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For Readers

SF Novels For Your Next Summer Escape

By: Hidden Gems on July 1, 2024

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on July 1, 2024


We’ve put together 5 otherworldly SF novels that took Hidden Gems ARC readers on a journey to interstellar and apocalyptic regions. Explore this science fiction list and get ready to embark on your next exhilarating journey with these top-rated reads.

Shattered Web

Shattered Web by K.J. Heritage

The CSS Ariadne, an experimental Company bioship, has gone rogue, cutting communications and plunging into hyperspace towards enemy territory, risking certain destruction unless stopped. Before disappearing, the crew managed to send an SOS. Amid the chaos, a murder has occurred, and the culprit remains unknown.

Vatic, a skilled empath reluctantly employed by the Company, arrives to find it strewn with corpses, a handful of suspicious survivors, and no clear answers. As Vatic delves deeper, he realizes not everyone is who they claim to be. An imposter lurks among them, their motives unclear, Vatic realizes he must use all his talents if he and the ship plan to survive.

“The writing style complements the breathless pace of the story wonderfully. Somehow, the author manages to make Vatic a sympathetic character during all the action,” writes Anonymous in their 5-star review. “I kind of want to see Vatic get a break & find some peace, but I also hope we will see more adventures from him.”

“This book, like every other K.J. Heritage book I have read, was an absolute thrill to read. His books tend to bend your mind a bit, make you think about what you are reading, and thrill you while you are doing so. Someone else compared reading the book to being in a movie theater. It’s true,” writes Jim in their 5-star review. “The story pulled me into it like I was there witnessing the events first hand.”

To The Piper's Tune

To The Piper’s Tune by V.N. Castelo

Anastasya, an elite cityzen with a coveted talent as an AI-whisperer, enjoys a privileged life working for the Councyl alongside Amy, the State of Corynth’s general AI. However, when an outsider’s arrival triggers events that threaten her world, Anastasya embarks on a journey to uncover the true nature of reality and the darker depths of Corynth.

In this world of neurotech, gene editing, artificial general intelligence, and social credit scores, humanity’s hope dwindles as predictive algorithms monitor every thought, deed, and emotion, nullifying the ability to rebel and exercise free will. Anastasya learns that cityzens serve a purpose she never imagined, where freedom is sacrificed for ultimate convenience and conformity.

“4.5 stars. This book is incredibly good. It’s science fiction slash matrix-like dystopian about an AI-controlled, seemingly utopian society called Corynth,” writes Emily in their 5-star review.

“In this captivating book, the author delves into an exploration of humanity’s evolution as we know it, capturing the essence of this fascinating journey. It’s an exceptional piece of work that manages to transform my intuitions into tangible words, creating a vivid and immersive reading experience,” writes Anonymous in their 5-star review. “The story unfolds with an intensity that keeps readers on the edge of their seats, holding their breath with anticipation for what lies ahead. The evocative language and meticulous attention to detail allow readers to immerse themselves fully in the narrative, feeling the urgency and importance of the message being conveyed.”

Break the Moon

Break the Moon by Michael Buchsbaum

Sixteen-year-old Leon Rhaine creates fantastical inventions from bursts of inspiration he can’t recall or replicate. Most of his creations fail catastrophically, jeopardizing his chance to attend a prestigious science institute and rescue his family from crippling debt.

A mysterious man offers Leon insight into his inexplicable talent. As Leon delves deeper, he uncovers a link between his gift and Joanna Harpyr, a formidable hunter of nightmarish monsters that herald destruction.

Now, Leon must prevent a looming cataclysm in his city or risk becoming a pawn in a plot that threatens to unravel the world as he knows it. His quest entangles him and his friends with an ancient organization that has shaped human history in secret for millennia.

“This story is fantastic!! I could not put it down. The way the author develops the story and the characters is pure genius. Be prepared to be swept up into a thrilling journey right here on our very home earth,” writes Anonymous in their 5-star review. “I look forward to reading more stories from this very talented author. Thank you for this adventure!!”

“I absolutely loved it. Lots of plot twists. Great storyline. Very well written and very fun to read. Colorful characters and a sci-fi/fantasy plot that kept me turning pages right to the end,” writes Anonymous in their 5-star review. “I will read this author’s work again.”

Realm FM

Realm FM by Tyrolin Puxty

After a broadcasting mishap leaves Amy jobless, she takes a chance on her dream job at her sister’s ex’s radio station, unaware it sits atop a wormhole to infinite realms. Amid interviewing mythical creatures and exploring apocalyptic worlds, Amy finds dodging Ryan’s irresistible charm her biggest challenge.

“This was truly an enjoyable book – funny, engaging, intelligent, nice social satire that allowed self-reflection, engaging plot,” writes Rob H. in their 5-star review. “I heartily recommend it!”

“It is a captivating story that will make you fall in love with the characters and feel any and every emotion they feel,” writes Anonymous in their 5-star review. “I will have to say this is one of my new favorite books.”

Born in Space: Unlocking Destiny

Born in Space: Unlocking Destiny by Jeremy Clift

When Teagan Ward donates her eggs to science, she sets off unforeseen cosmic consequences. As Earth faces crises of conflict and climate collapse, Teagan discovers that her donated eggs have produced seven children destined for a daring experiment in populating the stars. Determined to reunite with her offspring, she navigates a treacherous landscape of greed, betrayal, and cosmic ambition.

In 2068, with humanity’s survival at stake, Teagan’s quest pits her against a ruthless mining tycoon, an ethically ambiguous doctor, and a disgraced general. Amid interstellar politics and corporate intrigue, she uncovers secrets that could reshape the fate of worlds. Her children, each possessing unique abilities, hold the key to unlocking the universe’s mysteries and potentially saving humanity.

Born in Space: Unlocking Destiny by Jeremy Clift is a riveting ride through the cosmos, blending strong female characters, moral dilemmas, and thrilling alien encounters into a narrative that grips you from start to finish,” writes Margaret in their 5-star review. “The immersive narrative, is filled with suspense and emotional depth, it’s a must-read for anyone looking for a thought-provoking journey into the depths of space and the human spirit. Highly recommended!”

“With strong female characters and a plot rich in romance and redemption, Born in Space: Unlocking Destiny is an engaging read that will appeal to fans of science fiction,” writes Book Lover in their 5-star review. “Jeremy Clift’s storytelling prowess shines through in this rocket-fueled adventure, setting the stage for an exciting series that promises to explore the farthest reaches of space and the complexities of the human heart.

Hidden Gems readers got to read these SF novels first, so if you want more stories that will take you to otherworldly realms, sign up today! Subscribers to Hidden Gems receive invitations to read books like these – plus other titles from any of up to 15 other genres – for free. Authors send these out in the hopes that the readers will write an honest review once they’re done.

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