It’s the heart of summer and you know what that means? It’s perfect weather to sit in the shade reading some new releases with a cooling drink. And it just so happens there’s some books heading our way imminently that I think you should make some room for…
I’ll start with three books that have mythic / folkloric undertones – and which are out now so you can dive straight in!
Lorraine Wilson leapt onto my watch list when I read her magnificent debut This Is Our Undoing; her new novel The Way The Light Bends (August 2nd, Luna Press) focuses on family and grief and the transformative magic of liminal spaces. I’m not sure exactly what to expect, but a brief reading during the book launch confirmed just how much I want to read this.
It’s several years since Lauren Owen’s atmospheric Victorian vampire debut The Quick hit the shelves. She’s back this summer with Small Angels (August 2nd, Tinder Press) with the bewitching promise of things going bump in Mockbeggar Woods as an ancient menace awakens to threaten a small community.
Emma Seckel is a new-to-me author, but I am beguiled by The Wild Hunt (August 2nd, Tin House Books). Any book set on a Scottish island and whose premise warns that you should never let your guard down during October is guaranteed to grab my attention; this one is set in the aftermath of World War II, when both the living and the dead are struggling to get to grips with their circumstances.
From folklore to secondary world fantasy, and August has a wealth of titles to tempt us with. I’ve enthused previously about The Bruising of Qilwa (August 9th, Tachyon Publications) and The Oleander Sword (August 18th, Orbit) and I’m deeply excited they are almost with us!
Also piquing my interest is Day Boy by Trent Jamieson (August 23rd, Erewhon), a vampiric take on the coming-of-age novel. The Red City is ruled by the blood-drinking Masters, whose Day Boys carry out their cruel commands until they reach manhood. Rarely, a Day Boy may be offered the chance of immortality and power; but as the townsfolk’s discontent grows, Day Boy Mark must determine where his allegiances truly lie.
The end of the month will bring us The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez (August 30th, Random House / Del Rey) and while – if I’m honest – it’s getting awfully hard to excite me with fantasy pitches focused on journeys and the need to overthrow another evil tyrant, this is Simon Jimenez who has form for doing something unusual with familiar ingredients.
I haven’t seen nearly enough people talking about the Solaris Satellites – which were an absolute highlight of my 2021 reading – but I’m delighted that these exciting novellas are now an annual event. This year’s trio are by Sam J Miller (Kid Wolf and Kraken Boy, all formats out now), Kwaku Osei-Afrifa (The Surf, all formats August 17th) and Mário Coelho (Unto The Godless What Little Remains, audiobook out August 17th with ebook/paperback in September) and are getting audio releases in addition to digital (usual retailers) or limited edition paperback (direct from Rebellion Publishing only).
Megan Giddings is back with a second novel examining dystopian (or is that contemporary) themes of society’s apparently unquenchable appetite for control. In The Women Could Fly (August 18th, MacMillan), women must wed by 30 or give up their autonomy for fear they are witches. A young woman tries to come to terms with her mother’s long-ago disappearance before she faces the decision of what limits to accept on her own future.
I’ll finish with Foote by Tom Bredehoft (August 30th, West Virginia University Press), which sounds like a charming urban fantasy switch-up – PI Big Jim Foote finds himself suspected of two murders, and must prove his innocence whilst protecting his biggest secret: he is a bigfoot charged with protecting his people’s communities in the nearby Appalachians. Folklore, thriller and a cryptid PI? Sounds like perfect summer fare…
What books coming out this month are you excited for?
All release dates and publishers are for the UK unless otherwise mentioned.