Epic Reads: 5 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Series to Consume This Holiday Weekend

Adrian Liang on November 19, 2018

If you like to stuff yourself with epic stories of space battles, humans versus monsters, survival against all odds, or the encroachment of magic in everyday life, your turkey dinner is going to get a challenge this week as it faces off against these binge-worthy book series.

Each series except one has six or more books in it, promising lots of great reading ahead.

Maybe this is actually the best long weekend to spend less time with the family....

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Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson

Alanson's wry voice and strong sense of history give these military sci-fi books more meatiness than the typical shoot-'em-up space dramas. In Columbus Day (a reference to the possible annihilation of humankind), two warring alien groups appear above Earth, and humans have to decide whom to side with. But the easiest-appearing choice might not be the right one. The most recent book in Alanson's seven-book series just released this month, so you'll have plenty of action-packed adventures to consume along with your mashed potatoes.

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The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski

Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher who hunts monsters and defends the innocent, but unfortunately not all monsters are inhuman. Complex politics and power plays among the various races keep Geralt on his toes and often running toward danger through this six-book-long series, with Season of Storms as the most recent entry. Sapkowski's dark fantasy books have inspired both The Witcher videogames and a not-yet-released Netflix series starring Henry Cavill (Superman) as Geralt of Rivia. But you know what to do by now: Read the books before you watch the show.

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The Twenty-Sided Sorceress by Annie Bellet

The series title alone should be a big clue that Bellet's urban fantasy books are geared toward RPG fans. Sorceress Jade Crow is hiding out in Idaho in her comic book and gaming store, scrupulously avoiding using her powers and drawing attention to herself. But Jade can't hide forever, and a shape-shifter arrives one day to drag her back into the fray in order to defend friends who need someone powerful like her in their corner. With nine books in this series so far, you're in for a treat.

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Frontlines by Marko Kloos

The grit, humanity, and heroism in Kloos's six-books-so-far military sci-fi series helps it stand out in a crowded field. Andrew Grayson's only way out of a dead-end existence on Earth is to join the armed forces and hope that he can somehow get off-planet during his enlistment. But aliens throw a wrench in Grayson's plans, and soon he's fighting for more than his own survival.

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Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Schwab's trilogy is short compared to the other series in this list, but that's not to say that you won't get a lot of story. Because you will. Magician Kell is one of the rare few who can travel between the parallel cities of Red London, White London, and Grey London, each of which has varying levels of magic. But when one of his trips goes awry, Kell is forced to partner with criminal Delilah Bard, who recognizes a prime opportunity when she sees it. Unfortunately, both Kell and Delilah soon get mixed up in a plot that could have repercussions in all the Londons...including the once-dormant Black London. These are thoroughly epic and enjoyable novels, with imaginative world building and complex character arcs that will challenge easy assumptions.

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