Reading Long Fiction

Many of these books will be among those nominated for the Clive Staples Award next year, so why not get a jump on reading them?
on Jul 7, 2014 · 8 comments

book cover collage3Last week I highlighted short fiction, particularly the new speculative imprint of the Splickety Publishing Group, Havok. Today I thought it would be interesting to explore novel length fiction released in 2014, whether self-published or traditionally published.

I’ll be honest—my reading budget is very small. I get some books from my (excellent) church library, but those are rarely the most recent releases. Consequently for new books, I rely on (1) books I receive from publishers as part of a blog tour; (2) ebook promotions that price novels from $0 to $1.99; (3) books I receive as a judge of various contests.

In reality I have more books than I can read, and yet there are some I wish I had, some I wish I could afford, either monetarily or time-wise.

Merlin's NightmareThis year several books have or will release which culminate a series. It’s interesting that so many acclaimed authors are bringing a continuing story to a conclusion. Here are the ones I know about:

* Sigmund Brouwer’s Blades of Valor (January), the conclusion of the Merlin’s Immortals series
* Patrick Carr’s The Staff & The Sword series, ending with The King’s Lot (January)
* James Rubart’s Well Spring series, concluding with Spirit Bridge (May)
* Robert Treskillard’s The Merlin Spiral series, ending with Merlin’s Nightmare (May)
* Andrew Peterson’s The Warden And The Wolf King (July 24), concluding the Wingfeather Saga,
* Jill Williamson’s The Safe Lands series, ending with Rebels (August 26)
* Stephen Lawhead’s Bright Empires series, finishing with The Fatal Tree (November 4)

How many of you have been eagerly waiting for one or more of those books? Which ones?

There will also be some authors who are starting a new series or who are new to speculative fiction and have released or will be releasing their first title:

* Donita Paul, One Realm Beyond (February), first in the Realm Walkers series and Two Renegade Realms (December 23), second in the Realm Walkers series
* Chuck Black, Cloak of the Light, first in the Wars of the Realm series
* C. E. Laureano, Oath of the Brotherhood, first in the Song of Seare trilogy (April)
* Wayne Thomas Batson, Dreamtreaders (May) and Search for the Shadow Key (December 9)
* Ashlee Willis, The Word Changers (May)
* C. J. Darlington, Jupiter Winds (May)
* Angie Brashear, Of The Persecuted, Legends of the Woodlands, Volume 1 (May)
* Nadine Brandis, A Time To Die (October)

GoldenDaughtercoverOther speculative authors with books coming out this year include the following:

* Jessica Thomas, This Quiet Tyranny (January)
* Krista McGee, Luminary, Anamoly Book 2 (January)
* John Otte, Failstate: Nemesis (October)
* Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Golden Daughter (November 10)

My guess is, many of the books listed in these three categories will be among those nominated for the Clive Staples Award next year, so why not get a jump on reading them?

What other Christian speculative novels do you know about that have been or will be released in 2014?

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. You didn’t mention Resistance by Knight — good book.

  2. Julie D says:

    Time to update my “to-reads” on Goodreads.

  3. Thanks for this series: sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the various indie efforts going around the spec world, and it’s nice to have a central listing. The library’s good, but it can be a bit … overwhelming.

    Per this list, I’m not following any of the series that are ending. Donita Paul is extremely prolific: didn’t she already finish two series? To have two books in a brand new series set to debut in the same year is a massive undertaking. I just won a copy of Jupiter Winds in a contest (which, aside from the library, is turning into my most popular method of gaining new reading material). I’ll post a review once I’ve read it.

    The last list is the one I’m most looking forward to. I loved the first book in the Anomaly series, which I got to read as part of the INSPY contest (it took home first place in the spec category), and I’ve already requested my library to purchase or borrow the next books in the series when they become available. I’m frightfully behind on my Goldstone Woods reading, but I consider Stengl one of the foremost authors in our genre. Finally, Otte has two books in the Failstate series releasing this year: Nemesis (the summary is way better than the cover) and Kynetic: On Target, a spinoff about a side character (now available on Amazon). I enjoyed the last two Failstate books, and perhaps more importantly, so did my cousin, a middle school boy.

  4. Thanks for the feedback, Michelle, and for the info about John’s second book in the Failstate series. I’m sure lots of his fans will be happy to hear this.

    Donita Paul has been moderately prolific. She’s been writing since 2004 and has ten books out now, I believe. The DragonKeeper Chronicles had six books, I think (though maybe five), and the Dragons of the Valley series had three, I believe. Now her new series, the Realm Walkers. This one is the most unique of them all. I love her inventiveness.

    Also, readers might like to know that Donita’s One Realm Beyond is available as an ebook at Amazon for $.99. Can’t beat that!


  5. Hannah says:

    Also, let’s not forget Anne Elisabeth’s other novel release of 2014, SHADOW HAND!

    Oh, and I was really surprised how impressed I was by THE WORD CHANGERS. Definitely not one to overlook!

    • Thanks, Hannah. I don’t know how Shadow Hand slipped by me. (It’s probably the next Christy Award winner, since Anne Elisabeth seems to have a corner on that award. 😉 )

      I also appreciate your endorsement of Word Changers. I almost bought it the other day. Not sure what stopped me. Time, I think. Anyway, I’ll put it on the list!


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