Little Heaven is everything I look for in a horror story: tense, engrossing, multilayered, and just plain scary. In other words, it's exactly what I've come to expect (and crave) from Nick Cutter. Cutter is one of very few writers who can really, deeply creep me out and whose books I love just as much on the second read — which is why he's officially my favorite horror writer. (Please don't tell Stephen King I said that.)
– Emily F.
Space pirates done right! Fans of Firefly, Star Trek’s Kahn, and Treasure Island will enjoy this fast-paced adventure, and fans of Reynolds will enjoy seeing him do something different — world-building takes a backseat to narrative, right from the start. But make no mistake — Captain Rackamore, his nemesis Bosa Sennen, and his newest shipmates the Ness sisters exist in a universe as compelling as anything Reynolds has created before.
– Drew P.
Basically the Soviet Harry Potter, both in terms of its huge popularity and its story of a witchcraft institute. As a Russian novel written for adults, it is much more darkly humorous than the wizard school we are used to. Kudos to the University of Chicago for publishing a new translation of this Russian classic and for retaining the original witty illustrations!
– Jason C.
The City of Brass is by far the best book I read this year. Nahri is a gifted con artist living in 18th-century Cairo. She accidentally summons a warrior djinn and discovers that her nascent magical abilities are the legacy of her ancient, bloodthirsty family. This is a highly unique, completely magical story that had me hooked from the start. I can’t believe this is a debut novel
– McKenzie W.
Editor's note: This book was scheduled to come out in November 2016, but hit shelves in January 2017.
If you could jump in a wormhole and go back in time, what… concert would you see? Mo Daviau’s wacky, wonderful Every Anxious Wave starts with this critical question and goes from there, widening into not only a hilarious musical romp of a time travel story, but also an homage to all the ways we love — romance, friendship, family, nostalgia, and good old geeking out. Daviau’s imagination is vast and fascinating, and she writes with wit and a subtle sweetness that makes you fall in love with Karl, Lena, and Wayne as they bumble their way through time, concert-hopping, getting lost and getting found. Every Anxious Wave is as much fun as that favorite concert you’d go back in time to see again.
– Gigi L.
The first book in a captivating new series! Russian folklore and myths are intricately woven together to create a magical story of young Vasya coming into her own against the wishes of her family and their changing religious beliefs in the wilds of medieval Russia. How can you pass up the old favorites: dueling pagan gods, an evil priest, a wicked stepmother, and house sprites?
– Mecca A.
I'm excited about this original new voice in urban fantasy and science fiction. Jade City was filled with fascinating new takes on politics and gang life; cultures that seem both familiar and foreign; and the very human trials we all understand. I had to keep reading to see what happened, and I was surprised, happily so, all the way through. I look forward to more from Fonda Lee.
– Doug C.
Sea level has risen 50 feet and New York City is submerged. The book, set in the not-so-distant future, shares a very realistic view of how humans will cope with, and adapt to, the impact of climate change and many other societal issues that are on our minds today.
– Moses M.
Jeff VanderMeer's Borne is an astonishingly beautiful book about relationships, survival, and attachment in a world racked by climate change and flooded with refugees. Set in a ruined, post-apocalyptic city which has been decimated by the “Company” and its biotech creations, it's one of the most moving and intensely human books I've read this year. It also includes a gigantic, lethal flying bear named Mord. As he demonstrated in his earlier work, VanderMeer is remarkable at crossing genre lines to create gorgeously literary speculative fiction, or surreally beautiful sci-fi.
– Jill O.
We all know there are lots of creepy crawlies living deep in the ocean, but in the first book of Mira Grant's latest series, what lurks below is much worse than anglerfish and spider crabs. This book had me hooked at "flesh-eating mermaids," but it delivered more than just novelty. Into the Drowning Deep will suck you in, creep you out, and totally change the way you look at Ariel.
– Emily F.