Ah, August. That strange month in which it’s not quite summer anymore, but it’s not fall either. It’s always been a lazier month for me, even when I began a new school term. So I always took advantage of it to read as many books as I could — I still do. It’s one of the reasons why I was so excited to make this list of new SFF releases in August! New books are always exciting, right? So as soon as I looked these up, they all went straight into my TBR for the month. And hey, they’ll hopefully go straight into your own TBRs!
There are plenty of new SFF releases this August to look forward to, ranging from middle grade to adult. There are actually many more new SFF books out this month than I can list here! Nevertheless, I picked 12 books that should definitely be on your radar. Whether you like tea magic, dragons, secret societies or even zombies — there’s a book for you in this list!
One last thing before we start! To make things easier, I organized this list by category (adult, YA, and middle grade). Plus, I included the publication date so that you know when to look for it, or even preorder it if you want!
But without further ado, let’s get into these 12 new SFF releases out in August.
August Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy
The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean (August 2)
This is an adult urban fantasy about people who literally eat books and retain their contents. The story follows Devon who is a member of The Family — an old clan of book eaters. Like all other book eater women, Devon was raised on a steady diet of fairytales and cautionary stories, so she’s blissfully unaware of the cage she’s trapped in. But everything changes when her son Cai is born with a rare kind of hunger. He craves human minds rather than books. So Devon decides to run away in hopes of saving Cai — and that’s where the story begins.
The Sleepless by Victor Manibo (August 2)
Next is a mystery with a sci-fi setting. The Sleepless is set in a world in which some people, the titular Sleepless, don’t need to sleep. The story follows a journalist named Jamie Vega, who is investigating his boss’s death. That’s how Jamie discovers that he was the last person to see him alive. Even more alarmingly, he finds out that he can’t remember whatever happened that night. Plus, it might be the cause of his sleeplessness. As Jamie delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, he will uncover terrifying secrets that don’t just involve him but all the Sleepless as well.
The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings (August 9)
Here’s another dystopian SFF title that toes the line with horror and fantasy, because it’s about witches! The story follows Josephine Thomas, who has heard every conceivable explanation for her mother’s disappearance — including that she was a witch. In a world that closely monitors young women and that also holds witch trials, this is deeply troubling. But 14 years have passed, so Josephine has let it go. Everything changes when she takes the opportunity to honor her mother’s last request, which will change her life forever.
The First Binding by R.R. Virdi (August 16)
The First Binding is an epic fantasy book that has been compared to The Name of the Wind, but with South Asian influences — and I am here for it! The story follows Ari, a man who is telling his life story to a singer named Eloine. Turns out, Ari is not who he seems. His epic feats precede him. He has started wars and burned villages, killed gods and summoned lightning. But he also unleashed the first evil. In true Kingkiller Chronicles fashion, the book jumps around between the past and the present to reveal Ari’s story. And what an epic story it is.
Babel by R.F. Kuang (August 23)
Now, I have to confess that this is my most anticipated SFF release in August because an academic historical fantasy about translation is everything I never knew I needed. Babel is R.F. Kuang’s latest book, and it follows Robin Swift. He’s a Chinese boy that was raised in Britain, and his goal is to join the Royal Institute of Translation, AKA Babel. Babel is a center of silver-working, a magic that manifests the lost meaning of translated works. Britain uses this magic as a tool for colonization. So when the country pursues an unjust war with China, Robin must decide which side he’s on.
August YA Science Fiction & Fantasy
The Memory Index by Julian R. Vaca (August 9)
This dystopian sci-fi will kick start a new YA series for Julian Vaca! Set in an alternate 1987, the story follows Freya Izquierdo, one of the people who need artificial recall several times a day. This means a disease is eating her memories, and she needs this treatment in order to preserve them as much as she can. She’s also investigating her father’s mysterious death, which lands her a spot in a school that’s testing a new tech to preserve memories. But not everything is as it seems in Foxtail Academy, and things get more complicated when the students start to vanish as well.
The Undead Truth of Us by Britney S. Lewis (August 9)
I promised you zombies, and here they are! This YA paranormal fantasy is Lewis’s debut, and it follows a girl named Zharie Young. Zharie’s mother morphed into a zombie before she died, and Zharie can’t figure out why. Nevertheless, she now sees zombies everywhere. Enter Bo, a charming skater boy who transforms into a half-zombie in front of Zharie. He’s not what she expected, so Zharie decides to give him a chance and get to know him. It doesn’t hurt that he might be able to shed a light into her mother’s own transformation as well.
A Venom Dark and Sweet (The Book of Tea #2) by Judy I. Lin (August 23)
The next SFF release in August is the conclusion to the YA fantasy duology A Magic Steeped in Poison! After the events of book one, The Banished Prince is back to reclaim the throne. So our protagonist Ning helps princess Zhen escape. Their new mission is to go through the kingdom of Dàxi, looking for allies that will help them take back the throne. To top it off, an ancient evil has awoken. If they can’t stop it, it won’t matter if they take the throne back at all.
The Dragon’s Promise (Six Crimson Cranes #2) by Elizabeth Lim (August 30)
I for one am so excited for the sequel to Six Crimson Cranes to come out! Without spoilers, the story follows Shiori — a princess with forbidden powers. At the end of the last book, she made a promise she intends to keep. This sends her on a journey to the kingdom of dragons, a place full of scheming humans and dragons alike. In order to complete her quest, and return a stolen magical object, Shiori will have to tread carefully. If not, she could lose the life she has fought so hard to earn.
August Middle Grade Science Fiction & Fantasy
Alliana, Girl of Dragons by Julie Abe (August 2)
The author of Eva Evergreen is releasing this sweet middle grade fantasy! It’s inspired by the Japanese Cinderella story, and it’s also set inside the world of Eva Evergreen, although you don’t need to read those books before you read this one. The story follows Alliana, a young girl who is forced to attend to her step-mother’s every whim. Her life takes a turn when she meets a nightdragon and a witch called Nela. She needs Alliana’s help navigating a mysterious abyss. This is Alliana’s dream chance to break free, and she won’t let it slip from her grasp.
Paola Santiago and the Sanctuary of Shadows (Paola Santiago #3) by Tehlor Kay Mejia (August 2)
The third installment of Kay Mejia’s Paola Santiago series, which began with Paola Santiago and the River of Tears, is finally hitting the shelves! Without spoilers, the book follows Paola as she travels to Texas — where she’s hoping to find a new rift in the void. Through high and low, Paola manages to enter the void, where she has to face not one but two enemies. The first is El Cucuy, AKA the Boogeyman. The second enemy is even scarier, and looks suspiciously like Pao herself.
A Taste Of Magic by J. Elle (August 30)
The first in a new series, A Taste Of Magic is J. Elle’s middle grade debut. The story follows 12-year-old Kyana — who is also a witch! She just discovered her powers, which means new magic classes for her every Saturday. Kyana loves this new, magical world. But when her school loses funding, the students can either pay the exorbitant fees at this other fancy school…or lose their magic. Of course that won’t do. So Kyana enters a baking contest with a cash prize that might just fix things.