July is easily one of my favorite months of the whole year. When I was a kid, I associated it with summers stuffed with trips to the library and plenty of hours spent reading. Even though I don’t get that same summer break for work as I did back then for school, there’s still very little I love more than sitting outside on a summer evening reading as long as I want.
And luckily, this July has plenty of science fiction and fantasy releases to look forward to reading. These eight books coming out in July are all worth adding to your TBR list. Whether you’re in the mood for a novel about siblings working together to protect their friends from a sinister laser tag simulation, a daughter of revolutionaries infiltrating the prince’s castle to rescue her father, or an Earth-born healer searching for her Mars-born spouse who has disappeared, you’re sure to find an upcoming read to enjoy.
Each section is organized by middle grade, YA, and adult science fiction and fantasy releases. I’ve also included release dates so you know when to look for it at your local bookstore or library, though preordering or requesting your library to purchase an upcoming book is always helpful.
July Middle Grade Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Nura and the Immortal Palace by M.T. Khan
Pitched as “Aru Shah and the End of Time meets Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away,” this middle grade fantasy series starter follows Nura, who works in a mica mine to help support her mother and three siblings. But when the mines collapse and kill her best friend, Faisal, Nura refuses to let him go and digs through the dirt to try and find him. Instead, she discovers a portal to the realm of jinn like in the stories her mother told her.
The Last Beekeeper by Pablo Cartaya (July 12)
In a near future where climate change has ravaged the world’s ecosystems, Yolanda Cicerón is determined to save the last honeybees in the world from extinction. But to do so, she must find and protect the beehive from the malicious and greedy Silo government.
Team Chu and the Battle of Blackwood Arena by Julie C. Dao (July 26)
Seventh grade siblings Clip and Sadie Chu may not have everything in common, but they share a love of laser tag. When a sinister force begins to appear in the simulations at local Blackwood Gaming Arena, they must put their competitiveness aside and work together to protect their friends and each other from danger.
July YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy
The Darkening by Sunya Mara
The daughter of two failed revolutionaries, Vesper Vale is determined to protect her father from suffering the same cruel execution as her mother. But when she infiltrates the prince’s castle to rescue her father, she uncovers secrets with the power to save or destroy her city.
Dauntless by Elisa A. Bonnin (July 19)
Seri is an assistant to Eshai Unbroken, a legendary valor whose job it is to find and kill beasts before they hunt the People. But when Seri meets Tsana, a stranger who can communicate with the beasts, Seri’s understanding of the world is challenged.
Blackwater by Jeannette Arroyo and Ren Graham (July 19)
This YA fantasy graphic novel is pitched as “Riverdale meets Stranger Things.” After high school track star Tony Price and quiet student Eli Hirsch become unlikely friends, they work together to investigate a sinister curse lurking in their town of Blackwater, Maine while also navigating their romantic feelings for each other.
July Adult Sci-Fi & Fantasy
The Moonday Letters by Emmi Itäranta
When her Mars-born spouse Sol disappears, Earth-born healer Lumi is determined to find them. But doing so requires delving into the secrets from the past that both of them have worked so hard to keep hidden.
August Kitko and the Mechas from Space by Alex White (July 12)
When Earth is threatened by a group of powerful robots called the Vanguard, jazz pianist Gus Kitko plans to spend his last moments at a goodbye party. But when he is saved by a Vanguard who loves his music, Gus joins a revolutionary group determined to save humanity.
For more sci-fi and fantasy recs, check out Book Riot’s SFF Yeah! podcast.