Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
Image: Henry Holt and Co.

We’re up to our eyeballs in genre books, folks—space capers, fantasy adventures, alt-history thrillers, short-fiction collections, and even a couple of nonfiction books thrown in for good measure. Dive in, and get ready for an amazing season of reading.


September

No One’s Home by D.M. Pulley

A family looking for a fresh start moves to a new town to renovate an abandoned mansion, but soon finds there’s no escaping their troubled past—or the home’s resident ghosts. (September 1)

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Watt O’Hugh and the Innocent Dead by Steven S. Drachman

The final book in the Watt O’Hugh trilogy sees our time-traveling undead gunslinger waking up in a Montana prison, circa 1879, and journeying to hell to raise an army to storm the borders of the underworld. (September 1)

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag

In the near future, flooding due to climate change has transformed America into a chain of islands formed from mountaintops. Myra and her younger daughter decide to sail to the Arctic in search of Myra’s older daughter, but the journey proves even more perilous than they’d imagined. (September 3)

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Cold Storage by David Koepp

This debut novel from the blockbuster screenwriter (Jurassic Park) and director (Stir of Echoes) sounds appropriately cinematic; it’s about a bioterrorism expert and two security guards who’re thrown together on a frantic quest to stop the spread of an organism capable of wiping out all human life. (September 3)

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Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

The Nevernight Chronicle trilogy concludes with assassin Mia on the run from all her enemies, including her own family, with dark secrets both beneath the city and from her own past patiently waiting to be revealed. (September 3)

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The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

An outsider who washed ashore as a baby has long used her psychic gifts to help guide the decisions of the clan who took her in, but she’ll have to make a difficult choice when war threatens her adopted home. (September 3)

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The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier

After extensive musical and warrior training, a teenage girl and her brother go undercover as traveling minstrels, tasked with tracking down an ancient instrument that must be recovered before the next royal coronation. (September 3)

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Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

A girl from a magical family considers paying a dangerous price to unlock her own gifts—a sacrifice that starts to feel worth it when she realizes she’ll need her powers to protect all the other children in the kingdom. (September 3)

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The Mythic Dream edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe

A collection of 18 stories that retell myths from across a variety of cultures, contributed by Seanan McGuire, Rebecca Roanhorse, JY Yang, Sarah Gailey, Ann Leckie, and many more. (September 3)

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The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt

London’s secret underbelly, the Rookery, is the setting for this contemporary fantasy tale about a woman who can see “nightjars,” birds that guard the souls of humans. Can she save her best friend’s soul and expand her talents while evading the city’s dangerous anti-magic contingent? (September 3)

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The Nobody People by Bob Proehl

A man whose daughter is extraordinarily gifted realizes she’s not the only one with special powers. He then must fight to protect her when a fearful American government starts cracking down on its most remarkable citizens. (September 3)

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Quichotte by Salman Rushdie

This riff on Don Quixote is about an author in the midst of a midlife crisis who creates a salesman character named “Quichotte,” then sends him on an freewheeling journey across America to win the heart of a TV star. (September 3)

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The Return of the Incredible Exploding Man by Dave Hutchinson

A journalist writing a book about a privately-funded supercollider project finds himself in the damage path when disaster strikes the facility—and it’s up to him to save the rest of the world from what’s about to happen next. (September 3)

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Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Unlikely love blooms when a witch (who’s sworn off magic, but still...she’s definitely a witch) and a witch hunter are forced to get married. (September 3)

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There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

A secret prophecy hints at one soul who might be able to save the world from eternal darkness, but it’s not clear who will it be: the exiled prince, the gambler, the dying girl, the killer, or a former leader who’s lost his way? (September 3)

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To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

In the 22nd century, advances in space flight and off-planet living have enabled explorers to seek out far-flung habitable worlds. But as members of one such mission find, the return voyage—to an Earth that’s irrevocably changed in their absence—turns out to be the most difficult part. (September 3)

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At Death’s Door by Sherrilyn Kenyon

In this pirate-themed fantasy, a cursed woman who’s been trapped in a voodoo doll gets a shot at redemption—but only if she can defeat the demon that takes her prisoner when she comes back to life. (September 10)

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Boundless by R.A. Salvatore

The author’s popular father-and-son characters Zaknafein and Drizzt Do’Urden returns in this new adventure that sees them learning to get along (and fight side by side) in a changing world. Check out an excerpt here. (September 10)

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A Choir of Lies by Alexandra Rowland

This follow-up to A Conspiracy of Truths sees storyteller Ylfing working as a translator for a rich merchant—until his employer discovers his talent for words, and presses him into using his gifts to whip the city into chaos. (September 10)

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Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

I’m not sure I can top Charles Stross’ excellently evocative blurb for this one: “Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!” (September 10)

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The Institute by Stephen King

A sinister facility holds a group of orphaned kids whose special talents (telekinesis, telepathy) are exploited until they’re whisked away to an even more sinister part of the site. Read it now before someone (inevitably) adapts it for the screen. (September 10)

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Master of the World by Edward Willett

The second Worldshapers book picks back up with Shawna Keys, who portals into a new dimension filled with intriguing steampunk technology—and where she’s soon accused of being a spy and a witch. (September 10)

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The Silver Wind by Nina Allan

A man obsessed with time and timepieces is the protagonist of this time-travel tale. (September 10)

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Stormrise by Jillian Boehme

This Twelfth Night-inspired tale is about a warrior who disguises herself as a man so she can go into battle, but her transformation comes courtesy of a magical dragon powder that will ultimately change her destiny. (September 10)

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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

The author’s much-anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale is finally here, picking up 15 years after the conclusion of her original novel, and presumably not much resembling what’s been happening on the Hulu series. (September 10)

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The Babysitter’s Coven by Kate Williams

A pair of teenage girls watch over their young charges while learning the true lineage of the trade, which actually involves protecting children and the world at large from the supernatural forces of evil. (September 17)

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Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

Determined to raise the ransom to spring her kidnapped sister from space gangsters, a foul-mouthed captain takes any mission she can scrounge up—but will all her other troubles (including a pack of psychic cats) trip her up first? (September 17)

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A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

In this debut horror novel, a Texas family with the ability to see monsters find themselves threatened by the very thing that makes them unique. (September 17)

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“Forward Collection” by various

Veronica Roth, Blake Crouch, N. K. Jemisin, Amor Towles, Paul Tremblay, and Andy Weir all contribute future-gazing stories to this Kindle (and/or Audible, with stars like Westworld’s Evan Rachel Wood and The Expanse’s Steven Strait providing narration) collection. Each story is sold separately, unless you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, and then they’re all free. (September 17)

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Gamechanger by L.X. Beckett

“Neuromancer meets Star Trek” is the elevator pitch on this tale about the 22nd century’s “Bounceback Generation,” who are thriving now that the planet has undergone a wide-scale course correction. But—as one young public defender starts to realize, thanks to a mysterious new client—have things really changed for the better? (September 17)

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A Golden Grave by Erin Lindsey

After the events of Murder on Millionaires’ Row, former housemaid Rose Gallagher plunges into her new job as a Pinkerton agent specializing in paranormal cases—like, say, the shadowy murderer who’s targeting politicians, including aspiring NYC mayor Theodore Roosevelt. (September 17)

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A Hero Born by Jin Yong

The “Chinese Lord of the Rings” gets its first-ever U.S. publication with this special release; it’s an epic fantasy kung fu epic about a man who joins Genghis Khan’s followers after the death of his father, and later rises to face a mysterious foe from his past. (September 17)

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A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie

A new fantasy trilogy begins with this tale set in a land where a machine age is dawning, but magic still has the upper hand where it counts. Read an excerpt here. (September 17)

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Lost Transmissions: The Secret History of Science Fiction and Fantasy by Desirina Boskovich

A study of “forgotten and unknown, imagined-but-never-finished, and under-appreciated-but-influential works” from sci-fi and fantasy history, including William Gibson’s Aliens sequel, Jules Verne’s lost novel, and more from pop culture, literature, and beyond. (September 24)

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Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson

This blend of biography and reader’s guide celebrates over 100 women authors (including Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson, and even V.C. Andrews) who penned some of the most memorable horror and weird fiction in literary and pop culture history. (September 17)

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Steel Tide by Natalie C. Parker

The second in the Seafire trilogy sees captain Caledonia rescued from near-death; as she regains her strength, she formulates a plan to recover her ship and her crew and unite their allies to spark a revolution at sea. (September 17)

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System Failure by Joe Zieja

The Epic Failure trilogy (best trilogy name ever?) wraps up with comedy and action in a galaxy on the brink of war, with a nefarious supply corporation doing its very best to hurry things along. (September 17)

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Wonderland: An Anthology edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane

This anthology of stories inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland includes contributions by M.R. Carey, Genevieve Cogman, Cat Rambo, Jane Yolen, and many others. (September 17)

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The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

When a teenage girl takes charge of her family’s graveyard in an enchanted mountain range, she finds the corpses have a dangerous habit of not staying dead—so she teams up with a mapmaker to try and stop them. (September 24)

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The Bone Ships by R.J. Barker

In a world where dragon bones are used to construct ships to fight in an endless war, the tables start to turn when the first living dragon in centuries suddenly makes its presence known. (September 24)

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Fallen by Benedict Jacka

Mage Alex Verus returns for his 10th urban fantasy adventure; this time, his newfound happiness is teetering on the brink, thanks to a Light Council investigation that involves his former master. (September 24)

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The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz

The Hugo-winning co-founder of io9's latest novel is about the intertwined fates of a circa-1992 riot grrl and a circa-2022 time traveler. Read an excerpt here. (September 24)

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The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht

In this dark revenge fantasy set in a city that’s become a wasteland, a frail magician sends his murderous monster out in the world to do his dirty deeds. (September 24)

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Mycroft and Sherlock: The Empty Birdcage by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse

The basketball legend’s latest Sherlock and Mycroft novel sees the brothers hunting a serial killer who’s targeted one of Queen Victoria’s distant relatives, though Mycroft is distracted by trying to help the woman he loves (even though she’s engaged to someone else). (September 24)

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The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy

The queen of an island nation uses a magic ring to protect her people—a situation that becomes complicated when a fellow banished leader wants to use her ring to overthrow the oppressor that threatens them both. (September 24)

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Slay by Brittany Morris

A teen girl secretly develops a Black Panther-inspired MMO she hopes will serve as a safe space for African Americans online, only to see trolls online and off threaten to destroy the world she’s worked so hard to create. (September 24)

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Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

Four characters—a soldier, a prince, a detective, and a thief, none of whom are exactly what they seem—set aside their differences when they realize they all share a common enemy: a killer who’s seemingly above the laws of magic. (September 24)

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The Warrior Moon by K. Arsenault Rivera

After The Tiger’s Daughter and The Phoenix Empress, the author’s epic Ascendant trilogy wraps up as adventurer Shefali and warrior empress Shizuka face their final adventure together. (September 24)

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The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The National Book Award winner’s first novel is about a young man who was born on a Virginia plantation with a mysterious power, which he uses to escape bondage. He then becomes a warrior in the fight against slavery—while also seeking to reunite the family he was forced to leave behind. (September 24)

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October

Angel Mage by Garth Nix

A centuries-old practitioner of angelic magic sets out to reunite with her long-lost archangel love, but she’ll need the unwilling assistance of four young people (including, as it happens, a scholar of angelic magic) to get what she wants. (October 1)

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Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik

The Consortium Rebellion space-opera trilogy continues with the newly widowed princess Bianca relishing her independence and covertly using her wealth to help empower other women. But when her older brother disappears, she’ll do anything to find him, even if it means reconnecting with an old flame who once broke her heart. (October 1)

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Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury

In this alt-history thriller, a strange messenger who turns up in 1683 sparks timeline changes that mean the Ottoman Empire rules Europe in 2017. As war looms with the Christian Republic of America, a member of the Empire’s secret police stumbles upon dark truths the current ruler will do anything to keep hidden. (October 1)

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The End and Other Beginnings: Stories From the Future by Veronica Roth

The author of Divergent and Carve the Mark presents an illustrated collection of novella-length sci-fi stories about life in the future. (October 1)

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Full Throttle: Stories by Joe Hill

This collection gathers 13 thrilling supernatural tales, including “In the Tall Grass,” co-written with Stephen King and soon to be a made-for-Netflix film, and “By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain,” which will be adapted into an episode of Shudder’s Creepshow series. (October 1)

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Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery edited by Christopher Golden

Brand-new stories about witches and witchcraft from an array of female fantasy authors, including Theodora Goss, Kelley Armstrong, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Amber Benson, and many more. (October 1)

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The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith

A new fantasy series begins in Hell, specifically the part filled with unfinished books: the Library of the Unwritten. Head librarian Claire’s tasks include preventing rebellious characters from escaping their pages—until the Devil’s Bible adds some major complications to her usual routine. (October 1)

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The Science of Rick and Morty: The Unofficial Guide to Earth’s Stupidest Show by Matt Brady

This book aimed at fans of the Adult Swim sensation examines Rick’s experiments through the lens of real-world physics, biology, and chemistry, including but not limited to “how we can use dark matter and energy...and whether or not you can really control a cockroach’s nervous system with your tongue.” (October 1)

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The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss

Mary Jekyll and the rest of the Athena Club return for this final trilogy entry, this time to rescue Mary’s kidnapped employer, some guy named Sherlock Holmes—and uncover a wider plot that threatens all of the British Empire. (Octover 1)

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Trinity Sight by Jennifer Givhan

A pregnant anthropologist must renegotiate her understanding of science, mythology, and her own indigenous heritage when she wakes up in a post-apocalyptic New Mexico filled with ancient monsters. (October 1)

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Whispers of Shadow and Flame by L. Penelope

The Earthsinger Chronicles continue as a magically-gifted assassin teams up with a guilt-ridden Earthsinger try and prevent a war that seems inevitable, no matter what they do. (October 1)

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Future Tense Fiction: Stories of Tomorrow edited by Future Tense

Future Tense—a series presented by Slate, New America, and Arizona State University—curates this collection of original speculative fiction. Authors include io9 co-founders Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz, as well as Nnedi Okorafor, Paolo Bacigalupi, Carmen Maria Machado, and many more. (October 2)

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The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

The adventures of Lyra, heroine of the His Dark Materials series, continue in this new series; she’s now a 20-year-old college student but her life is far from normal, as a dying man’s last secrets lead her, her daemon Pantalaimon, and her old pal Dr. Malcolm Polstead on a dangerous new journey. (October 3)

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The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

A worldly teenage girl in 19th century New Orleans becomes entangled in a serial murder case—one she suspects involves the vampires she’s been mixing with in the city’s decadent underworld. (October 8)

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The Forbidden Stars by Tim Pratt

The space-opera series that kicked off with The Wrong Stars continues as the crew of the White Raven uneasily realize that, yep, bad-guy aliens are to blame for the grim fate of a colony just beyond one of the galaxy’s 29 wormholes. (October 8)

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The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Hollywood has already snapped up the rights to this tale of a land where 16-year-old girls are believed to be magically seductive, and are banished for a year until they return ready for marriage. But the “grace year” is perilous for many reasons—so one young girl plots to overthrow a cruel system designed to pit women against each other. (October 8)

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Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell

This is not a sci-fi book, but it takes a real-world look at one of sci-fi’s favorite scenarios. The author, a leading AI researcher, digs into all the ways we can avoid the (inevitable?) rise of the machines, and even learn to coexist peacefully and beneficially alongside superhuman artificial intelligence. (October 8)

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A Lush and Seething Hell: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror by John Hornor Jacobs

The author pairs his novella The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky, about a poet driven mad by an impossible translation, with new short novel My Heart Struck Sorrow, about a librarian who accidentally stumbles on a recording of the Devil’s own music. (October 8)

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Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

After she survives a horrifying crime, a young woman gets the chance to attend Yale—but her good fortune turns around again when she becomes entangled with the sinister occult activities of the school’s secret societies. (October 8)

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The Penguin Book of Mermaids edited by Cristina Bacchilega and Marie Alohalani Brown

This collection of stories, each with accompanying commentary, traces folk tales about mermaids from cultures around the world, some of which are being published in English for the first time. (October 8)

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The Princess Beard by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

In the world of Pell—setting for the author duo’s other comedic fairy tales, including No Country for Old Gnomes—a princess slumbers for eons; when the spell is broken, she wakes up not to the expected handsome prince, but to some seriously overactive hair follicles. Fortunately, her new beard makes the perfect disguise when she escapes to the high seas. (October 8)

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The True Bastards by Jonathan French

The second Lot Lands novel finds half-orc Fetch realizing that being chief isn’t quite the gig she thought it would be, thanks to mounting problems like a destroyed fortress, a growing famine, meddling humans, and an evil wizard, to name just a few. (October 8)

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Warrior of the Altaii by Robert Jordan

The acclaimed author of the Wheel of Time epic fantasy series passed away in 2007, but he left behind this never-before published novel, about an Altaii leader dealing with warlords, magic, otherworldly interlopers, and other sorts of friends and foes while trying to keep his people safe. (October 8)

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In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey

After a family tragedy, an author moves to a remote estate and immerses himself in writing a biography of the mansion’s former occupant: a Victorian fantasist who drew inspiration from the estate’s foreboding surrounding forest, where sinister forces still dwell. (October 9)

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The Absinthe Earl by Sharon Lynn Fisher

In this fantasy romance, a woman studying fairies visits an absinthe bar to research the connection between the two—only to meet a man who makes her realize the supernatural creatures might not be such a myth after all. (October 15)

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Escaping Exodus by Nicky Drayden

Without a home planet, humanity now dwells in short-term colonies constructed inside of giant “space beasts.” When a young woman who’s just learned some grim behind-the-scenes truths about this harsh way of life is unexpectedly elevated to a leadership role, her own sister tries to overthrow her. (October 15)

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Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

After a violent revolution, a pair of orphans—an aristocratic boy and a lowborn girl—become friends, and their relationship transforms as they grow older and become competitive dragonriders. Things get even more complicated when the boy’s long-lost extended family resurfaces, and both must decide where their true loyalties lie. (October 15)

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Forever and a Doomsday by Laurence MacNaughton

When novice sorceress Dru Jasper becomes the guardian of a scroll that could bring about the apocalypse, she must travel to the underworld to prevent a gang of particularly nasty wraiths from using it to end everything. (October 15)

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Ormeshadow by Prita Sharma

In this fantastical drama, a young man must confront his troubled family legacy, which may or may not involve an actual dragon buried deep beneath their ancestral farmlands. (October 15)

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Salvaged by Madeleine Roux

A young woman ditches her bioengineering career and famous family in favor of working as a “space janitor,” cleaning up after intergalactic research expeditions. But her fresh start’s kind of a bust, truth be told—and things get even worse when she’s assigned to a ship that’s been overtaken by a dangerous alien parasite. (October 15)

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Soon by Lois Murphy

In a haunted town cloaked in a dangerous mist, residents know not to venture out after dark...but that doesn’t always stop them from trying, and dying. With only a handful of survivors remaining, one man is determined to be the first to escape. (October 15)

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The Throne of the Five Winds by S.C. Emmett

The Hostage of Empire fantasy series begins as an aging Emperor is nearing the end of his reign—and his queens, his concubines, and six potential royal heirs scheme, plot, and worry over who’ll take the throne next. (October 15)

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