The coronavirus quarantine has impacted every industry, including publishing. From virtual book tours to the growth of online indie bookstores, authors and readers alike are adjusting to the literary world's new normal.
Even as readers turn to books for distraction and direction during the pandemic, brand-new releases aren't getting the in-person promotion and exposure they would have this time last year — which is why we're highlighting some of our favorite new releases. From a portal fantasy for the whole family to a historical horror novel, these sci-fi and fantasy books released in spring 2020 will keep you company during social distancing.
Did we forget your favorite new book? Share it with us in the comments, and we'll add it to our TBR!
Inside the Sun
Inside the Sun is the final book in The 8th Island Trilogy by author/illustrator Alexis Marie Chute.
The young adult series follows Ella Wellesley, a teenager with cancer, and her eccentric family. In the first book, Ella, her mother Tessa, and her paternal grandfather sail into a parallel universe while on a cruise in the Spanish Canary Islands.
In this final chapter of the Wellesley’s adventures, Ella and Tessa each grapple with revelations about their past — and sacrifices they know they'll have to make to save their new home.
Inside the Sun has heart, high stakes, and kaleidoscopic worldbuilding reminiscent of L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. This story of an estranged family reuniting in an extraordinary universe is the kind of optimistic and sincere SFF that's particularly refreshing given our current cirumstances.
The City We Became
The City We Became is the first book in a new series by N.K. Jemisin, the award-winning author of the Broken Earth series. In The City We Became, extraordinary cities develop avatars that represent the metropolis' unique spirit. New York has five avatars, one for each borough. But the city's future is threatened by the insidious influence of a force called The Woman in White.
Jemisin's latest novel is a particularly emotional read given the timing of the novel's release; like The Woman in White, coronavirus attacks the city's most vulnerable.
Despite its relevancy to current events, The City We Became is a hopeful novel about the future of New York, and an unsurprisingly powerful read from a master of speculative fiction.
The Book of Koli
M.R. Carey is the author of the Hungry Plague Duology, a zombie series about a fungus that transforms humans into frenzied 'hungries'. Carey's new Rampart Trilogy also explores the beauty and terror of the natural world.
In the first book, young Koli must venture outside the walls of his city to the rambling, alien, and deadly forest beyond.
Bonds of Brass
The first novel in a young adult space opera trilogy, Kirkus Reviews called Bonds of Brass “impeccably paced.”
Ettian Nassun and Gal Veres are roommates and aspiring fighter-pilots at a military academy run by the conquering Umber Empire. When a shocking plot reveals Gal is actually an Umber Empire heir, Ettian and Gal escape from would-be assassins at the academy.
In the wider galaxy, Ettian realizes that the revolution against the Umber Empire hasn't been stopped—and that he cares for Gal as more than a friend.
Bonds of Brass is clearly influenced by Star Wars, and these homages will delight fans of the galaxy far, far away—particularly when Ettian and Gal begin the kind of romance Finn and Poe 'shippers longed for.
The follow up to Foundryside, Shorefall is the second book in the Founders trilogy.
Tevanne is undergoing a transformation. Guided by accomplished thief Sancia Grado, the city is on the cusp of freeing itself from robber baron rule — but a newly-awakened evil threatens this rebirth. To defeat a generations-old threat, Sancia must master a mysterious new technology.
Lawyer Jonathon Bridge has an enviable life—the perfect family, the perfect job, and the perfectly-discrete mistresses.
When Jonathon's infidelities are discovered by his wife, he agrees to spend a year of penance in the The Fortress, a matriarchal society inhabited by the enigmatic Vaik.
An unsettling exploration of desire and gender roles, The Fortress is a challenging and fascinating dystopian novel.
Katsu’s acclaimed 2008 novel The Hunger reimagined the Donner party through a supernatural lens, blending historical research and horror. Her latest novel, The Deep, also combines history and fantasy for chilling results.
A few Titanic passengers sense from the start that something is very wrong aboard the ship. But not until years after the sinking does Marie Hebley, a nurse on the Titanic, begin to truly understand what happened on board.
Now a nurse on The Titanic’s sister ship The Britannica, Marie runs into an acquaintance she met aboard the doomed ship—and realizes the horror of that night in 1912 is not over yet.
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