July anticipated releases …

There are SO MANY books due for release in July which I am really looking forward to reading. I’ve taken the synopsis for each of these from the Waterstones website. I have read and loved books by many of these authors, and have also included a few new-to-me and debut authors whose books have definitely caught my interest. I have been lucky enough to get early copies of some of these and aim to post my reviews before publication date.

Release Date: 1st July

Ironhold is an orderly place where “industry brings prosperity”, and where nature is pushed aside for progress. But when Orin Crowfall, a lowly servant boy, learns that the island itself is in grave danger, that knowledge makes him a target of powerful forces. He narrowly escapes on a small boat, but then faces a fight for survival with his robot friend, Cody, in the stormy ocean, pursued by a terrifying sea monster. Can they make it to safety, somewhere beyond the horizon? And will Orin find a way back to save his family before everything is destroyed? To succeed, Orin will need to dig deep for courage, trust in new friends, and, ultimately, have faith in himself. This is fantasy adventure at its finest: riotous adventure, memorable characters, incredible world building, and a powerful, thought-provoking message about ecological balance.
When there’s a murder in the village and a hag is heard howling at the local inn, secret witch Raven Charming realizes she could have a rival – one who practises the worst kind of magic. With the help of amateur sleuth, Mortimer Scratch, and Nightshade, a talking cat with a feline sense of detection, she sets out to solve what’s been going on …
Calla’s mum has never been normal. She’s been known to go out in a lab coat and slippers and often forgets to perform basic tasks because she’s been thinking about ducks. When a job offer arrives to study her beloved birds in the Amazon rainforest, Calla knows her mum has to go. Nervously, she agrees to go to boarding school. She quickly learns that trouble is afoot in this odd convent school. A mean new headmistress is imposing horrible rules and making everyone eat Brussels sprout cake, and the students are itching to revolt. As Calla makes new friends and gets drawn into their rebellious plot, she keeps waiting for her mum to call. She will, won’t she? 
Where has Faith’s dad gone? Why has he left his family living in an old house perched on a crumbling cliff top? A crack has appeared in the cliff and Faith watches anxiously as it gets bigger and bigger each day… Her brother is obsessed with the sea ghosts he claims live in the basement, and when he disappears as well, Faith starts to believe in the ghosts too. Can she find her brother and bring her father back before everything she cares about falls into the pitiless sea below?
Ahoy there! The Nine Sails is casting off for Madagascar so all aboard for a treasure hunt you’ll never forget! Kintana has grown up listening to stories of life at sea from her pa, an ex-pirate turned pet shop owner. So when a tall ship – The Nine Sails – berths at Pirate Island she eagerly joins the motley crew as a cabin boy – even though her main duty will be to look after the pirate’s pets. But someone on board is determined to disrupt the voyage, could the dreaded captain’s curse be to blame? Or is it the lure of buried treasure that will draw the ship back? One thing is for sure, Kintana is about to discover that sometimes adventure is found closer to home.
Fifteen-year-old girl gamer Casey Henderson is obsessed with smash-hit game SkyWake – and she’s good at it, too. Little does she realize it’s actually an alien training tool created by an evil extra-terrestrial race. When the aliens swoop down on a national gaming tournament, Casey and her teammates discover they’re abducting the best gamers to fight in a distant alien war across the galaxy. And they’ve got her brother. Casey’s gaming skills are her best hope of stopping the aliens – but first she and her online teammates must learn to work together in real life…

Release Date: 8th July

Born with a serious heart condition, Dara has been waiting for his Big Operation forever, and this summer it’s finally going to happen. The moment his heart is fixed he’ll row out to the island in the bay all by himself just like he’s always dreamed. But when his op is postponed, Dara snaps. When will he get to live his real life? Maybe the adventures he dreams of are just silly fantasies. And then he finds a girl hiding in the boat shed. She wears animal skins. She has a real live pet wolf. She is, simply, impossible. Could Mothgirl really be from the Stone Age? And what is she seeking on Lathrin Island?
MAY, 1910 As the blazing Halley’s comet draws close to the earth, Nancy is uprooted to start a new life in Suffolk with a grandfather she has never met. With every curtain drawn shut, Nancy is forbidden from leaving her grandfather’s house: no one must know that her or her mother are there. Yet, when Nancy discovers the house’s secret observatory, she watches her mother and grandfather creep out every night… Where are they going? And why mustn’t any of them be seen? As the mysteries pile up, Nancy must bring dark secrets from the past to light – even if doing so will put her own life at risk. 
Billy’s mum isn’t like other mums. All she wants is to teach him the Rules of Survival – how to make fire, build shelter and find food. She likes to test Billy on the rules until one day she goes too far, and Billy is sent to live with a dad he barely knows. Then the world changes forever as people begin to be infected with a mysterious virus that turns their skin grey. As chaos breaks out, Billy has to flee the city. Suddenly he realises that this is what his mum was preparing him for – not just to save his family, but to save the whole world. 
In a near future where a series of environmental disasters has left much of the country underwater, Pearl lives on a floating oyster farm with her father and younger sister, Clover. Following her mum’s death several years earlier, Pearl refuses to set foot on land, believing her illness was caused by the poisons in the ground. Meanwhile, Clover dreams of school, friends and a normal life.
Then Nat comes to spend the summer at the sea farm while his scientist mum conducts some experiments. Leaving behind the mainland, with its strict rules and regulations, he brings with him a secret. But when the sisters promise to keep his secret safe, little do they realize that they may be risking everything… 
Kiki Kallira has always been a worrier. Did she lock the front door? Is there a terrible reason her mum is late? Recently her anxiety has been getting out of control, but one thing that has always soothed her is drawing. Kiki’s sketchbook is full of fantastical doodles of the Hindu myths and legends her mother has told her since she was tiny. One day, her sketchbook’s calming effect is broken when her mythological characters begin springing to life and Kiki is pulled into the mystical world she drew. There, she discovers the band of rebel kids who protect the kingdom, as well as an ancient, monstrous god bent on total destruction. Kiki must overcome her fear and anxiety to save both worlds – the real and the imagined – from his wrath. But how can a girl armed with only a pencil defeat something so powerful?
Welcome to the Land of Lost Things. Unlikely hero Whetstone and trainee Valkyrie Lotta are on an quest to find Whetstone’s long-lost father. But when Loki the trickster God sends his monstrous children after them, and Lotta loses her magic shield and along with it, her powers, things go from bad to worse. Can Lotta and Whetstone survive a sea-serpent attack, a gigantic wolf who likes his tummy tickled and a very lonely queen of the dead, to keep the quest on track?
Rose and Arthur are back in Roar, on a voyage that takes them further than they’ve ever been before: beyond The End. It’s an amazing adventure – full of secrets, surprises and fairies with fangs – but then a mysterious storm changes everything. Shipwrecked on a strange island, they make a shocking discovery … Could this be the end of Roar?
Young reporter-in-training Kate and her mouse-accomplice Rupert are on board a train, to visit Kate’s mum in the Arctic. But as soon as the train departs, mysterious things start happening. A packet of ginger nuts goes missing . . . A collection of gymnastics trophies are stolen . . . And some ancient scrolls disappear . . . Fellow passenger Madame Maude seems the most likely culprit, until a surprising – and delicious – twist turns the whole investigation on its head. 
Aleja and her fellow pirates are eager to embark on a new adventure to find the second piece of the missing magical map. But they soon find themselves panicking, bewildered by a series of confusing clues. And time is running out – fast. When she starts experiencing strange visions, Aleja realizes that someone is trying to tell her something. But can this new knowledge be trusted? And what will it cost her to find out?  With the crew’s loyalties tested and more secrets to unlock than ever, Aleja must find a way to beat the clock and prove herself truly worthy of her place on the ship’s crew . . .
This beautiful gift book, illustrated in full colour by Barry Falls, is divided into five sections: looking out of the window, venturing out into the garden, walking in the woods, investigating heathland and wandering on the river bank. Dara pauses to tell you about each habitat and provides fantastic facts about the native birds, animals and plants you will find there – including wrens, blackbirds, butterflies, tadpoles, bluebells, bees, hen harriers, otters, dandelions, oak trees and many more. Each section contains a discovery section where you will have a closer look at natural phenomenon such as metamorphoses and migration, learn about categorization in the animal kingdom or become an expert on the collective nouns for birds. Each section finishes with an activity to do when you get home: plant wild flowers, make a bird feeder, try pond dipping, make a journey stick and build a terrarium. Dara ends the book with advice for young conservationists.

Release Date: 22nd July

When eleven-year-old Edie Winter finds a mysterious box on the London Underground she’s amazed to discover that it’s home to a family of Flits – tiny winged people. But Impy, Speckle and Nid need Edie’s help. Not only do they need supplies (rice crispies, sugar sprinkles, digestive biscuits and raisins) and someone to look after them, but their brother Jot has run away and they need Edie’s help to find him.
In the quiet Scottish seaside village of Dunlyre, Finn is enduring a winter holiday with his annoying new stepmother, wishing things could go back to how they were, while Sage is enjoying her new home, wishing things would stay as they are. Finn has seen mysterious swimmers in the Firth late at night. Then, from the clifftop, first Sage, then Finn, hears an eerie song. Could the local legend of merfolk living amid the waves actually be true? When the new friends meet the magical sea-people, they are amazed and impressed, but the merfolk are hiding a secret. The two human children must put aside their own problems and help in the battle against the young merfolk’s ancient underwater enemy before the last of their kind are lost forever.

July is going to be another bumper month for book purchases! Do any of these pique your interest, or have you had an early read of any of them? If so, what did you think?

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