A few months ago (October 2016) I wrote my first “Hey check out these new releases” book post for The Geekiverse. As I continue to explore how to make this a useful article for you, (and me, as I love to read and I find things to order) I am developing my style for this piece. There are 30-40 new releases per month, and going forward, I am going to narrow it down to 7-10 of what I think are the sure bets, listed alphabetically by the title, also in order of release date. Here’s my list for April.
Releases for April 4
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
Gray has some serious geek cred. She is the NY Times best selling author of Star Wars: Bloodline and also Star Wars: Lost Stars. In Defy the Stars Gray brings together a 17 year old girl and a long abandoned robot (or mech) that is on the other side of a bloody war. The two sworn enemies are forced to work together, and if successful they could potentially end the fighting for good. As they make their way, however, they are forced to challenge everything they have ever been taught. Girls and alien robots must be the theme this month, as Waking Gods (just below) has the same two elements.
Gaunlet by Holly Jennings
For the gamer that likes to read. The second book in the Arena Series, Gaunlet follows professional virtual gamer Kali Ling and her team, as they embark on a new virtual gaming challenge… a game that adapts every time a gamer makes a move. It isn’t just any game, though. It uses new VR pods that challenge the gamers, pushing them both to their physical and psychological limits. Woman vs. machine at its best.
Order Gauntlet on Amazon
Saga Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Vaughan has done some big stuff, writing for some Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Y The Last Man, Ex Machina (nothing to do with the 2014 film, but sounds cool nonetheless) and The Pride of Baghdad. I’ve been reading this series from the beginning. It’s definitely adult, Rated R. There is nudity, sex, pretty graphic violence and language. It’s also great fun. It follows the star-crossed lovers Marko and Alana, as told by their daughter Hazel. It’s epic, traveling all over the galaxy, with a huge cast of characters. Saga has won a bunch of awards, and it’s definitely worth a look. I’ve already got Volume 7 en route. You’ll want to start at the beginning.
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel Book 2 of The Themis Files
In Sleeping Giants, book 1 of this series, Rose Franklin is a kid and she discovers a giant alien robot hand buried beneath the earth. In Waking Gods, Rose is a brilliant scientist, who has dedicated her career to figuring out the mystery of the giant robot buried in pieces all over the world. Maybe what Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps needs is a more subjects to study. She gets that when another robot, even bigger than the first ,shows up and starts kicking ass. Invasion of the alien robots. Perfect. Waking Gods is getting some good press from NPR, Kirkus, and more.
Releases for April 11
Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
Grand Admiral Thrawn is no stranger to the Star Wars universe. Timothy Zahn introduced him in 1991 in his novel Heir to the Empire. Since then, he has made numerous appearances in books, video games and the animated TV series Star Wars Rebels. While researching this, I found lots of people saying that Thrawn is such a compelling character because he doesn’t command with fear and intimidation, like most higher ups in the Empire. That makes him intriguing. Also makes me wonder why he hasn’t shown up in a live action film. Hey, we can hope, right? Get ‘er done, DisLucasneyFilms.
Releases for April 18
Cosmic Powers: A Saga Anthology of Far-Away Galaxies edited by John Joseph Adams
I love having a book or two of short stories around. There’s always those times when you are between full novels or need something to kill a half hour out on the deck on a nice day. If you can find an anthology with some of the heaviest hitters in Sci-Fi, even better. This compilation features a veritable all-star team with stories by Alan Dean Foster, Charlie Jane Anders, Kameron Hurley and Becky Chambers, just to name a few, and the stories are all epic in nature. Amazon says they are inspired by Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy. Rock solid inspiration indeed.
Change Agent by Daniel Suarez
Ever since I heard about CRISPR gene editing technology, I thought it has been screaming for a good sci-fi book. This book may be it. The story takes place in 2045 with Kenneth Durand heading up Interpol’s Genetic Crime Division. He is tracking black market labs that perform what are called “vanity edits” on embryos, and he has a powerful cartel in his sites, but they have him in theirs too. One day he is on a train platform and feels a needle stick him. He has been injected with a powerful change agent. After being forcibly given a new drug, Durand wakes from a coma to find that he has been transformed into the head of the powerful cartel he has been trying to catch, and on the run he goes. This is like The Fugitive meets Face Off, right? Author Daniel Suarez has delivered NY Times Best Sellers before.
Releases for April 25
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
In an attempt to offer sci-fi for everyone, I have added this to the list. It goes in the weird story category, but it sounds interesting and fun. VanderMeer is as imaginative as they come. His Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction is a must have, how-to book on writing compelling fiction. In Borne, VanderMeer imagines a sentient lump of green goo that is found by a scavanger named Rachel in the ruined city in which she lives. She takes the lump home and nurtures it as it grows and learns to speak, and challenges her. It also draws the attention of The Company, the biotech firm that created it.
Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
And for the fan of an anti-hero we have Skullsworn. In March of 2016 Staveley completed his Chronicle of the the Unhewn Throne trilogy. With Skullsworn he returns to the universe he created there, and he revisits one of the most interesting characters he had created. Pyrre Lakatur is on her way to becoming a priestess to the God of Death. All she has to do is finish one final test. She must kill 7 people in 10 days, including “the one who made your mind and body sing with love / who will not come again.” Well, if that doesn’t sound interesting, I don’t know what does. This book is a standalone, so if you want to jump into the world Staveley has created, you don’t need to read the trilogy first.
This is Grumpy’s number one pick of the month, but it was hard to decide.
As I said, I try to cut the list down to a manageable amount of books. I wish I could read them all, but it’s even too much for me. If you are interested in a full list of books coming soon, you can check out Amazon’s full list of new releases and coming soon books here. This bad boy updates every hour. Whoa.
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Pete Herr is the author of “10 Things We Should Teach You In High School and Usually Don’t”. He is the oldest geek in the Geekiverse by a factor of two. Follow Pete Herr on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram . If you don’t he gets Grumpy. You don’t want to see him Grumpy.