In February, libraries, classrooms, and communities across the country celebrate Black histories. But what about Black futures? Celebrate the imagination of award-winning Black speculative fiction authors with exciting reads, from first contact with aliens to post-apocalyptic adventures!
This is the story of a reluctant adventurer who battles enormous forces. Bilbo Baggins, the protagonist, likes his creature comforts and is unsure as he sets out on an incredible journey to complete an important task. In order to succeed he needs to learn how to get along with others and stand up for what he believes in. It is an inspiring tale of adventure, fellowship, uncertainty, and strength.
Thea Slavin is a teenage Bulgarian piano prodigy. Following in her older sister’s footsteps, she wins a scholarship to Princeton University, where she intends to discover the truth about her sister's death—and the disappearance of her body—fifteen years ago. Her musical talent and her sister’s legacy soon draw her into romantic entanglements with two brothers: the enigmatic Jake and the passionate Rhys. But there’s more to both brothers—and to her sister’s death—than Thea first understands, and discovering the truth will challenge her understanding of life, death, and love. Greek mythology supplies the elements of fantasy in this novel of dark romance, making it perfect for fans of Deborah Harkness and Stephanie Meyer.
Carlos Delacruz is an agent of New York City’s Council of the Dead, charged with protecting the living and maintaining order among New York’s ghosts. He’s also an Inbetweener: after dying and coming back to life, Carlos gained the ability to see and speak with ghosts—and lost all memory of his past. He believes he’s the only Inbetweener in New York until the Council of the Dead orders him to hunt down a rogue sorcerer who turns out to be an Inbetweener, too. Soon, Carlos is untangling the threads of a conspiracy that threatens to bring down the walls between the dead and the living for good—and whose mastermind might be the man responsible for Carlos’s almost-death.
While the plot occasionally meanders, veteran short-story writer Older’s voice crackles with profane and hilarious life in his debut novel. A must-read for fans of urban fantasy.
Shara Divani is a spy with a job: find out who killed her protégé, Professor Efram Pangyui, and why. Her suspect pool encompasses the entire city of Bulikov, once the heart of a vast empire guarded by six omnipotent gods, and now a defeated and occupied city seething with resentful citizens and endless plots. With only a week before she’s recalled, Divani must rely on her terrifying “secretary” Sigurd and a cast of colorful supporting characters in order to discover the truth about what happened to Pangyui—and whether the gods of Bulikov are quite as dead as they seem.
Vividly imagined and skillfully executed, City of Stairs will appeal to readers of Tom Rob Smith and N.K. Jemisin alike.
Dr. Ransom is a professor on a solitary walking tour of the English countryside, searching for a place to lay his head for the night. Instead, he finds himself drugged, forced onto a space ship and thrust into a cosmic journey with eternal implications.
Ransom’s two captors, each with his own malicious motives, transport him to the planet Malacandra, planning to offer him as a human sacrifice to the planet’s ruler. However, as Ransom escapes and begins to explore Malacandra on his own, he discovers that its creatures are not quite what he or the other humans had imagined. In fact, this world’s beings and their story might illuminate the story of the universe, as well as the dangers facing Ransom’s home planet, earth.
This book is excellent in its own right, and is just the first in C.S. Lewis’ Space trilogy. If you love to read about other fictional worlds or that we are part of a much bigger story, this book might just be the summer read you’ve been looking for.
After a disturbing encounter with a serial killer, police detective Daniel Carter is ready for the (relatively) quiet life of a private investigator. When he unexpectedly inherits a bookstore from a relative he’s never heard of, though, he finds himself in the middle of an investigation that gets stranger by the minute. People dying in impossible ways, a disturbing community of dead-eyed men and terrifying women, and a rift in reality that a madman calls The Twist … if Carter can’t find some answers soon, it may be the end of the world we know, and the beginning of something horrifying.
Clover's Luck is the first book in The Magical Animal Adoption Agency series. Clover has always considered herself unlucky and especially with pets. Her most recent one, a pet bird, flies off into the forest and when she goes chasing after her Clover stumbles upon a flyer advertising a job at an animal adoption agency. When Clover goes to ask about the job she is hired on the spot and soon learns the secret of M.A.A.A.; it's full of magical animals. Fairy horses, magic toads, witch kittens, unicorns, and even a baby dragon are among the animals available to adopt. Just as Clover is feeling her luck might be changing she gets left in charge of the agency and a sneaky witch shows up causing all sorts of trouble. Can Clover overcome her bad luck and help the animals find good homes? (Grades 2-4 School Library Journal)
Ivo the orphan, together with the Hag of Dribble, Ulf the Troll, and Brian the Wizard, sets out to save Princess Mirella from the dreaded Ogre of Oglefort. When the rescuers arrive at the castle they are shocked to find that the princess doesn't want to be saved! In fact, the princess wants the ogre to turn her into a bird so she can escape an arranged marriage. To further complicate matters the Ogre isn't nearly the fearsome creature everyone believed. He's actually rather depressed. Now the rescuers are going to help save Princess Mirella from her tyrannical royal family and help restore the Ogre and his castle to the fearsome paradise it used to be. If you're looking for a fun fantasy story with a good sense of humor you will want to pick this book up! (Grades 4-7)
As Strange Country opens, Army veteran Hallie Michaels finds herself dealing with the consequences of her actions over the last few months. Among those consequences are an inherited ranch with an unusual fence system, a deadly Unmaker set loose in the aftermath of Hallie’s journey into the Underworld, and a new wariness in her relationship with Boyd Davies, the sheriff’s deputy who has prophetic dreams of the future. Boyd, meanwhile, has problems of his own—namely, a murderous sniper targeting people under his protection. When Boyd and Hallie discover the sniper may be after a set of mysterious stones capable of massive destruction, they must uncover the killer’s identity—before they end up in the crosshairs themselves.
With Strange Country, author Deborah Coates returns to the harsh, supernatural South Dakota landscape that she first explored in Wide Open (2012) and Deep Down (2013). Atmospheric and thoughtful, Strange Country has the restrained language and lonely landscapes of Cormac McCarthy combined with the unexpected magic of urban fantasy. If you enjoy western settings, a touch of magic, and complex female characters, check out a print copy or download the ebook today!