Almost every day of the year has a random holiday. Sometimes they are extremely bizarre but this one is worthy of celebration. September 6 is National Read A Book Day, so it’s a great excuse to hide from the world and dive into a great story. And there’s no better way to indulge in escapism than through a great sci-fi/fantasy saga. The choices are infinite with novels, short stories, anthologies, and more, but which one should you choose? Picking a classic is a comforting choice, but it’s time to take a chance and diversify your bookshelf with some fresh stories. Here are a few books that you should absolutely pick up and read today.
Agents of the Realm
This magical girl webcomic has been ongoing for years but much of it has been packaged in eBook form. Yes, eBooks and comics absolutely are books so don’t let anyone convince you otherwise! Written and illustrated by Mildred Louis, Agents of the Realm follows five college students who are chosen to protect the world and another dimension. The diverse crew has specific elements and weapons that empower them to fight evil. It’s an engrossing and high-energy adventure that will make you laugh and feel some unexpected feels.
This young-adult novel’s protagonist is Sierra Santiago, an Afro-Latina teen whose penchant for creating murals leads to a deeper discovery about her familial roots. Shadowshaper is the first book in an ongoing series by Daniel Jose Older, who brings a vibrancy and authenticity that leaps off the pages. Characters who are often sidelined or left out of futuristic narratives are given center stage with a story about gentrification, ancestry, spirits, and identity. This book will spark joy and make you want to go straight into its sequel. It’s also being adapted into a live-action series for film and TV, so get to know this story.
David Palumbo/Christine Foltzer
Nnedi Okorafor certainly follows in the footsteps of Octavia Butler and Samuel Delaney as a sci-fi genius. The titular character is accepted into an intergalactic university and begins a powerful adventure. Her quick yet action-packed journey leads to several great discoveries that interweave her heritage and technology to make her an important figure in this universe.
Ignite the Stars
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a little (or a lot) of romance mixed with some otherworldly action. Maura Milan brings all of that and more in a space novel about a universally feared criminal mastermind who happens to be a teenage girl. Ia Cōcha is on a classic revenge tour to take down the nation that destroyed her home but she may get caught up in their agenda. This book goes full-throttle from beginning to end with complex characters and battles that are literally and figuratively out of this world.
Cult of Chaos: An Anantya Tantrist Mystery
A group of girls needs a savior to protect them from becoming dark magic sacrifices. Enter Anantya, who is defying her clan and living life her own way. Cult of Chaos is written by Shweta Taneja and offers readers a lot to learn as they follow this Indian heroine’s fight against evil tantriks.
New Moon’s Arms
Grand Central Publishing
It’s never too late to make changes. New Moon’s Arms follows Calamity, who taps back into her childhood gift of finding lost things during a hot flash. The book explores her gift, interpersonal relationships, and journey towards finding answers about her own past so she can full heal. The story has a lot of realism but not at the expense of its fantasy elements. Calamity is far from the typical hero but that makes her feel like your next-door neighbor.
Power & Magic: The Queer Witch Comics Anthology
Enjoy this roster of original stories about queer witches of color who explore what it means to be someone with exceptional powers. The collection has a little something for everyone with stories rooted in different traditions, coming-of-age stories, and romance from the perspective of women, demigirls, and bigender creators of color.
Featured Image: Scholastic Books