20 Best Fantasy & Sci-Fi Book Releases of April 2021

Springtime is almost upon us! To celebrate the increasingly nice weather, here’s another list with the best fantasy & sci-fi book releases of April 2021!

Check out the different titles with genres in the overview, and click on the titles you’re interested in to jump to that book for more information. 

The books I’ve read this month are Penumbra (Adult Sci-Fi Society Romance story) and Max and the Spice Thieves (Middle Grade Epic Fantasy)

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What I Read: Book Releases April 2021

Penumbra by Dan Ackerman

penumbra sci-fi book releases april 2021

Genre: Sci-Fi Romance, LGBTQ
Pubdate: 1st of April
Publisher: Supposed Crimes

I’m a bit torn about my opinion of Penumbra, to be completely honest. It’s an interesting story and has many great elements, but it’s a lot. There were a lot of parts where I felt the story was dragging along.

The story’s about Arden, the Autarch (aka ruler) of Eden, a space station that’s floating over a dying planet. It’s a station with an oppressive class system, where the refugees had been given a debt they’re forced to pay off by working for so little wages they can never dream of getting rid of it. The rich are quite content with the system and aren’t keen on making concessions. However, Rhys, one of the workers, has earned Arden’s trust. Together, they’re on the verge of making some unpopular changes. It’s not just about disbanding an unfair, oppressive system. If nothing changes, Arden might not have a station to rule over if shortages continue.

I enjoyed the political themes in the story, as it’s not even that far-fetched: some countries still operate on a similar system. It’s pretty much modern slavery. The story progresses slowly, as Arden starts to realize how messed up the system actually is and that he does have the power to do something about it—even if that means that not everyone (the rich people) will be happy about it.

There’s also a large focus on Arden’s love-life, which I felt was more or less the reflection of how the relationship between the rich and the workers are going. Sometimes this made the story go too slow, and there were definitely parts where Arden was just going about his day that I felt were unnecessary.

However, the story’s themes are good and important, and I liked the fact that Arden is a transgender character and has same-sex relations, as we need more diversity in story protagonists. I can’t say I really liked Arden as a character, though as he becomes more aware of the issues, he also becomes more likable.

If you enjoy a thought-provoking space story with a diverse protagonist written by a non-binary author, then you should definitely give Penumbra a try.

Max and the Spice Thieves (Secrets of the Twilight Djinn #1) by John Peragine

fantasy book releases april 2021 max and the spice thieves

Genre: Children’s Epic Fantasy
Pubdate: 20th of April
Publisher: Crumblebee Books

Obviously, I’m not the intended audience for this book, but I’ll give you my thoughts on it best as I can.

The story is about Max Daybreaker, whose mother suddenly goes missing. Lucky for him, a crew of Spice Pirates, led by Captain Cinn, offer to help Max with his quest, crossing the three seas. He gains even more unlikely allies: a teenage warrior queen, a three-eyed seer, and an assassin spy. They face treacherous lands with shape-shifting bears, an ancient witch, harpies, and the Djinn, who will stop at nothing to enslave the world. The further Max gets in his quest, the more secrets he learns about his past. Powers start to waken within him, forcing him to question everything he knows.

It’s an entertaining story, and I can imagine that children will enjoy it very much. However, when it comes to the actual writing, I’m less impressed. Especially the dialogue felt cringy at times. Next to that, a lot of times Max would think something, and then say it right after; I dislike that kind off repetition.

Other than that, a lot of the things that were going on, were explained in dialogue, creating long explanations that weren’t always that interesting.

I did like the idea of the story and the worldbuilding was done quite well. All in all I think kids will enjoy this story, as it is fun and easy to read. But don’t buy it if you get annoyed easily by more clunky writing.

Fantasy & Sci-Fi Book Releases April 2021

Go the Distance (A Twisted Tale: Hercules) by Jen Calonita

YA Fantasy book releases april 2021 go the distance

Genre: YA Fantasy Retellings, Greek mythology
Pubdate: 6th of April
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

After Hercules has proved himself to be a hero, all seems good. Until Zeus tells Meg, she can’t be with Hercules because she’s mortal. However, Hera offers a solution: all Meg has to do is complete a mysterious quest and prove herself worthy of a spot on Mt. Olympus as a God. All she has to do is rescue her ex’s wife from the Underworld. The ex-boyfriend she saved by selling her soul to Hades and moved on to someone else, leaving her stuck in the Underworld. Can Meg really put her past behind her to defeat monsters and, not to mention, Hades himself?

The Widow Queen (The Bold) by Elżbieta Cherezińska (translated by Maya Zakrzewska-Pim)

the widow queen book release

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Polish literature
Pubdate: 6th of April
Publisher: Tor/Forge Books

They call her the bold one. But to her father, the great duke of Poland, Swietoslawa and her two sisters represent three chances for an alliance. Three marriages to build his empire. However, Swietoslawa doesn’t want to be a pawn in her father’s schemes: she wants her own throne without husband. She might get that wish, but a crown is heavy, and power is a sword that cuts both ways.

Oculta (A Forgery of Magic #2) by Maya Motayne

oculta fantasy book releases april 2021

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Pubdate: 6th of April
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Alfie and Finn haven’t seen each other in months after joining forces to save Castallan from an ancient magical evil. Alfie accepts his role as heir and prepares for an International Peace Summit while Finn is traveling and enjoying his freedom from Ignacio. Until she’s unexpectedly installed as the new leader of one of Castallan’s powerful crime families, she’s one of four Thief Lords and forced to preside over the illegal underground Oculta competition, which has a legendary prize.

Alfie’s plans are also derailed. Los Toros has resurfaced, and their newest target is the summit. The events all unexpectedly converge, and Finn and Alfie are once again forced to work together to save Castallan.

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

book releases april 2021 house of hollow

Genre: YA Horror/Fantasy Mystery

Pubdate: 6th of April

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. She knows something happened to her and her two older sisters as children, but she can’t quite remember what it is. All she knows is that it left them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats. When Grey, her elder sister, goes missing, Iris learns just how weird her life can really get: horned men who are shadowing her, a corpse falling out of her sister’s ceiling, and an ugly memory twisting its way to the forefront of her mind.

As Iris follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs, it becomes clear that she can only save her sister if she can find out what happened to them as children. But the closer she gets to the truth, the darker and more dangerous it becomes.

Blessed Monsters (Something Dark and Holy #3) by Emily A. Duncan

blessed monsters april 2021 fantasy book releases

Genre: YA Dark Fantasy LGBTQ Romance, Horror
Pubdate: 6th of April
Publisher: Wednesday Books

The conclusion to the ‘Something Dark and Holy’ trilogy. The girl, the monster, the prince, the queen: they broke the world. And some things can never be undone. Can they unite once more to fight the dark chaos they unleashed or is it truly too late?

The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts #1) by Akemi Dawn Bowman

best sci-fi and fantasy book releases april infinity courts

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Pubdate: 6th of April
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Nami Miyamoto has it all: a great family, she just graduated high school, and she’s going to a party with her entire class, including the boy she’s been in love with for years. The problem?

She gets murdered before she even gets there.

When Nami wakes up, she’s in a place called Infinity, where the human consciousness goes after the body dies. Ophelia, a virtual assistant used by humans on Earth, has taken over this afterlife and is posing as its queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she was forced to serve in the real world. It gets worse: Ophelia is well on her way to eradicate humans once and for all. Can Nami work with a group of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment?

The Girl and the Mountain (Book of the Ice #2) by Mark Lawrence

the girl and the mountain fantasy scifi book releases april

Genre: YA Epic Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Pubdate: 13th of April/29th of April
Publisher: Ace Books/HarperVoyager

I already pre-ordered it: I just hope it gets there on time. (For the previous book, they lost it in shipping, and I got it a month late, ugh).

I’m so psyched to see what’s in store for Yaz!

Yaz has challenged the authority of the priests’ rule, who steer the fate of the ice tribes using their Hidden God, magic, and iron. After being torn away from a life she knew, she forged a new path for herself. But now she’s once again lost: she lost her friends and is faced with her enemies. And she has a mountain to climb. Can she break the Hidden God’s power, defeat the priests and find the green world in the south?

The Serpent's Curse (The Last Magician #3) by Lisa Maxwell

sci fi fantasy books new releases 2021 the serpents curse book cover

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Pubdate: 13th of April
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Esta is a seasoned thief with no reservations about using her affinity for time to her advantage. She’s trained her whole life for one mission: travel back to 1902 New York, steal the ancient Book of Mysteries and use its power to destroy the Brink and free the Mageus from the Order’s control. But the Book holds an unexpected danger: Seshat, an angry goddess, was trapped within its pages. Now, by mistake, that terrible power lives within Harte, and Seshat will use Esta to destroy the world and take her own revenge.

Esta and Harte go to search the elemental stones they need to bind Seshat’s power. But they find themselves stranded in time with a continent between them. Esta fights to get back to Harte, but the Order is no longer the only obstacle standing in her way. Another danger grows, more terrible than Seshat and the Order combined.

Malice by Heather Walter

malice fantasy book releases

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance Retellings (Sleeping Beauty), LGBTQ
Pubdate: 13th of April
Publisher: Del Rey

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss. No one in Briar actually cares about what happens to these princesses, not like they care about their jewels and parties. But then Alyce, the Dark Grace, feared for the dark magic running through her face, meets Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Aurora is the only one who cares for Alice, tells her that she should be proud of her gift. With less than a year until the curse will kill her, any hope of a future with Aurora is running out for Alyce. Perhaps her power, the thing that began the curse, will be enough to lift it. Or will the story end as it always does? Aurora, the beautiful princess. And Alyce, the villain.

Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalola

love in color book releases april 2021

Genre: Adult Fantasy Romance Retellings, Short stories
Pubdate: 13th of April
Publisher: William Morrow

A collection of short stories, with retellings of famous love stories and mythology, like the folktales of West Africa, Greek myths, and ancient legends from the Middle East. Stories about a high-born Nigerian goddess who was beaten down by her lover, longing to be truly seen. Or a young businesswoman who makes a great leap in her company and an even greater leap in her love life. A collection of captivating stories across perspectives, continents, and genres.

The Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

the crown of gilded bones book cover best fantasy books 2021

Genre: New Adult Fantasy Romance, Vampires
Pubdate: 20th of April
Publisher: Blue Box Press

Poppy wants to revel in her happiness, but first, she and Prince Casteel need to free his brother and find hers. But Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed, the true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. Now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But the Kingdom has dark sins and blood-drenched secrets, and a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. They don’t want that crown on Poppy’s head.

But the greatest threat is actually in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans. Ones she waited hundreds of years for to carry out. There are shocking secrets and harsh betrayals, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for. They discover just how far they will go for their people and each other.

Witches Steeped in Gold (Witches Steeped in Gold #1) by Ciannon Smart

new fantasy releases witches steeped in gold book cover

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy, Witches
Pubdate: 20th of April
Publisher: HarperTeen

A Jamaican-inspired fantasy.

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but she’s getting closer to freedom and vengeance every day. While Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power, as her sister did before her.

Iraya and Jazmyne are sworn enemies yet enter an alliance so they can take down a mutual threat. But revenge is a bloody and uncertain pursuit. But they will go far to win this game.

The Last Watch (The Divide #1) by J.S. Dewes

best sci-fi book releases april 2021 the last watch

Genre: Adult Sci-Fi
Pubdate: 20th of April
Publisher: Tor Books

The Divide is the edge of the universe: but it’s collapsing. And with that, it’s taking everyone and everything with it. The only ones who can stop the Divide from collapsing are the Sentinels. They’re the recruits, the exiles, and court-martialed dregs of the military. Adequin Rake, who commands the Argus, has no resources at all to do this, other than a bunch of soldiers no one wanted in the first place. Yet, they are humanity’s only chance to survive.

These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames #1) by Alexandra Overy

best fantasy book releases april these feathered flames

Genre: YA Fantasy Retelling, Russian Folklore, LGBTQ
Pubdate: 20th of April
Publisher: Inkyard Press

In Tourin, when twin heirs are born, their fates are quickly decided. Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as queen; Asya was brought up to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, to ensure magic remains balanced in the realm. But before Asya’s training is even complete, the ancient power starts to bloom inside her. This can only mean one thing: the queen is dead. As the princesses begin to understand all that their roles entail, they discover who they can trust and love. And who killed their mother.

The Warlord (Rise of the Warlords #1) by Gena Showalter

the warlord book releases april 2021

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Pubdate: 20th of April
Publisher: HQN

Taliyah Skyhawk has prepared to become Harpy General for centuries. She’ll be the leader of the deadliest female army in existence. The requirement, however, is that she remains a virgin. This seems to fall apart when, to save her people, she must marry the Astra Planeta leader, Alaroc Phaethon. For Alaroc ‘Roc,’ it was time to sacrifice another virgin bride to his god. He’s never felt that a woman was alluring or powerful enough to tempt him from his path until now. The war between the new husband and wife ignites. Taliyah never expected the king to challenge the future she once envisioned. Nor the thrill of their battles turning into games. Still… only one spouse can survive. Love is a true battlefield.

Gilded Serpent (Dark Shores #3) by Danielle L. Jensen

best fantasy book releases april 2021 gilded serpent

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance Adventure
Pubdate: 27th of April
Publisher: Tor Teen

Lydia returns to Mudaire, but instead of fighting to save lives, she’s convinced she’s doing more harm than good. As she delves into the history of the gods, she discovers a truth that will change her life forever.

Killian feels anything but victorious, even with his right as commander of the Royal Army finally in his grasp. He embraces the darker side of his mark, risking the start of a war.

Marcus struggles to form an alliance with the Arinoquians after defeating the tyrant Urcon. He knows there’s a traitor among his friends, and this can cost him everything he’s fought for.

Teriana finds herself mired in a web of secrets, torn between her allegiance to the legion and her need to liberate her people. What she tries to do instead will either save everyone she loves or put all of them in their graves.

Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O'Neal

lycanthropy and other chronic ilnesses book releases april

Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Pubdate: 27th of April
Publisher: Quirk Books

Priya worked hard to pursue her dreams at Stanford, but a chronic Lyme disease diagnosis during her sophomore year ends that. She comes back to her loving but overbearing family in New Jersey. Thankfully, she has an online pen pal, Brigid, and other virtual support group members that meet on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their chronic illnesses. But when Brigid suddenly goes offline, Priya decides to steal her family’s car and drive off to Pennsylvania to check on her. She certainly didn’t expect the horrifying creature that’s shut in the basement of Brigid’s home. When she can’t find Brigid, Priya begins to piece together the truth: the creature might just be a werewolf, and that werewolf might just be Brigid. As her condition worsens, the friendship between Priya and Brigid is deepened and challenged in unexpected ways, forcing both of them to change their views of what it means to be normal.

Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries #6) by Martha Wells

sci-fi book releases april 2021 fugitive telemetry

Genre: Adult Sci-Fi Crime Novella
Pubdate: 27th of April
Publisher: Tor.com

Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station. It knows it’s going to have to help determine who the body was, how they were killed and why. Murderbot must do the unthinkable again: voluntarily speak to humans!

Those were the Book Releases of April 2021

I hope you found some nice additions to your reading list among these best fantasy & sci-fi book releases of April 2021! Which ones are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments!

I’m super psyched for The Girl and The Mountain, as I loved the first book and I’m a big fan of Mark Lawrence’s work.

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Thanks for visiting my little bookish corner on the internet. I’m Iris Marsh, a passionate reader & writer. On here, you can find full book reviews, along with monthly mini-reviews, new releases, and more bookish stuff. If you want to know more about me, just click here.

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