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 November 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.
Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean (November 6)
YA Fantasy, HMH
“Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.
Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren’t hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.
Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.” (via Goodreads)
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan (November 6)
YA Fantasy, Jimmy Patterson
“In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.” (via Goodreads)
Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao (November 6)
Rise of the Empress #2 – YA Fantasy, Philomel
“Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?” (via Goodreads)
The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson (November 6)
YA Fantasy, Bloomsbury
“Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family’s enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good.
In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate.” (via Goodreads)
Toxic by Lydia Kang (November 6)
YA Science Fiction, Entangled: Teen
“Cyclo, the first and largest biological ship of its kind, is dying. A small crew of mercenaries have handed over the rights to their life to document the death of the ship, but the abandoned ship is anything but abandoned―one girl has been left behind.
Hana has known nothing but the isolation of a single room and the secret that has kept her there for seventeen years. When she meets Fennec, the boy assigned to watch her, she realizes that there is a world she has yet to experience but she is doomed to never meet.
When crew members begin mysteriously dying, Hana and Fenn realize that they are racing against the death of the ship to find a way to survive―unless someone kills them even before Hana’s truly had a chance to live.” (via Goodreads)
Umbertouched by Livia Blackburne (November 6)
Rosemarked #2 – YA Fantasy, Disney-Hyperion
“The mission was a failure. Even though Zivah and Dineas discovered a secret that could bring down the empire, their information is useless without proof. Now, with their cover blown and their quest abandoned, their only remaining hope is to get home before Ampara brings the full might of its armies against their peoples.
As Shidadi and Dara alike prepare for war, Zivah and Dineas grapple with the toll of their time in the capital. After fighting alongside the Amparans against his own kin, can Dineas convince the Shidadi—and himself—where his loyalties lie? After betraying her healer’s vows in Sehmar City, can Zivah find a way to redeem herself—especially when the Dara ask her to do the unthinkable? And after reluctantly falling in love, what will the two do with their lingering feelings, now that the Dineas from Sehmar City is gone forever? Time is running out for all of them, but especially Zivah whose plague symptoms surface once again. Now, she must decide how she’ll define the life she has left.
Together, healer and warrior must find the courage to save their people, expose the truth, and face the devastating consequences headed their way.” (via Goodreads)
The Storyteller by Traci Chee (November 13)
Sea of Ink & Gold #3 – YA Fantasy, G.P. Putnam’s Sons
“Sefia is determined to keep Archer out of the Guard’s clutches and their plans for war between the Five Kingdoms. The Book, the ancient, infinite codex of the past, present and future, tells of a prophecy that will plunge Kelanna in that bloody war, but it requires a boy—Archer—and Sefia will stop at nothing to ensure his safety. The Guard has already stolen her mother, her father, and her Aunt Nin. Sefia would sooner die than let them take anymore from her—especially the boy she loves.
But escaping the Guard and the Book’s prophecy is no easy task. After all, what is written always comes to pass. As Sefia and Archer watch Kelanna start to crumble to the Guard’s will, they will have to choose between their love and joining a war that just might tear them apart.” (via Goodreads)
Legacy of Light by Sarah Raughley (November 20)
Effigies #3 – YA Fantasy, Simon Pulse
“The world is in chaos.
After Saul’s strike on Oslo—one seemingly led by Maia herself—the Effigies’ reputation is in shambles. Now they’re being hunted by nations across the globe, grouped in with the very terrorists they’ve been trying to stop.
With Maia’s resurrected twin, June, carrying out vicious attacks across the world, everyone believes Maia is a killer. Belle has gone rogue, Chae Rin and Lake have disappeared, and the Sect is being dismantled and replaced by a terrifying new world order helmed by Blackwell. As for Saul, his ultimate plan still remains a mystery.
And Maia? No one has seen or heard from her in weeks.
It’s all somehow connected—Saul, Phantoms, the Effigies, everything. But if the Effigies can’t put the pieces together soon, there may not be much left of the world they’ve fought so desperately to save.” (via Goodreads)
Runebreaker by Alex R. Kahler (November 27)
Runebinder Chronicles #2 – YA Fantasy, Harlequin Teen
“Aidan desires only one thing: to rule. Arrogant, headstrong and driven by the element of Fire, he will stop at nothing to bring the evil Howls that destroyed Scotland to their knees. But Fire is a treacherous element, and the very magic that brought him to power could burn his world to ash.
Especially with the blood of his fellow Hunters on his hands.
Driven by a bloodlust he can’t control and dark whispers that may not be entirely in his head, he and his magic-eschewing friend Kianna will do whatever it takes to liberate their broken world. Even at the risk of confronting the Church. Even at the risk of losing his humanity.
But power isn’t the only thing on Aidan’s mind. He’s falling for the intoxicating Tomas, an Incubus who offers everything Aidan desires. For a price.
And if that price burns the world down, well… Aidan is used to playing with Fire.” (via Goodreads)
All YA Spec Fic
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson (November 6)
YA Science Fiction, Delacorte
“No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is determined to fly. And the Krell just made that a possibility. They’ve doubled their fleet, which will make Spensa’s world twice as deadly…but just might take her skyward.“ (Goodreads)
Archenemies by Marissa Meyer (November 6)
Renegades #2 – YA Fantasy/Science Fiction, Feiwel & Friends
“The Anarchists still have a secret weapon, one that Nova believes will protect her. The Renegades also have a strategy for overpowering the Anarchists, but both Nova and Adrian understand that it could mean the end of Gatlon City – and the world – as they know it.“ (Goodreads)
Frozen Reign by Kathryn Purdie (November 6)
YA Fantasy, Katherine Tegan
“Fans of Three Dark Crowns and Red Queen will devour the heart-stopping finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Burning Glass trilogy, as teen empath Sonya fights to regain her powers amid a vengeful civil war.“ (Goodreads)
The Little Snake by A.L. Kennedy (November 6)
YA Fantasy, Canongate
“This is the story of Mary, a young girl born in a beautiful city full of rose gardens and fluttering kites. When she is still very small, Mary meets Lanmo, a shining golden snake, who becomes her very best friend.“ (Goodreads)
This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson (November 13)
YA Science Fiction, HarperTeen
“The disease was supposed to be over; the second generation was supposed to be immune. But as more people die, Lindley must face the terrifying reality that either the virus has mutated or something worse is happening: one of their own is a killer.“ (Goodreads)
Splendor & Spark by Mary Tarantara (November 13)
YA Fantasy, Margaret K. McElderry
“Faris will again be faced with impossible choices. Does she risk everything to save Avinea, even if she might lose North and further betray her sister’s trust? Or does she succumb to the poison inside that begs her to think this time, finally, of herself?“ (Goodreads)
The Reckoning of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin (November 13)
Shaw Chronicles #2 – YA Fantasy, Simon & Schuster
“Noah Shaw doesn’t think he needs his father’s inheritance. He does. Noah believes there’s something off about the suicides in his visions. There is. Noah is convinced that he still knows the real Mara Dyer. He does not.“ (Goodreads)
Shatter the Suns by Caitlin Sangster (November 13)
Last Star Burning #2 – YA Fantasy/Science Fiction, Simon Pulse
“No one is safe, not with a horrifying new strain of Sleeping Sickness tearing through the population. After fleeing the City with her friends, Sev has one goal: to find the cure her mother developed and put an end to the epidemic once and for all. But decoding her mother’s last words—to seek out “Port North”—is easier said than done.“ (Goodreads)
Dark Mind Rising by Julia Keller (November 13)
Dark Intercept #2 – YA Science Fiction, Tor Teen
“Violet’s first case—a death written off as a suicide—becomes an obsession. Soon a series of similar deaths leads Violet to believe the Intercept is not only still running—it’s in the hands of a killer.“ (Goodreads)
The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman (November 20)
Lady Helen #3 – YA Historical Fantasy, Viking
“The thrilling, genre-bending conclusion to Lady Helen’s demon-hunting adventures, set in the glittering Regency world...the intrepid Lady Helen’s story hurtles to a shocking conclusion full of action, heartbreak, and betrayal.“ (Goodreads)
Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi (November 27)
YA Historical Fantasy, Flux
“But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta. To earn back Artemis’s favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia—where the king’s daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father’s insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn’t sure what to make of Kahina. As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis’ second rule.“ (Goodreads)
Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene (November 27)
YA Fantasy, Scholastic
“So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers. But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers.“ (Goodreads)
2 thoughts on “New Young Adult Speculative Fiction November 2018”
Excellent list! There’s so much great Asian-inspired fantasy out this month!