Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Feb. 23, 2024

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for Feb. 23, 2024

Did you know that Amazon has a list of the top-selling and free sci-fi and fantasy books? The list changes constantly — authors and publishers set their books to free temporarily to promote their work, and, of course, books move up and down in the rankings. Read on to find your fun free read for this weekend! And grab the books quickly because they don’t always stay free for long.

This week’s list is completely different from those of the previous weeks. So if you’re a fan of free books, there are going to be new things to read all the time. If you want to get this list in your inbox every Friday afternoon, subscribe to the MetaStellar weekly newsletter.

There are a lot of books to go through, so this week I’m being helped out by a couple of other members of our MetaStellar community. If you’d like to join me in doing these reviews — and taping our regular Free Friday videos — email me at [email protected].

5. The Merging by John P. Logsdon and Christoper P. Young

This is the first of seven books in the Las Vegas Paranormal Police Department: Unleashed paranormal fantasy action series. The other books are $4.99 each and are all in Kindle Unlimited. We previously reviewed this book in August of 2021.

From Kristin Noland:

Ian Dex is the chief of the Las Vegas Paranormal Police Department. The department tries to keep humans from knowing anything about the paranormal creatures that stalk the city. Ian has multiple supernatural abilities that vampires, werewolves, and other supernaturals have, and the department employs mages to help them capture and detain those that break the supernatural laws.

Enter the Ubernaturals. The first Ubernatural we meet is a werewolf that attacks Ian and his mage partner Rachael while they are trying to detain a vampire. The werewolf’s power and strength are not what they are used to, and while they are chasing him, a call comes in about a super strong vampire tearing through the Strip.

I was really excited about this book. It starts with a vampire chase. But then the book took a turn I didn’t expect when emphasis was placed on the sexuality of the main character and his female coworkers.

Ian comes off as a character driven by sex and violence. His internal thoughts about the women around him come across as chauvinistic. He describes all the female characters mentioned as sexy, and even the female AI voice flirts with him. The only thing I like about him is his snarky humor.

With the importance placed on sexuality, I imagine there will be some sex scenes, yet the description mentions nothing about this, nor are there any trigger warnings, so I can’t be sure.

I will not be continuing with this novel.

Men who enjoy urban paranormal fantasy with guns, fast cars, and two-dimensional characters may like this book.

From Amira Loutfi:

Ohh — a Las Vegas paranormal police department book… sounds promising.

There are 45 novels total in this universe and it spans across North America, Europe, and Asia. You can read more about it on John Logsdon’s website.

The website promises tons of fast-paced, high-action, hilarious adventures.


The protagonist works for the Las Vegas Paranormal Police Department, and is magical, but not a vampire or werewolf. He is an amalgamate — meaning he’s got a mishmash of magical abilities. He thinks he might be the only one, and he assumes that he will gradually discover more random powers.

On page one, he is chasing a rogue vampire through the city with his steamy, hot partner, Rachel. He’s super into her. The banter is great if you’re into it. And the chase scene is fascinating. Police dramas always are. Rachel and the protagonist say that because nobody saw the vampire bite anyone, he would only get “a few years” and then maybe rehab.

The world is fascinating. The action of the three chapters anyway is exciting. No spoilers. Just know that it was riveting.

I’m into it. I’ll be back.

If you are into paranormal anything at all or police thrillers, I highly recommend this one.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

4. Mantalantis by Ross Hughes

This is a stand-alone underwater fantasy book, and this is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From Terrence Smith:

This book takes place in an underwater city on the back of a giant Manta Ray, but it throws so much detail at the reader, it is hard to decipher what is really going on at first. The city has underwater elements, but the city is not submerged in the water. It is concealed in a giant dome, something like the underwater city of Otoh Gunga from the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The city is colorful and detailed, in fact, too colorful and detailed. It makes it more difficult to tell the characters apart, because your brain is trying to paint a picture of the world, that it distracts from the character action.

The primary protagonist of this story is Louis, son of the ruler of Mantalantis. He is a young man, who likes to play things fast and loose, not yet fully embracing the responsibilities of his position. He had better do so soon, though, since the city is in turmoil. The waters are becoming less drinkable, and food is becoming scarcer, leading to starvation and angry protests. Ghosts are starting to appear more frequently in the city as well, further hinting that something deeper is amiss.

At first glance, Mantalantis will remind someone easily of the underwater city of Atlantis, and bring to mind Poseidon, the Greek God of the Seas. The mythology parallels go a bit deeper than that. A brash son of a ruler in an isolated city roamed by listless spirits brings to mind the video game Hades, which won a Hugo Award in 2023.

Those who love Hades may find appeal in this story. However, it throws too much at the reader too fast, making it a frustrating read to get into. This will be sitting on my digital shelf for the time being.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

3. The Scarlet Thread by D.S. Murphy

This is the first of five books in Fated Destruction dark fantasy romance series. The other books range from $0.99 and $3.99 and are in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From E.S. Foster:

The story begins with a mysterious old woman hobbling down a suburban street, but it’s clear she’s from another realm. She possesses great batlike wings on her back, and when she reaches a specific house, she splits into three. These three sisters proceed to enter the house, where they find a baby. They perform a ritual to gift her with their magic. This child is fated to battle a mysterious antagonist and “restore the balance,” something the three sisters will soon be incapable of doing as the antagonist’s power grows.

So begins the journey of Kaidance, who wakes up in a ruined and corrupt juvenile institution in the present. She’s been trapped there for nearly a decade after being convicted of the murder of her younger brother. But it wasn’t her fault. The fact is, Kaidence can predict how and when someone will die, seeing all of it in her mind, after a single touch.

Kaidence is rescued from the institution on her eighteenth birthday, thanks to the help of the mysterious Sitri. When Sitri brings her to a mansion to help her train her powers, Kaidence is thrown into a world of angels, demons, monsters, and more. But as Kaidence grows stronger, will she be ready for the betrayal and loss coming for her?

This story’s original premise fascinated me, and I was hooked from the beginning. There’s a balance of fantasy and the supernatural mixed with myth, three things that are incredibly fun to read on their own already. As the mystery built and Kaidence was forced to navigate a cruel world, I was sympathetic to her, and I wanted her to understand her powers.

If you enjoy a bit of the supernatural when you read fantasy and want to see tons of mythical creatures in your next read, I recommend this book.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

2. Demon’s Reign by David Estes and Ben Galley

This is the first of two books in The Bloodwood Saga epic progression fantasy series. Book two is $5.99 and in Kindle Unlimited. This is the authors’ first time on our Free Friday list.

From Maria Korolov:

Progression fantasy is when the protagonist goes up in levels, gaining experience, skills, and abilities. The Harry Potter series is one example of progression fantasy. More commonly, we see progression fantasy in LitRPG books, where the stories are set inside video games. There, the progression is more literal, with the protagonist literally seeing a counter of their experience points and other stats.

I do like progression fantasies. They are fun to read. It’s very satisfying to watch someone gaining skills and experience and being able to tackle bigger and bigger challenges.

This particular book opens with Joraxi struggling against the ropes around his wrists. He’s about to be executed, so he’s trying to convince his captors that it’s not a good day for a decapitation. There’s a haze in the sky — probably a bad omen.

Luckily, one of his executioners are, in fact, superstitious. But it’s not enough.

So, with his last words, he tries a different tack, proclaiming his innocence — and reminding his captors of the curse of killing an innocent man.

That doesn’t work, either. The sack goes over his head and one of the executioners starts reading him the last rites. Then heavy hands press down on his back, he hears the sound of a heavy blade being lifted — and then something happens. It causes the executioners to panic. Joraxi can’t see what’s going on, but eventually he’s able to free himself and see that a giant rock tower is collapsing and a slice of darkness is carving away at the sun. Juraxi panics as well and starts to run.

He passes his executioners and makes it back to his house. Everyone else in town is also panicking.

He’s spotted just before he makes it inside by some of his neighbors. They catch him and pin him to the ground. As he’s trying to explain that something is happening, a disk of heat passes above him, at about people’s shoulder-level, and kills everyone standing up. Juraxi’s clothes are on fire and he crawls to safety.

Then the air crackles and a giant hand with brimstone claws, made of charcoal, reaches out of the shadows and ash. Behind it are soulless eyes.

Then, in the next chapter, we jump back in time several hours, and to a different point of view. Also, we’re now in the first person.

Tarkosi’s job is to feed the birds up in the tree canopy, and he’s already lost three buckets by dropping them. If he loses one more bucket, he’ll be sent to the worst job imaginable — working in the louse-mines. He’s already on his sixteenth job in four seasons. Tarko thinks he should have been a magic-wielder, instead.

He’s about to be fired yet again when the sun grows dark and all the birds and animals around start to panic. Tarkosi wants to see, so instead of running like everyone else, he starts climbing up, higher than he’s ever been before, and he sees a dark void swallowing the sun.

I like Tarkosi and I’m enjoying the beginning of this book very much. I’ll probably stick with it this weekend.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

1. Traitor by Krista D. Ball

This is the first of four books in the Collaborator space opera series. The other books range from $0.99 to $4.99 and are not in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From Maria Korolov:

Space opera is one of my favorite genres. And space operas with female protagonists — even more so.

So I’m definitely the target audience of this book.

So, in this world, alien corpses have been discovered buried deep underground in Italy just as some weird swirls appear in the sky. Spaceships emerge. People panic, millions die. Then more aliens show up. Seems there are two different groups of aliens — the Coalition and the Federation, and they’re at war with each other. The Coalition wins the battle and subjugated all of Earth.

Then we jump ahead several years.

Rebecca used to live on Earth, where she worked at a research and development job in a secret weapons development center, but now she lives at the Jupier Luna Military Base. She’s plagued with nightmares because she’s become a collaborator. A traitor. She’d turned her back on her planet to save her own skin. Her girlfriend died in the fighting, which doesn’t help with the  nightmares.

Now that she’s on the station, her security clearance only allows her access to the public areas and her own worker’s wing. She hasn’t been able to talk to other humans.

Well, other humans from Earth, anyway. Seems that both groups of aliens were pretty much human as well — and they wanted Earth because of the genetic riches it offers.

She’s in one of the public areas, drinking tea with one of the aliens, contemplating killing herself, when six workers actually commit suicide in an act of protest while wearing flags and names of conquered planets. One of the protesters, before taking her own life, mouths “traitor” at Rebecca.

In the next chapter, we switch to the viewpoint of another person on Jupiter Station. Katherine, who’d been in the military police on Earth. Now she’s in disguise, on a mission to execute a con and prison break. We follow her as she successfully infiltrates the military leadership of the station.

I like Katherine. She’s competent and capable. She doesn’t fluster and she easily convinces everyone she is who she is pretending to be — one of the aliens, part of the Coalition, and in charge of rooting out problems.

Then, in the next chapter, we’re back with Rebecca. She’s reminiscing about her dead girlfriend. Her name was Kat. Oh — wait a second — is she Katherine? Are they the same person? Are we about to get a space opera with a lesbian love story?

I will definitely be sticking with this one.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

See all the Free Friday posts here. Do you have other free books for us to check out? Comment below or email me at [email protected].

Have you read any of these books? Are you planning to? Let us know in the comments!

And watch Maria, Terrence and Emma discuss all the books in the video below:

YouTube player

Kristin Noland is a developmental and line editor who works with women authors of speculative and crime fiction. At Noland Editing, she expertly guides authors through the writing and editing process to strengthen their storytelling skills, so their readers are entertained and immersed in their stories from cover to cover. With over seventy manuscripts edited, including two bestsellers, and her caring and encouraging editing style, she helps her clients create captivating novels. Follow her on YouTube at @KristinNoland.

MetaStellar editor and publisher Maria Korolov is a science fiction novelist, writing stories set in a future virtual world. And, during the day, she is an award-winning freelance technology journalist who covers artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and enterprise virtual reality. See her Amazon author page here and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and check out her latest videos on the Maria Korolov YouTube channel. Email her at [email protected]. She is also the editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business, one of the top global sites covering virtual reality.

Terrence J. Smith is MetaStellar's assistant fiction editor. He has contributed his writing to nonprofits and both print and digital publications. He enjoys all things technology, but remembers to meditate and appreciate the outside world.

MetaStellar reviews editor Amira Loutfi is an author and web designer. She is on a mission to craft excellent fantasy fiction that is inspired by late antiquity Arabia. You can join her monthly newsletter where she shares insider info, wips, and tons of cool stuff.

E. S. Foster is a writer and graduate student at the University of Cambridge. Her work has been featured in a variety of literary journals and small presses. You can find out more about her and what she does at her blog, E. S. Foster.

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