Our Nerd Approved Book Recommendations For February

book recommendations

Looking for something awesome to read? We’ve compiled a list of some of our recent favorites, along with some nerd-friendly new releases for February 2016.

Check them out below.

Sean Fallon’s Recommendations:


The Red Trilogy by Linda Nagata

I’m currently finishing up the third and final book in Linda Nagata’s Red Trilogy, and the ride thus far has been pretty fantastic. It’s brilliant near future military sci-fi with believable tech, plenty of action and a gripping story with a dose of black humor.


Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

Deathless is an amazingly well written, modern spin on Russian folklore. It certainly wasn’t a subject that I was familiar with, but Valente’s rich language and storytelling will draw you in. It’s weird, romantic, tragic and beautiful.


The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Do you like Firefly? If the answer to that question was “yes” then you’re going to completely fall in love with The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet. It’s the most fun I’ve had reading a novel in years.

Geek Girl Diva’s Recommendations:


Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl

Stohl absolutely nails Natasha Romanov in this YA novel that reads like anything but. It’s fast-paced, smart, and it’s a fantastic look into the mind and memories of the most secretive member of the Avengers. I read it in a day and then re-read it because I loved it so much.


An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I’ve read a lot of fantasy over the years, but there’s something about Tahir’s writing style and storytelling that hooked me completely. The characters, the world building, the lore, the romance. All of it was very well done and I was transported into the world she created.


Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden

As a Star Wars fan and as a diehard Asajj Ventress fangirl, Dark Disciple both broke my heart and made me happier than I can say. I actually stayed up till 4am reading to finish it and I haven’t done that in, well, a really long time. If there’s one book I’d tell every Star Wars fan to read, this is the one. Hands down.

Ben Paddon’s Recommendations:


Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers by Grant Naylor

The name Red Dwarf might sound familiar to fans of British sci-fi TV, as this comedy has long been a cult classic across the pond (and is currently halfway through production on its 11th and 12th season), but American readers may be surprised to learn that there are also a series of Red Dwarf novels.

Set in an entirely separate continuity from the TV series, though incorporating some elements and moments from the show, these books are tonally similar to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide novels, right down to the fact that there are four books in the trilogy – the authors, Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, went their separate ways after book two (and the show’s 6th season) and penned separate third entries to the book series.

The first book is the logical place to start, following a young Dave Lister as he finds himself stranded on one of Saturn’s moons with nothing but a pink hat and a passport in the name of Emily Berkenstein. and takes a job aboard the mining ship Red Dwarf as a quick ‘n’ cheap way to get back to Earth. He smuggles a pregnant cat on board and is punished by being placed into temporal stasis, a foolproof way of avoiding having to actually work the eighteen-month trip back to his homeworld.

But a radiation leak wipes out the crew while he’s in the time-clink, and the ship’s computer doesn’t release him until the radiation has died down to a save background level some three million years later. His only companions: A hologram of his anal retentive and very much dead roommate, and an evolved descendant of his cat.

It’s funny, it’s clever, and there is never a dull moment. Well worth the read.


Incompetence by Rob Grant

Set in Europe in a not-too-distant future where you can’t be fired from their job for being terrible at it, this hilarious novel follows the planet’s only decent detective as he investigates the murder of his friend and mentor at the hands of an alarmingly competent killer. But it soon turns out that there’s more going on than just the one murder, and there may even be a whole conspiracy to unravel… if he can just navigate the red tape, the hotels with entirely missing beds, and the priapic train attendants.

It’s an odd book – the narrative closely mirrors that of the 1949 movie The Third Man – but it does a wonderful if slightly surreal job of painting a world where actual incompetence is not a fireable offence. It doesn’t quite go as far as, say, Idiocracy, existing far closer to our world than to Mike Judge’s exaggerated dystopia… but that only makes it that much more terrifying a prospect, if not a more entertaining and comical one. Well worth your time.

Morissa Schwartz’s Recommendations:


Eternity: The Immortals by Maggie Shayne

NYT bestselling author Maggie Shayne’s Eternity: The Immortals is supernatural thriller done right. Maggie is best known for her vampire books, but in this series, she turns to witches. There’s everything in this from romance to mystery. Plus, Shayne is incredibly witty, which is apparent on every page. This is the first in a series, and you can tell by the ending that there is much more to be told, and it will leave you wanting more. Plus, it’s free on Kindle.


Titans by Edward W. Robertson

Can you imagine what life would be like if you could live for 10,000 years? That is what happens to Rob Dunbar in Edward W. Robertson’s Titans—but Dunbar’s age is probably one of the least interesting parts of this book as a galactic war takes center stage. It’s a fantastic book, and you can’t beat the $0 price tag on Kindle.

Stefan Slater’s Recommendations:


Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman

I have a soft spot for Neil Gaiman’s novels–American Gods is still an all-time favorite–but I also enjoy his short fiction too. This collection features an odd, but sweet and satisfying assortment of short pieces that can be both amusing and slightly disturbing. A short story like “The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains” that can leave you feeling troubled and enchanted in only a handful of pages.


Hyperion by Dan Simmons

A friend gave this to me for my birthday, and I’ve come to admire Dan Simmons quite a bit. He tells a sweeping, but original story from the viewpoints of a handful of vastly different characters while switching perspectives and time frames with ease. It’s the sort of thing that could get confusing fast, but it doesn’t. It’s an excellent read.


The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

I picked this up so I could read it before watching the series, and I found that it had everything that the TV series, in my opinion, lacked. The characters feel real and whole–the TV ones don’t–and the world is astounding and a little frightening. Your never bogged down in the details, and it’s an overall engaging run of things. I recommend it for sure.

Notable New Releases For February 2016:


A Gathering Of Shadows by V. E. Schwab (sequel to the awesome A Darker Shade Of Magic)

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games-an extravagent international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries-a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again-and so to keep magic’s balance, another London must fall.


Burning Midnight by Will Mcintosh

Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make the rent.

No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere.

When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them.

There’s no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.


Morning Star: Book III of The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.


The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there.

Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.

A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?


A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly

THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly’s new magical realism, crossover novel.

Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive – and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.

It’s 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved
the Prohibition of sorcery, the city’s magic underworld is booming.
Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters’ crime sprees. Smugglers
funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret
performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take
a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer’s shine.

Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an
offer to work for DC’s most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang,
when her family’s home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year
Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of
his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.

Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous
world of criminal magic – and when their paths cross at the Shaws’
performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan
and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances
begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate
allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves
pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.

A CRIMINAL MAGIC casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.

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