Jess's New Staff Picks

By White Birch Books

By White Birch Books

Hi everyone! I am a HUGE FAN of sci-fi and fantasy, so my list will be heavy on those two genres! Some of my favorite authors are Victoria Schwab, Leigh Bardugo, Susan Dennard, Tamsyn Muir, and Erin Morgenstern to name a few! 

The Priory of the Orange Tree

Samantha Shannon

$20.00 $18.00

Don't be scared off of how giant this book is: once you fall into the story, it's impossible to put down! Three strong female leads are brought together to hunt down celestial jewels in order to prevent an ancient enemy from rising again. With dragons, LGBT romance, European folklore and legends, and enormous ferrets people can ride, how can you say no?

Ninth House

Leigh Bardugo

$27.99 $25.19

Galaxy "Alex" Stern gets recruited into the secret societies of the prestigious Yale University for her ability to see Grays, or ghosts, and when a murder occurs on campus and the victim has ties to several of the occult groups, she has no idea what terrors and wonders she will encounter while trying to solve this mystery. The magic in this universe is so beautiful and SO dangerous, it's an intoxicating world you won't want to leave! Bardugo pulls no punches in offering a glimpse into the dark side of our own society and culture, and delivers disturbingly real narratives on the dangers of being a girl in a world of men driven by privilege, power, and greed. This horror/thriller/fantasy blend kept me transfixed long into the night.

A Darker Shade of Magic

V E Schwab

$16.98 $15.62

Ok yes, this series came out a while ago BUT it still remains one of my favorites EVER. Armed with his magical cloak and his connections to the ruling family, Kell is unstoppable. Officially, Kell works as an ambassador who can travel to parallel versions of London. Unofficially, however, he smuggles magical artifacts back and forth between the three Londons. When he brings back an innocent looking stone, and malevolent forces slip between the cracks between worlds into Kell's world, he must fight for his life and for the continued existence of the three Londons! If you're looking for a more grown-up Harry Potter series in all the best ways, this is it.

All Systems Red

Martha Wells

$15.99 $14.71

Are you looking for a hero with a talent for self-deprecating humor, an obsession with reality tv, and a loathing for small talk? Meet Murderbot. As a self-proclaimed “Murderbot”, this SecUnit’s core functions are to provide security and neutralize threats for the highest bidder, but all they truly want to do is avoid human interaction at all costs and binge watch all the episodes of entertainment media they can get their inorganic hands on. Murderbot is hired to protect a survey team from threats as they collect samples on a mining planet. But their trip soon dissolves into chaos as other SecUnits on the planet go rogue and murder another team. However, Murderbot finds out there may be something even more sinister behind this mass murder.

Gideon the Ninth

Tamsyn Muir

$25.99 $23.39

Lesbian necromancers, murder mystery, knights and cavaliers! If any of these phrases are in your word cloud then pick this one! This quirky, wildly original, but mind-blowing debut from Tamsyn Muir is one you won't want to miss. Gideon Nav is a breath of fresh air, a straight shooter, and a badass swordsmaster whose only dream is to leave the miserable existence of indentured servitude to the Ninth House, a planet of dusty skeletons and humorless necromancers. When Gideon is given a chance to earn her freedom by posing as the Reverend Daughter's cavalier in a necromancer competition at First House, she leaps at the opportunity. Harrowhark and Gideon's witty and vulgar banter MADE this book. GIDEON THE NINTH surprised me, made me laugh, shocked me, and broke my heart, leaving me as crushed as a pile of old bones. I'm already looking forward to the next installment.

The Unwilling (Original)

Kelly Braffet

$27.99 $25.19

Still haven't really gotten over that last season of Game of Thrones? Meet your new political fantasy obsession. Judah is a foundling who is taken in by a powerful family and raised alongside Gavin, the future lord of the city. Mysteriously, a magic spell binds Gavin and Judah's fates together, so when one of them is wounded, the other feels and exhibits the same symptoms. This strange bond has potential political implications, and the cruel Lord Elban plots to use their bond for his own selfish ambition. Judah struggles to navigate court intrigue, secrets about her mysterious heritage, relationships with her foster siblings, and romance throughout this epic fantasy, and I was drawn in from the first chapter!

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Alix E Harrow

$27.00 $24.30

Beautifully written and brimming with a sense of wonder and danger in equal parts, TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY offers readers an unforgettable adventure unlike any other! January Scaller yearns to explore the world collecting unique artifacts with her father, but her wealthy ward Mr. Locke insists on adding her to his collection of oddities at his estate in Vermont. When her father is reported missing, and she finds a book written by him detailing the existence of Doors to other worlds and her unusual family history, she embarks on a journey to find him and her mother. However, she soon discovers that Doors are mysteriously being sealed off by a nefarious organization and she has the power to open these doors back up. January gets entangled in a fight to save these passages before she loses her parents forever! I too found myself lost between the pages of this spellbinding story of power, greed, loss and hope.

The Starless Sea

Erin Morgenstern

$28.95 $26.06

If you are a lover of a good RPG where you complete side quests to advance the main story, this is the book for you. A beautiful open world, THE STARLESS SEA made me fall even deeper in love with stories (which I thought was impossible)! Zachary Rawlings is just an ordinary student at a Vermont college when he stumbles upon a book containing a story about him. His curiosity leads him on an unforgettable voyage to the Starless Sea, a sprawling underground library containing all the stories and myths of the universe. Little does he know that he has an important role to play in tying up loose threads of his story and other's stories. Morgenstern masterfully wove a tapestry of stardust and light with stories that all interconnected beautifully, and my inner child ran wild and free among the pages.

The City We Became

N K Jemisin

$28.00 $25.20

If you've ever imagined cities to have souls, you need to read this book. Unlike anything I've ever read, THE CITY WE BECAME is wildly original and delightfully inclusive. An ancient evil from across the multiverse subversively infiltrates New York City, and the soul of New York splits itself into five people representing the boroughs known as avatars in an effort to fight tooth and nail for the future of humanity in the universe. A fist full of bloody knuckles, this book packs quite an urban fantasy punch and also manages to be unapologetic in its comments on police brutality, xenophobia, gentrification, and political polarization in the age of the Internet. I really REALLY want to meet the Bronx after reading this!