Most Anticipated Books: July 2020

Most Anticipated Books is a monthly series in which I discuss the releases I’m most excited for in the coming month. In July, there are four books coming out that I’m excited to read.

Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliot

Summary: Princess Sun has finally come of age.

Growing up in the shadow of her mother, Eirene, has been no easy task. The legendary queen-marshal did what everyone thought impossible: expel the invaders and build Chaonia into a magnificent republic, one to be respected— and feared.

But the cutthroat ambassador corps and conniving noble houses have never ceased to scheme— and they have plans that need Sun to be removed as heir, or better yet, dead.

To survive, the princess must rely on her wits and companions: her biggest rival, her secret lover, and a dangerous prisoner of war.

Take the brilliance and cunning courage of Princess Leia— add in a dazzling futuristic setting where pop culture and propaganda are one and the same— and hold on tight:

This is the space opera you’ve been waiting for.

Release Date: July 7

My Impression: This book is pitched as “gender-swapped Alexander the Great on an interstellar level,” which sounds dope as hell. I couldn’t get into Kate Elliot’s YA series, but I believe this is an adult sci-fi so I have high hopes.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Summary: There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming… human or demon. Princess or monster.

Release Date: July 7

My Impression: I’ve been meaning to read Bashardoust’s debut Girls Made of Snow and Glass, so I don’t actually know if I like her writing style yet. But a Persian fairy tale retelling in which the protagonist could become a villain? And said protagonist is also bisexual? Obviously I need to read this.

Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters

Summary: If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.

Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness.

But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets.

In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.

Family secrets, a gorgeously resonant LGBTQ love triangle, and just the right amount of creepiness make this young adult debut a haunting and hopeful story about facing everything that haunts us in the dark.

Release Date: July 14

My Impression: This book sounds so dark and cool. Plus, it’s queer. And has been compared to Sawkill Girls, which I loved.

Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis

Summary: Truth is a human right.

It’s fall 2007. A well-timed leak has revealed that the US government might have engaged in first contact. Cora Sabino is doing everything she can to avoid the whole mess, since the force driving the controversy is her whistleblower father. Even though Cora hasn’t spoken to him in years, his celebrity has caught the attention of the press, the Internet, the paparazzi, and the government— and with him in hiding, that attention is on her. She neither knows nor cares whether her father’s leaks are a hoax, and wants nothing to do with him— until she learns just how deeply entrenched her family is in the cover-up, and that an extraterrestrial presence has been on Earth for decades.

Realizing the extent to which both she and the public have been lied to, she sets out to gather as much information as she can, and finds that the best way for her to uncover the truth is not as a whistleblower, but as an intermediary. The alien presence has been completely uncommunicative until she convinces one of them that she can act as their interpreter, becoming the first and only human vessel of communication. Their otherworldly connection will change everything she thought she knew about being human— and could unleash a force more sinister than she ever imagined.

Release Date: July 21

My Impression: Honestly, I mostly just want to read this because I’ve been watching Lindsay Ellis’ content on YouTube for years. I’m curious to see what her writing is like.

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite

Summary: When Agatha Griffin finds a colony of bees in her warehouse, it’s the not-so-perfect ending to a not-so-perfect week. Busy trying to keep her printing business afloat amidst rising taxes and the suppression of radical printers like her son, the last thing the widow wants is to be the victim of a thousand bees. But when a beautiful beekeeper arrives to take care of the pests, Agatha may be in danger of being stung by something far more dangerous…

Penelope Flood exists between two worlds in her small seaside town, the society of rich landowners and the tradesfolk. Soon, tensions boil over when the formerly exiled Queen arrives on England’s shores— and when Penelope’s long-absent husband returns to Melliton, she once again finds herself torn, between her burgeoning love for Agatha and her loyalty to the man who once gave her refuge.

As Penelope finally discovers her true place, Agatha must learn to accept the changing world in front of her. But will these longing hearts settle for a safe but stale existence or will they learn to fight for the future they most desire?

Release Date: July 28

My Impression: I read The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics earlier this year and really liked it. This book is the next in the Feminine Pursuits series, which are just a bunch of historical F/F romances. I am so excited for this one. Look at that woman on the cover in a suit! I have died and gone to heaven!

What July releases are you excited for? Let me know in the comments!

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