April has been one of the strongest months so far this year for new science fiction and fantasy. For those of us who have been stuck at home for weeks, these new books offer a great way to escape your four walls without leaving the couch.
But don’t worry: while events like “lockdown” and “shelter in place” will eventually disappear, these excellent reads will continue to entertain.
Here are a handful of the Amazon Books editors’ picks for the best science fiction and fantasy books of April. Click here to see the full list of picks.
Legacy of Ash by Matthew Ward
Matthew Ward’s debut novel hits all the familiar notes of epic fantasy—noble houses in conflict, forbidden sorcery, soaring prose—but brings a fresh and vibrant sound that makes it stand out among its peers. While a seemingly crushed rebellion simmers beneath the surface, Josiri Trelan has to weigh the right moment to revive the fight against his people’s oppressors. But another enemy lurks across the border, its eyes on a bigger prize. Interweaving and conflicting motivations give Legacy of Ash complexity and depth even as you try to figure out which likable character to root for.
The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
With an unsatisfying family life, Charleston housewife Patricia lives for her book club. But when a charming man takes an interest in Patricia and her book club, she begins to wonder if they are being groomed for something sinister. Amazon senior editor Vannessa Cronin said about Hendrix’s novel, “Pitching a novel as ‘Steel Magnolias meets Dracula’ is a bold move, but The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires lives up to the comparison…. The big draw here is a portrayal of the ’90s—both hilarious and spot-on accurate—that manages to be both gentle satire and affectionate homage all in one, while touching on social issues like racism, sexism, classism, and feminism. Watching these friends put the steel in steel magnolias may be the funniest horror story you read all year.”
Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie
Orphaned by the seizure of his planet by the Umber Empire, Ettian sees the Umber military academy as his way to putting the past firmly behind him and living a pilot’s existence untroubled by hunger, fear, and bad dreams. But when his roommate, best friend, and secret crush, Gal, is targeted for assassination and then revealed to be the heir to the empire, Ettian finds that the past he’s tried to keep buried won’t stay put. Fast-paced, fun, and sweetly vibrating with longing, Emily Skrutskie's SF adventure delivers a humdinger of an ending that will have readers lining up for book two in the series.
The Last Emperox by John Scalzi
John Scalzi concludes his series with the looming end of civilization for billions who live in the Interdependency—a wide net of systems connected by the Flow. But the Flow is starting to disappear, and the only system able to sustain itself is the previously overlooked planet at End. As the noble houses fight among themselves to gain passage to End, Emperox Grayland II and her mathematician advisor/boyfriend are fighting to find a way to save everyone. A few perfectly placed shockers, the unstoppable and foul-mouthed Kiva Lagos, and Scalzi’s always-hilarious banter propel this series-ender to an epic conclusion.
The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey
M. R. Carey (The Girl with All the Gifts) gives the ecological thriller a new spin, asking: What if trees had been genetically engineered (albeit accidentally) to kill people? With humanity scattered in small, remote towns and battling every day for survival against the plant life that surrounds them, young Koli slowly discovers a truth that could overturn the last vestiges of civilization, if he’s bold enough to act.
Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst
When people die, they are reborn as humans, animals, or monsters. Bloodthirsty, misshapen, and untamable, monsters are feared by all, even those who ride and race monsters. Disgraced rider and trainer Tamra takes a chance on buying a powerful monster that, if trained properly, could win her enough money in the monster races to keep her daughter at home. But this is no regular monster.... A delightful fantasy read that could be happily devoured in a weekend.
Six new science fiction and fantasy books that will make you want to stay home and read.