I come bearing gifts of great reading! Here’s a comprehensive guide to all the young adult speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror) being published in October 2018. Up first is a short list of the books I highly recommend, followed by a long list of basically every book being published. Did I miss one? Lemme know in the comments.
Also, if you’re an author/agent/publicist/editor/etc with an upcoming YA spec fic book by or about a marginalized community, drop me a line for a possible review.
Get your library cards and indie bookstore pre-orders ready, y’all.
Dry by Neal Shusterman, Jarrod Shusterman (October 2)
YA Dystopian, Simon & Schuster
“The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.
Until the taps run dry.
Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbours and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.” (via Goodreads)
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor (October 2)
Strange the Dreamer #2 – YA Fantasy, Little, Brown
“In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.
Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice—save the woman he loves, or everyone else?—while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.
As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?” (via Goodreads)
Paragon Rising by Dorothy Dreyer (October 2)
Curse of the Phoenix #2 – YA Fantasy, Snowy Wings
“On the brink of war, the fate of the nine realms lies in Tori Kagari’s hands. After her arduous efforts to infiltrate the queendom of Avarell, Tori must now escape from it in an unforeseen alliance with a runaway princess and the soldier who saved Tori’s life.
When the savage forces of Nostidour take hold of Avarell, Tori must seek out the rulers of the other realms and convince them to join the fight. But when the other realms discover that Tori has been lying about who she is, they are hesitant to trust her. Now Tori must find a way to prove herself, even if it means leading the battle herself and risking everything in the name of peace.” (via Goodreads)
Star-Crossed by Pintip Dunn (October 2)
YA Science Fiction, Entangled Teen
“Only one can survive…
In a world where nutrition can be transferred via a pill, and society is split into Eaters and Non-Eaters, seventeen-year-old Princess Vela has a grave dilemma. Her father, the king, is dying, and only a transplant of organs from a healthy Non-Eater boy will save him.
Vela is tasked with choosing a boy fit to die for the king, which is impossible enough. But then Carr, the boy she’s loved all her life, emerges as the best candidate in the Bittersweet Trials. And he’s determined to win, because by doing so, he can save the life of his Non-Eater sister.
Refusing to accept losing the boy she loves, Vela bends the rules and cheats. But when someone begins to sabotage the Trials, Vela must reevaluate her own integrity―and learn the true sacrifice of becoming a ruler.” (via Goodreads)
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (October 2)
Montague Siblings #2 – YA Historical Fantasy, Katherine Tegan
“Felicity Montague is through with pretending she prefers society parties to books about bone setting—or that she’s not smarter than most people she knows, or that she cares about anything more than her dream of becoming a doctor.
A year after an accidentally whirlwind tour of Europe, which she spent evading highwaymen and pirates with her brother Monty, Felicity has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of Callum Doyle, a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh; and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.
But then a small window of hope opens. Doctor Alexander Platt, an eccentric physician that Felicity idolizes, is looking for research assistants, and Felicity is sure that someone as forward thinking as her hero would be willing to take her on. However, Platt is in Germany, preparing to wed Felicity’s estranged childhood friend Johanna. Not only is Felicity reluctant to opening old wounds, she also has no money to make the trip.
Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid. In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that will lead her from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.” (via Goodreads)
The Rising Gold by Ava Jae (October 2)
Beyond the Red #3 – YA Science Fiction, Sky Pony Press
“A new world ruler is crowned.
Plunged into a crumbling world of foreign politics that is desperate for a leader, Eros chooses a loyal prince to help him navigate the hostile sands of Safara. But not everyone is happy to see a half-blood become the most powerful person on the planet.
A queen must restore her nation.
In power once more, Kora faces new challenges and a difficult decision that puts someone close to her in mortal danger. The wrong choice could destroy her relationships, her right to rule, and her life.
A rebellion is brewing.
With their world collapsing around them, new threats spreading across the globe, and their loved ones at risk, the people of Safara―Sepharon and human alike―depend on Eros and Kora to fix their bleeding world. But with generations of hate stacked against them, the two young monarchs may be doomed to fail.” (via Goodreads)
The Spy with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke (October 2)
The Balloonmakers #2 – YA Historical Fantasy, Albert Whitman
“Siblings Ilse and Wolf hide a deep secret in their blood: with it, they can work magic. And the government just found out.Blackmailed into service during World War II, Ilse lends her magic to America’s newest weapon, the atom bomb, while Wolf goes behind enemy lines to sabotage Germany’s nuclear program. It’s a dangerous mission, but if Hitler were to create the bomb first, the results would be catastrophic.
When Wolf’s plane is shot down, his entire mission is thrown into jeopardy. Wolf needs Ilse’s help to develop the magic that will keep him alive, but with a spy afoot in Ilse’s laboratory, the letters she sends to Wolf begin to look treasonous. Can Ilse prove her loyalty—and find a way to help her brother—before their time runs out?” (via Goodreads)
Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria (October 9)
YA Fantasy, Amulet
“In the city of Eldra, people are ruled by ancient prophecies. For centuries, the high council has stayed in power by virtue of the prophecies of the elder seers. After the last infallible prophecy came to pass, growing unrest led to murders and an eventual rebellion that raged for more than a decade.
In the present day, Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, is determined to fight back against the high council, which governs Eldra from behind the walls of the citadel. Her only allies are no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt, and Cassa struggles to come to terms with the legacy of rebellion her dead parents have left her — and the fear that she may be inadequate to shoulder the burden. But by the time Cassa and her friends uncover the mystery of the final infallible prophecy, it may be too late to save the city — or themselves.” (via Goodreads)
Blanca and Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore (October 9)
YA Fantasy, Feiwel & Friends
“The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.
But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts. (via Goodreads)
Zenith Dream by F.T. Lukens (October 11)
Broken Moon #3 – YA Science Fiction, Duet
“When Ren wakes from his life-threatening injury on the Star Stream, he learns that Asher has left with the Phoenix Corps and that the Corps believes Ren to be dead. Despite the opportunity to disappear, Ren is determined to fix his mistakes. He convinces the crew to join him for one last mission—find Asher, free Liam, and escape from the Corps’ reach. But a war is brewing between two formidable armies, and, despite his wish to flee, Ren is drawn into the conflict. With his friends by his side, Ren must make a choice, and it will affect the future of his found family and the cluster forever.” (via Goodreads)
Crown of Thunder by Tochi Onyebuchi (October 16)
Beasts Made of Night #2 – YA Fantasy, Razorbill
“Taj is headed west, but the consequences of leaving Kos behind confront him at every turn. Innocent civilians flee to refugee camps as Karima’s dark magic continues to descend on the city. Taj must return, but first he needs a plan.
With Arzu’s help, Taj and Aliya make it to the village of her ancestors, home of the tastahlik—sin-eaters with Taj’s same ability to both battle and call forth sins. As Taj comes to terms with his new magic, he realizes there are two very different groups of tastahlik—one using their powers for good, the other for more selfish ends.
Aliya is struggling with her own unique capabilities. She’s immersed in her work to uncover the secret to Karima’s magic, but her health begins to mysteriously deteriorate. With the help of a local western mage, Aliya uncovers her true destiny—a future she’s not sure she wants.
As Taj and Aliya explore their feelings for each other and Arzu connects with her homeland, the local westerners begin to question Taj’s true identity. Karima is on his heels, sending dark warnings to the little village where he’s hiding. Taj will have to go back and face her before she sends her mostly deadly weapon—Taj’s former best friend, Bo. ” (via Goodreads)
Salt by Hannah Moskowitz (October 30)
YA Fantasy, Chronicle
“Even though their parents disappeared during a hunt three months ago, seventeen-year-old Indi and his siblings, Beleza, Oscar, and Zulu, continue to roam the Mediterranean on their sailboat and hunt down monsters–but Indi yearns for a more settled life for his family, and he hopes that his parents’ journal with its tantalizing hints of a treasure, will provide them all with the means of escape from their nomadic and dangerous life before it is too late.” (via Goodreads)
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (October 30)
Shadow of the Fox #1 – YA Fantasy, Harlequin Teen
“Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.” (via Goodreads)
The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta (October 30)
YA Fantasy, Viking
“For Teodora DiSangro, a mafia don’s daughter, family is fate.
All her life, Teodora has hidden the fact that she secretly turns her family’s enemies into music boxes, mirrors, and other decorative objects. After all, everyone in Vinalia knows that stregas—wielders of magic—are figures out of fairytales. Nobody believes they’re real.
Then the Capo, the land’s new ruler, sends poisoned letters to the heads of the Five Families that have long controlled Vinalia. Four lie dead and Teo’s beloved father is gravely ill. To save him, Teo must travel to the capital as a DiSangro son—not merely disguised as a boy, but transformed into one.
Enter Cielo, a strega who can switch back and forth between male and female as effortlessly as turning a page in a book. Teo and Cielo journey together to the capital, and Teo struggles to master her powers and to keep her growing feelings for Cielo locked in her heart. As she falls in love with witty, irascible Cielo, Teo realizes how much of life she’s missed by hiding her true nature. But she can’t forget her mission, and the closer they get to the palace, the more sinister secrets they uncover about what’s really going on in their beloved country—and the more determined Teo becomes to save her family at any cost.” (via Goodreads)
All YA Spec Fic
A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs (October 2)
Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #4 – YA Fantasy, Dutton
“Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom—a world with few ymbrynes, or rules—that none of them understand. New wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children…“ (Goodreads)
Broken Things by Lauren Oliver (October 2)
YA Fantasy, HarperCollins
“On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous. ..“ (Goodreads)
Damsel by Elana K. Arnold (October 2)
YA Fantasy, Balzer + Bray
“The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been…“ (Goodreads)
Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd (October 2)
Grim Lovelies #1 – YA Fantasy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
“Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for...“ (Goodreads)
Someday by David Levithan (October 2)
Every Day #3 – YA Fantasy, Listening Library
“For as long as A can remember, life has meant waking up in a different person’s body every day, forced to live as that person until the day ended. A always thought there wasn’t anyone else who had a life like this…“ (Goodreads)
The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke (October 2)
YA Fantasy, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
“When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies’ one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere...“ (Goodreads)
The Freedom Trials by Meredith Tate (October 9)
YA Science Fiction, Page Street
“When new prisoner Alex Martinez arrives, armed with secrets about Evelyn’s missing memories, she must make a choice. She can follow the rules to win and walk free, or covertly uncover details of the crime that sent her there. But competing in the trials and dredging up her erased past may cost Evelyn the one thing more valuable than freedom: her life…“ (Goodreads)
Dagger and Coin by Kathy MacMillan (October 9)
Sword and Verse #2 – YA Fantasy, HarperTeen
“Friends become foes, adversaries become companions, and the clashing of classes threatens to unravel all the good Soraya has been trying to do. Can Soraya, raised to be a proper Qilarite lady, learn to be a true leader? Or will the sins of her past forever haunt the footsteps of her future?..“ (Goodreads)
Light Years by Kass Morgan (October 9)
Light Years #1 – YA Science Fiction, Little, Brown
“These cadets will have to put their differences aside and become a team to defend their world from a cunning enemy – but the danger might be lurking closer to home than they think…“ (Goodreads)
Renegade Cruex by Kristen Martin (October 9)
Shadow Crown #2 – YA Fantasy, Black Falcon
“But there’s a darker force lurking in the lands of Aeridon – darker than King Tymond himself. Forced to endure what is bound to be an upheaval of life, love, and trust, it’ll be up to Arden—and her unwavering faith in illusié—to defeat it...“ (Goodreads)
The Devil’s Thief by Lisa Maxwell (October 9)
The Last Magician #2 – YA Fantasy, Simon Pulse
“In this spellbinding sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Last Magician, Esta and Harte set off on a cross-country chase through time to steal back the elemental stones they need to save the future of magic...“ (Goodreads)
The Healer by Donna Freitas (October 9)
YA Fantasy, HarperTeen
“Then she meets Finn, a boy who makes her want to fall in love. For the first time, she begins to doubt whether her gift is worth all that she must give up to keep it...“ (Goodreads)
Unmortal by Anne M. Pillsworth (October 16)
Redemption’s Heir #3 – YA Fantasy, Tor Teen
“The thrilling conclusion of the Redemption’s Heir series–a Lovecraftian adventure for teens…“ (Goodreads)
A Sorrow Fierce and Falling by Jessica Cluess (October 16)
Kingdom on Fire #3 – YA Historical Fantasy, Random House
“In this stunning conclusion to the Kingdom on Fire series, Henrietta must choose between the love from her past, the love from her present, and a love that could define her future. While battles rage, the fate of the kingdom rests on her decision: Will she fall or rise up to become the woman who saves the realm?“ (Goodreads)
Salt and Venom by Amy McNulty (October 16)
Blood, Bloom, & Water #2 – YA Fantasy, Snowy Wings
“An emboldened merman. The daring girl who agreed to be his champion. The upcoming battle that threatens to change everything they believe in...“ (Goodreads)
Villain by Michael Grant (October 16)
Gone #8 – YA Superheroes, Katherine Tegan
“The only people who can stop a superpowered villain are superpowered heroes. Dekka, Shade, Cruz, Malik, Armo, and a new mutant with unmatched powers, are all that stand in Dillon’s way. But when the lines begin to blur between hero and villain—some begin to wonder who’s really the monster. The fight will be bloody. This isn’t another battle, this is the war to save the human race...“ (Goodreads)
Wind Rider by P.C. Cast (October 16)
Tales of a New World #3 – YA Fantasy, Wednesday Books
“Will the Wind Riders and the Pack be strong enough to withstand the God of Death? Will the Great Goddess of Life awaken to join the battle, and if so, will it be as Death’s consort, or will the Goddess stand with Mari and her people against the great love of her eternal life?“ (Goodreads)
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (October 23)
Throne of Glass #7 – YA Fantasy, Bloomsbury
“As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series...“ (Goodreads)
One Giant Leap by Heather Kaczynski (October 23)
YA Science Fiction, HarperTeen
“The war is coming to Earth, and only she has the information that can possibly stop the devastation it will bring. With humanity’s fate in the balance, Cassie must decide who she can trust and who she is willing to sacrifice in order to complete her mission...“ (Goodreads)
The Light Between Worlds by Laura Weymouth (October 23)
YA Historical Fantasy, HarperTeen
“But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under...“ (Goodreads)
West by Edith Pattou (October 23)
East #2 – YA Fantasy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
“Something much more sinister is at work. With mysterious and unstoppable forces threatening the lives of the people she loves, Rose must once again set off on a perilous journey. And this time, the fate of the entire world is at stake...“ (Goodreads)
Come November by Katrin Van Dam (October 30)
YA Science Fiction, Scholastic
“Instead, she’s spending every waking moment with a group called the Next World Society, whose members are convinced they’ll be leaving Earth behind on November 17. It sounds crazy to Rooney, but to her mother and younger brother it sounds like salvation. As her mom’s obsession threatens to tear their lives apart, Rooney is scrambling to hold it all together. But will saving her family mean sacrificing her dreams—or theirs?“ (Goodreads)
Otherearth by Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller (October 30)
Otherearth #2 – YA Science Fiction, Delacorte
“Imagine a future in which you can leave reality behind and give in to your greatest desires. That future is now. And the future is terrifying...“ (Goodreads)
The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout (October 30)
Origin #1 – YA Science Fiction, Tor Teen
“When seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher is caught up in a raid at a notorious club known as one of the few places where humans and the surviving Luxen can mingle freely, she meets Luc, an unnaturally beautiful guy she initially assumes is a Luxen…but he is in fact something much more powerful...“ (Goodreads)
This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada (October 30)
This Mortal Coil #2 – YA Dystopia, Simon Pulse
“But when confronted with lies and betrayals, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts. And while Lachlan is always two steps ahead, the biggest threat to Cat may be the secrets buried in her own mind...“ (Goodreads)
Where She Fell by Kaitlin Ward (October 30)
YA Science Fiction, Point
“As she scrambles through one cave, which leads to another, and another, Eliza finds herself in an impossible world—where a small group of people survive underground, running from vicious creatures, eating giant bugs, and creating their own subterranean society. Eliza is grateful to be alive, but this isn’t home. Is she willing to risk everything to get back to the surface?“ (Goodreads)