Fantasy and Science Fiction
Ascension by Nicholas BingeWhat happens: After a snow-capped mountain peak emerges from the Pacific Ocean, eccentric scientist Harold Tunmore joins an expedition to explore its strange terrain, which he recounts in a series of unsent letters.
Why you might like it: Multiple perspectives keep readers guessing throughout this speculative thriller, which pays homage to the work of Mary Shelley, H.P. Lovecraft, and more.
For fans of: Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy or Michael Rutger's Anomaly Files series.
The Scourge Between Stars by Ness BrownIntroducing: Jaclyn Albright, acting captain of the starship Calypso, which carries the last remaining humans from their failed space colony to a long-abandoned Earth.
What happens: Jaclyn must deal with both the Calypso's mutinous crew and an extraterrestrial intruder stalking the ship's passengers.
For fans of: S.A. Barnes' Dead Silence or the 1979 space horror classic Alien.
Wings Once Cursed & Bound by Piper J. DrakeStarring: Thai American dancer Peeraphan "Punch" Rahttana, who conceals her kinnaree heritage from the humans around her; and vampire Bennett Andrews, a member of a supernatural secret society that tracks down magical artifacts, such as the cursed red shoes that Punch is currently wearing.
Why you might like it: Set in Seattle, this 1st book in the Mythwoven series blends urban fantasy and romance in ways that may appeal to fans of Sarah J. Maas' Crescent City novels.
Red Team Blues by Cory DoctorowOne last job: On the eve of his retirement, 67-year-old forensic accountant Martin Hench reluctantly agrees to recover stolen cryptocurrency keys at the request of his oldest friend, an eccentric technologist turned blockchain true believer.
Reviewers say: This noir-tinged cyberpunk caper, the 1st in a planned series about Martin's Silicon Valley exploits, is "jam-packed with cutting-edge ideas" (Booklist).
Furious Heaven by Kate ElliottWhat it is: the sequel to Unconquerable Sun, and the 2nd installment of a sweeping, action-packed space opera inspired by the life of Alexander the Great.
Starring: Princess Sun Shan, who takes the place of her mother, Queen-Marshal Eirene, as head of the Republic of Chaonia; and Sun's loyal Companions, who lend support as she adjusts to her new role.
Why you might like it: The novel's diverse ensemble cast includes multiple narrators, who provide different perspectives on the action (copious) and intrigue (thorny).
The Last Heir to Blackwood Library by Hester FoxYorkshire, England, 1925: Ivy Radcliffe inherits Blackwood Abbey and its mysterious library, which may be responsible for the untimely deaths of the estate's previous residents.
Reviewers say: This "atmospheric historical fantasy" (Publishers Weekly) full of ghostly visitors, strange happenings, and sinister locals harboring secrets makes "a fine addition to the gothic genre" (Booklist).
You might also like: Simone St. James' Silence for the Dead or Katie Lumsden's The Secrets of Hartwood Hall.
In the Lives of Puppets by TJ KluneWhat it is: a "gripping and heartfelt queer dystopian" (Publishers Weekly) retelling of Pinocchio by the author of The House in The Cerulean Sea.
Starring: forest-dwelling android inventor Giovanni "Gio" Lawson and his human son, Victor, whose efforts to repair lost android HAP expose their unconventional robot family to danger.
For fans of: A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers.
The Ten Percent Thief by Lavanya LakshminarayanWelcome to: Apex City (the former Bangalore, India), where status depends on productivity, as determined by the "meritocratic technarchy" of the Bell Corporation, which assigns people to quartiles.
The problem: While the "Virtual Elite" are satisfied with their lives, the bottom ten percent, known as "Analogs," are less thrilled with their lot in life: confined to slums until their organs are harvested. But one Analog has decided to take matters into their own hands.
Book buzz: Originally published in India as Analog/Virtual and Other Simulations of Your Future, this mosaic novel is now available to a wider audience.
Camp Zero by Michelle Min SterlingIn a world... where climate change has rendered much of the Earth uninhabitable, the northern settlement of Camp Zero welcomes two new arrivals -- sex worker and spy "Rose" and privileged professor Grant -- whose paths will intersect in surprising ways.
Who it's for: Unfolding from multiple perspectives and jumping between past and present-day timelines, this stylistically complex dystopian novel may interest fans of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale or Catherine Hernandez's Crosshairs.
Media buzz: Camp Zero is a selection of The Today Show's Read With Jenna book club.
Some Desperate Glory by Emily TeshIntroducing: Kyr, a young warrior on Gaea Station whose dreams of avenging Earth are shattered when, instead of being sent into battle, she's assigned to the Nursery, where she must birth the next generation of supersoldiers.
Is it for you? This gritty space opera by the author of the Greenhollow Duology puts its protagonist through the wringer as she comes to question her lifelong indoctrination in an extremist death cult that holds disturbing ideological positions concerning race, gender, and sexuality.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Southeast Kansas Library System
218 E. Madison Ave.
Iola, Kansas 66749