Written By: Keshia McEntire
We present to you six sci-fi and fantasy books to read during Black
history future month.
Black readers are exploring Afrofuturism, science fiction and fantasy more than ever before. Visionary authors such as Octavia Butler and Toni Morrison paved the way, and talented writers like N. K. Jemisin and Tomi Adeyemi have picked up the torch.
If you look beyond the shelves of chain bookstores, you’ll find the works of indie writers penning speculative fiction. I wanted to share my favorites. You might be thinking, “Why read indie?” For the same reason you might go to local concerts or visit art galleries in your community: notoriety doesn’t always determine quality. It’s often harder for authors of color to gain recognition in the publishing world. Your reviews help them improve their work and reach a wider audience.
As we reflect on our past during Black history month, I hope these titles serve as reminders to fight for our futures and believe in our magic.
The Perfect Waters by LeeSha McCoy
Asia’s mother went missing eighteen years ago. Since then, Asia has feared the one thing she always dreamt of working with: the ocean. So instead, she’s been living life as a lab tech. It pays the bills and she has money to spend on nights out with her girls. However, her most recent night out ends up with her gaining markings on her skin and losing body parts.
Review: The Perfect Waters takes the reader to an underwater kingdom full of magic and romance. The story was beautifully written and I plan to pick up book two.
Jinn by Jessica Cage
In a post-apocalyptic world, the earth is divided and magic rules all. For centuries, Jinn watched from afar as the powers-that-be fought to stake their claim to sectors of the world. Yet everything changes when his old friend, Mike, presents Jinn with a startling truth. The love he thought he’d lost forever is still alive. Jinn will go to hell and back for the woman he loves, and he’ll destroy anyone who gets in his way. While love is his motivation, he soon discovers he has far more to fight for.
Review: This book tells the story of a djinn who fell in love with the one woman who cared about him rather than the wishes he could grant her. This is an exciting start to a great series.
Saving Eden by K. R. S. McEntire
Sixteen-year-old Angela and her father are the last survivors on earth. She dreams of adventure and romance but only finds it in books. When a seventeen-year-old boy stumbles upon Angela’s home with news about a thriving community, she dares to leave her garden to find a better home. But in post-apocalyptic Chicago, the line between man and mutant is murkier than she expected.
Review: Saving Eden is my book, so I’ll refrain from leaving a review. You can check out the reviews on Amazon.
The Fae and the Fallen by Brittni Chenelle
My first kiss nearly killed me—literally. When 80% of the population is gifted with touch magic, it’s best to keep your hands—and your lips—to yourself. Especially if you’re an ungifted serf like I am. When my entry exam leads to the revelation that I may not be as ungifted as I previously believed…well…surviving until graduation might prove harder than I thought—particularly when a certain fatal touch may be worth the risk.
Review: This unique take on the Fae combines the angst of a magical academy book with the intrigue of dystopian fiction.
Mystic Bonds by C. C. Solomon
I thought surviving the supernatural apocalypse, which killed fifty percent of humankind and changed most of us survivors into paranormal beings, was the biggest challenge in my life. Then I find myself and my brother on the run from non-gifted humans who want to steal our magical blood to make a power-giving serum. Now I’m in search of a handsome stranger who keeps popping up in my dreams and a secret paranormal city that could help free our friends still imprisoned by our former captors.
Review: This book was a quick read for me and a fast-paced fantasy with great worldbuilding.
Zero Hour by Tina Glasneck
Leslie’s a romance author who happens to be conjuring magic. She’s researching sigils for her latest Highlander romance, but her intentions have powered something sinister.
Review: This prequel introduces a humorous and exciting series full of vampires, dark magic and a supernatural society. I’ve read the next book, but I feel this book is a great place to start as it sets up the world.
Keshia McEntire is a freelance writer from Indianapolis, IN. She recently published her first fiction book, Saving Eden by K. R. S. McEntire. You can follow her author journey on Facebook at facebook.com/KRSMCENTIRE.