The Art of Prophecy by Wesley ChuThe Chosen One? Although Jian is the prophesied Champion of the Five Under Heaven, middle-aged warrior Taishi, tasked with overseeing his progress, sees that the young man is not up to the task and takes it upon herself to whip him into shape.
Series alert: This wuxia-inspired novel by the author of The Lives of Tao kicks off the War Arts Saga.
For fans of: Jin Yong's Legends of the Condor Heroes books.
The Book Eaters by Sunyi DeanIntroducing: Devon Fairweather of the Six Families, a race of "book eaters" who subsist on the printed word, and her son, Cai, a rare "mind eater" whose voracious appetite for brains sends them both into hiding.
What happens: Devon goes to extraordinary lengths to keep Cai sheltered and fed while seeking a medication called Redemption, which is Cai's best hope for long-term survival.
Read it for: immersive world-building, morally grey characters, a Gothic atmosphere, and a powerful meditation on motherhood.
A Half-Built Garden by Ruthanna EmrysThey come in peace: In 2083, Judy Wallach-Stevens, her wife Carol, and their infant, Dori, become the first humans to encounter the friendly aliens that have to come to Earth to help humanity.
To the stars? Although the insectoid Cytosine and her family assume that all humans will want to join them off-world, Judy and her family want to remain on Earth to try and save a dying planet.
Reviewers say: an "ambitious near-future mix of climate fiction, first-contact sci-fi, and celebration of Jewish motherhood" (Publishers Weekly).
The Women Could Fly by Megan GiddingsIn a world... where women must either marry a male "keeper" or submit to constant monitoring through a government-mandated registry, Josephine Thomas, a bisexual, biracial Black woman, has lived under a cloud of suspicion ever since her unconventional mother disappeared amid rumors of witchcraft.
Why you might like it: This dystopian novel by the author of Lakewood explores themes of race, gender, and oppression in a manner that may interest fans of Alexis Henderson's The Year of the Witching.
The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem JamniaIntroducing: Firuz-e Jafari, a Sassanian blood-magic practitioner who fled persecution in their homeland and now works as an assistant healer in the Free Democratic City-State of Qilwa.
What happens: When a strange illness spreads through Qilwa, Firuz and their boss, Kofi, work to save patients while dealing with prejudice against Sassanian refugees, who are being blamed for the epidemic.
For fans of: the layered world-building and mystery-solving protagonist of Katherine Addison's Cemeteries of Amalo series.
Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators Revolution by R.F. KuangGreat Britain, 1828: Robin Swift, a Chinese orphan raised in England, studies under the enigmatic Professor Lovell in preparation for entry to Oxford's Royal Institute of Translation, also known as Babel.
Divided loyalties: As Robin pursues his studies, he also becomes involved with the Hermes Society, an underground network dedicated to thwarting Britain's imperial ambitions.
About the author: R.F. Kuang is the author of the acclaimed Poppy War trilogy.
The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyneWhat it is: a reimagining of Rapunzel from the perspective of the witch, set in 12th-century Germany (and including an appearance by Hildegard von Bingen).
What happens: Haelewise, orphaned at a young age and shunned by the inhabitants of her village, sets off to find the mysterious tower known as Gothel, where she hopes to find sanctuary.
You might also like: Carolyn Turgeon's The Fairest of Them All or Danielle Teller's All the Ever Afters.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu MandannaMeet: Mika Moon, a solitary witch who's summoned to the isolated Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to manage their magic lest they endanger themselves and others.
Read it for: a warmhearted story of chosen family with a side of romance that features a diverse cast of likable eccentrics.
For fans of: TJ Klune's The House in the Cerulean Sea.
Fault Tolerance by Valerie ValdesStarring: Captain Eva Innocente, whose vacation is interrupted by an apocalyptic scenario, forcing her and the crew of the cargo ship La Sirena Negra (including the psychic cats) to save the universe.
Series alert: Fault Tolerance is the 3rd book in the Chilling Effect series, after Chilling Effect and Prime Deceptions.
You might also like: Alex White's Salvagers series, or Cat Rambo's You Sexy Thing.
The First Binding by R.R. VirdiWhat it is: the opening installment of Tales of Tremaine series, in which Ari, the Storyteller, recounts the deeds that earned him his many names.
Why you might like it: Employing a narrative structure similar to that of Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles, this series opener, set in a South Asian-inspired world, follows an unlikely hero's journey.
Want a taste? "I walked into the tavern with the most important thing in the world. A story. And I ended up swept into the most dangerous one of all."
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Athens County Public Libraries
95 W. Washington St.
Nelsonville, Ohio 45764