Brace yourselves, lads, because the amount of July book releases that I’m super hyped for is staggering! I don’t think I’ve ever had a list this long yet, but I didn’t want to cut anything out.
From a D&D fantasy adventure graphic novel to a Rumpelstiltskin retelling, these books have captured my attention from the get-go. I’m especially thrilled to see a good mixture of newcomers as well as authors I know and trust on this list.
The top spot was hard to decide, but I’m beyond confident that it’s well-deserved.
Listen, I’ll admit it. The Thrawn obsession and Timothy Zahn appreciation bit me way late. So late that Lucasfilm had already sold Star Wars to Disney. I read the Thrawn trilogy, Outbound Flight, and the Thrawn duology (currently working on Vision of the Future), and I wept that Zahn was no longer allowed to continue pursuing his vision with who I consider the greatest villain in Star Wars history. And I love me many Star Wars villains, y’all. I decided Darth Maul was my husband when I was eight.
Then Disney said, “Actually, Mr. Zahn, you go right ahead,” and Zahn replied, “Cool. Here’s a novel. It’s done.” That novel was last year’s Thrawn, and it was so—damn—good. Now, we already have a sequel titled Thrawn: Alliances, and I am losing my mind over it. Thrawn and Vader on the cover? And they have opposing views but must work together on a mission for the Emperor?? And once upon a time, Anakin Skywalker and Commander Mitth’raw’nuruodo met and survived on a harsh world together??? This book is going to murder me. God, I love the dark side.
Release date: July 24
I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but I’m pretty sure The Adventure Zone podcast by Griffin, Travis, Justin, and Clint McElroy saved my life and my sanity while I felt hopeless working a job I utterly despised.
Now, they are publishing the first arc of season one in comic form: The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins with illustrations by Carey Pietsch. My hat’s already off to Ms. Pietsch for capturing dwarf cleric Merle Highchurch, human fighter Magnus Burnsides, and elven wizard Taako (y’know, from TV?) so beautifully. Their characters are already jumping off that cover so strongly, and I cannot wait to experience the hilarity all over again.
This is supposed to be a plug for the comic, but seriously: if you haven’t experienced the podcast, I encourage you to do so. You don’t even necessarily have to be a fan of D&D or have played before (this was their first time, too). The beginning may start out a little silly (okay, actually, it’s tears-running-from-the-eyes funny), but it also grows into something so much larger, with characters who will stay with you and a brilliance of story-telling that still moves me to think about. Not to mention the sheer amount of hope it gives you—I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
Release Date: July 17
If you are someone who’s sleeping on Nyxia by Scott Reintgen, don’t even read this. Go to the bookstore, the library, wherever, and get that first book because you will have fun with it, and you will adore its diverse cast.
Nyxia Unleashed takes place seconds after Nyxia left off, with Emmett and the other victors hurtling towards the alien planet Eden. Babel wants them to mine the world’s nyxia, worth millions of dollars back on Earth, but Emmett and the other Genesis members know the corporation cannot be trusted. Even with a treaty in place and the alien species, the Adamites, warm towards them, the Genesis team also knows they’re in the middle of a power struggle they don’t fully understand. Now, though, there’s a difference: instead of being each other’s combatants, they’re now each other’s allies. Well, mostly. Emmett’s working on it.
I just finished an ARC of this, and I cannot wait for you all to read it!
Release date: July 17
Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener proved to be a delightful surprise of a read, and I have been dying for the sequel, Between Frost and Fury, ever since.
Why, you might ask? Oh, well, because my evil alien space prince, Trystan, is here, front and center, of course. Thing is, I do like Ruckus, sure, but my heart’s always with the problematic villain love interest, and may that never change.
Delaney’s found herself kidnapped by aliens again, only this time, it’s deliberate and not by her allies. Now, she must navigate tense political negotiations between two rival alien planets and do something about Trystan’s romantic attentions. Worse is that she’s also about to be crowned queen of an alien race and planet she knows little about. The thing about Delaney that I love is that she’s smart and level-headed, so I know I’m going to sit back and marvel at how she tries to get out of this.
Release date: July 24th
Look at that cover! Look at how much it looks like Uprooted. Oh, I’m swooning. I’m so happy Naomi Novik is giving me another standalone fantasy novel that will probably win my heart and my regard all over again.
Spinning Silver follows Miryem, a daughter of a moneylending father who doesn’t excell at his job. After she and her family find themselves slipping towards poverty, Miryem steps in and takes over the task—and she’s good at it. Especially after her father loans her a pouch of silver pennies, and she brings it back full of gold.
What Miryem doesn’t count on is the reputation she earns from seemingly being able to change silver into gold. Nor does she count on catching the attentions of the cold creatures of the wood and its king, who wants to exploit her ability for reasons she doesn’t understand.
Yeah. It’s Rumpel-fucking-stiltskin, y’all!
Release date: July 10
I’m loving this new wave of mermaid books so much. Sea Witch by Sarah Henning especially caught my eye because it’s an Ursula origin story based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid.
Evie has been an outcast ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned. When a girl looking uncannily like Anna appears offshore, denying any connection, Evie still believes her magic brought her best friend back to her. Two princes also set their intentions on the girls, convincing Evie that her luck is finally turning.
But first, Evie must find a way to use her magic to win her prince’s heart and help her new friend stay on land—and on two legs. What she doesn’t know is what her bargain will cost.
Release date: July 31
First of all, that tagline “Help is light years away” is terrifying. God, I love space horror, and I’m not sure why because all other horror is usually a no-go for me.
Contagion by Erin Bowman features a typical space horror set-up: a work detail on a distant planet sends out an SOS signal; a skeleton crew answers the call only to discover the site abandoned, with rotting food and dead bodies everywhere; in their investigation to find out what happened, they unearth something they shouldn’t.
Typical, yes, but also mysterious. I’m intrigued to see how Bowman will differentiate her novel from others with similar plots as well as what surprises she has in store. Also, that cover is pretty rad.
Release date: July 24
I finally read And I Darken by Kiersten White and fell in love with Lada, Radu, and Mehmed as characters and forces of nature. That being said, I have yet to read the sequel, Now I Rise, but I intend to in the months to come.
Despite the fact that I’m not current with the trilogy, Bright We Burn is still going on this list because I have absolute faith in White’s story and writing ability. Forgive the vagueness of this summary, but I will not look at the book’s synopsis because I don’t want to be spoiled on the previous installment. Instead, some predictions: Lada has her following, and she and Mehmed are firmly pitted against each other by this point. Mehmed finally discovers that Radu is in love with him and, if I had my way, reciprocates. Radu is torn between Lada and Mehmed and is now his own third power who could tip the balance either way. Am I right? We’ll see once I’m caught up and this gorgeous book is out.
Release date: July 10
I don’t know what it is, but I love the book models on this cover. That and the rest of the synopsis is helping me overlook that Grace and Fury is rooted in a world where women have no rights. Normally, this is my absolute least favorite basis for world-building of any kind, but I’m willing to give Tracy Banghart a shot and see how she makes it not a trial to read.
The book follows two sisters: Serina, who has been groomed to stand alongside the throne’s heir as a Grace aka the perfect image of the subjugated woman; and Nomi, who is rebellious and hiding a dangerous secret even as she catches the heir’s attention.
When Serina becomes imprisoned to protect her younger sister, Nomi must take her place as a Grace and attempt to use her newfound influence to get Serina released. But the palace shrouds a traitor, and Serina is running out of time, being held captive on an island and forced to fight to the death to survive. One wrong move by either sister, and it’s over for them both.
Release date: July 31
So let me pitch this to you: girls turned enhanced cyborg soldiers featuring a lesbian romance? Yes?? Yeah, I thought so, too. That’s what Emily Skrutskie is bringing to the table with Hullmetal Girls, and what an unexpected find it is.
To protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet starships, you can volunteer to become a Scela, a cyborg soldier, if you can survive the modifications. Aisha Un-Haad volunteers so she can save her plague-ridden brother, but she can only do so if she earns an elite place in the Scela ranks. Waking up already modified, Key Tanaka doesn’t remember why she volunteered to be a Scela, giving up her privileged place in Fleet society to be a mechanical soldier, but if she can survive the training, she might be able to recall her past.
Aisha and Key must learn to work together even though they’re from opposite ends of the Fleet spectrum and are competing for top spots in the ranks. When a rebellion begins to stir, calling for independence from the Fleet, Aisha and Key find their loyalties tested and must work to prevent humanity from tearing itself apart.
Release date: July 17
In Sanctuary, Caryn Lix blends the dangers of corporate control with alien invasions.
Kenzie is a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system. She serves as a junior guard at the Sanctuary space station, a prison holding superpowered criminal teens. When a routine drill goes wrong, Kenzie finds herself at the mercy of rioting prisoners, and she is shocked to discover that her commanding officer, her mother, is more concerned with following Omnistellar protocol than securing Kenzie’s freedom.
Before Kenzie can escape on her own, she and the prisoners must survive a sudden threat entering the Sanctuary from the depths of space—and Kenzie starts to realize Omnistellar has a darker side that she never knew about.
Release date: July 24
I actually have an ARC of City of Lies by Sam Hawke that I need to get to. Ugh! Get it together, Mel!
Jovan’s uncle has trained him to be a master of poisons and chemicals since Jovan was seven years old. Outwardly, Jovan is the unremarkable, lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s heir. In reality, Jovan is charged to protect the Chancellor and his family from assassination attempts and other treachery. When the Chancellor and Jovan’s uncle succumb to an unknown poison and their city-state falls under attack by an unknown army, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the heir and city-state at all costs.
But they don’t know who their enemies are, and somewhere, the ancient spirits of the land are awakening—and they are angry.
Release date: July 3
Whew! That’s all for this month. I’m gearing up for all of these and hope you are, too. Do any of these have you dancing in your seat? What July books are you looking forward to the most that I haven’t covered? C’mon, this is your chance to make me jealous, so do your worst!