April 2018 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends


Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for April.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned.

Selections are by Tim Bayley and are drawn from publisher submissions, The Bookseller magazine’s own monthly highlights, Buyer’s Guides and more.

NB. We believe in supporting bricks and mortar stores whether online or in person. Title hyperlinks direct to Waterstones online for full information, Forbidden Planet for Graphic Novels, and  and a tiny snippet of any purchase comes our way to go towards site upkeep, so any and all support very much appreciated!

So relax and browse on and check out the great reads in print coming your way in April.


Tim Bayley


Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction


HUMANS, BOW DOWN * James Patterson, Emily Raymond * 9781784754334 * PB * £7.99 * Arrow

Robot War from one of the world’s bestselling (non-SF) thriller writers…

MEDDLING KIDS * Edgar Cantero * 9781785658761 * PB * £8.99 * Titan Books

Genuinely laughed out loud reading the blurb: sounds absolutely glorious. Burned out adult analogues of your Scooby Doo favourites reunite in 1990 to deal with the Lovecraftian happenings they don’t remember from their glory days but is now slipping into dreams. Comes with an undead Fred and Scooby descendent. Doubtless with Stranger Things appeal and plenty of riffs (The Blyton Summer Detective Club being just one). A definite read here…

I STILL DREAM * James Smythe * 9780007541942 * HB * £12.99 * The Borough Press

AI drama of corporate greed with a 17 year old lead by the author of the highly regarded Australia Trilogy. Praise from the author of the Essex Serpent amongst others…

AMERICAN WAR * Omar El Akkad * 9781509852215 * PB * £8.99 * Picador

Mainstream lead with genre crossover appeal: revenge drama in a postapocalyptic America (A Best Book Of The Year: The Guardian, The Observer, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle , The Washington Post)

CIRCE * Madeline Miller * 9781408890080 * HB * £16.99 * Bloomsbury

Mythic literary/genre crossover superlead from an Orange Prize winner, chosen as the must read book of 2018 by The Guardian, The Independent, Stylist and more!


BLACKWING * Ed McDonald * 9781473222038 * PB * £8.99 * Gollancz * The Raven’s Mark * 1

Widely praised grimdark fantasy debut…

THE WITCHWOOD CROWN * Tad Williams * 9781473603240 * PB * £8.99 * Hodder * The Last King of Osten Ard * 1

Triumphant return to the setting and characters of the legendary Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

KING OF ASHES * Raymond E Feist * 9780007264858 * HB * £20.00 * HarperVoyager

New Big Fantasy from one of the legends of the genre. Superlead.

BEFORE MARS * Emma Newman * 9781473223899 * TPB * £12.99 * Gollancz * Planetfall * 3

Not strictly a sequel so much as the latest in Emma Newman’s well regarded Planetfall setting…

THE HYENA AND THE HAWK * Adrian Tchaikovsky * 9781509830268 * HB * £18.99 * Pan MacMillan (Tor) * Echoes of the Fall * 3

Special sequel shout for the latest in Clarke Winner Adrian Tchaikovsky for volume 3 in his tribal fantasy…



WAKING GODS * Sylvain Neuvel * 9781405921916 * PB * £7.99 * Penguin * Themis Files * 2

High concept conspiracy sequel with giant robots. Smell the approaching film deal.

FROM DISTANT STARS * Sam Peters * 9781473214781 * HB * £16.99 * Gollancz * From Darkest Skies * 2

Sequel to the absolutely superb AI-based SF drama From Darkest Skies which cuts that fab line between near-future cyberpunk noir and full-blown space opera a la Altered Carbon and The Expanse. Plus we’ve just read it’s been optioned for TV – absolutely NO SURPRISE there. A must read for us…


Children’s & YA Choice



THE GIFT OF DARKHOLLOW * Kieran Larwood (Illustrations by David Wyatt) * 9780571328420 * PB * £6.99 * Faber * The Five Realms * 2

Sequel to the stunning Podkin One-Ear, winner of Blue Peter’s Book of the Year…

THE LIFTERS * Dave Eggers * 9781407185460 * HB * £12.99 * Scholastic

Mystery and secret tunnels by the author of the Netflix adapted The Circle…

RESURRECTION * Derek Landy * 9780008219604 * PB * £7.99 * Harpercollins

Return of Valkyrie Cain and skeleton wizard detective Skullduggery Pleasant



With new branding one of our favourite things ever continues its resurrection: the greatest choose-your-own adventure series Fighting Fantasy!

(See also the opening salvo of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, City of Thieves and Port of Peril in our August 2017 Highlights, and The Citadel of Chaos, The Forest of Doom, and House of Hell in our September 2017 Highlights (along with more greatness!)


PB * £6.99 * Scholastic

DEATHTRAP DUNGEON * Ian Livingstone * 9781407181271

Our very favourite of the originals (although City of Thieves is a close contender): pure dungeon bashing entertainment in the Trial of Champions with a Minotaur, Ninja, Manticore and more to fight – if you pick the right (wrong?) path…

ISLAND OF THE LIZARD KING * Ian Livingstone * 9781407186207

Explore a deadly island and try and take down the terrifying Lizard King…

CREATURE OF HAVOC * Steve Jackson * 9781407186184

You’re a huge hulking monster – but were you always?

THE GATES OF DEATH * Charlie Higson * 9781407186306

In a brand new addition to the Fighting Fantasy canon Charlie Higson (yes THAT Charlie Higson) invites you to take on Ulrakhaar, the Queen of Darkness, by fighting your way into the Kingdom of the Dead!

APPOINTMENT WITH F.E.A.R. * Steve Jackson * 9781407186177

Of the founding writers Ian Livingstone primarily developed the world of Allansia in his books while Steve Jackson diversified the genres: this time you get to be a Superhero with the power set of your choice!

SORCERY: THE SHAMUTANTI HILLS * Steve Jackson * 9781407186214

At last, Steve Jackson’s bigger and bolder FF books SORCERY! are back – yes you get a sword, but you also get a whole spellbook to play across four sequential story arcs, The Shamutanti Hills being just the first!



Non-Fiction Highlights



THE LAST LONDON: TRUE FICTIONS FROM AN UNREAL CITY * Iain Sinclair * 9781786073303 * PB * £9.99 * Oneworld

Sinclair ruminates on the Big City once more through the lens of what might best be understood as urban shamanism: “Here is a mesmerising record of secret scholars and whispering ghosts. Of disturbing encounters. Night hospitals. Pits that become cameras. Mole Man labyrinths. And privileged swimming pools, up in clouds, patrolled by surveillance helicopters.” This and much more.

TEMPLARS * Dan Jones * 9781781858929 * PB * £10 * Head of Zeus

History Pick: One of the most fascinating institutions from the medieval period by TV medievalist Dan Jones…

NEW POWER * Jeremy Heimans, Henry Timms * 9781509814183 * HB * £20.00 * Pan MacMillan

Maps out where power in our hyper-connected modern world actually lies. Could become one of those must read books for the concerned modern citizen



Graphic Novels


ACTION COMICS #1000 80 YEARS OF SUPERMAN DELUXE EDITION * Various * 9781401278878 * HB * £25.00 * DC

Super anthology to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the Man of Steel

MARVEL’S AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PRELUDE * Will Corona Pilgrim, Tigh Walker * 9781302909437 * PB * £13.50 * Marvel

Marvel Studios’ ‘Captain of R&D’ pens – for those who want a bit more ahead of it – a prelude to one of the biggest film events ever…

THANOS: THE INFINITY SIBLINGS * Jim Starlin, Alan Davis * 9781302908188 * PB * £20.99 * Marvel

Many Infinity books are doing the rounds in the Marvel’s main comic universe as well. In this Thanos’ creator surreal SF genius Jim Starlin and the UK’s master comic artist team Thanos and brother Starfox for a time-travelling, reality fabric-threatening adventure…

X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN * Ed Piskor * 9781302904890 * PB * £24.99 * Marvel

NYT Bestseller Ed Piskor stitches together a tapestry of the X-Men’s 50 year history (a SERIOUS piece of work!)

THE BEST WE COULD DO: AN ILLUSTRATED MEMOIR * Thi Bui * 9781419718786 * PB * £12.99 * Abrams

Now in paperback: revealing critically acclaimed memoir of a migrants journey to and life in the west





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