8 Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books to Expect in May

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Aurora Lydia Dominguez

Staff Writer

Aurora Lydia Dominguez is a journalist, high school teacher and college professor based in Hollywood, Florida. A journalist at heart, she worked for places like The Miami Herald and J-14 Magazine as a reporter and editor before going from the newsroom to the classroom. Aurora's passions include reading a book on Saturday mornings with her cat Luna, time with her husband Seb and pop rock shows. You can email her at

My heart jumps with joy every time I realize that there is a new fantasy or science fiction book coming out. For me, as an avid reader, I find these stories to be wonderful to dive into and feel like you are learning from a different world and universe created by an amazing author. There’s something about the worldbuilding and characters that truly makes me happy. These type of stories are so much fun and some of my favorites to get immersed into.

I have compiled eight exciting May science fiction and fantasy releases eager to land on our bookshelves this month. This was so much fun to research and I cannot wait to share these titles below with you, which include all sorts of varieties for all sorts of readers. From young adult to middle grade and adult, these are some titles I am eagerly anticipating this May.

May Middle Grade Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Cover image of KIKI KALLIRA CONQUERS A CURSE by Sangu Mandanna

Kiki Kallira Conquers a Curse by Sangu Mandanna (May 17)

This thrilling middle grade sequel to Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom promises action-packed moments and mythological vibes.

The story follows Kiki, who has the magical touch of bringing Indian legends to life with a flick of her pencil and her art.  She also finds out that these legends actually live in a magical world. One day, she is surprised when one of the rebel kids shows up and is desperate for help. It turns out that the river Kaveri that is Mysore’s only source of water has suddenly disappeared, and they will lose their source of water for good. Kiki immediately goes there to try to see if her art and drawings can bring them back a source of water, and quickly realizes it’s not going to work at all. Will Kiki be able to save them and get water flowing once more into Mysore?

We will have to wait and see as soon as this lovely middle grade, promising enchanting adventures, hits shelves


Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor by Xiran Jay Zhao (May 10)

From the author of the fantastic young adult book Iron Widow comes a new middle grade story that promises elements of her sharp and engaging writing, mixed in with adventure.

The book tells the story of a Chinese American boy that has to face the challenge of journeying across China for quite the job: he must seal the underworld and also save the mortal realm. This is quite the feat, not to mention that he has to also learn more and connect with myths and history of his Chinese heritage, all while trying to save China. Promising a little sarcasm and a little humor, this book has been coined as a Chinese Percy Jackson type of story, and I am all for it.

Promising also a character that can be both vulnerable and strong, I feel like this is the type of story that kids and even adults will love.

May Young Adult Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Cover image of Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber

Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber (May 17)

The book tells the story of twins that were somehow separated at birth. They lead different lives, as one was fully raised as the crown princess, and the other one was taken as an infant. The latter was actually living a life that mostly raised and prepared her to kidnap her sister, in hopes of stealing the crown. She also has thirst and desire to avenge their parents’ deaths. Now that’s a story I cannot wait to dig into, since I love these type of royalty-inspired stories.

A fun fact about this pair of UK authors is that they are soon to be real-life sisters-in-law, and they mentioned that their passion for romantic comedies and fantasy elements inspired them to create this story. I cannot wait to see how this plays out when the book hits shelves.

May Adult Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Cover image of Book of Night by Holly Black.

Book of Night by Holly Black (May 3)

From the author of the loved The Cruel Prince series comes an adult urban fantasy that I cannot wait to read.

The story follows Charlie Hall, who has spent her life not making the best decisions. Her life has mostly been spent working for gloamists, known as eerie magicians that tend to feed off murder and the torture of others. Their underground world is a best kept secret, and they also tend to rob magicians as well. Because of this, Charlie has desperately been trying to leave all of this in her past, as she spends her days bartending at a small bar and trying to move on. Yet, one day someone from her past shows up, destroying her newfound peace and throwing her life into turmoil.

I cannot wait to get my hands on this book, which promises drama and a little darkness, from one of my favorite fantasy authors.

Cover image of Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

Siren Queen by Nghi Vo (May 10)

This adult fantasy with sci-fi elements promises drama, adventure and an enthralling story.

The book follows Luli Wei, a gorgeous gal with big aspirations to transfer her talents to the industry and become a star. Living in pre-code Hollywood, she realizes that there are limited roles for Chinese Americans from her background. One day, she gets the attention from the studios and she is thrilled. Yet, there’s a catch. They want to own everything about her. All of it, from her face to her name to the women she’s in love with, and anything that represents her and her life. To make her a star, the bargain includes a blood oath and ancient magic, that in the end might just sacrifice her livelihood.

Full of eerie elements in a sci-fi and fantasy-infused Hollywood, this is one I cannot wait to dig into as soon as possible.

Cover image of The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah (May 17)

This sweeping sci-fi adult fantasy mix seems extremely interesting and I cannot wait to read it!

In a magical and mystical world, we follow Loulie al-Nazari. Loulie is known as the Midnight Merchant: a criminal set on stealing magic at all costs, next to the company of a jinn bodyguard. One day, Loulie finds herself saving a cowardly prince from death. Turns out he is the son of the sultan, and he has a plan for Loulie. The sultan, after this, decides to blackmail her into a task, where she must find an old magical lamp that can save their land but will sacrifice all jinn, like her bodyguard. What follows is what seems to be a tense adventure featuring magical and surreal elements.

Cover image of Under Fortunate Stars by Ren Hutchings

Under Fortunate Stars by Ren Hutchings (May 10)

The books follows the space opera track when it comes to its story, mixing elements of time travel with some character development when it comes to two heroes that might not be as perfect as one would expect. The story is about smuggler Jereth Keeven’s freighter the Jonah, which suddenly meets a sad fate when it stops working in an isolated space area. But suddenly Jereth bumps into another ship called the Gallion. Uma Ozakka is the one to own this ship, and Uma says they’re from over 100 years in the future. Now, they must team up to solve a space mystery and at the same time, work together as the present and past, to save their future.

I adore a great space opera and I am looking forward to some of the classic spacey elements of this story.

What other sci-fi and fantasy adventures are you looking forward to this month? Let me know on Twitter @AuroraMiami and us @BookRiot. Happy fantastical and modern world-visiting through reading!