Feb 26, 2020

 

Book Review - MAGI: Commencement, Magi Quintet #1 (by D.M. Borne)


Title:
MAGI: Commencement
Series: Magi Quintet (book #1)
Author: D.M. Borne
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Aurora Book Company
Release Date: March 19th, 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 346




"Would you save a life if all you had to do was Believe?
In 'the realm', Belief is a requirement.
Belief is powerful, and Belief is dangerous.
Simply put, Belief is everything.
Belief is also the driving force in this magical young adult novel: MAGI: Commencement.


When fourteen year old Louisiana native Rowan Dupard falls into 'the realm', he learns that he is a member of the magi community. In this new world, Rowan faces many challenges. However, his greatest challenge is learning to believe in himself."



MAGI: Commencement (Magi Quintet #1)
(click to read an excerpt on amazon.com)


- Review -
What Made Me Read It
I was sent a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The synopsis sent by the author sounded interesting: a teenage boy who discovers he belongs to a community of people with magical abilities, where belief is the key to make it all happen.
 

The Plot
Rowan Dupard is a 14-year-old boy who just wanted to enjoy a fishing trip with his father in the Saint Malo Bayou river. Having his younger brother Nathaniel tag along was bad enough, but when he falls into the river after seeing a shimmering light in the water things just get a lot worse.
 

Rowan suddenly finds himself in the realm, unwillingly admitted to Camp Tituba where young migi learn to develop their magical skills. Rowan never thought magic was real, but for the next 13 weeks of summer he and his new group of friends - Rashi, Zinnia, Ikki and Tempest - will learn to mine their core stones, care for their paired seahorses and study fascinating courses that one day will turn them into fully-fledged magi.
 

But Camp Tituba proves to be an even bigger challenge. As an assimilator, a rare breed of magi incapable of producing their own magic who must assimilate other magi's powers instead, Rowan is treated with suspicion and distrust by Baba, the intimidating director of the Realm Security Service, and the other students. And when a rogue magus breaches the camp with the intention of capturing Rowan, being careful not to touch his fellow students and bonding with his fearsome temperamental seahorse Ceffyl Dwr become the least of Rowan's problems.
 

The Good
"Magi: Commencement" is the first book in a 5 volumes young adult fantasy series. Set in modern days in the realm, a magical district of virgin forests and canyons in the United States that only magi (magicians) can access, it follows the journey of a 14-year-old Luisiana boy through his first year at Camp Tituba, a summer camp where young migi learn to develop their magical skills.
 

Fast-paced, with vivid descriptions of all the elements that make up this imaginary world, an engaging mystery and an unexpected plot twist, the book explores Rowan's 1st academic course at Tituba Camp as the teenage boy learns of his abilities, meets new friends (human and magical alike) and confronts a dangerous rogue magus. The world building is incredibly complex and wildly imaginative: the 5 core families (Collier, Horticulturist, Mariner, Physicist and Esoteric) with unique magical skills and specific core stones; Wolo, the favorite water sport of the magi community; moving trees and magical creatures the size of horses; bonding with seahorses and syncing with core stones; the natural beauty of the realm; a Great Tipi that is bigger on the inside than the outside; rucksacks that always provide what a young migus most needs; the tainted power of the assimilators... few authors manage to find a good balance between giving just the right amount of background information and drop an info dump on the readers, but D.M.Borne nailed it successfully and we get to explore and know this immensely rich world in a matter that feels natural - the right amount of info delivered in the right place by the right character.
 

The characters, from the young students to the adult counselors and regents of the magi camp, are 3-dimensional and complex, with realistic behaviors and believable motivations: Rowan, who must learn to believe in himself and take his rightful place in the realm, despite all the mistrust his magical core elicits; Ikki, a young migus ostracized for his unstable magic that caused his core to separate from his body and manifest in the form of a familiar (a raccoon dog named Tanuki), who finds himself accepted and welcomed by his new friends; Magus Bell, a wild rambunctious bus driver a little on the crazy side, with an inert magical core; Baba, the intimidating director of  the Realm Security Service, hard as marble and terrifying but just and loyal...
 

"Magi: Commencement" feels like Harry Potter in Native America, sharing many similarities with the latter, but with enough differences to be a fresh and unique world that fully stands on its own. If you've read and enjoyed the Harry Potter books you will surely love the Magi series; if it's your first time in a magical school, then this will be an excellent opportunity to visit a world that is incredibly complex, wildly imaginative and very compelling, you will want to join the magi community of the realm at Camp Tituba... as long as you keep away from temperamental giant seahorses and wear enough bug repellent to keep those horseflies (the size of an actual horse) at bay.
 

Final Rating
"Magi: Commencement" is the first book in a 5 volumes young adult fantasy series, set in modern days in a concealed magical district of virgin forests and canyons in the United States, with a fast-paced plot, vivid descriptions, an engaging mystery and an unexpected plot twist. Recommended for those who enjoy fantasy stories with magical elements in a school setting.

• • • •



- About the Author -
Website: www.facebook.com/D.M.Borne
Twitter: @MagiQuintet
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mystery & Thriller
 

D. M. Borne is a Louisiana native who was raised in the town of Vacherie, LA. After graduating from high school, D.M. found education to be a great motive for travel and earned degrees in Oklahoma and Maryland. D. M. then returned to Louisiana to pursue a writing career.
(source: MAGI: Commencement)


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Feb 17, 2020

 

Book Review - Requiem, Changing Times (by R.J. Parker)

Title: Requiem, Changing Times
Series: -
Author: R.J. Parker
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Olympia Publishers
Release Date: September 26th, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
Pages: 450
 



"Clint and Corbin are having a weird day. Best friends for life, things are getting a little strange around their town, and at school. When they're followed by a strange man looking for Clint and later attacked by an imp, it makes sense to retreat to the safety of home. But when strangers from another world, Banks and O'Neil, arrive with their medley of allies, things get even weirder. Why are they here? What do they want? And what is The Requiem that everyone keeps talking about? As Clint and his friends and family are drawn deeper into a thrilling adventure, only one thing is for sure. They may not be getting out alive. And class with Mrs Christenson will seem like a walk in the park after this."



Requiem, Changing Times
(click to read an excerpt on amazon.com)


- Review -
What Made Me Read It
I was sent a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The synopsis sent by the author sounded interesting: a normal 7th grader just starting junior high who suddenly finds himself in the middle of a conflict between magical beings, while trying to keep the appearance that things are normal to everyone around him.
 

The Plot
Clint Holden is just a normal 7th grader at Holbrook school, getting in trouble with his best friend Corbin and with an uncanny inability to speak in front of his crush Melanie. Until the day he gets chased down by a scary size-shifting red creature determined to kill him. Clint thought the worst of his problems was dealing with a math teacher with an ax to grind and inviting Melanie to the Halloween dance... now Clint has a group of strange people from another world camping at his house, including a dwarf with a Scottish accent who loves Disney movies and gets high on Pepsi and an elf druid who insists on growing trees inside the toilet, while terrifying creatures commanded by a creepy stranger in a dark hood chase him around town.
 

Banks is a Knight of the Salvations Alliance, in a world where humans coexist peacefully with mythical beings, elves and dwarfs, pixies and fairies; a world threatened by the Fury, a coalition of dark creatures who wish to take away freedom of choice and impose their will on everyone. Together with his trusted second in command O'Neil and a small group of skilled warriors, Banks is sent through a magical portal on a secret mission to retrieve the Requiem, a sacred object that could save their world, bringing all who live together, or destroy it. His only lead is an old parchment with a list of names: Clint Holden and his family, whom they must protect from the imps, orcs and trolls sent by the Spell Binder to kill them.
 

The Good
"Requiem, Changing Times" is the first book of a young adult fantasy series set in near future San Francisco. The world is in economic and political turmoil with brewing wars worldwide, forcing starving refugees to migrate. Clint Holden is a young boy just starting junior high, still reeling from his father's death and having trouble relating with his stepfather, a wealthy Nobel Prize scientist researching temporal anomalies and DNA mapping. The story takes place during the course of a single week at Halloween, as Clint's normal life is turned upside down when two different groups of strange beings appear in search of the Requiem, a mysterious object
that could save or destroy a world thought to be in the possession of his stepfather; while one group is set on protecting Clint and his family, the other is just as determined to kill them all.
 

The plot is fast-paced and action-packed with thrilling chase sequences and skirmishes as the Fury army of dark creatures and the Salvations Alliance task force clash with one another, an ongoing mystery surrounding the search for the mysterious Requiem and plenty of quirky humor and brilliant one-liners that had me laughing all the way through. The worldbuilding is imaginative and complex: the Reclamation, a process through which a person who does bad deeds physically transforms into an evil creature, making it all but impossible for anyone to even lie in order to avoid such a terrible fate; bows that shoot arrows made of light; the size-shifting imps who look human but speak in animal sounds; the magical abilities of the Spell Binder capable of freezing a person from the inside out; the druids powers to control nature and heal...
 

The characters are for the most part 3-dimentional, with realistic behaviors and motivations, with the main character Clint being the most developed: a young boy with the normal mischievous nature of a junior high student but also dealing with feelings of anger and resentment towards his stepfather, who must grow beyond his years and learn to value his family when the world around him suddenly proves to be much bigger and dangerous than he thought possible.
 

The Not So Good
There are way too many characters to keep track of. Even though each of Clint's 5 siblings is a unique character, with specific and distinguishable personalities, it took me several chapters before I could remember and differentiate them. Banks' special ops team on the other hand remained a mere list of 7 confusing names for the entire novel, with the exception of his second in command O'Neil.
 

One of the very early chapters feels completely irrelevant, introducing characters and events that have no part or meaning in the main story. There are also a few lose ends and events left unexplained, but since this is the 1st volume in the series it's possible the answers will be provided in future installments.
 

Final Rating
"Requiem, Changing Times" is the first book of a young adult fantasy series set in near future San Francisco, with a fast-paced plot action-packed with thrilling chase sequences, an ongoing mystery and plenty of quirky humor and brilliant one-liners. Recommended for those who enjoy fantasy stories in school settings, with mythical beings (elves, dwarfs, orcs, ogres...) and magical powers.


• • • •


- About the Author -
Website: rjparkerwrights.wixsite.com/mysite
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Thriller
 

Russell Parker was born in Bountiful, Utah. As his father was safety manager he had to move around until his senior year of high school, when he came to Cache Valley, Utah to stay. He married the most wonderful woman in the world and they are the parents of four fantastic kids, with one crazy dog.
 

Russell played all kinds of sports and was an outdoorsman until an accident brought him to writing. A writer since high school, encouragement brought his stories to life.

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Feb 7, 2020

 

Book Review - Araña (by Jennifer R. Povey)


Title: Araña
Series: -
Author: Jennifer R. Povey
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Publisher: Aitune Press
Release Date: December 11th, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
Pages: 286




"The Mars War is years over. Earth lost. And Earth's first starship has gone out into the black. José Marin is crew on the second, a war veteran seeking a place to belong away from a world which has not welcomed him home. But when the Atlantis sends a distress call, the Endeavour must go to their aid, and discover a tangled web that Marin will be drawn into the very heart of. Now he must help find a way to save a world while his own world crumbles..."



Araña
(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. I had read and enjoyed two of the author's previous novels, an urban fantasy and an historical fantasy, and was curious to see how Povey handled the scifi genre.
 

The Plot
José Marin is a Puerto Rican veteran of the Earth-Mars war, a webbed soldier with enhanced strength and conditioned to kill. On the losing side of the war, José finds it hard to adapt to civilian life, as people both resent him for his part in the conflict and fear his enhancements, all too visible and impossible to remove earning him the name araña... spider. To escape the constant threats, José joins the crew of the Endeavour, an exploration spaceship on a mission to find colonizable planets.
 

But what started out as a simple shakedown cruise around the solar system suddenly turns into a search and rescue mission to find the Atlantis, the first exploration ship now lost in the Epsilon Eridani system. An emergency jump through hyperspace sends the Endeavour to an unknown system, where an out of orbit gas giant is destroying the only habitable planet on a race against time to save the Verran from extinction.
 

The Good
"Araña" is a science fiction space opera novel, set in the not too distant future. Humanity has colonized the solar system, with growing tension between the different colonies; Earth is slowly recovering from extreme climate change and, after losing a brutal war with Mars, begins exploring the galaxy looking for viable planets to colonize. When the first exploration starship sends out a distress call and disappears, the Endeavour is sent to investigate, a maiden voyage that turns out to be much more than a simple search and rescue mission.
 

The story is told from the point of view of the main character José Marin, a veteran enhanced soldier who enlists on the Endeavour as a robot mechanic to escape the prejudice of Earth towards his kind. The plot is fast-paced with thrilling sequences and tense moments as the crew encounters different alien races and dangerous situations, but also moments of reflection as José goes through a journey of self-discovery. The worldbuilding is imaginative with 3 distinct alien races with their own physiology and traditions (the predatory Ky'iin, the underground Verran and the herbivore Tyrar), the webbed enhanced soldiers and pilots, the hyperspace jump technology and its effects on a webbed human... The author makes liberal use of pop culture references, specially Star Trek, with Povey delivering her own interpretation of the Prime Directive; the novel explores themes of colonialism, race and gender, xenophobia, personal identity and guilt, war and peace, space exploration, survival instinct and social conditioning.
 

The characters are 3-dimensional, with believable motivations and realistic behaviors. The main character José Marin is the most developed, going through an emotional growth throughout the plot: a veteran from the losing side of a brutal war, plagued with feelings of guilt over the atrocities his enhancements forced him to commit, on the run from his own people's prejudice against his kind he discovers hidden skills that give him a new purpose to his life and help him make peace with himself.
 

The Not So Good
Some plot elements could use a little more development, they are only hinted at and never really explained, leaving us readers in the dark trying to figure out their importance and significance.
 

The political reality of Earth is confusing. We're told the colonies don't get along and the solar system is permanently on the verge of civil war; there seems to be a significant change in political alliances, as expected in a future Earth, but it's only hinted at and not fully described. The author frequently mentions a "Reclaiming movement" but never actually explains what it is, whether it's a political movement, religious or a mix of both, where it started and how far it spread globally, only that it "forced women back into the kitchen" preventing them from pursuing academic education or any position of relevance in society.
 

Also, significant events that are a direct result of Atlantis and Endeavour's actions are only briefly mentioned as occurring in the background (a war that starts and ends just as quickly in just a few chapters), and the rescue efforts to prevent the extinction of the Verran are rushed over and left unfinished.
 

It's the main reason the novel lost one book / star in the final rating.
 

Final Rating
"Araña" is a science fiction space opera novel, set in a not too distant future where Earth is starting to explore the galaxy after losing a devastating war against Mars, with a fast-paced plot and thrilling sequences but also moments of reflection and self-discovery. Recommended for those who enjoy scifi stories about space exploration and first contact with alien races.


• • • •


- About the Author -
Website: www.jenniferrpovey.com
Twitter: @NinjaFingers
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Short Stories, Horror
 

As a fiction writer, Jennifer R. Povey has short fiction credits from a number of magazines including Analog, as well as publishers including Third Flatiron and Flame Tree Publishing. She is currently working on her fifth novel, the fourth book in the Lost Guardians series.
 

As a freelancer, she offers quality, human-readable web content and copy to individuals and businesses at reasonable rates. She also writes articles and guest blog posts on a variety of subjects, but specializes in material related to fiction writing, equestrian activities and travel. She also provides proofreading and basic copy editing services.
 

She also has a number of credits in the RPG industry, having written or co-written supplements for Fat Goblin Games, Rite Publishing, Dark Naga Games, Flaming Crab Games, Avalon Game Company, and others.
 

She also enjoys horseback riding, travel, role-playing games and hanging out with her highly supportive and wonderful husband, Greg.

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Feb 2, 2020

 

New Monthly Book Releases - February 2020



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 February 2020.



- Science Fiction -

February 4th:

Bone Silence (Revenger #3) by Alastair Reynolds (Hardcover, 496 pages, published by Gollancz)
Quoins are accepted currency throughout the thousands of worlds of the Congregation. Ancient, and of unknown origin and purpose, people have traded with them, fought for them, and stolen quoin hordes from booby-trapped caches at risk to life and limb throughout the Thirteen Occupations. Only now it's becoming clear they have another purpose... as do the bankers who've been collecting them. The Occupations themselves are another puzzle. The rise and fall of civilization may have been unevenly spaced across history, but there is also a pattern. Could something be sparking the Occupations - or ending them? And if so, what could it be, lurking far beyond the outermost worlds of the Congregation? The Ness sisters are being hunted for crimes they didn't commit by a fleet whose crimes are worse than their own. If they're to survive, and stay one step ahead of their pursuers - if they're to answer the questions which have plagued them - it's going to require every dirty, piratical trick in the book...


Burn Cycle (Cry Pilot #2) by Joel Dane (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Ace)
An unbeatable enemy. A planet on the brink. And a squad with a taste for revenge. In this incendiary new military science fiction novel, an infantry squad crisscrosses the globe on a search-and-destroy mission against a relentless foe. After cry pilot Maseo Kaytu's white-knuckled victory over the mysterious lampreys at Ayko Base, military command develops new weapons and a new strategy. The updated mission is simple: pinpoint the Hatchery, the “spawn point” of the lampreys, and blast it into a fine powder. Kaytu's battle-tested squad tracks the enemy from remote bases to elegant cities to subterranean caverns, but the lampreys start hitting harder and faster. While the squad is winning battles, Earth is losing the war. When the search for the Hatchery shines a light on Kaytu's insurgent past, he faces a terrible truth. There is no line he won't cross to protect his squad. Then a vicious counterattack teaches him another lesson: you can't save everyone. In the end, all you can do is the job.


Mazes of Power (The Broken Trust #1) by Juliette Wade (Hardcover, 416 pages, published by DAW)
This debut work of sociological science fiction follows a deadly battle for succession, where brother is pitted against brother in a singular chance to win power and influence for their family. The cavern city of Pelismara has stood for a thousand years. The Great Families of the nobility cling to the myths of their golden age while the city's technology wanes. When a fever strikes, and the Eminence dies, seventeen-year-old Tagaret is pushed to represent his Family in the competition for Heir to the Throne. To win would give him the power to rescue his mother from his abusive father, and marry the girl he loves. But the struggle for power distorts everything in this highly stratified society, and the fever is still loose among the inbred, susceptible nobles. Tagaret's sociopathic younger brother, Nekantor, is obsessed with their family's success. Nekantor is willing to exploit Tagaret, his mother, and her new servant Aloran to defeat their opponents. Can he be stopped? Should he be stopped? And will they recognize themselves after the struggle has changed them?


The Firmament of Flame (The Universe After #3) by Drew Williams (Hardcover, 368 pages, published by Tor Books)
For nearly a century, the Justified have been searching for gifted children to help prevent the return of the pulse. Until recently, they thought they were the only ones. Jane Kamali and her telekinetic protg Esa, now seventeen, barely managed to claim victory against a Cyn--a being of pure energy--hell bent on hunting down the gifted. Now they face an army. The Cyn and their followers will stop at nothing to find Esa and the others. No one knows what they want, but Jane, Esa, and their allies in the Justified are determined to find out. Even if they have to go to the ends of the known universe to do it.


The Puzzler's War (The Tarakan Chronicles #2) by Eyal Kless (Paperback, 560 pages, published by Harper Voyager)
The intriguing futuristic dystopian story begun with The Lost Puzzler continues in this expansive speculative science fiction adventure. There is nothing out of the ordinary in waking up... unless you’re dead. Sent on a dangerous mission with little hope of succeeding, the man known as “Twinkle Eyes” has beaten the odds and found the key that could save civilization: Rafik, a teenage boy with the power to unlock the invaluable Tarakan technology that can restart their world. But the world might not be ready for what is unleashed, and now Twinkle Eyes must find a needle in a haystack in order to save himself... and perhaps the world. This time, though, he will not go alone. And while his companions—from the fiery Vincha to the laconic Galinak—have their own motivations, each will be vital in solving the last grand puzzle. One that could bring prosperity and progress to the world or destroy humanity’s last hope for ascension. Now, a lone assassin from another era, two old friends, a dead man, a ruthless rogue mercenary, and a vicious warlord are all hunting for the ultimate prize. But what will happen when the final secret is unlocked, and technology long since buried once again finds its way into the hands of mankind?


The Resisters by Gish Jen (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Knopf Publishing Group)
The time: a not-so-distant future. The place: AutoAmerica. The land: half under water. The Internet--the new face of government--is "Aunt Nettie": a mix of artificial intelligence, surveillance technology, and pesky maxims. The people have been divided, and no one is happy. The angel-fair "Netted" still have jobs and literally occupy the high ground, while the mostly coppertoned "Surplus" live on swampland if they're lucky, on the water if they're not. The story: To a Surplus couple--he was a professor, she's still a lawyer--is born a Blasian girl with a golden arm. At two, Gwen is hurling her stuffed animals from the crib; by ten she can hit whatever target she likes with a baseball; her teens find her playing happily in an underground Surplus league. When AutoAmerica re-enters the Olympics--with a special eye on beating ChinRussia--Gwen attracts interest. Soon she's at Net U, falling in love with her coach and considering "crossing over," even as her mother is challenging the AutoAmerican Way with lawsuits that will prove very dangerous. An astonishing story of an America that seems only too possible, and of a family struggling to maintain its humanity in circumstances that threaten their every value--even their very existence.


Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey (Hardcover, 176 pages, published by Tor.com)
In Upright Women Wanted, award-winning author Sarah Gailey reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity. "That girl's got more wrong notions than a barn owl's got mean looks." Esther is a stowaway. She's hidden herself away in the Librarian's book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her--a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.

February 6th:


Gravity’s Heir by Sara Bond (Paperback, 280 pages, published by Black Rose Writing)
"Legacy is nothing but history, if it doesn't have a future." When her father threw her out, sacrificing his only living daughter for the good of his shipping conglomerate, Lena Lomasky swore she could make it on her own. But now she’s broke and desperate, and pride won’t fuel her spaceship. Her latest job is simple: carry a datastick of state secrets home to her father. The same man who cut her off without a cent. Whatever. She can do this. Pass the whiskey. An ill-timed royal assassination ignites a war and Lena’s crew is blamed. When she thinks to use her cache of state secrets to save them, Lena discovers she’s actually smuggling the only known plans for her father’s invention: a gravity bomb that can vaporize entire cities. Lena must decide: continue on and hope her father can design a defense to save millions of lives, or leverage the plans to save the only people who really matter.


The Last Day by Andrew Hunter Murray (Hardcover, 432 pages, published by Hutchinson)
A WORLD HALF IN DARKNESS. A SECRET SHE MUST BRING TO LIGHT. 2059. The world has stopped turning. One half suffers an endless frozen night; the other, nothing but burning sun. Only in a slim twilit region can life survive. In an isolationist Britain, Ellen Hopper receives a letter from a dying man. It contains a powerful and dangerous secret. One that those in power will kill to conceal...

February 11th:


The Last Best Hope (Star Trek: Picard) by Una McCormack (Paperback, 304 pages, published by Pocket Books/Star Trek)
An original novel based on the new Star Trek TV series! A thrilling novel leading into the new CBS series, Una McCormack's The Last Best Hope introduces you to brand new characters featured in the life of beloved Star Trek captain Jean-Luc Picard-widely considered to be one of the most popular and recognizable characters in all of science fiction.


The Light Years by R.W.W. Greene (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Angry Robot)
The captain of a family-owned starship arranges a marriage for her son in hopes of achieving faster-than-light travel and maybe, just maybe, marital bliss. Before Hisako Saski is even born, her parents make a deal on her behalf. In exchange for a first-class education and a boost out of poverty, Hisako will marry Adem Sadiq, a maintenance engineer and self-styled musician who works the trade lanes aboard his family's sub-light starship, the Hajj. Hisako is not happy when she finds out about the plan. She has little interest in the broken branch of physics the deal requires her to study, and is not keen on the idea of giving up her home and everything she knows to marry a stranger. Sparks fly when Adem and Hisako meet, but their personal issues are overshadowed by the discovery of long-held secrets and a chance at faster-than-light travel.

February 18th:


Bridge 108 by Anne Charnock (Paperback, 204 pages, published by 47North)
Late in the twenty-first century, drought and wildfires prompt an exodus from southern Europe. When twelve-year-old Caleb is separated from his mother during their trek north, he soon falls prey to traffickers. Enslaved in an enclave outside Manchester, the resourceful and determined Caleb never loses hope of bettering himself. After Caleb is befriended by a fellow victim of trafficking, another road opens. Hiding in the woodlands by day, guided by the stars at night, he begins a new journey—to escape to a better life, to meet someone he can trust, and to find his family. For Caleb, only one thing is certain: making his way in the world will be far more difficult than his mother imagined. Told through multiple voices and set against the backdrop of a haunting and frighteningly believable future, Bridge 108 charts the passage of a young boy into adulthood amid oppressive circumstances that are increasingly relevant to our present day.


Gravity of a Distant Sun (Shieldrunner Pirates #3) by R.E. Stearns (Paperback, 432 pages, published by Gallery / Saga Press)
Adda and Iridian have survived the murderous AI that tried to kill them in Barbary Station and an evil megacorporation in Mutiny at Vesta but now they’ll need all of their ingenuity to make it to the end of this epic trilogy. Adda Karpe and Iridian Nassir are on the run—both from the authorities who want to imprison them and the artificial intelligence that want to control their minds. Trapped on a desolate black-market space station on the edge of Jupiter, they’re nearly out of allies—and out of luck. Now, they have one last shot to find a safe haven where they can live together in peace—across the interstellar bridge to another galaxy. Getting onto that mission will take everything they’ve got and more. But on the other side of that bridge lies the life they’ve always dreamed of... if they can survive long enough to reach it.


Light of Impossible Stars (Embers of War #3) by Gareth L. Powell (Paperback, 400 pages, published by Titan Books)
Award-winning author Gareth L. Powell delivers an explosive conclusion to his epic Embers of War trilogy. Low on fuel and hunted by the Fleet of Knives, the sentient warship Trouble Dog follows a series of clues that lead her to the Intrusion--an area of space where reality itself becomes unstable. But with human civilisation crumbling, what difference can one battered old ship have against an invincible armada? Meanwhile, Cordelia Pa and her step-brother eke out their existence salvaging artefacts from an alien city. But when Cordelia starts hearing the city's song in her head, strange things start happening around her. What extraordinary affinity does she have for this abandoned technology, and how can it possibly help the Trouble Dog? Award-winning author Gareth L. Powell delivers an explosive conclusion to his epic Embers of War trilogy.

February 25th:


Finna by Nino Cipri (Paperback, 144 pages, published by Tor.com)
Nino Cipri's Finna is a rambunctious, touching story that blends all the horrors the multiverse has to offer with the everyday awfulness of low-wage work. It explores queer relationships and queer feelings, capitalism and accountability, labor and love, all with a bouncing sense of humor and a commitment to the strange. When an elderly customer at a Swedish big box furniture store -- but not that one -- slips through a portal to another dimension, it's up to two minimum-wage employees to track her across the multiverse and protect their company's bottom line. Multi-dimensional swashbuckling would be hard enough, but those two unfortunate souls broke up a week ago. To find the missing granny, Ava and Jules will brave carnivorous furniture, swarms of identical furniture spokespeople, and the deep resentment simmering between them. Can friendship blossom from the ashes of their relationship? In infinite dimensions, all things are possible.


The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu (Hardcover, 432 pages, published by Gallery / Saga Press)
From award-winning author Ken Liu comes his much anticipated second volume of short stories. Ken Liu is one of the most lauded short story writers of our time. This collection includes a selection of his science fiction and fantasy stories from the last five years—sixteen of his best—plus a new novelette. In addition to these seventeen selections, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories also features an excerpt from book three in the Dandelion Dynasty series, The Veiled Throne.


• • • •


- Fantasy -

February 3rd:


Moontangled (The Harwood Spellbook #2.5) by Stephanie Burgis (Kindle Edition, 71 pages, published by Five Fathoms Press)
Take one ambitious politician and one determined magician with wildly different aims for their next meeting. Add a secret betrothal, a family scandal, and a heaping of dangerous fey magic in an enchanted wood... and watch the sparks fly! For just one moonlit, memorable night, Thornfell College of Magic has flung open its doors, inviting guests from around the nation to an outdoor ball intended to introduce the first-ever class of women magicians to society... but one magician and one invited guest have far more pressing goals of their own for the night. Quietly brilliant Juliana Banks is determined to win back the affections of her secret fiancée, rising politician Caroline Fennell, who has become inexplicably distant. If Juliana needs to use magic to get her stubborn fiancée to pay her attention... well, then, as the top student in her class, she is more than ready to take on that challenge! Unbeknownst to Juliana, though, Caroline plans to nobly sacrifice their betrothal for Juliana's own sake - and no one has ever accused iron-willed Caroline Fennell of being easy to deter from any goal. Their path to mutual happiness may seem tangled beyond repair... but when they enter the fey-ruled woods that border Thornfell College, these two determined women will find all of their plans upended in a night of unexpected and magical possibilities.

February 4th:


A Conjuring of Assassins (Chimera #2) by Cate Glass (Paperback, 480 pages, published by Tor Books)
A Conjuring of Assassins is Cate Glass's second adventure with the Chimera team, a ragtag crew who use their forbidden magic for the good of the kingdom. Romy and her three partners in crime—a sword master, a silversmith, and her thieving brother—have embraced their roles as the Shadow Lord's agents, using their forbidden magic to accomplish tasks his other spies cannot. Now, the Shadow Lord needs them to infiltrate the home of the Mercediaran Ambassador and prevent him from obtaining information that would lead to all-out war with Cantagna's most dangerous enemy. To succeed, they will have to resurrect long-buried secrets, partner with old enemies, and once again rely on the very magics that could get them sentenced to death.


Age of Death (The Legends of the First Empire #5) by Michael J. Sullivan (Kindle Edition, 420 pages, published by Riyria Enterprises LLC)
Winter blankets the land, and more than just hope has died. Prevented from invading the Fhrey homeland by the tower of Avempartha, the western army seeks a way across the Nidwalden River before the fane obtains the secret of dragons. As time runs out for both humanity and the mystic Suri, the only chance for the living rests with the dead. Having made their fateful choice, can a handful of misfits do the impossible, or are they forever lost to an inescapable grave? Do gods truly exist? Is it possible to know the future? And what lies beyond the veil of death? The series chronicles a pivotal point in Elan’s history when humans rise against the Fhrey who they once saw as gods. Set 3,000 years before the Riyria tales, Legends is a standalone fantasy series which is independent of all other Elan stories. That said, if you do read the other books, you’ll see lies revealed and the truth about historical figures unmasked.


Breaking Silence (SERRAted Edge #10) by Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Baen)
When Staci was first shunted off to the backwater town of Silence, Maine to live with her alcoholic mother, she thought her life was over. Silence had none of the amenities a typical teen in the twenty-first century considered essential: no cell service and barely any internet connectivity. But Staci soon learned that Silence was more than a town left behind by progress. The first family of Silence, the Blackthorns, liked the town that way. The Blackthorns were dark elves who fed off the misery of the residence of Silence. But now, all that's changing for the better. With the help of Staci and her friends, the Blackthorns have been all but defeated. Industry is returning to Silence, and Staci's mom is improving with each passing day. There's even a cute new busboy at the diner. But evil dies hard. And Staci, now a mage-in-training, senses that the Blackthorns have not yet given up. The soul of Silence is on the line, and it is up to Staci and her friends to fight back against the encroaching darkness.


Death Knell (The Foundling #3) by Hailey Edwards (Paperback, 320 pages, published by Piatkus)
War burned her. Famine nearly killed her. Now Death is at her heels. After her two worlds clashed apocalyptically, Luce Boudreau needed some time out. But Destiny had other ideas. When bodies begin washing ashore down the Mississippi River, Luce discovers they are part of a gruesome, lethal message. Her final sister, Death, is trying to break through. Every sign is clear: the end is coming, but earth will be destroyed - quite literally - over Luce's dead body, even if that means she'll be battling her own nature. And her coterie will stand with her, though Cole keeps standing one step too goddamn far away. Her mysterious new partner, Adam Wu, on the other hand, seems determined to keep her close at all times. And the more Luce learns about the new world she's part of, the deeper the secrets go. Who - if anyone - can she really trust? As the final pieces of an ancient war come together, Luce's chance to fight back comes sooner than she expected. Death can come at her... she's eager to return the favour.


The Initiate by James L. Cambias (Hardcover, 288 pages, published by Baen)
A SECRET ORDER OF SORCERERS RULES THE WORLD. ONE MAN HAS VOWED TO DESTROY THEM. THE SORCERERS WHO RULE THE WORLD ARE GOING DOWN! The Apkallu are masters of magic. They rule the world from the shadows, using mind control and deadly monsters to eliminate any threat to their power. Sam Arquero lost his family to a demon sent by an Apkallu. He knew that nobody would believe the truth, but now an old man offers Sam the chance to find out who is responsible and bring down the Apkallu forever. Under a new identity, Sam must learn the secrets of magic, infiltrate the Apkallu, and walk a razor’s edge of daring as he attempts to destroy the Apkallu leaders and avoid the supernatural detectives on his trail. But Sam’s greatest challenge perhaps lies within—to avoid becoming like the hated Apkallu himself!


The King of Crows (The Diviners #4) by Libba Bray (Paperback, 560 pages, published by Allen & Unwin)
After the horrifying explosion that claimed one of their own, the Diviners find themselves wanted by the US government, and on the brink of war with the King of Crows. While Memphis and Isaiah run for their lives from the mysterious Shadow Men, Isaiah receives a startling vision of a girl, Sarah Beth Olson, who could shift the balance in their struggle for peace. Sarah Beth says she knows how to stop the King of Crows-but, she will need the Diviners' help to do it. Elsewhere, Jericho has returned after his escape from Jake Marlowe's estate, where he has learned the shocking truth behind the King of Crow's plans. Now, the Diviners must travel to Bountiful, Nebraska, in hopes of joining forces with Sarah Beth and to stop the King of Crows and his army of the dead forever. But as rumors of towns becoming ghost towns and the dead developing unprecedented powers begin to surface, all hope seems to be lost. In this sweeping finale, The Diviners will be forced to confront their greatest fears and learn to rely on one another if they hope to save the nation, and world from catastrophe...


The Queen's Assassin (Queen's Secret #1) by Melissa de la Cruz (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers)
Caledon Holt is the Kingdom of Renovia's deadliest weapon. No one alive can best him in brawn or brains, which is why he's the Guild's most dangerous member and the Queen's one and only assassin. He's also bound to the Queen by an impossible vow--to find the missing Deian Scrolls, the fount of all magical history and knowledge, stolen years ago by a nefarious sect called the Aphrasians. Shadow has been training all her life to follow in the footsteps of her mother and aunts--to become skilled enough to join the ranks of the Guild. Though magic has been forbidden since the Aphrasian uprising, Shadow has been learning to control her powers in secret, hoping that one day she'll become an assassin as feared and revered as Caledon Holt. When a surprise attack brings Shadow and Cal together, they're forced to team up as assassin and apprentice to hunt down a new sinister threat to Renovia. But as Cal and Shadow grow closer, they'll uncover a shocking web of lies and secrets that may destroy everything they hold dear. With war on the horizon and true love at risk, they'll stop at nothing to protect each other and their kingdom in this stunning first novel in the Queen's Secret series.

February 6th:


A Blight of Blackwings (Seven Kennings #2) by Kevin Hearne (Paperback, 512 pages, published by Orbit)
A world-breaking war--an invasion of giant warriors--that inspires a movement to fight back. SOLDIER AND AVENGER - Daryck is from a city that was devastated by the war with the Bone Giants, and now he and a band of warriors seek revenge against the giants for the loved ones they lost. But will vengeance be enough to salve their grief? DREAMER AND LEADER - Hanima is part of a new generation with extraordinary magical talents: She can speak to fantastical animals. But when this gift becomes a threat to the powers-that-be, Hanima becomes the leader of a movement to use this magic to bring power to the people. SISTER AND SEEKER - Koesha is the captain of an all-female crew on a perilous voyage to explore unknown waters. Though Koesha's crew is seeking a path around the globe, Koesha is also looking for her sister, lost at sea two years ago. But what lies beyond the edges of the map is far more dangerous than storms and sea monsters... In this sequel to A Plague of Giants, these characters and more will become the voices of a new generation bringing hope and revolution to a war-torn world.


The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag (Paperback, 496 pages, published by Bantam Press)
There are hundreds, possibly thousands, of sisters Grimm on Earth. You may well be one of them, though you might never know it. You think you’re ordinary. You never suspect that you’re stronger than you seem, braver than you feel or greater than you imagine. But I hope that by the time you finish this tale, you’ll start listening to the whispers that speak of unknown things, the signs that point in unseen directions and the nudges that suggest unimagined possibilities. I hope too that you’ll discover your own magnificence, your own magic... This is the story of four sisters Grimm – daughters born to different mothers on the same day, each born out of bright-white wishing and black-edged desire. They found each other at eight years-old, were separated at thirteen and now, at nearly eighteen, it is imperative that they find each other once again. In thirty-three days they will meet their father in Everwhere. Only then will they discover who they truly are, and what they can truly do. Then they must fight to save their lives and the lives of the ones they love. Three will live, one will die. You’ll have to read on to find out who and why…

February 11th:


A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers (Hardcover, 448 pages, published by Redhook)
A young witch is cursed to relive a doomed love affair through many lifetimes, as both troubled muse and frustrated artist, in this haunting debut novel. In 1895, sixteen-year-old Juliet LaCompte has a passionate, doomed romance with the married Parisian painter Auguste Marchant. When her mother -- a witch -- attempts to cast a curse on Marchant, she unwittingly summons a demon, binding her daughter to both the artist and this supernatural being for all time. Juliet is fated to re-live her affair and die tragically young lifetime after lifetime as the star-crossed lovers reincarnate through history. The demon -- who appears to Juliet in all her reincarnations as a mysterious, handsome, and worldly benefactor -- has been helplessly in love with her since 19th century France, even though she forgets him each time she dies. He falls for her in 1930s Hollywood, in 1970s Los Angeles, and finally in present-day Washington D.C. -- where she begins to develop powers of her own. In this life, she starts to remember her tragic past lives. But this time, she might have the power to break the cycle...


Daughter from the Dark by Marina Dyachenko and Sergey Dyachenko (Hardcover, 304 pages, published by Harper Voyager)
In this extraordinary stand-alone novel, the authors and translator of Vita Nostra—a "dark Harry Potter on steroids with a hefty dose of metaphysics" (award-winning author Aliette de Bodard)—return with a story about creation, music, and companionship filled with their hallmark elements of subtle magic and fantasy. Late one night, fate brings together DJ Aspirin and ten-year-old Alyona. After he tries to save her from imminent danger, she ends up at his apartment. But in the morning sinister doubts set in. Who is Alyona? A young con artist? A plant for a nefarious blackmailer? Or perhaps a long-lost daughter Aspirin never knew existed? Whoever this mysterious girl is, she now refuses to leave. A game of cat-and-mouse has begun. Claiming that she is a musical prodigy, Alyona insists she must play a complicated violin piece to find her brother. Confused and wary, Aspirin knows one thing: he wants her out of his apartment and his life. Yet every attempt to get rid of her is thwarted by an unusual protector: her plush teddy bear that may just transform into a fearsome monster. Alyona tells Aspirin that if he would just allow her do her work, she’ll leave him—and this world. He can then return to the shallow life he led before her. But as outside forces begin to coalesce, threatening to finally separate them, Aspirin makes a startling discovery about himself and this ethereal, eerie child.


Heart of Flames (Crown of Feathers #2) by Nicki Pau Preto (Hardcover, 640 pages, published by Simon Pulse)
Veronyka, Tristan, and Sev must stop the advancing empire from destroying the Phoenix Riders in this fiery sequel to Crown of Feathers. You are a daughter of queens. The world is balanced on the edge of a knife, and war is almost certain between the empire and the Phoenix Riders. Like Nefyra before you, your life will be a trial by fire. Veronyka finally got her wish to join the Riders, but while she’s supposed to be in training, all she really wants to do is fly out to defend the villages of Pyra from the advancing empire. Tristan has been promoted to Master Rider, but he has very different ideas about the best way to protect their people than his father, the commander. Sev has been sent to spy on the empire, but maintaining his cover may force him to fight on the wrong side of the war. And Veronyka’s sister, Val, is determined to regain the empire she lost—even if it means inciting the war herself. Such is your inheritance. A name. A legacy. An empire in ruin. As tensions reach a boiling point, the characters all find themselves drawn together into a fight that will shape the course of the empire—and determine the future of the Phoenix Riders. Each must decide how far they’re willing to go—and what they’re willing to lose in the process. I pray you are able to pass through the flames.


Storm from the East (Glass Alliance #2) by Joanna Hathaway (Hardcover, 496 pages, published by Tor Teen)
War has begun, and the days of Athan’s and Aurelia’s secret, summer romance feel a world away. Led by Athan’s father, the revolutionary Safire have launched a secret assault upon the last royal kingdom in the South, hoping to depose the king and seize a powerful foothold on the continent. Athan proves a star pilot among their ranks, struggling to justify the violence his family has unleashed as he fights his way to the capital—where, unbeknownst to him, Aurelia has lived since the war’s onset. Determined to save the kingdom Athan has been ordered to destroy, she partners with a local journalist to inflame anti-Safire sentiment, all while learning this conflict might be far darker and more complex than she ever imagined. When the two reunite at last, Athan longing to shake the nightmare of combat and Aurelia reeling from the discovery of a long-buried family truth come to light, they’ll find the shadow of war stretches well beyond the battlefield. Each of them longs to rekindle the love they once shared... but each has a secret they’re desperate to hide.


Stormsong (The Kingston Cycle #2) by C.L. Polk (Paperback, 352 pages, published by Tor.com)
Magical cabals, otherworldly avengers, and impossible love affairs conspire to create a book that refuses to be put down. Avia Jessup is a fallen heiress with a press card and a camera, trying to break out of the leisure pages when she's handed the story of a lifetime: a parade of otherworldly invaders materialize outside the palace, right in front of her lens. With them is Grace Hensley, the beautiful scion of the most powerful family in Kingston, and she wants a favor: help her stop a revolution before the execution of her peers dooms the nation to endless, catastrophic storms. Avia's caught between preserving Aeland's safety or revealing a truth that would ignite the fire of revolution—and risk the budding romance between herself and Grace.


The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates #1) by A.K. Larkwood (Hardcover, 464 pages, published by Tor Books)
What if you knew how and when you will die? Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice. But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard's loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power. But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.


The Unwilling by Kelly Braffet (Hardcover, 576 pages, published by MIRA)
A penetrating tale of magic, faith and pride... The Unwilling is the story of Judah, a foundling born with a special gift and raised inside Highfall castle along with Gavin, the son and heir to Lord Elban's vast empire. Judah and Gavin share an unnatural bond that is both the key to her survival... and possibly her undoing. As Gavin is groomed for his future role, Judah comes to realize that she has no real position within the kingdom, in fact, no hope at all of ever traveling beyond its castle walls. Elban - a lord as mighty as he is cruel - has his own plans for her, for all of them. She is a mere pawn to him, and he will stop at nothing to get what he wants. But outside the walls, in the starving, desperate city, a magus, a healer with his own secret power unlike anything Highfall has seen in years, is newly arrived from the provinces. He, too, has plans for the empire, and at the heart of those plans lies Judah... The girl who started life with no name and no history will soon uncover more to her story than she ever imagined. An epic tale of greed and ambition, cruelty and love, this deeply immersive novel is about bowing to traditions and burning them down.

February 18th:


Breath of Gods (The Legacy of the Heavens #3) by Tina LeCount Myers (Hardcover, 460 pages, published by Night Shade)
The overlapping worlds of gods and men collide in the concluding volume of an epic fantasy trilogy set in cold harsh arctic lands. In the Northlands of Davvieana, power rests in the hands of the High Priest of the Order of Believers. But his earthly supremacy is contested. Those few Piijkij that remain continue to honor the oath of the Brethren of Hunters: protect the Olmmoš people from danger. This time, however, it is not the immortal Jápmemeahttun who represent a threat to human freedom, but their own kind. Against insurmountable odds, this small band of dedicated men will use any and all means open to them to bring down the man who betrayed them all. The struggles of men, however, mean little to the immortals beyond the vail in the Song of All. Vanquished, facing a doomed existence, any hope for a future slowly slips away as the best efforts of Dárja and Marnej prove inadequate. When they both fail to safeguard those closest to them, the bond between these two unlikely allies, forged by necessity and emboldened by a tentative passion, may not be enough to overcome the secrets and lies that have shadowed their lives. When betrayal and shame guide the future, the outcome can be treacherous. For both humans and immortals to find their way forward, they must seek out those who offer an unprecedented vision over a quest for power.


Sword of Fire (Deverry #16) by Katharine Kerr (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Daw Books)
This first novel of an epic fantasy trilogy reintroduces readers to the beloved and bestselling world of Deverry, blending magic, politics, and adventure in an unforgettable setting. The bards are the people's voice--and their sword. All over the kingdom of Deverry, the common people are demanding reform of the corrupt law courts. In Aberwyn, the situation catches fire when Gwerbret Ladoic, second in authority only to the High King, allows a bard to starve to death rather than hear their grievances. Guildwoman Alyssa, a student at the local scholars' collegium, and Lady Dovina, the gwerbret's own daughter, know that evidence exists to overthrow the so-called traditional legal system, if they can only get it into the right hands. The powerful lords will kill anyone who threatens their privileges. To retrieve the proof, Alyssa must make a dangerous journey that will either change her life forever--or end it.


The Golden Key by Marian Womack (Paperback, 320 pages, published by Titan Books)
London, 1901. After the death of Queen Victoria the city heaves with the uncanny and the eerie. Séances are held and the dead are called upon from darker realms. Samuel Moncrieff, recovering from a recent tragedy of his own, meets Helena Walton-Cisneros, one of London’s most reputed mediums. But Helena is not what she seems and she’s enlisted by the elusive Lady Matthews to solve a twenty-year-old mystery: the disappearance of her three stepdaughters who vanished without a trace on the Norfolk Fens. But the Fens are a liminal land, where folk tales and dark magic still linger. With locals that speak of devilmen and catatonic children found on the Broads, Helena finds the answer to the mystery leads back to where it started: Samuel Moncrieff.


The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (The Watchmaker of Filigree Street #2) by Natasha Pulley (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Bloomsbury Publishing)
1888. Five years after they met in The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Thaniel Steepleton, an unassuming translator, and Keita Mori, the watchmaker who remembers the future, are traveling to Japan. Thaniel has received an unexpected posting to the British legation in Tokyo, and Mori has business that is taking him to Yokohama. Thaniel's brief is odd: the legation staff have been seeing ghosts, and Thaniel's first task is to find out what's really going on. But while staying with Mori, he starts to experience ghostly happenings himself. For reasons Mori won't--or can't--share, he is frightened. Then he vanishes. Meanwhile, something strange is happening in a frozen labor camp in Northern Japan. Takiko Pepperharrow, an old friend of Mori's, must investigate. As the weather turns bizarrely electrical and ghosts haunt the country from Tokyo to Aokigahara forest, Thaniel grows convinced that it all has something to do with Mori's disappearance--and that Mori may be in serious danger.


The Queen of Raiders (The Nine Realms #2) by Sarah Kozloff (Paperback, 512 pages, published by Tor Books)
The soliders of Oromondo have invaded the Free States, leaving a wake of misery and death. Thalen, a young scholar, survives and gathers a small cadre of guerilla fighters for a one-way mission into the heart of an enemy land. Unconsciously guided by the elemental Spirits of Ennea Mon, Cerulia is drawn to the Land of the Fire Mountains to join Thelan's Raiders, where she will learn the price of war.


The Wolf of Oren-Yaro (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #1) by K.S. Villoso (Paperback, 496 pages, published by Orbit)
A queen of a divided land must unite her people, even if they hate her, even if it means stopping a ruin that she helped create. "I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me." Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves that nearly tore her nation apart. Her upcoming marriage to the son of her father's rival heralds peaceful days to come. But his sudden departure before their reign begins fractures the kingdom beyond repair. Years later, Talyien receives a message, urging her to attend a meeting across the sea. It's meant to be an effort at reconciliation, but an assassination attempt leaves the queen stranded and desperate to survive in a dangerous land. With no idea who she can trust, she's on her own as she struggles to fight her way home.


Twilight of the Gods (Grimnir #2) by Scott Oden (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by St. Martin's Press)
It is the year of Our Lord 1218 and in the land of the Raven-Geats, the Old Ways reach deep. And while the Geats pay a tax to the King in the name of the White Christ, their hearts and souls belong to the gods of Ásgarðr. But no man can serve two masters. Pledging to burn this Norse heresy from the land, famed crusader Konráðr the White leads a host against the Raven-Geats, using torch and sword to bring forth the light of the new religion. But the land of the Raven-Geats has an ancient protector: Grimnir, the last in a long line of monsters left to plague Miðgarðr. And he will stand between the Raven-Geats and their destruction. Aided by an army of berserkers led by their pale queen, Grimnir sparks off an epic struggle –not only against the crusaders, but against the very Gods. For there is something buried beneath the land of the Raven-Geats that Odin wants, something best left undisturbed. Something the blood of the slain, Christian and pagan, will surely awaken.

February 20th:


False Value (Rivers of London #8) by Ben Aaronovitch (Hardcover, 400 pages, published by Gollancz)
Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with émigré Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner’s brand new London start up—the Serious Cybernetics Company. Drawn into the orbit of Old Street’s famous ‘silicon roundabout’, Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians and geekier than he is. Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant’s favourite son. Because Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological—and just as dangerous.

February 25th:


Black Leviathan by Bernd Perplies (Paperback, 336 pages, published by Tor Books)
Melville’s Moby Dick unfolds in a world of dragon hunters in Black Leviathan, an epic revenge fantasy from German award-winning author Bernd Perplies. Beware! A shadow will cover you, larger than that cast by any other dragon of this world. Black as the lightless chasm from whence it was born at the beginning of time. In the coastal city Skargakar, residents make a living from hunting dragons and use them for everything from clothing to food, while airborne ships hunt them in the white expanse of a cloud sea, the Cloudmere. Lian does his part carving the kyrillian crystals that power the ships through the Cloudmere, but when he makes an enemy of a dangerous man, Lian ships out on the next vessel available as a drachenjager, or dragon hunter. He chooses the wrong ship. A fanatic captain, hunts more than just any dragon. His goal is the Firstborn Gargantuan—and Adaron is prepared to sacrifice everything for revenge.


Carved from Stone and Dream (Los Nefilim #5) by T. Frohock (Paperback, 368 pages, published by Harper Voyager)
In this sequel to Where Oblivion Lives, the first entry in the Los Nefilim series set during the Spanish Civil War, a coded notebook containing the identities of Los Nefilim’s spies falls into enemy hands, and Diago is faced with an impossible choice: betray Los Nefilim or save his family. February 1939. Catalonia has fallen. Los Nefilim is in retreat. With the Nationalist forces hard on their heels, the members of Los Nefilim—Spanish Nephilim that possess the power to harness music and light in the supernatural war between the angels and daimons—make a desperate run for the French border. Diago Alvarez, a singular being of angelic and daimonic descent, follows Guillermo and a small group of nefilim through the Pyrenees, where the ice is as treacherous as postwar loyalties—both can kill with a single slip. When a notebook of Los Nefilim’s undercover operatives falls into a traitor’s hands, Diago and Guillermo risk their lives to track it down. As they uncover a pocket realm deep within the Pyrenees, Diago discovers his family is held hostage. Faced with an impossible choice: betray Los Nefilim, or watch his family die, Diago must nurture the daimonic song he has so long denied in order to save those he loves.


Imaginary Numbers (InCryptid #9) by Seanan McGuire (Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages, published by DAW Books)
The ninth book in the fast-paced InCryptid urban fantasy series returns to the mishaps of the Price family, eccentric cryptozoologists who safeguard the world of magical creatures living in secret among humans. Sarah Zellaby has always been in an interesting position. Adopted into the Price family at a young age, she’s never been able to escape the biological reality of her origins: she’s a cuckoo, a telepathic ambush predator closer akin to a parasitic wasp than a human being. Friend, cousin, mathematician; it’s never been enough to dispel the fear that one day, nature will win out over nurture, and everything will change. Maybe that time has finally come. After spending the last several years recuperating in Ohio with her adoptive parents, Sarah is ready to return to the world–and most importantly, to her cousin Artie, with whom she has been head-over-heels in love since childhood. But there are cuckoos everywhere, and when the question of her own survival is weighed against the survival of her family, Sarah’s choices all add up to one inescapable conclusion. This is war. Cuckoo vs. Price, human vs. cryptid… and not all of them are going to walk away.


Master of Sorrows (The Silent Gods #1) by Justin Travis Call (Hardcover, 577 pages, published by Blackstone Publishing)
The Academy of Chaenbalu has stood against magic for centuries. Hidden from the world, acting from the shadows, it trains its students to detect and retrieve magic artifacts, which it jealously guards from the misuse of others. Because magic is dangerous: something that heals can also harm, and a power that aids one person may destroy another. Of the academy's many students, only the most skilled can become Avatars--warrior thieves, capable of infiltrating the most heavily guarded vaults--and only the most determined can be trusted to resist the lure of magic. More than anything, Annev de Breth wants to become one of them.


Soot (Smoke #2) by Dan Vyleta (Hardcover, 560 pages, published by Doubleday Books)
The year is 1909. It has been ten years since Thomas Argyle, Charlie Cooper and Livia Naylor set off a revolution by releasing Smoke upon the world. They were raised to think Smoke was a sign of sin manifested, but learned its suppression was really a means of controlling society. Smoke allowed people to mingle their emotions, to truly connect, and the trio thought that freeing the Smoke would bring down the oppressive power structure and create a fair and open society. But the consequences were far greater than they had imagined, and the world has fractured. Erasmus Renfrew, the avowed enemy of Smoke, is now Lord Protector of what remains of the English state. Charlie and Livia live in Minetowns, an egalitarian workers' community in the north of England which lives by Smoke. Thomas Argyle is in India on a clandestine mission to find out the origins of Smoke, and why the still-powerful Company is mounting an expedition in the Himalayas. Mowgli, the native whose body was used to trigger the tempest that unleashed the Smoke, now calls himself Nils and is a chameleon-like thief living in New York. And Eleanor Renfrew, Erasmus' niece who was the subject of his cruel experiments in suppressing Smoke, is in hiding from her uncle in provincial Canada. What she endured has given her a strange power over Smoke, which she fears as much as her uncle. Believing her uncle's agents have found her, she flees to New York with a theater troupe led by Balthazar Black, an impresario with secrets of his own. There they encounter Nils and a Machiavellian Company man named Smith. All these people seek to discover the true nature of Smoke, and thereby control its power. As their destinies entwine, a cataclysmic confrontation looms, and the Smoke will either bind them together or rend the world.


The Fenmere Job (The Streets of Maradaine #3) by Marshall Ryan Maresca (Paperback, 384 pages, published by DAW Books)
Mixing urban and high fantasy, the third Streets of Maradaine novel follows the crew of outlaws led by the Rynax brothers as they struggle to save Holver Alley from a new threat. An uneasy calm has filled the neighborhood of North Seleth, as the survivors of the Holver Alley fire return to normal, honest lives. But Asti and Verci Rynax and the rest of the Holver Alley Crew know the peace won’t last. Josie Holt, once an ally to the Rynaxes, is now working her own agenda with the mage circle that has moved into the neighborhood. Asti learns that Josie plans to smuggle the drug efhân through North Seleth, which can only mean she is in league with the Fenmere cartel. The Rynax brothers want to wait for the right moment to strike at Josie, but they and the rest of the crew agree that they have to stop the efhân shipment, keep the drugs out of their neighborhood, and stop Fenmere from getting a toehold on the neighborhood. One more problem: The Thorn. The vigilante from Fenmere’s part of town has come to North Seleth, looking to burn Fenmere’s whole empire down to ashes. When the Thorn’s strike collides with the crew’s operation, the delicate peace in the neighborhood crumbles, and an all-out war between mages, gangs, thieves, and the Thorn might fill the streets of Maradaine.


The Last Smile in Sunder City (The Fetch Phillips Archives #1) by Luke Arnold (Paperback, 368 pages, published by Orbit)
A former soldier turned PI tries to help the fantasy creatures whose lives he ruined in a world that's lost its magic in a compelling debut fantasy by Black Sails actor Luke Arnold. Welcome to Sunder City. The magic is gone but the monsters remain. I'm Fetch Phillips, just like it says on the window. There are a few things you should know before you hire me: 1. Sobriety costs extra. 2. My services are confidential. 3. I don't work for humans. It's nothing personal--I'm human myself. But after what happened, to the magic, it's not the humans who need my help. Walk the streets of Sunder City and meet Fetch, his magical clients, and a darkly imagined world perfect for readers of Ben Aaronovitch and Jim Butcher.



• • • •


- Historical Fiction -

February 1st:


In a Field of Blue by Gemma Liviero (Paperback, 414 pages, published by Lake Union Publishing)
England 1922. It’s been four years since Rudy’s brother Edgar went missing in war-torn France. Still deep in mourning and grappling with unanswered questions, Rudy and his mother struggle to move on. When the enigmatic Mariette arrives unexpectedly at the family’s manor claiming to be Edgar’s widow, and the mother of his child, Rudy urges her to stay, hoping she’ll shed light on the missing pieces. Captivated by Mariette, Rudy finds that their mutual loss and grief bind them… as does the possibility of new love. But Mariette’s revelations bring more questions than answers about Edgar’s death. Suspicions threaten to divide Rudy’s already fractured family, setting him on a quest for the truth that takes him from England to France and beyond. In his search, Rudy is forced to confront the tragedies of war and the realities of the brother he’s lost and the woman he’s found. Will the truth set him free to find peace, or will it forever shadow his future?

February 4th:


Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Paperback, 384 pages, published by Ballantine Books)
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band's album Aurora came to define the rock 'n' roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group's split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979... until now. Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock 'n' roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend. The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies.


The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata (Hardcover, 272 pages, published by Hanover Square Press)
The mesmerizing story of a Latin American science fiction writer and the lives her lost manuscript unites decades later in post-Katrina New Orleans. In 1929 in New Orleans, a Dominican immigrant named Adana Moreau writes a science fiction novel. The novel earns rave reviews, and Adana begins a sequel. Then she falls gravely ill. Just before she dies, she destroys the only copy of the manuscript. Decades later in Chicago, Saul Drower is cleaning out his dead grandfather’s home when he discovers a mysterious manuscript written by none other than Adana Moreau. With the help of his friend Javier, Saul tracks down an address for Adana’s son in New Orleans, but as Hurricane Katrina strikes they must head to the storm-ravaged city for answers. What results is a brilliantly layered masterpiece an ode to home, storytelling and the possibility of parallel worlds.


Things in Jars by Jess Kidd (Hardcover, 373 pages, published by Atria Books)
In the dark underbelly of Victorian London, a formidable female sleuth is pulled into the macabre world of fanatical anatomists and crooked surgeons while investigating the kidnapping of an extraordinary child in this gothic mystery. Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery. Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems. Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jars is a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.

February 6th:

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Pan Macmillan)
Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Magnusdatter stands on the craggy coast, watching the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm. Forty fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of the tiny Arctic town of Vardø must fend for themselves. Three years later, a sinister figure arrives. Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. He brings with him his young Norwegian wife, Ursa, who is both heady with her husband's authority and terrified by it. In Vardø, and in Maren, Ursa sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God, and flooded with a mighty evil. As Maren and Ursa are drawn to one another in ways that surprise them both, the island begins to close in on them, with Absalom's iron rule threatening Vardø's very existence. Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1621 witch trials, The Mercies is a story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the edge of civilization.

February 11th:


Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (Hardcover, 448 pages, published by Grove Press)
Shuggie Bain is the unforgettable story of young Hugh "Shuggie" Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in run-down public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatcher's policies have put husbands and sons out of work, and the city's notorious drugs epidemic is waiting in the wings. Shuggie's mother Agnes walks a wayward path: she is Shuggie's guiding light but a burden for him and his siblings. She dreams of a house with its own front door while she flicks through the pages of the Freemans catalogue, ordering a little happiness on credit, anything to brighten up her grey life. Married to a philandering taxi-driver husband, Agnes keeps her pride by looking good--her beehive, make-up, and pearly-white false teeth offer a glamourous image of a Glaswegian Elizabeth Taylor. But under the surface, Agnes finds increasing solace in drink, and she drains away the lion's share of each week's benefits--all the family has to live on--on cans of extra-strong lager hidden in handbags and poured into tea mugs. Agnes's older children find their own ways to get a safe distance from their mother, abandoning Shuggie to care for her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety. Shuggie is meanwhile struggling to somehow become the normal boy he desperately longs to be, but everyone has realized that he is "no right," a boy with a secret that all but him can see. Agnes is supportive of her son, but her addiction has the power to eclipse everyone close to her--even her beloved Shuggie. A heartbreaking story of addiction, sexuality, and love, Shuggie Bain is an epic portrayal of a working-class family that is rarely seen in fiction.


The Illness Lesson by Clare Beams (Hardcover, 288 pages, published by Doubleday Books)
The year is 1871. In Ashwell, Massachusetts, at the farm of Samuel Hood and his daughter Caroline, a mysterious flock of red birds descends. Samuel, whose fame as a philosopher has waned in recent years, takes the birds' appearance as an omen that the time is ripe for his newest venture. He will start a school for young women, guiding their intellectual development as he has so carefully guided his daughter's. Despite Caroline's misgivings, Samuel's vision--revolutionary, as always; noble, as always; full of holes, as always--takes shape.
It's not long before the students begin to manifest bizarre symptoms. Rashes, fits, headaches, verbal tics, night wanderings. In desperation, the school turns to the ministering of a sinister physician--based on a real historic treatment--just as Caroline's body, too, begins its betrayal. As the girls' conditions worsens, long-buried secrets emerge, and Caroline must confront the all-male, all-knowing authorities around her, the ones who insist the voices of the sufferers are unreliable. In order to save herself, Caroline may have to destroy everything she's ever known. Written in intensely vivid prose and brimming with psychological insight, The Illness Lesson is a powerful exploration of women's bodies, women's minds, and the time-honored tradition of doubting both.



The King at the Edge of the World by Arthur Phillips (Hardcover, 288 pages, published by Random House)
The year is 1601. Queen Elizabeth is dying, childless. The nervous kingdom has no heir. It is a capital crime even to think that Elizabeth will ever die. Potential successors secretly maneuver to be in position when the inevitable arrives. The leading candidate is King James VI of Scotland, but there is a problem. The queen's spymasters--hardened veterans of a long war on terror and religious extremism--fear that James is not what he appears. He has every reason to claim he is a Protestant, but if he secretly shares his family's Catholicism, then the last forty years of religious war will have been for nothing, and a bloodbath will ensue. With time running out, London confronts a seemingly impossible question: What does James truly believe? It falls to Geoffrey Belloc, a secret warrior from the hottest days of England's religious battles, to devise a test to discover the true nature of King James's soul. Belloc enlists Mahmoud Ezzedine, a Muslim physician left behind by the last diplomatic visit from the Ottoman Empire, as his undercover agent. The perfect man for the job, Ezzedine is the ultimate outsider, stranded on this cold, wet, and primitive island. He will do almost anything to return home to his wife and son. Arthur Phillips returns with a unique and thrilling novel that will leave readers questioning the nature of truth at every turn.


The Queen's Fortune by Allison Pataki (Hardcover, 448 pages, published by Ballantine Books)
A sweeping novel about the extraordinary woman who captured Napoleon’s heart, created a dynasty, and changed the course of history—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor's Wife, The Accidental Empress, and Sisi. As the French revolution ravages the country, Desiree Clary is faced with the life-altering truth that the world she has known and loved is gone and it’s fallen on her to save her family from the guillotine. A chance encounter with Napoleon Bonaparte, the ambitious and charismatic young military prodigy, provides her answer. When her beloved sister Julie marries his brother Joseph, Desiree and Napoleon’s futures become irrevocably linked. Quickly entering into their own passionate, dizzying courtship that leads to a secret engagement, they vow to meet in the capital once his career has been secured. But her newly laid plans with Napoleon turn to sudden heartbreak, thanks to the rising star of Parisian society, Josephine de Beauharnais. Once again, Desiree’s life is turned on its head. Swept to the glittering halls of the French capital, Desiree is plunged into the inner circle of the new ruling class, becoming further entangled with Napoleon, his family, and the new Empress. But her fortunes shift once again when she meets Napoleon's confidant and star general, the indomitable Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte. As the two men in Desiree’s life become political rivals and military foes, the question that arises is: must she choose between the love of her new husband and the love of her nation and its Emperor? From the lavish estates of the French Riviera to the raucous streets of Paris and Stockholm, Desiree finds herself at the epicenter of the rise and fall of an empire, navigating a constellation of political giants and dangerous, shifting alliances. Emerging from an impressionable girl into a fierce young woman, she discovers that to survive in this world she must learn to rely upon her instincts and her heart. Allison Pataki’s meticulously researched and brilliantly imagined novel sweeps readers into the unbelievable life of a woman almost lost to history—a woman who, despite the swells of a stunning life and a tumultuous time, not only adapts and survives but, ultimately, reigns at the helm of a dynasty that outlasts an empire.


Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Pantheon Books)
From the internationally best-selling author of You Should Have Left, Measuring the World, and F, a transfixing retelling of the German myth of Tyll Ulenspiegel: a story about the devastation of war and a beguiling artist's decision never to die. Daniel Kehlmann masterfully weaves the fates of many historical figures into this enchanting work of magical realism and adventure. This account of the seventeenth-century vagabond performer and trickster Tyll Ulenspiegel begins when he's a scrawny boy growing up in a quiet village. When his father, a miller with a secret interest in alchemy and magic, is found out by the church, Tyll is forced to flee with the baker's daughter, Nele. They find safety and companionship with a traveling performer, who teaches Tyll his trade. And so begins a journey of discovery and performance for Tyll, as he travels through a continent devastated by the Thirty Years' War and encounters along the way a hangman, a fraudulent Jesuit scholar, and the exiled King Frederick and Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia. Tyll displays Kehlmann's remarkable narrative gifts and confirms the power of art in the face of the senseless brutality of history.


• • • •


- Literary Fiction -

February 11th:


And I Do Not Forgive You: Stories and Other Revenges by Amber Sparks (Hardcover, 192 pages, published by Liveright)
In “Mildly Happy, With Moments of Joy,” a friend is ghosted by a simple text message; in “Everyone’s a Winner at Meadow Park,” a teen precariously coming of age in a trailer park befriends an actual ghost. At once humorous and unapologetically fierce, these stories shine an interrogating light on the adage that “history likes to lie about women”— as the subjects of “A Short and Speculative History of Lavoisier’s Wife” and “You Won’t Believe What Really Happened to the Sabine Women” (it’s true, you won’t) will attest. Blending fairy tales and myths with apocalyptic technologies, all tethered intricately by shades of rage, And I Do Not Forgive You offers a mosaic of an all-too-real world that fails to listen to its silenced goddesses.


The Bear by Andrew Krivak (Paperback, 224 pages, published by Bellevue Literary Press)
From National Book Award in Fiction finalist Andrew Krivak comes a gorgeous fable of Earth’s last two human inhabitants and a girl’s journey home. In an Eden-like future, a girl and her father live close to the land in the shadow of a lone mountain. They own a few remnants of civilization: some books, a pane of glass, a set of flint and steel, a comb. The father teaches his daughter how to fish and hunt and the secrets of the seasons and the stars. He is preparing her for an adulthood in harmony with nature, for they are the last of humankind. But when the girl finds herself alone in an unknown landscape, it is a bear that will lead her back home through a vast wilderness that offers the greatest lessons of all, if she can learn to listen. A cautionary tale of human fragility, of love and loss, The Bear is a stunning tribute to the beauty of nature’s dominion.

February 18th:


Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli (Hardcover, 304 pages, published by Razorbill)
Audrey Lee is going to the Olympics. A year ago, she could barely do a push up as she recovered from a spine surgery, one that could have paralyzed her. And now? She's made the United States' gymnastics team with her best friend, Emma, just like they both dreamed about since they were kids. She's on top of the world. The pressure for perfection is higher than ever when horrifying news rips the team apart. Audrey is desperate to advocate for her teammate who has been hurt by the one person they trusted most--but not all the gymnasts are as supportive. With the team on the verge of collapse, the one bright spot in training is Leo, her new coach's ridiculously cute son. And while Audrey probably (okay, definitely) shouldn't date him until after the games, would it really be the end of the world? Balancing the tenuous relationship between her teammates with unparalleled expectations, Audrey doesn't need any more distractions. No matter what it takes, she's not going to let anyone bring them down. But with painful revelations, incredible odds, and the very real possibility of falling at every turn, will Audrey's determination be enough?


Real Life by Brandon Taylor (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Riverhead Books)
A novel of startling intimacy, violence, and mercy among friends in a Midwestern university town, from an electric new voice. A novel of rare emotional power that excavates the social intricacies of a late-summer weekend--and a lifetime of buried pain. Almost everything about Wallace, an introverted African-American transplant from Alabama, is at odds with the lakeside Midwestern university town where he is working toward a biochem degree. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends--some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with a young straight man, conspire to fracture his defenses, while revealing hidden currents of resentment and desire that threaten the equilibrium of their community. Real Life is a gut punch of a novel, a story that asks if it's ever really possible to overcome our private wounds and buried histories--and at what cost.

February 20th:


The Antidote For Everything by Kimmery Martin (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Berkley)
In this whip-smart and timely novel from acclaimed author Kimmery Martin, two doctors travel a surprising path when they must choose between treating their patients and keeping their jobs. Georgia Brown’s profession as a urologist requires her to interact with plenty of naked men, but her romantic prospects have fizzled. The most important person in her life is her friend Jonah Tsukada, a funny, empathetic family medicine doctor who works at the same hospital in Charleston, South Carolina and who has become as close as family to her. Just after Georgia leaves the country for a medical conference, Jonah shares startling news. The hospital is instructing doctors to stop providing medical care for transgender patients. Jonah, a gay man, is the first to be fired when he refuses to abandon his patients. Stunned by the predicament of her closest friend, Georgia’s natural instinct is to fight alongside him. But when her attempts to address the situation result in incalculable harm, both Georgia and Jonah find themselves facing the loss of much more than their careers.

February 25th:


Apeirogon by Colum McCann (Hardcover, 480 pages, published by Random House)
From the National Book Award-winning and bestselling author of Let the Great World Spin comes an epic novel rooted in the real-life friendship between two men united by loss. Colum McCann's most ambitious work to date, Apeirogon--named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides--is a tour de force concerning friendship, love, loss, and belonging. Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their daily lives, from the roads they are allowed to drive on, to the schools their daughters, Abir and Smadar, each attend, to the checkpoints, both physical and emotional, they must negotiate. Their worlds shift irreparably after ten-year-old Abir is killed by a rubber bullet and thirteen-year-old Smadar becomes the victim of suicide bombers. When Bassam and Rami learn of each other's stories, they recognize the loss that connects them and they attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace. McCann crafts Apeirogon out of a universe of fictional and nonfictional material. He crosses centuries and continents, stitching together time, art, history, nature, and politics in a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful. Musical, cinematic, muscular, delicate, and soaring, Apeirogon is a novel for our time.


Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Flatiron Books)
Just because life may be out of order, doesn’t mean it’s broken. It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order… Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met? Oona Out of Order is a remarkably inventive novel that explores what it means to live a life fully in the moment, even if those moments are out of sequence. Surprising, magical, and heart-wrenching, Montimore has crafted an unforgettable story about the burdens of time, the endurance of love, and the power of family.


• • • •


- Young Adult -

February 4th:


All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn Grace (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Imprint)
She will reign. As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic. When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic. But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever. I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.


Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller (Hardcover, 384 pages, published by Sourcebooks Fire)
Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work. Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts. Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives. But when their nation instigates a frivolous war, Emilie and Annette must work together to help the rebellion end a war that is based on lies.


Deathless Divide (Dread Nation #2) by Justina Ireland (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Balzer + Bray)
The sequel to Dread Nation is a journey of revenge and salvation across a divided America. After the fall of Summerland, Jane McKeene hoped her life would get simpler: Get out of town, stay alive, and head west to California to find her mother. But nothing is easy when you're a girl trained in putting down the restless dead, and a devastating loss on the road to a protected village called Nicodermus has Jane questioning everything she thought she knew about surviving in 1880's America. What's more, this safe haven is not what it appears - as Jane discovers when she sees familiar faces from Summerland amid this new society. Caught between mysteries and lies, the undead, and her own inner demons, Jane soon finds herself on a dark path of blood and violence that threatens to consume her. But she won't be in it alone. Katherine Deveraux never expected to be allied with Jane McKeene. But after the hell she has endured, she knows friends are hard to come by - and that Jane needs her, too, whether Jane wants to admit it or not. Watching Jane's back, however, is more than she bargained for, and when they both reach a breaking point, it's up to Katherine to keep hope alive - even as she begins to fear that there is no happily-ever-after for girls like her.


Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy #3) by Laura Sebastian (Hardcover, 512 pages, published by Delacorte Press)
Ember Queen is an epic fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people. Princess Theodosia was a prisoner in her own country for a decade. Renamed the Ash Princess, she endured relentless abuse and ridicule from the Kaiser and his court. But though she wore a crown of ashes, there is fire in Theo's blood. As the rightful heir to the Astrean crown, it runs in her veins. And if she learned nothing else from her mother, she learned that a Queen never cowers. Now free, with a misfit army of rebels to back her, Theo must liberate her enslaved people and face a terrifying new enemy: the new Kaiserin. Imbued with a magic no one understands, the Kaiserin is determined to burn down anyone and everything in her way. The Kaiserin's strange power is growing stronger, and with Prinz Søren as her hostage, there is more at stake than ever. Theo must learn to embrace her own power if she has any hope of standing against the girl she once called her heart's sister.


King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender (Hardcover, 272 pages, published by Scholastic Press)
Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family. It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. "You don't want anyone to think you're gay too, do you?" But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King's friendship with Sandy is reignited, he's forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother's death.

Scammed (Vale Hall #2) by Kristen Simmons (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Tor Teen)
Brynn Hilder is living a life she never dreamed possible: She lives in a mansion, getting a top-rate education at Vale Hall. She has friends and an almost-boyfriend. Anything she wants, she can have. The only catch? To stay in this life, she has to help the director of Vale Hall take down the bad guys of Sikawa City by collecting secrets and running cons. Getting everything she wants and fighting evil doesn’t seem like such a bad deal. The thing is, she’s not so convinced anymore that Dr. Odin is really going after bad people after all. And the friends and almost-boyfriend that have made her life so different are all liars and con artists—so can she trust that any of it is real? The stakes are higher. The cons are riskier. And nothing is what you think it is.


Straight On Till Morning (Twisted Tale #8) by Liz Braswell (Hardcover, 496 pages, published by Disney Press)
What if Wendy first traveled to Neverland… with Captain Hook? Sixteen-year-old Wendy Darling's life is not what she imagined it would be. The doldrums of an empty house after her brothers have gone to school, the dull parties where everyone thinks she talks too much, and the fact that her parents have decided to send her away to Ireland as a governess-it all makes her wish things could be different. Wendy's only real escape is in writing down tales of Never Land. After nearly meeting her hero, Peter Pan, four years earlier, she still holds on to the childhood hope that his magical home truly exists. She also holds on to his shadow. So when an opportunity to travel to Never Land via pirate ship presents itself, Wendy makes a deal with the devil. But Never Land isn't quite the place she imagined it would be. Unexpected dangers and strange foes pop up at every turn, and a little pixie named Tinker Bell seems less than willing to help. But when Captain Hook reveals some rather permanent and evil plans for Never Land, it's up to the two of them to save Peter Pan-and his world.


The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Bloomsbury YA)
As a successful social media journalist with half a million followers, seventeen-year-old Cal is used to sharing his life online. But when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicized NASA mission to Mars, Cal and his family relocate from Brooklyn to Houston and are thrust into a media circus. Amidst the chaos, Cal meets sensitive and mysterious Leon, another “Astrokid,” and finds himself falling head over heels—fast. As the frenzy around the mission grows, so does their connection. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him. Expertly capturing the thrill of first love and the self-doubt all teens feel, debut author Phil Stamper is a new talent to watch.

February 6th:


Are You Watching by Vincent Ralph (Paperback, 371 pages, published by Penguin)
Ten years ago, Jess's mother was murdered by the Magpie Man.
She was the first of his victims but not the last. Now Jess is the star of a YouTube reality series and she's using it to catch the killer once and for all. The whole world is watching her every move. And so is the Magpie Man.



Cloak of Night (Circle of Shadows #2) by Evelyn Skye (Hardcover, 416 pages, published by Balzer + Bray)
After the devastating Ceremony of Two Hundred Hearts, Sora, Daemon, Fairy, and Broomstick are truly alone in the fight to save their kingdom. Empress Aki is missing, and everyone else who could help them is a prisoner to Prince Gin’s mind control. At least Sora understands what they’re up against. Or so she believes, until she overhears Gin bargaining with the god of war for immortality and learns that ryuu magic may be a more insidious danger than she realized. Suddenly, the stakes are higher and even more personal for Sora—not only must she stop a seemingly indestructible Prince Gin, but she must also unravel the secrets of ryuu magic before it is too late for nearly everyone she loves. Sora Daemon, Fairy, and Broomstick face dangerous obstacles at every turn, but the greatest challenge may be discovering who they truly are and what, if anything, they are capable of.  The fate of a kingdom rests in their hands. Full of dangerous action, heartbreaking romance, and incredible magic—Cloak of Night is the exciting end to this thrilling duology.


Diary of a Confused Feminist by Kate Weston (Paperback, 384 pages, published by Hodder Children's Books)
Kat wants to do GOOD FEMINISM, although she's not always sure what that means. She also wants to be a writer, get together with Hot Josh (is this a feminist ambition?), win at her coursework and not make a TOTAL EMBARRASSMENT of herself at all times. But the path to true feminism is filled with mortifying incidents and when everything at school starts to get a bit too much, Kat knows she's lost her way, and the only way forward is to ask for help... Join Kat AKA the Confused Feminist as she navigates EVERYTHING from menstrual cups and mental health to Instagram likes and #TimesUp in her HILARIOUS, OUTRAGEOUS and VERY EMBARRASSING diary.


Honor Lost (The Honors #3) by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre (Hardcover, 448 pages, published by Katherine Tegen Books)
Space renegade Zara Cole may have finally met her match. Lifekiller—a creature that can devour entire planets—is spreading terror throughout the universe, and it seems nothing can stand in the monstrous godking’s way. Reeling from a series of battles, Zara and her wounded band of allies are going to need a strategy before they face Lifekiller again. Zara’s street smarts may not be enough when their enemy could be anywhere, destroying civilizations and picking his teeth with the bones. And just when it feels like she’s reached a special place in her bond with Bea and Nadim, an ex from Earth with an ax to grind comes after her with nefarious intentions. With human enemies, alien creatures, and mechanical stalkers on her tail, it’s down to the wire for Zara to save the galaxy—and the people she calls home—before the godking consumes them all.


In the Shadow of the Sun (In the Shadow of the Sun #1) by EM Castellan (Hardcover, 352 pages, published by Feiwel & Friends)
It’s 1661 in Paris, and magicians thrill nobles with enchanting illusions. Exiled in France, 17-year-old Henriette of England wishes she could use her magic to gain entry at court. Instead, her plan is to hide her magical talents, and accept an arranged marriage to the French king’s younger brother. Henriette soon realizes her fiancé prefers the company of young men to hers, and court magicians turn up killed by a mysterious sorcerer who uses forbidden magic. When an accident forces Henriette to reveal her uniquely powerful gift for enchantments to Louis, he asks for her help: she alone can defeat the dark magician threatening his authority and aid his own plans to build the new, enchanted seat of his power - the Palace of Versailles.


Ink in the Blood (Ink in The Blood #1) by Kim Smejkal (Hardcover, 448 pages, published by HMH Books for Young Readers)
A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon. Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison. Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time... until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further. To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.


Night Spinner (Night Spinner #1) by Addie Thorley (Hardcover, 400 pages, published by Page Street Kids)
Before the massacre at Nariin, Enebish was one of the greatest warriors in the Sky King’s Imperial Army: a rare and dangerous Night Spinner, blessed with the ability to control the threads of darkness. Now, she is known as Enebish the Destroyer―a monster and murderer, banished to a monastery for losing control of her power and annihilating a merchant caravan. Guilt stricken and scarred, Enebish tries to be grateful for her sanctuary, until her adoptive sister, Imperial Army commander Ghoa, returns from the war front with a tantalizing offer. If Enebish can capture the notorious criminal, Temujin, whose band of rebels has been seizing army supply wagons, not only will her crimes be pardoned, she will be reinstated as a warrior. Enebish eagerly accepts. But as she hunts Temujin across the tundra, she discovers the tides of war have shifted, and the supplies he’s stealing are the only thing keeping thousands of shepherds from starving. Torn between duty and conscience, Enebish must decide whether to put her trust in the charismatic rebel or her beloved sister. No matter who she chooses, an even greater enemy is advancing, ready to bring the empire to its knees.


Sensational (Spectacle #2) by Jodie Lynn Zdrok (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Tor Teen)
The 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris is full of innovations, cultural displays, and inventions. Millions of visitors attend over the course of several months... so no one would notice if a few were missing, right? Maybe—but someone is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the guillotine with a display of their own: beheaded victims in some of the Exposition's most popular exhibits. Nathalie Baudin’s ability to see murder scenes should help, but she's suffering the effects of her magic more than ever before. Fortunately she has other Insightfuls to team up with—if they can be trusted.


Where the World Turns Wild by Nicola Penfold (Paperback, 352 pages, published by Stripes Publishing)
Juniper Greene lives in a walled city from which nature has been banished, following the outbreak of a deadly man-made disease many years earlier. While most people seem content to live in such a cage, she and her little brother Bear have always known about their resistance to the disease, and dream of escaping into the wild. To the one place humans have survived outside of cities. To where their mother is. When scientists discover that the siblings provide the key to fighting the disease, the pair must flee for their lives. As they cross the barren Buffer Zone and journey into the unknown, Juniper and Bear can only guess at the dangers that lie ahead. Nature can be cruel as well as kind... Will they ever find the home they’ve been searching for?

February 11th:


Storm from the East (Glass Alliance #2) by Joanna Hathaway (Hardcover, 496 pages, published by Tor Teen)
Battles, revolution, and romance collide in Joanna Hathaway's stunning, World Wars-inspired sequel to Dark of the West. War has begun, and the days of Athan’s and Aurelia’s secret, summer romance feel a world away. Led by Athan’s father, the revolutionary Safire have launched a secret assault upon the last royal kingdom in the South, hoping to depose the king and seize a powerful foothold on the continent. Athan proves a star pilot among their ranks, struggling to justify the violence his family has unleashed as he fights his way to the capital—where, unbeknownst to him, Aurelia has lived since the war’s onset. Determined to save the kingdom Athan has been ordered to destroy, she partners with a local journalist to inflame anti-Safire sentiment, all while learning this conflict might be far darker and more complex than she ever imagined. When the two reunite at last, Athan longing to shake the nightmare of combat and Aurelia reeling from the discovery of a long-buried family truth come to light, they’ll find the shadow of war stretches well beyond the battlefield. Each of them longs to rekindle the love they once shared... but each has a secret they’re desperate to hide.

February 18th:


Glitch Kingdom by Sheena Boekweg (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Feiwel & Friends)
The teenage daughter of an executioner and the traitorous prince she can't kill must reluctantly join forces to dethrone a paranoid queen after discovering they are trapped in a video game. Ryo was the golden boy, the prankster prince, but with one stroke of a pen he has lost everything. Dagney and Grigfen were happy as minor members of the court, but when their father, the king's executioner, is branded a traitor, they each must deal in death in order to survive.. McKenna, queen of the enemy realm, has inherited a mission of conquest by assassination, but worries she's not up to the role. But behind the crowns and masks hides a secret... All of these teens are actually players in the newest, shiniest, most immersive virtual reality video game, competing against each other for a highly coveted internship with a prestigious game developer. But now this life-changing opportunity has suddenly become a deadly trap. A glitch in the software has locked the players inside the game, and they'll need to escape before the fantasy world corrupts around them. The only way out is to win.


The Insurrection (The Initiation #3) by Chris Babu (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by Permuted Press)
They are protected by lies. He is armed with the truth. Having survived the Initiation and expedition, one battle remains: the fight for the heart and soul of New America. Drayden and his friends, enlisting the help of Professor Worth, must find a way back to New America before the Guardians imperil their return. But for these teens, their problems are only beginning. The Bureau, which never expected them to survive the expedition, will do everything in their power to prevent New America’s darkest secrets from getting out. Drayden’s only hope is the insurrection led by ally Kim Craig. The David versus Goliath battle between good and evil, between truth and lies, will push Drayden to his breaking point and require bravery, self-acceptance, and above all, belief in himself. Backed by the will of the citizens, he’ll need to engineer an ingenious strategy to defeat the all-powerful authoritarians. The question is, will it be enough?


The Life Below (The Final Six #2) by Alexandra Monir (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by HarperTeen)
As Naomi lifts off into space and away from a rapidly deteriorating Earth, she watches the world fade away, and along with it Leo, a Final Six contestant she grew close to during training. Leaving Earth behind is hard, but what’s ahead, on Europa, could be worse. The International Space Training Camp continues to hide the truth about what happened to the last group of astronauts who attempted a similar colonization but failed mysteriously. With one shot—at this mission and to Europa—Naomi is determined to find out if there is alien life on Europa before she and her crew get there. Leo, back on Earth, has been working with renegade scientist Dr. Greta Wagner, who promises to fly him to space where he can essentially latch on to Naomi’s ship. And if Wagner’s hypothesis is right, it isn’t a possibility of coming in contact with extraterrestrial life on Europa—it’s a definite. With Naomi unaware of what awaits, it’s up to Leo to find and warn her and the others. With all the pieces of their journey finally clicking into place, everything else starts to fall apart. A storm threatens to interfere with Leo’s takeoff, a deadly entity makes itself known to the Final Six, and the questions the ISTC has been avoiding about the previous failed mission get answered in the worst way possible. If the dream was to establish a habitable domain on Europa… the Final Six are about to enter a nightmare.


The Seventh Sun (Age of the Seventh Sun #1) by Lani Forbes (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Blackstone Publishing)
Thrust into leadership upon the death of his emperor father, young Prince Ahkin feels completely unready for his new position. Though his royal blood controls the power of the sun, he's now responsible for the lives of all the Chicome people. And despite all Ahkin's efforts, the sun is fading--and the end of the world may be at hand.
For Mayana, the only daughter of the Chicome family whose blood controls the power of water, the old emperor's death may mean that she is next. Prince Ahkin must be married before he can ascend the throne, and Mayana is one of six noble daughters presented to him as a possible wife. Those who are not chosen will be sacrificed to the gods. Only one girl can become Ahkin's bride. Mayana and Ahkin feel an immediate connection, but the gods themselves may be against them. Both recognize that the ancient rites of blood that keep the gods appeased may be harming the Chicome more than they help. As a bloodred comet and the fading sun bring a growing sense of dread, only two young people may hope to change their world. Rich in imagination and romance, and based on the legends and history of the Aztec and Maya people, The Seventh Sun brings to vivid life a world on the edge of apocalyptic disaster.


February 20th:


The Green Boy (The Chronicles Of Agartha #1) by Sherif Guiguis and Isaac Michaan (Kindle Edition, 352 pages, published by Sherif Guirguis)
The fate of two worlds rests on the shoulders of a few unsuspecting souls. Inner Earth, Agartha, a land where the color of your Aura defines you, losing the entire population of greens to the war left a visible void. Ethan, a fourteen-year-old young man, discovers he has a green aura, the last of an extinct race. He leaves the school of Nafoura in search of the truth about the fate of the greens, and to find a home to call his own. Joined by a girl from our earth, and an exiled shapeshifter, Ethan must race to the Chronicler of Agartha in search of answers. But Ethan has a mark on his head by the very woman who decimated his people, doggedly chasing after him for nefarious reasons of her own. Ethan must walk a thin line to get his answers, inadvertently stepping into the web of a prophecy he knows nothing about, one which may lead to salvation, or to a promise of doom for his and our world.

February 25th:


Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus (Hardcover, 304 pages, published by Henry Holt and Co.)
Liv Fleming's father went missing more than two years ago, not long after he claimed to have been abducted by aliens. Liv has long accepted that he's dead, though that doesn't mean she has given up their traditions. Every Sunday, she and her lifelong friend Doug Monk trudge through the woods to check the traps Lee left behind, traps he set to catch the aliens he so desperately believed were after him. But Liv is done with childhood fantasies. Done pretending she believes her father's absurd theories. Done going through the motions for Doug's sake. However, on the very day she chooses to destroy the traps, she discovers in one of them a creature so inhuman it can only be one thing. In that moment, she's faced with a painful realization: her dad was telling the truth. And no one believed him. Now, she and Doug have a choice to make. They can turn the alien over to the authorities... or they can take matters into their own hands.


Rebelwing (Rebelwing #1) by Andrea Tang (Hardcover, 368 pages, published by Razorbill / Penguin Random House)
Business is booming for Prudence Wu. A black-market-media smuggler and scholarship student at the prestigious New Columbia Preparatory Academy, Pru is lucky to live in the Barricade Coalition where she is free to study, read, watch, and listen to whatever she wants. But between essays and exams, she chooses to spend her breaks sweet-talking border patrol with her best friend, Anabel, in order to sell banned media to the less fortunate citizens of the United Continental Confederacy, Inc. When a drop-off goes awry, Pru narrowly escapes UCC enforcers to find that her rescuer is, of all things, a sentient cybernetic dragon. On the one hand, Pru is lucky not to be in prison, or worse. On the other, the dragon seems to have imprinted on her permanently, which means she has no choice but to be its pilot. Drawn into a revolution she has no real interest in leading, Pru, Anabel, and friends Alex and Cat become key players in a brewing conflict with the UCC as the corporate government develops advanced weaponry more terrifying and grotesque than Pru could have ever imagined.


Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold (Hardcover, 368 pages, published by Balzer + Bray)
You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked. And the wolf is angry. Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good. But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her. A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions. About the blood in Bisou’s past and on her hands as she stumbles home. About broken boys and vicious wolves. About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone. Elana K. Arnold, National Book Award finalist and author of the Printz Honor book Damsel, returns with a dark, engrossing, blood-drenched tale of the familiar threats to female power—and one girl’s journey to regain it.


The Between by David Hofmeyr (Hardcover, 416 pages, published by Delacorte Press)
In this rip-roaring, world-bending adventure across the grand multiverse, one girl will stop at nothing to bring her best friend home. Seventeen-year-old Ana Moon is having a rough week. It starts with a fight after school, then suspension, followed by mandatory psych visits. Still, Ana hopes therapy will help her with another problem--the disturbing feeling that someone, or something, is following her. Then, during a shocking train crash, life goes from bad to bizarre. In the space of mere seconds, Ana's best friend is gone—taken right in front of her eyes by an incredible, terrifying beast. Seeking answers, Ana joins forces with the mysterious Malik and his covert clan to find her friend and return home. But there's a larger war under way, and unimaginable evil lurks in the shadows. If they hope to make it home, Ana and her friends must gather the strength to fight—or face the collapse of the universe as they know it.


The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller (Hardcover, 336 pages, published by Feiwel and Friends)
Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power: 1) Woo the Shadow King. 2) Marry him. 3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself. No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it. But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?


The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow (Hardcover, 432 pages, published by Inkyard Press)
Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity? This road trip is truly out of this world! Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population. Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. With humans deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, emotional expression can be grounds for execution. Music, art and books are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her. Born in a lab, M0Rr1S was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for the love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does. Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while creating a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.


Twisted Fates (Dark Stars #2) by Danielle Rollins (Hardcover, 320 pages, published by HarperTeen)
One past. Two girls. Infinite futures. As far as anyone in New Seattle knows, Dorothy has disappeared. The stowaway from 1913, the girl that Ash maybe—possibly—could’ve loved: she’s gone. And in her place is bloodthirsty Quinn Fox, silver-haired and vicious. But even though he saw her fall through the anilon their last ill-fated mission through time, Ash can’t stop himself from looking for Dorothy around every dark corner. What he doesn’t know, though, is that the girl he fell in love with is the very same one who is fated to kill him. As Ash and his friends grow increasingly desperate searching for a way to head off the devastating earthquake threatening to tear down New Seattle for good, Quinn and Roman are working to take down mob boss Mac Murphy, who is attempting to use them to control time travel for his own selfish purposes. When they collide, can they change the course of the future entirely?


We Unleash the Merciless Storm (We Set the Dark on Fire #2) by Tehlor Kay Mejia (Hardcover, 400 pages, published by Katherine Tegen Books)
In this nail-biting sequel to Tehlor Kay Mejia’s critically acclaimed fantasy novel We Set the Dark on Fire, La Voz operative Carmen is forced to choose between the girl she loves and the success of the rebellion she’s devoted her life to. Being a part of the resistance group La Voz is an act of devotion and desperation. On the other side of Medio’s border wall, the oppressed class fights for freedom and liberty, sacrificing what little they have to become defenders of the cause. Carmen Santos is one of La Voz’s best soldiers, taken in when she was an orphaned child and trained to be a cunning spy. She spent years undercover at the Medio School for Girls, but now, with her identity exposed and the island on the brink of civil war, Carmen returns to the only real home she’s ever known: La Voz’s headquarters. There she must reckon with her beloved leader, who is under the influence of an aggressive new recruit, and with the devastating news that her true love might be the target of an assassination plot. Will Carmen break with her community and save the girl who stole her heart—or fully embrace the ruthless rebel she was always meant to be?

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