Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for July 5, 2024

Reading Time: 9 minutes
Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for July 5, 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 Merman King’s Bride by Mona Black

This is the first of three books in the Cursed Fae Kings romantic fantasy series. The other books are $4.99 each, and are not in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From E.S. Foster:

The story begins with Selina, a princess who lives with multiple extended family members in court. One of her distant cousins was recently struck down with a fae disease, something that Selina feels guilty about. She and her cousin had gone to pick flowers in a faerie part of the woods, which the faeries clearly didn’t like. Why Selina didn’t get sick, she has no idea.

Unfortunately, she has to go back to the woods that night because she left behind a special trinket from one of her suitors. Her family is really pushing for this marriage to work, but Selina isn’t sure she likes the man she’s going to have to marry.

When she returns to the lake, she spots someone sitting on a rock on the shore. Not only is he a merman, but he’s also holding her pendant, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to give it back.

Selina tries to get the pendant back while being distracted by the merman. They engage in some back and forth, and at one point the merman insists that she’s not really a princess. He explains that only a princess can break his curse and allow him to go back to his world. But the curse just has to be broken with a kiss.

Selina is persuaded to kiss him, but she breaks away before anything else can happen and leaves without the pendant. However, she feels drawn to the lake again, especially since she isn’t in love with her betrothed.

I’m generally not a fan of romance, so this made for an interesting read. I definitely would not have gone to all that trouble for a pendant. However, the prose is clear and simple, which makes it easy to read through and get invested in the story. If you are looking for a quick and romantic weekend read, check this series out.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

4. Savage by Stan C. Smith

This is a standalone novel related to the three-book Diffusion sci-fi adventure series. The other books are $3.99 to $4.99 each, but are all in Kindle Unlimited. The author has been on our Free Friday list before.

From Maria Korolov:

The book starts in 1868, the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of New Guinea. It’s a diary, written by a naturalist named Samuel, who plans to study the island’s animals and insects. He’s got a Malay lieutenant and a soldier assigned to him to help with his mission, plus a servant who’s going to be joining him a little later.

On his way to New Guinea, Samuel’s voyage took him through Singapore, where he picked up a large collection of trade goods, items that he thought would be interesting to the indigenous inhabitants of the island — knives, cloth, threat, tobacco, and rum.

He lands successfully, isn’t eaten right away, gives out his gifts, and hires three locals to build a house for him and help him hunt and gather his specimens. He’s going to stay there for three years, which is when the next scheduled ship will arrive, other that the ship that will come a month later with his servant.

Over the course of the next few days, he, the three local assistants, and the two soldiers, build a house for him and then accompany him on his trips into the forest to gather his specimens.

When he goes into the forest to gather specimens, the two soldiers stay behind to guard his house and what he’s collected so far.

One day, when he returns, the soldiers are gone. The villagers say that they left with some local traders. But there are two new skulls in the chief’s hut, and they look suspiciously fresh.

Then the ship with his servant on it arrives. You’d think Samuel would get on it and sail away as fast as possible but no, he decides to stay, now with his servant to help him.

The book is very slow and told in a very old-fashioned style. It reminds me of Robinson Crusoe or the adventure books by Maine Reid. I used to be a big fan of those books when I was a kid. I don’t think I’ll be sticking with it.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

3. Twilight Phantasies by Maggie Shayne

This is the first of 19 books in the Wings in the Night urban fantasy series. The other books are $2.99 to $4.99 each, but are all in Kindle Unlimited. Here’s the link to the second part of the Wings in the Night series. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From Lilivette Domínguez-Torres:

This book is about a vampire, Eric, and a human girl, Tamara. Throughout the first few chapters of the story, we get to see how Eric’s life changed the day he was turned into a vampire by a strange man that knew him all his life. This change saved him from being beheaded.

After that, we jump to the future where we get to meet Tamara, the girl Eric has a connection with. Tamara has been plagued by nightmares all of her life, and every night she longs for Eric—though she doesn’t know it’s him because she never remembers her dreams. One night, she decides to sneak out to the skating rink and ends up meeting Eric. They have a very close encounter with each other until one of Tamara’s guardians catches her talking to that looming strange man.

From my point of view, the beginning of this story is an interesting setting for an enemies to lovers romance but I feel like it’s a little rushed. Plus, I couldn’t really tell if this was set in the present world or in the 1990’s because the way everyone speaks is so informally—even in the flashback from Eric’s transformation. All in all, I’m not a fan of the writing or the pacing and even though I’m interested in the connection there is between Tamara and Eric, I’m not interested enough to continue reading. Yet I still recommend it to all fans of some good enemies-to-lovers vampire stories.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

2. Hymn of the Ancients by Evan Pickering

This is the first of three books in the Hymn of the Ancients epic fantasy series. The other two books are $4.99 and $5.99 each and are not in Kindle Unlimited. The third book isn’t out yet but is scheduled to be released in September and is available for pre-order. The author has been on our Free Friday list before.

From E.S. Foster:

The prologue introduces us to an old monk praying in the middle of a storm. A stranger appears seeking shelter, and the monk guesses that this person is half-orc. He also realizes that this stranger possesses deeply powerful magic, something that everyone thought the gods had taken away from everyone. Before the monk can figure out who this stranger is, the stranger disappears, leaving a mysterious book behind.

The story then cuts to Leo. Leo used to be nobility, but he gave all that up to travel the world. He’s an excavator, someone whose job involves discovering and cataloging Ancients. These old relics are scattered throughout the world, but right now, Leo isn’t having much luck finding anything.

As he searches for relics, a group of knights find him and inform him that he must appear in court for his crimes. According to them, the relics he recently discovered had no right to be taken away.
Three months later, we begin seeing things from Kaejic’s perspective. He’s just led an army of orcs against the humans, taking one of them prisoner in the process. It turns out that this army of humans once enslaved Kaejic’s people, so this is his revenge.

He forces the prisoner to fight against him to the death. As the prisoner dies, it’s revealed that this is Leo’s father. Kaejic plans to hunt down Leo next because once the nobility is out of the way, he and his people can finally return home safely.

So I’m a huge fan of epic fantasy. I was excited to get into this story with all of the information about gods, churches, armies, and people. I also really liked the idea of someone’s job being to search for fantasy relics because it shows how much time has passed in this world and adds depth to it. The beginning is pretty slow since there are multiple POVs and a prologue, but if you enjoy epic fantasy, I recommend you try this one!

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

1. Forsaken Commander by G J Ogden

This is the first of ten books in The Aternien Wars space opera series. The other books are $3.99 each, but are all in Kindle Unlimited. Several books are on sale today for $0.99, and books seven through ten will be released later this year but are available for preorder. The author has been on our Free Friday list before.

From Maria Korolov:

I love love love books with spaceships on the cover. When I see a spaceship, I know that there will be space battles, lots of action, and little or no romance. Since I always prefer violence and mayhem to love — yes, that includes my personal life and yes, I’m seeing a therapist, why do you ask? — I jumped at the opportunity to take this one.

The premise here is that we’re in the far future. Humanity is a space-faring species and has split into one factions. The bad guys are immortal because they’ve augmented themselves in illegal ways and have a creepy dictatorship set up somewhere in unknown territory. There have been wars between the two groups before, but the last one was decades ago and the good guys though they won and beat their swords into plowshares. Or, more exactly, they outlawed super-smart AIs and the technology that makes humans immortal, destroyed their war ships, shipped their augmented soldiers off into retirement, and settled in for a nice, peaceful existence.

Well, now the bad guys are back.

Carter, our protagonist, is one of those augmented soldiers that humanity tried to wash their hands off — and now they need him again.

He’s super strong, had super healing, lives forever, practically, and has been living the life of a recluse way out on a world in the middle of nowhere, hunting wild pigs for fun and food.

He doesn’t want to come back into service, though if I were him, I’d jump at the chance. His life seems really horrible, and all the locals hate him because he’s augmented and doesn’t age like they do.

We first meet him when he’s hunting one of those hogs. A captain from Union Intelligence has come out to try to talk him into coming back. She winds up having to go into the wilderness alone and almost dies due to poisonous local plant life and a deadly man-eating hog. Carter patches her up they go to a local bar for drinks, where she fills him in on what happened to the rest of the augmented soldiers. A handful are still alive. Some died in random accidents. Most committed suicide.

Some of the locals pick a fight, which doesn’t go well for them. You’d think by now they’d know better than to take on an augmented soldier with nothing but some pool cues. Carter and the captain quickly dispatch them. He’s not quite ready to sign back up, but he agrees to go talk the admiral.

I like the premise, and I like Carter. I have my doubts about the captain. If she’s supposed to be in intelligence, she’s not very good at it, if she went into the wilderness completely unprepared. Or was it a ploy, to force Carter into being a hero and save her, to bring his old training back? I guess I’ll find out soon enough, because I plan to keep reading.

I fully expect to read the rest of this series, too.

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!

Or watch Emma and Maria discuss all five books in the video below!

YouTube player

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.

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.

Lilivette Domínguez-Torres is MetaStellar's marketing assistant and an aspiring book editor based in Puerto Rico. You can find her talking about fantasy books or K-dramas on Twitter at @lilivettedt.

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