the personal journey of Eddie Coyne, a down on his luck horse-racing gambler who finds himself making one final bet with his own soul on the line. After a near fatal fall at the hands of debt collector Jonah the Whale, Eddie's soul is stuck in a neutral limbo; to settle where he belongs in, Eddie must convince one of three potential suicidals to choose life instead so he can move on to the higher planes of the great beyond. Accompanied by Charles, a misplaced angel still questioning whether his own short life had been worth it, Eddie is first sent to 1485 Medieval England as the servant of a teenage girl trying to evade an unwanted arranged marriage; on his 2nd mission in 1937 Miami, Eddie assumes the role of the photographer of aviatrix Amelia, about to make history while trying to pave the way for women; on his 3rd and last chance mission, set 4 months after his fall, Eddie tries to help a dying elderly woman, Lu, to reconnect with her estranged grandson.

The narrative flows smoothly for the most part, with a faster pace in the last third of the book where the author connects all the threads developed throughout the plot. The characters are 3-dimentional and believable, acting accordingly with their roles in the story, with the main character Eddie showing the greatest development: from a gambler who only cares about manipulating and beating the odds, to someone who recognizes and accepts his flaws and failings.

The book deals with themes of personal regrets, missed opportunities and second chances, the risks of taking important things in life for granted, making choices and learning to face the consequences.

The Not So Good
I couldn't relate with the main character's first mission in Medieval England. Without spoiling the plot too much, this particular segment is a reenactment of a classic unfulfilled love story that doesn't click with me, being a genre I don't care much about. But that's a personal quirk of mine, I'm sure other readers will enjoy the author's homage.

As for the 2nd mission, I failed to see how Amelia was a potential suicidal in need of rescue... as far as I can tell, there was never any indication that this character was even considering ending her life so I probably missed an important clue along the way. But this segment does link with the 3rd and final mission and the way the author brilliantly connects all the dots earned the book an extra book/star in the final rating.

Final Rating
"The Second Life of Eddie Coyne" is an urban fantasy novel set mostly in modern days Miami, but also including a few historical fiction elements. Recommended for those who enjoy stories about personal growth, facing one's failings and fighting for a second chance in life.

• • • •

- About the Author -
Twitter: @LouisKLowy
Genre: Science Fiction, Contemporary, Fantasy

I moved from Pittsburgh to South Florida at the age of  seven and have lived here since. I wanted to be a musician, but ended up being a firefighter. I was lucky in a way, because I continued to play music while I worked an exciting and terrific job. My biggest thrill in music was when my band, Hemlock, was signed to Warner Brothers records. We recorded two songs that became dance hits: "Disco Break" and "Body Rhythm." We also wrote the soundtrack to a grade B teen film called "Swap Meet." Google Hemlock Disco Break for info and youtube clips.

My biggest thrill on the fire department was the very rare times we brought someone back who had no heartbeat. By the time I left the fire department I was fed up with bands. Good bands are like bad fires: unpredictable and volatile. I was tired of growing to love the groups I played bass in only to see them fall apart.

I always loved writing. In the many bands I played in, I composed nearly all the lyrics. It was a natural progression to move into story writing. Notice I didn't say "easy." It's a struggle everyday for me to find the right words to match the right thoughts. Most of the time, to my disappointment, I fail. But every once in a while I get it right. When I do, I get nearly the same thrill I did when I heard "Disco Break" on American Bandstand, or when the defibrillator jolted a heart into beating again.

Louis K. Lowy’s first published novel, DIE LAUGHING (IFWG Publishing 2011), is a humorously dark science fiction adventure set in the 1950s.

His 2015 novel, PEDAL (Rereleased in 2017 by IFWG Publishing), tells the story of a 49-yr-old music teacher who loses her job and struggles to reclaim her life through bicycle racing.

TO DREAM, book one of his science fiction epic, ANATOMY OF A HUMACHINE (IFWG Publishing), was released in 2017.

Louis’ short stories have appeared in, among others, New Plains Review, The MacGuffin Magazine, the anthology Everything is Broken, and the Chaffey Review.

A former firefighter, he is the recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and an alumnus of Florida International University’s creative writing program.


May 13, 2019


Book Review - NET 2.3: The Novelettes of T. E. Mark - Vol III (by T.E. Mark)

Title: NET 2.3: The Novelettes of T. E. Mark - Vol III
Series: The Novelettes of T. E. Mark (Volume #3)
Author: T.E. Mark
Genre: Science Fiction, Anthologies
Publisher: (Independent)
Release Date: April 3rd, 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 346

"In Volume Three of his Novelettes, T. E. Mark has delivered four engaging stories with imaginative plots, meaningful themes and clever twists.

To prevent her own death and that of her future daughter’s in a mass shooting in 2033, a driven teen hacker has accessed an experimental FBI project and is eliminating every mass killer in NY State 14 years in the future. COROS

A professor of nanotechnology tries to free a young woman, now rendered a captive experiment, who has undergone a startling transformation following a revolutionary procedure to eradicate a brain tumour. ENGINES

What is real or merely the appearance of reality is explored in this mind-bending, thriller with a gifted young programmer, on the run from everyone, designing virtual playgrounds for wealthy executives. NET 2.3

In this dramatic tale filled with intrigue and twists, a man must choose between his life and his memories when he’s visited by a mysterious pair of time travellers from Earth’s future. TIME AGAIN"

NET 2.3: The Novelettes of T. E. Mark - Vol III
(click to read an excerpt on Amazon)

- Review -
What Made Me Read It
I was sent a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The author described it as "stories [that] examine the human condition in various contexts; in each story, a question is posited, an exploration made and conclusions are reached", and the synopses detail futuristic settings and time travel technology which impact the choices each character makes. After reading and thoroughly enjoying the previous anthology "Dreams Inc.", this next installment was a must.

The Good
"Net 2.3" is a collection of 4 novelettes set in the near to far future. Written in a screenplay format combined with a lengthier narrative structure, each novelette could easily be adapted as a full-length movie or tv show, moving from scene to scene instead of chapters and alternating between different points of view and time frames. Fast-paced and thrilling, with plenty of action sequences and suspense that will keep you guessing until the very last line, but also thought-provoking moments that will make you wonder what you might have done were you in the character's position. Each plot is unique and independent so the anthology doesn't feel like a variation on a single theme, but instead explores different possibilities in diverse situations. The main characters are 3-dimentional and realistic, with recognizable and relatable doubts and insecurities, goals and motivations. Despite the short length typical of a novelette, each story is imaginative, evocative and with enough background details and information to gives us a strong sense of the worldbuilding and the characters.

"Coros" - After hacking her way into COROS, a secret federal project in charge of stopping mass killings in the future, 14-year-old Charlotte Wiles begins to experience life through the eyes of her adult self. Until the day, 14 years and 7 months into the future, she sees something that puts a stop to all the fun and play time. When COROS special agent Dan Sutherland fails to complete his mission, he finds a breach in the system - an untrained vigilante with a penchant for time hopping and police work who believes she's a superhero. His new assignment - to find the teenage hacker before she can harm herself and compromise the project. Time is running out for Charlotte to prevent her own terrible future... what would you do if you knew how and when you were going to die? Rating: 5/5 - a different take on time travel stories, one that doesn't focus on the grandfather paradox but plays with the future instead, where the stakes are just as high; sometimes it's best to be blissfully ignorant of your own future.

"Engines" - In order to eradicate her brain tumor, 28-year-old cancer patience Rainie Zhao undergoes a revolutionary bio-medical procedure that radically transforms her body into something that could shatter every core belief on the origin of the human race and change the future of humanity. In his quest for immortality, NanoLINK's CEO Jason Boyle secures Rainie Zhao inside the Boyle Estate for extensive physical and mental testing. When the lead scientist responsible for the nanotechnology breakthrough Doctor Nicole Richard goes missing, it's up to Secretary of Homeland Security Barbara Hanson to decide whether she's a threat to national security or an innocent victim. Rating: 4/5 - a good take on humanity's instinct to fear the unknown, shoot first and ask questions later, as well as the pursuit of scientific knowledge with disregard for ethical principles; all the back and forth between different time frames was a little confusing at first, which is why it lost a book/star in the final rating, but the suspense and myriad curve balls kept it interesting until the end.

"Net 2.3" - Seth Coriel was a CGR (Computer Generated Realities) top designer at E-CON Inc, responsible for the development of the revolutionary Net 2.3 environment, a hyper-realistic virtual  world where corporations and governmental agencies can conduct face-to-face meetings instantaneously without loss of precious time and money. After meeting and falling for Nakamura Miyuki, a programmer from a rival Japanese company, Seth quits his job and goes freelance, selling access to his virtual world to wealthy subscribers in order to secure a future for them both. But E-CON executives Joanne Aer and Chaz Cambrel want their technology back and Seth finds himself in the middle of a West-East technology war, hiding from security agencies and corporation assassins alike. Rating 5/5 - this was my absolute favorite, full of thrilling action sequences in a virtual reality setting brimming with ancillaries and iso-plexes avatars, a mystery that will keep you guessing all the way and one hell of a plot twist I did not see coming; with a big homage to the movie Blade Runner and addressing themes of corporate competition and the dangers of virtual reality and online addition, where there are no secrets, nothing is what it seems and everything is up for grabs if you know where to look.

"Time Again" - Nathan Jacobs is just a regular 62-year-old cellular equipment manufacturer, with a good life and a loving family. When Mr. Banks and Mr. Sterling suddenly materialize in his office, claiming they're from the future with an offer Nathan cannot refuse, he is forced to make an impossible choice in order to preserve the future: in a week's time Nathan will either agree to be transported back to the past and relive the last 37 years of his life over again, but without his future wife and family; or die, driving his loving wife Margaret to despair and suicide. Nathan has succeeded in life by being a remarkable strategist, always looking for an angle and never making a move without at least 2 contingency plans; now the stakes are even higher but Nathan isn't willing to let go of his life and memories and he can't risk the life of his wife either. Rating 5/5 - a good take on the value and blessings in our lives, what makes us the unique individuals that we are by interacting with others and being affected by those around us.

Final Rating
"Net 2.3" is an anthology of 4 fast-paced thrilling novelettes set in a near and far future, written in a screenplay structure with suspenseful plot twists but also thought-provoking moments. Recommended for those who enjoy sci-fi stories based on people's reactions and interaction with future technologies and how they're affected by those around them.

• • • •

- About the Author -
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy

"Life may be different than the way we perceive it. In many ways, it should be different.This is why I write."

T.E. Mark

I’ve spent the majority of my life playing music, (Mainly the Violin) teaching and telling stories. My literary interests are diverse. I read basically anything I can get my hands on and do so omnivorously. (No one should ever leave the house without a book!)

You’ll find this diversity woven into many of my stories. I quite regularly, and eagerly, without remorse, scratch out a poem or two or three, sometimes more, and include them in a pure Science Fiction or Fantasy / Adventure novel. (I’m a huge fan of poetry, BTW, and maintain a dedicated website for my own pieces.) I’m also an avid historian who loves using historical names, events and quotes in my novels or even using ancient history as the main theme.

So how did I, a classically trained violinist, who studied music, history, literature and architecture in the UK and the US (Did I mention my 10-year flirtation with architecture and engineering? Maybe not.) wind up writing Science Fiction and Fantasy/Adventure novels?

Well, it started in Bath England where I wrote my first real novel ‘Fractured Horizons: A Time Travel Odyssey.’ The story, however, originally titled ‘The Uninventor,’ I wrote in a notebook with a ballpoint when I was twelve.

From there, my head spun with new stories I wanted to tell or old ones I wanted to tell again – this time to the world. I love weaving ideas into fanciful but meaningful stories and finding new ways to express myself in print. I believe I was born a writer. It just took a while for it to set in.

So, what about that opening quote, (It’s mine, by the way) about life being different than the way we perceive it?

There are two answers, really. One simple and the other rather complex.

For no justifiable reason, I’ll let you ponder the simple answer and give you the complex one:

We know so little of how our conscious minds churn visual, auditory and olfactory stimulus into what we term reality. And of our subconscious minds, we know even less.

I’ll presume here to posit a question: Are we convinced reality is universal? The same for everyone on the planet? The same for the beings we’ve yet encountered on other planets? Or for beings living in space?

I wonder.

And, when I hazard to read the news of this reality state we’ve chosen to embrace as universal and unchangeable, I wonder more. And, without the ability to snap my fingers and end racial, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic bias, (to name a few) or stop senseless wars, or put an end to the unthinkable destruction of our planet (Yes, I am a tree-hugging environmentalist) I wonder even more.

And then, I write.

I hope you enjoy my blogs and books

T. E. Mark – Author

Previous in the series: Dreams Inc.: The Novelettes of T. E. Mark - Vol II (book review)
Next in the series: There Was A Silence: The Novelettes of T. E. Mark - Vol IV (book review)
Next in the series: Binary: The Novelettes of T. E. Mark - Vol V (book review) 


May 8, 2019


Book Review - The Journals of Incabad Reyl, Red Chronicles #1 (by Gregory Tasoulas)

The Journals of Incabad Reyl
Series: Red Chronicles (book #1)
Author: Gregory Tasoulas
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Peculiar Worlds Publishing
Release Date: March 31st, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
Pages: 310

"In a different Universe where electricity is the defining driving force of all natural existence, and life exists on floating islands called troves, Incabad Reyl is the greatest scientist of his time. It was his research on the 12 electrons that gave the Equation of fractal dynamics, the Equation that became the basis of Horizon’s modern technology. The Equation that brought about a better understanding of the echomagnetic fields of the 12 permanent Storms and ushered Horizon into an era of technological advancement based on its abundant electrical forces.

But his Equation was flawed and incomplete…

And so, decades after his famous research that put him on a pedestal as Horizon’s greatest scientific mind, Professor Reyl embarks on a clandestine adventure to find what he calls the Master Equation. An equation that will define the elusive variables of the Horizon's volatile and ever-changing echomagnetic fields. Or so everybody thinks.

His only ally a cryptic Oracle from the trove Ocheron, Lieutenant Auburn Thorn.

Together, the two men leave the trove Accadia, one of the ten Cradles of human civilization and travel to the distant and unexplored trove Tarn, where they venture deep into the uncharted jungle. With the help of Auburn’s oracular abilities, they discover an ancient technomagical building of unknown origins.

While the superficial harmony between the ten Cradles of humanity unravels around them, the two will have to face unforeseen adversities and betrayals, in a race to save humanity’s future"

The Journals of Incabad Reyl (Red Chronicles, book #1)
(click to read an excerpt on Amazon)

- Review -
What Made Me Read It
I was sent a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review. The author described it as "science fantasy centered around a fictional teslapunk universe" and the blend of science fiction and magical fantasy caught my interest.

The Plot
Professor Incabad Reyl is the most prestigious mathematician and physicist in Horizon, a miniature parallel universe dominated by electromagnetic forces. Even though he created the Equation of Fractional Dynamics, a mathematical algorithm that ushered a new era of technological advancement in Horizon, Professor Incabad believes his equation is still flawed and incomplete and sets out to find the Master Equation, one that would explain Horizon's volatile and ever-changing nature that governs people's lives and reveal the roots of evil... for if souls are born perfect, then why are there dangerous people with vices and flaws?

With the assistance  of Lieutenant Auburn Thorn, a natural born Oracle with the ability to feel the echomagnetic fields of Horizon and control the aetheric portions of his own body, Professor Incabad leaves his home trove of Accadia and journeys to the uninhabited but contested trove of Tarn. There, he hopes to find evidence of the existence of an extinct and forgotten human civilization that thrived before the Long Storm reshaped the face of Horizon and set the devolution of humanity, some 14.000 years ago. A simpler and bygone technomagical era governed by only  7 primary electrons, that could hold the key to cure humanity of its vices.

What Professor Incabad finds deep inside the unexplored jungles of Tarn will shatter every core belief of Horizon's society and unleash a terror that could destroy the very fabric of life. With each of the 10 human Cradles on a secret war to secure political and military might over their neighbors, while the Hallowed Hierarchy, a radical splinter group of Oracles from the Temple of the Veil, spreads its doctrine of hatred towards any kind of technology, Professor Incabad is running out of time to try to save civilization as he knows it... it was bad enough being responsible for modern weapons, he had to go out and dig out an ancient one as well!

The Good
"The Journals of Incabad Reyl" is the first book in a science fiction and fantasy adventure series, combining the "Elmwean's Lodge" and "Return to Elmwean's Lodge" novellas in a single volume. Told in the first person through the eyes of the main character as he records his memories to a future transcriber, the story follows the adventures of Professor Incabad Reyl in his personal quest to find proof of the existence of a more evolved ancient civilization gone extinct. After developing a mathematical equation he hoped would benefit humanity and seeing it used for military purposes instead, Professor Incabad is looking for a way to save humanity from itself, believing there is a connection between the savage echomagnetic storms that govern Horizon and the effects they have on both the physical body and the human spirit, possibly even with the creation of evil.

In the first novella "Elmwean's Lodge", we follow Professor Incabad at the start of his scientific journey in the company of the Oracle Auburn Thorn. Determined to find the answers he seeks, the two set out to distant and mostly uninhabited trove Tarn where professor Elmwean's anthropological team is studying the Obtuse tribes, a race of subhumans with considerably smaller brains and intellectual capacities, and of unknown origin. In the second novella "Return to Elmwean's Lodge", Professor Incabad has found proof of an ancient civilization technomagically more advanced, inside a massive pyramidal structure deep in Tarn's unexplored jungle. But exploring the ancient pyramid is proving more challenging and dangerous than expected, as the hidden landmark is filled with secrets and technology that affects Horizon's own reality.

The worldbuilding is incredibly complex and deeply imaginative. Horizon is a miniature parallel universe, created and dominated by strong echomagnetic storms and populated by 10 different Cradles - chromatic and diatonic human breeds differentiated by their skin color and unique physiological features - living in floating islands called Troves, with a small fraction of this human civilization born with an extrasensory ability to feel the echomagnetic fields of Horizon and control the aetheric portions of their own bodies, giving them superhuman abilities - the Oracles. This made-up universe mixes science and futuristic technology with magical and supernatural elements, combining them into a whole that feels believable and livable; the author didn't just create a whole new world, he introduces concepts and elements that are as original and unique: shards, mantles, cradles, scribers, troves, fehrtechs, aetherical communication, estrangement vortex, units of time and measurement... at first I was overwhelmed, trying to keep up with this universe - until I reached the end of the book and discovered an extremely handy and highly detailed glossary; a friendly piece of advice: keep that glossary bookmarked, it helps!

"The Journals of Incabad Reyl" isn't an action packed novel per se, though there are a few thrilling action sequences. Because the narrative is structured as a personal journal of an aging mathematician on an archeological search, the story focus on his personal experiences during his journey: his thoughts and emotions, theories and discoveries, his intellectual curiosity and sense of wonder, his frustrations at all the backstabbing manipulations and short-sightedness of greedy politicians and academics more interested in securing power over their neighbors and preserving the status quo. We journey alongside the main character, experiencing all the events at the same time and pace as Professor Incabad, exploring the ancient pyramid and learning its secrets, getting to know the secondary characters, changing our own points of view and opinions of those around him as the Professor himself grows as a character. That being said, the narrative is in no way boring and the pace doesn't drag throughout the plot, because the descriptions are so vivid we get to experience the same kind of wonder as the Professor, there is even a touch of sarcastic humor as he reacts to some of the events and people around him.

Final Rating
"The Journals of Incabad Reyl" is a science fiction / fantasy adventure novel set in a miniature parallel universe, with a mix of futuristic technology and magical elements. Recommended for those who enjoy both sci-fi and fantasy stories, lost civilizations and ancient landmarks filled with secrets and traps.

• • • •

- About the Author -
Twitter: @TalesHorizon
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Gregory Tasoulas was born on August 1979 in Athens, Greece. He was admitted and studied to become an automation engineer in the technological institute of Piraeus but never finished his final year. He has a degree in pastry and baking arts and is now working as a pastry chef in Athens.

I’ve always been astounded by the strange and the fantastical. Books and films. Fantasy and horror and science fiction. I grew up reading ancient mythologies, Jules Vern and Arthur Clark. Tolkien, Lovecraft and Moorcock, watching everything and anything that came out of the minds of George Lucas and Gene Roddenberry and a host of other people. I was captivated by the worlds of Frank Herbert and Robert Howard alike. Delved into the abundance of comic books and videogames that the late 20th century had to offer.

Slowly as the years went by, my mind created a…world of its own. A merged universe which expanded my likes and my criticism, gave ground for things to go the way I liked them to go. Slowly and timidly, I began writing about it.

Right now, I am dividing my time between my day job, my writing and arguing with my cats about the benefits of using my house’s tables. 
(source: "The Journals of Incabad Reyl")


May 3, 2019


New Monthly Book Releases - May 2019

Time to update your to-be-read list and clear some space on your shelves. These are a few of the new book releases for May 2019.

- Science Fiction -

May 7th:

A Chain Across the Dawn (The Universe After #2) by Drew Williams (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Tor Books)
It’s been three years since Esa left her backwater planet to join the ranks of the Justified. Together, she and fellow agent Jane Kamali have been traveling across the known universe, searching for children who share Esa’s supernatural gifts. On a visit to a particularly remote planet, they learn that they’re not the only ones searching for gifted children. They find themselves on the tail of a mysterious being with impossible powers who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the very children that Esa and Jane are trying to save. With their latest recruit in tow—a young Wulf boy named Sho—Esa and Jane must track their strange foe across the galaxy in search of answers. But the more they learn, the clearer it becomes—their enemy may be harder to defeat than they ever could have imagined.

Captives (Hell Divers #5) by Nicholas Sansbury Smith (Hardcover, 338 pages, published by Blackstone Publishing)
Humanity has finally found a new home, but the price is blood... After a long, perilous journey, Hell Divers Xavier Rodriguez and Magnolia Katib discover the Metal Islands, a sunny habitable zone where thousands of people live by fishing and farming. But this "paradise" is really a violent warrior society ruled by the cannibal king el Pulpo. For the first time in X's life, he is forced to lay down his arms and surrender. Back on the airships, the Hell Divers are recovering from a gruesome discovery at Red Sphere, where they learned the truth about World War III. Now they must fight one last war-this time for what remains of their own endangered species. As the battle approaches, alliances will be forged, and others broken. Forced to fight in the Cazador army, X faces his toughest mission yet. Will he help his people come down from the sky and claim the promised land, or will humanity go extinct?

Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Knopf)
This much-anticipated second collection of stories is signature Ted Chiang, full of revelatory ideas and deeply sympathetic characters. In "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate," a portal through time forces a fabric seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and the temptation of second chances. In the epistolary "Exhalation," an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications not just for his own people, but for all of reality. And in "The Lifecycle of Software Objects," a woman cares for an artificial intelligence over twenty years, elevating a faddish digital pet into what might be a true living being. Also included are two brand-new stories: "Omphalos" and "Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom." In this fantastical and elegant collection, Ted Chiang wrestles with the oldest questions on earth--What is the nature of the universe? What does it mean to be human?--and ones that no one else has even imagined. And, each in its own way, the stories prove that complex and thoughtful science fiction can rise to new heights of beauty, meaning, and compassion.

Light from Other Stars by Erika Swyler (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Bloomsbury Publishing)
Eleven-year-old Nedda Papas is obsessed with becoming an astronaut. In 1986 in Easter, a small Florida Space Coast town, her dreams seem almost within reach—if she can just grow up fast enough. Theo, the scientist father she idolizes, is consumed by his own obsessions. Laid off from his job at NASA and still reeling from the loss of Nedda’s newborn brother several years before, Theo turns to the dangerous dream of extending his living daughter's childhood just a little longer. The result is an invention that alters the fabric of time. Amidst the chaos that erupts, Nedda must confront her father and his secrets, the ramifications of which will irrevocably change her life, her community, and the entire world. But she finds an unexpected ally in Betheen, the mother she’s never quite understood, who surprises Nedda by seeing her more clearly than anyone else. Decades later, Nedda has achieved her long-held dream, and as she floats in antigravity, far from earth, she and her crewmates face a serious crisis. Nedda may hold the key to the solution, if she can come to terms with her past and the future that awaits her. Light from Other Stars is about fathers and daughters, women and the forces that hold them back, and the cost of meaningful work. It questions how our lives have changed, what progress looks like, and what it really means to sacrifice for the greater good.

Million Mile Road Trip by Rudy Rucker (Paperback, 504 pages, published by Night Shade)
When a seemingly-innocent trumpet solo somehow opens a transdimensional connection to Mappyworld, a parallel universe containing a single, endless plain divided by ridges into basin-like worlds, three California teens find themselves taken on a million mile road trip across a landscape of alien civilizations in a beat-up, purple 80s wagon... with a dark-energy motor, graphene tires and quantum shocks, of course. Their goal? To stop carnivorous flying saucers from invading Earth. And, just maybe, to find love along the way. Million Mile Road Trip is a phantasmagoric roller-coaster ride—mind warpingly smart and wildly funny, with a warmly beating heart.

Octavia Gone (Alex Benedict #8) by Jack McDevitt (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Gallery / Saga Press)
After his return from space, Gabe is trying to find a new life for himself after being presumed dead—just as Alex and Chase are trying to relearn how to live and work without him. But when a seemingly alien artifact goes missing from Gabe’s old collection, it grants the group a chance to dive into solving the mystery of its origins as a team, once again. When a lead on the artifact is tied to a dead pilot’s sole unrecorded trip, another clue seems to lead to one of the greatest lingering mysteries of the age: the infamous disappearance of a team of scientists aboard a space station orbiting a black hole—the Amelia Earhart of their time. With any luck, Alex, Chase, and Gabe may be on the trail of the greatest archaeological discovery of their careers…

Snakeskins by Tim Major (Paperback, 416 pages, published by Titan Books)
Caitlin Hext's first shedding ceremony is imminent, but she's far from prepared to produce a Snakeskin clone. When her Skin fails to turn to dust as expected, she must decide whether she wishes the newcomer alive or dead. Worse still, it transpires that the Hext family may be of central importance to the survival of Charmers, a group of people with the inexplicable power to produce duplicates every seven years and, in the process, rejuvenate. In parallel with reporter Gerry Chafik and government aide Russell Handler, Caitlin must prevent the Great British Prosperity Party from establishing a corrupt new world order.

Tangle’s Game by Stewart Hotston (Paperback, 350 pages, published by Abaddon)
Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. Yesterday, Amanda Back’s life was flawless: the perfect social credit score, the perfect job, the perfect home. Today, Amanda is a target, an enemy of the system holding information dangerous enough to disrupt the world’s all-consuming tech – a fugitive on the run. But in a world where an un-hackable blockchain links everyone and everything, there is nowhere to run…

The Farm by Joanne Ramos (Paperback, 565 pages, published by Random House Large Print)
Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big money—more than you've ever dreamed of—to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your überwealthy clients. Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter's well-being, Jane grows desperate to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she'll receive on delivery—or worse. Heartbreaking, suspenseful, provocative, The Farm pushes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit to the extremes, and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love.

The Gordian Protocol by David Weber and Jacob Holo (Hardcover, 512 pages, published by Baen)
A Man of Two Worlds. Doctor Benjamin Schröder was far from a man of action. In fact, he was a history teacher — Chairman of the Castle Rock University history department — and if his life wasn't perfect, it was close. Until, that is the discussion of his star student Elzbietá Abramowski's dissertation on Operation Yellow Brick, the Pacific Allies' invasion of Vladivostok, staged through occupied Japan to meet their Imperial German allies, was brutally interrupted. The psychotic episode that turned his entire world upside down struck with absolutely no warning, and it was more terrifying than anything he should have been able to imagine, leaving him with a complete, incredibly detailed set of false, nightmare "memories." Not just of his own life, but of an entire, ghastly world in which Operation Yellow Brick had never happened. In which millions of helpless civilians had been systematically slaughtered in "extermination camps" that were horrific beyond belief. In which there was still a Soviet Union. In which the Chinese Communists had succeeded, the Korean Peninsula had been permanently divided, thousands of nuclear warheads had spread their deadly threat across the entire Earth, and the Middle East was a festering sore of bloodshed, fanaticism, and terrorism. The knowledge that those false memories had come from somewhere inside his own psyche was terrible, but with the help of Commander Abramowski, a highly decorated Navy fighter pilot who’d been forced to deal with her own PTSD after crippling combat wounds invalided her out of service, he’s put his life back together. With Elzbietá's support, he's learned to deal with the nightmares, to recognize that they are onlynightmares that can't — and won't — be permitted to rule his life. Until, that is, a lunatic named Raibert Kaminski knocks on his door one afternoon with an impossible and horrifying story about alternate realities, time travel, temporal knots, and more than a dozen doomed universes which must inevitably die if the temporal storm front rushing towards the distant future isn't stopped. He has to be lying, of course. Or completely insane. But what if he's not a madman after all? What if he's actually telling the truth? That possibility is the most terrifying thing of all. Because if he is, the false memories aren't false after all, and that other world is just as real as the one Schröder has always known. And if that's true, Benjamin Schröder is about to become the greatest mass murderer in human history, because he has to choose. Whether he acts or refuses to act, Benjamin Schröder is the one man who will decide which universe lives and which dies, along with every star system, every galaxy — and every single human being — in it. Including the woman he's discovered he loves more than life itself.

The Warship (Rise of the Jain #2) by Neal Asher (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Night Shade)
The haiman Orlandine, charged with safeguarding lethal Jain tech swirling inside an accretion disc located in the distant reaches of space, has weaponized a black hole to eliminate the threat. But others are suspicious of her motives, and both the Polity AIs and the leaders of the alien prador kingdom dispatch fleets of warships in anticipation of conflict. As the black hole continues to eat its way through the planets in the accretion disc, making its way towards a dead sun, it becomes clear the disc has been hiding a larger secret. Nefarious forces with ulterior motives have manipulated Orlandine into deploying the black hole, triggering a series of larger events that will uncover a danger far older than even the Polity itself.

Theater of Spies (Tales from the Black Chamber #2) by S.M. Stirling (Paperback, 464 pages, published by Ace Books)
After foiling a German plot to devastate America's coastal cities from Boston to Galveston, crack Black Chamber agent Luz O'Malley and budding technical genius Ciara Whelan go to California to recuperate. But their well-deserved rest is cut short by the discovery of a diabolical new weapon that could give the German Imperial Navy command of the North Sea. Luz and Ciara must go deep undercover and travel across a world at war, and live under false identities in Berlin itself to ferret out the project's secrets. Close on their trail is the dangerous German agent codenamed Imperial Sword, who is determined to get his revenge, and a band of assault-rifle equipped stormtroopers, led by the murderously efficient killer Ernst Rhm. From knife-and-pistol duels on airships to the horrors of the poison-gas factories to harrowing marine battles in the North Sea, the fight continues--with a world as the prize.

May 9th:

The Gemini Experiment by Brian Pinkerton (Paperback, 288 pages, published by Flame Tree Press)
Tom Nolan has just learned he is going to die. The young father is terminally ill and coming to grips with his fate. One day a friend from Tom's past comes forward to recruit him for a privately funded, covert experiment. The goal of the experiment is to achieve immortality through the transfer of a living human's mind and memory to a highly realistic human android replica. In the early stages of the testing, he is told not to discuss it with anyone, including his wife and daughter. Tom's physical appearance is immaculately duplicated as a technically sophisticated robot. To initially test this prototype, the scientists transfer the mind and memory of another man's brain. Since the digitization of the consciousness is an invasive process that kills the original source, the scientists first test the procedure on a more "expendable" subject - a convict without any family who is dying in prison and volunteers for a "cancer treatment." If this initial test is successful, they intend to wipe the replica's memory clean and permanently replace it with Tom's mind and memory. While the test is successful, this alternate version of Tom escapes - killing a scientist and embarking on the ultimate form of identity theft. Impersonating Tom, the evil twin infiltrates his home, endangers his family and commits violent crimes in Tom's persona, forcing the real Tom to go on the run. When Russian spies discover the technological breakthrough to turn man into machine, they seek to steal the secrets for their own nefarious purposes. The stakes are raised and reach the highest levels of government. The President of the United States starts acting peculiar and Tom suspects he has become the victim of a devious swap by the Russians that could change the course of the world. It's up to Tom to save the day...before the ticking clock of his own mortality runs out. FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

May 14th:

Children of Ruin (Children of Time #2) by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Paperback, 608 pages, published by Orbit Books)
Thousands of years ago, Earth's terraforming program took to the stars. On the world they called Nod, scientists discovered alien life - but it was their mission to overwrite it with the memory of Earth. Then humanity's great empire fell, and the program's decisions were lost to time. Aeons later, humanity and its new spider allies detected fragmentary radio signals between the stars. They dispatched an exploration vessel, hoping to find cousins from old Earth. But those ancient terraformers woke something on Nod better left undisturbed. And it's been waiting for them.

Last Tango in Cyberspace by Steven Kotler (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by St. Martin's Press)
Hard to say when the human species fractured exactly. Harder to say when this new talent arrived. But Lion Zorn is the first of his kind--an empathy tracker, an emotional soothsayer, with a felt sense for the future of the we. In simpler terms, he can spot cultural shifts and trends before they happen. It's a useful skill for a certain kind of company. Arctic Pharmaceuticals is that kind of company. But when a routine em-tracking job leads to the discovery of a gruesome murder, Lion finds himself neck-deep in a world of eco-assassins, soul hackers and consciousness terrorists. But what the man really needs is a nap. A unique blend of cutting-edge technology and traditional cyberpunk, Last Tango in Cyberspace explores hot topics like psychology, neuroscience, technology, as well as ecological and animal rights issues. The world created in Last Tango is based very closely on our world about five years from now, and all technology in the book either exists in labs or is rumored to exist. With its electrifying sentences, subtle humor, and an intriguing main character, readers are sure to find something that resonates with them in this groundbreaking cyberpunk science fiction thriller.

Pariah (Donovan Trilogy #3) by W. Michael Gear (Hardcover, 496 pages, published by Daw Books)
Corporate assassin Tamarland Benteen's last hope is the survey ship Vixen. With a load of scientists aboard under the supervision of Dr. Dortmund Weisbacher, Vixen is tasked with the first comprehensive survey of the newly discovered planet called Donovan. Given that back in Solar System, Boardmember Radcek would have Benteen's brain dissected, he's particularly motivated to make his escape. The transition that should have taken Vixen years is instantaneous. Worse, a space ship is already orbiting Donovan, and, impossibly, human settlements have been established on the planet. For Dortmund Weisbacher, this is a violation of the most basic conservation tenets. Donovan is an ecological disaster. Down on Donovan, Talina Perez takes refuge in the ruins of Mundo Base with the wild child, Kylee Simonov. But the quetzals are playing their own deadly game: one that forces Talina and Kylee to flee farther into the wilderness. Too bad they're stuck with Dortmund Weisbacher in the process. Back in Port Authority, Dan Wirth discovers that he's not the meanest or deadliest man on the planet. Tamarland Benteen is making his play for control of PA. And in the final struggle, if Benteen can't have it, he'll destroy it all.

Tears of the Trufflepig by Fernando A. Flores (Paperback, 336 pages, published by MCD x FSG Originals)
Near future. South Texas. Narcotics are legal and there’s a new contraband on the market: ancient Olmec artifacts, shrunken indigenous heads, and filtered animals—species of animals brought back from extinction to clothe, feed, and generally amuse the very wealthy. Esteban Bellacosa has lived in the border town of MacArthur long enough to know to keep quiet and avoid the dangerous syndicates who make their money through trafficking. But his simple life starts to get complicated when the swashbuckling investigative journalist Paco Herbert invites him to come to an illegal underground dinner serving filtered animals. Bellacosa soon finds himself in the middle of an increasingly perilous, surreal, psychedelic journey, where he encounters legends of the long-disappeared Aranaña Indian tribe and their object of worship: the mysterious Trufflepig, said to possess strange powers. Written with infectious verve, bold imagination, and oddball humor, Fernando A. Flores’s debut novel, Tears of the Trufflepig, is an absurdist take on life along the border, an ode to the myths of Mexican culture, a dire warning against the one percent’s determination to dictate society’s decline, and a nuanced investigation of loss. It’s also the perfect introduction for Flores: a wonderfully weird, staggeringly smart new voice in American fiction, and a mythmaker of the highest order.

The Obsoletes by Simeon Mills (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Skybound Books)
Fraternal twin brothers Darryl and Kanga are just like any other teenagers trying to make it through high school. They have to deal with peer pressure, awkwardness, and family drama. But there’s one closely guarded secret that sets them apart: they are robots. So long as they keep their heads down, their robophobic neighbors won’t discover the truth about them and they just might make it through to graduation. But when Kanga becomes the star of the basketball team, there’s more at stake than typical sibling rivalry. Darryl—the worrywart of the pair—now has to work a million times harder to keep them both out of the spotlight. Though they look, sound, and act perfectly human, if anyone in their small, depressed Michigan town were to find out what they truly are, they’d likely be disassembled by an angry mob in the middle of their school gym.

The Undefeated by Una McCormack (Paperback, 112 pages, published by
She was a warrior of words. As a journalist she exposed corruption across the Interstellar Commonwealth, shifting public opinion and destroying careers in the process. Long-since retired, she travels back to the planet of her childhood, partly through a sense of nostalgia, partly to avoid running from humanity's newest--and self-created--enemy, the jenjer. Because the enemy is coming, and nothing can stand in its way.

May 15th:

The Exalting (Divinity War #1) by Dan Allen (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Future House Publishing)
On Xahna, the eighth world, cities create their own supreme beings. As the believer fleet flees toward the Xahna to escape total annihilation at the hands of the mega-corporation known as ASP, marine sniper Jet Naman prepares to make first contact. But the fate of Xahna's greatest power rests in the hands of a seventeen-year-old girl. Young Dana of Norr has found the bloodstone that grants access to the will of all twenty thousand inhabitants of Shoul Falls via their shared symbiotes: the sayathi microbes. The bloodstone offers near limitless power for a druid adept like Dana who can sense and control animals as long as her will lasts. Hunted by extremists who have banned the blood-binding, and pursued by the brutal warlock adepts of the tyrant Vetas-ka, Dana must return the bloodstone to its origin before it falls into the wrong hands. But those hands may be hers. For with each new challenge, the temptation to use the forbidden power grows stronger. Either way, her world is about to change forever.

May 21st:

Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water by Vylar Kaftan (Paperback, 112 pages, published by
All Bee has ever known is darkness. She doesn’t remember the crime she committed that landed her in the cold, twisting caverns of the prison planet Colel-Cab with only fellow prisoner Chela for company. Chela says that they’re telepaths and mass-murderers; that they belong here, too dangerous to ever be free. Bee has no reason to doubt her—until she hears the voice of another telepath, one who has answers, and can open her eyes to an entirely different truth.

Starship Repo by Patrick S. Tomlinson (Paperback, 336 pages, published by Tor Books)
Firstname Lastname is a no one with nowhere to go. With a name that is the result of an unfortunate clerical error and destined to be one of the only humans on an alien space station. That is until she sneaks aboard a ship and joins up with a crew of repomen (they are definitely not pirates). Now she's traveling the galaxy "recovering" ships. What could go wrong?

Triumphant (The Genesis Fleet #3) by Jack Campbell (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Ace Books)
The recently colonized world of Glenlyon has learned that they're stronger when they stand with other star systems than they are on their own. But after helping their neighbor Kosatka against an invasion, Glenlyon has become a target. The aggressive star systems plan to neutralize Glenlyon before striking again. An attack is launched against Glenlyon's orbital facility with forces too powerful for fleet officer Rob Geary to counter using their sole remaining destroyer, Saber. Mele Darcy's Marines must repel repeated assaults while their hacker tries to get into the enemy systems to give Saber a fighting chance. To survive, Glenlyon needs more firepower, and the only source for that is their neighbor Kosatka or other star systems that have so far remained neutral. But Kosatka is still battling the remnants of the invasion forces on its own world, and if it sends its only remaining warship to help will be left undefended against another invasion. While Carmen Ochoa fights for the freedom of Kosatka, Lochan Nakamura must survive assassins as he tries to convince other worlds to join a seemingly hopeless struggle. As star systems founded by people seeking freedom and autonomy, will Kosatka, Glenlyon and others be able to overcome deep suspicions of surrendering any authority to others? Will the free star systems stand together in a new Alliance, or fall alone?

Winchester Undead (Omnibus, Winchester Undead #5 and #6) by Dave Lund (Paperback, 560 pages, published by Permuted Press)
Dave Lund, author of the hit prepper-skills-based zombie apocalypse series, continues the fight for the future in this edition of books 5 and 6: Storm and Triumph. Storm - The war with the undead has only begun. Marooned, Bexar and Chivo are trapped in a war between prepper clans in a Utah town. Hundreds of miles away, Jessie, Sarah, and Erin fight to save a secret underground government facility, the only refuge they and hundreds of others have found...a facility on the verge of collapse. Crossing the American southwest is a group of Marines, the last survivors of their command. Will they reach the facility in time? Triumph - Legions of dead swarm across the United States while North Korean and Chinese troops continue the hard-fought invasion. In this nail-biting, high-octane finale of the Winchester Undead series, Bexar and Jessie Reed try to find a safe haven for the birth of their child, while Chivo and President Lampton try to stop a rogue secret operative turned traitor from carrying out the final blow. The fate of the country and the fate of civilization rests in their hands.

Year of the Orphan by Daniel Findlay (Hardcover, 288 pages, published by Arcade)
In a post-apocalyptic future where survivors scavenge in the harsh Australian Outback for spoils from a buried civilization, a girl races across the desert, holding her treasures close, pursued by the Reckoner. Riding her sand ship, living rough in the blasted landscape, she scouts the broken infrastructure and trades her scraps at the only known settlement, a ramshackle fortress of greed, corruption, and disease known as the System. It is an outpost whose sole purpose is survival—refuge from the hulking, eyeless things they call Ghosts and other creatures that hunt beyond the fortress walls. Sold as a child, then raised hard in the System, the Orphan has a mission. She carries secrets about the destruction that brought the world to its knees. And she's about to discover that the past still holds power over the present. Given an impossible choice, will the Orphan save the only home she knows or see it returned to dust? Both paths lead to blood, but whose will be spilled?

May 28th:

Five Unicorn Flush (Space Unicorn #2) by T. J. Berry (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Angry Robot)
The Bala, magical creatures, have hidden themselves from cruel and destructive humanity, leaving the galaxy in shambles. Without unicorn-powered faster-than-light travel, mankind is scattered, starving and isolated across the stars. Cowboy Jim has the sole surviving FTL drive, and he and his Reason soldiers are determined to track down and re-enslave the Bala. But on their new planet, the Bala are on the brink of civil war: should they accept Unicorn rule, or follow necromancer Bao Zhi and exact revenge on their human oppressors? Only Captain Jenny, with her new elfin parasite, can return peace to the galaxy.

Killing Giants (The Legacy Chronicles #6) by Pittacus Lore (Ebook Edition, 100 pages, published by HarperCollins)
The Mogadorians have captured Six and Sam and brought them to Las Vegas, Nevada, as part of their mysterious master plan to get their revenge on the Garde. It’s the opening night of a spectacular new show, and dozens of special guests, the media, and tons of spectators have flocked to Sin City—which can only mean one thing: the Mogs are planning something truly devastating. Luckily for Six and Sam, they’ve yet to find a prison that can hold them. When they do manage to escape, and finally regain control of their Legacies, they will have to race against the clock to try to stop their old adversaries once and for all. And if they can’t succeed, they—and countless others—will suffer the consequences.

Limited Wish (Impossible Times #2) by Mark Lawrence (Paperback, 224 pages, published by 47North)
One choice. Two possible timelines. And a world hanging in the balance. It’s the summer of 1986 and reluctant prodigy Nick Hayes is a student at Cambridge University, working with world-renowned mathematician Professor Halligan. He just wants to be a regular student, but regular isn’t really an option for a boy-genius cancer survivor who’s already dabbled in time travel. When he crosses paths with a mysterious yet curiously familiar girl, Nick discovers that creases have appeared in the fabric of time, and that he is at the centre of the disruption. Only Nick can resolve this time paradox before the damage becomes catastrophic for both him and the future of the world. Time is running out—literally. Wrapped up with him in this potentially apocalyptic scenario are his ex-girlfriend, Mia, and fellow student Helen. Facing the world-ending chaos of a split in time, Nick must act fast and make the choice of a lifetime—or lifetimes.
Game on.

Longer by Michael Blumlein (Paperback, 240 pages, published by
Gunjita and Cav are orbiting in space performing R & D pharmaceutical studies for Gleem Galactic. They are wealthy enough to participate in rejuvenation: rebooting themselves from old age to jump their bodies back to their twenties. You get two chances. The third time is a calculated risk. Gunjita has "juved" for her second and last time, but Cav is reluctant to join her. Instead he's obsessed with the unidentified object that they encounter out in space. Is it alive? He believes that it just might be. The prospect of first contact is possible, but their marriage may not survie the challenge.

Out of the Shadows (The Legacy Chronicles #4-6) by Pittacus Lore (Paperback, 416 pages, published by HarperCollins)
Teens across the globe have developed incredible powers known as Legacies. Although they were meant to use these abilities to help the world, dark forces have been working against them from the shadows. Six and Sam Goode used to be part of a covert group that investigated suspicious incidents surrounding these Human Garde. Then they discovered they could no longer trust who they were working for and quit. But they’ll still do whatever it takes to protect these teens. The Legacy Chronicles companion series follows them on this mission, and this book collects the next three novellas. Originally published as digital originals, they are now together in one print volume for the first time ever. In Legacy Chronicles #4: Chasing Ghosts, Six and Sam try to track down a former charge who slipped through their fingers and who may now have become much more foe than friend. In Legacy Chronicles #5: Raising Monsters, the couple must find a way to escape from an old enemy they believed was long buried in their past. In Legacy Chronicles #6: Killing Giants, a deadly master plan is finally revealed, and it’ll be up to Six, Sam, and their companions to put an end to it before it’s too late.

The Captain’s Oath (Star Trek The Original Series) by Christopher L. Bennett (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Pocket Books/Star Trek)
The saga of James T. Kirk’s historic command of the U.S.S. Enterprise is known throughout the galaxy. But one part of the legend has barely been touched upon until now: the story of Kirk’s first starship command and the remarkable achievements by which Starfleet’s youngest captain earned the right to succeed Christopher Pike as the commander of the famous Enterprise. From his early battles with the Klingons to the rescue of endangered civilizations, Kirk grapples with difficult questions: Is he a warrior or a peacemaker? Should he obey regulations or trust his instincts? This thrilling novel illustrates the events and choices that would shape James T. Kirk into one of the most renowned captains in Starfleet history.

Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Hardcover, 140 pages, published by Solaris)
My name is Gary Rendell. I’m an astronaut. When they asked me as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, “astronaut, please!” I dreamed astronaut, I worked astronaut, I studied astronaut. I got lucky; when a probe sent out to explore the Oort Cloud found a strange alien rock and an international team of scientists was put together to go and look at it, I made the draw. I got even luckier. When disaster hit and our team was split up, scattered through the endless cold tunnels, I somehow survived. Now I’m lost, and alone, and scared, and there’s something horrible in here. Lucky me. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

• • • •

- Fantasy -

May 1st:

One Word Kill (Impossible Times #1) by Mark Lawrence (Paperback, 204 pages, published by 47North)
In January 1986, fifteen-year-old boy-genius Nick Hayes discovers he’s dying. And it isn’t even the strangest thing to happen to him that week. Nick and his Dungeons & Dragons-playing friends are used to living in their imaginations. But when a new girl, Mia, joins the group and reality becomes weirder than the fantasy world they visit in their weekly games, none of them are prepared for what comes next. A strange—yet curiously familiar—man is following Nick, with abilities that just shouldn’t exist. And this man bears a cryptic message: Mia’s in grave danger, though she doesn’t know it yet. She needs Nick’s help—now. He finds himself in a race against time to unravel an impossible mystery and save the girl. And all that stands in his way is a probably terminal disease, a knife-wielding maniac and the laws of physics. Challenge accepted.

May 2nd:

Queenslayer (Spellslinger #5) by Sebastien de Castell (Hardcover, 400 pages, published by Hot Key Books)
Kellen Argos is an outlaw spellslinger with a bad reputation, a long list of enemies, and zero luck. When he accidently smears blood on the Daroman flag, he's dragged before the queen to be executed for his act of treason. Face-to-face with the young monarch, Kellen is offered a chance to save himself. If he can defeat the queen at a game of cards, he'll walk free... if not, his life is forfeit. But what begins as a game reveals a conspiracy against the queen's life. And now, Kellen is not only playing for his own freedom, but also for the future of an empire.

May 5th:

Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs (Hardcover, 368 pages, published by Ace Books)
My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic. And a coyote shapeshifter... And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack. Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn't stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae. The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death. But we are pack, and we have given our word. We will die to keep it.

May 7th:

By Demons Possessed (Chronicles of the Kencyrath Book 6) by P. C. Hodgell (Paperback, 304 pages, published by Baen)
It seems something is preying on the gods of Tai-tastigon. The new Pantheon is falling, and the ancient city is in turmoil. The self-serving, beguiling demi-god leader of the Thieves Guild has coerced Jame into finding the soul of his missing brother by holding hostage people she loves. Jame She reluctantly returns to find a Tai-tastigon in turmoil, with citizen pitted against citizen, and day and night-time folk at one another’s throats. It seems many in the vast Lower Town have lost their shadows—not so funny when you realize that a shadow is cast by a soul. Some of the affected have gone mad. Some wander like ravening wraiths, attacking even family members by tooth and nail. Which means something is taking—or destroying—souls in the city. What’s more, in the city’s Temple District fearful gods are finding their very beings drained. Some have become so diminished they hide in the robes of their priests like mewling babes. Across the city, murder and mayhem have erupted. But whatever demon-wrought madness is afoot in Tai-tastigon will have to face the ultimate avatar of god That-Which-Destroys Itself. That would be one Jame Knorth.

Empire of Grass (The Last King of Osten Ard #2) by Tad Williams (Hardcover, 688 pages, published by Daw Books)
The kingdoms of Osten Ard have been at peace for decades, but now, the threat of a new war grows to nightmarish proportions. Simon and Miriamele, royal husband and wife, face danger from every side. Their allies in Hernystir have made a pact with the dreadful Queen of the Norns to allow her armies to cross into mortal lands. The ancient, powerful nation of Nabban is on the verge of bloody civil war, and the fierce nomads of the Thrithings grasslands have begun to mobilize, united by superstitious fervor and their age-old hatred of the city-dwellers. But as the countries and peoples of the High Ward bicker among themselves, battle, bloodshed, and dark magics threaten to pull civilizations to pieces. And over it all looms the mystery of the Witchwood Crown, the deadly puzzle that Simon, Miriamele, and their allies must solve if they wish to survive. But as the kingdoms of Osten Ard are torn apart by fear and greed, a few individuals will fight for their own lives and destinies--not yet aware that the survival of everything depends on them.

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire (Hardcover, 528 pages, published by
Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story. Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math. Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet. Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own. Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.

Westside by W.M. Akers (Hardcover, 304 pages, published by Harper Voyager)
New York is dying, and the one woman who can save it has smaller things on her mind. It’s 1921, and a thirteen-mile fence running the length of Broadway splits the island of Manhattan, separating the prosperous Eastside from the Westside—an overgrown wasteland whose hostility to modern technology gives it the flavor of old New York. Thousands have disappeared here, and the respectable have fled, leaving behind the killers, thieves, poets, painters, drunks, and those too poor or desperate to leave. It is a hellish landscape, and Gilda Carr proudly calls it home. Slightly built, but with a will of iron, Gilda follows in the footsteps of her late father, a police detective turned private eye. Unlike that larger-than-life man, Gilda solves tiny mysteries: the impossible puzzles that keep us awake at night; the small riddles that destroy us; the questions that spoil marriages, ruin friendships, and curdle joy. Those tiny cases distract her from her grief, and the one impossible question she knows she can’t answer: “How did my father die?” Yet on Gilda’s Westside, tiny mysteries end in blood—even the case of a missing white leather glove. Mrs. Copeland, a well-to-do Eastside housewife, hires Gilda to find it before her irascible merchant husband learns it is gone. When Gilda witnesses Mr. Copeland’s murder at a Westside pier, she finds herself sinking into a mire of bootlegging, smuggling, corruption—and an evil too dark to face. All she wants is to find one dainty ladies’ glove. She doesn’t want to know why this merchant was on the wrong side of town—or why he was murdered in cold blood. But as she begins to see the connection between his murder, her father’s death, and the darkness plaguing the Westside, she faces the hard truth: she must save her city or die with it.

May 14th:

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay (Hardcover, 448 pages, published by Berkley Books)
In a chamber overlooking the nighttime waterways of a maritime city, a man looks back on his youth and the people who shaped his life. Danio Cerra's intelligence won him entry to a renowned school even though he was only the son of a tailor. He took service at the court of a ruling count--and soon learned why that man was known as the Beast. Danio's fate changed the moment he saw and recognized Adria Ripoli as she entered the count's chambers one autumn night--intending to kill. Born to power, Adria had chosen, instead of a life of comfort, one of danger--and freedom. Which is how she encounters Danio in a perilous time and place. Vivid figures share the unfolding story. Among them: a healer determined to defy her expected lot; a charming, frivolous son of immense wealth; a powerful religious leader more decadent than devout; and, affecting all these lives and many more, two larger-than-life mercenary commanders, lifelong adversaries, whose rivalry puts a world in the balance. A Brightness Long Ago offers both compelling drama and deeply moving reflections on the nature of memory, the choices we make in life, and the role played by the turning of Fortune's wheel.

Alchemy’s Air (Equal Night Trilogy #3) by Stacey L. Tucker (Paperback, 352 pages, published by SparkPress)
Skylar Southmartin is not the naïve girl she was a short year ago. She’s made some mistakes and learned a few secrets to life, all the while clinging to the faith her mother instilled in her as a child... in herself. And now that she has discovered her life’s purpose within the pages of the ancient Book of Sophia, she knows what she must do: restore a vital memory to the Akashic Library, located deep within the Underworld of Earth. This library is sought after by many who are aware of its existence, for they know the future of human potential rests at its core. Meanwhile, Devlin Grayer has been elected as the 46th President of the United States and his wife, Milicent, is miserable in her new role as First Lady―especially because the Great Mothers have asked Milicent to use her new status to help their cause, and she has no interest in tackling that task.
With the help of friends in the unlikeliest of places, Skylar’s journey reveals the significance of the darkness within all of us, and its potential to save or destroy the most precious part of us all: our soul.

Dragons Suck by Benjamin Gamble (Paperback, 272 pages, published by Permuted Press)
Harkness, a medieval peasant with a millennial’s mindset, is quite happy to sit back and make quips while everyone else does the hard work. His calculated laziness is interrupted when the gods send an ancient and terrible scourge-by-dragonfire upon his village, and he is forced (peer-pressured, really) into trying to save his fiancée from the dragon who has kidnapped her. When Harkness is sent by the village elder to find the one weapon that is capable of killing the beast, his real plan is to go off on his own and use his village’s money to live the high life. This, of course, would require ditching his two companions: Karla, an aspiring troubadour whose passion makes up for her lack of adventuring skills, and Aldric, whose kindheartedness does not make up for his lack of intelligence. Harkness sees this journey as a paid vacation under the pretense of world-saving, but it quickly turns serious when he realizes what’s at stake when he is forced to actually care about something—or at the very least, pretend to.

Mythic Journeys: Retold Myths and Legends edited by Paula Guran (Paperback, 456 pages, published by Night Shade)
Myths and legends are the oldest of stories, part of our collective consciousness, and the source from which all fiction flows. Full of magic, supernatural powers, monsters, heroes, epic journeys, strange worlds, and vast imagination, they are fantasies so compelling we want to believe them true. The authors of fantastic literature create new mythologies, heroes, and monsters. Retelling, reinventing, mixing the old with new insight and meaning. Their stories, like the ancient tales, entertain and often offer readers new ways to interpret and understand the world. Drawn from diverse cultures, modern legends and mythic tales are told in a variety of ways—amiable or acerbic, rollicking or reflective, charming or chilling—as they take us on new journeys along paths both fresh and familiar. This new anthology compiles some of the best modern short mythic retellings and reinvention of legend from award-winning and bestselling authors, acclaimed storytellers, and exciting new talents in a captivating collection. Adventure with us on these Mythic Journeys…

Orange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell (Paperback, 288 pages, published by Random House Large Print Publishing)
Karen Russell's comedic genius and mesmerizing talent for creating outlandish predicaments that uncannily mirror our inner in lives is on full display in these eight exuberant, arrestingly vivid, unforgettable stories. In"Bog Girl," a revelatory story about first love, a young man falls in love with a two thousand year old girl that he's extracted from a mass of peat in a Northern European bog. In "The Prospectors," two opportunistic young women fleeing the depression strike out for new territory, and find themselves fighting for their lives. In the brilliant, hilarious title story, a new mother desperate to ensure her infant's safety strikes a diabolical deal, agreeing to breastfeed the devil in exchange for his protection. The landscape in which these stories unfold is a feral, slippery, purgatorial space, bracketed by the void--yet within it Russell captures the exquisite beauty and tenderness of ordinary life.

Strange Highways by Samwise Didier and Micky Neilson (Hardcover, 184 pages, published by Insight Comics)
Welcome to Texas! Well, the new Texas, that is. After seceding from the oppressive USA, the Lone Star Nation has been reduced to a desolate wasteland full of biker gangs, strip clubs, and run-down towns where justice usually comes in the form of a bullet—and lots of ’em to boot. In this new Texas, the bizarre is commonplace, and every soul on the road has something to hide. Growing up as a freak in a traveling carnival, one might expect to have it rough. But being beaten, shot, hung, and left for dead by the very people who raised you? That’s downright extreme. Unfortunately for his attackers, Jo Jo, the former “Feral Kid,” is very hard to kill. And now he’s out for that most basic of human desires: payback. Traveling the strange highways of this new Texas, Jo Jo comes across an eccentric gallery of freaks and rogues: a young dancer on the run from her depraved father, a messianic head of a biker cult, and a gruesome collection of outcasts, cutthroats, and assassin clowns. Each confrontation brings Jo Jo closer to his ultimate target: the Rambling Man—the sinister ringleader of the dark carnival and the man who wants Jo Jo dead more than anyone. ’Course that’s just fine with Jo Jo, ’cause he feels the exact same way.

The Buying of Lot 37 (Welcome to Night Vale Episodes #3) by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (Paperback, 336 pages, published by Harper Perennial)
In June of 2012, the creators of Welcome to Night Vale began airing twice-monthly podcasts, hoping to be heard by anyone outside their close circles. They never had any idea just how much the podcast would take off, and by the anniversary show a year later, the fanbase had wildly exploded, vaulting the podcast into the #1 spot on iTunes. Since then, its popularity has grown by epic proportions, hitting more than 100 million downloads, and Night Vale has expanded to a successful live multi-cast international touring stage show and two New York Times bestselling novels (Welcome to Night Vale and It Devours!), and a new podcast network Night Vale Presents. Now the second two seasons are available as books, offering a valuable reference guide to past episodes. The Buying of Lot 37 brings Season Three of the podcast to book form. With foreword by recording artist and author Dessa, introductions by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, insightful behind-the-scenes commentary by cast members and supporters, and beautiful illustrations by series artist Jessica Hayworth accompanying each episode, this book is both an entertaining reading experience and an absolute must-have for any fan of the podcast.

The Prophet of the Termite God (Antasy #2) by Clark Thomas Carlton (Paperback, 640 pages, published by HarperCollins Publishers)
Once an outcast, Pleckoo has risen to Prophet-Commander of the Hulkrish army.  But a million warriors and their ghost ants were not enough to defeat his cousin, Anand the Roach Boy, the tamer of night wasps and founder of Bee-Jor. Now Pleckoo is hunted by the army that once revered him. Yet in all his despair, Pleckoo receives prophecies from his termite god, assuring him he will kill Anand to rule the Sand, and establish the One True Religion. And war is not yet over. Now, Anand and Bee-Jor face an eastern threat from the Mad Emperor of the Barley People, intent on retaking stolen lands from a vulnerable and chaotic nation. And on the southern Weedlands, thousands of refugees clamor for food and safety and their own place in Bee-Jor. But the greatest threats to the new country come from within, where an embittered nobility and a disgraced priesthood plot to destroy Anand… then reunite the Lost Country with the Once Great and Holy Slope. Can the boy who worked in the dung heap rise above the turmoil, survive his assassins, and prevent the massacre of millions?

Who’s a Good Boy? (Welcome to Night Vale Episodes #4) by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (Paperback, 304 pages, published by Harper Perennial)
In June of 2012, the creators of Welcome to Night Vale began airing twice-monthly podcasts. Their hopes were that they could reach people outside their close circles. What they didn’t know was that a year after the first show aired, the fanbase had far exceeded their expectations, launching the podcast into the #1 spot on iTunes. Over the years, its popularity has surged by mega proportions, hitting more than 100 million downloads, and Night Vale has expanded to a successful live multi-cast international touring stage show and two New York Times bestselling novels (Welcome to Night Vale and It Devours!), and a new podcast network Night Vale Presents. Now with Who’s a Good Boy? Season Four of the podcast is available in book form, offering a valuable reference guide to past episodes. Featuring a foreword by twitter personality and highly regarded author Jonny Sun, original introductions by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, fascinating behind-the-scenes commentary by cast members and supporters, and gorgeous illustrations by series artist Jessica Hayworth accompanying each episode, this book will thrill fans of the podcast and those new to the amazing universe of Night Vale.

May 21st:

An Illusion of Thieves (Chimera #1) by Cate Glass (Paperback, 352 pages, published by Tor Books)
In Cantagna, being a sorcerer is a death sentence. Romy escapes her hardscrabble upbringing when she becomes courtesan to the Shadow Lord, a revolutionary noble who brings laws and comforts once reserved for the wealthy to all. When her brother, Neri, is caught thieving with the aid of magic, Romy's aristocratic influence is the only thing that can spare his life—and the price is her banishment. Now back in Beggar’s Ring, she has just her wits and her own long-hidden sorcery to help her and Neri survive. But when a plot to overthrow the Shadow Lord and incite civil war is uncovered, only Romy knows how to stop it. To do so, she’ll have to rely on newfound allies—a swordmaster, a silversmith, and her own thieving brother. And they'll need the very thing that could condemn them all: magic.

Gather the Fortunes (Crescent City #2) by Bryan Camp (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Renaissance Raines has found her place among the psychopomps—the guides who lead the souls of the recently departed through the Seven Gates of the Underworld—and done her best to avoid the notice of gods and mortals alike. But when a young boy named Ramses St. Cyr manages to escape his foretold death, Renai finds herself at the center of a deity-thick plot unfolding in New Orleans. Someone helped Ramses slip free of his destined end -- someone willing to risk everything to steal a little slice of power for themselves. Is it one of the storm gods that’s descended on the city? The death god who’s locked the Gates of the Underworld? Or the manipulative sorcerer who also cheated Death?  When she finds the schemer, there’s gonna be all kinds of hell to pay, because there are scarier things than death in the Crescent City. Renaissance Raines is one of them.

Shadowblade by Anna Kashina (Paperback, 432 pages, published by Angry Robot)
Naia dreams of becoming a Jaihar Blademaster, but after assaulting a teacher, her future seems ruined. The timely intervention of a powerful stranger suddenly elevates her into elite Upper Grounds training. She has no idea that the stranger is Dal Gassan, head of the Daljeer Circle. Seventeen years ago he witnessed the massacre of Challimar's court and rescued its sole survivor, a baby girl. Gassan plans to thrust a blade into the machinations of imperial succession: Naia. Disguised as the legendary Princess Xarimet of Challimar, Naia must challenge the imperial family, and win. Naia is no princess, but with her desert-kissed eyes and sword skills she might be close enough...

May 24th:

Mischief and Mayhem (Faerlands Chronicles #1) by S.D. Nicholson (Paperback, 238 pages, published by Koehler Books)
After lying dormant for centuries, a dark presence awakes and invades the realm of the Faers. While malicious forces quietly stir in the southern nation of the Meadows, Ophelia Maplewood, along with her companions from the Woodland Scouts, finds an unexpected human, new strength, and allies in the north. Will their journey bring balance to the homeland and prevent chaos from spreading to the other realms? Only time will tell.

May 28th:

Lent by Jo Walton (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Tor Books)
It’s a miracle that he can see demons, plain as day, and that he can cast them out with the force of his will. It’s a miracle that he’s friends with Pico della Mirandola, the Count of Concordia. It’s a miracle that when Girolamo visits the deathbed of Lorenzo “the Magnificent,” the dying Medici is wreathed in celestial light, a surprise to everyone, Lorenzo included. It’s a miracle that when Charles VIII of France invades northern Italy, Girolamo meets him in the field, and convinces him to not only spare Florence but also protect it. It’s a miracle than whenever Girolamo preaches, crowds swoon. It’s a miracle that, despite the Pope’s determination to bring young Girolamo to heel, he’s still on the loose… and, now, running Florence in all but name. That’s only the beginning. Because Girolamo Savanarola is not who—or what—he thinks he is. He will discover the truth about himself at the most startling possible time. And this will be only the beginning of his many lives.

The Gameshouse (The Gameshouse #1-3) by Claire North (Paperback, 448 pages, published by Orbit)
Everyone has heard of the Gameshouse. But few know all its secrets... It is the place where fortunes can be made and lost through chess, backgammon - every game under the sun. But those whom fortune favors may be invited to compete in the higher league... a league where the games played are of politics and empires, of economics and kings. It is a league where Capture the Castle involves real castles, where hide and seek takes place on the scale of a continent. Among those worthy of competing in the higher league, three unusually talented contestants play for the highest stakes of all... This novel was originally published as three digital-only novellas: The Serpent, The Thief, and The Master.

The Red-Stained Wings (Lotus Kingdoms #2) by Elizabeth Bear (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Tor Books)
The Gage and the Dead Man brought a message from the greatest wizard of Messaline to the ruling queen of Sarathai, one of the Lotus Kingdoms. But the message was a riddle, and the Lotus Kingdoms are at war.

The Stiehl Assassin (The Fall of Shannara #3) by Terry Brooks (Hardcover, 368 pages, published by Random House Publishing Group)
The Skaar have arrived in the Four Lands, determined to stop at nothing less than all-out conquest. They badly need a new home, but peaceful coexistence is not a concept they have ever understood. An advance force under the command of the lovely princess Ajin has already established a foothold, but now the full Skaar army is on the march--and woe betide any who stands in its way. But perhaps the Skaar victory is not quite as much of a foregone conclusion as they all assume. The Druid Drisker Arc has freed both himself and Paranor from their involuntary exile. Drisker's student, Tarsha Kaynin, has been reunited with Dar, chief defender of what is left of the Druid order, and is learning to control her powerful Wishsong magic. If they can only survive Tarsha's brother and the Druid who betrayed Drisker Arc, they might stand a chance of defeating the Skaar. But that is a very big Tarsha's brother now carries the Stiehl--one of the most powerful weapons in all the Four Lands, and is determined to take his revenge on everyone he feels has wronged him.

Time’s Demon (The Islevale Cycle #2) by D. B. Jackson (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Angry Robot)
Fifteen year-old Tobias Doljan Walked back in time to prevent a war, but instead found himself trapped in an adult body, his king murdered and with an infant princess, Sofya, to protect. Now he has been joined by fellow Walker and Spanner, Mara, and together they must find a way to undo the timeline which orphaned the princess and destroyed their future. Arrayed against them are assassins who share their time-traveling powers, but have dark ambitions of their own, and the Tirribin demon, Dro, whose desperate quest for human love and Tobias leads her into alliances which threaten all of Islevale.

• • • •

- Historical Fiction -

May 2nd:

The Heavens by Sandra Newman (Hardcover, 272 pages, published by Granta)
New York, late summer, 2000. A party in a spacious Manhattan apartment, hosted by a wealthy young activist. Dozens of idealistic twenty-somethings have impassioned conversations over takeout dumplings and champagne. The evening shines with the heady optimism of a progressive new millennium. A young man, Ben, meets a young woman, Kate—and they begin to fall in love. From their first meeting, Ben knows Kate is unworldly and fanciful, so at first he isn’t that concerned when she tells him about the recurring dream she’s had since childhood. In the dream, she’s transported to the past, where she lives a second life as Emilia, the mistress of a nobleman in Elizabethan England. But for Kate, the dream becomes increasingly real and compelling until it threatens to overwhelm her life. And soon she’s waking from it to find the world changed—pictures on her wall she doesn’t recognize, new buildings in the neighborhood that have sprung up overnight. As she tries to make sense of what’s happening, Ben worries the woman he’s fallen in love with is losing her grip on reality. Transporting the reader between a richly detailed past and a frighteningly possible future, The Heavens is a powerful reminder of the consequences of our actions, a poignant testament to how the people we love are destined to change, and a masterful exploration of the power of dreams.

May 7th:

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini (Paperback, 608 pages, published by William Morrow)
After Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist Arvid Harnack, she accompanies him to his German homeland, where a promising future awaits. In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding work--but the rise of a malevolent new political faction inexorably changes their fate. As Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party wield violence and lies to seize power, Mildred, Arvid, and their friends resolve to resist. Mildred gathers intelligence for her American contacts, including Martha Dodd, the vivacious and very modern daughter of the US ambassador. Her German friends, aspiring author Greta Kuckoff and literature student Sara Weiss, risk their lives to collect information from journalists, military officers, and officials within the highest levels of the Nazi regime. For years, Mildred's network stealthily fights to bring down the Third Reich from within. But when Nazi radio operatives detect an errant Russian signal, the Harnack resistance cell is exposed, with fatal consequences. Inspired by actual events, Resistance Women is an enthralling, unforgettable story of ordinary people determined to resist the rise of evil, sacrificing their own lives and liberty to fight injustice and defend the oppressed.

Romanov by Nadine Brandes (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Thomas Nelson)
The history books say I died. They don’t know the half of it. Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them... and he’s hunted Romanov before. Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her... That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad... and he’s on the other.

The Daughter’s Tale by Armando Lucas Correa (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Atria Books)
BERLIN, 1939. The dreams that Amanda Sternberg and her husband, Julius, had for their daughters are shattered when the Nazis descend on Berlin, burning down their beloved family bookshop and sending Julius to a concentration camp. Desperate to save her children, Amanda flees toward the south of France, where the widow of an old friend of her husband’s has agreed to take her in. Along the way, a refugee ship headed for Cuba offers another chance at escape and there, at the dock, Amanda is forced to make an impossible choice that will haunt her for the rest of her life. Once in Haute-Vienne, her brief respite is inter­rupted by the arrival of Nazi forces, and Amanda finds herself in a labor camp where she must once again make a heroic sacrifice. NEW YORK, 2015. Eighty-year-old Elise Duval receives a call from a woman bearing messages from a time and country that she forced herself to forget. A French Catholic who arrived in New York after World War II, Elise is shocked to discover that the letters were from her mother, written in German during the war. Despite Elise’s best efforts to stave off her past, seven decades of secrets begin to unravel. Based on true events, The Daughter’s Tale chronicles one of the most harrowing atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis during the war. Heart­breaking and immersive, it is a beautifully crafted family saga of love, survival, and redemption.

The Guest Book by Sarah Blake (Hardcover, 496 pages, published by Flatiron Books)
The Guest Book follows three generations of a powerful American family, a family that “used to run the world”. And when the novel begins in 1935, they still do. Kitty and Ogden Milton appear to have everything—perfect children, good looks, a love everyone envies. But after a tragedy befalls them, Ogden tries to bring Kitty back to life by purchasing an island in Maine. That island, and its house, come to define and burnish the Milton family, year after year after year. And it is there that Kitty issues a refusal that will haunt her till the day she dies. In 1959 a young Jewish man, Len Levy, will get a job in Ogden’s bank and earn the admiration of Ogden and one of his daughters, but the scorn of everyone else. Len’s best friend Reg Pauling has always been the only black man in the room—at Harvard, at work, and finally at the Miltons’ island in Maine. An island that, at the dawn of the 21st century, this last generation doesn’t have the money to keep. When Kitty’s granddaughter hears that she and her cousins might be forced to sell it, and when her husband brings back disturbing evidence about her grandfather’s past, she realizes she is on the verge of finally understanding the silences that seemed to hover just below the surface of her family all her life.

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames (Paperback, 464 pages, published by Ecco)
For Stella Fortuna, death has always been a part of life. Stella’s childhood is full of strange, life-threatening incidents—moments where ordinary situations like cooking eggplant or feeding the pigs inexplicably take lethal turns. Even Stella’s own mother is convinced that her daughter is cursed or haunted. In her rugged Italian village, Stella is considered an oddity—beautiful and smart, insolent and cold. Stella uses her peculiar toughness to protect her slower, plainer baby sister Tina from life’s harshest realities. But she also provokes the ire of her father Antonio: a man who demands subservience from women and whose greatest gift to his family is his absence. When the Fortunas emigrate to America on the cusp of World War II, Stella and Tina must come of age side-by-side in a hostile new world with strict expectations for each of them. Soon Stella learns that her survival is worthless without the one thing her family will deny her at any cost: her independence. In present-day Connecticut, one family member tells this heartrending story, determined to understand the persisting rift between the now-elderly Stella and Tina.

May 14th:

A Bend in the Stars by Rachel Barenbaum (Hardcover, 464 pages, published by Grand Central Publishing)
In Russia, in the summer of 1914, as war with Germany looms and the Czar's army tightens its grip on the local Jewish community, Miri Abramov and her brilliant physicist brother, Vanya, are facing an impossible decision. Since their parents drowned fleeing to America, Miri and Vanya have been raised by their babushka, a famous matchmaker who has taught them to protect themselves at all costs: to fight, to kill if necessary, and always to have an escape plan. But now, with fierce, headstrong Miri on the verge of becoming one of Russia's only female surgeons, and Vanya hoping to solve the final puzzles of Einstein's elusive theory of relativity, can they bear to leave the homeland that has given them so much? Before they have time to make their choice, war is declared and Vanya goes missing, along with Miri's fiancé. Miri braves the firing squad to go looking for them both. As the eclipse that will change history darkens skies across Russia, not only the safety of Miri's own family but the future of science itself hangs in the balance. Grounded in real history -- and inspired by the solar eclipse of 1914 -- A Bend in the Stars offers a heartstopping account of modern science's greatest race amidst the chaos of World War I, and a love story as epic as the railways crossing Russia.

Anna of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait (Six Tudor Queens #4) by Alison Weir (Hardcover, 496 pages, published by Ballantine Books)
Newly widowed and the father of an infant son, Henry VIII realizes he must marry again to insure the royal succession. Now forty-six, overweight and unwell, Henry is soundly rejected by some of Europe’s most eligible princesses, but Anna of Kleve—a small German duchy—is twenty-four and eager to wed. Henry requests Anna’s portrait from his court painter, who enhances her looks, painting her straight-on in order not to emphasize her rather long nose. Henry is entranced by the lovely image, only to be bitterly surprised when Anna arrives in England and he sees her in the flesh. She is pleasant looking, just not the lady that Henry had expected. What follows is a fascinating story of this awkward royal union that had to somehow be terminated tactfully. Alison Weir takes a fresh and surprising look at this remarkable royal marriage by describing it from the point of view of Queen Anna, a young woman with hopes and dreams of her own, alone in a royal court that rejected her from the day she arrived.

May 21st:

Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Delacorte Press)
Nothing bad can happen at the Ritz; inside its gilded walls every woman looks beautiful, every man appears witty. Favored guests like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor walk through its famous doors to be welcomed and pampered by Blanche Auzello and her husband, Claude, the hotel's director. The Auzellos are the mistress and master of the Ritz, allowing the glamour and glitz to take their minds off their troubled marriage, and off the secrets that they keep from their guests--and each other. Until June 1940, when the German army sweeps into Paris, setting up headquarters at the Ritz. Suddenly, with the likes of Hermann Goring moving into suites once occupied by royalty, Blanche and Claude must navigate a terrifying new reality. One that entails even more secrets. One that may destroy the tempestuous marriage between this beautiful, reckless American and her very proper Frenchman. For the falsehoods they tell to survive, and to strike a blow against their Nazi "guests," spin a web of deceit that ensnares everything and everyone they cherish. But one secret is shared between Blanche and Claude alone--the secret that, in the end, threatens to imperil both of their lives, and to bring down the legendary Ritz itself. Based on true events, Mistress of the Ritz is a taut tale of suspense wrapped up in a love story for the ages, the inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.

• • • •

- Literary Fiction -

May 7th:

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Wednesday Books)
Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane's made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time's a ticking, and she needs a change—there's nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She's going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Paperback, 368 pages, published by Penguin Books)
Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When the Richardsons' friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia's. Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.

You, Me, and the Sea by Meg Donohue (Paperback, 368 pages, published by William Morrow Paperbacks)
To find her way, she must abandon everything she loves… As a child, Merrow Shawe believes she is born of the sea: strong, joyous, and wild. Her beloved home is Horseshoe Cliff, a small farm on the coast of Northern California where she spends her days exploring fog-cloaked bluffs, swimming in the cove, and basking in the light of golden sunsets as her father entertains her with fantastical stories. It is an enchanting childhood, but it is not without hardship—the mystery of Merrow’s mother’s death haunts her, as does the increasingly senseless cruelty of her older brother, Bear. Then, like sea glass carried from a distant land, Amir arrives in Merrow’s life. He’s been tossed about from India to New York City and now to Horseshoe Cliff, to stay with her family. Merrow is immediately drawn to his spirit, his passion, and his resilience in the face of Bear’s viciousness. Together they embrace their love of the sea, and their growing love for each other. But the ocean holds secrets in its darkest depths. When tragedy strikes, Merrow is forced to question whether Amir is really the person she believed him to be. In order to escape the danger she finds herself in and find her own path forward, she must let go of the only home she’s ever known, and the only boy she’s ever loved...

May 14th:

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips (Paperback, 486 pages, published by Random House Large Print Publishing)
One August afternoon, on the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula at the northeastern tip of Russia, two girls--sisters, ages eight and eleven--go missing. The police investigation that follows turns up nothing. In the girls' tightly-woven community, everyone must grapple with the loss. But the fear and danger of their disappearance is felt most profoundly among the women of this isolated place. Taking us one chapter per month across a year on Kamchatka, this powerful novel connects the lives of characters changed by the sisters' abduction: a witness, a neighbor, a detective, a mother. Theirs is an ethnically diverse population in which racial tensions simmer, and so-called "natives" are often suspected of the worst. As the story radiates from the peninsula's capital city to its rural north, we are brought to places of astonishing beauty: densely wooded forests, open expanses of tundra, soaring volcanoes, and glassy seas. Disappearing Earth is a multifaceted story of the intimate lives of women--their vulnerabilities and perils, their desires and dreams. It speaks to the complex yet enduring bonds of community as it offers startlingly vivid portraits of people reaching out to one another and, sometimes, reaching back to save each other. Gripping and tender, evoking with seamless authenticity an extraordinary place on the other side of the world, this thrilling novel with a haunting suspense at its center announces a profoundly gifted writer.

Home Remedies by Xuan Juliana Wang (Hardcover, 256 pages, published by Hogarth)
In twelve stunning stories of love, family, and identity, Xuan Juliana Wang’s debut collection captures the unheard voices of an emerging generation. Young, reckless, and catapulted toward uncertain futures, here is the new face of Chinese youth on a quest for every kind of freedom. From a crowded apartment on Mott Street, where an immigrant family raises its first real Americans, to a pair of divers at the Beijing Olympics poised at the edge of success and self-discovery, Wang’s unforgettable characters – with their unusual careers, unconventional sex lives and fantastical technologies – share the bold hope that, no matter where they’ve come from, their lives too can be extraordinary.

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Push)
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents' rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school. But Ben's attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan's friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life. At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.

Lanny by Max Porter (Hardcover, 224 pages, published by Graywolf Press)
There’s a village sixty miles outside London. It’s no different from many other villages in England: one pub, one church, red-brick cottages, council cottages and a few bigger houses dotted about. Voices rise up, as they might do anywhere, speaking of loving and needing and working and dying and walking the dogs. This village belongs to the people who live in it and to the people who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present. But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort, a figure schoolchildren used to draw green and leafy, choked by tendrils growing out of his mouth. Dead Papa Toothwort is awake. He is listening to this twenty-first-century village, to his English symphony. He is listening, intently, for a mischievous, enchanting boy whose parents have recently made the village their home. Lanny.

May 28th:

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane (Hardcover, 400 pages, published by Scribner)
A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, and the power of forgiveness. Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope are two NYPD rookies assigned to the same Bronx precinct in 1973. They aren’t close friends on the job, but end up living next door to each other outside the city. What goes on behind closed doors in both houses—the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the stunning events to come. Ask Again, Yes by award-winning author Mary Beth Keane, is a beautifully moving exploration of the friendship and love that blossoms between Francis’s youngest daughter, Kate, and Brian’s son, Peter, who are born six months apart. In the spring of Kate and Peter’s eighth grade year a violent event divides the neighbors, the Stanhopes are forced to move away, and the children are forbidden to have any further contact. But Kate and Peter find a way back to each other, and their relationship is tested by the echoes from their past. Ask Again, Yes reveals how the events of childhood look different when reexamined from the distance of adulthood—villains lose their menace, and those who appeared innocent seem less so. Kate and Peter’s love story is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.

• • • •

- Young Adult -

May 7th:

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Paperback, 480 pages, published by Allen & Unwin)
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch… A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm. A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates. A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder. An alien warrior with anger management issues. A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering. And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy. Nobody panic.

Broken Throne (Red Queen #4.5) by Victoria Aveyard (Paperback, 480 pages, published by HarperTeen)
The perfect addition to the #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen series, this gorgeously designed package features three brand-new novellas, two previously published novellas, Steel Scars and Queen Song, and never-before-seen maps, flags, bonus scenes, journal entries, and much more exclusive content. Fans will be delighted to catch up with beloved characters after the drama of War Storm and be excited to hear from brand-new voices as well. This stunning collection is not to be missed!

Dark Shores (Dark Shores #1) by Danielle L. Jensen (Hardcover, 368 pages, published by Tor Teen)
In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West. Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences. Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world. When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber (Hardcover, 496 pages, published by Flatiron Books)
Welcome, welcome to Caraval...all games must come to an end. It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne. Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all. Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win...and those who will lose everything...

Nexus (The Androma Saga #2) by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings (Hardcover, 544 pages, published by Harlequin TEEN)
Her ship is gone, her crew is captured and notorious mercenary Androma Racella is no longer the powerful Bloody Baroness, but a fugitive ruthlessly hunted across the Mirabel Galaxy. The bloodthirsty Queen Nor now rules most of the galaxy through a mind-control toxin and she’ll stop at nothing to destroy her most hated adversary. Andi will risk anything, even her precious freedom, to find a cure. Stranded with her unlikely ally, Dex, on the unforgiving ice planet of Solera, their plan to infiltrate a black-market city proves dangerously irresistible. Back in Arcardius, Nor’s actions have opened Mirabel to invasion. As Andi’s crew fights to regain their freedom, Andi and Dex discover a threat far greater than anything they’ve faced before. Only by saving their mortal enemy can the crew of the Marauder make one last desperate strike to save the galaxy—unaware that a shattering, centuries-old secret may demand the most wrenching sacrifice of all.

Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic #1) by Maya Motayne (Hardcover, 300 pages, published by Hodder & Stoughton)
To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks. As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever. After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic. But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

Splintered (Spliced #2) by Jon McGoran (Hardcover, 368 pages, published by Holiday House)
All Jimi wants is pick up the pieces of her life and move on. She never intended to uncover a conspiracy, or become a hero for chimera rights-- she just wanted to protect her best friend, Del. But now she's a public figure, and she can't quite shake the spotlight... or her suspicion that she's being followed. Still, when a strange chimera shows up, half-dead with nothing but an odd hospital bracelet to identify him, of course Jimi tries to help. But everything goes wrong-- and her friend Dr. Guzman is arrested for murder. Desperate to prove his innocence, Jimi does some digging, and discovers that the sick chimera came from a hospital owned by Howard Wells... The businessman who pioneered the Genetic Heritage Act, which sought to label all chimeras as inhuman, and undeserving of basic rights. Has he really had a change of heart? Teaming up with her chimera friends Rex and Claudia, Jimi sets out to investigate Wells' hospital-- but discovers the seemingly-charitable endeavor is hiding an extensive, dark secret. To save lives and shut down a criminal operation, Jimi and her friends will have to risk everything-- and incur the wrath of Howard Wells himself.

The Rule of Many (The Rule of One #2) by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders (Paperback, 352 pages, published by Skyscape)
Twins Ava and Mira Goodwin defy the Rule of One simply by existing. The single-child law, ruthlessly enforced by Texas’s Governor Roth, has made the sisters famous fugitives and inspirations for the resurgent rebellion known as the Common. But the relentless governor and his implacable Texas State Guard threaten that fragile hope, as Roth consolidates his power in a bid for ultimate authority. As Ava and Mira relinquish the relative safety of their Canadian haven to stand against Roth, new allies arise: Owen, a gifted young programmer, impulsively abandons his comfortable life in a moment of compassion, while Zee, an abused labor camp escapee, finds new purpose in resistance. The four will converge on Dallas for a reckoning with Roth, with nothing less than their destinies—and the promise of a future free from oppression—on the line. Disobedience means death. But a life worth living demands rebellion.

May 14th:

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad (Hardcover, 416 pages, published by Scholastic Press)
Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population -- except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar. But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.

The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Candlewick Press)
Danny didn't know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms like queer and witch like they're ordinary and everyday, though they feel like an earthquake to Danny. But Danny didn't just find the Grays. They cast a spell that calls her halfway across the country, because she has something they need: she can bring back Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, missing since the summer night she wandered into the woods alone. But before Danny can find Imogen, she finds a dead boy with a redwood branch through his heart. Something is very wrong amid the trees and fog of the Lost Coast, and whatever it is, it can kill. Lush, eerie, and imaginative, Amy Rose Capetta's tale overflows with the perils and power of discovery — and what it means to find your home, yourself, and your way forward.

The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina (Hardcover, 224 pages, published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Nothing's been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died. Her dad is drowning in grief. He's also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she's got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he is still alive, that there is a life after Beth that is still worth living. Who is Isobel Catching, and why is she able to see Beth, too? What is her connection to the crime Beth's father has been sent to investigate--a gruesome fire at a home for troubled youth that left an unidentifiable body behind? What happened to the people who haven't been seen since the fire? As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another...

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal (Hardcover, 480 pages, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
People lived because she killed. People died because he lived. Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be. War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine. Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

May 21st:

Armadron (The Otherworld Series #1) by Corey Tate (Paperback, 272 pages, published by Illumify Media Global)
For weeks fifteen-year-old Scott Farranger has been experiencing seizures that seem linked to impossible events—exploding fire hydrants, the earth moving underfoot like a giant snake, even being able to create and control a body of floating water. Nothing makes sense, until Scott is sucked into a wormhole and lands on the planet Armadron. As he painfully discovers, a Higher Being from the Chaos Dimension is creating a malicious hybrid species using spliced DNA, stolen spinal fluid, and bone matter from his captives—and no one is sure why. Scott doesn’t care why. He just knows that this psychopath is gunning for Earth next, and that Scott's family, the girl he's probably in love with, and humanity as he knows it hangs in the balance. Scott falls in with a secretive group of young people with their own supernatural abilities, and the battle to save Armadron—and Earth—begins. The good news is that Scott’s powers are getting stronger every day. The bad news is that the archenemy of Armadron still holds one last terrifying secret.

Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Viking Books for Young Readers)
For seventeen-year-old Opal Hopper, code is magic. She builds entire worlds from scratch: Mars craters, shimmering lakes, any virtual experience her heart desires. But she can't code her dad back into her life. When he disappeared after her tenth birthday, leaving only a cryptic note, Opal tried desperately to find him. And when he never turned up, she enrolled at a boarding school for technical prodigies and tried to forget. Until now. Because WAVE, the world's biggest virtual reality platform, has announced a contest where the winner gets to meet its billionaire founder. The same billionaire who worked closely with Opal's dad. The one she always believed might know where he went. The one who maybe even murdered him. What begins as a small data hack to win the contest spirals out of control when Opal goes viral, digging her deeper into a hole of lies, hacks, and manipulation. How far will Opal go for the answers--or is it the attention--she's wanted for years?

Kingsbane (Empirium #2) by Claire Legrand (Paperback, 576 pages, published by Sourcebooks)
Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist. Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity's long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana's power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother's power, or rejecting it forever.

The Bone Charmer (Bone Charmer #1) by Breeana Shields (Hardcover, 400 pages, published by Page Street Kids)
In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother. On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence. Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.

The Exalted (The Diminished #2) by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Inkyard Press)
Since the founding of the Empire, Alskad has been ruled by the singleborn…but the new heir to the throne carries a secret that will change everything. When an assassin’s bullet takes the life of Queen Runa and allows an impostor to steal the throne, Bo Trousillion is forced to flee the empire that is his birthright. With few choices left and burdened with a secret that could disinherit him, Bo pursues an alliance with Noriava, the Queen of Denor, but the devious royal ensnares him in a trap and demands a huge price for her aid. To the south, Vi Abernathy—Bo’s secret twin—joins a ragtag army of resistance fighters, determined to free Alskad and the colony of Ilor from the control of the corrupt temple and its leaders. But as Vi discovers a strength she never knew she had and prepares to rejoin her brother in Alskad, news of the coup and Bo’s narrow escape arrive in Ilor. Determined to rescue Bo, Vi sails to Denor with the rebels at her side and a plan to outwit Queen Noriava, knowing there’s only one way she and Bo will be able to save the Alskad Empire—together.

May 28th:

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Henry Holt and Co.)
Welcome to the Kingdom... where 'Happily Ever After' isn't just a promise, but a rule. Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom(TM) is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species--formerly extinct--roam free. Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful "princesses" engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time... love. But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana's memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty--and what it truly means to be human.

The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos (Hardcover, 368 pages, published by Balzer + Bray)
Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories seem no more real to Ruby than folktales, except for the smallest bit of power left in their blood: when each of them comes of age, she will have a vision of who she will be when she dies—a destiny as inescapable as it is inevitable. Ruby is no exception, and neither is her mother, although she ran from her fate years ago, abandoning Ruby and her sisters. It’s a fool’s errand, because they all know the truth: there is no escaping one’s Time. Until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away, and, for the first time, a Chernyavsky’s death does not match her vision. Suddenly, things Ruby never thought she’d be allowed to hope for—life, love, time—seem possible. But as she and her cousin Cece begin to dig into the family’s history to find out whether they, too, can change their fates, they learn that nothing comes without a cost. Especially not hope.

These Witches Don't Burn (These Witches Don't Burn #1) by Isabel Sterling (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Razorbill)
Hannah's a witch, but not the kind you're thinking of. She's the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she's ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly By Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans. But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah's concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah's sure it's the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica. While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she's going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem's witches become deadlier by the day.

(sources:, 1 2 3,
Barnes&Noble 1 2 3, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8, 1 2 3 4 5 6)