Back to school also brings us back to the fantastic and the supernatural. Science fiction veteran Alan Dean Foster brings us the tale of the last remaining human being and his run-in with an alien species determined to resurrect the human race. Keeping with the science fiction theme is Cixin Liu and the story of a boy whose parents are incinerated by lightning. His fascination with the thing that killed his parents puts him in the path of some unsavory characters.

Next, we switch gears to historical fiction and Linnea Hartsuyker’s second book of her Viking trilogy. Finally, we have the story of Elisa Sullivan, the only vampire baby ever born and her quest to keep Chicago safe, despite falling in love with a werewolf pack leader which stirs up old rivalries. If science fiction or the supernatural are up your alley then this week’s selection should keep you busy for days. Don’t fret, however, the coming weeks will yield more great fiction including James Patterson, Clive Cussler and J.D. Robb.

“Relic” by Alan Dean Foster

Once human beings reigned supreme, spreading from star system to star system in an empire that encountered no alien life and thus knew no enemy except itself. As had happened many times before, the most primal human instincts rose up. This time armed with the advanced scientific knowledge to create a genetically engineered smart virus that quickly wiped out humanity to the very last man.

That man is Ruslan, the sole known surviving human being in the universe. Rescued by the Myssari, an intelligent alien race, Ruslan spends his days as something of a cross between a research subject and a zoo attraction. But then the Myssari make Ruslan an extraordinary offer: In exchange for his cooperation, they will do everything in their considerable power to find the lost home world of his species, a mythical place called Earth. There just might be another human there.

“Ball Lightning” by Cixin Liu and Joel Martinson (translator)

When Chen’s parents are incinerated before his eyes by a blast of ball lightning, he devotes his life to cracking the secret of this mysterious natural phenomenon.

The more he learns, the more he comes to realize that ball lightning is just the tip of an entirely new frontier. While Chen’s quest for answers gives purpose to his lonely life, it also pits him against soldiers and scientists with motives of their own such as a beautiful army major who is obsessed with dangerous weapons, and a physicist who is single-minded when it comes to the pursuit of knowledge and has no room for ethical considerations.

“The Sea Queen (Golden Wolf Saga #2)” by Linnea Hartsuyker

Six years after “The Half-Drowned King,” Ragnvald Eysteinsson is now king of Sogn, but fighting battles for King Harald keeps him away from home, as he confronts treachery and navigates a political landscape that grows more dangerous the higher he rises.

Ragnvald’s sister Svanhild has found the freedom and adventure she craves at the side of the rebel explorer Solvi Hunthiofsson, though not without a cost.

As a growing rebellion unites King Harald’s enemies, Ragnvald suspects that some Norse nobles are not loyal to Harald’s dream of a unified Norway. He sets a plan in motion to defeat all of his enemies, and bring his sister back to his side. Their actions will hold irrevocable repercussions for the fates of those they love and for Norway itself.

“Wild Hunger” by Chloe Neill

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she’s a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he’s prince of the Pack and its future king. When the assassination of a diplomat brings back old wounds, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

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