Books Monthly
July 2024

Science fiction & Fantasy for 2024

James S A Corey: The Mercy of Gods

Published 6th August 2024

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Expanse comes a spectacular new space opera that sees humanity fighting for its survival in a war as old as the universe itself. Invasion is only the beginning . . .

The Carryx - part empire, part hive - has waged wars of conquest for centuries, destroying or enslaving species across the galaxy in its conflict with an ancient and deathless enemy.

When they descend on the isolated world of Anjiin, the human population is abased, slaughtered and put in chains. The best and brightest are abducted, taken to the Carryx world-palace to join prisoners from a thousand other species.

Dafyd Alkhor, assistant to a prestigious scientist, is captured along with his team. Even he doesn't suspect that his peculiar insight and skills will be the key to seeing past their captors ' terrifying agenda.

Swept up in a conflict beyond his control and vaster than his imagination, Dafyd is poised to become humanity's champion - and its betrayer.

This is where his story begins.

Peter Gibbons: Excalibur

Published 1st July 2024

A country left in ruins after the fall of the Roman Empire is plundered and broken. Saxon hordes have invaded and conquered the East coast of Britain in a blood-soaked Great War which tore the old kingdoms apart. From Bernicia to Kent, land and kingdoms are now under Saxon rule. But these new conquerors want more…

Britain's remaining kingdoms are jaded by the constant threat of war, their Kings old, alliances fickle and frayed. It seems Britain must fall enslaved to the brutal and marauding conquerors from across the sea.

But no one counted on a new and fearsome warlord. A warrior granted power by the druid Merlin through the mighty sword Excalibur. A man with no Kingdom but a quest to unite the country and fight back against the baying Saxon warriors? He is known as the legendary Arthur.

The compelling, fast-paced start of a brand new series from bestselling writer Peter Gibbons. Perfect for the fans of Bernard Cornwell.

T J Klune: Somewhere Beyond The Sea

Published 12th September 2024

A magical house. A secret past. A summons that could change everything.

This is the hugely-anticipated sequel to TJ Klune's The House in the Cerulean Sea, a cosy-fantasy triumph and a New York Times bestseller.

Arthur Parnassus has built a good life on the ashes of a bad one. He’s headmaster at an orphanage for magical children, on a peculiar island, assisted by love-of-his-life Linus Baker. And together, they’ll do anything to protect their extraordinary and powerful charges.

However, when Arthur is forced to make a public statement about his dark past, he finds himself fighting for those under his care. It’s also a fight for the better future that all magical people deserve. Then when a new magical child joins their island home, Arthur knows they’ve reached breaking point. The child finds power in calling himself a monster, a name Arthur has tried so hard to banish to protect his children. Challenged from within and without, their volatile family might grow stronger. Or everything Arthur loves could fall apart.

Somewhere Beyond the Sea is a story of resistance, lovingly told, about the daunting experience of fighting for the life you want to live and doing the work to keep it.

Chris Hempshall: Star Wars - The Rise and Fall of the Galactic Empire

Published 4th July 2024

"So this is how liberty dies―with thunderous applause."
-Senator Padmé Amidala

When Palpatine declared the birth of his new Empire, he expected it would stand for millennia. Instead, it lasted only 24 years. This is the story of how a tyrannical regime rose from the ashes of democracy, ruled the galaxy with an iron fist, and then collapsed into dust.

It is a story of war and heroes, of the power of propaganda and the dangers of complacency. But most of all, it is a story of normal people trying to live their lives in the face of a brutal dictatorship.

From the ruthlessness of Darth Vader's campaigns to the horrors of the Tarkin Initiative, this book offers fresh new insights into the dark entity at the core of Star Wars.

Marko Kloos: Descent

Published 16th July 2024

A nationalist uprising triggers an interstellar wrest for control in an epic novel of embattled worlds by the author of Citadel and the Frontlines series.

POW Aden Jansen has lost a decade of his life to both the war and internment when he’s recruited by the Alliance. He’s to return to Gretia as an undercover Blackguard operative and destroy Odin’s Wolves―an insurgency that’s setting his home world afire. The mission comes with a full pardon and a chance to reclaim his identity. It also means rejoining his friends and family in space. That’s motive enough. If he can succeed―and survive.

Dunstan Park is on piracy patrol to track down the spaceborne arm of the uprising. Meanwhile, the rebels’ insidious terrorist cells are targets for battle-hardened insurgent hunter Idina Chaudhary and her Palladian commandos. As for Aden’s sister, Solveig, she’s put herself in the line of fire before, but discovering who’s bankrolling Odin’s Wolves is as dangerous as it is personal.

As Aden works his way back into the confidence of his comrades, the stealth campaign to sow discontent descends into chaos. At risk: Aden’s legacy, and the very stability of a galaxy struggling for peace against all odds.

Pat Barker: The Voyage Home

Published 22nd August 2024

After ten blood-filled years, the war is over. Troy lies in smoking ruins as the victorious Greeks fill their ships with the spoils of battle.

Alongside the treasures looted are the many Trojan women captured by the Greeks – among them the legendary prophetess Cassandra, and her watchful maid, Ritsa. Enslaved as concubine – war-wife – to King Agamemnon, Cassandra is plagued by visions of his death – and her own – while Ritsa is forced to bear witness to both Cassandra’s frenzies and the horrors to come.

Meanwhile, awaiting the fleet’s return is Queen Clytemnestra, vengeful wife of Agamemnon. Heart-shattered by her husband’s choice to sacrifice their eldest daughter to the gods in exchange for a fair wind to Troy, she has spent this long decade plotting retribution, in a palace haunted by child-ghosts.

As one wife journeys toward the other, united by the vision of Agamemnon’s death, one thing is certain: this long-awaited homecoming will change everyone’s fates forever.

Christopher Buehlman: The Daughters' War

Published 27th June 2024

The goblins have killed all of our horses and most of our men.
They have enslaved our cities, burned our fields, and still they wage war.
Now, our daughters take up arms.

Galva - Galvicha to her three brothers, two of whom the goblins will kill - has defied her family's wishes and joined the army's untested new unit, the Raven Knights. They march toward a once-beautiful city overrun by the goblin horde, accompanied by scores of giant war corvids. Made with the darkest magics, these fearsome black birds may hold the key to stopping the goblins in their war to make cattle of mankind.

The road to victory is bloody, and goblins are clever and merciless. The Raven Knights can take nothing for granted - not the bonds of family, nor the wisdom of their leaders, nor their own safety against the dangerous war birds at their side.

But some hopes are worth any risk.

A fraught, shattering fantasy adventure, this standalone novel is set during the war-torn, goblin-infested years just before The Blacktongue Thief.

Adalyn Grace: Foxglove

Published 25th July 2024

The dangerous, seductive and suspenseful New York Times bestselling sequel to the Gothic fantasy romance Belladonna.

A duke has been murdered. The lord of Thorn Grove has been framed. And Fate, the elusive brother of Death, has taken up residence in a sumptuous estate nearby. He's hellbent on revenge after Death took the life of the woman he loved many years ago . . . and now he's determined to have Signa for himself, no matter the cost.

Signa and her cousin Blythe are certain that Fate can save Elijah Hawthorne from prison if they will entertain his presence. But the more time the girls spend with Fate, the more frightening their reality becomes as Signa exhibits dramatic new powers that link her to Fate's past. With mysteries and danger around every corner, the cousins must decide if they can trust one another as they navigate their futures in high society, unravel the murders that haunt their family, and play Fate's unexpected games-all with their destinies hanging in the balance.

The small print: Books Monthly, now well into its 25th year on the web, is published on or slightly before the first day of each month by Paul Norman. You can contact me here. If you wish to submit something for publication in the magazine, let me remind you there is no payment as I don't make any money from this publication. If you want to send me something to review, contact me via email at and I'll let you know where to send it.