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Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books in 2022

by Janise
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In this article, I will be highlighting some of the best sci-fi books in 2022 that I have read. The above image is only of highly anticipated sci-fi and fantasy novels in 2022
How it works is as follows: each month, I read a lot of the new books that come out that month. Be it from my favourite sci-fi authors, critically acclaimed work, or those books that pop out of nowhere and go viral and are just everywhere!

I will then highlight two of them to be the best books released that month. I will then update this article at the end of each month.

Here they are, listed alphabetically by author surname.

List last updated: end of April, 2022

Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire: This was the 7th book in the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire. This is just an excellent series and honestly, this may be the best book I have read in the series.

I enjoyed this one so much. It followed the story of Cora, who is a character I really enjoyed. Eleanor attempts to convince Cora not to transfer to Whitethorn, but she is insistent as she feels it is the only way to save herself.

Cora suffers from a lot of fatphobia and you really sympathize with her. I really liked the setting of Whitethorn as well. This is one series not to sleep on!

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan: This one was on my best upcoming books of January 2022 as I was eagerly anticipating this fantasy debut – and it did not disappoint!

This is the first book of two I believe and I can’t wait for the second one. It’s the story of Xingyin, who grew up on the moon unaware that she is actually being kept hidden from the Celestial Emperor. Then her existence is discovered, and this magic girl has to flee (via cloud!). She’s all alone and makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom in disguise to attempt to learn how her magic abilities work and save her mother.

This was just a superb book and it hooked me from the beginning.

Mission 51 by Fernando Crôtte: I took a chance on a debuting indie author and I’m glad that I did. Crôtte’s first book is a unique story that follows the immigrant experience and tells it through a first contact story. It was an easy read that also asks a lot of deep question about how we would react to meeting alien life.

The Torkiyans have undergone fifty missions, but they all failed. Now they are sending out their 51st mission with the destination set as planet Cerulea―also known as planet Earth. Zeemat is a peaceful Torkiyan who would rather paint than fight, but he is assigned this mission and heads towards the new planet. He crashes at a place known as Area 51 where he is taken captive by FBI agents.

The authorities are brutal and torture him, but he hopes to find freedom and happiness.

Mission 51 is a good story that doesn’t shy away from tough subjects and asking powerful questions. It has a good pace and characters that are easy to connect to, even alien ones.

Library of the Sapphire Wind by Jane Lindskold: This is your classic fantasy quest story, but it is a much-needed fresh take on the genre and a lot of fun.

The story begins when Xerak, Vereez, and Grunwold see three strange creatures appear at Hettua Shrine. Their first instinct is that they are monsters because they’ve never actually seen humans before. The three “monsters” are actually Meg, Peg, and Teg, three retired women from a book club who ended up being summoned to mentor the young trio.

Peg dubs the world “Over Where” and the three join forces with the younger three to find the Library of the Sapphire Wind where they hope to find some answers.

This book was a lot of fun with a unique group of fantasy protagonists, but I should warn that it is only the first half of a story. The second half will be out soon.

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi: The latest from John Scalzi sees a man named Jamie Gray, working a dead-end job delivery food for apps, meets an old acquaintance who offers him a job with an animal rights organization. He quickly accepts, but finds that the “animals” that he is referring to are actually massive dinosaur-like creatures named Kaiju that live in an alternate dimension. They are tasked with keeping them safe, but they aren’t the only ones in this alternate world.

This isn’t an epic or even a particularly long book, but it is a lot of fun. There is great dialogue, a lot of humor, interesting characters, and the story doesn’t overwhelm you with science.

Scalzi himself referred to this book as a “pop song” in the afterword and I think that makes a lot of sense. It’s not the most complicated, it probably won’t win any end of the year awards, but it is a lot of fun. Sometimes that’s all I need.

The City of Dusk by Tara Sim: The first book in the Dark Gods series by Tara Sim starts off strong. The city of Nexus is home to four Houses who control the magic and wealth in the city, and each realm has someone competing to be the new leader. The gods have given each of them their own particular magic. However, there are forces who wish to take down the houses and unravel the world itself. The heir must figure out what is going on and what to do about it before they succeed.

The book follows theme of power, family, loyalty, morality, religion and more. Each House is unique and I liked the way they used their different powers to lead in different ways. There is also a lot of world building here as I am excited to learn more about the history of this world and how it has evolved over the years.

A great start to what is already an epic fantasy series.

Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher: The latest from T. Kingfisher is a traditional fairytale story about a princess who is assigned three tasks to get her heart’s desire. Of course, with Kingfisher that doesn’t mean it is a simple story. It is parts wise, sad, brutal, and compassionate, and a darkly funny feminist tale.

The book is original with an ordinary and relatable yet magical cast of characters. Kingfisher does a great job of worldbuilding in this book and leaves you wanting more.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel: The latest from Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, is another excellent genre defying novel from the author. Edwin St. Andrew crosses the Atlantic after leaving polite society and his childhood home. He finds his home in the Canadian wilderness where he is shocked to hear the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal.

Two centuries later, an author named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour of Earth. Part of her book features a man playing violin in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal.

Later, a detective named Gaspery-Jacques Roberts is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness. What he’ll find is an exiled son of an earl, a writer trapped far from home, and a childhood friend of theirs.

This book is as much about time travel and mystery as it is about love and family. St. John Mandel’s writing is beautiful yet efficient which makes this book incredibly readable. This book isn’t hard sci-fi or filled with timey-wimey time travel, but it is definitely worth a read and it definitely belongs here on this list.

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