This Tuesday we’re revealing our 2017 Spring Sci-Fi & Scary TBR (To Be Read) list. This list is ever changing, ever growing, but always filled with good books. If you’ve read any of the ones on our list, feel free to rave (or rant) about them below. These books are all books that have already been released in 2017, but didn’t hit our radar immediately.
Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of www.brokeandbookish.com
Our 2017 Spring Sci-Fi & Scary TBR
Release Date: January 3rd, 2017
Synopsis: LIVE FOREVER—OR DIE TRYING. When the world’s richest man is the victim of a car bomb and literally blown off the Golden Gate Bridge the attack is attributed to terrorists and the world moves on. But some still wonder. Was Manuel Colibri targeted because, as Silicon Valley rumor has it, he was about to make the dream that people alive today can live to be one thousand come true?
Two people are pursuing the truth. Tech journalist Kate Boyle and recovering Iraq war veteran Ben Shepard race through the Bay Area chasing the only clues the reclusive Colibri left behind. They discover not only each other but a cosmic secret that can change human history—and may cost them their lives.
Thoughts: Reviews have compared it favorably to the DaVinci code, and have said that even though the narrative seems a bit meandering, it pays off in the end. While I’ve never read Buettner before, this one is looking steadily more appealing.
Lotus Blue by Cat Sparks
Release Date: March 7th, 2017
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Star and her sister Nene are orphans, part of a thirteen-wagon caravan of nomadic traders living hard lives travelling the Sand Road. Their route cuts through a particularly dangerous and unforgiving section of the Dead Red Heart, a war-ravaged desert landscape plagued by rogue semi-sentient machinery and other monsters from a bygone age.
But when the caravan witnesses a relic-Angel satellite unexpectedly crash to Earth, a chain of events begins that sends Star on a journey far away from the life she once knew. Shanghaied upon the sandship Dogwatch, she is forced to cross the Obsidian Sea by Quarrel, an ancient Templar supersoldier. Eventually shipwrecked, Star will have no choice but to place her trust in both thieves and priestesses while coming to terms with the grim reality of her past—and the horror of her unfolding destiny—as the terrible secret her sister had been desperate to protect her from begins to unravel.
Meanwhile, something old and powerful has woken in the desert. A Lotus Blue, deadliest of all the ancient war machines. A warrior with plans of its own, far more significant than a fallen Angel. Plans that do not include the survival of humanity.
Thoughts: Reviews are generally favorable for Lotus Blue, but there are several complaints/concerns about the fact that there are too many characters. This makes me a bit reluctant to buy Lotus Blue, but it’s definitely listed as a library-read for me. || Amazon | B&N
The Hangman’s Daughter by Gavin Smith
Release Date: January 6th, 2017
Synopsis: Four hundred years in the future, the most dangerous criminals are kept in suspended animation aboard prison ships and “rehabilitated” in a shared virtual reality environment. But Miska Storrow, a thief and hacker with a background in black ops, has stolen one of these ships, the Hangman’s Daughter, and made it her own. Controlled by explosive collars and trained in virtual reality by the electronic ghost of a dead marine sergeant, the thieves, gangsters, murderers, and worse are transformed into Miska’s own private indentured army: the Bastard Legion. Are the mercenaries just for fun and profit, or does Miska have a hidden purpose connected to her covert past?
Thoughts: Reviews say its classic military sci-fi (Yay!), the main character is crazy (likened to Harley Quinn), and it sounds like utter madness with a great narrator for the audio book. …………. I’m sold. Amazon
The Keeper of Portals by VS Nelson
Release Date: January 28th, 2017
Synopsis: Everything in the universe is maintained by its own keeper, from the most insignificant insect to time itself. When 15 year-old Martin moves into a stately home that’s dangerously overhanging a cliff, he meets the Keeper of Portals and learns of the mysterious door at the end of his bedroom.
One morning, Martin wakes to discover the Keeper of Portals is missing and the door at the end of his bedroom is open. Martin steps through the door to find himself in the 17th century where he meets Isabel, the house’s maid. Upon discovering two imprisoned keepers, Martin and Isabel gain the ability to control time and travel through portals.
After being attacked by hordes of brainwashed villagers, Martin and Isabel learn that the master of the house has a devious plan, one the keepers are powerless to stop. Martin and Isabel must jump between the present day and the 17th century in order to hide from the twisted master, avoiding past versions of themselves, as powerful keepers thwart them at every turn. But as items from the future begin to bleed into the past and the present day is plagued by malfunctioning portals, Martin and Isabel’s only option is to confront the master – the Keeper of Questions.
Thoughts: Even though this is sci-fi/fantasy, which is not a line I like to cross much, it’s a middle-grade sci-fi/fantasy book. That’s enough to make me sit up and pay attention. I know I’d looked at this book before, but I had never caught the middle-grade thing. I have now, and now I need to read this. Reviews are generally positive, stressing that you keep in mind that this is not a book for adult readers. || Amazon | B&N
Memento Mori (Anthology)
Release Date: January 23rd, 2017
Synopsis: Memento Mori: A Digital Horror Fiction Anthology of Short Stories
If you’re looking for an array of Horror stories to sink your teeth into, look no further than Memento Mori…pay the Ferryman, and prepare to take the ride of your life.
The title, Memento Mori, is Latin and literally means: “Remember you too must die.” An ominous-sounding phrase, the saying derived from Puritan settlers who would often display tokens of death as a reminder to the living of the fragility of life…not to mention the eternal punishment awaiting those who wallowed in wickedness.
Death has always been a fascination to the living, meaning different things to different groups of people. Edgar Allan Poe nailed it when he said: “The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”
Thoughts: The cover is creative, I like the title and I really, really like themed anthologies – GK
The Folcroft Ghosts by Darcy Coates
Release Date: January 10th, 2017
Synopsis: Tara and her brother Kyle are sent to stay with their estranged grandparents when their mother is hospitalised. May and Peter Folcroft are warm and charming at first, and the house, hidden in the base of the mountains, seems idyllic. But strange things start happening. The swing moves on its own. Peter paces around the house at night and is obsessed with the lake where his sister drowned. Doors slam. Indistinct figures glide through the fog.
When a storm cuts the phone line and blocks the only road to town, May shifts from doting to obsessive. Tara and Kyle try to keep up the pretext of a happy family, but an empty journal and locked room provide clues to the unforgivable lies, secrets and decades-old murders entwined with the Folcrofts’ history. Worse, the ghosts are growing agitated. Tara must confront the restless spirits if she and her brother have any hope of leaving the house alive.
Thoughts: I love the sepia-toned cover and the story features two of my favorite things: locked rooms and creepy journals.- GK ((Lilyn: In the interest of full disclosure, I *have* already read Folcroft Ghosts but did not review it on the site. It was a good read!)) || Amazon
Black Feathers (Anthology)
Release Date: February 7th, 2017
Synopsis: Birds are usually loved for their beauty and their song. They symbolize freedom, eternal life, the soul.
There’s definitely a dark side to the avian. Birds of prey sometimes kill other birds (the shrike), destroy other birds’ eggs (blue jays), and even have been known to kill small animals (the kea sometimes eats live lambs). And who isn’t disgusted by birds that eat the dead—vultures awaiting their next meal as the lifeblood flows from the dying. One of our greatest fears is of being eaten by vultures before we’re quite dead.
Thoughts: The cover is beautiful and Ellen Datlow usually puts together a pretty good collection
Hekla’s Children by James Brogden
Release Date: March 7th, 2017
Synopsis: A decade ago, teacher Nathan Brookes saw four of his students walk up a hill and vanish. Only one returned – Olivia – starved, terrified, and with no memory of where she’d been. After a body is found in the same woodland where they disappeared, it is first believed to be one of the missing children, but is soon identified as a Bronze Age warrior, nothing more than an archaeological curiosity. Yet Nathan starts to have terrifying visions of the students. Then Olivia reappears, half-mad and willing to go to any lengths to return the corpse to the earth. For he is the only thing keeping a terrible evil at bay…
Thoughts: This was actually just mentioned on this site, in our last “This is Horror” issue. I love a mix of creepy and history so this seemed very interesting to me (and you gotta love the creepy ‘the well’ cover).