I come bearing gifts of great reading! Here’s a comprehensive guide to young adult speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror) being published in August 2019. 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 something? Let me know in the comments.
Get your library cards and indie bookstore pre-orders ready, y’all.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate by Zoraida Córdova (August 6)
YA Science Fiction, Disney-Lucasfilm Press
“Izzy and Jules were childhood friends, climbing the spires of Batuu, inventing silly games, and dreaming of adventures they would share one day. Then, Izzy’s family left abruptly, without even a chance to say goodbye. Izzy’s life became one of constant motion, traveling from one world to the next, until her parents were killed and she became a low-level smuggler to make ends meet. Jules remained on Batuu, eventually becoming a farmer like his father, but always yearning for something more.
Now, thirteen years after she left, Izzy is returning to Batuu. She’s been hired to deliver a mysterious parcel, and she just wants to finish the job and get gone. But upon arrival at Black Spire Outpost she runs smack into the one person who still means something to her after all this time: Jules.
The attraction between them is immediate, yet despite Jules seeming to be everything she’s ever needed, Izzy hesitates. How can she drag this good-hearted man into the perilous life she’s chosen?
Jules has been trying to figure out his future, but now all he knows for certain is that he wants to be with Izzy. How can he convince her to take a chance on someone who’s never left the safety of his homeworld?
When Izzy’s job goes wrong, the two childhood friends find themselves on the run. And all their secrets will be revealed as they fight to stay alive?”
Of Ice and Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst (August 13)
Of Fire and Stars #2 – YA Fantasy, Balzer + Bray
“Princesses Denna and Mare are in love and together at last—only to face a new set of dangers.
Mare just wants to settle down with the girl she loves, which would be easier if Denna weren’t gifted with forbidden and volatile fire magic. Denna must learn to control her powers, which means traveling in secret to the kingdom of Zumorda, where she can seek training without fear of persecution. Determined to help, Mare has agreed to serve as an ambassador as a cover for their journey.
But just after Mare and Denna arrive in Zumorda, an attack on a border town changes everything. Mare’s diplomatic mission is now urgent: She must quickly broker an alliance with the Zumordan queen to protect her homeland. However, the queen has no interest in allying with other kingdoms—it’s Denna’s untamed but powerful magic that catches her eye. The queen offers to teach Denna herself, and both girls know it would be dangerous to refuse.
As Denna’s powers grow stronger, Mare does her best to be the ambassador her kingdom needs. Her knowledge of Zumorda and its people grows, and so too do her suspicions about the queen’s intentions. With rising tensions and unexpected betrayals putting Mare and Denna in jeopardy and dangerous enemies emerging on all sides, can they protect their love and save their kingdoms?”
Song of the Abyss by Makiia Lucier (August 27)
Tower of Winds #2 – YA Fantasy, HMH Books for Young Readers
“As the granddaughter of a famed navigator, seventeen-year-old Reyna has always lived life on her own terms, despite those who say a girl could never be an explorer for the royal house of St. John del Mar. She is determined to prove them wrong, and as she returns home after a year-long expedition, she knows her dream is within reach. No longer an apprentice, instead: Reyna, Master Explorer.
But when menacing raiders attack her ship, those dreams are pushed aside. Reyna’s escape is both desperate and dangerous, and when next she sees her ship, a mystery rises from the deep. The sailors–her captain, her countrymen–have vanished. To find them, Reyna must use every resource at her disposal . . . including placing her trust in a handsome prince from a rival kingdom.
Together they uncover a disturbing truth. The attack was no isolated incident. Troubling signs point to a shadowy kingdom in the north, and for once, the rulers of the Sea of Magdalen agree: something must be done. But can Reyna be brave enough to find a way?”
Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Pérez (August 27)
Sweet Black Waves #2 – YA Fantasy, Imprint
“Branwen has a secret powerful enough to destroy two kingdoms.
Her ancient magic led to a terrible betrayal by both her best friend, the princess Essy, and her first love, Tristan. Now this same magic is changing Branwen. Adrift in a rival court, Branwen must hide the truth from the enemy king by protecting the lovers who broke her heart―and finds herself considering a darker path.
Not everyone wants the alliance with Branwen’s kingdom to succeed―peace is balanced on a knife’s edge, and her only chance may be to embrace the darkness within…”
All YA Spec Fic
Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay (August 1)
YA Fantasy, Red Rouge Pres
“Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows—it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure. When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one mad house for another: the court of the Queen of Hearts.”
Beasts of the Frozen Sun by Jill Criswell (August 6)
Frozen Sun Saga #1 – YA Fantasy, Blackstone
“As Lira and Reyker form a bond forbidden by both their clans, the wrath of the Dragon falls upon them and all of Glasnith, and Lira finds herself facing the same tragic fate as her ancestor. The battle for Lira’s life, for Reyker’s soul, and for their peoples’ freedom has only just begun.”
Containment by Caryn Lix (August 6)
Sanctuary #2 – YA Science Fiction, Simon Pulse
“When Kenzie intercepts a radio communication suggesting that more aliens are on their way, she knows there’s only one choice: They must turn themselves in to Omnistellar and destroy the ship before the aliens follow the signal straight to them. Because if the monstrous creatures who attacked Sanctuary reach Earth, then it’s game over for humanity.”
The Demon World by Sally Green (August 6)
The Smoke Thieves #2 – YA Fantasy, Viking
“Catherine, Aloysius’ daughter, is seen as a traitor from all sides; Tash is heartbroken after the loss of her one friend and sees nothing left for her in the human world; Edyon is wanted for murder; March is carrying the secret of his betrayal of his new love; Ambrose is out for revenge–and all the while, the demons have plans of their own…”
A Dress for the Wicked by Autumn Krause (August 6)
YA Historical Fantasy, HarperTeen
“As the first “country girl” to compete, Emmy knows she’ll encounter extra hurdles on her way to the top. But as she navigates the twisted world of high fashion she starts to wonder: will she be able to tailor herself to fit into this dark, corrupted race? And at what cost?”
The Heartwood Crown by Matt Mikalatos (August 6)
The Sunlit Lands #2 – YA Fantasy, Wanderer
“As her health continues to deteriorate, Madeline feels the Sunlit Lands calling her back. Meanwhile, Jason, Darius, and the rest of the inhabitants of the Sunlit Lands fight for survival and freedom. The magic that fuels the land is failing, threatening to destroy them all. Will Madeline’s return save the land and its people?”
Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé (August 6)
YA Horror, Sourcebooks Fire
“In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones. Then Deirdre disappears.”
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig (August 6)
YA Fantasy, Delacorte
“Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?”
Paradox Hunt by Dee Garretson (August 6)
Torch World #3 – YA Science Fiction, Month9Books
“The galaxy is on the brink of chaos. Earth has grown repressive over the centuries, touting democratic principles while ruling with an iron fist.”
Remember Me by Chelsea Bobulski (August 6)
YA Horror, Feiwel and Friends
“Nell and a mysterious bellboy must relive that day in hopes of finally breaking a curse that imprisons them both. And Nell discovers what truly links her to the history of the Winslow Grand Hotel.”
Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning (August 6)
Sea Witch #2 – YA Fantasy, Katherine Tegen
“Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds?”
Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson (August 6)
Dance of Thieves #2 – YA Fantasy, Henry Holt
“Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits.”
Bright Star by Erin Swan (August 13)
YA Fantasy, Tor Teen
“Paerolia has been at peace for two centuries, and all is well in the land—or so it seems. Beneath the surface, a tyrant is rising to power.”
Curse of the Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen (August 13)
Evil Librarian #3 – YA Fantasy, Candlewick Press
“She can’t wait to create the most incredible barricade set design in all of high-school theater. And her boyfriend, Ryan, is sure to land his dream role of Javert. But down in the demon realm, an epic mishandling of Mr. Gabriel’s essence leads to his escape — and soon he’s gathering strength, bent once again on revenge against Cyn and everyone she loves.”
The Last Hope by Krista Ritchie and Becca Ritchie (August 13)
The Raging Ones #2 – YA Science Fiction, Wednesday Books
“Legend says, a baby—the first of her species—has the power to cloak and teleport planets. Tasked with retrieving the infant, Court fears the baby is just a myth, and if they fail, they’ll never find the truth about their origins.”
Mayhem and Madness: Chronicles of a Teenaged Supervillain by J. A. Dauber (August 13)
YA Superheroes, Holiday House
“Bailey never meant to be the bad guy in the bulletproof robotic suit, but with every mission he gets closer to finding his father . . . and he can’t stop now.”
Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd (August 13)
Grim Lovelies #2 – YA Fantasy, HMH Books for Young Readers
“With her friends now trapped in their animal forms, Anouk is forced into a sinister deal involving a political marriage with her sworn enemy, a wicked plot to overthrow London’s fiercest coven of witches, and a deadly trial of fire to become a witch. The price for power has always been steep in the world of the Haute. Now, it will cost Anouk everything.”
Into the Hourglass by Emily R. King (August 20)
The Evermore Chronicles #2 – YA Fantasy, Skyscape
“The Land Under the Wave was not made for humans, particularly one with a fragile clock heart. Here, Everley’s tragic past resurfaces unsolved questions. Here, too, the prince has hidden secrets more precious than pearls, secrets that could fracture the future forevermore. Everley must take back her sword and break free from this watery world before her time runs out…or so will everyone else’s.”
Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford (August 27)
Crown of Coral and Pearl #1 – YA Fantasy, Inkyard Press
“For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…”
Mind Games by Shana Silver (August 27)
YA Science Fiction, Swoon Reads
“Arden realizes that her own memories have been hacked, but they haven’t just been stolen and shared… they’ve been deleted. And she’s not the only one, the hot stranger, Sebastian, has lost ALL of his memories. But how can they find someone with the power to make them forget everything they’ve learned?”
Rage by Cora Carmack (August 27)
Stormheart #2 – YA Fantasy, Tor Teen
“In disguise as the rebel Roar, she puts her knowledge of the palace to use to aid the rebellion. But the Rage season is at its peak and not a day passes without the skies raining down destruction. Yet these storms are different—they churn with darkness, and attack with a will that’s desperate and violent.”
These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch (August 27)
Stream Raiders #2 – YA Fantasy, Balzer + Bray
“Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God?”