At the start of the month, Goodreads posted a humongous list of some of the most exciting fantasy and science fiction books coming out over the upcoming summer months. It’s a list compiled of over 42 books, which personally I think is a little too long to decide which to buy.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase any of the books below, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you which goes towards supporting the blog. These affiliate links do not affect my final opinion of the product.
Therefore, I thought I’d go through the entire list and, based on a number of different factors, weedle it down to just ten books you should definitely keep your eyes out for over the next few months.
If you’re a big science fiction or fantasy fan then this list should help you decide which next epic adventure you’re going to be going on throughout June, July and August.
My criteria for picking these books was fairly simple: I went through every single description of the books and put them into a yes or no pile; then I went through any reviews that had already been left for them by proofreaders and put these into a yes or no pile; then I went through and looked at the authors and their previous books and whether these were any good or not (a good track record can help decide the next read), I then removed any that were part of a series as I didn’t want to alienate anyone who hadn’t the previous books and then finally for the few I had left and to make it a nice round number, I chose my final eight based on those which had the best front cover (awful reason but, for some, despite the infamous saying, it’s a decider.)
I feel like narrowing it down to eight books makes it not only a far more achievable list to try and get through but also it removes any of the chaff that may not have actually ever been any good.
So, what are these eight books I’ve chosen? Well, here they are:
Please note that these release dates are based on Uk release dates, they may release earlier in your country. Check the Amazon link below each book.for your county’s release date.
Upgrade by Blake Crouch
Releasing July 7 July 2022
Just a snippet from Blake Crouch’s upcoming novel Upgrade reads:“‘You are the next step in human evolution.‘
At first, Logan Ramsay isn’t sure if anything’s different. He just feels a little . . . sharper. Better able to concentrate. Better at multitasking. Reading a bit faster, memorizing better, needing less sleep.
But before long, he can’t deny it: Something’s happening to his brain. To his body. He’s starting to see the world, and those around him—even those he loves most—in whole new ways.“
That already sounds really bloody interesting to me! Blake Crouch already has a great track record with writing really fascinating science fiction novels. His two novels Dark Matter and Recursion both sit very high on my science fiction TBR and have both been incredibly well received by book critics and readers.
Crouch is becoming one of those names that, especially if you’re a fan of sci-fi, is a must buy author.
The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez
Releasing 30 August 2022
The Spear Cuts Through Water is by an author, Simon Jimenez, of whom I’ve never heard. However, when I read the first sentence of the “blurb” I was instantly hooked: “Two warriors shepherd an ancient god across a broken land to end the tyrannical reign of a royal family in this new epic fantasy from the author of The Vanished Birds.”
And then when I saw that it has been put down as one of the year’s most anticipated books by Tordotcom, BookPage and LitHub, I knew it must be something special.
His other book, The Vanishing Birds, was incredibly highly praised and so sets a precedent that Simon Jimenez may be a very exciting up-and-coming science-fiction author. Also, after just 22 reviews from those who look like they received an early copy, it has 4.59 at the time of writing this (24 May ’22).
The Measure by Nikki Erlick
Releasing 7 July 2022
The Measure is one of those books that when I read the first paragraph of its blurb, I was like “Yes! This is right up my street!” So here it is: “It seems like any other day: You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out. But today when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.”
It’s not a new premise, the ‘what if you found out how long you have left to live’ trope – but it’s one I’ve not seen often in books and this book adds to the mysteriousness that these boxes with your due date in arrive at the exact same time on every single front doorstep in the world and no one knows why.
It’s a debut novel by Nikki Erlick but with an incredible CV of writing and graduation from Harvard University, it seems like she might know what she’s doing. And with a mind like that, I am incredibly excited to see where she takes this book.
The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne
Releasing 28 July 2022
I’ve not read many retellings so when I saw that The Book of Gotehl was a retelling of rapunzel I thought I would add it to this list in hopes I would give it a try.
The blurb reads “Everyone knows the tale of Rapunzel in her tower, but do you know the story of the witch who put her there?”
Mary McMyne’s previous books on Goodreads have nearly rated above 4 and are often in the mid 4s, suggesting she knows what shes doing when it comes to writing good books. The Book of Gothel currently sits at a rating of 4.40 based on early review. Let’s hope it’s as good as the initial reviews suggests it will be.
A Half-Built Garden by Ruthanna Emrys
Releasing 26 July 2022
So here’s our first “first contact” sci-fi book on the list. Ruthanna Emrys has been described as the literary descendent to Ursel K le Guin who was most famous for her Earthsea trilogy – one of the most celebrated fantasy series of all time.
The blurb for this one reads “On a warm March night in 2083, Judy Wallach-Stevens wakes to a warning of unknown pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay. She heads out to check what she expects to be a false alarm–and stumbles upon the first alien visitors to Earth. These aliens have crossed the galaxy to save humanity, convinced that the people of Earth must leave their ecologically-ravaged planet behind and join them among the stars. And if humanity doesn’t agree, they may need to be saved by force.”
That to me sounds like a really interesting premise. It may sound like the whole story is sort of given away with the blurb but with a rating of 4.40 after 5 early review ratings, there must be something deeper to this one that we should get excited about.
Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang
Releasing 1 September 2022
This book by R.F. Kuang (celebrated author of The Poppy War trilogy) is almost certainly going to have the longest title you’re going to read this summer. Why it’s so long? I don’t know. It also sounds like the title of a nonfiction book but I can assure you, it’s definitely fiction.
Here’s the premise: “1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation — also known as Babel.
Babel is the world’s center of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect. Silver-working has made the British Empire unparalleled in power, and Babel’s research in foreign languages serves the Empire’s quest to colonize everything it encounters.”
That to me sounds like Kuang has really thought about this alternative fantastical history she’s built. It suggest there’s a law and ruling to the magic system she’s created and within it is a fascinating dark society to get ourselves all embroiled up in. With R.F. Kuang’s first three books being absolute bangers (you can read my review of the first, The Poppy War, here) I’m highly expecting this intriguing premise and her track record to make this a guaranteed banger.
The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean
Releasing 18 August 2022
The blurb that explains enough of this to make it sound good is a tad too long to copy and paste, so I’ll sum the premise of this book up. Essentially this is a contemporary novel (so I think set in our world, environment and time) where a group of people eat books to and retain their knowledge. They can eat fiction and gain ideas, eat maps and understand locations and more. However, when the main character Devon’s child is born with a different sort of hunger – not for books but for human minds – things take a dark turn.
This sounds fascinating to me. I love the initial idea that people learn knowledge and enjoy eating books – this sounds like something I could benefit from. But to then have someone born who enjoys eating human minds is also interesting. Does this make them evil? Will this make them want to hurt people too? Can they eat minds but only certain parts? Etc etc. Lots of questions to be answered and the only way they will be is by reading the book.
Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro
Releasing 7 June 2022
Ordinary Monsters is a debut historical fantasy novel by J.M. Miro that introduces us to The Talents. It’s a book about a boy who finds out he has a secret talent for healing really quickly and never getting hurt. It sounds like there’s some dark mysterious force out to get him. He’s then taken to Edinburgh whereupon he finds other young people just like him with unique abilities.
This sounds right up my street! The elements of powers, a mysterious being trying to hunt them down and it being set in England back in the early 1800s make this a book with so much character and personality already that I reckon it may be one of the first on this list that I choose to pick up.
So there you have it – there are 8 books from the list of 42 that Goodreads put down that I think are really worth your time. It’s a series that I hope will give you all some thought and will have you picking up plenty of new novels to be arriving on your doorsteps over the coming months.
If you’d like to read the original article and find the rest of the books, you can easily do so here. However, I think I’ve picked out the creme-de-la-creme above myself!
Which of the books above are you most excited to sink your teeth into? Is there one or more that you think: yep, definitely going to pre-order that right away? Let me know via the comments section below or via one of my social media channels below.