19 Best Fantasy & Sci-Fi Book Releases of January 2021

It’s the new year, with many, many new books releasing. Luckily, I’ve made another list with the best fantasy & sci-fi book releases of January 2021!

So, without further ado, you can check them out below.

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Table of Contents

Fantasy & Sci-Fi Book Releases January 2021

The World Between Blinks by Amie Kaufman & Ryan Graudin

the world between blinks sci fi fantasy books new releases

Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Pubdate: 5th January
Publisher: Quill Tree Books

Nana always sends cousins Jake and Marisol on epic trips and treasure hunts. While Nana passed away, she left them a map. During a family reunion for one last vacation at Nana’s home, the cousins take a legendary trip of their own using that very map. Jake and Marisol sneak out to a nearby lighthouse and slip into another world. The world between blinks is a magical place where all kinds of lost things and people end up. The cousins find mysteries and myths everywhere they turn. But they do want to get back at some point. Unfortunately, the man who holds the key for their return journey doesn’t want to be found… If they don’t get him fast, they could end up lost in this world for good.

Light of the Jedi (Star Wars Disney Canon Novel) by Charles Soule

light of the jedi book cover best scifi book releases january

Genre: Adult Sci-Fi
Pubdate: 5th of January
Publisher: Penguin Random House

This new Star Wars story takes place 200 years before The Phantom Menace (Episode I). It’s the era of the High Republic, where the noble and wise Jedi Knights must face a frightening threat to themselves, the galaxy, and the Force.

Crown of Bones (Crown of Bones #1) by A.K. Wilder

crown of bones book cover new release fantasy books

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Pubdate: 5th of January
Publisher: Entangled: Teen

No amount of training can prepare you when the world is on the brink of the next Great Dying. Ash is just a lowly scribe meant to observe and record what happens in the world: a young heir who will raise the most powerful phantom in all of Baiseen, and a dangerous High Savant who will do anything to gain control of realms. There’s also a mysterious and deadly race called Mar, who steal children into the sea, and a handsome guide with too many secrets. Ash may be just a scribe; but perhaps she’s meant to change everyone.

Persephone Station by Stina Leicht

best scifi book releases january persephone station book cover

Genre: Adult Sci-Fi, LGBTQ
Pubdate: 5th of January
Publisher: Gallery / Saga Press

There’s a planet that has been pretty much ignored by the United Republic of Worlds called Persephone Station. Still, it becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet does have a few secrets that the corporation wants to exploit.

In the story, we meet Rosie, the Monk’s Bar owner, who caters to wannabe criminals and rich Earther tourists at the front bar. Her clientele almost exclusively consists of members of an exclusive criminal class and those who seek to employ them. Enter Angel: an ex-marine and head of a semi-organized band of beneficent criminals, wayward assassins, and washed up mercenaries. She’s asked to perform a job for Rosie, which will affect Persephone and put Angel and her squad up against an army. Despite the odds, they are rearing for a fight with the Serrao-Orlov Corporation.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

best fantasy book releases january 2021 lore book cover

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy, Mythology, Retellings
Pubdate: 5th of January
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

As a punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines every seven years. All are eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality. The event is called the Agon.

Lore Perseous fled that brutal world long ago in the wake of her family’s murder by a rival line. She turned her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. She also pushed aside any thoughts of revenge against the man, now a god, who was responsible for their deaths. Still, when the Agon begins again, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend, and a gravely wounded Athena. The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt comes at a deadly cost.

The Effort by Claire Holroyde

the effort

Genre: Adult Sci-Fi
Pubdate: 12th of January
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

The scientist Benjamin Schwarts, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, knew that a dark comet spotted near Jupiter’s orbit posed a threat to the human race’s survival. And so, Ben and his girlfriend Amy Kowalski fly to South America to assemble an international counteraction team. The lives of many people entwine, and together they must fight to survive in an unknown future with no rules, and nothing can be taken for granted. They have a choice: neutralize the greatest threat the world has ever seen, or come to terms with the annihilation of humanity itself. All within a mission they call ‘The Effort.’

The Conjurer (The Vine Witch #3) by Luanne G. Smith

the conjurer

Genre: Adult Historical Paranormal Fantasy, Witches
Pubdate: 12th of January
Publisher: 47North

Sidra is a jinni, wrongfully convicted of her husband’s murder. She’s determined to prove her innocence, so she returns to her adopted home—a French village renowned for its perfume witches—with her friend Elena and Yvette by her side. This is the place where Sidra’s true destiny awaits, but where danger also lurks.

Another jinni, Jamra, is after more than revenge for the murder of his brother. He also wants vengeance for the indignities inflicted on jinn by mortals over the centuries. So when he learns of an ancient relic that can unleash chaos on the world that is in the hands of his sister-in-law, he vows to destroy Sidra to get his hands on it.

So Sidra has to rely on a sisterhood of magic, a strangely faithful dog, and a second-rate sorcerer to defend herself. She uses the village’s greatest asset: its perfume. But is it enough to protect herself and those she loves from powers that still need to be released?

Into the Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer

best scifi fantasy book releases january 2021 into the heartless wood

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy Retellings, Witches
Pubdate: 12th of January
Publisher: Page Street Kids

For many centuries, a witch has harvested souls to feed the heartless tree in the forest, using its power to grow her domain. Owen Merrick is lured into this very wood, where one of the tree-sirens, Seren, saves his life instead of ending it. And so Owen climbs over the garden wall to see her every night, and every night her longing to become human deepens. But a shift in the stars foretells a dangerous curse, and Seren’s quest will lead them into an ancient war raging between the witch and the king who tries to stop her.

Memory Lane by Sara Shepard and Ellen Goodlett

memory lane

Genre: Adult Sci-Fi Thriller
Pubdate: 13th of January
Publisher: Serial Box

So, I’ve read this one (got a free copy from Netgalley). It’s a fun read and has quite the twists and turns and mystery. Instead of chapters, we have episodes, which is probably not surprising considering that Sara Shepard wrote the Pretty Little Liars series. It both does and doesn’t read like a script. There’s a lot of dialogue and a lot of telling (with background information and such), and there are not many descriptions of what things look like. But the story itself is good.

We follow Alex, who agrees to participate in an experiment with her mother, with who she has a strained relationship. The experiment? Memory implementation from her mother into her own mind. To trigger the memories, they go on a road trip together, similar to the one Alex’s mom went on in the memories she gave Alex. But when the memories start coming to Alex, she sees more than what her mother says. Who was that man with her? And who was that lying on the autopsy table?

When the memories don’t correspond, how do you know what was real and what wasn’t?

If you’re looking for something thrilling and quick to read (I read it in an evening), then it’s definitely worth a try.

We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya #2) by Hafsah Faiza

best fantasy book releases january 2021 we free the stars book cover

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Pubdate: 19th of January
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The conclusion to the Sands of Arawiya duology.

Zafira and Nasir must conquer the darkness both around and inside of them. Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are still bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish their plan: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate. This would return magic to all of Arawiya. But they don’t have many resources or allies, and the Kingdom is fearful for the return of the Lion of the Night.

Nasir fights to command the magic in his blood, trying to learn to hone it into a weapon, not only against the Lion but also his father, trapped under the Lion’s control. Zafira has a whole different darkness inside her through her bond with the Jawarat. This is a darkness that hums with voices, pushing her to the brink of her sanity and the edge of a chaos she doesn’t dare unleash. Still, Nasir and Zafira find themselves falling in love.

Winterkeep (Graceling Realm #4) by Kristin Cashore

winterkeep book cover best fantasy book releases

Genre: YA Adventure Fantasy, LGBTQ
Pubdate: 19th of January
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers

A new land has been discovered to the east, four years after Bitterblue left off: Torla. The closest nation to Monsea is Winterkeep; a land of miracles, a democratic republic run by people who like each other. They can speak to telepathic sea creatures, adopt telepathic foxes as pets, and fly across the sky in ships attached to balloons. But when Bitterblue’s envoys to Winterkeep drown under suspicious circumstances, she, Giddon, and her half-sister Hava, set off to discover the truth. But when Bitterblue is kidnapped, Giddon believes she’s drowned, and he and Hava are all who’re left to solve the mystery of Winterkeep.

The Mask of Mirrors (Rook & Rose #1) by M.A. Carrick

mask of mirrors book cover best fantasy and scifi book releases january 2021

Genre: Adult High Fantasy, LGBTQ
Pubdate: 19th of January
Publisher: Orbit

Nightmares are creeping through the city of dreams, called Nadezra. Renata Viraudax is a con artist who came to the city intending to trick her way into a noble house and secure her and her sister’s future. But when she enters the elite world of House Traementis, she realizes her masquerade is just one of many. As corrupt magic begins to weave its way through Nadezra, its aristocrats’ feuds and the shadowy dangers of its underbelly become tangled, with Ren at the heart of it.

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

best scifi book releases january 2021 remote control book cover

Genre: Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Novella
Pubdate: 19th of January
Publisher: Tordotcom

When Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. Her new name became Sankofa, the only tie she still had to her family and her past. Her touch is death, and a glance can make a town fall. She walks alone, except for a fox as her companion, searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell. The time when she was yet unchanged. She wants answers. But is there a greater purpose for her, now that Death is her constant companion?

Cast in Firelight (Wickery #1) by Dana Swift

best fantasy book releases january 2021 cast in firelight book cover

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Pubdate: 19th of January
Publisher: Delacorte Press

Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar and a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test. Jatin is the heir to Naupure and a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic. Their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms, but both agree that their reunion will be anything but sweet after years of rivalry. Still, destiny has other plans, and Adraa’s and Jatin’s paths cross when the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly makes a move for control. Neither realizes who the other is, both keeping secret identities. The pair needs to put their trust in the other to uncover the threat to Wickery.

Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations #1) by B.B. Alston

amari and the night brothers book cover

Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Pubdate: 19th of January
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Quinton Peters was the golden boy of the Rosewood low-income housing projects, with full scholarship offers to two different Ivy League schools. Until he goes missing. His sister, Amari, doesn’t understand why the story isn’t on the news or why the police assume he was into something illegal.

She discovers a ticking briefcase in her brother’s old closet, leaving her a nomination for a summer tryout at the secretive Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Amari is certain the answer to finding him lies somewhere inside if only she can get her head around the idea of mermaids, dwarves, yetis, and magicians being real. She has to compete against some of the nation’s wealthiest kids, and she’s only given an illegal ability. So she needs to do something else to make her stand out. Amari has never felt more alone when an evil magician threatens the whole supernatural world, and her classmates think she’s an enemy. But she needs to pass the three tryouts, or she may never find Quinton.

Red, White, and the Blues (Chronos Origins #2) by Rysa Walker

best scifi fantasy book releases january 2021 red white and the blues book cover

Genre: Adult Sci-Fi, time-travel
Pubdate: 22nd of January
Publisher: 47North

Tyson Reyes and Madi Grace are challenged to a real-life game of Temporal Dilemma. Three rounds from the opponents and Hitler takes Europe, Pearl Harbor never happens, and a fascist cloud hangs over the postwar United States. CHRONOS itself is then erased from existence. Tyson, Madi, and a team of seasoned players must make their moves in 1930s New York. With only three days to undo the strategy that changed the tides of war and the fate of the world, a surprise survivor from CHRONOS is their best hope of flipping the timeline. But can they risk trusting him when the past, future, and lives of millions hang in the balance?

We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen

we could be heroes

Genre: New Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy, Superheroes
Pubdate: 26th of January
Publisher: Mira Books

Jamie woke up in an empty apartment with no memory and only some clues to his identity, but with the ability to read and erase other people’s memories. Which he uses to hold up banks to buy coffee, cat food, and books. Zoe is also searching for her past, with abilities of her own: speed and strength. Which she uses to deliver fast food and the occasional beating up of bad guys in a cool suit; if she feels like it.

When Zoe and Jamie meet in a memory-loss support group, they realize the only way to reveal their pasts might be through each other. And as they uncover an ongoing threat, suddenly there’s much more at stake, with countless people at risk. Sometimes being a hero starts with trusting someone else and yourself.

A Vow So Bold and Deadly (Cursebreakers #3) by Brigid Kemmerer

new release fantasy books a vow so bold and deadly book cover

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance, Retellings
Pubdate: 26th of January
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

It’s the conclusion of the Cursebreakers series!

Emberfall is torn between those who believe Rhen is the rightful prince and those who pick Grey as the true heir. Grey has graciously agreed to wait two months before attacking Emberfall. In the meantime, Rhen has turned away from everyone, even Harper.

Meanwhile, Lia Mara wants to rule Syhl Shallow a bit gentler than her mother but struggles to do so. After decades of peace, she has some angry subjects who don’t agree with her having an enchanted prince and magical scraver by her side. Can she be the Queen her country needs?

The two Kingdoms come closer to conflict, and loyalties are tested, love is threatened, and an old enemy resurfaces.

The Mask Falling (The Bone Season #4) by Samantha Shannon

the mask falling book cover

Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy
Pubdate: 26th of January
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Dreamwalker Paige Mahoney has eluded death again. She still finds herself caught between the factions that seek Scion’s downfall and those who would kill to protect the Rephaim’s puppet empire. While the mysterious Domino Program has plans for her, Paige has ambitions of her own in the new citadel. With her former enemy at her side, she goes on an adventure leading her from the catacombs in Paris to Versailles’ glittering hallways. As Scion widens its bounds and the free world trembles in its shadow, Paige must fight her own memories. Meanwhile, she also strives to understand her bond with Arceturus, which grows stronger by the day.

Those were the Book Releases of January 2021

I hope you found some nice additions to your reading list among these best fantasy & sci-fi book releases of January 2021! Which ones are you most excited about? While I did read Memory Lane, I’m quite intrigued by Lore. Who knows, I might pick up a copy one of these days.

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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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