Four magical Londons or four women who meet during a violent rebellion? Sleeping giants or gigantic alien animals? Dark, weird, hard-boiled, and humorous, the year’s best sci-fi and fantasy novels (so far) cover plenty of territory, including themes and (political) subjects never before encountered in fiction of the genre persuasion. Here’s to hoping the rest of the year keeps up.
A Gathering of Shadows, V.E. Schwab (February 23, Tor Books)
Schwab’s tale of four Londons — Red (pro-magic), White (internecine magic), Grey (no magic), and Black (magic gone wrong) — returns with this character-driven study, one that will help distinguish her books from the middling faux-cinematic work that too often represents the genre.