Books For Speculative Readers

As much as I love our library and love seeing the progress we’re making, thanks to Stephens hard work, I think it’s helpful from time to time, to look at what books are coming out soon or have just come out. It’s in the first few months of a book’s release that buzz can influence the most. But who can buzz if they don’t even know a book exists?
on Mar 12, 2012 · No comments

Regular visitors to Spec Faith know about our library. One of our desires is to facilitate readers looking for speculative fiction written from a Christian world view, and our library has a growing number of titles, old and new, with pictures of covers and short blurbs that acquaint the curious with the story.

Our library will be most effective, however, when we get readers posting reviews, Amazon style, so that visitors will not only learn about the book but about the impressions and recommendations of other readers.

As much as I love our library and love seeing the progress we’re making, thanks to Stephen’s hard work, I think it’s helpful from time to time, to look at what books are coming out soon or have just come out. It’s in the first few months of a book’s release that buzz can influence the most. But who can buzz if they don’t even know a book exists? So here are a few books, gathered from a smattering of different resources, and with no recommendation because I have yet to read many of them. But for those of you looking for something new, you might want to start here.

Replication: The Jason Experiment by Jill Williamson (science fiction, Zondervan, released December, 2011)

When Your Life Is Not Your Own

Martyr—otherwise known as Jason 3:3—is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to ‘expire’ in less than a month. To see the sky. Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars. As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures—the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he’s ever known.

Bourne by Lisa T. Bergren, novella in The River of Time series (available only as an ebook, released February 2012)

A continuation of the story from where TORRENT left off…Find out what has happened to men returning from the battle, gravely wounded, to the Betarrinis, fighting for the men they love, and just who is hunting them next…

Beckon by Tom Pawlik (supernatural suspense, Tyndale, releasing March 16, 2012)

Some things weren’t meant to be discovered.

Three people are each drawn to the small town of Beckon, Wyoming. A young anthropologist researches a Native American legend and makes a terrifying discovery. An ex-cop investigating her cousin’s disappearance finds herself in grave peril. And an aging businessman is lured by the promise of a miracle. One by one they discover the town’s ghastly secret. The only question is . . . will any of them make it out alive?

Daystar by Kathy Tyers (science fiction, Marcher Lord Press, releasing April 1, 2012 — no joke 😉 )

Times have changed for the telepathic Sentinels in the realm of the Federate Whorl. Persecution sends these genetically altered people fleeing to their sanctuary world, but a shipboard disaster exposes High Commander Brennen Caldwell to fatal radiation. Medical student Meris Cariole ends up stranded, an unwelcome outsider, at a sanctuary she never meant to invade.

On another world, wrongfully imprisoned Sentinel Jorah Caldwell receives a supernatural visitor. For generations, the Sentinel kindred has anticipated Boh-Dabar, the prophesied Word to Come. The visitor hails Jorah as Boh-Dabar. Can he believe the news?

Meanwhile, a mysterious stranger arrives at the sanctuary world, also claiming to be Boh-Dabar, Brennen and Firebird Caldwell, Meris, and Jorah are caught in a tangle of interstellar incidents that threaten the Sentinel kindred’s very existence.

And no one anywhere has anticipated the events that will shake the interstellar Federacy.

In the Firebird alternate universe, humankind has gone to the stars. The messianic bloodline has been genetically altered, and instantaneous communication links the settled worlds. Still, God’s character has not changed, nor have his promises failed. Daystar brings the saga to a conclusion that rocks the galaxies.

Daughter of Light by Morgan L. Busse (fantasy, Marcher Lord Press, releasing April 1, 2012)

As the Shadonae rise in the West and war threatens the North, a young woman discovers she is not human…

Banished from her village, Rowen Mar finds sanctuary in the White City using a leather glove to cover the strange mark on her hand. She lives in fear that if she touches another person, the power inside her will trigger again, a terrifying power that allows her to see the darkness inside the human heart…

But those called cannot hide forever. For the salvation of her people lies within her hand.

Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Book 3, The Tales of Gladstone series (fairy tale fantasy, Bethany House, releasing April 1, 2012)

Desperate to regain the trust of his kingdom, Prince Lionheart reluctantly banishes his faithful servant and only friend, Rose Red. Now she is lost in the hidden realm of Arpiar, held captive by her evil goblin father, King Vahe.

Vowing to redeem himself, Lionheart plunges into the mysterious Goldstone Wood, seeking Rose Red. In strange other worlds, Lionheart must face a lyrical yet lethal tiger, a fallen unicorn, and a goblin horde on his quest to rescue the girl he betrayed.

With the Night of Moonblood fast approaching, when King Vahe seeks to wake the Dragon’s sleeping children, Lionheart must discover whether or not his heart contains courage before it’s too late for Rose Red…and all those he loves.

The 13th Tribe by Robert Liparulo (supernatural thriller, Thomas Nelson, releasing April 3, 2012)

Their story didn’t start this year . . . or even this millennium.

It began when Moses was on Mt. Sinai. Tired of waiting on the One True God, the twelve tribes of Israel began worshipping a golden calf through pagan revelry. Many received immediate death for their idolatry, but 40 were handed a far worse punishment-endless life on earth with no chance to see the face of God.

This group of immortals became the 13th Tribe, and they’ve been trying to earn their way into heaven ever since-by killing sinners. Though their logic is twisted, their brilliance is undeniable. Their wrath is unstoppable. And the technology they possess is beyond anything mere humans have ever seen.

Jagger Baird knows nothing about the Tribe when he’s hired as head of security for an archaeological dig on Mt. Sinai. The former Army Ranger is still reeling from an accident that claimed the life of his best friend, his arm, and his faith in God.

The Tribe is poised to execute their most ambitious attack ever and the lives of millions hang in the balance. When Jagger’s wife and son are caught in the crossfire, he’ll stop at nothing to save them. But how can one man stand against an entire tribe of immortals?

The Telling by Mike Duran (supernatural suspense, Realms, releasing May 15, 2012)

A prophet never loses his calling… only his way.

Despite his love for words, when ZEPH WALKER sees his body lying on the gurney in the county morgue, he is speechless. Disfigured by his stepmother as a teenager, the hideous scar across Zeph’s face has forced him into a life of seclusion. Cloistered in a ramshackle bookstore on the outskirts of town, Zeph is blessed with an uncanny ability to sound souls—to intuit peoples’ deepest sins and secrets. He calls it the Telling, but has abandoned the gift to his unbelief and despair. Until two detectives escort him to the county morgue, where he learns that the bizarre look-alike of himself has been found murdered.

The Unraveling of Wentwater by C.S. Lakin (fairy tale fantasy, AMG)

Apparently those books without descriptions posted on web sites or at Amazon have secret information. Still, I’m sure their authors and those of the books whose descriptions you could read would love to have you buy, order, or pre-order their books.

Now what recent releases or upcoming ones do you know about that aren’t on this list?

Best known for her aspirations as an epic fantasy author, Becky is the sole remaining founding member of Speculative Faith. Besides contributing weekly articles here, she blogs Monday through Friday at A Christian Worldview of Fiction. She works as a freelance writer and editor and posts writing tips as well as information about her editing services at Rewrite, Reword, Rework.
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  1. Here’s another question. Which of these books have you already read or ordered and which did you just learn about from this post?

    Thanks for your feedback on this — it’s not scientific polling, but I think it’s good to know if posts like this are helpful to readers looking for books.


  2. Galadriel says:

    I’ve already read Replication, and am looking forward to Moonblood.

  3. Maria Tatham says:

    Becky, all but two titles (Replication and Moonblood) are news to me. I’ve not read or ordered either of those. Because of this post, I want to read Moonblood and the Tyers book.

  4. Bainespal says:

    I had been working on a review of the two ebooks Divine Summons and A Greater Strength, the beginning of The Windrider Saga by Rebecca P. Minor.  The print edition of Windrider, containing both of the ebooks, has just been released, and it deserved to be mentioned.  I would add it to the library here, but I don’t know how to handle the two ebooks that are both contained in the print edition.

    I didn’t have anywhere to put the review, so I started my own blog.  If I had been able to figure out how to submit reviews here, I might not have started the blog.  (I may have eventually started the blog, though, because I’m interested in reviewing other things besides Christian speculative fiction.)

    I also felt that my reviews aren’t suitable for Amazon. Do you mainly want short reviews based on the reader experience for Speculative Faith?

    As for the books mentioned in today’s column, I’d heard about Replication, Daystar, Daughter of Light, and (just recently) Moonblood.  Most of what I hear about Christian speculative fiction comes from the Marcher Lord Press newsletter.

    • Thanks for the shout out, Bainespal! I appreciate the little promotion there.
      And thanks also, Rebecca for the “heads up” list here. Lots of titles to keep an eye on. So many books, so little time…

      • I agree, Rebecca. That’s why I hope we can get the Spec Faith library reviews hopping. I have great hope that we can find the best books for the precious time we have to read via our collective input.

        Great to know about The Windrider Saga. I hope those do get added to the library. Anyone can put them in. Click on Submit a novel to the library in the sidebar and that will open up the form.


  5. Bainespal says:

    I’ll add that I’m excited about Daughter of Light.  The blurb sounds good.  I have high hopes for it, and I’ve been planning to order it. 🙂

  6. Hey Becky!
    Thanks for including my book in your list 🙂
    Another book that just released is I am Ocilla by Diane M. Graham (put out by Splashdown Books). I have not read it yet, just purchased the book.
    Ok, I’m a book geek. I heard about all these books and can’t wait to read them 🙂

  7. I like your list.
    A revised Shatterworld, the first in a trilogy (though each can be read as a stand-alone) should be launched in mid-May by Written World Communication.
    Twelve year old Rejoice wants to become an astronomer, but her Amish-like colony on New Earth want her to become a farmer. She also discovers a monster, maybe.
    In Circumnavigation of Shatterworld, sixteen year old Rejoice, broken-hearted and despairing of ever finding love, sails around the world. She discovers monsters, definitely.
    In Pacifists’ War, thirty-two year old Rejoice, married, with two sons, meets with human monsters and discovers how many fronts war can be fought on.

  8. John Otte says:

    Don’t forget my book! Failstate is being published in the same list as Daughter of Light and Daystar! If you want more information, just head over to my blog. I just consolidated a lot of information into one spot.

    • Thank you, John. Glad you provided a link so we can learn more about your book. And shame on me for not adding you to the list. (And that would have been ten books on the introduction list. It would have felt so much more complete. I could have even called the post something like Ten Books Spec Readers Need to Buy — or something. 😉 )


  9. Kirsty says:

    Never heard of any of them – ‘Replication’ sounds particularly interesting.

  10. Maria Tatham says:

    tiptoeing in…

    Please remember my fantasy (released June 2011), The Queen and the Handyman:

    This mix of women’s fiction, fantasy, and supernatural thriller takes place in the small, untidy Kingdom of Zuphof, a 17th century realm bordered by greedy neighbors and formidable wilds. Marta (the Queen) and Trimble (the palace handyman) make a dangerous winter trek into those wilds in an attempt to find her father, the King. The King…how to describe this lovable but infuriating man? He never stayed home for long and was constantly embarking on quests – pet projects motivated by his unquenchable desire for adventure. Marta is somewhat like him, so that her story and Trimble’s essentially becomes a huge misadventure. There’s action, mystery, some romance, characters that may seem like some people you know, humor, and a villain worthy of the name. There are also many wild, strange, fairytale beings with unique twists. Find out what happens to this ingénue and rough-and-ready old-timer when they cross paths with the dastardly Drugen…!


  11. Maria Tatham says:

    Yikes! I did not intend my post to appear in bold. That is what happened when I worked back and forth among various files. Guess (gulp) you get it that I have a book…

What do you think?