Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of June



Best of the MonthHere it is! The best science fiction and fantasy of June: Librarians who travel to alternate worlds, a young woman who must save her city, Daniel O'Malley's eagerly awaited sequel to The Rook, and more marvelous sci-fi and fantasy tales that will unleash your imagination.

 

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The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman - Cogman smashes gas-lamp London together with Librarians who travel through space and time to add special books to the shelves of the Library. Irene and her new (and mysterious) assistant Kai find themselves way over their heads as a dangerous rogue ex-Librarian stalks them and the rare book they are trying to retrieve for the Library, even as they find themselves in the middle of a war between vampires, fey, and other magical creatures. Irene is a quick-thinking and smooth-acting protagonist, and fans of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series will especially enjoy this dynamic literary romp.
 

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Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee - Lee's hard sci-fi thriller is a cat-and-mouse game between ruling classes, a rebellious genius, and a battlefield soldier whose own razor-sharp grasp of math could change everything. When I say "hard" sci-fi, I mean that you'll have to use your brain as Lee weaves numbers and strategy together in a fascinating universe that doesn't operate under our  mundane rules of physics. But the story is well worth the effort. And your newly strengthened brain will thank you.
 

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Stiletto (The Rook Files) by Daniel O'Malley - O'Malley is back with a new adventure for amnesiac Myfanwy Thomas and her supernatural soldiers as they tentatively form an alliance with the Grafters, their centuries-long adversary. But something is killing supernatural and Grafters alike in London, threatening to sabotage negotiations unless a Pawn who can see a person's past and a Grafter with ties to the murderers can stop the killings. O'Malley's sense of the ridiculous makes every page spark with wit, and readers who've been waiting anxiously for this sequel to The Rook (one of our 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime) will be delighted with the results.
 

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League of Dragons by Naomi Novik - Novik concludes her nine-book Temeraire series with a finale that intermixes battles with alliance-building and finally settles the question of dragon servitude. Those who've been following Laurence and Temeraire's adventures as they attempt to defeat Napoleon will appreciate how Novik brings the series to a close. Start with His Majesty's Dragon if you haven't read these books--but definitely put these books on your must-read list if you love fantasy with a historical twist.
 

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Steeplejack by A. J. Hartley - The city of Bar-Selehm comes alive in the pages of Steeplejack as our heroine Ang investigates the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murder of her young apprentice. Age-old factions, well-developed characters, and the quest for an invaluable resource all combine to create a wholly original place that feels lived-in and real in a way that escapes even some history books. Steeplejack will keep you guessing until the end, but since you won't be able to put it down, that may not be long. (Review by Matt Fyffe)
 

 See the full list of our best of the month picks here.


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