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The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of May



The Admiral and Company TownWhether you like large robots, kids who can bring inanimate objects to life, or dragon-riding, you'll be delighted with the great sci-fi and fantasy books coming out in May.

Read on.

 

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Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel - There's a lot to love about this book. Neuvel's characters—especially the interviewer whose conversations with the key players form the backbone of the story—develop intriguing depth as they struggle to find and awaken the giant of the title. The pacing is tight even as the book spans years. And the way the team investigates the technology (eg, somewhat bumblingly) rings more true than 90 percent of we've-found-alien-technology stories. Clever, witty, and entertaining, Sleeping Giants is the first in a series, so be prepared for its open-ended conclusion.
 

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The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood - A refreshing new take on the evergreen tale of growing up with dragons, The Summer Dragon brims with action, politics, dragon-training, and war. Our heroine Maia thinks that this might be the year that she can keep back a qit (baby dragon) from the annual brood that her family raises for their country's army. But the war is turning against her country, and all qits are needed. The appearance of the Summer Dragon—a near-mythical beast that signals change is a-comin'—inspires Maia to defy her family and the army to find her own dragon, and sets in motion larger changes than she could have imagined. Maia is a marvelous young hero with both spunk and thoughtfulness, and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
 

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Company Town by Madeline Ashby - Hwa is an anomaly. Completely organic among a heavily bio-augmented population, she keeps sex workers safe from violent clients as they legally ply their trade on a massive oil rig off the Canadian coast. After the rig is purchased by the powerful Lynch family, Hwa is offered the job of protecting the young Lynch heir. But while Hwa guards young Lynch, sex workers are being murdered without Hwa to protect them. Subtle, tense, and complex, Company Town masterfully straddles the line between science fiction, thriller, and romance.
 

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Admiral by Sean Danker - The narrator wakes from cryo-sleep to find himself with an admiral's rank but not his uniform. Stuck aboard a dead spaceship with three military trainees who are very suspicious of his credentials, the admiral builds together the team to survive their desperate predicament despite the lack of trust. A mix of The Martian (lots of problem-solving) and Jurassic Park (lots of nonstop danger), The Admiral keeps the action level high even while the question niggles in the back of your brain: Who IS the admiral? Readers who like unreliable narrators will be able to handle this setup with aplomb, but if it's not your thing, then frustration might set in.
 

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Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer - There were definitely parts during Too Like the Lightning when I thought, "I'm not smart enough for this book." Palmer packs a lot into this futuristic tale of a man whose past crimes puts him in perpetual service to others, but his insight and intelligence allows him to be a critical part of an investigation into who is trying to undermine the power structure of the clans who rule the globe. But a boy who can bring inanimate objects to life threatens to overturn everything and spin the world into chaos.
 
The full list of our best books of the month in sci-fi and fantasy can be found here.
 

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