I come bearing gifts of great reading! Here’s a comprehensive guide to young adult speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror) being published in December 2020. 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. All links are affiliate.
December 1, 2020
The Ballad of Ami Miles by Kristy Dallas Alley
“Raised in isolation at Heavenly Shepherd, her family’s trailer-dealership-turned-survival compound, Ami Miles knows that she was lucky to be born into a place of safety after the old world ended and the chaos began. But when her grandfather brings home a cold-eyed stranger, she realizes that her “destiny” as one of the few females capable of still bearing children isn’t something she’s ready to face.
With the help of one of her aunts, she flees the only life she’s ever known and sets off on a quest to find her long-lost mother (and hopefully a mate of her own choosing). But as she journeys, Ami discovers many new things about the world…and about herself” – Swoon Reads
A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha
“There’s a famine plaguing the land, and Princess Yzabel is wasting food simply by trying to eat. Before she can even swallow, her magic–her curse–has turned her meal into a bouquet. She’s on the verge of starving, which only reminds her that the people of Portugal have been enduring the same pain for years.
If only it were possible to reverse her magic. Then she could turn flowers into food.
Fatyan, a beautiful Enchanted Moura, is the only one who can help. But she is trapped by magical binds. She can teach Yzabel how to control her curse–if Yzabel sets her free with a kiss. As the King of Portugal’s betrothed, Yzabel would be committing treason, but what good is a king if his country has starved to death?
With just one kiss, Fatyan is set free. And with just one kiss, Yzabel is yearning for more. She’d sought out Fatyan to help her save the people. Now, loving her could mean Yzabel’s destruction.” – Entangled: Teen
A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes #4)
“The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning.
At his side, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress, and calls for the heads of any and all who defy her rule. At the top of the list? The Blood Shrike and her remaining family.
Laia of Serra, now allied with the Blood Shrike, struggles to recover from the loss of the two people most important to her. Determined to stop the approaching apocalypse, she throws herself into the destruction of the Nightbringer. In the process, she awakens an ancient power that could lead her to victory–or to an unimaginable doom.
And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life–and love–he left behind. Yet doing so means ignoring the trail of murder left by the Nightbringer and his jinn. To uphold his oath and protect the human world from the supernatural, the Soul Catcher must look beyond the borders of his own land. He must take on a mission that could save–or destroy–all that he knows.” – Razorbill
December 2, 2020
Link by Link: An Anthology of Haunted Holidays edited by Meg Dailey
“Link by Link is a collection of 9 stories of ghosts, spirits, and creatures unnamed, all come to teach lessons we won’t soon forget. From sweet Christmas tales to terrifying holiday hauntings, these stories take a dive into the past in the hopes of creating a better—or at least different—future.
Authors include Elle Beaumont, Meg Dailey, M. Dalto, Pam Dunn, Kristin Jacques, Candace Robinson, Leslie Rush, C. Vonzale Lewis, Jess Moore, and Lauren Emily Whalen.” – Midnight Tide Publishing
December 29, 2020
Black Canary: Breaking Silence by Alexandra Monir (DC Icons #5)
“Dinah Lance was eight years old when she overheard the impossible: the sound of a girl singing. It was something she was never meant to hear–not in her lifetime and not in Gotham City, taken over by the vicious, patriarchal Court of Owls. The sinister organization rules Gotham City as a dictatorship and has stripped women of everything–their right to work, to make music, to learn, to be free.
Now seventeen, Dinah can’t forget that haunting sound, and she’s beginning to discover that her own voice is just as powerful. But singing is forbidden–a one-way route to a certain death sentence. Fighting to balance her father’s desire to keep her safe, a blossoming romance with mysterious new student Oliver Queen, and her own need to help other women and girls rise up, Dinah wonders if her song will finally be heard. And will her voice be powerful enough to destroy the Court of Owls once and for all?” – Random House Books for Young Readers
December 1, 2020
Day One by Kelly Devos (Day Zero Duology #2)
“I used to hate my father’s obsession with disaster prepping. But as I fight my way across a war-torn country and into a secret military research facility with only my stepsister to count on, I realize that following Dr. Doomsday’s Guide for Ultimate Survival might be our only hope of surviving to see Charles again.” – Inkyard Press
The Bitterwine Oath by Hannah West
“But everything becomes more urgent when people start getting “marked” as new victims–including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year. With Levi in danger, doing nothing would be harder than fighting back. Nat knows that no one is safe. Can she and the sisterhood stop the true evil from claiming their town?” – Holiday House
The Frozen Prince by Maxym M. Martineau (The Beast Charmer #2)
“When she learns of a magical creature that may be able to save him, she gathers her courage and sets out for the frozen north. But what starts as a hunt for answers quickly turns deadly, and soon Leena, Noc, and their trusted band of assassins find themselves face-to-face with an enemy more terrible, and powerful, than they could have ever imagined.” – Sourcebooks Fire
December 15, 2020
Warmaidens by Kelly Coon (Gravemaidens #2)
“Hungry for revenge, Manzazu’s queen wants to strike back at Alu with her fiercest weapons–her scorpion warrior maidens–but Kammani knows that war harms more than it heals. To save the innocents and any chance of a future with Dagan, Kammani must take down Alu’s ruler before their lives burn up in the flames of war.” – Delacorte Press