Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews

DEFY THE STARS by Claudia Gray
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 4, 2017

"Intelligent and thoughtful, a highly relevant far-off speculative adventure. (Science-fiction. 12 & up)"
A teen soldier teams up with an enemy android to end an interplanetary war. Read full book review >
WAKING GODS by Sylvain Neuvel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 4, 2017

"Pure, unadulterated literary escapism featuring giant killer robots and the looming end of humankind. In a word: unputdownable."
A brazen fusion of science fiction and apocalyptic thriller, the second installment in Neuvel's Themis Files (Sleeping Giants, 2016) is powered by nonstop action and adventure involving alien invaders and an army of seemingly indestructible giant robots—but ultimately it's also a deeply character-driven exploration of what it means to be human. Read full book review >

THE EDGE OF THE ABYSS by Emily Skrutskie
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 18, 2017

"A dazzling, satisfying sequel. (Science fiction. 14 & up)"
The sequel to The Abyss Surrounds Us (2016) finds this world's post-apocalyptic future threatened by rogue genetically engineered sea monsters. Read full book review >
WALKAWAY by Cory Doctorow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 25, 2017

"A truly visionary techno-thriller that not only depicts how we might live tomorrow, but asks why we don't already."
Doctorow (Information Doesn't Want to Be Free, 2014, etc.) offers a counterintuitive alternate (possible?) future in this gritty yet hopeful sci-fi epic. Read full book review >
WITHIN THE SANCTUARY OF WINGS by Marie Brennan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 25, 2017

"Catch them all. Don't start here."
Fifth and final chapter (In the Labyrinth of Drakes, 2016, etc.) of the memoirs of Isabella, Lady Trent of Scirland, dragon naturalist extraordinaire. Read full book review >

BORNE by Jeff VanderMeer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 2, 2017

"Superb: a protagonist and a tale sure to please fans of smart, literate fantasy and science fiction."
"Once upon a time there was a piece of biotech that grew and grew until it had its own apartment": an odd, atmospheric, and decidedly dark fable for our time. Read full book review >
THE BLACK WITCH by Laurie Forest
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 2, 2017

"A massive page-turner that leaves readers longing for more. (Fantasy. 14-adult)"
Transported from her sheltered village life to join the diverse, magical student body at Verpax University, Elloren Gardner's comfortable sense of history is challenged by living and learning alongside Elves, shape-shifting Lupines, and even feared, demonic Icarals. Read full book review >
A FACE LIKE GLASS by Frances Hardinge
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: May 10, 2017

"Madcap, mysterious, magical, and meaty: like Grandible's cheeses, this may cause visions—or just make your head explode (with delight). Don't miss it. (Fantasy. 10-adult)"
A new-old book from Hardinge (published in the U.K. in 2012 but only now arriving stateside) balancing wit and wonder with a dose of big thoughts. Read full book review >
FIREBRAND by A.J.  Hartley
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 6, 2017

"Readers who come for the tightly plotted mystery will stay for the heroine who does all she can to resist. (Mystery/fantasy. 14-adult)"
Three months after the events of Steeplejack (2016), Anglet Sutonga investigates an elite social club to uncover the identity of a thief and traitor. But as she follows each clue, the Lani girl discovers that wealth, bigotry, and political power intersect to deplorable effect. Read full book review >
FELIX YZ by Lisa Bunker
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: June 6, 2017

"Joyful, heartbreaking, completely bonkers, and exuberantly alive. (Science fiction. 10-adult)"
A freak scientific accident leaves an ordinary Maine boy atomically bonded to a fourth-dimensional being in this debut middle-grade novel. Read full book review >
MIDNIGHT AT THE ELECTRIC by Jodi Lynn Anderson
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 13, 2017

"Deft, succinct, and ringing with emotion without ever dipping into sentimentality, Anderson's novel is both intriguing and deeply satisfying. (Science/historical fiction. 12-adult)"
In the year 2065, 16-year-old Adri Ortiz is one of the hardworking, talented few chosen to colonize Mars. Read full book review >
THE ROAD TO WINTER by Mark Smith
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: June 13, 2017

"A breakout new series full of romance, danger, and a surprisingly engaging world. (Post-apocalyptic adventure. 14-adult)"
A deadly virus has devastated the population of Australia, leaving pockets of humanity to survive as best as they can. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Brad Parks
author of SAY NOTHING
March 7, 2017

In Brad Parks’ new thriller Say Nothing, judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: a prestigious job. A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she’ll get the kids from school instead. It’s not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn’t have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent’s most chilling nightmare begins. A man has stolen Sam and Emma. For Scott and Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror; a high-profile trial like none the judge or his wife has ever experienced. Their marriage falters. Suspicions and long-buried jealousies rise to the surface. Fractures appear. Lies are told. “The nerve-shredding never lets up for a minute as Parks picks you up by the scruff of the neck, shakes you vigorously, and repeats over and over again till a climax so harrowing that you’ll be shaking with gratitude that it’s finally over,” our critic writes in a starred review. View video >