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 February 2019. Up first is a short list of the books I highly recommend, followed by a long list of basically every book being published.
Get your library cards and indie bookstore pre-orders ready, y’all.
Enchantée by Gita Trelease (February 5)
YA Historical Fantasy, Flatiron
“Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…
When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.
But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…” (via Goodreads)
The Cerulean by Amy Ewing (February 5)
Untitled Duology #1 – YA Fantasy, HarperTeen
“Sera has always felt as if she didn’t belong among her people, the Cerulean. She is curious about everything and can’t stop questioning her three mothers, her best friend, Leela, and even the High Priestess. Sera has longed for the day when the tether that connects her City Above the Sky to the earthly world below finally severs and sends the Cerulean to a new planet.
But when Sera is chosen as the sacrifice to break the tether, she doesn’t know what to feel. To save her City, Sera must throw herself from its edge and end her own life. But something goes wrong and she survives the fall, landing in a place called Kaolin. She has heard tales about the humans there, and soon learns that the dangers her mothers warned her of are real. If Sera has any hope to return to her City, she’ll have to find the magic within herself to survive.” (via Goodreads)
The Afterward by E.K. Johnston (February 19)
YA Fantasy, Dutton
“It has been a year since the mysterious godsgem cured Cadrium’s king and ushered in what promised to be a new golden age. The heroes who brought the gem home are renowned in story and song, but for two fellows on the quest, peace and prosperity do not come easily.
Apprentice Knight Kalanthe Ironheart wasn’t meant for heroism this early in life, and while she has no intention of giving up the notoriety she has earned, her reputation does not pay her bills. With time running out, Kalanthe may be forced to betray not her kingdom or her friends, but her own heart as she seeks a stable future for herself and those she loves.
Olsa Rhetsdaughter was never meant for heroism at all. Beggar, pick pocket, thief, she lived hand to mouth on the city streets until fortune–or fate–pulled her into Kalanthe’s orbit. And now she’s quite reluctant to leave it. Even more alarmingly, her fame has made her recognizable, which makes her profession difficult, and a choice between poverty and the noose isn’t much of a choice at all.
Both girls think their paths are laid out, but the godsgem isn’t quite done with them and that new golden age isn’t a sure thing yet.
In a tale both sweepingly epic and intensely personal, Kalanthe and Olsa fight to maintain their newfound independence and to find their way back to each other.” (via Goodreads)
The Great Unknowable End by Kathryn Ormsbee (February 19)
YA Science Fiction, Simon & Schuster
“Slater, Kansas is a small town where not much seems to happen.
Stella dreams of being a space engineer. After Stella’s mom dies by suicide and her brother runs off to Red Sun, the local hippie commune, Stella is forced to bring her dreams down to Earth to care for her sister Jill.
Galliard has only ever known life inside Red Sun. There, people accept his tics, his Tourette’s. But when he’s denied Red Sun’s resident artist role he believed he was destined for, he starts to imagine a life beyond the gates of the compound…
The day Stella and Galliard meet, there is something in the air in their small town. Literally. So begins weeks of pink lightning, blood red rain, unexplained storms… And a countdown clock appears mysteriously above the town hall. With time ticking down to some great, unknowable end they’ll each have to make a choice.
If this is really the end of the world, who do they want to be when they face it?” (via Goodreads)
The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson (February 19)
YA Fantasy, Simon Pulse
“Dino doesn’t mind spending time with the dead. His parents own a funeral home, and death is literally the family business. He’s just not used to them talking back. Until Dino’s ex-best friend July dies suddenly—and then comes back to life. Except not exactly. Somehow July is not quite alive, and not quite dead.
As Dino and July attempt to figure out what’s happening, they must also confront why and how their friendship ended so badly, and what they have left to understand about themselves, each other, and all those grand mysteries of life.” (via Goodreads)
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia (February 26)
YA Fantasy, Katherine Tegen
“At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.
On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?” (via Goodreads)
All YA Spec Fic
The Antidote by Shelley Sackier (February 5)
YA Fantasy, HarperTeen
“Fee’s desperation to save her friend means she can barely contain the magic inside her. And after the tiniest of slips, Fee is thrust into a dark and secretive world that is as alluring as it is dangerous.” (Goodreads)
Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers (February 5)
Courting Darkness #1 – YA Fantasy, HMH Books
“As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge.” (Goodreads)
Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway (February 5)
Glass Alliance #1 – YA Fantasy, Tor Teen
“As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.” (Goodreads)
Drop Dead Gorgeous by R.L. Stine (February 5)
Return to Fear Street #3 – YA Horror, HarperTeen
“And Morgan’s dark secrets are about to be dug up for all the world to see.” (Goodreads)
Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian (February 5)
Ash Princess Trilogy #2 – YA Fantasy, Delacorte
“Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.” (Goodreads)
Stolen Time by Danielle Rollins (February 5)
Dark Stars #1 – YA Science Fiction, HarperTeen
“What Dorothy doesn’t know is that she could hold the key to unraveling the past—and her arrival may spell Ash’s ultimate destruction.” (Goodreads)
The Waning Age by S.E. Grove (February 5)
YA Science Fiction, Viking
“Filled with twists and turns, The Waning Age is a powerful mirror that shows us the danger of becoming desensitized to violence and the remarkable, transformative power of love.” (Goodreads)
The Darkest Bloom by P.M. Freestone (February 7)
Shadowscent #1 – YA Fantasy, Scholastic
“In the empire of Aramtesh, scent has power.” (Goodreads)
The Blood Spell by C.J. Redwine (February 12)
Ravenspire #4 – YA Fantasy, Balzer + Bray
“When romance is forbidden and evil is rising, can Blue save those she loves, even if it costs her everything?” (Goodreads)
Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard (February 12)
The Witchlands #3 – YA Fantasy, Tor Teen
“The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.” (Goodreads)
Corpse & Crown by Alisa Kwitney (February 12)
Cadaver & Queen #2 – YA Science Fiction, Inkyard
“Corpse & Crown follows the story of Agatha DeLacey, an Ingold nursing student who travels to London and uncovers a devastating secret about the country’s Bio-Mechanicals.” (Goodreads)
Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto (February 12)
Crown of Feathers #1 – YA Fantasy, Simon Pulse
“Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.” (Goodreads)
Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok (February 12)
YA Historical Fantasy, Tor Teen
“Nathalie’s search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs.” (Goodreads)
The Triumphant by Lesley Livingston (February 12)
The Valiant #3 – YA Historical Fantasy, Razorbill
“Along the way, Fallon will have to decide where her heart truly lies, as well as what—and who—she is willing to sacrifice to get there.” (Goodreads)
Honor Bound by Rachel Caine and Anne Aguirre (February 19)
The Honors #2 – YA Science Fiction, Katherine Tegen
“Soon Zara will have to make a choice: stand against the ultimate evil or run from it. But she’s never walked away from a fight.” (Goodreads)
Mist, Metal, and Ash by Gwendolyn Clare (February 19)
Ink, Iron, and Glass #2 – YA Historical Fantasy, Imprint
“Now Elsa must track down the friend who betrayed her and recover the book before its destructive power is unleashed.” (Goodreads)
A Soldier and a Liar by Caitlin Lochner (February 19)
YA Superheroes, Swoon Reads
“In a world on the brink of war, four superpowered teens must learn to work together for peace in Caitlin Lochner’s action-packed debut novel, A Soldier and A Liar.” (Goodreads)
Tarot by Marissa Kennerson (February 19)
YA Fantasy, Razorbill
“Anna thinks she’s found paradise in this world of beachside parties, endless food and drink, and exhilarating romance. But when the fabric of Cups begins to unravel, Anna discovers that her tapestries are more than just decoration.” (Goodreads)
An Affair of Poisons by Addie Thorley (February 26)
YA Historical Fantasy, Page Street
“She’s a deadly poisoner. He’s a bastard prince. Together, they form a tenuous pact to unite the commoners and former nobility against the Shadow Society. But can a rebellion built on mistrust ever hope to succeed?” (Goodreads)
The Deceiver’s Heart by Jennifer A. Nielsen (February 26)
The Traitor’s Game #2 – YA Fantasy, Scholastic
“With untrusting Coracks and Halderians threatening to capture and kill her, and war looming on the horizon, Kestra and Simon will have to learn to trust each other again if they have any hope of surviving.” (Goodreads)
The Dysasters by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast (February 26)
YA Fantasy, Wednesday Books
“Foster and Tate must stop Dr. Stewart and his minions before he destroys their lives and the world.” (Goodreads)
Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte (February 26)
YA Fantasy, GP Putnam Sons
“A divided nation. Four Queens. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.” (Goodreads)
Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury (February 26)
YA Science Fiction, Scholastic
“With everything she knows threading away into stars, Stacia sets her heart on a single mission. She will find and rescue Clio, even with the whole galaxy on her trail.” (Goodreads)
Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller (February 26)
YA Fantasy, Feiwel & Friends
“…to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.” (Goodreads)