Here are 11 Anticipated Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reads for May 2019

11 Anticipated Releases for May 2019

Greetings from my hiatus, friends! You may have noticed that my posting frequency this week is up and I have done a little blog hopping – YAY! – but I am not 100% sure that I am back from my hiatus yet. I’ve just had a few decent days, which is cause for a celebration. I expect to be really back full-time come the beginning of May. 😁🌺

Spring has officially spring and it’s that time of the month that I make your TBRs quake with fear and grow exponentially, friends! April had so many amazing releases, and May is definitely continuing that trend for us readers. Grab onto your wallets friends, here are 11 Anticipated Releases for May 2019!

📝 In case you are wondering how I manage to keep track of upcoming releases and choose the books I am most excited to highlight, check out my Edelweiss 2.0 Guide!

Source: Playbill on Tumblr


May 1

One Word Kill (Impossible Times #1)
by Mark Lawrence
Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel

One Word Kill by Mark LawrenceSynopsis from Goodreads: 

In January 1986, fifteen-year-old boy-genius Nick Hayes discovers he’s dying. And it isn’t even the strangest thing to happen to him that week.

Nick and his Dungeons & Dragons-playing friends are used to living in their imaginations. But when a new girl, Mia, joins the group and reality becomes weirder than the fantasy world they visit in their weekly games, none of them are prepared for what comes next. A strange—yet curiously familiar—man is following Nick, with abilities that just shouldn’t exist. And this man bears a cryptic message: Mia’s in grave danger, though she doesn’t know it yet. She needs Nick’s help—now.

He finds himself in a race against time to unravel an impossible mystery and save the girl. And all that stands in his way is a probably terminal disease, a knife-wielding maniac and the laws of physics.

Challenge accepted.

We all know that I am a sucker for time travel stories and 80s nostalgia, so One Word Kill is literally a book that I cannot wait to get my grubby little hands on! This sounds like such a genre-bending start to a new series.


May 7

 Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1)
by Amie Kaufman and
Jay Kristoff
Young Adult, Science Fiction

Cover of Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffSynopsis from Goodreads:

From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Pre-Order Incentive (INTL) ARC Review

I don’t think words can adequately express how fiercely I have been anticipating this release since it was announced. I was late to the Illuminae Files game but I fell in love with this writing duo and the worlds they can create. I am starting my eARC of the book now and cannot wait to share my spoiler-free thoughts with you all a bit closer to publication!

✨✨✨

Last Things
by Jacqueline West
Young Adult, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy

Cover for Last Things by Jacqueline WestSynopsis from Goodreads:

When strange things start happening to local music idol Anders Thorson, everyone blames his number-one-fan, Thea. But is she out to hurt him? Or protect him?

High school senior Anders Thorson is unusually gifted. His band, Last Things, is legendary in their northern Minnesota hometown. With guitar skills that would amaze even if he weren’t only eighteen, Anders is the focus of head-turning admiration. And Thea Malcom, a newcomer to the insular town, is one of his admirers. Thea seems to turn up everywhere Anders goes: gigs at the local coffeehouse, guitar lessons, even in the woods near Anders’s home. When strange things start happening to Anders—including the disappearance of his beloved cat, then his sort-of girlfriend, and, somehow, his musical talent—blame immediately falls on Thea. But is she trying to hurt him? Or save him? Can he trust a girl who doesn’t seem to know the difference between dreams and reality? And how much are they both willing to compromise to get what they want?

I was drawn into this book by the stunning cover and this sounds darkly interesting, albeit a little creepy like You by Caroline Kepnes. I am intrigued as to how the narrative is structured and if the writing is as lyrical as I am imagining!

✨✨✨

Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic #1)
by Maya Motayne
Young Adult, Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Debut Author

Cover for Nocturna by Maya MotayneSynopsis from Goodreads:

Set in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

A Latinx inspired epic fantasy?! Hell to the yes! I am going to admit that this book wasn’t actually on my radar until I saw that it is the Mysterious Galaxy Young Adult pick for May… and I am really excited to read it now!

✨✨✨

Finale (Caraval #3)
by Stephanie Garber
Young Adult, Fantasy

US Cover of Finale by Stephanie GarberSynopsis from Goodreads:

Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .

Pre-Order Incentive (US)

Embarrassing fun fact: I own both Caraval and Legendary but haven’t read them yet. Did that stop me from pre-ordering a UK secret cover copy of Finale? No. I have a problem but I just have a feeling I will love this series… but am also afraid to read it? I will soon no longer have an excuse.


May 14

Last Tango in Cyberspace
by Steven Kotler
Adult, Science Fiction, Adventure

Cover for Last Tango in Cyberspace by Steven KotlerSynopsis from Goodreads:

New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler crafts a near-future thriller about the evolution of empathy.

Hard to say when the human species fractured exactly. Harder to say when this new talent arrived. But Lion Zorn is the first of his kind–an empathy tracker, an emotional soothsayer, with a felt sense for the future of the we. In simpler terms, he can spot cultural shifts and trends before they happen.

It’s a useful skill for a certain kind of company.

Arctic Pharmaceuticals is that kind of company. But when a routine em-tracking job leads to the discovery of a gruesome murder, Lion finds himself neck-deep in a world of eco-assassins, soul hackers and consciousness terrorists. But what the man really needs is a nap.

A unique blend of cutting-edge technology and traditional cyberpunk, Last Tango in Cyberspace explores hot topics like psychology, neuroscience, technology, as well as ecological and animal rights issues. The world created in Last Tango is based very closely on our world about five years from now, and all technology in the book either exists in labs or is rumored to exist. With its electrifying sentences, subtle humor, and an intriguing main character, readers are sure to find something that resonates with them in this groundbreaking cyberpunk science fiction thriller.

I am so incredibly hyped for this title: this is the kind of science fiction that I love so much! Looking at society through the lens of technology and possibility while also discussing themes of humanity. I wish I had heard about this sooner (aka before I got stuck under a mountain of ARCs) so I could have requested a review copy.

✨✨✨

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1)
by Hafsah Faizal
Young Adult, Fantasy
Debut Author

Cover for We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah FaizalSynopsis from Goodreads:

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

Pre-Order Incentive (Sold Out)

I am so incredibly excited for this diverse fantasy inspired by ancient Arabia! This book has all the things that I love about fantasy stories with a completely new to me setting. I’m really happy this story is being told by a Muslim author and cannot wait to experience this world.

✨✨✨

A Brightness Long Ago
by Guy Gavriel Kay
Adult, Historical Fantasy

Cover of A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel KaySynopsis from Goodreads:

International bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay’s latest work is set in a world evoking early Renaissance Italy and offers an extraordinary cast of characters whose lives come together through destiny, love, and ambition.

In a chamber overlooking the nighttime waterways of a maritime city, a man looks back on his youth and the people who shaped his life. Danio Cerra’s intelligence won him entry to a renowned school even though he was only the son of a tailor. He took service at the court of a ruling count–and soon learned why that man was known as the Beast.

Danio’s fate changed the moment he saw and recognized Adria Ripoli as she entered the count’s chambers one autumn night–intending to kill. Born to power, Adria had chosen, instead of a life of comfort, one of danger–and freedom. Which is how she encounters Danio in a perilous time and place.

Vivid figures share the unfolding story. Among them: a healer determined to defy her expected lot; a charming, frivolous son of immense wealth; a powerful religious leader more decadent than devout; and, affecting all these lives and many more, two larger-than-life mercenary commanders, lifelong adversaries, whose rivalry puts a world in the balance.

A Brightness Long Ago offers both compelling drama and deeply moving reflections on the nature of memory, the choices we make in life, and the role played by the turning of Fortune’s wheel.

2019 seems to be the year of historical fantasy and I will tell you what: your girl is here for it! The Gilded Wolves brought us to historical Paris and now we get to experience Italy, which is great because I’ve loved renaissance Italy since Assassin’s Creed II and I find that time period interesting. I also really dig stories that involve memory and human choice, so this book has some themes I’m interested in.


May 21

Vessel
by Lisa A. Nichols
Adult, Thriller, Suspense

Cover for Vessel by Lisa A. NicholsSynopsis from Goodreads:

“A surprising page-turner…Compelling. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal (starred review), Debut of the Month

An astronaut returns to Earth after losing her entire crew to an inexplicable disaster, but is her version of what happened in space the truth? Or is there more to the story…. A tense, psychological thriller perfect for fans of Dark Matter and The Martian.

After Catherine Wells’s ship experiences a deadly incident in deep space and loses contact with NASA, the entire world believes her dead. Miraculously—and mysteriously—she survived, but with little memory of what happened. Her reentry after a decade away is a turbulent one: her husband has moved on with another woman and the young daughter she left behind has grown into a teenager she barely recognizes. Catherine, too, is different. The long years alone changed her, and as she readjusts to being home, sometimes she feels disconnected and even, at times, deep rage toward her family and colleagues. There are periods of time she can’t account for, too, and she begins waking up in increasingly strange and worrisome locations, like restricted areas of NASA. Suddenly she’s questioning everything that happened up in space: how her crewmates died, how she survived, and now, what’s happening to her back on Earth.

Smart, gripping, and compelling, this page-turning sci-fi thriller will leave you breathless.

Where The Martian focused on the main character’s survival on Mars, The Vessel looks at the re-entry and mystery of what transpired after her ship lost contact with NASA ten years prior. Themes of having to resettle in a life where people you knew and loved had moved on while trying to pick up the pieces of your memory… and possibly uncovering a conspiracy. Yes, please. What are they hiding?!!

✨✨✨

Kingsbane (Empirium #2)
by Claire Legrand
Young Adult, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy

Cover for Kingsbane by Claire LegrandSynopsis from Goodreads:

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Furyborn, two queens, separated by a thousand years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength—and their hearts.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.

Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana’s power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother’s power, or rejecting it forever.

Pre-Order Incentive (US and Canada)

I had a fairly decent time reading Furyborn last year, and I am really interested to see what happens next in this trilogy! I love prophecy and stories that kind of begin with the end because I like to see how things get there, and I am invested in seeing more of Rielle’s journey. I am hoping that there is more worldbuilding in this installment!


May 28

The Kingdom
by Jess Rothenberg
Young Adult, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy

Cover for The Kingdom by Jess RothenbergSynopsis from Goodreads:

Welcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule.

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom(TM) is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species–formerly extinct–roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty–and what it truly means to be human.

Pre-Order Incentive

This cover freaks me out in the coolest way the more that I look at it. This sounds like Westworld mixed with forced utopian society and you know what? I am here for it.


Are any of these books on your TBR? Have you read any of them yet? What are the May releases that you cannot wait to get your hands on?


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Hi! I’m Kaleena: book lover, runner, wanderer, and philanthropist. Life is an adventurous gift: through the outdoors and books. I run Reader Voracious Blog, where I post spoiler-free book reviews of science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, and mystery & thriller.

39 thoughts on “Here are 11 Anticipated Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reads for May 2019

  1. So many releases on May 7th! I’m currently reading We Hunt the Flame and I can’t wait to read Aurora Rising. I already placed a library hold for Aurora Rising. I hope this means I’m the first person on the wait list.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A BLOG POST BY KALEENA! YAY! I’ve been on a little hiatus of my own, so I haven’t done much hopping lately, but am hoping to get back in the groove of things in May. I’m so excited to read many of these – especially Aurora Rising, Finale, and We Hunt the Flame. Though I haven’t read the Illuminae files yet (I honestly don’t know how it’s humanly possible that I’ve resisted them for so long), the premise of Aurora Rising is so enticing! Haha. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you so much, love! I hope your hiatus went well for you, and I am looking forward to getting into my hopping groove hopefully come June. Until then I am just going to try to focus on responding to my comments a bit quicker than 19 days late…

      GIRL, Aurora Rising is a RIDE and you won’t have to read Illuminae Files to enjoy it (but you should read them because perfection). I finished Finale last week and died a little — the review goes up on Thursday!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my god, I am in LOVE with the idea of Last Tango in Cyberspace. It sounds like all of the things that I am really interested in and also THAT COVER. Thank you for coming in from your hiatus to share these with us because now I have discovered a cool new book! Sending you lots of positive vibes and hugs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Last Tango looks SO GOOD and I succumbed to requesting it on NetGalley… and I was accepted! Of course now I am a little burned out on science fiction, but I am really excited to read it soon.

      Thanks so much for your positive thoughts, I feel them! I hope you are doing well, Avery!

      Like

  4. New books coming out *squeals in delight*
    I am really excited about ‘we hunt the flame’ coming out– it sounds so good and I can’t wait to read it!!
    Also ‘the kingdom’ sounds like a really cool book and I agree the cover is insane!!
    I hope you’re well!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ngl, I kinda hate this post for making me want to add more books to my already ginormous TBR! We do have similar stuff here, most notably being We Hunt the Flame, which I am so excited for! I did not know that Nocturna was Latinx inspired until recently, and that makes me want to pick it up even more! The Kingdom does have an insane cover, and it sounds so freaky! Gosh, I just wish I could read all the books right this second ;(

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *cackles maniacally* My job here is done!

      On a serious note, I am sorry to make your TBR grow but I promise it is in your best interest! I also was really excited when I found out that Nocturna was Latinx inspired. I wish you happy reading, Caitlin!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better and had a couple of great days, I hope things keep on improving and that you’ll be back fully in May! ❤
    I can't wait to read We Hunt The Flame, it sounds like such an incredible read. I'm also so curious about that last book you mentioned, The Kingdom, it sounds…. well, a little creepy but also really good? I am intrigued. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww Marie, thank you SO MUCH love! Things definitely didn’t stay on that high for long, but I am starting to feel a bit better now. I am also so intrigued/perturbed (in a good way?) by The First Kingdom! I want to pre-order it but am trying to not buy books right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am really curious for aurora rising and we haunt the flame and I will wait for the Dutch translation of Finale since I have read the other 2 books in Dutch as well. Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. All of them sound wonderful and I’ve featured many of them on my blog post too where I’ve listed 30 anticipates reads of May 2019. But I didn’t know about The Kingdom and the book seems quite fascinating! That’s why I love reading such posts from other book bloggers, it helps me get to know about so many books. Thanks for this list 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Like 2/3 of these are on my tbr lolol. I did get One World Kill in the Amazon first reads, but it’s just there staring at me because I couldn’t keep myself away from NetGalley. And here we are. Still complaining about it. There’s like 2 I hadn’t’ heard of and guess what? Totally adding them now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Muahahaha, another TBR victim! I am honestly kicking myself for not grabbing One Word Kill last month, I don’t know why I didn’t. And I hear you on NetGalley… I had gotten my review copies down and was done until July and then… uh, I went a little bonkers and now I am drowning again. WHY AM I LIKE THIS

      Liked by 1 person

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