Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for March 15, 2024

Reading Time: 10 minutes
Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for March 15, 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].

But before we get into our five picks, you should also know that there’s a big promotion going on today and tomorrow with some of biggest names in indie sci-fi: 100 free sci-fi books available on Amazon and lots of other book sellers, including Apple and Barnes & Noble, curated by C. Gockel. Who, herself, has been on our Free Friday list more than once.  Sub genres include adventure, alien invasion, colonization, crime and mystery, cyberpunk, dystopian, first contact, galactic empire, humor, military, post-apocalyptic, short story anthologies, space opera, and time travel. Check out Gockel’s full list here.

Now, onto our books!

5. Wellsville by L.C. Scott

This is a standalone young adult, dystopian, slow-burn romance novel. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From Maria Korolov:

I have to say right up front that I’m not the target audience for this book. I can tell form the worlds “dystopian,” “young adult” and “romance.” Also, “slow-burn.” I’m old, and have no patience these days for the young’uns and their romantic dramas. And, what with a real-life dystopia descending onto us from multiple directions, I’m looking for something a little less… realistic… in my escapist reading.

But hey, you never know!

The book begins in a schoolyard during recess. But instead of being loud and full of activity, all the kids are passed out on the ground. The only one still awake is Colby, who worries that he’s somehow going to be blamed for everything. He’s still awake because he was somehow protected.

It starts to rain, and he carries one of the girls inside. The pretty one he’s got a crush on.

Inside the school, there are more students passed out. Teachers, office ladies — everyone is out cold. Except there’s a sound from the library. Is there someone awake there? It’s one of the other students, Priya. And yes, she thinks that Colby is responsible for what happened.

In the next chapter, we seem to be back in time. Priya is at work, serving coffee. Colby’s pretty crush is there, too. Priya’s been having nightmares about shadowy figures looming over her, and she tells her friend. Colby walks by, too, and the pretty girl waves at him. Then Priya’s at school, and she’s having trouble staying awake. And the nightmares come back. Priya’s pretty friend suggests she go take a nap in the library. So she does that. She finds a quiet corner, but when she falls asleep, the nightmares come back again. When she wakes up, it’s quiet. Too quiet. She walks back through the stacks and discovers that everyone is out cold. And sees Colby carrying in the pretty girl. She immediately suspects him of the worst.

Then we meet a third kid, Liam. A computer nerd who’s been getting a weird message with a particular date and time — and a warning to “eat frangipanis for protection.” So he’s been eating frangipanis, just in case. Apparently, they’re a type of flower. I always though they were a type of pastry. I Googled it, and it is, in fact, a type of flowering shrub, also known as plumeria. Well, learn something new every day…

Then Liam goes to the computer lab, where he copies some files over from floppy disks. Yes, floppy disks. Judging by this, and other clues, we’re in the past here. The World Wide Web is still a new thing. Colby finds Liam in the lab, they argue about personal stuff, and Colby sees the warning about eating frangipanis. As the clock ticks down to the deadline, Colby gives in and eats one of the flowers. When nothing seems to happen at the appointed time, he leaves, and Liam stays in the computer lab by himself. A few minutes later, Liam gets another message over the computer — it’s telling him to stay hidden, follow the conscious, and find the island. Then Liam leaves the lab — and discovers that everyone is passed out. He tries to wake people up but can’t, then hears noises from the library.

It’s definitely a promising start, but, like I said at the beginning of this review, I’m not a fan of this particular genre. Also, none of the main characters really grab me so far, so I don’t think I’ll be sticking with the book.

But I think people who like Stranger Things might enjoy this. Also, there are hints that people never leave this town, which indicates bigger mysteries. And I cheated and read the book’s description, and the story might not be set in the past after all. That all sounds very intriguing. I might stick with it for a few more chapters, see what happens next.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

4. Loving Captivity by RK Munin

This is first of six books in the Human Pets of Talin enemies-to-lovers romance series. The other books are $3.99 and in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s third time on our Free Friday list. We reviewed this book in Dec. 2021, and Buying Tiran in Feb. 2022.

From Maria Korolov:

Right off the bat, I’m predisposed to hate the book. I hate the 90’s-style font outlines on the cover and that naked male chest is a turn-off. And from the subtitle, it looks like this is going to be a book about people kept as sexual slaves by aliens. I know that this is a thing for some people — many people, judging that I’ve seen these books more than once on the best-seller lists! — but it’s not my thing.

Searin is the alien, and he buys Sora, a human, at a slave auction. She’s spent the previous ten years with an abusive master, after being sold into slavery at age 16.

It starts out with Sora at the auction house. She doesn’t have any particular skills, and still has bruises on her body from her former master. Nobody wants to buy her, and a brothel owner is eyeing her and waiting for the price to drop so he can snap her up cheap and work her to death.

Then we switch to Searin’s point of view. He likes cuddling with his friend’s human pet. He doesn’t have a human of his own. His mother does, but she kept him away from them. His friend comes back from work early and suggests that Searin get his own pet human.

The story is very readable, but I’m a little creeped out by the whole premise.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

3. Curse of the Dragon’s Eye by Eoghan R. Cunningham

This is the first of five books in The Crystalline Dragons Saga fantasy adventure series. The other books are $4.99 each and are in Kindle Unlimited, though books three through five haven’t been published yet. They are due out this April, May, and June and are available for pre-order. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From E.S. Foster:

The story takes place in the world of Udalara, following a young man named Dusk, who has been working as a slave laborer deep in the salt mines for nearly ten years. Once the ten years are up, Dusk must look forward to being enslaved somewhere else. Until then, he’s forced to train his replacement, a cocky young boy labeled Nine.

As Dusk teaches Nine how to keep his head down and survive, they eventually stumble across a mysterious cavern during their excavations. Inside, they discover the skeleton of a dragon from thousands of years ago. Ever since their extinction, the world of Udalara had been without dragons and the magic associated with them. But while exploring the remains, Dusk steals a shining gem hidden deep within the dragon’s eye, thinking it could buy his way to freedom. But when Dusk touches the gem, it fuses to his skin, bringing magic back to the world and offering him a chance to escape. Now Dusk has the power to spit fire from his hands, but it all comes with a price. Dusk plans to escape Udalara to be free once and for all. He just needs to escape the mysterious forces that are coming for him now that a dragon’s magic has returned.

I’m a huge fan of epic fantasy, so I immediately jumped into this story, eager to learn everything about the world. I loved that we learn a little bit about the world, but the beginning chapters aren’t overloaded with exposition. Getting into Dusk’s head revealed a hopelessness and desperation that made his finding the gem even more exciting. I honestly wanted to keep reading after getting to that part!

So if you’re a fan of epic fantasy with a rich world and plenty of adventure, be sure to check out this series.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

2. Fire on the Mountain by Saul Tanpepper

This is the first of four books in Scorched Earth climate disaster survival series. The other books are $4.99 each and are not in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s second time on our Free Friday list. We reviewed Contain in April 2023.

From Tim McHugh:

This book is a survival story about an army veteran and convicted murderer, who meets up with a young girl to try to survive an environmental cataclysm. This is not the usual book I would read — all the fantasy books on this list were already taken — but who doesn’t love an apocalyptic thriller?

The story begins with the convict, Zander, preparing for a parole hearing. There are gangs of killers all locked up in a sweltering furnace of a prison as the heat breaks down their cooling systems. Naturally, a riot breaks out, and though Zander does not partake, we glimpse the reason for the coming cataclysm.

Zander eventually makes it to his parole hearing, where we meet his brother and learn all about his past and their family dynamics. Zander is desperately clinging to his innocence while everyone around him has seemingly given up on him. Before the parole hearing ends they are interrupted by news of a wildfire spreading near the prison, which promises to be our inciting incident.

I stopped reading here.

This author is clearly a professional writer who knows how to set up a plot, but my biggest problem with the writing was the info dumps. It felt like there were pages at a time of backstory that pulled me right out of the plot. I won’t say this is a bad thing because I know some people like info dumps. Some people like to know exactly what is happening and want to be caught up, but I prefer to be in the dark and learn as we go. I feel info dumps just take away the tension and the mystery.

Besides that one complaint and a few corny metaphors about matches and tinderboxes, I do think this author is good. He is clearly setting up some complicated relationships, and a plot that has the potential to go anywhere. I am not going to continue this book just because it’s not my preferred style or genre, but if it checks your boxes, it’s definitely worth a read.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

1. Colony One by Tarah Benner

This is the first of five books in The Elderon Chronicles science fiction adventure series. The other books are $4.99 to $5.99 each and are not in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s second time on our Free Friday list.

From N.T. Narbutovskih:

This is a gritty near-future action story for fans of Jim Butcher and Michael Z. Williamson. A former soldier named Jonah Wyatt takes a gamble in the Space Force, where he is hired to lead a crack team of space commandos. Except they’re really a group of computer specialists and white-hat hackers, with an investigative journalist thrown in for good measure. So his last chance at a successful military career looks more like banishment, even though they’re stationed on Elderon, the first human colony.

But one of the team members gets an anonymous tip that there’s something wrong with life on the colony, and just as she starts digging up dirt, Jonah finds evidence of impending sabotage. It looks like his banishment to the station is going to get interesting.

Full of information technology and noir-esque language, Tarah Benner pens a fast-paced tale of espionage and intrigue with more than a small share of action. Her characters, while each an individual, evoke a sense of the pain of reality without wallowing in self-pity, and while her dialogue is short and choppy, it meshes seamlessly with the cyberpunk vibe of her narration. The worldbuilding is strong; she manages to bring the flavor of iconic modern locations like New York into entirely believable versions of them in the future. From Russian oligarchs and cyber-attacks to reliance on digital currency, this book paints a believable and compelling picture of the way the world might be.

If you enjoy fast-paced thrillers and cyberpunk flair, then you’ll enjoy diving into Colony 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 and E.S. discuss all five books in the video below:


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.

N.T. Narbutovskih is a bestselling author and writes in the tech and security fields. His work has appeared in Metastellar, Air and Space Power Journal and Over the Horizon Journal for both fiction and non-fiction, and he has spoken on leadership and geopolitics at the USAF Squadron Officer School and NavyCON. His first book, Steel in the Blood, has received rave reviews and is available now wherever books are sold. Join his mailing list for exclusive early access and an opportunity to pre-order his next book at

Tim is an aspiring young author in the sci-fi and fantasy genre. He currently works full time in the software industry but has a love for stories with grey characters and moral ambiguity that tell us something about the world.

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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