10 Best New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books to Read: July 2015

new sci-fi books to read

It’s summertime, and that means our Kindles are filling up and our bookshelves are getting ready for some beach reading. Or, you know, reading in bed. Yeah, that sounds good, too.

July has a ton of new sci-fi books and fantasy books to read, including Ernest Cline’s video game novel, Joe Abercrombie’s next Shattered Sea novel, and so much more.

Here are the best new sci-fi and fantasy books to read in July 2015:

Top 23 Best New Fantasy Books of 2015

1. Armada: A Novel by Ernest Cline

new books july 2015

Release Date: July 14th, 2015

“Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming…that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming…that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure. “

There’s a sentiment I’m sure we can all identify with. From the author of the New York Times bestseller Ready Player One comes a thrilling sci-fi novel in which a teenage gamer finds himself suddenly living his favorite videogame. The fate of the world now rests in the hands of gamers across the globe as they use their mad skills to save the Earth from an alien invasion. That’s a terrifying thought, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to get our hands on this one.

Buy Armada: A Novel here.

2. Earth Bound (A Sea Haven Novel) by Christine Feehan

new books july 2015

Release Date: July 7th, 2015

“After escaping from a cult, Lexi found refuge with her sisters on the farm .. But she never forgot the terror she left behind or the always present fear that the cult would find her again, and claim her. Then her nightmare came true.Lexi was discovered and threatened—only to be suddenly saved by a stranger. He is Gavriil Prakenskii, and he’s awestruck by the woman he’s rescued….But how can Lexi find happiness with a man steeped in secrets and shadows, one intimately acquainted with violence, and whose very love could be the death of them?”

Christine Feehan is the author of five series that all hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This fourth installment of this paranormal romance series focuses on Lexi, one of the six Sisters of the Heart. These are women who met in a grief counseling group for victims of violent crimes and purchased a farming community together in the town of Sea Haven (the same town the Drake Sister series takes place in). Each sister has an affinity for a different element; this magical aspect is why we included it in our list. If you’re a newcomer to the series and you’re looking for a decent romance novel with paranormal notes, check out Water Bound (the first book).

Buy Earth Bound by Christine Feehan here.

3. Queen of Fire (A Raven’s Shadow Novel) by Anthony Ryan

new sci-fi books

Release Date: July 7th, 2015

“After fighting back from the brink of death, Queen Lyrna is determined to repel the invading Volarian army and regain the independence of the Unified Realm….She must align herself with forces she once found repugnant—those who possess the strange and varied gifts of the Dark…Victory rests on the shoulders of Vaelin Al Sorna, now named Battle Lord of the Realm. However…the Volarian enemy has a new weapon on their side, one that Vaelin must destroy if the Realm is to prevail—a mysterious Ally with the ability to grant unnaturally long life to her servants. And defeating one who cannot be killed is a nearly impossible feat, especially when Vaelin’s blood-song…has gone ominously silent…”

At first glance, it may be tempting to dismiss the Raven’s Shadow series as another generic fantasy epic; however, that would be a mistake. If you’ve already read the first two books in this New York Times bestselling trilogy, I’m sure you’re already eagerly anticipating the conclusion. I’ve seen the writing compared to that of Patrick Rothfuss or Brandon Sanderson, which is reason enough for me to check it out; if that’s not compelling enough for you, however, let the rave reviews speak for themselves. If you’re not yet familiar with the books, the series begins with Blood Song.

Buy ‘Queen of Fire’ here.

4. Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

new books july 2015

Release Date: July 7th, 2015

“A major new novel from one of science fiction’s most powerful voices, AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system. Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.”

Kim Stanley is being referred to as one of science fiction’s most powerful voices, with many saying that her newest novel, Aurora, is brilliantly imagined and beautifully told.

Buy Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson here.

5. Half a War (Shattered Sea Book 3) by Joe Abercrombie

new books july 2015

Release Date: July 28th, 2015

“Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. If she is to reclaim her birthright, she must conquer her fears and sharpen her wits to a lethal edge. The deeply cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king’s minister. He has made allies of old foes and stitched together an uneasy peace. But now the ruthless Grandmother Wexen has raised the greatest army since the elves made war on God, and put Bright Yilling at its head—a man who worships only Death. Some—like Thorn Bathu and the sword-bearer Raith—are born to fight, perhaps to die. Others—like Brand the smith and Koll the wood-carver—would rather stand in the light. But when Mother War spreads her irons wings, she may cast the whole Shattered Sea into darkness.”

Joe Abercrombie is taking the fantasy world by storm with his Shattered Sea novels, and this third novel is the conclusion to his epic fantasy. George R. R. Martin says that it’s a “fast-paced tale of betrayal and revenge that grabbed me from page 1 and refused to let go.” Of course, we wish George R. R. Martin would read less and write more, but we appreciate his recommendation anyway.

Buy the Half a War book here.

6. The First Confessor (Richard and Kahlan) by Terry Goodkind

july 2015 new books

Release Date: July 21st, 2015

“Married to the powerful leader of her people, safe among those gifted with great ability, Magda Searus is protected from a distant world descending into war. But when her husband, a man who loved life and loved her, unexpectedly commits suicide, she suddenly finds herself alone….Despite her grief, she is driven to find the reasons behind why her husband would do such a thing–why he would abandon her and her people at such a profoundly dangerous time. Though she is not gifted, she begins to discover that there may be more to her husband’s suicide than anyone knew. What she finds next, no one is willing to believe. Without anyone to help her, she knows that she must embark on a mission to find a mysterious spiritist, if she even exists, so that she may speak with the dead. This quest may also be her last chance to unravel what is really behind the mysterious events befalling her people. What she discovers along the way is that the war is going far worse than she had known, and that the consequences of defeat will be more terrifying for her and her people than she could have imagined. As mortal peril begin to close in around her, Magda learns that she is somehow the key to her people’s salvation.”

Another New York Times bestselling author, Terry Goodking, is set to release his newest novel entitled The First Confessor, which is the prequel to The Sword of Truth. The Kindle edition has been available since 2012, but if you were waiting for the hardcover, Amazon has you covered this month. It’s a great read.

Buy The First Confessor here.

7. The Annihilation Score (A Laundry Files Novel) by Charles Stross

new books to read

Release Date: July 7th, 2015

“Dominique O’Brien—her friends call her Mo—lives a curious double life with her husband, Bob Howard. To the average civilian, they’re boring middle-aged civil servants. But within the labyrinthian secret circles of Her Majesty’s government, they’re operatives working for the nation’s occult security service known as the Laundry, charged with defending Britain against dark supernatural forces threatening humanity. Mo’s latest assignment is assisting the police in containing an unusual outbreak: ordinary citizens suddenly imbued with extraordinary abilities of the super-powered kind. Unfortunately these people prefer playing super-pranks instead of super-heroics. The Mayor of London being levitated by a dumpy man in Trafalgar Square would normally be a source of shared amusement for Mo and Bob, but they’re currently separated because something’s come between them—something evil. An antique violin, an Erich Zann original, made of human white bone, was designed to produce music capable of slaughtering demons. Mo is the custodian of this unholy instrument. It invades her dreams and yearns for the blood of her colleagues—and her husband. And despite Mo’s proficiency as a world class violinist, it cannot be controlled…”

Hugo Award-winning author Charles Stross gives us the next case in The Laundry Files, which is one part spy thriller, one-part comic fantasy and one part horror from H.P. Lovecraft.

Buy The Annihilation Score here.

8. Alive by Scott Sigler

new books to read

Release Date: July 14th, 2015

“A teenage girl awakens to find herself trapped in a coffin. She has no idea who she is, where she is, or how she got there. Fighting her way free brings little relief—she discovers only a room lined with caskets and a handful of equally mystified survivors. Beyond their room lies a corridor filled with bones and dust, but no people . . . and no answers. She knows only one thing about herself—her name, M. Savage, which was engraved on the foot of her coffin—yet she finds herself in charge. She is not the biggest among them, or the boldest, but for some reason the others trust her. Now, if they’re to have any chance, she must get them to trust one another. Whatever the truth is, she is determined to find it and confront it. If she has to lead, she will make sure they survive. Maybe there’s a way out, a rational explanation, and a fighting chance against the dangers to come. Or maybe a reality they cannot comprehend lies just beyond the next turn.”

Scott Sigler will take us on a brand new sci-fi adventure with Alive, book one of the Generations trilogy. Like The Hunger Games, it has a strong female protagonist faced against the odds. It sounds like a great novel, and hopefully the trilogy turns out to have some substance to it.

Buy Alive by Scott Sigler here.

9. Crooked by Austin Grossman

new books to read

Release Date: July 28th, 2015

“Richard Milhous Nixon lived one of the most improbable lives of the twentieth century. Our thirty-seventh president’s political career spanned the button-down fifties, the Mad Men sixties, and the turbulent seventies. He faced down the Russians, the Chinese, and ultimately his own government. The man went from political mastermind to a national joke, sobbing in the Oval Office, leaving us with one burning question: how could he have lost it all? Here for the first time is the tale told in his own words: the terrifying supernatural secret he stumbled upon as a young man, the truth behind the Cold War, and the truth behind the Watergate cover-up. What if our nation’s worst president was actually a pivotal figure caught in a desperate struggle between ordinary life and horrors from another reality? What if the man we call our worst president was, in truth, our greatest? In Crooked, Nixon finally reveals the secret history of modern American politics as only Austin Grossman could reimagine it. Combining Lovecraftian suspense, international intrigue, Russian honey traps, and a presidential marriage whose secrets and battles of attrition were their own heroic saga, Grossman’s novel is a masterwork of alternative history, equal parts mesmerizing character study and nail-biting Faustian thriller.”

An interesting alternate take on the Cold War comes from Austin Grossman with his new novel, Crooked, which details a supernatural find by Richard Nixon. Yes, you read that correctly. Richard Nixon.

Buy Crooked by Austin Grossman here.

10. Time Salvager by Wesley Chu

new books july 2015

Release Date: July 7th, 2015

“Convicted criminal James Griffin-Mars is no one’s hero. In his time, Earth is a toxic, abandoned world and humans have fled into the outer solar system to survive, eking out a fragile, doomed existence among the other planets and their moons. Those responsible for delaying humanity’s demise believe time travel holds the key, and they have identified James, troubled though he is, as one of a select and expendable few ideally suited for the most dangerous job in history. James is a chronman, undertaking missions into Earth’s past to recover resources and treasure without altering the timeline. The laws governing use of time travel are absolute; break any one of them and, one way or another, your life is over. Most chronmen never reach old age; the stress of each jump through time, compounded by the risk to themselves and to the future, means that many chronmen rapidly reach their breaking point, and James Griffin-Mars is nearing his. On a final mission that is to secure his retirement, James meets Elise Kim, an intriguing scientist from a previous century, who is fated to die during the destruction of an oceanic rig. Against his training and his common sense, and in violation of the chronmen’s highest law, James brings Elise back to the future with him, saving her life, but turning them both into fugitives. Remaining free means losing themselves in the wild and poisonous wastes of Earth, somehow finding allies, and perhaps discovering what hope may yet remain for humanity’s home world.”

We love a good time-travel adventure, and that’s just what Wesley Chu has here with his newest novel, Time Salvager. The novel has a fascinatingly interesting new world, and the novel has some very interesting concepts.

Buy Time Salvager by Wesley Chu here.

See Also:

Top 50 Best Sci-Fi Books

Top 5 Best Zombie Books to Read

Elizabeth Bernstein
Liz is a co-owner of Nerd Much. She is a feminist, nurse, freelance writer, blogger, foodie, bookworm, gamer chick, craft beer snob, coffee addict, chocoholic, Hufflepuff, sci-fi/fantasy junkie, and mom.

Related Articles

Latest Articles