August Science Fiction/Fantasy Overview

This month's notable science fiction and fantasy titles are all over the map. From an epic king seeking revenge to a steampunk adventure, a magical librarian, an alien invasion and a dark mystery, there's no lack of variety in August's selection of speculative fiction. Read on to learn more about the stories we recommend, and see what our expert reviewers had to say.


Emperor of Thorns
by Mark Lawrence


What it’s all about: The third in his Broken Empire trilogy, Lawrence continues the story of young Jorg Ancrath, who's now a king ruling over seven nations. Still seeking revenge against his father, Jorg is also faced with gathering the pieces of a crumbled empire. But with the dark king, a necromancer, standing in his way, Jorg finds his new crown might be more than he bargained for. 

What our reviewer says: "[Lawrence] unwraps more clues to the past with dialogue that chills and characters you wouldn't want to meet in your nightmares, where heroes are dark and evil fiends darkest of all. This book will go down as one of the best ever." - Debbie Haupt




The Shadow of the Soul
by Sarah Pinborough

What it’s all about: London's Detective Inspector, Cass Jones, returns for another hard-boiled case featuring a very unhuman criminal, a terrorist atack and a missing boy who Cass must recorver. Perfect for fans of F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack novels, Pinborough's Forgotten Gods series second is a dark fantasy shrouded in mystery.

What our reviewer says: " ... a well-rendered plot that makes you think, and makes you work for every resolution and answer. If you’re in the mood for a dark and thought-provoking night, The Shadow of the Soul will exceed your expectations." - Jessie Potts




Codex Born
by Jim C. Hines

What it’s all about: Isaac Vainio isn't your everyday librarian, he's a Libriomancer — a magician capable of conjuring fictional items from books. And along with his dryad bodyguard/girlfriend (And his girlfriend's girlfriend ... did we mention the polyamorous relationship?), he must stop a magical threat while uncovering even more secrets behind Gutenberg's hidden society.

What our reviewer says: "Codex Born is what would happen if a group of fantasy fans were to hole up in a room trying to develop a system of magic, saying, 'But what if THIS happened?' " - Victoria Frerichs




A Clockwork Heart
by Liesel Schwarz

What it’s all about: Airship pilot Elle longs for her days in the sky, but her marriage to former Warlock Marsh was well worth it, or so she thought, until he discourages her from continuing her career. When Marsh goes missing, Elle is pulled further into the supernatural world of Light and Shadow, where she's the only one who can keep the  dangerous Shadow at bay.

What our reviewer says: "Schwarz’s second Light and Shadow story is a highly satisfying, expertly crafted steampunk adventure." - Elisa Verna




Alien Hunter
by Whitley Strieber

What it’s all about: Like an extra-juicy episode of The X-Files, Strieber's latest is part mystery and part science fiction. The story follows Flynn Carroll, a man searching for his missing young wife, exhausting every last resource when he turns to Special Agent Diana Glass, part of a special task force made up of alien beings. As Flynn learns more about the secret teams, everything he knows comes into question and soon he's roped into stopping a very dangerous group of baddies.

What our reviewer says: "The characters are complex and surprising at various points in the novel, and just when the book begins to feel predictable, Strieber adds another twist. His excellent storytelling will keep readers guessing until the very end." - Annalee Schuck


Are you interested in more news about SFF releases? Be sure to visit RT’s Everything Science Fiction & Fantasy Page!