PositiveBooklist...there are plenty of 1980s pop culture references including a hilarious visit to the films of John Hughes ... Cline’s fans will enjoy revisiting old friends and meeting new ones as they go on a whirlwind trip through a fantastic new virtual quest to save the world.
R. F. Kuang
RaveBooklistBringing her complex Poppy War trilogy to a poignant conclusion, Kuang shines a searing light on the devastating price and valiant sacrifices that warfare requires of all involved.
RaveBooklist... the start of a fabulous dark and monstrous trilogy ... The final chapter in this fast-paced fantasy introduces new characters and a surprising conflict for the next book in the series, which offers a fresh take on the magic school trope.
Linden A Lewis
PositiveBooklistConflicts over advanced technology, religious beliefs, and economic deprivation swirl throughout this thrilling LGBTQ space opera centered on love, loss, and betrayal. The surprising twists at the climax bode well for the next book in the First Sister trilogy: the revolution is just getting started.
PositiveBooklist... a deliciously mysterious Gothic fairy tale wrapped in elegantly descriptive prose ... Teeming with folklore from the Australian Outback, this compelling mystery is laced with familial connections and interspersed with entwined tales of curses, miracles, witches, and vengeance.
PositiveBooklist... a shiver-inducing tale combining touches of Northanger Abbey with bits of the Gormenghast trilogy thrown in for good measure ... The ever-present imagery of twisting vines and snakes swallowing their tails blends with ghostly memories of death and disease to create a fascinating atmosphere of dark dreams and intrigue.
RaveBooklist... a terrifyingly realistic survival encounter ... The escalating alarm of naive people preparing to face a curiously intelligent terror from the woods is related straightforwardly even as the beasts come howling in through the front door. The footnoted text and references to historical incidents of catastrophic failure, some fairly recent, give insight into weaknesses humanity blithely ignores every day. The story is told in such a compelling manner that horror fans will want to believe and, perhaps, take the warning to heart.
PositiveBooklistThe descriptions in Hugo’s expressive debut paint—in this case, spray paint—a highly imaginative picture of a quarantined South African city abandoned by the government ... [a] fast-paced narrative ...The present-day, alternative-Earth setting and prevalent Afrikaans slang combine to make a vivid and timely portrait of desolate lives looking for hope in a town closed off from the outside world.
Robert Jackson Bennett
RaveBooklistThe large-scale conflicts, new characters, and climactic ending set the stage for more exciting action and adventure to come in the complex, ever-expanding world of the series.
PositiveBooklistThe intermingling of science, legend, and genealogy make for a truly captivating tale of literary horror.
PositiveBooklistSpiritualism, the suffragette movement, and the fairy tales of Lewis Carroll and George MacDonald combine with the author’s lyrical writing style to convey an elegant sense of mystery and otherworldliness. This gothic fantasy will captivate fans of historical fiction.
RaveBooklistNorth’s latest once again displays her mastery of lyrical prose ... The historical period from 1884 to 1917 provides a rich veldt of events for William to interact with as he anxiously tries to outpace his curse. The author presents a fascinating testament to humanity’s fallibility and tendency towards denial, merged with the potency of truth and the power of love.
PositiveBooklistCallender’s first foray into adult fiction presents an alternative colonial Caribbean world with its own brand of magic ... Callender pulls no punches and uses this diversely populated fantasy world to deliver a polemic on hate and the lies people tell themselves to justify their cruelty.
W. L .Goodwater
PositiveBooklistGoodwater channels a classic Cold War episode combining espionage and the supernatural to create a thrilling alternative version of events ... This fast-paced spy fantasy will entice history buffs and have series fans anticipating another installment.
RaveBooklist... a poignant story of finding one’s place in a world warped by prejudice, court intrigue, violence, and sorcery ... Those with a penchant for lyrical prose, intricate world building, beautifully imagined characters, compelling immersive folklore, and a fascinating look into a setting reminiscent of the Mughal Empire need look no further.
PositiveBooklistSuspense, family loyalty, the perils of advanced technology, and a clash-of-wills contest between strong-minded individuals combine in a spirited, romantic space opera. Fans will be clamoring for the third book in the Consortium Rebellion trilogy.
R. F. Kuang
RaveBooklistKuang’s descriptive storytelling reveals the grueling psychological and material cost of war on combatants and those they are supposed to protect. Fans of epic military fantasy will be eager for the next volume.
PositiveBooklistMoreno-Garcia has a talent for taking Mexican folklore, customs, and mythology, twisting them around, and turning out fascinating stories immersed in different genre tropes ... Fans of lush, evocative language will be thoroughly delighted.
PositiveBooklist[A] cunning debut ... the author generously provides maps and appendices to add context to the outrageous story. Readers who like their apocalyptic fiction with a hearty serving of weird will want to jump on board for this wild ride.
PositiveBooklistOffer this to readers who like morally complex characters and enjoy their fantasy on the dark side.
PositiveBooklistUsing evocative language to express a lovingly told tale of lost memories, Collins wraps her story of a passionate, forbidden relationship in mystery and magic.
RaveBooklistThe interconnected story lines, excellent pacing, and heart-wrenching ending will have readers clamoring for the next book. Offer this to fans of other recent feminist speculative fiction like Naomi Alderman’s The Power (2017), Ausma Zehanat Khan’s The Bloodprint (2017), or Tasha Suri’s Empire of Sand (2018).
Kate Hope Day
PositiveBooklistDay’s complex debut explores the mind-bending idea that for every decision made, alternate choices lead to different lives ... Multiverse-theory fans will enjoy the speculation offered in this novel.
PositiveBooklistTold in alternating chapters that differ in style, tone, and even font, this novella packs the punch of a much larger novel when the exam becomes a life-and-death hostage situation. A timely and thought-provoking story for book-discussion groups and fans of speculative fiction.
PositiveBooklistMultiple voices—first one, then two, and, eventually, six—of unique characters are smoothly melded together ... These entwined stories and all they touch are ultimately about family and the power of love. Novik’s fans, and readers who enjoy well-spun fairy-tale re-creations, will be thoroughly enchanted.
PositiveBooklistThe desert setting, complex characters, and epic mythology will captivate readers of Suri’s debut fantasy.
PositiveBookpageRossner’s debut is the fantastical coming-of-age story of two sisters, combining historical events, religious strife, and Russian folklore. Alternating chapters of regular prose and ballad-like stanzas emphasize the difference between two loving daughters, products of an unusual, mystical union between two shape-shifters—a Jewish bear and a gentile swan ... First-love conflicts, fear, and prejudice may trigger transformations neither Liba nor Laya will be able to control.
Robert Jackson Bennett
PositiveBooklistThe diverse, multifaceted characters, meticulous world building, and complex interhouse conflicts will draw readers into this new, action-packed fantasy series.
Sarah Beth Durst
PositiveBooklistThe Queens of Renthia series (which began with The Queen of Blood, 2016) concludes with an earth-shattering conflict between three determined queens, two countries, and a multitude of bloodthirsty spirits. Little more than a year into her rule, Queen Daleina of Aratay has survived an assassination attempt and a devastating invasion and acquired a new coruler, Queen Naelin ... Questions from previous books will be answered, and the introduction of three neighboring Renthian queens offers an intriguing story element.
Raymond A. Villareal
PositiveBooklistVillareal’s fast-paced debut blends the supernatural and questions revolving around the right-to-work, offering a satirical indictment of how a system favoring haves over have-nots can be detrimental to all humanity ... Using an oral history format, as in Max Collins’ World War Z (2006), the story builds momentum to a surprise-ending revelation.
R. F. Kuang
PositiveBooklistSet in an alternate version of historical China, Kuang’s debut will appeal to fans of epic military fantasy.
Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland
PositiveBooklist...the authors spin a complex and engaging what-if tale that blends technology and history. Ready-made for fans of intricate speculative fiction.