Books

The Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of June 2018

 

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Looking for something to read? Here’s our guide to the best and biggest science fiction and fantasy books of the month — plus a little bit more!

  • The cover of the book LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike)

    LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike)

    On an island junkyard beneath a sky that glows with radiation, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap. Seventeen-year-old Eve isn’t looking for trouble–she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she spent months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, she’s on the local gangster’s wanted list, and the only thing keeping her grandpa alive is the money she just lost to the bookies. Worst of all, she’s discovered she can somehow destroy machines with the power of her mind, and a bunch of puritanical fanatics are building a coffin her size because of it. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it. The problem is, Eve has had a worse day–one that lingers in her nightmares and the cybernetic implant where her memories used to be. Her discovery of a handsome android named Ezekiel–called a “Lifelike” because they resemble humans–will bring her world crashing down and make her question whether her entire life is a lie. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic sidekick Cricket in tow, Eve will trek across deserts of glass, battle unkillable bots, and infiltrate towering megacities to save the ones she loves…and learn the truth about the bloody secrets of her past. (Featured: Available Now!)

     
  • The cover of the book Adrift

    Adrift

    Sigma Station. The ultimate luxury hotel, in the far reaches of space. For one small group, a tour of the Horsehead Nebula is meant to be a short but stunning highlight in the trip of a lifetime. But when a mysterious ship destroys Sigma Station and everyone on it, suddenly their tourist shuttle is stranded. They have no weapons. No food. No water. No one back home knows they’re alive. And the mysterious ship is hunting them. (6/5)

     
  • The cover of the book The Book of M

    The Book of M

    Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.

    One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories. (6/5)

     
  • The cover of the book Brief Cases

    Brief Cases

    An all-new Dresden Files story headlines this urban fantasy short story collection starring the Windy City’s favorite wizard. The world of Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is rife with intrigue–and creatures of all supernatural stripes. And you’ll make their intimate acquaintance as Harry delves into the dark side of truth, justice, and the American way in this must-have short story collection. (6/5)

     
  • The cover of the book Chaos Queen: Blood Requiem

    Chaos Queen: Blood Requiem

    When a series of dark rituals devastate the fledgeling Church of Canta, Jane and Cinzia realize they have ignored the movements in the shadows for too long. Daemons lurk at the edge of the world, and they are done knocking. With Knot at her side, Cinzia deals with dark beings to fight the greater evil. Meanwhile, Astrid’s attempts to elude the Black Matron backfire, and she faces that which she fears above all things: her own past. Winter, in hopes of regaining something of her old life, returns to Pranna to find the village nothing like it used to be. She soon finds herself wrapped up in the Druids, a tiellan faction in fierce conflict with the humans. With Urstadt the soldier and Galce the tailor at her side, she must choose how to use her still-growing, all-consuming power–if she can manage to control it at all. (6/5)

     
  • The cover of the book The Hills Have Spies

    The Hills Have Spies

    In this new series, set in the bestselling world of Valdemar, Heralds Mags and Amily must continue to protect the realm of Valdemar while raising their children and preparing them to follow in their footsteps. Mags, Herald Spy of Valdemar, and his wife Amily are happily married with three kids. The oldest, Justyn, has the Gift of animal Mindspeech–he can talk to animals and persuade them to act as he wishes. Justyn’s dream is to follow in his father’s footsteps as a Herald Spy, but has yet to be Chosen by his horse companion. (6/5)

     
  • The cover of the book Let's Make Comics!

    Let's Make Comics!

    An Activity Book to Create, Write, and Draw Your Own Cartoons

    From a working cartoonist and comic book making instructor, this all-ages activity book uses humorous and informative one-page comics and exercise prompts to guide young readers (and readers who are young at heart) through easy-to-master lessons on the skills needed to make comics. The activities cover a range of essential comics-making tasks from creating expressions for characters to filling in blank panels to creating original characters and placing them in adventures of their own. Each exercise can stand on its own or work together with others in the book to stimulate creativity via the comics medium. In the end, readers who complete the activities inside the book itself will have created several comics of their own, and will have generated many ideas for more sequential art creations. (6/5)

     
  • The cover of the book The Memory of Fire

    The Memory of Fire

    Thanks to the magic of Elanna Valtai and the Paladisan noble Jahan Korakides, the lands once controlled by the empire of Paladis have won their independence. But as Elanna exhausts her powers restoring the ravaged land, news that the emperor is readying an invasion spurs Jahan on a desperate mission to establish peace. Going back to Paladis proves to be anything but peaceful, however. As magic is a crime in the empire, punishable by death, Jahan must hide his abilities. Nonetheless, the grand inquisitor’s hunters suspect him of sorcery, and mysterious, urgent messages from the witch who secretly trained Jahan only increase his danger of exposure. Worst of all, the crown prince has turned his back on Jahan, robbing him of the royal protection he once enjoyed. (6/5)

     
  • The cover of the book No Good Alternative

    No Good Alternative

    Volume Two of Carbon Ideologies

    The second volume of William T. Vollmann’s epic book about the factors and human actions that have led to global warming begins in the coal fields of West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, where “America’s best friend” is not merely a fuel, but a “heritage.” Over the course of four years Vollmann finds hollowed out towns with coal-polluted streams and acidified drinking water; makes covert visits to mountaintop removal mines; and offers documented accounts of unpaid fines for federal health and safety violations and of miners who died because their bosses cut corners to make more money. (6/5)

     
  • The cover of the book Outbreak

    Outbreak

    The Chicago field office of the Bureau of Preternatural Investigation is facing its deadliest challenge, yet—internal investigation! Alex and Lindy are on the hook, and on the run.

    But when all of the BPI’s captive vampires are broken free from their maximum security prison, and Hector finally steps out of the shadows, Alex must use every trick to stay ahead of both the BPI and the world’s most dangerous shade.

    Confrontation is inevitable. Success is not. (6/5)

     
  • The cover of the book Smoke in the Sun

    Smoke in the Sun

    After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice–to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor’s ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead. (6/5)

     
  • The cover of the book Sparrow Hill Road

    Sparrow Hill Road

    Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea. It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running. (6/5)

     
  • The cover of the book Starless

    Starless

    Destined from birth to serve as protector of the princess Zariya, Khai is trained in the arts of killing and stealth by a warrior sect in the deep desert; yet there is one profound truth that has been withheld from him. In the court of the Sun-Blessed, Khai must learn to navigate deadly intrigue and his own conflicted identity…but in the far reaches of the western seas, the dark god Miasmus is rising, intent on nothing less than wholesale destruction. (6/12)

     
  • The cover of the book The Weather Detective

    The Weather Detective

    Rediscovering Nature's Secret Signs

    The internationally bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees shows how we can decipher nature’s secret signs by studying the weather. In this first-ever English translation of The Weather Detective, Peter Wohlleben uses his long experience and deep love of nature to help decipher the weather and our local environments in a completely new and compelling way. Analyzing the explanations for everyday questions and mysteries surrounding weather and natural phenomena, he delves into a new and intriguing world of scientific investigation. 

     
  • The cover of the book Before the Storm (World of Warcraft)

    Before the Storm (World of Warcraft)

    The Horde and the Alliance defeated the demonic Burning Legion, but a dire catastrophe is unfolding deep below the surface of the world. There is a mortal wound in the heart of Azeroth, struck by the sword of the fallen titan Sargeras in a final act of cruelty.

    For Anduin Wrynn, king of Stormwind, and Sylvanas Windrunner, warchief of the Horde and queen of the Forsaken, there is little time to rebuild what remains and even less to mourn what was lost. Azeroth’s devastating wound has revealed a mysterious material known as Azerite. In the right hands, this strange golden substance is capable of incredible feats of creation; in the wrong ones, it could bring forth unthinkable destruction. (6/12)

     
  • The cover of the book A Demon in Silver

    A Demon in Silver

    In a world where magic has disappeared, rival nations vie for power in a continent devastated by war. When a young farm girl, Livia, demonstrates magical powers for the first time in a century there are many across the land that will kill to obtain her power. The Duke of Gothelm’s tallymen, the blood-soaked Qeltine Brotherhood, and cynical mercenary Josten Cade: all are searching for Livia and the power she wields. But Livia finds that guardians can come from the most unlikely places… and that the old gods are returning to a world they abandoned. (6/12)

     
  • The cover of the book Low Chicago: A Wild Cards Novel

    Low Chicago: A Wild Cards Novel

    In Low Chicago, a gang of criminals scattered throughout the past threaten the stability of the world in George R. R. Martin’s latest Wild Cards adventure. The stakes were already high enough at Giovanni Galante’s poker table that night in Chicago. Poker. Dealer’s choice. Seven players. A million-dollar cash buy-in. But after a superpowered mishap, the most high-profile criminals in the city are scattered throughout the past and their schemes across time threaten the stability of the world. Perfect for current fans and new readers alike, Low Chicago is an all-new time travel adventure that highlights the criminal underworld of 1920s Chicago, featuring a fresh cast of characters from the Wild Cards universe. (6/12)

     
  • The cover of the book The Merciless IV: Last Rites

    The Merciless IV: Last Rites

    The ropes tighten on Berkley Hubbard’s wrists. Blood drips down her fingers and lands with a smack on the cold floor of the church basement. She’s trapped, bound, and petrified by fear. A knife punctures her fragile skin as Berkley’s captors search for the mark of the devil on her body. They say they want to save her–drive the devil away and cleanse her soul–but will she make it out alive? (6/12)

     
  • The cover of the book Night Fall

    Night Fall

    From the New York Times bestselling author of Moonbreaker comes the epic final Secret Histories adventure, where the Droods will take on the most unexpected of enemies: the inhabitants of the Nightside. The Droods are all about control, making people do what they’re told for the greater good. The Nightside is all about choice: good and bad and everything in between. The Droods want to make the world behave. The Nightside wants to party. They were never going to get along. (6/12)

     
  • The cover of the book Ocean Light

    Ocean Light

    New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us into the mysterious, haunting world of the deep and into the heart of a love story that will change two peoples forever in this new novel of the Psy-Changeling Trinity series… (6/12)

     
  • The cover of the book A Reaper at the Gates

    A Reaper at the Gates

    Beyond the Martial Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger. Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, is desperate to protect her sister’s life and the lives of everyone in the Empire. But she knows that danger lurks on all sides: Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable and violent, while Keris Veturia, the ruthless Commandant, capitalizes on the Emperor’s volatility to grow her own power–regardless of the carnage she leaves in her path. (6/12)

     
  • The cover of the book Shark Drunk

    Shark Drunk

    The Lofoten islands in Norway are as isolated and forbidding as they are majestic. In this true story, two friends, the author and the eccentric artist Hugo Aasjord, set out onto the icy waters surrounding the islands. Their quest: to pursue the infamous Greenland shark—a massive creature that can grow to twenty-six feet in length and more than a ton in weight—from a tiny rubber boat. But the shark is not known for its size alone: its meat contains a toxin that, when consumed, has been known to make people drunk and hallucinatory. Together, the two men tackle existential questions, survive the world’s most powerful maelstrom, and, yes, get drunk, as they attempt to understand the ocean from every possible angle, drawing on poetry, science, history, ecology, mythology, and their own, sometimes intoxicated, observations. (6/12)

     
  • The cover of the book The Triumph of the Dwarves

    The Triumph of the Dwarves

    After decades of occupation by the älfar, the dark elves have been defeated and peace has finally been declared. But the nations still distrust each other, and when a child is found in the Grey Mountains who speaks the language of the älfar, the dwarves believe this little girl heralds a new threat. And they will be right – just not in the way they thought. (6/12)

     
  • The cover of the book You Should Have Left

    You Should Have Left

    A Novel

    From the internationally best-selling author of Measuring the World and F, an eerie and supernatural tale of a writer’s emotional collapse. A screenwriter, his wife, and their four-year old daughter rent a house in the mountains of Germany, but something isn’t right. As he toils on a sequel to his most successful movie, the screenwriter notices that rooms aren’t where he remembers them—and finds in his notebook words that are not his own. (6/12)

     
  • The cover of the book The Grey Bastards

    The Grey Bastards

    A Novel

    Call them outcasts, call them savages—they’ve been called worse, by their own mothers—but Jackal is proud to be a Grey Bastard. He and his fellow half-orcs patrol the barren wastes of the Lot Lands, spilling their own damned blood to keep civilized folk safe. A rabble of hard-talking, hog-riding, whore-mongering brawlers they may be, but the Bastards are Jackal’s sworn brothers, fighting at his side in a land where there’s no room for softness. (6/19)

     
  • The cover of the book The Mermaid

    The Mermaid

    From the author of Lost Boy comes a beautiful historical fairy tale about a mermaid who leaves the sea, only to become the star attraction of history’s greatest showman.Once there was a mermaid called Amelia who could never be content in the sea, a mermaid who longed to know all the world and all its wonders, and so she came to live on land. Once there was a man called P. T. Barnum, a man who longed to make his fortune by selling the wondrous and miraculous, and there is nothing more miraculous than a real mermaid. (6/19)

     
  • The cover of the book Outcasts of Order

    Outcasts of Order

    Beltur, an Order mage, discovers he possesses frightening powers not seen for hundreds of years. With his new abilities, he survives the war in Elparta and saves the lives of all. However, victory comes with a price. His fellow mages now see him as a threat to be destroyed, and the local merchants want to exploit his power. There’s only one way he can remain free and survive—he’s going to have to run. (6/19)

     
  • The cover of the book The Privilege of Peace

    The Privilege of Peace

    Former space marine Torin Kerr returns for one final adventure to save the Confederation in the last book in the military science fiction Peacekeeper trilogy. Warden Torin Kerr has put her past behind her and built a life away from the war and everything that meant. From the good, from the bad. From the heroics, from the betrayal. She’s created a place and purpose for others like her, a way to use their training for the good of the Confederation. She has friends, family, purpose. Unfortunately, her past refuses to grant her the same absolution. Big Yellow, the ship form of the plastic aliens responsible for the war, returns. The Silsviss test the strength of the Confederation. Torin has to be Gunnery Sergeant Kerr once again and find a way to keep the peace. (6/19)

     
  • The cover of the book The Robots of Gotham

    The Robots of Gotham

    The Robots of Gotham is a near-future novel set in an occupied Chicago in 2083. The world is on the verge of total subjugation by machines, and American resistance has just collapsed. With the war over, a foreign businessman comes to Chicago to profit from the rebuilding, and stumbles on a machine plot to exterminate all life in North America. He assembles an unlikely team of foreign peacekeepers, American resistance fighters, and robots to stop it. (6/19)

     
  • The cover of the book The Skaar Invasion

    The Skaar Invasion

    The Four Lands are under siege. Wielding a magical ability virtually impossible to combat, mysterious invaders defeat the most fearsome Troll armies, then focus their savagery on the Druid order—and all hope seems lost. Eventually the invaders reveal a more human face, but understanding their motives in no way mitigates the brutality of their actions. Dar Leah, once the High Druid’s Blade, has crossed paths—and swords—with their ruthless leader before. So he knows that if any hope exists, it rests in the hands of the Druid Drisker Arc, now trapped inside vanished Paranor. (6/19)

     
  • The cover of the book The Synapse Sequence

    The Synapse Sequence

    In a future where crime is predicted by the algorithms of AIs, Anna Glover hopes to create a new way of catching criminals by combining witness memories in a virtual reality simulator. A new case appears simple: a foster child put in a coma by a brutal assault. But when the boy’s sister disappears and Anna’s own actions are called into question, it is clear that there are those who do not want her to succeed… (6/19)

     
  • The cover of the book Tell the Machine Goodnight

    Tell the Machine Goodnight

    A Novel

    Pearl’s job is to make people happy. Every day, she provides customers with personalized recommendations for greater contentment. She’s good at her job, her office manager tells her, successful. But how does one measure an emotion?Meanwhile, there’s Pearl’s teenage son, Rhett. A sensitive kid who has forged an unconventional path through adolescence, Rhett seems to find greater satisfaction in being unhappy. The very rejection of joy is his own kind of “pursuit of happiness.” As his mother, Pearl wants nothing more than to help Rhett–but is it for his sake or for hers? Certainly it would make Pearl happier. Regardless, her son is one person whose emotional life does not fall under the parameters of her job–not as happiness technician, and not as mother, either. (6/19)

     
  • The cover of the book Thicker Than Water

    Thicker Than Water

    Old ghosts are coming back to haunt Felix. Names and faces he thought he’d left behind in Liverpool resurface in London, bringing Felix far more trouble than he’d anticipated. Childhood memories, family traumas, sins old and new, and a council estate that was meant to be a modern utopia until it turned into something like hell….These are just some of the sticks life uses to beat Felix Castor with, as things go from bad to worse for London’s favorite freelance exorcist. (6/19)

     
  • The cover of the book Witchmark

    Witchmark

    In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own. Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family’s interest or to be committed to a witches’ asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans’ hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is. (6/19)

     
  • The cover of the book A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe

    A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe

    Furious and fun, the first book in this bold, new science fiction adventure series follows a crew of outcasts as they try to find a legendary ship that just might be the key to savings themselves-and the universe. Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she’s washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but this time she got something real–the story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction. Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation and the darling of the racing world–until she witnesses Mother murder a fellow racer. Framed for the murder and on the hunt to clear her name, Nilah has only one lead: the killer also hunts Boots. On the wrong side of the law, the two women board a smuggler’s ship that will take them on a quest for fame, for riches, and for justice. (6/26)

     
  • The cover of the book Devil Sharks

    Devil Sharks

    When Alex Simmons is invited to a college reunion in the Hawaiian islands aboard the private yacht of his old pal Harry Curtis, he is not sure what to expect. The two men had a falling-out years ago over the suicide of one of their friends. Could this be Harry’s way of making amends? Or is something more sinister in store. The crew sets sail and arrives at Orchid Atoll, the site of a deserted former Coast Guard station. But they are far from alone. Out here, three hundred miles from civilization, Alex and his friends are about to encounter two very different brands of evil—one human, the other with fins—unlike anything they could have possibly imagined. They have entered a place where there’s no law, no mercy. . .and no way out. (6/26)

     
  • The cover of the book Drop By Drop

    Drop By Drop

    From Morgan Llywelyn, the bestselling author of Lion of Ireland and the Irish Century series, comes Drop By Drop, her first near-future science fiction thriller where technology fails and a small town struggles to survive global catastrophe. In this first book in the Step By Step trilogy, global catastrophe occurs as all plastic mysteriously liquefies. All the small components making many technologies possible—navigation systems, communications, medical equipment—fail. In Sycamore River, citizens find their lives disrupted as everything they’ve depended on melts around them, with sometimes fatal results. All they can rely upon is themselves. And this is only the beginning … (6/26)

     
  • The cover of the book Gate Crashers

    Gate Crashers

    Humankind ventures further into the galaxy than ever before… and immediately causes an intergalactic incident. In their infinite wisdom, the crew of the exploration vessel Magellan, or as she prefers “Maggie,” decides to bring the alienstructure they just found back to Earth. The only problem? The aliens are awfully fond of that structure. A planet full of bumbling, highly evolved primates has just put itself on a collision course with a far wider, and more hostile, galaxy that is stranger than anyone can possibly imagine. (6/26)

     

     
  • The cover of the book The Emerald Sea

    The Emerald Sea

    The final installment in Richelle Mead’s sweeping, enthralling Glittering Court series answers the trilogy’s biggest question: what is the secret that drives Tamsin to win at all costs?

    Tamsin Wright is unstoppable. She must become the Glittering Court’s diamond: the girl with the highest test scores, the most glamorous wardrobe, and the greatest opportunities to match with an elite suitor in the New World. Training alongside other girls in the Glittering Court, Tamsin immerses herself completely in lessons about etiquette, history, and music–everything a high-society wife would need to know. Once she’s married, she’ll be able to afford a better life for her family, so the sacrifice is worth it if she can be the best. (6/26)

     
  • The cover of the book Spying on Whales

    Spying on Whales

    The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures

    Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-sized creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and travel entire ocean basins. Whales fill us with terror, awe, and affection–yet there is still so much we don’t know about them. Why did it take whales over 50 million years to evolve to such big sizes, and how do they eat enough to stay that big? How did their ancestors return from land to the sea–and what can their lives tell us about evolution as a whole? Importantly, in the sweepstakes of human-driven habitat and climate change, will whales survive? (6/26)

     
  • The cover of the book A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

    A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

    Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong. (6/26)