Books have always been a gateway to transport readers from the real world and their daily life — that’s doubly so for speculative fiction books where the reader is transported to all things impossible and fantastical. However, it’s hard for many readers to truly be transported into a story when the stories consistently being published rarely feature characters of their own race or background. In recent years, series like The Poppy War, Daughter of the Moon Goddess, and the stand-alone action-fantasy The Sword of Kaigen, have exploded across #BookTok bringing more diverse stories to the forefront of people’s TBR. And while more diverse stories are being published, the publishing industry still has a long way to go in bringing more diverse representation to peoples shelves (and ears). 

From retellings of local folklore and mythology to re-imaginings of real-world history, as we celebrate Asian American Heritage Month we would like to highlight 10 audiobooks we think are a must-listen by Asian authors in the sci-fi and fantasy community! 


Enjoy fantastical folklore and mythology retellings? Check out this blog!


Adult SFF

Chaotic Aperitifs (Hidden Dishes, Book 2)

Written by Tao Wong, narrated by Emily Woo Zeller 

Chaotic Aperitifs cover

The Nameless Restaurant is a restaurant in Toronto that is magically hidden, whose service is horrible and whose food is divine. 

Magic and its old wielders are returning to the world. For the restaurant, wards of anonymity and camouflage are fading, leading to the arrival of new customers. And some older friends. The world is changing, and to face it, the Nameless Restaurant, along with its proprietor and patrons, will need to embrace the change with a good meal and new friends.

Chaotic Aperitifs is book two in the Hidden Dishes series, a cozy cooking fantasy series perfect for fans of Travis Baldree’s Legends & Lattes and Junpei Inuzuka’s Restaurant to Another World.

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The Last Phi Hunter 

Written by Salinee Goldenberg, narrated by David Lee Huynh

The Last Phi Hunter cover

Ex, the youngest member of the Phi Hunters Order, has spent his life slaying the ghosts and demons of Suyoram Kingdom. While he takes great pride in his mystical trade, collecting dwindling bounties and peddling butchered spirit organs lacks the glory he craves. He’s determined to hunt down Shar-Ala—a demon of nightmares, of madness—who has eluded even Ex’s masters.

In a provincial village along the way, Arinya, a charming Muay Boran champion, manages to save Ex from a brutal ass-kicking, despite being nine months pregnant. In return, she asks him to escort her through the dangerous spirit-filled forest, where ghosts salivate over the scent of the unborn.

Feeling responsible for Arinya’s safety, Ex vows to help her return home. But as more of Arinya’s secrets emerge and the elusive demon nears, Ex must face dangers from both men and monsters or lose not only the respect and sanctuary of his guild but also the woman he’s trying not to fall in love with.

The Last Phi Hunter is a mythic dark fantasy, equal parts smart, exhilarating, and delightfully fun.

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Ocean’s Godori

Written by Elaine U. Cho, narrated by Judy Alice Lee

Ocean's Godori cover

Becky Chambers meets Firefly in this big-hearted Korean space opera debut about a disgraced space pilot struggling to find her place while fighting to protect the people she loves.

Ocean Yoon has never felt very Korean, even if she is descended from a long line of haenyeo, Jeju Island’s beloved female divers. Ocean’s also persona non grata at the Alliance, Korea’s solar system–dominating space agency, since a mission went awry and she earned a reputation for being a little too quick with her gun.

When her best friend, Teo, second son of the Anand Tech empire, is framed for murdering his family, Ocean and her misfit crewmates are pushed to the forefront of a high-stakes ideological conflict.

A thrilling adventure across the solar that delivers hyperkinetic action sequences and irresistible will-they-won’t-they romance alongside its nuanced exploration of colonialism and capitalism.

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Written by Vajra Chandrasekera, narrated by Shiromi Arserio

Releasing June 18, 2024!

Rakesfall cover

Annelid and Leveret met as children in the middle of the Sri Lankan civil war. They found each other in a torn-up nation, peering through propaganda to grasp a deeper truth. And in a demon-haunted wood, another act of violence linked them and propelled their souls on a journey throughout the ages. No world can hold them, no life can bind them, and they’ll never leave each other behind.

As Annelid and Leveret reincarnate ever deeper into the future, they will chase the edge of human possibility.

Tracing two souls through endless lifetimes, Rakesfall is a virtuosic exploration of what stories can be, a dark sci-fi epic unlike any that has come before.

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The Water Outlaws

Written by S.L. Huang, narrated by Emily Woo Zeller

The Water Outlaws cover

She Who Became the Sun meets The Dirty Dozen in this action-packed, “eat-the-rich” genderbent retelling of the 14th century Chinese classic Water Margin

Lin Chong is an expert arms instructor who is focused on preserving her place within Imperial society’s status quo. That is… until she’s rebranded as a criminal by a man higher up in the food chain.

Lin Chong is recruited by the Bandits of Liangshan. Mountain outlaws on the margins of society, the Liangshan Bandits proclaim a belief in justice—for women, for the downtrodden, for progressive thinkers a corrupt Empire would imprison or destroy. They’re also murderers, thieves, smugglers, and cutthroats.

Apart, they love like demons and fight like tigers. Together, they might just bring down an empire.

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Heart of Night and Fire

Written by Nisha J. Tuli, narrated by Shiromi Arserio

Heart of Night and Fire cover

For years, Zarya has been trapped in a gilded prison and her magic forbidden —though nobody will explain why. Now she is ready to break free and find the truth.

Escaping to the dazzling city of Dharati, Zarya discovers a new world of enchantment and intrigue. But the city is under siege. Every night, dark creatures attack. And since Zarya’s arrival they are growing stronger. To protect her new home, Zarya joins the fight.

As she battles on the walls and hunts through libraries for clues about her gifts, Zarya’s dreams are haunted by a mysterious stranger. Powerful, arrogant, and handsome, Rabin sees through her secrets and ignites a desire she cannot resist. But can he be trusted?

When darkness threatens to overwhelm Dharati, Zarya is faced with a deadly choice. Will revealing her magic save the city? Or destroy everything she loves?

Enter a glittering new world inspired by Indian mythology packed with heart-pounding action. The Nightfire Quartet is an epic-fantasy romance that begins with a slow burn and builds to a steamy enemies-to-lovers adventure, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Carissa Broadbent.

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Young Adult

A Bright Heart

Written by Kate Chenli, narrated by Natalie Naudus 

A Bright Heart audiobook cover

Mingshin outsmarted three princes to help the man she loved become king. But she doesn’t see Ren’s betrayal coming, not until she’s lying in a pool of her own blood on the palace steps. As she’s dying, Mingshin makes a desperate plea to the gods to turn back time and give her a chance to make things right. Mingshin wakes up two years earlier, her prayer granted, and swears two things: Ren will never become king, and she will never fall in love again.

But the timeline in this life has changed: a dignitary gifted with dark magic is threatening her kingdom’s peace, and Ren’s thirst for power runs deeper than Mingshin could have imagined.  She finds herself allying with Jieh, another contender for the throne. Mingshin knows better than to give her heart to a prince but in the viper’s nest of the royal court, she and Jieh prove a phenomenal team.

Can Mingshin avert the catastrophe of her past by once again learning to trust…and maybe even love?

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The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea 

Written by Axie Oh, narrated by Rosa Escoda

audiobook image for The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh featuring a Japanese inspired painting of a young woman stepping into the water

Mina’s homeland is ravaged by deadly storms, floods, and wars. Her people believe the Sea God curses them with death and despair. To appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride.

Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in Mina’s village, is believed to be the final bride who will end their suffering. To save both her brother and his beloved from a cruel fate, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead. Swept away into the Spirit Realm, Mina finds the Sea God caught in an enchanted sleep and sets out to wake him and end the storms with the help of a motley crew of demons, gods, and spirits.

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Forest of Souls (Shamanborn series, Book 1)

Written by Lori M. Lee, narrated by Cindy Kay

Forest of Souls cover

Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend, Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood―an ancient forest possessed by souls―to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.

This epic YA dark fantasy, about an unrelenting tale of destiny and sisterhood, concludes in the newly released series finale, Calling for Light

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Wings Once Cursed & Bound

Written by Piper J. Drake, narrated by Cindy Kay

Wings Once Cursed & Bound cover

Bennet Andrews represents a secret organization of supernatural beings dedicated to locating and acquiring mythical objects, tucking them safely away where they cannot harm the human race. When he meets Peeraphan Rahttana, it’s too late―she has already stepped into The Red Shoes, trapped by their curse to dance to her death.

But Bennet isn’t the only supernatural looking for deadly artifacts. And when the shoes don’t seem to harm Peeraphan, he realizes that he’ll have to save her from the likes of creatures she never knew existed. Bennet sweeps Peeraphan into a world of myth and power far beyond anything she ever imagined. There, she finds that magic exists in places she never dreamed―including deep within herself.

What would you save if the world you knew disappeared and you could open your eyes to what exists just beyond?

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