Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for March 8, 2024

Reading Time: 10 minutes
Free Friday: Today’s top free Amazon sci-fi and fantasy books for March 8, 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. Betrayal by Pippa DaCosta

This is the first of six books in The 1000 Revolution space opera series. The other books are $2.99 to $3.99 each and are not in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s second time on our Free Friday list.

From Maria Korolov:

I love space opera. And I love the book’s tag line — “She’s programmed to kill. He’ll do anything to survive.”

The book opens with 1001 — an android of some kind, I think — being interrogated by a doctor. The doctor wants to know why 1001 killed a man. It was the doctor who ordered the murder, after bypassing’s 1001’s failsafes, but 1001 can’t say who gave the order even though she wants to. Protocols.  The doctor smiles and starts writing out an order to have 1001 decommissioned.

So 1001 kills the doctor. After all, she doesn’t have any failsafes anymore. The doc turned them off. But before she can escape the building, alarms sound and suddenly her body crumbles. She’s paralyzed and quickly captured.

Then in the next chapter we meet Caleb. He’s a giant jerk who’s pissed at his second in command, Fran, for being hot, for being friendly with local authorities, with refusing to sleep with him. Oh, and he smuggles illegal cargo. They’re about to be boarded, when they finally get clearance and take off. It’s only after they’re on the move again when Fran tells him she let a passenger on board.

Then we switch back to 1001’s point of view. She’s on a ship, huddled in a hold, a stowaway. It’s getting cold. She can last a few hours before she risks total system failure. Then the captain comes in. Oh, it’s Caleb. She knows who he is — she looked him up before she broke into his ship. He was discharged from Fleet Command for misconduct, and is wanted in three star systems for piracy and smuggling.

He finds her, and can tell right away that she’s a synth. She begs to stay, promises not to kill him, and offers to pay her way.

In the next chapter, we switch back to Caleb’s point of view. He thinks that if he turns her in, the bounty would pay for a complete overhaul of his ship.

But things get worse. For both Caleb and Fran, and their ship, and for 1001. I’m not going to give away any more plot twists, but just know that this book has a lot of them. The action moves fast, is pretty gritty, Caleb just keeps doubling down on being a terrible human being, Fran turns out to be not too much better, and let’s not get started on that other passenger she brought on board. Only 1001 comes off as likeable. Normally I wouldn’t stick with a book with so many bad people in it, but I love the premise, I love the setting and the fast pace, and I’m curious to find out if 1001 is going to be able to get free of the evil corporation that created her.

I’m going to stick with this book.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

4. Inception by K.J. Gillenwater

This is the first of three books in The Genesis Machine sci-fi thriller series. The other books are $3.99 each and not in Kindle Unlimited. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From Melody Friedenthal:

I get irritated when books have not been copyedited with a fine-tooth comb.

The book starts with Petty Officer Ryan Ledbetter, who turns off his flashlight at the top of page two — but a few sentences later, his flashlight flickers out. Okay, I’m being picky. I’m a copyeditor, so sue me.

Moving on…

The action starts right away, with a huge ball of fire streaking overhead of where Ryan and his watch partner, Conlon, are standing guard in the rain. It crashes and Ryan uses his walkie-talkie to call HQ for emergency help. Then he and Conlon go to investigate. It’s not a plane, which was Ryan’s first assumption. In fact, the object is slimy. Ryan calls HQ again, but instead of describing this anomaly, he just asks for someone to be sent down. Sounds like Ryan has forgotten his military training.

The second chapter changes our location to California and the Defense Language Institute. Being fascinated by linguistics, my reaction to the novel so far has improved.

We meet Charlie Cutter, also a Petty Officer. She’s multi-lingual and has just been pulled out of her daily lap swim to be taken to DLI HQ for new orders: a reassignment, even before graduation, to the Naval Criminal Investigative Services unit. She’s not happy. She thinks her father, who works at the NSA, has pulled strings. He hasn’t.

Charlie is directed to a super-secure facility where she meets her new team, not all of whom are pleased to see her. She’s determined to prove herself.

Then Charlie finds out her new crew investigates extraterrestrial activity. She thinks they’re pulling her leg.

So, we’ve got a mysterious crash of an UFO likely involving aliens, a brilliant linguist with a chip on her shoulder, and a top-secret mission. Okay, I’m game. This is intriguing.

I’ll be reading the rest of the book this afternoon.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

3. Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner

This is the first of four books in Curse of Clansmen and 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:

Set in Britannia during the Roman occupation in AD 24, the story opens with Catrin, a princess and daughter of King Amren. He’s one of the kings designated to power by the Roman occupiers. Princess Catrin has been plagued by dreams of a bleeding, skull-shaped moon. She’s been trained to wield weapons in war, though her hope is to become a Druidess, something her father forbids.

It’s clear, however, that Catrin has some sort of magical connection to the world because a huge black raven acts as her physical and spiritual guide as she trains. Catrin is even able to see through the raven’s eyes as it flies overhead. One day while guarding the Britannic coast with her sister, Catrin and her raven spot a fleet of warships appearing along the horizon. Her half-brother, Marrock, who was banished several years ago, has returned with a vengeance. But just before Catrin can alert anyone, she’s pulled through a magic portal, but this portal only sends her back to where she was just standing. It’s not immediately clear what happened other than there’s magic at work. Nobody, including her sister Mor, believes her, but a war fleet does, in fact, appear along the coast. Unfortunately, it’s the Romans, and they only recognize Marrock as king.

Catrin eventually discovers that she and Marrock are two parts to an ancient curse cast by a Druidess long ago, and now that she’s been trained to wield a blade, Catrin needs to figure out how to keep her family safe from herself and Marrock.

I haven’t read too much historical fantasy, but I love the idea of a protagonist engaged in avoiding a potentially self-fulfilling prophecy. Additionally, combining this idea with ancient Celtic history and mythology sounds amazing. I also enjoyed Catrin’s bravery and how she kind of sticks out from the rest of her family. It’s clear that she’ll be doing a lot of self-exploration and finding her place as the series progresses.

If you enjoy fantastical history with a touch of romance, I recommend giving this series a try.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

2. Falling in Love with My Vampire Cat by Camilla Evergreen

This is the first of three books in That’s (Para)Normal paranormal romance series. Book two is $4.99 and in Kindle Unlimited. Book three is available for pre-order at $4.99. This is the author’s first time on our Free Friday list.

From Maria Korolov:

I love cozy magical mysteries, so I jumped at the chance to review this book. I’m exactly the target audience for it.

And I’m hooked right from the trigger warnings page. The author says: “This book is if cottagecore and fantasycore had a tiny, silly baby. Do not read this book if you are expecting, angst, action, or sparkly skin.” She also warns that the book includes “mentions of sex” and notable tropes include “the chosen one” — because the protagonist is chosen by a cat.

Now these are the kinds of trigger warnings I can get behind.

When the book opens, Willon is sitting on a window seat, holding an epic fantasy novel, and hating on real-life humans. Even children. She also hates children. Fortunately, she lives in a cottage that she inherited from her grandmother, surrounded by woods and chickens and garden beds. But she has to go to a store for groceries. She lives within walking distance of town, which is filled with people — and children home on summer vacation. The horrors!

As soon as she gets there, she finds three young rapscallions torturing a cat and chases them off. The cat scratches her, but then decides she’s okay and climbs into her shopping basket. It jumps out before she walks into the grocery store — then follows her around as she shops and then follows her home. As she opens the door, the cats stops at the door sill. She invites it in.

And even though nothing much happens in this chapter, I love it. It was cozy, and cute and Willow is the perfect sarcastic, book-loving cynic that I’d want in my life.

Then we jump ahead five years.

Willow wakes up in pain, bleeding, with a fanged vampire leaning over her, promising to save her life and get revenge on whoever did this to her. Is it a dream? A nightmare? Is her cat actually a vampire in disguize?

Then she wakes up and everything is normal. No signs of blood. But. She’s wearing a different nightgown. The cat isn’t standing on her chest like it usually does to wake her up. And she smells food — someone is cooking in her kitchen.

So she does the rational thing and makes for the window. She also plans to flee to Florida and find a therapist who can diagnose her with reading too much shifter romance.

Then the guy who was in the kitchen comes in. He’s a very sexy vampire, and he’s wearing her frilly white apron. And he tells her she should eat before going anywhere because she’s still recovering. Seems that she was attacked the night before, and to save her life, and keep her safe in the future, he made her into his thrall. Oh, and the reason that a monster attacked her the night before was because she has a higher than normal amount of fae ancestry. And he’s her cat and has been living in her house and watching her shower for the past five years.

Oh, and he’s more than seventeen hundred years old.

She calls him an ancient pervert who tricks young women into doing his bidding. She’s not wrong. She tells him she wants nothing to do with him, and that she wants to mourn the loss of her cat in peace.

The next day she wakes up alone and wonders if there’s some form of government or witch lawyers she can turn to for help against free-loading pervert vampires. Good for her.

And then she finds the vampire is still in her kitchen. He tells her he’s loved her from the instant she saved his life. And … oh, no… she might be giving in and letting him stay! Because she realizes that she’s going to live forever in return.

I don’t like this. I was really hoping that she’d kick him out and find that witch council or whatever it might be and file a restraining order against him.

I don’t think I’ll stick with this book. I should have paid closer attention to the rest of that trigger warning, which includes forced proximity, enemies to lovers, and soul mates. I really hate all those tropes.

But if you happen to be a fan of those, and are looking for a very funny book with a sarcastic, funny protagonist, check it out.

Get the Kindle ebook free from Amazon here.

1. Winter Homestead by Colton Lively

This is a stand-alone post-apocalypse EMP thriller. This is not the first time the author has been on our Free Friday list. We reviewed The Green Brook Homestead, Desolation’s DiaryThe Renbrook Homestead, The Grid’s Collapse — all of which are also EMP survival thrillers.

From Alex Korolov:

This post-apocalyptic book is about an EMP — electromagnetic pulse. EMPs knock out electronic devices, including power in houses, cellphones, computers, and modern vehicles. The results usually create a lot of chaos in these types of stories.

In the first chapter, we meet Chelsea, a 28-year-old wife and mother who lives in a small city just north of Chicago. Her husband Henry manages a hardware store near their house.

We get a bunch of Chelsea’s backstory, learning that her house is on a half acre of land, that she takes care of chickens, and she has a dog who’s about to give birth to puppies. Chelsea also has a ten-year-old son named James.

In the second chapter, the puppies are born. Also, a news broadcast comes in. We learn that America has been fighting battles with Russia and that Russia has placed some suspicious satellites in orbit. Chelsea’s husband comes home from work at the end of the chapter.

Then, in the next chapter, we learn that the couple is still very much in love, and they talk about how the war with Russia might be ramping up. Henry suggests they go away this weekend to a hunting cabin they own and make sure it’s stocked up with emergency supplies.

I skimmed through a couple more chapters, but nothing too dramatic or EMP-related happens until several chapters later.

This book definitely has a slow roll to it. A lot of EMP stories get to the action within the first few pages. I like a lot of excitement in my post-apocalyptic fiction, so I won’t keep reading 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!

Or watch Maria and Emma discuss all five 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.

Melody Friedenthal is a librarian at a public library and a copyeditor for MetaStellar. In her spare time she's the chief bottle-washer for To Tell A Tale Writers' Group and is an affiliate member of the SFWA. Her work has been published in Tales From Shelf 804: an anthology, N3F, Bardsy, MetaStellar, and New Myths. She believes writing is a gateway drug, alpacas are cute, and dark chocolate is heaven.

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.

MetaStellar news editor Alex Korolov is also a freelance technology writer who covers AI, cybersecurity, and enterprise virtual reality. His stories have also been published at CIO magazine, Network World, Data Center Knowledge, and Hypergrid Business. Find him on Twitter at @KorolovAlex and on LinkedIn at Alex Korolov.

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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