Check It Out Category: Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Staff Picks for Digital Reads and Listens

Need a new book to provide comfort, distraction, or insight during this time of social distancing? Our readers’ advisory staff have picked favorites that are available through the OverDrive or Hoopla digital book services with little or no wait! Check back twice each week for fresh digital recommendations of what to read, watch, or listen to, follow along on Goodreads, or contact us for a suggestion that is personalized just for you!

accident book coverLaura recommends
The Accident by Chris Pavone
“a clever and suspenseful conspiracy thriller”
ebook and e-audio
hollywood homicide book coverAl recommends
Hollywood Homicide
by Kellye Garrett
“a fast-paced whodunit”
e-audio
familiars book coverLiz recommends
The Familiars by Stacey Halls
“compelling and delightfully atmospheric”
e-audio

 

i love you so mochi book coverAbby recommends
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn
“a sweet YA romance about following your own dreams and reconnecting with friends and family”
 e-audio and ebook
harrys trees book coverDenise recommends
Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen
for fans of A Man Called Ove
ebook and e-audio
book of joy book coverJenny recommends
The Book of Joy
by Dalai Lama XIV & Desmond Tutu
“deep happiness and light humor radiate through this wide-ranging conversation between two individuals who have faced adversity”
e-audio and ebook

 

bel canto book coverNancy recommends
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
“offers escape through fascinating characters and gorgeous writing”
ebook and e-audio
they called us enemy book coverAndrea recommends
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
“really helped to put the discomforts of self-quarantine into perspective”
ebook
spellman files book coverCathleen recommends
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
“crackling narration, interesting twists, and full-throttle hilarity”
e-audio

 

conviction book coverDenise recommends
Conviction by Denise Mina
“delightfully twisty and suspenseful with a dash of humor!”
e-audio and ebook
one more thing book coverJenny recommends
One More Thing by B.J. Novak
“hilarious and smart short stories”
e-audio and ebook
nine women one dress book coverLaura recommends
by Jane L. Rosen
“charming, feel-good story”
ebook and e-audio

 

underground airlines book coverCathleen recommends
Underground Airlines
by Ben H. Winters
“a smart, moody, tantalizing ride”
ebook and e-audio
spin the dawn book coverAbby recommends
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
“for readers who enjoy books by Sarah J. Maas or stories with fairy-tale elements”
ebook and e-audio
yellow house book coverAl recommends
The Yellow House
by Sarah M. Broom
National Book Award winner
New Orleans memoir
ebook

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society cover image
Nancy and Abby recommend
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
“a warm-hearted book with likable characters”
ebook and e-audio
The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleLiz recommends
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
by Stuart Turton
“the narrator’s voice is superb; you will be immediately immersed in the the world of the story”
e-audio and ebook

 

New for Book Clubs: Dark Matter, The Name of the Wind, and Redeployment

Book groups come in all sizes and flavors. If you are part of a group that specializes in speculative or gritty stories, or if your ‘traditional’ group is ready for something not quite as traditional, you may be ready to meet one of our newest additions to the Book Discussion collection. These are hand-picked reads ideal for personal enrichment or for group conversation. Check out earlier announcements one, two, and three, and watch for additional announcements each week!

Dark Matter Dark Matter book cover by Blake Crouch

suspenseful, intricately plotted, fast-paced
for fans of Peter Clines, R.J. Pineiro, and Harlan Coben

A mind-bending, relentlessly paced science-fiction thriller, in which an ordinary man is kidnapped, knocked unconscious–and awakens in a world inexplicably different from the reality he thought he knew.

Goodreads Choice Award Runner-up: Best Science Fiction
LibraryReads Favorite
Loan Stars Favourite

 

Name of the Wind book coverThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

atmospheric, rich world-building, leisurely paced
for fans of Robin Hobb, Brent Weeks, and Terry Goodkind

A hero named Kvothe, now living under an assumed name as the humble proprietor of an inn, recounts his transformation from a magically gifted young man into the most notorious wizard, musician, thief, and assassin in his world.

Publishers Weekly: Best Book of the Year
Alex Award
Reading List Award

 

Redeployment book coverRedeployment by Phil Klay

candid, haunting, darkly humorous
for fans of Tim O’Brien, Karl Marlantes, and Joseph Heller

A collection of short stories by a former Marine captain and Iraq veteran focuses on the complexities of life for soldiers on the front lines and after, exploring themes ranging from brutality and faith to guilt and survival.

National Book Award: Best Fiction
National Book Critics Circle Award
Time Magazine: Best Book of the Year

Exciting New Fiction Series to Discover

If you are looking for a new story world to explore and love the guarantee of multiple volumes ready-and-waiting, try one of these recent additions to the MPPL fiction collections:

Black Prism book coverLightbringer Series by Brent Weeks (5 books)

epic fantasy
for fans of George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss
*recent New York Times bestseller*

Start with The Black Prism
When Gavin Guile–high priest and emperor, the most powerful man in the world known to all as the Prism–discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

 

 

Truth or Beard book coverWinston Brothers series by Penny Reid (7 books)

contemporary romance
for fans of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson
*Goodreads Choice finalist*

Start with Truth or Beard
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain. But when she realizes that Duane is interested in her, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

 

Rosewater book coverWormwood Trilogy by Tade Thompson

science fiction; Afrofuturism
for fans of Jeff VanderMeer and James S.A. Corey

Start with Rosewater
Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless – people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers. Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again — but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realization about a horrifying future.

 

Sita book coverRam Chandra series by Amish (3 books)

historical fantasy; mythological fiction
for fans of Saladin Ahmed and G. Willow Wilson

Start with Scion of Ikshvaku
3400 BCE. India. A terrible war has taken its toll. The demon King of Lanka, Raavan, does not impose his rule on the defeated. He, instead, imposes his trade. The Sapt Sindhu people descend into poverty. They cry for a leader to lead them out of the morass. Little do they appreciate that a leader, a tortured and ostracized prince, is among them.

Staff Picks: Liz’s Selections of the Day

We asked Fiction Librarian Liz which books she’s recommending today.

She chose a combination of evocative stories that touch upon the mysterious and tragic, while searching for a measure of hope in complex situations.

 

 

 

The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

When Major Gryffth Hockaday is called to the front lines of the Civil War, his new bride is left to care for her husband’s three-hundred-acre farm and infant son. Placidia, a mere teenager herself living far from her family and completely unprepared to run a farm or raise a child, must endure the darkest days of the war on her own. By the time Major Hockaday returns two years later, Placidia is bound for jail, accused of having borne a child in his absence and murdering it. What really transpired in the two years he was away?

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater are awake, magic is swirling around Blue and The Raven boys and Ronan Lynch’s ability to pull objects from his dreams is almost out of control but worst of all, the mysterious Gray Man is stalking the Lynch family, looking for something called the Greywaren.

 
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom. When their paths converge in route to the ship that promises salvation, Joana, Emilia, and Florian find their strength, courage, and trust in one another tested with each step closer toward safety. When tragedy strikes the Wilhelm Gustloff, they must fight for the same thing: survival.

Books: If You Are a Fan of Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones, the first book in George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series, was the basis for the wildly popular HBO series, Game of Thrones, now airing in its final season. If you just cannot get enough of either the TV series or the book series (or both!), explore these engaging readalikes that offer adventures in similar realms.
 
 

The Ruin of Kings book coverThe Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
Large cast of characters, World-building, Epic fantasy

When destiny calls, there’s no fighting back. Kihrin grew up in the slums of Quur, a thief and a minstrel’s son raised on tales of long-lost princes and magnificent quests. When he is claimed against his will as the missing son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds himself at the mercy of his new family’s ruthless power plays and political ambitions.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Malice book coverMalice by John Gwynne
Epic fantasy, Large cast of characters, World-building

The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle, but now giants are seen, the stones weep blood and giant wyrms are stirring. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. For if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind’s hopes and dreams will fall to dust … and it can never be made whole again.

 

 

 

 

 

The Emperor's Blades book coverThe Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley
Epic fantasy, Court intrigue, World-building, Large cast of characters

The children of an assassinated emperor try to stay alive and avenge their father’s death while continuing down their individual life-paths, one in a monastery, another training with elite soldiers, and one appointed a minister determined to prove herself to her people.

 

 

 

 

 

Epic fantasy, World-building, Large cast of characters
A wholly seductive tale of war, passion, and intrigue, evoking the spirit of medieval Japan. It is the story of a boy who is suddenly plucked from his life in a remote and peaceful village to find himself a pawn in a political scheme filled with treacherous warlords, rivalry and the intensity of first love.

 

 

 

 

 

Prince of Thorns book coverPrince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Epic fantasy, World-building, Court drama, Violent
After witnessing the murder of his mother and brother and leading a band of bloodthirsty thugs, Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath returns to his father’s castle and his birthright, but faces treachery and dark magic once he arrives.

 

 

 

 

 

The Mists of Avalon book coverThe Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Strong female, World-building, Dramatic, Mystical
The tumult and adventures of Camelot’s court seen through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king’s rise and schemed for his fall. As Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar struggle for control over the fate of Arthur’s kingdom, as the Knights of the Round Table take on their infamous quest, as Merlin and Viviane wield their magics for the future of Old Britain, the Isle of Avalon slips further into the impenetrable mists of memory.