In some of the Summer Reads listed below, I talk about going back to read earlier books in a series. Some of those early novels could be out of print. If you can’t find them at the Amazon link provided, try this link: Powell’s Books. I’ve found many gently used out-of-print books through them.
Here are the 2011 Popcorn Reads SciFi & Fantasy Summer Reading Recommendations!
The Other Crowd (Rogue Angel) by Alex Archer, the latest Anja Creed/Rogue Angel sequel. Just published on May 1, 2011, and a quick read. Another one will probably be published in July since these books come out about every 2 months. These are very light reads; however, they’re so much fun that I frankly don’t care. Anja Creed is a Lara Croft style archeologist, who possesses Joan of Arc’s sword which imbues her with strength and longevity – and she kicks bad-guy butt with it. This series provides lots of armchair adventures all around the world. What better for a fun summer read or two?
Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong, #12 in the Otherworld series. Due out on July 26, 2011 but available for pre-order now. I love the Otherworld series, so I’m really looking forward to this one! Although these novels build on each other, you could pick this series up at any stage and start reading it. This one continues Savannah’s story, as it was left at the end of Waking the Witch. Once you read one of the Otherworld novels, you’ll be hooked.
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher, #13 in the Dresden Files series. Due out on July 26, 2011 but available now for pre-order. Does anyone who reads sci-fi/fantasy not know about The Dresden Files? All I can say is jump on it with both feet if you haven’t already! The scruffy Chicago wizard we all love is in the house again! (Sure wish Jim Butcher could write faster!) Although these novels all build off of each other, you could read this one and then go back to the beginning. You’re gonna love them! Also check out the fun short-lived TV series on Hulu.
Working Stiff: A Revivalist Novelby Rachel Caine. Due out on August 2, 2011 but available for pre-order now. This novel begins a new undead avenger series by Rachel Caine, whose novels are always excellent. I’m excited that she’s writing a new series for us, and am looking forward to reading this one!
Chicks Kick Buttedited by Rachel Caine & Kerrie Hughes. This anthology features 13 top-notch writers. It’s due out on June 7, 2011 but available for pre-order now. I’ve been hearing good things about this one and can hardly wait to read it, since I really like a lot of the authors! And the title says it all!
Naamah’s Blessing (Kushiel’s Legacy)by Jacqueline Carey. Due out on June 29, 2011 but available for pre-order now. This is #3 in a series, and that series is an offshoot of another Kushiel series. If you haven’t read the first two books, Naamah’s Kiss (Kushiel Legacy)and Naamah’s Curse, I’d recommend reading those first. Also, be aware that Ms. Carey’s books contain erotic, fetish and sometimes sexually graphic scenes, so they are really only for adults who are sexually broadminded.
Heartlessby Gail Carriger, #3 in the Parasol Protectorate series (Thanks to Walt for pointing out correctly that Heartless is the 4th in the series, not the 3rd. Dwoops!) Due out on June 28, 2011 but is available for pre-order now. If you like Steampunk, you’ll like this series. My review of the first book, Blameless, is here. Although this is a chronological series, I think you could read Heartless and then go back to the others – which I know you’ll want to do.
Hunt the Moon: A Cassie Palmer Novelby Karen Chance. Due out on June 7, 2011 but available for pre-order now. Cassie is training to become Pythia, the world’s top clairvoyant, and is in sort of a relationship with a master vampire. I know, it’s complicated. I really like the Cassie Palmer character and am looking forward to what she gets into this time. I think this is Book 5 or 6 in this series.
Night Veil (Indigo Court) by Yasmine Galenorn. Due out on July 5, 2011 but available now for pre-order. Cicely Waters is the main character in this series. She’s a witch who’s just discovered she’s part of the shifting Fae. Both of Yasmine’s series are chronological and each book builds on the last one; however, I think this is a series you could pick up and enjoy immensely. I love both series and think you will too. They’re set in the Pacific Northwest, which is such a believable location for otherworldly figures to cavort in. Once you find out how wonderful this series is, then you can go back to the beginning.
For Heaven’s Eyes Only: A Secret Histories Novelby Simon R. Green, from the Secret Histories series. Due out on June 7, 2011 but available for pre-order now. Some of Simon Green’s novels can be very dark, bordering on the horror genre. I haven’t read this particular series; however, several people I trust have told me it’s a lot of fun, which is why it’s on the list.
Hit Listby Laurell K. Hamilton, #20 in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. Due out on June 7, 2011 but you can pre-order now. It’s true that this newest novel is pretty far into the Vampire Hunter series; however, you can pick up these books anywhere in the series. Warning: This series contains pretty graphic violence and sex scenes, so they really are only for adults who are very sexually broadminded.
Home Improvement: Undead Edition: A collection of short stories by Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, James Grady, Heather Graham, Melissa Marr and more. Due out on August 2, 2011 but available now for pre-order. For anyone who hasn’t checked these out, Charlaine Harris’ anthologies are always great reads and the short story format is wonderful when you’re traveling. This and the other anthology mentioned above are fun ways to find new authors!
The Sookie Stackhouse Companion (including a new Sookie novella) by Charlaine Harris. Due out on August 30, 2011 but available now for pre-order. This one is for everyone who just can never get enough of True Blood, Ms. Sookie and the Bon Temps, Louisiana, group of supernaturals. The promise of a new novella is why I’ve included this one, because those are always fun reads.
A Dance with Dragonsby George R.R. Martin, #5 in the Song of Fire & Ice series. Due out on July 12, 2011 but available for pre-order now. If you’re into the Fire & Ice series, then you already know you’re going to want this one. Nuf said.
Chasing the Moonby A. Lee Martinez. Due out on May 25, 2011 (this week!) but available now for pre-order. All of Martinez’ books are stand-alone and all of them rock so, if you like lots of humor with weird characters, this one will be very entertaining to read on vacation or a lazy summer afternoon. Read my review of his most recent novel by clicking on the title, Divine Misfortune. I received an advance reader digital copy of Chasing the Moon (WooHoo!) and plan to read it asap. I’ll review it as soon as I’m finished.
Basilisk by Rob Thurman, the sequel to Chimera. Due out on August 2, 2011 but available now for pre-order. Please read Chimera before reading this one because Chimera sets up the relationship between Stefan and his brother, Lucas, and the world you need to know about before reading Basilisk – that gives you 2 great summer reads right there. All of Rob’s series are wonderful!
Kitty’s Big Troubleby Carrie Vaughn, #9 in the Kitty Norville series. Due out on June 28, 2011 but available for pre-order now. Kitty Norville is a radio-show host who is not just a werewolf but Alpha to the Denver pack. Her radio show is for supernaturals who feel isolated or are having problems, and to help the non-supe population become more tolerant of them. All of these novels contain mystery elements as well as supernatural elements. You could pick up any of the Kitty series novels as a first read. You’ll probably be so happy with it that you’ll want to read them all afterward.
I hope you found some fun summer reads in the list above! If SciFi/Fantasy isn’t your cup of tea, click here Summer Reads Week to see which day will feature an assortment of the kind of books you like to read. We’ve got something for just about everybody this week!
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