July is a pretty rich month for sci-fi and fantasy — superheroes, near-future sci-fi, alternate history, fantasy worlds and a man dead set on revenge.
Regardless of what you look for in your sci-fi and fantasy, I'll bet you can find at least one book on this list that appeals to you ...
Heroine Worship - Sarah Kuhn (DAW, July 4)
The Heroine Complex, which introduced Evie Tanaka, personal assistant to superhero Aveda Jupiter, was one of my favorite surprise reads of last year. It was warm and charming, and Kuhn has a knack for creating compelling, realistic, multidimensional characters. The second in her series, Heroine Worship, is told from Aveda's point of view. Aveda is a difficult character at times, to be sure, but Kuhn makes her relatable in this quick, fun read. I love this series and already can't wait for the third one!
Tomorrow's Kin - Nancy Kress (Tor, July 11)
Honestly, I'm kicking myself for not having read Tomorrow's Kin yet. It sounds like a fascinating book (the first in a trilogy) and has been compared to Arrival, a movie I loved. It focuses on a scientist, Dr. Marianne Jenner, who is invited to visit the embassy of mysterious aliens who've landed their ship in New York Harbor. I love near-future sci-fi that focuses on what's going to happen in the next decade or two (rather than the next century or two), and this one certainly fits the bill.
The Rift - Nina Allan (Titan Books, July 11)
Two sisters, Selena and Julie, are close when they're young, but like so many other sisters, they drift apart as they get older. But when Julie goes missing at the age of 17, everything changes. Selena doesn't think anything could be more devastating until her sister reappears 20 years later — with a completely unbelievable tale of what happened to her. Is Julie suffering from some sort of hallucinations or mental instability, or could Serena come to actually believe the things that Julie is telling her are true?
Raining Fire - Rajan Khanna (Pyr, Jul 18)
I'll admit I don't know much about this book at all, but I'm interested in the little I do know. One man who has lost everything survives on the bitter taste of revenge. The idea of taking vengeance for what he's lost is what fuels him. But when a group of raiders attacks a colony, Ben finds a new reason to live — to protect innocent people from a terrible fate. I love reluctant hero stories, and this one sounds like it's set in an interesting sci-fi world.
Conspiracy of Ravens - Lila Bowen (Orbit, July 18)
Conspiracy of Ravens is the second book in The Shadow trilogy, described as a western meets Buffy, which is enough to make me curious. It stars a young woman named Nettie Lonesome, who toils away as a slave in the desert ... and when she's attacked, she learns she has a gift: the ability to see monsters. She escapes her droll life and begins hunting down the monsters that are stealing children across her land. I'm really eager to catch up on the first book in this series, Wake of Vultures, before diving into this one, especially considering that Lila Bowen is a pseudonym for Delilah Dawson.
The Library of Fates - Aditi Khorana (Razorbill, July 18)
I recently recommended Aditi Khorana's Mirror in the Sky as a YA sci-fi novel you should read, so I'm incredibly excited that she's got a new book releasing next month. Between that cover and the subject matter, I'll be honest, this is one of my most anticipated books of 2017. It's a coming-of-age fantasy novel based on Indian folklore and mythology about a young princess who's ready to sacrifice everything to bring peace to her kingdom. But things don't turn out as she expects, and she finds herself on the run. I'm definitely curious about this one and will be reading it as soon as I can.
The Five Daughters of the Moon - Leena Likitalo (Tor.com, July 25)
A historical fantasy inspired by the last month of the Romanovs? I'm definitely intrigued. I've been able to thumb through this book, and it looks incredible — a duology set in the Crescent Empire that follows five sisters who will determine the fate of their people. My fascination with the Russian monarchy dates back to my high school European history classes, so I definitely am interested in seeing how Likitalo reinterpreted each of the sisters for her tech-magic-fantasy novel.
Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad - Christie Golden (Del Rey, July 25)
This Battlefront II prequel bridges the gap between Rogue One and A New Hope and the upcoming (eagerly anticipated, at least for me!) video game. After the Death Star's destruction, the Empire needs a win badly. They send in Inferno Squad, a group of elite troops, to eliminate a group of Rebel extremists called the Partisans, who once were led by Saw Gerrera. I haven't gotten my hands on this yet, but I love reading books about the Empire's forces, so I'll definitely be picking this up as soon as I can.
Strange Practice - Vivian Shaw (Orbit Books, July 25)
Dr. Greta Helsing (yes, that Helsing) has a strange medical practice: She's gone into the family business as the doctor for the undead. I haven't read this one yet, but I'm intrigued by reviews that praise her great characterization and the page-turning plot. It appears to be a bit of a murder mystery, and as crime fiction is a close-second genre fave for me to SFF, I'm definitely interested in the combination of the two with this alternate-history fantasy thriller.