‘Eyy! I’m back for a second month of new books, going through the Speculative Fiction releases for April 2022 that I’m interested in! We’ll mostly be focusing on fantasy, science fiction, and horror, but on the odd occasion, I may sneak in something non-fiction, historical fiction, romance perhaps. It all depends on what is out there. April has a few titles that I’m really intrigued by, and a few that could turn out to be fantastic reads. I may also update this post if I find things I had previously missed so do check back!
I’d also like to invite you to send over your future releases for these posts. I have to do a lot of research to find new releases and I am bound to miss some great titles. If you or somebody you represent has a book coming out that you feel might be of interest to me and the upcoming releases lists, please get in touch. Though I may not include everything, I will consider everything. I’d also like to extend huge thanks to Rob J. Hayes for his wonderful monthly Self Published Fantasy Release posts that really help me find some hidden gems, too. Make sure you check his post as well, there are certainly things I did not include and he updates it throughout the month!
There’s a lot to go through this month (I’m not sure they will always be this long but we’re rolling with it for April) and you can click the covers to go to each book’s respective Goodreads page. Let’s dive in, shall we!
1st April (josephtailor)
Ever woken up being a God, but not knowing how to God properly?
Poor Odin must restrain his brothers, who create offensive weapons such as mosquitoes and celery; placate his future-telling wife, Frigg, who demands sweatpants with pockets; listen to Loki’s Helpful Questions; hang himself from Yggdrasil for nine days with a spear through his side (as you do); teach everyone about nutritional values of kale (but NOT celery); meet a Wise Dom, Sir Daddy Mímir, in order to outwit those who outwit him; and, most importantly, prove he is The All-Father, while his brothers are, at best, Those-Uncles-We-Don’t-Talk-About.
This nearly (except in Vanaheim) universally acclaimed retelling of the Gods’ first millennium answers way too many questions, including ones on Freyr’s entendre, horse designing… and why Odin drinks.
4th April (Self-Published)
When the world is threatened with total destruction, can warchildren unite to save it?
A grimdark story of trauma and power with a Sanderson-esque magic system.
In this epic conclusion, all bets are off as Raziel and his rag-tag crew must finally come together against the rising dark power. If death doesn’t find them first.
The city of Archehan lies in ruins, banshees circle the crumbling towers. Famine and violence spread across the fallen kingdom. An empire marches its armies to war. Ancient magics are stirring, woken by Raziel’s choices.
With the fate of the world in their hands, will Raziel and his companions find the way forward through the darkness, or will they be the architects of their own doom?
A Canticle of War is the final instalment of the Aria of Steel trilogy, described as a coming-of-age young adult grimdark trilogy.
5th April (Orbit)
Cyrus was only twelve years old when his gods were slain, his country invaded, and his parents—the king and queen—beheaded in front of him. Held prisoner in the invader’s court for years, Cyrus is suddenly given a chance to escape and claim his revenge when a mysterious group of revolutionaries comes looking for a figurehead. They need a hero to strike fear into the hearts of the imperial and to inspire and unite the people. They need someone to take up the skull mask and swords and to become the legendary “Vagrant”—an unparalleled hero and assassin of otherworldly skill.
But all is not as it seems. Creating the illusion of a hero is the work of many, and Cyrus will soon discover the true price of his vengeance.
David Dalglish was one of the early successes of self-publishing, though I have not noticed a huge retained interest in his stuff, he is still releasing new things with Orbit, which is awesome! The Bladed Faith is the first in the Vagrant Gods trilogy that has my interest with dead gods and legendary weapons and heroes.
5th April (Aconyte)
Zachareth, Baron of Carthridge, is a driven, ruthless and obsessive man – a man who could be a hero, but he wants so much more. Having watched his father fall under the sway of a sorceress, Zachareth grows up craving knowledge and power. When his tutor at Greyhaven introduces him to forbidden magics, Zachareth discovers there is more to power than meets the eye. As he returns home to a barony on the verge of rebellion and beset by necromantic foes, Zachareth must choose his true path – the path of virtue and heroism, or that of darkness and villany; the line between the two is finer than most imagine.
5th April (Titan Books)
When a ghost ship is discovered, its crew presumed dead after trying to reach the storm-shrouded island of Akinah, Navani Kholin must send an expedition to make sure the island hasn’t fallen into enemy hands. Knights who fly too near find their magic suddenly drained, so the voyage must be by sea.
Years ago, shipowner Rysn Ftori lost the use of her legs but gained the companionship of Chiri-Chiri, a stormlight-ingesting larkin, a species once thought extinct. Now Rysn’s pet is ill, and any hope for Chiri-Chiri’s recovery can be found only at the ancestral home of the larkin: Akinah. With the help of Lopen, the formerly one-armed windrunner, Rysn must accept Navani’s quest and sail into the perilous storm from which no one has returned alive. If the crew cannot uncover the secrets of the hidden island city before the wrath of its ancient guardians falls upon them, the fate of Roshar and the entire Cosmere hangs in the balance.
It amuses me that this is considered a novella for Sanderson at 288 pages, that’d be a novel by anyone else’s standards! Dawnshard sits between Oathbringer and Rhythm of War in the Stormlight Archive.
5th April (Pushkin Children’s Books)
The legendary Hotel Magnifique is like no other: a magical world of golden ceilings, enchanting soirées and fountains flowing with champagne. It changes location every night, stopping in each place only once a decade. When the Magnifique comes to her hometown, seventeen-year-old Jani hatches a plan to secure jobs there for herself and her younger sister, longing to escape their dreary life.
Luck is on their side, and with a stroke of luminous ink on paper the sisters are swept into a life of adventure and opulence. But Jani soon begins to notice sinister spots in the hotel’s decadent façade. Who is the shadowy maître who runs the hotel? And can the girls discover the true price paid by those who reside there – before it’s too late?
5th April (Titan Books)
Rhea and her twin brother Lexos have spent an eternity helping their father rule their small, unstable country. For a hundred years, they’ve been each other’s only ally, defending one another against their father’s increasingly unpredictable anger. Now, with an independence movement gaining ground and their father’s rule weakening, the twins must take matters into their own hands to keep their family – their entire world – from crashing down around them. But other nations are vying for power, ready to cross and double cross, and if Rhea and Lexos aren’t careful, they’ll end up facing each other across the battlefield.
This book has one of the most stunning covers I have ever seen. Just look at the art on this thing, it’s beautiful.
5th April (Titan Books)
Carolyn’s not so different from the other people around her. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. Clothes are a bit tricky, but everyone says nice things about her outfit with the Christmas sweater over the gold bicycle shorts.
After all, she was a normal American herself once.
That was a long time ago, of course. Before she and the others were taken in by the man they called Father.
In the years since then, Carolyn hasn’t had a chance to get out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have studied the books in his Library and learned some of the secrets of his power. And sometimes, they’ve wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.
Now, Father is missing―perhaps even dead―and the Library that holds his secrets stands unguarded. And with it, control over all of creation.
6th April (True North Press)
Even in the stars, evil stalks him.
Desperate to escape his grief, Lekore has fled into space to train with Prince Toranskay and learn his role in the Universe. But while the Empire of Ahvenia appears to be the perfect sanctuary, not all that glitters is gold. Soon Lekore’s gifts are sought by a cult hidden among the Ahvenians, and its leader is determined to convert Lekore at any cost.
Meanwhile, the Kiisuld haven’t given up on claiming the Seer—and a certain Ahvenian royal—for themselves. Dead set on payback, the partnership heads for the heart of Ahvenian Space to hatch a scheme that will ensure their victory…
The stakes mount ever higher as Lekore begins to unravel ancient secrets tying his people to the tragic history shared between the Ahvenians and Kiisuld.
Worlds collide in this thrilling third installment of the Record of the Sentinel Seer!
6th April (Self-Published)
In exile since the civil war that tore the nation of Newfield apart, former spy and turncoat Marta Childress wants nothing more than to quietly live out her remaining days in the West. But then her manipulative brother arrives with one final mission: Transport the daughter of a hated inventor deep into the East. Forced to decide between safely delivering the girl and assassinating the inventor, Marta is torn between ensuring the fragile peace and sparking a second civil war.
Aided by an untrustworthy Dobra and his mysterious mute companion, Marta soon discovers that dark forces, human and perhaps the devil herself, seek to end her quest into the East.
This one is a re-release with a sparkling new cover that pits itself as a fantasy re-imagining of the American Civil War. Sounds pretty interesting!
6th April (Sable Star Press)
Through lands awash in dark secrets and half-forgotten truths, the duo Uralant and Emrasarie wield swordsmanship and seduction alike in the pursuit of fortune and precious coin.
But when a failed ploy for riches leads them to a city seduced beneath the thrall of ancient and malevolent sorcery, they unwillingly become entwined in the schemes of a nightmarish zealot and his own search for guarded treasures.
…and the deeper they continue to delve, the more the two come to realize they are little more than pawns against powers far greater than anything they could have ever imagined.
7th April (Gateway)
Aspects is the great John M. Ford’s last novel, unpublished in his lifetime. It is a fantasy novel unlike any other, filled with politics and manners, swords and sorcerous machine guns, ancient empires and the onward march of progress.
The master author’s lost work is finally here.
A forbidden romance.
Magic running rampant.
A monarchy coming to an end.
The world is changing, and with it a nation begins the process of dismantling the royal family and building a democracy in their place. A delicate and dangerous task, which sparks political intrigue in the halls of Parliament and power struggles that draw in the nobility, Archmages, and idealists alike . . . even before the Gods choose to meddle, in favour of old hierarchies.
Against this backdrop of political turmoil comes the powerful story of two lovers torn apart by the fragile new system . . . and a lost woman, overlooked in the power struggles, striving to find the help she needs to control her own powers.
9th April (Rune & Requiem Press)
Every world has its end. With Famine returned and freed of his restraints, Airene must find a way to stop the daemon god from devouring the world — no matter the cost…
The armies of the Avvad, the most powerful empire in the world, have arrived at the walls of Oedija. Despot Jaxas has rallied the city’s meager defenses, but with the Manifest and Underguild still lashing in their death throes, the realm is barely holding strong.
Even facing the destruction of her home, Airene keeps watch for a different threat. Famine, the God of Hunger, has finally broken free of his cage and feasts upon the world. Unfettered, he will consume all life on its surface.
When an unexpected ally appears, Airene and her companions embark on a quest to find a way to stop the daemon god. Racing against time, seeking to stay ahead of both Avvad and Famine, they seek allies and weapons receded into myth.
But no war is won without great sacrifice — and if she is to succeed, Airene must sacrifice all she is…
The enthralling epic fantasy trilogy comes to an end in Requiem of Silence, Book 3 of The Famine Cycle. Complete the cycle today!
11th April (Broken Antler Press)
A bloodthirsty army. A long forgotten god. A power believed lost.
Roisin Latenda is a Groundformer Acolyte in training, a person with the ability to manipulate the earth. Long ago—before the people rose up, killed their Gods, and fashioned their corpses into weapons—these powers could move mountains, form cities, shift countries. Now with the Gods dead, the powers are weaker, but humanity controls it. And wrestling power from the gods was always about autonomy.
When a powerful army arrives in Roisin’s small village, supported by an unknown god named the Soulmonger, all is sent into chaos. They ravage the village, killing many, and force Roisin to choose between those she loves, and her duty to her Groundformer training.
But Roisin’s life isn’t the only one to be horrifically transformed by the Soulmongers’ arrival. Piritta, the political aspirant, will find her drive for power warped in the most terrible way. Bree, the apprentice cartographer, will have to face her past; a past bathed in blood. And Kaori, whose porcelain mask hides many secrets, will seize the vengeance she seeks for a world which wronged her.
These four young women find their fates intertwined. If they make the right decisions, three of them may save the world from this new and deadly force. And should they fail, one will destroy it.
12th April (Gallery / Saga Press)
In one of the most well-known and well-loved fantasy epics of the 20th century, Elric is the brooding, albino emperor of the dying Kingdom of Melnibone. After defeating his nefarious cousin and gaining control over the epic sword, Stormbringer, Elric, prince of ruins, must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in a fight against Armageddon.
Stormbringer is the second in Michael Moorcock’s incredible series, which has transformed the fantasy genre for generations. Perfect for fans new and old, this book is brought to life once more with stunning illustrations from the most lauded artists in fantasy.
This new illustrated version of the Elric Saga looks to be absolutely beautiful. It looks like book one was released in February and I certainly have my eyes on these.
12th April (Orion)
There is a world hidden underneath this great city…
The London Silver Vaults – for well over a century, the largest collection of silver for sale in the world. It has more locks than the Bank of England and more cameras than a celebrity punch-up.
Not somewhere you can murder someone and vanish without a trace – only that’s what happened.
The disappearing act, the reports of a blinding flash of light and memory loss amongst the witnesses all make this a case for Detective Constable Peter Grant and the Special Assessment Unit.
Alongside their boss DCI Thomas Nightingale, the SAU find themselves embroiled in a mystery that encompasses London’s tangled history, foreign lands and, most terrifying of all, the North!
And Peter must solve this case soon because back home his partner Beverley is expecting twins any day now. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s about to encounter something – and somebody – that nobody ever expects…
I have been itching to start the Rivers of London series after doing some group worldbuilding for a 1950s London-based Dresden Files RPG game late last year and getting a taste for London-based urban fantasy. There’s a lot of lore to that city that fits so nicely into the genre. It’ll be a ways until I get to book 9 but it releases on the 12th!
12th April (Orbit)
THE DEAD GODS ARE RISING . . .
Lik-Rifa, the dragon god of legend, has been freed from her eternal prison. Now she plots a new age of blood and conquest.
As Orka continues the hunt for her missing son, the Bloodsworn sweep south in a desperate race to save one of their own – and Varg takes the first steps on the path of vengeance.
Elvar has sworn to fulfil her blood oath and rescue a prisoner from the clutches of Lik-Rifa and her dragonborn followers, but first she must persuade the Battle-Grim to follow her.
Yet even the might of the Bloodsworn and Battle-Grim cannot stand alone against a dragon god.
Their hope lies within the mad writings of a chained god. A book of forbidden magic with the power to raise the wolf god Ulfrir from the dead . . . and bring about a battle that will shake the foundations of the earth.
I’ve recently started reading Malice by John Gwynne and it’s going well so far. I think it’ll be a while but I’m pretty excited to get into the Bloodsworn Saga.
12th April (WONDERLOVE)
There once were two children,
a girl and a boy.
One could create,
the other, destroy.
Within every heart lies the power to bond or break.
On an isolated port of floating garbage called Hop, Gaiel Izz and his sister, Lynd, never imagined they’d be able to change anything…
Not their nasty neighbors, not their hungry bellies, and especially not their missing father.
That will change when they discover the power of myracles — magic that either creates or destroys.
As the brother and sister set across Esa to bring their family back together, this power will either unite them or shatter their entire world to pieces.
It will all come down to what truly lies within their hearts…
Create or destroy?
I am fascinated by this one. I love an interesting story about magic and Myracles in the Void sounds like it has something of the fairy tale about it.
12th April (Solaris)
Nothing complicates life like Death.
Lanie Stones, the daughter of the Royal Assassin and Chief Executioner of Liriat, has never led a normal life. Born with a gift for necromancy and a literal allergy to violence, she was raised in isolation in the family’s crumbling mansion by her oldest friend, the ancient revenant Goody Graves.
When her parents are murdered, it falls on Lanie and her cheerfully psychotic sister Nita to settle their extensive debts or lose their ancestral home—and Goody with it. Appeals to Liriat’s ruler to protect them fall on indifferent ears… until she, too, is murdered, throwing the nation’s future into doubt.
Hunted by Liriat’s enemies, hounded by her family’s creditors and terrorised by the ghost of her great-grandfather, Lanie will need more than luck to get through the next few months—but when the goddess of Death is on your side, anything is possible.
13th April (Narratess)
When a demon takes over Hell, you turn to the one you fear the most.
After Nora’s encounter with Beelzebub she can no longer escape the supernatural world–she is marked for life. The demon’s sinister plans will hurt the people she cares about, and the only way to restore order is to track down Lucifer and convince him to reclaim his throne.
Lucifer has his own agenda for staying on Earth and faces threats he’s never seen before. His escapades draw the attention of Earthly demons, ones he doesn’t control, and they’re ready to protect their territory.
Nora and her friends must unite and persuade Lucifer while escaping the dangers and temptations of supernaturals. Living on the edge of the mundane world and the supernatural world challenges Nora and her friends to look beyond what they know, and believe.
14th April (Doubleday Childrens)
All three instalments of the amazing Bromeliad trilogy available again in one very special edition.
To the thousands of tiny nomes living under the floorboards of a large department Store, there is no Outside. No Day or Night, no Sun or Rain. They’re just daft old legends. Until they hear the devastating news that the Store is to be demolished…
And so, their journey begins.
From the store to an abandoned quarry – where they find the monster Jekub – and on to a place where they must steal one of those space shuttle things, all the nomes want is to get home again. They don’t mean to cause any trouble…
A magnificent trilogy of tales about a race of little people struggling to survive in a world full of humans.
I recall not clicking with this one when I tried it as a kid but my friend swore by it. If I was ever gonna give it another go, I’d want this gorgeous hardback collection for sure.
15th April (Self-Published)
Years ago, the dark queen was executed by witches, her cultists hunted down like rats and forced into hiding. Their black magic buried and put to rest, all was well in the world … or so we thought.
Kitarni Bárány, witch and shepherd of her flock, has always been different. There’s a darkness in her blood and a destiny beyond the border of her small village. Corruption is spreading, and the whispers of cultists stir through the woods once again.
Betrothed to the heir of the Wolfblood Clan, she risks not only her life but her heart. United, they must stand against the cultists, or watch the Kingdom of Hungary fall.
Cursed by Death and controlled by Fate, Kitarni is forced to meet her demons … or die by them.
19th April (Tor)
The girl knows she has a destiny before she even knows her name. She grows up in the wild, in a cave with her mother, but visions of a faraway lake come to her on the spring breeze, and when she hears a traveler speak of Artos, king of Caer Leon, she knows that her future lies at his court.
And so, brimming with magic and eager to test her strength, she breaks her covenant with her mother and, with a broken hunting spear and mended armour, rides on a bony gelding to Caer Leon. On her adventures she will meet great knights and steal the hearts of beautiful women. She will fight warriors and sorcerers. And she will find her love, and the lake, and her fate.
I am forever drawn to Arthurian tales, be they the original legends, retellings, inspired stories. Spear looks to be an interesting little reimagining.
19th April (The Parliament House)
An orphan bent on revenge. A monster searching for freedom. A forbidden pact that binds their fates together.
Lyss has heard her father’s screams; smelled the iron-tang of his blood. She’s witnessed his execution.
And plotted her revenge.
Then a violent encounter traps Lyss in a blood-pact with a rarkyn from the otherworld and imbues her with the monster’s forbidden magic. A magic that will erode her sanity. To break the pact, she and the rarkyn must journey to the heart of the Empire. All that stands in their way are the mountains and the Empire’s soldiers—and each other.
But horrors await them on the road, horrors even rarkyns fear. The most terrifying monster isn’t the one Lyss travels with…
It’s the one that’s awoken inside her.
19th April (Gallery / Saga Press)
There are no tides more treacherous than those of the heart. –Teek saying
The great city of Tova is shattered. The sun is held within the smothering grip of the Crow God’s eclipse, but a comet that marks the death of a ruler and heralds the rise of a new order is imminent.
The Meridian: a land where magic has been codified and the worship of gods suppressed. How do you live when legends come to life, and the faith you had is rewarded?
As sea captain Xiala is swept up in the chaos and currents of change, she finds an unexpected ally in the former Priest of Knives. For the Clan Matriarchs of Tova, tense alliances form as far-flung enemies gather and the war in the heavens is reflected upon the earth.
And for Serapio and Naranpa, both now living avatars, the struggle for free will and personhood in the face of destiny rages. How will Serapio stay human when he is steeped in prophecy and surrounded by those who desire only his power? Is there a future for Naranpa in a transformed Tova without her total destruction?
Welcome back to the fantasy series of the decade in Fevered Star–book two of Between Earth and Sky.
21st April (Self-Published)
Alone in a city on the cusp of revolution, separated from his allies and with nothing to his name, former mercenary John Vanguard finds vigilante life can be a poorly paid gig. When an influential aristocrat’s death causes a sudden shift in the balance of power, Vanguard finds himself once more caught in the crossfire between dangerous men with murderous ambitions.
From his tower far above the city, Captain Sanquain seeks to tighten his iron grip on the capital and its citizens. Amidst the chaos of the Black Zone, a deadly turf war is brewing between the crime lords. Outside the city, libertarian Argent Cooke struggles to gather support for the uprising. And from the smog-stained rooftops, Vanguard’s former protégé Tarryn Leersac is watching all.
With any hopes of redemption fading, Vanguard finds one last shred of hope in the form of an old friend, risen from the dead and promising the chance for atonement.
26th April (Titan Books)
After years of seeing her sisters suffer at the hands of an abusive prince, Marra―the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter―has finally realized that no one is coming to their rescue. No one, except for Marra herself.
Seeking help from a powerful gravewitch, Marra is offered the tools to kill a prince―if she can complete three impossible tasks. But, as is the way in tales of princes, witches, and daughters, the impossible is only the beginning.
On her quest, Marra is joined by the gravewitch, a reluctant fairy godmother, a strapping former knight, and a chicken possessed by a demon. Together, the five of them intend to be the hand that closes around the throat of the prince and frees Marra’s family and their kingdom from its tyrannous ruler at last.
Nettle & Bone is the first book I pre-ordered for this year. A very folkloric dark fantasy novel by an author I have heard nothing but great things about. Time will tell if I can afford it upon launch but I’m pretty eager for this one.
26th April (Redhook)
“I was born on the full moon under an auspicious constellation, the holiest of positions—much good it did me.”
So begins Kaikeyi’s story. The only daughter of the kingdom of Kekaya, she is raised on tales about the might and benevolence of the gods: how they churned the vast ocean to obtain the nectar of immortality, how they vanquish evil and ensure the land of Bharat prospers, and how they offer powerful boons to the devout and the wise. Yet she watches as her father unceremoniously banishes her mother, listens as her own worth is reduced to how great a marriage alliance she can secure. And when she calls upon the gods for help, they never seem to hear.
Desperate for some measure of independence, she turns to the texts she once read with her mother and discovers a magic that is hers alone. With this power, Kaikeyi transforms herself from an overlooked princess into a warrior, diplomat, and most favored queen, determined to carve a better world for herself and the women around her.
But as the evil from her childhood stories threatens the cosmic order, the path she has forged clashes with the destiny the gods have chosen for her family. And Kaikeyi must decide if resistance is worth the destruction it will wreak—and what legacy she intends to leave behind.
This is a retelling of the life of Kaikeyi, the queen from the Indian epic the Ramayana. I must admit I have not begun delving into mythology retellings just yet but it’s a genre that really speaks to me and this one shows promise of being a brilliant story.
27th April (St. Lucy Press)
The power of the Light blinds him, and danger lurks in the Shadows…
The Dragon Guardian’s return was supposed to heal the world split by storm, frost, and fire. Instead, the crazed conqueror sends his Shadow Knights to swarm the land, searching for any sign of a dangerous, fire-wielding mage like Tiber.
If only that’s what he was.
The blinding Light that comes with Tiber’s powers doesn’t seem to be worth the small, pitiful flames he can create in his hands. But it was enough to make the emperor kill his family, forcing him into hiding. And when he meets a mysterious girl named Luci, Tiber finally sees a way out.
Except hatching a dragon egg wasn’t part of the plan.
As the emperor’s Shadow Knights close in, Tiber must learn to rely on his new friends to help him find the truth about his past… and resist the Shadows that tempt him to revenge.
28th April (Wildfire)
The House of Atreus is cursed. A bloodline tainted by a generational cycle of violence and vengeance. This is the story of three women, their fates inextricably tied to this curse, and the fickle nature of men and gods.
The sister of Helen, wife of Agamemnon – her hopes of averting the curse are dashed when her sister is taken to Troy by the feckless Paris. Her husband raises a great army against them and determines to win, whatever the cost.
Princess of Troy, and cursed by Apollo to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it. She is powerless in her knowledge that the city will fall.
The youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Elektra is horrified by the bloodletting of her kin. But can she escape the curse, or is her own destiny also bound by violence?
Isn’t the cover of this one just stunning? Jennifer Saint is the author of Ariadne which I have yet to read, and this one sounds just as fantastic. Female-focused myth retellings? Yes please.
28th April (Harper Voyager)
The fate of the world hangs from the Moon
The green world overwhelms all of Yaz’s expectations. Everything seems different but some things remain the same: her old enemies are still bent on her destruction.
The Corridor abounds with plenty and unsuspected danger. To stand a chance against the eyeless priest, Eular, and the god-like city-mind, Seus, Yaz will need to learn fast and make new friends.
The Convent of Sweet Mercy, like the Corridor itself, is packed with peril and opportunity. Yaz needs the nuns’ help – but first they want to execute her.
The fate of everyone squeezed between the Corridor’s vast walls, and ultimately the fate of those labouring to survive out on ice itself, hangs from the moon, and the battle to save the moon centres on the Ark of the Missing, buried beneath the emperor’s palace. Everyone wants Yaz to be the key that will open the Ark – the one the wise have sought for generations. But sometimes wanting isn’t enough.
The finale to Mark Lawrence’s Book of the Ice trilogy releases at the end of the month and while I haven’t read any of his stuff yet, it looks absolutely lovely.
8th April (JournalStone)
In his debut collection, David Busboom presents fifteen tales of dark fantasy and horror, populated by bizarre reptiles, occult serial killers, carnivorous protoplasms, and parasitic worms. A child faces down the giant ape destroying his parents’ marriage. A cheating husband wakes up to find his hand replaced by a mucous-covered tentacle. A Midwestern office complex becomes the setting for a ghastly, apocalyptic nightmare.
Within these pages you’ll find strange creatures sliding over dark country roads and twilit train tracks, detectives and swordsmen fighting through occult mysteries and marauding fish-men, a shunned filmmaking prodigy’s deadly magnum opus, and the seductive death of innocence. You’ll find regret, self-destruction, and relationships gone bad.
Here, where weird pulp horror meets the darker sides of love and disillusion, you’ll find slime, and stink, and Every Crawling, Putrid Thing.
12th April (CLASH Books)
Child psychiatrist Hannah Cohen thought she could handle difficult cases. But medical school never prepared her for Elena. Nor the demon that’s possessing her. Hannah finds a way to rid Elena of her demon, but not without a price.
Years later, Hannah has grown comfortable exorcising the demons of her patients. Until she meets Lucas. Whatever is inside of Lucas is far more powerful than anything she has faced. The denizens of Hell are angry with Hannah. And they sent one of their leaders to destroy her.
Not only does the heroine share my name but the story sounds like a lot of fun, plus the cover captures some fantastic 80’s horror vibes.
12th April (Tor)
In a world reeling from an unusual plague, monsters lurk in the streets while terrified survivors arm themselves and roam the countryside in packs. Or perhaps something very different is happening. When a disease affects how reality is perceived, it’s hard to be certain of anything…
Spence is one of the “cured” living at the Ironside rehabilitation facility. Haunted by guilt, he refuses to face the changed world until a new inmate challenges him to help her find her old crew. But if he can’t tell the truth from the lies, how will he know if he has earned the redemption he dreams of? How will he know he hasn’t just made things worse?
This novella sounds like a dark, confusing ride I want onto. And that cover is striking.
12th April (Ghoulish Books)
THE FAMILY THAT DECAYS TOGETHER, STAYS TOGETHER
On a hot summer weekend in San Antonio, Texas, a father and son bond after discovering three impossible corpses buried in their back yard.
I’m honestly not 100% sure what this one is about but that’s sometimes the joy of graphic novels.
19th April (Apocalypse Party)
“Joe Koch is a phenomenal talent who writes with poetic fury. Heart-rending and fearsome, Convulsive joins a handful of collections that show off the range and importance of contemporary horror.”
-Laird Barron, author of Swift to Chase
“The stories of Convulsive dazzle and stun the reader with brutal beauty and surreal intensity. This collection’s deftly subversive themes and stylistic complexity dare you to witness its unique and transgressive radiance.”
-Tiffany Morris, author of Havoc In Silence
“Convulsive is packed with stories that are as bloody as they are poetic. This is at once a celebration of horror, an exploration of humanity, and an explosion of beautiful language. Darkness rarely shines so bright. Koch will sear their name inside your heart.”
-Gabino Iglesias, author of Coyote Songs
19th April (Soho Press)
At age 11, Helen disappeared in the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park while camping with her father, Benjamin. She was gone for almost a week before being discovered and returned to her family. It is now 25 years later, and after more than two decades of estrangement, Helen and Benjamin reconnect at his home in Portland, Oregon, to try to understand what happened during the days she was gone. Meanwhile, Benjamin meets an odd pair, a woman and boy who seem driven to help him learn more about Helen’s disappearance and send him on a journey that will lead to a murder house, uncanny possession, and a bone-filled body of water known as Sad Clown Lake, a lake “that could only be found by getting lost, that was never in the same place twice.”
22nd April (Stygian Sky Media)
“There is no going back – no matter what we do now, it’s too late to avoid climate change and the poorest, the most vulnerable, those with the least security, are now certain to suffer.”
– Sir David Attenborough, February 2021
Edited By: Sean O’Connor
Introduction By: Sadie Hartmann
26th April (Gallery/Scout Press)
1978: At her renowned treatment center in picturesque Vermont, the brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is acclaimed for her compassionate work with the mentally ill. But when she’s home with her cherished grandchildren, Vi and Eric, she’s just Gran–teaching them how to take care of their pets, preparing them home-cooked meals, providing them with care and attention and love.
Then one day Gran brings home a child to stay with the family. Iris–silent, hollow-eyed, skittish, and feral–does not behave like a normal girl.
Still, Violet is thrilled to have a new playmate. She and Eric invite Iris to join their Monster Club, where they catalogue all kinds of monsters and dream up ways to defeat them. Before long, Iris begins to come out of her shell. She and Vi and Eric do everything together: ride their bicycles, go to the drive-in, meet at their clubhouse in secret to hunt monsters. Because, as Vi explains, monsters are everywhere.
2019: Lizzy Shelley, the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us, is traveling to Vermont, where a young girl has been abducted, and a monster sighting has the town in an uproar. She’s determined to hunt it down, because Lizzy knows better than anyone that monsters are real–and one of them is her very own sister.
26th April (Silver Shamrock Publishing)
What happens when you fall for the girl everyone hates?
Summer 1987: Mark Prewitt’s only priority is to avoid his dad’s new wife and waste time with his friends, but idle nights are the devil’s handiwork. When his friends decide to pull a cruel prank on the reclusive and strange Farrow sisters, Mark regrets caving in to peer pressure.
Wanting to make amends, Mark is drawn into the mysterious world of the Farrow girls, finding a kindred spirit in the middle sister, George. She is unlike anyone he’s ever known; a practicing witch who uses folk magic to protect her family. They bond over books, loneliness, and homemade spells. She even invites Mark to join a séance to contact her dead sister, who died under mysterious circumstances.
Keeping their relationship secret, Mark learns that living a double life in a town this small is impossible. When the secret is exposed, and his friends plot to punish the witch sisters for stealing one of their own, Mark is forced to choose between these two worlds.
5th April (Gollancz)
In Sunreach, after a planet-destroying Delver suddenly appears in the sky of Detritus and vanishes just as suddenly, FM knows that the last free human society got lucky. Her Skyward Flight companion Spensa figured out how to draw this Delver away, but it won’t be so easy next time. Humanity has to be prepared . . .
In ReDawn, Alanik has recovered from the shock of answering a distress call and finding a planet of humans making a stand against the Superiority, only to be dismayed to discover they’re considering a peace overture from their enemy. Worse, when she returns to her home planet of ReDawn, she find her own people falling into exactly the same trap. With her mentor captured, she turns to her new friends to help: can Alanik, FM, Jorgen and Rig coax an ancient technology into life in time to save both their planets from disaster?
And in Evershore, the government of Detritus is still in disarray following Superiority treachery, and no word has come from Spensa, on her mission deep in the Nowhere, leaving Alanik, Jorgen, FM and Rig to pick up the pieces. So when the Kitsen send word from the planet Evershore, saying they have some humans and wish to return them, they have to decie if the strange message can be trusted . . .
A gripping collection of novellas, told from the perspectives of three different characters, these superb adventures are essential Skyward reading!
These novellas tell stories from different point-of-view characters within Sanderson’s YA science fiction series Skyward, set between Starsight and Cytonic.
5th April (Disney Lucasfilm Press)
Padmé is adjusting to being a wartime senator during the Clone Wars. Her secret husband, Anakin Skywalker, is off fighting the war, and excels at being a wartime Jedi. In contrast, when Padmé gets the opportunity to see the casualties on the war-torn front lines, she is horrified. The stakes have never been higher for the galaxy, or for the newly-married couple.
Meanwhile, with Padmé on a secret mission, her handmaiden Sabé steps into the role of Senator Amidala, something no handmaiden has done for an extended period of time. While in the Senate, Sabé is equally horrified by the machinations that happen there. She comes face to face with a gut-wrenching decision as she realizes that she cannot fight a war this way, not even for Padmé.
And Chancellor Palpatine hovers over it all, manipulating the players to his own ends…
5th April (The Parliament House)
District City is burning down. The Color order is threatened. Old and new enemies clash in the streets.
Newly crowned Amaya wants to save the city, while fugitive Rin wants to destroy it. They also happen to be in love with each other. Can they see past their differences, or will their competing visions tear them apart?
Outside the city, Alan and Kazuki follow the trail to the mythical Echelon, a place that promises to reveal the truth about the past.Yet the truth might not be enough to save their friends before everything goes up in smoke.
5th April (Grand Central Publishing)
Three brilliant women.
Two life-changing mistakes.
One chance to reset the future.
In 1986, renowned nuclear scientist, Anna Berkova, is sleeping in her bed in the Soviet Union when Chernobyl’s reactor melts down. It’s the exact moment she tears through time—and it’s an accident. When she opens her eyes, she’s landed in 1992 only to discover Molly, her estranged daughter, shot in the chest. Molly, with her dying breath, begs Anna to go back in time and stop the disaster, to save Molly’s daughter Raisa, and put their family’s future on a better path.
In ‘60s Philadelphia, Molly is coming of age as an adopted refusenik. Her family is full of secrets and a past they won’t share. She finds solace in comic books, drawing her own series, Atomic Anna, and she’s determined to make it as an artist. When she meets the volatile, charismatic Viktor, their romance sets her life on a very different course.
In the ‘80s, Raisa, is a lonely teen and math prodigy, until a quiet, handsome boy moves in across the street and an odd old woman shows up claiming to be her biological grandmother. As Raisa finds new issues of Atomic Anna in unexpected places, she notices each comic challenges her to solve equations leading to one impossible conclusion: time travel. And she finally understands what she has to do.
As these remarkable women work together to prevent the greatest nuclear disaster of the 20th century, they grapple with the power their discoveries hold. Just because you can change the past, does it mean you should?
7th April (Self-Published)
A dying universe.
When the Home worlds finally achieved the technology to venture out into the stars, they found a graveyard of dead civilizations, a sea of lifeless gray planets and their ruins. What befell them is unknown. All Home knows is that they are the last civilization left in the universe, and whatever came for the others will come for them next.
A search for answers.
Scout is an Archivist tasked with scouring the dead worlds of the cosmos for their last gifts: interesting technology, cultural rituals—anything left behind that might be useful to the Home worlds and their survival. During an excavation on a lifeless planet, Scout unearths something unbelievable: a surviving message from an alien who witnessed the world-ending entity thousands of years ago.
A past unraveled.
Blyreena was once a friend, a soul mate, and a respected leader of her people, the Stelhari. At the end of her world, she was the last one left. She survived to give one last message, one final hope to the future: instructions on how to save the universe.
An adventure at the end of a trillion lifetimes.
With the fate of everything at stake, Scout must overcome the dangers of the Stelhari’s ruined civilization while following Blyreena’s leads to collect its artifacts. If Scout can’t deliver these groundbreaking discoveries back to the Archivists, Home might not only be the last civilization to exist, but the last to finally fall.
12th April (Angry Robot)
A genius is abducted by an alien bounty-hunter for the location of a powerful inter-dimensional object. Trouble is, he can’t remember a thing.
Ben isn’t exactly a genius, but he has an immense breadth of knowledge. Whether it’s natural science (specifically the intricacies of bug sex), or vintage timepieces, he can spout facts and information with the best of experts. He just can’t explain why he knows any of it. Another thing he knows is the location of the Chime. What it is or why it’s important, he can’t say.
But this knowledge is about to get him in a whole heap of trouble, as a trash-talking, flesh construct bounty hunter is on his tail and looking to sell him to the highest bidder. And being able to describe the mating habits of Brazilian bark lice won’t be enough to get him out of it.
14th April (Harper Voyager)
In The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer, singer-songwriter, actor, fashion icon, activist, and worldwide superstar Janelle Monáe brings to the written page the Afrofuturistic world of one of her critically acclaimed albums, exploring how different threads of liberation—queerness, race, gender plurality, and love—become tangled with future possibilities of memory and time in such a totalitarian landscape…and what the costs might be when trying to unravel and weave them into freedoms.
Whoever controls our memories controls the future.
Janelle Monáe and an incredible array of talented collaborating creators have written a collection of tales comprising the bold vision and powerful themes that have made Monáe such a compelling and celebrated storyteller. Dirty Computer introduced a world in which thoughts—as a means of self-conception—could be controlled or erased by a select few. And whether human, A.I., or other, your life and sentience was dictated by those who’d convinced themselves they had the right to decide your fate.
That was until Jane 57821 decided to remember and break free.
Expanding from that mythos, these stories fully explore what it’s like to live in such a totalitarian existence…and what it takes to get out of it. Building off the traditions of speculative writers such as Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, Becky Chambers, and Nnedi Okorafor—and filled with the artistic genius and powerful themes that have made Monáe a worldwide icon in the first place—The Memory Librarian serves readers tales grounded in the human trials of identity expression, technology, and love, but also reaching through to the worlds of memory and time within, and the stakes and power that exists there.
19th April (Simon & Schuster)
Bertie and Kate have been best friends since high school. Bertie is a semi-failed cartoonist, working for a prominent Silicon Valley tech firm. Her job depresses her, but not as much as the fact that Kate has recently decided to move from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
When Bertie’s attempts to make Kate stay fail, she suggests the next-best thing: a trip to Paris that will hopefully distract the duo from their upcoming separation. The vacation is also a sort of last hurrah, coming during a ceasefire in a series of escalating world conflicts.
One night in Paris, they meet a strange man in a bar who offers them a private tour of the Louvre. The women find themselves alone in the museum, where nothing is quite as it seems. Caught up in a day that keeps repeating itself, Bertie and Kate are eventually separated, and Bertie is faced with a mystery that threatens to derail everything. In order to make her way back to Kate, Bertie has to figure out how much control she has over her future—and her past—and how to survive an apocalypse when the world keeps refusing to end.
I’ve never seen Groundhog Day but storylines about days repeating themselves are usually fun and this story sounds absolutely fascinating, doesn’t it?
26th April (Angry Robot)
Every time Zaxony Delatree falls asleep he wakes up on a new world.
The exciting sequel to Doors of Sleep from Hugo Award-winning author Tim Pratt
Zax’s life has turned into an endless series of brief encounters. But at least he and Minna, the one companion who has found a way of travelling with him, are no longer pursued by the psychotic and vengeful Lector.
But now Zax has been joined once again by Ana, a companion he thought left behind long ago. Ana is one of the Sleepers, a group of fellow travellers between worlds. Ana tells Zax that he is unknowingly host to a parasitic alien that exists partly in his blood and partly between dimensions. The chemical that the alien secretes is what allows Zax to travel. Every time he does, however, the parasite grows, damaging the fabric of the Universes. Anas is desperate to recruit Zax to her cause and stop the alien.
But there are others who are using the parasite, such as the cult who serve the Prisoner – an entity trapped in the dimension between universes. Every world is like a bar in its prison. The cult want to collapse all the bars of the worlds and free their god. Can Zax, Minna, Ana and the other Sleepers band together and stop them?
26th April (Flame Tree Press)
AD 2118. Humanity has colonised the Moon, Mars, Ceres and Europa. The partnership of corporations and governments has energized the space programme for one hundred years.
That partnership is shattered when a terrorist attack destroys the world’s biggest solar array in Atacama, Chile, altering the global economic balance.
On Mars, at Phobos Station, Doctor Emerson Drake arrives, responding to an emergency call to assist a shuttle of wounded miners, but when those miners turn out to be insurgents, Drake realises he is trapped and fighting to survive.
In deep space, Captain Ellisa Shann has passed her limits. Now, the last survivors of the Khidr have to choose whether to try to get home on the captured ship, Gallowglass, or stay to observe the strange gravity anomaly that swallowed up the remains of their vessel.
On Earth, in an undisclosed location, Natalie Holder finally has an opportunity to break free from her confinement, where she has been experimented on, multiple times. Her consciousness is transmitted to Phobos Station, just as insurgents take over the facility.
Holder and Drake form an alliance but are separated. Drake is captured and taken to the insurgent leader – Rocher – a clone of the stowaway who caused the mutiny on Captain Shann’s Khidr.
Resilient is book two in the Fractal series, a series I have not read, though the first book, Fearless features a female Captain without legs who has taken to zero-gravity. Outside of that, usual space opera shenanigans which shine when the writing is solid.
26th April (Tor)
“The crew of the Rosebud are, currently, and by force of law, a balloon, a goth with a swagger stick, some sort of science aristocrat possibly, a ball of hands, and a swarm of insects.”
When five sentient digital beings—condemned for over three hundred years to crew the small survey ship by the all-powerful Company—encounter a mysterious black sphere, their course of action is clear: obtain the object, inform the Company, earn lots of praise.
But the ship malfunctions, and the crew has no choice but to approach the sphere and survey it themselves. They have no idea that this object—and the transcendent truth hidden within—will change the fate of all existence, the Company, and themselves.
Doesn’t this sound like a fascinating novella? I’m vouching for ball of hands, personally.
28th April (Tor)
After eighty years of fragile peace, the Architects are back, wreaking havoc as they consume entire planets. In the past, Originator artefacts – vestiges of a long-vanished civilization – could save a world from annihilation. This time, the Architects have discovered a way to circumvent these protective relics. Suddenly, no planet is safe.
Facing impending extinction, the Human Colonies are in turmoil. While some believe a unified front is the only way to stop the Architects, others insist humanity should fight alone. And there are those who would seek to benefit from the fractured politics of war – even as the Architects loom ever closer.
Idris, who has spent decades running from the horrors of his past, finds himself thrust back onto the battlefront. As an Intermediary, he could be one of the few to turn the tide of war. With a handful of allies, he searches for a weapon that could push back the Architects and save the galaxy. But to do so, he must return to the nightmarish unspace, where his mind was broken and remade.
What Idris discovers there will change everything.
I have book one of the Final Architecture series on my Kindle and have heard great things about it. Having recently become a fan of Tchaikovsky’s writing I’m pretty excited to pick this series up.
28th April (Picador)
In 1912, eighteen-year-old Edwin St. Andrew crosses the Atlantic, exiled from English polite society. In British Columbia, he enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and for a split second all is darkness, the notes of a violin echoing unnaturally through the air. The experience shocks him to his core.
Two centuries later Olive Llewelyn, a famous writer, is traveling all over Earth, far away from her home in the second moon colony. Within the text of Olive’s bestselling novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.
When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in time, he uncovers a series of lives upended: the exiled son of an aristocrat driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
Just the other day I was asking the husband what Station Eleven was about and lo and behold, the author has a new book coming out about time travel and parallel worlds. It sounds beautiful and potentially heartwrenching.
7th April (Head of Zeus)
Einar must take back control of his destiny in this thrilling Viking adventure.
How do you defeat the undefeatable?
935 AD, Norway. Recovering from horrendous injuries, Einar finds himself unable to fight. He is not strong enough to defeat his rival, Eirik, who has seized Orkney despite Einar being the rightful Jarl.
Eirik’s men soon raid the Norwegian coast, led by a warrior called the Bear. Cruel and ferocious, the Bear possesses a legendary blade – one that gives him a skill in battle that cannot be matched. Such an extraordinary sword could be key to Einar’s plans – but first he and the Wolf Coats must contend with the Bear himself.
Caught between old foes and new ones, Einar must use all his wits to survive. But is a man who cannot wield a sword capable of being a true Viking warrior?
The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories: A Collection of Chinese Science Fiction and Fantasy in Translation from a Visionary Team of Female and Nonbinary Creators
12th April (Tor)
From an award-winning team of authors, editors, and translators comes a groundbreaking short story collection that explores the expanse of Chinese science fiction and fantasy.
In The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories, you can dine at a restaurant at the end of the universe, cultivate to immortality in the high mountains, watch roses perform Shakespeare, or arrive at the island of the gods on the backs of giant fish to ensure that the world can bloom.
Written, edited, and translated by a female and nonbinary team, these stories have never before been published in English and represent both the richly complicated past and the vivid future of Chinese science fiction and fantasy.
Time travel to a winter’s day on the West Lake, explore the very boundaries of death itself, and meet old gods and new heroes in this stunning new collection.
14th April (Harper Voyager)
It’s all about blood.
Blood spilled long ago between the Republic of Mareen and the armies of the Blood Emperor, ending all blood magic.
Now there is peace in the Republic – but there is also a strict class system, misogyny, and racism. Her world is not perfect, but Ikenna survived in it. Until now.
With the murder of her grandfather, Ikenna spirals out of control. Though she is an initiate for the Republic’s deadly elite military force, Ikenna has a secret only her grandfather knew: she possesses the blood magic of the Republic’s enemies.
Ikenna throws herself into the gladiatorial war games at the heart of her martial world: trials that will lead her closer to his killers. Under the spotlight, she subjects herself to abuse from a society that does not value her, that cherishes lineage over talent – all while hiding gifts that, if revealed, would lead to execution or worse. Ikenna is willing to risk it all to find out who killed her grandfather…
So she can end them.
Magic, technology, and rebellion meet in this stunning debut – part one of a duology that sees a young Black woman rise through misogyny and racism to become an elite warrior.
26th April (Marvel)
Jason Aaron and legendary artistic collaborators including Esad Ribić and Russell Dauterman begin a truly epic saga of Thor — whoever he or she may be! Across the ages, gods are vanishing — and the God of Thunder must unite with his past and future selves to stand against Gorr the God Butcher! Meanwhile, Malekith the Accursed begins a bloody rampage that will spread war throughout the realms. Which makes it a terrible time for the Odinson to be rendered unworthy of lifting Mjolnir! Another hero will hold the hammer high, fighting for Asgard and Midgard as Thor — the Goddess of Thunder! She’ll battle Malekith, Loki, Roxxon…and even Odin! But who is she under the mask? And what is this new Thor’s terrible secret?
COLLECTING: Thor: God of Thunder (2012) 1-25, Thor (2014) 1-8, Thor Annual (2015) 1, Thors (2015) 1-4, Mighty Thor (2015) 1-12
I’m not usually a superhero comics kinda gal but Thor brings in fantasy and Norse mythology and that does grab my interest. This omnibus is 1200+ pages of Thor. Hell yeah.
28th April (Viper)
A dark house filled with darker secrets…
Winter 1954, and in a dilapidated apartment in Brooklyn, Sam Cooper realises that she has nothing left. Her mother is dead, she has no prospects, and she cannot afford the rent. But as she goes through her mother’s things, Sam finds a stack of hidden letters that reveal a family and an inheritance that she never knew she had, three thousand miles away in Yorkshire.
Begars Abbey is a crumbling pile, inhabited only by Lady Cooper, Sam’s ailing grandmother, and a handful of servants. Sam cannot understand why her mother kept its very existence a secret, but her newly discovered diaries offer a glimpse of a young girl growing increasingly terrified. As is Sam herself.
Built on the foundations of an old convent, Begars moves and sings with the biting wind. Her grandmother cannot speak, and a shadowy woman moves along the corridors at night. There are dark places in the hidden tunnels beneath Begars. And they will not give up their secrets easily…
Hooboy this post took me a while to put together. I will certainly need to streamline it if I continue doing these, for sure. Anything catching your eye this month?