Reminder: please don’t miss the AMA tomorrow. Everything you ever wanted to ask.
Since we talked about scammers on KU, which make it difficult to find good authors, here are some good KU authors. No affiliate links on these, so we don’t get anything out of it if you try them. As always, your mileage may vary, so I would suggest trying them in KU or downloading a sample first.
STARSHIP’S MAGE by Glynn Stewart.
In a galaxy tied together by the magic of the elite Jump Magi, Damien Montgomery is a newly graduated member of their number.
With no family or connections to find a ship, he is forced to service on an interstellar freighter known to be hunted by pirates.
When he takes drastic action to save the Blue Jay from their pursuers, he sets in motion a sequence of events beyond his control – and attracts enemies on both sides of the law!
Paperback: CreateSpace, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
An entertaining space opera. Damien isn’t your usual hero, with bulletproof abs and square chin. He is short and of slight build, but his ethics set him apart. Damien does his absolute best to do what’s right and save people in his care, even if he has to stand up to Mage-king of Mars himself. I own this series and I very much enjoyed it. I need to restart it actually, since I got interrupted on book #4.
TERMS OF ENLISTMENT by Marko Kloos
The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you’re restricted to 2,000 calories of badly flavored soy every day. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service.
Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces of the North American Commonwealth, for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price…and that the settled galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or angry welfare rats with guns.
Terms of Enlistment is available from these sources:
Amazon.com (Kindle, paperback, audio) | Barnes & Noble (Paperback, audio) | Audible (Audio)
“One of the most realistic military Sf books I’ve read.”
This was excellent. Gritty, realistic, awesome military SF. Made me really upset when the hero got wronged. Really enjoyed it. Especially on audio.
DARK HORSE by Michelle Diener
Some secrets carry the weight of the world.
Rose McKenzie may be far from Earth with no way back, but she’s made a powerful ally–a fellow prisoner with whom she’s formed a strong bond. Sazo’s an artificial intelligence. He’s saved her from captivity and torture, but he’s also put her in the middle of a conflict, leaving Rose with her loyalties divided.
Captain Dav Jallan doesn’t know why he and his crew have stumbled across an almost legendary Class 5 battleship, but he’s not going to complain. The only problem is, all its crew are dead, all except for one strange, new alien being.
She calls herself Rose. She seems small and harmless, but less and less about her story is adding up, and Dav has a bad feeling his crew, and maybe even the four planets, are in jeopardy. The Class 5’s owners, the Tecran, look set to start a war to get it back and Dav suspects Rose isn’t the only alien being who survived what happened on the Class 5. And whatever else is out there is playing its own games.
In this race for the truth, he’s going to have to go against his leaders and trust the dark horse.
Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million
This one comes highly recommended by RT Magazine, which calls the series “truly exceptional.” Excellent SF romance.
And that concludes our awesome recommendations. Happy reading.
cheryl z says
Thank you for the recommendations and the info about Kindle. I have often wondered how books suddenly appear top sellers w/o reviews. Before I sample a book I read the bad reviews, if they are poorly written I discard them and read a sample. Also paying attention to not only what the reviews say, but how they are written is very helpful. Is there anything that can’t be scammed in this crazy world?
I read both the Dark horse series and the starship’s mage.
They are excellent in my opinion.
I will check out terms of enlistment and see if it can tide me over until wildfire.
Thanks for the recommendations
Marko Kloos is excellent, I agree with Gordon completely. I will be trying the other two.
Thank you for the heads up.
I love all of Glynn Stewart’s series, but Starship Mage is my favorite.
Annette Marie is another author on KU- she has 2 completely finished series. One is urban Fantasy – Steel and Stone and on is based in Japanese mythology- The Immortals. Fantastic writing. So worth checking out. Also Lindsey Buroker. She has several series. Some are on KU and some aren’t. The Emperor’s Edge is probably her most well known series (not on KU but bookbub usually has first 3 books bundle free ) Her latest series – Fallen Empire is basically Firefly meets Star Wars. It is KU. Great banter.
Have you read Buroker’s alter ego, Ruby Lionsdrake? Her Mandrake Company series is really good, more heavy on romance with a different main couple in each book. I read them all in KU and then went back and bought them for my hoard. Trial and Temptation is my favorite, the hero is kind of like Sicarius mixed with Sheldon Cooper, cold and has no clue about relating to other people.
Lol yeah I have!
I was going to reccomend Lindsay Buroker, then I saw this, and I didn’t want to repeat post. 🙂 I She is such an amazing author!
Bridget Munch says
I just requested those from my library (along with two Ilona Andrews mentions). Thanks for recommending them!
I have actually read all of these suggestions and did quite enjoy them. Starship’s Mage was my favorite. Glynn Stewart is an excellent author.
I recommend the Kurtherian Gambit Universe, too. The first several books suffer from a lack of editorial corrections, but the story line is interesting, and expanding widely to many off-shoot world views. The books come out really fast from indie author Michael Anderle, and his crew.
Glad someone mentioned Michael Anderle’s Kurtherian Gambit series. I picked up the first- Death Becomes Her as an Audible audiobook on sale when it first came out. I liked it enough to try book 2- Queen Bitch in kindle, and I was hooked. They just keep getting better. Anderle’s author notes in back of his books are good, too. Beresford’s narrator notes at the end of the latest audio give some interesting insights into the recording and production process. The offshoot Alpha Class & Nomad series are worth your time; working my way thru the others./ For alien romance, I got a kick out of Ruby Dixon’s Ice Planet Barbarians; but all M.K. Eidem & S.E. Smith/ A good upper-YA read is Karen Lynch’s Relentless series./ For gritty, any JA Huss; Zavarelli’s Boston Underworld series is really good in audio with that accent! You can get some great deal? on audio when you buy the kindle ebook first.❤ Enjoy! (I love getting recommendations to check out! My name is Irene and, yes, I’m a bookaholic.) I will not mention that other company’s name ?that I used to do business with….I don’t like headaches.
Sorry, slipped in some nonKU authors & titles – got too excited. BTW, Authorlords: Anderle’s author comments at the end of each ebook go over benefits of KU vs general ebook release….
P.P.S. Go to Timeline page at kurtherianbooks.com to view all authors & titles and how they link together timeline-wise. He’s got the pub industry paying attention now. Aoooga! Michael Anderle, what you have created!
Let me second this recommendation. The books are fun to read and at $3.99 for the e-book, it doesn’t break the bank. Michael Anderle has created a fantastic universe with weres and vampires and a IDGAS (I don’t give a sh!t) attitude. He is up to 17 books and I have read them all in three months. He also has supplied omnibus versions, 3 books each for $7.99. This is well worth the read.
Tim, get on his newsletter list & get 1st day release pricing of $0.99
Done. Thank you
The Dark Horse books are really good, book 2 is my favorite of the series, I’ll have to check out the other recs.
Helen Harper’s Slouch Witch series is super fun, 2 books out and a third due in August. Very entertaining PNR with a relatable protagonist.
I agree on Helen Harper as well. Her Magic Thief series is fun as well
I read the first Magic Thief book and liked it, but didn’t love it, so I hesitated about Slouch Witch, but the description sounded like so much fun that I had to try it. Maybe I’ll go back and give them another shot.
Carolyn C says
I found Slouch Witch much better than The Gifted Thief, so do give it a try!
Thanks. I rarely – well, never – read the UK recommendations. I prefer word of mouth and particularly authors recommendations.
Rachel Aaron- Nice Dragons Finish Last. This series is awesome. The fourth book comes out July 28. Great story plus well-developed characters and tight plotting
Got the first 2 books as a Kindle & Audible deal and enjoyed. Will have to pick up 3&4 when I can….
YES. I am waiting on that one also. After I tried the first one i ended up getting her Eli Monpress series also.
Angela M says
I loved the series that started with the Dark Horse!
Patricia Schlorke says
Dark Horse was recommended as a good read by Nalini Singh about a year ago on her blog, so I decided to take a chance on the series back then. I bought all three books: Dark Horse, Dark Deeds, and Dark Minds. I had to get them in book form since they were not available to download on my Nook.
I really liked all three books. Dark Horse sets up the entire series so it can be a little slow at times. The other two do go a little faster since some of the backstory is told at the end of a previous book.
Too bad she stopped at Dark Minds. It would’ve been a great series to continue.
Those look interesting! I need to keep my mind busy until next Tuesday ?
One of my favourite KU authors is Honor Raconteur. I haven’t read a single one that I’ve disliked, that being said my favourite series of hers starts with The Child Prince. Her books are more YA though.
I recommend author Honor Raconteur, I’ve liked just about everything she has written. I’d start with Advent Mage Series first book is called Jaunten. All books are in KU, new releases get added after 3 months
Amy H. says
Thank you! I’ve been on a sci-fi kick recently and while I’ve discovered a lot of authors I love now on KU, I usually have to go pages through the bad ones to find ones I’ll like.
I’ve read and enjoyed Starship’s Mage and Dark Horse – both great fun to read, with Starships Mage more sci-fi than romance. I’d recommend Jean Johnson as an author too, check out her “Guardians” series for fantasy romance and her “Ours not to reason why” series for more sci-fi.
Sorry, ‘flu-brain in action here since (a) it’s “theirs not to reason why” and (b) Jean Johnson’s not on KU! Oops…
Robert I. Katz says
I like the Starship’s Mage series a lot. I’ve read them all and they get better and better. A couple of other self published series that I like quite a bit are the Demon Accords by John Conroe and the Schooled in Magic series by Christopher Nuttall. Both men write fast. We’ve been getting a new book by Conroe every four or five months and Nuttall produces a new novel every two months or so. Amazingly prolific.
Jo O says
Thank you, I read the article and found it interesting and informative. I downloaded a sample of Starship’s Mage and have have now bought it. I’ll check the other recommendations later.
Katie F says
I’ve been reading the Collegium series starting with Demon Hunter by Jenny Schwartz, I am not on KU, but her books are. Anyways – there are a few (maybe 3) typos per book which always irks me, but I enjoyed the characters and the world-building enough to buy all 7.
If you like military sci-fi Marko Kloos is a very good read. Starship’s Mage started well for me, but I thought it tailed off a bit with further books (personal opinion of course). I haven’t read Dark Horse so will give it a go.
When in doubt, return to Ilona Andrews – satisfaction guaranteed!
I always love your posts where you recommend books that you have enjoyed. The Michelle Diener series I read (and very much liked) after an earlier post mentioning it on your blog. I will definitely have a try of the other two…. after all, I have a commute to fill and 6 days and 61/2 hours before a certain Hidden Legacy book is published… (I have booked the publication day off work and am really looking forward to it!).
I have read and enjoyed the first two authors.
I’ll second the recommendation of Starship’s Mage.
Although Damien is really ridiculously short – and while he was initially below average height, he was just normally short, the later books made him explicitly insanely short – as in significantly under 5 feet tall.
And there’ll be a gap before the next SM book, as he’s going to do a side series to catch up some of the people from book 1 with the current timeline in the main series who will be coming back.
I’ll also recommend some of Glynn Stewarts other series that I read and liked – Duchy of Terra (pure Sci-fi, no magic), and his ONSET series (urban fantasy).
Ilona & Gordon, you need to read Pax Arcana series, by James Elliott.
Those novels…oh those novels, the fighting, the smartass, the competence of the characters and the waddafuckery.
Action, some romance, group hunting evil magical things, and most of all, funny things! (laugh out load moments, smiles, moments of “I see what you did there” and puns, even the chapters have funny titles!).
If there’s a good author besides you both who deserves some promo is this guy.
The author is a misterious guy (who probably doesn’t really exists) who like never updates any site and doesn’t have a photo, he doesn’t do much promo by himself, he just publishes books once a year or more, but the books are good. yummy good. seriously,
YOU NEED TO GO PICK UP CHARMING (book 1).
just. go. read. it. just read one or two chapters and try to stop. I kinda dare you.
By the way, I’m finishing (in a day or two maybe) a drawing/paint (?) of Kate and Curran and intent to mail it to you guys, Does your mail has spam blockers to attached files? I just want it to reach ok.
Thanks for the rec, I’m going to start the series tomorrow!
Bridget Munch says
I love the Pax Arcana series too! Discovered via my library app shortly after the 2nd book came out. Love them all!
Deb in PA says
Not related to the post, but less than one week to go! So excited!!!!!
I read all of them. Dark horse trilogy is amazing. My second favorite author
I devoured Michelle DIener’s Class 5 stories. The third Dark Minds is my favorite but they’re all great. Her current series, Sky Raiders, is also up in KU.
Recently found the Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic by Helen Harper, Slouch Witch and Star Witch were addictive. Can’t wait to see where the story goes in book 3.
Anything by Jenny Schwartz is an auto read, especially the Collegium and Old School series. Her recent unexpected “my muse won’t let me postpone this” SFR story, Her Robot Wolf, is a wild ride with compelling characters. The second story is trying to sneak its way into her publishing schedule.
Elizabeth Hunter was having difficulty finding the audience for her Cambio Springs mysteries so she put them in KU. Love them, a different mythos for shifters with more mature heros and heroines, can’t recommend them enough.
Mikayla Lane with her intertwined series of alien conspiracy stories in the first, second and third wave series.
Anna Hackett and her Galactic Gladiators and Hell Squad series.
Lindsay Buroker and her alter-ego Ruby LIonsdrake almost always put the new releases in KU for 3 months before releasing wide.
Celia Kyle writing as Erin Tate and her SFR Ujal series as well as other SFR series. I think most of her Celia Kyle stories are in KU.
KM Shea and her various fantasy series.
Emma Alisyn and her steam punk Dragon Stone and Steam series.
Rosalind James has most if not all of her series, Escape to New Zealand, Paradise Idaho, Portland Devils in KU.
Ella Summers’ Legion of Angels.
Laura Jo Phillips, KF Breene, Ruby Dixon, Audrey Faye, Sandra Harris, Vi Voxley and others that I’m not thinking of at the moment.
Will have to troll through the other comments for stories and authors I haven’t yet discovered.
If you don’t mind something more serious you can try Will Wight’s Unsouled series and his Traveler’s Gate Trilogy, they are on KU which is how I discovered him, but I ended up buying his books.
Thank you for the suggested reading. I’ll be reading a lot of great books this summer!
Douglas C Meeks says
The best thing I have found on KU in months starts with “Death Becomes Her” and if you get as addicted as I have you have 17 books and several spin-offs all for FREE with your KU subscription. Mindless fun and seamlessly starts with vampires and werewolves and ends up as space battles and starships (and it really makes sense, it really is a science fiction series masquerading as paranormal, I love it). Get book 1 and you can decide NOTE: If you are OCD about editing, you might not survive, his editing got better as his money started rolling in and he hired better editors 🙂
Douglas C. Meeks
Amazon Top 500 VINE Reviewer, Goodreads Top 1% Reviewer, Reviewer for Paranormal Romance Guild, Wicked Scribes and Kindle Book Review
They are awsome, I own them all !!!!
KC Whimsy says
45 degree tangent but AMA!!! Squee!!
Can I think of a question that hadn’t been asked 10 times already? /ponders
I really enjoyed both the Diener and Kloos series–in fact, I’ve not only read the books, but listened to the audios, as well. (Luke Daniels narrates the Kloos series and he’s fantastic.) I wasn’t familiar with Stewart, but will have to check out it out.
I’ve also read many of the other books/authors recommended in the comments, but there are also some new ones (to me) there, as well. It’s interesting how similar your readers’ tastes are!
Re the AMA: Can anyone ask a question or do you have to be a registered Redditor? I’ve enjoyed reading many of the AMAs over the years, but have never actually participated so I’m ignorant of the process. Thx.
BTW, thank you for the Wildfire countdown clock! I’m almost finished with the White Hot audio book (I read the book first) so I’ll be ready to jump right in. 😀
Nathan Lowell is also a great KU author. I especially like the Quarter Share, Half Share … series, but I’ve read everything he has on KU and liked them all.
I love these — and the Tanith Fairport series as well. A million thanks to Ilona and company for Star Mage (loved it) and now Dark Horse. I am sending the Kloos to my DH who counts on me for new reading!!
Love these recs! Started reading Glynn Stewart’s series yesterday and already partway through Book #2. Should tide me over until Wildfire comes out next week. THANKS! (Random aside – I also like Melissa F. Olson and Rachel Aaron as a KU fantasy authors).
The class 5 series is a yearly re-read for me. I enjoyed and am still enjoying it immensely.
Thanks for the other recs
Richard Cartwright says
I would also recommend for hard SF, Mark Wandry Four Horseman books and Terry Mixons Empire of Bones.
If you like cozy mysteries, Elise Hyatt’s Daring Finds murder mysteries are set in the same universe as Sara A Hoyt’s shifter books, which is not as bad as it sounds, as Hyatt is one of Sarah’s pen names.
Amie Gibbons has a hilarious series in the Psychic for Sale books as does Amanda S Green’s Eerie Side of the Tracks. Amanda also has several other series in SF and fantasy and they are all good.
DeeAnn fuchs says
I have not read the first 2 books but loved the Michelle Diener series. Thanks for the tips!
Thanks for the recommendation! I pickup up Dark Horse and I’m really enjoying the series!
Helen Harper – Highland Magic series, all on KU.
Fun read. Different twist to magic gift.
Thank you for the recommends. Gives me something to read while I wait for your books to come out. I tried Devon Monk on your recommendation, and really enjoyed the Oridinary Magic Series.
I tried Devon Monk after the recommendation here as well. I love her work and have bought almost everything that she has out. I have 1 series left to pick up.
Thank you for the recommendations. I tried “Dark Horse” and liked it enough to read the trilogy. Thank you for introducing me to something new.
Maybe a dumb question but this genre/style is considered what exactly. Ilona recommended rachel aaron/bach awhile back and I LOVED it by I couldn’t figure out any other books that would be kind of same story style that I would like. I need some type of romance in it female leads would be awesome too. Thanks and hopefully someone in our Hoarde knows what I mean??