I come bearing gifts of great reading! Here’s a comprehensive guide to young adult speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror) being published in February 2021. 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.
February 2, 2021
Everything That Burns by Gita Trelease (Enchantée #2)
“Camille Durbonne gambled everything she had to keep herself and her sister safe. But as the people of Paris starve and mobs riot, safety may no longer be possible…
Not when Camille lives for the rebellion. In the pamphlets she prints, she tells the stories of girls living at society’s margins. But as her writings captivate the public, she begins to suspect a dark magic she can’t control lies at the heart of her success. Then Louis XVI declares magic a crime and all magicians traitors to France. As bonfires incinerate enchanted books and special police prowl the city, the time for magic–and those who work it–is running out.
In this new Paris where allegiances shift and violence erupts, the answers Camille seeks set her on a perilous path, one that may cost her the boy she loves–even her life. If she can discover who she truly is before vengeful forces unmask her, she may still win this deadly game of revolution.” – Flatiron Books
Rise of the Red Hand by Olivia Chadha (The Mechanists #1)
“The South Asian Province is split in two. Uplanders lead luxurious lives inside a climate-controlled biodome, dependent on technology and gene therapy to keep them healthy and youthful forever. Outside, the poor and forgotten scrape by with discarded black-market robotics, a society of poverty-stricken cyborgs struggling to survive in slums threatened by rising sea levels, unbreathable air, and deadly superbugs.
Ashiva works for the Red Hand, an underground network of revolutionaries fighting the government, which is run by a merciless computer algorithm that dictates every citizen’s fate. She’s a smuggler with the best robotic arm and cybernetic enhancements the slums can offer, and her cargo includes the most vulnerable of the city’s abandoned children.
When Ashiva crosses paths with the brilliant hacker Riz-Ali, a privileged Uplander who finds himself embroiled in the Red Hand’s dangerous activities, they uncover a horrifying conspiracy that the government will do anything to bury. From armed guardians kidnapping children to massive robots flattening the slums, to a pandemic that threatens to sweep through the city like wildfire, Ashiva and Riz-Ali will have to put aside their differences in order to fight the system and save the communities they love from destruction.” – Swoon Reads
“Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army.
In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible–she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father–their nation’s greatest traitor–once tried to destroy the automatons.
Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries.” – Inkyard Press
“Weeks ago, Andre Cobb received a much-needed liver transplant.
He’s ready for his life to finally begin, until one night, when he passes out and wakes up somewhere totally unexpected…in 1969, where he connects with a magnetic boy named Michael.
And then, just as suddenly as he arrived, he slips back to present-day Boston, where the family of his donor is waiting to explain that his new liver came with a side effect–the ability to time travel. And they’ve tasked their youngest son, Blake, with teaching Andre how to use his unexpected new gift.
Andre splits his time bouncing between the past and future. Between Michael and Blake. Michael is everything Andre wishes he could be, and Blake, still reeling from the death of his brother, Andre’s donor, keeps him at arm’s length despite their obvious attraction to each other.
Torn between two boys, one in the past and one in the present, Andre has to figure out where he belongs–and more importantly who he wants to be–before the consequences of jumping in time catch up to him and change his future for good.” – Sourcebooks Fire
February 9, 2021
Curse of the Divine by Kim Smejkal (Ink in The Blood #2)
“Celia Sand faced Diavala and won, using ink magic to destroy the corrupt religion of Profeta that tormented her for a decade. But winning came with a cost. Now Celia is plagued with guilt over her role in the death of her best friend. When she discovers that Diavala is still very much alive and threatening Griffin, the now-infamous plague doctor, Celia is desperate not to lose another person she loves to the deity’s wrath.
The key to destroying Diavala may lie with Halcyon Ronnea, the only other person to have faced Diavala and survived. But Halcyon is dangerous and has secrets of his own, ones that involve the ink that Celia has come to hate. Forced to choose between the ink and Diavala, Celia will do whatever it takes to save Griffin–even if it means making a deal with the devil himself.” – HMH Books for Young Readers
“All it takes is one hit on the football field, and suddenly Ash’s life doesn’t look quite the way he remembers it.
Impossible though it seems, he’s been hit into another dimension–and keeps on bouncing through worlds that are almost-but-not-really his own.
The changes start small, but they quickly spiral out of control as Ash slides into universes where he has everything he’s ever wanted, universes where society is stuck in the past…universes where he finds himself looking at life through entirely different eyes.
And if he isn’t careful, the world he’s learning to see more clearly could blink out of existence…” – Quill Tree Books
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna (Deathless #1)
“Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.
But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity-and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.
Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki- near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.
Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be-not even Deka herself.” – Delacorte Press
The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey: Evenfall #1)
“Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Prankster, joker, raven, fool… King Oberon’s right-hand jester from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The legends are many, but the truth will now be known, as Puck finally tells his own story and faces a threat from a time before Faery began. A threat that brings him face-to-face with a new enemy…himself.
With the Iron Queen Meghan Chase and her prince consort, Puck’s longtime rival Ash, and allies old and new by his side, Puck begins a fantastical and dangerous adventure not to be missed or forgotten. Evenfall is coming, and with it a reckoning that even their combined powers and wits may not vanquish, as a shadow falls over the lands of Faery and the world slips into chaos.” – Inkyard Press
Stormbreak by Natalie C. Parker (Seafire #3)
“Aric Athair is dead. But the fight for the Bullet Seas is far from over. Caledonia’s nemesis, Lir–the one responsible for destroying her family–has seized control of the warlord’s army.
Caledonia and her crew have fled to Cloudbreak to prepare for an all-out war. And they are not the only ones. Rogue ships and even a few defecting Bullets show up to join their fight. But Lir always seems to be one step ahead of Caledonia, anticipating her every more as he secures the seas for himself.
With the fight growing desperate, Caledonia is forced to make an unlikely and unsteady alliance with a new enemy. It’s a gamble that could cost her everything, but with the fate of the seas in her hands, Caledonia will do whatever it takes to win the war.” – Razorbill
February 16, 2021
“Ren Kolins is a silver wielder–a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the king.
Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the king of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.
But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.” – Flux
Reaper of Souls by Rena Barron (Kingdom of Souls #2)
“After so many years yearning for the gift of magic, Arrah has the one thing she’s always wanted–but it came at too steep a price. Now the last surviving witchdoctor, she’s been left to pick up the shattered pieces of a family that betrayed her, a kingdom plunged into chaos, and a love that can never be.
While Arrah returns to the tribal lands to search for survivors of the demons’ attack, her beloved Rudjek hunts down the remnants of the demon army–and uncovers a plot that would destroy what’s left of their world.
The Demon King wants Arrah, and if she and Rudjek can’t unravel his schemes, he will destroy everything, and everyone, standing in his way.
Set in a richly imagined world inspired by whispered tales of voodoo and folk magic, the Kingdom of Souls trilogy has been optioned for film by Michael B. Jordan and his Warner Bros. production company, Outlier Society.” – HarperTeen
February 23, 2021
“World War II is raging, and five teens are looking to make a mark. Daniel and Rebeka seek revenge against the Nazis who slaughtered their family; Simone is determined to fight back against the oppressors who ruined her life and corrupted her girlfriend; Phillip aims to prove that he’s better than his worst mistakes; and Liam is searching for a way to control the portal to the shadow world he’s uncovered, and the monsters that live within it–before the Nazi regime can do the same. When the five meet, and begrudgingly team up, in the forests of Germany, none of them knows what their future might hold.As they race against time, war, and enemies from both this world and another, Liam, Daniel, Rebeka, Phillip, and Simone know that all they can count on is their own determination and will to survive. With their world turned upside down, and the shadow realm looming ominously large–and threateningly close–the course of history and the very fate of humanity rest in their hands. Still, the most important question remains: Will they be able to save it?” – Philomel Books
February 2, 2021
The Afterlife of the Party by Marlene Perez (Afterlife #1)
“I thought all I wanted was for things to change with Vaughn. For him to finally see the real me. But this wasn’t what I had in mind…” – Entangled: Teen
All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace (All the Stars and Teeth #2)
“Through blood and sacrifice, Amora Montara has conquered a rebellion and taken her rightful place as queen of Visidia. Now, with the islands in turmoil and the people questioning her authority, Amora cannot allow anyone to see her weaknesses.” – Imprint
“Could Adam be the boy who, years ago, protected her from the bullying of a gang of neighborhood kids? But when she finds out that boy died shortly after their encounter, she realizes Adam couldn’t be him could he? Where did Adam come from, anyway? And, most importantly, why was he kept prisoner by his own father?” – Sterling Children’s Books
Muse by Brittany Cavallaro (Muse #1)
“The year is 1893, and war is brewing in the First American Kingdom. But Claire Emerson has a bigger problem. Claire’s father is a sought-after inventor, but he believes his genius is a gift granted to him by his daughter’s touch, so he keeps Claire under his control.” – Katherine Tegen Books
“Eleanor finds herself desperately trying to hold the family together — in order to save them all, Eleanor must learn to embrace her family of monsters and tame the darkness inside her.” – Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
February 9, 2021
“In a walled city of a mile-high iron guild towers, many things are common knowledge: No book in any of the city’s libraries reveals its place on a calendar or a map. No living beasts can be found within the city’s walls. And no good comes to the guilder or foundling who trespasses too far from their labors.” – Dutton Books for Young Readers
“When a deadly Fly Flu sweeps the globe, it leaves a shell of the world that once was. Among the survivors are eighteen-year-old Nico and her dog, on a voyage devised by Nico’s father to find a mythical portal; a young artist named Kit, raised in an old abandoned cinema; and the enigmatic Deliverer, who lives Life after Life in an attempt to put the world back together.” – Viking Books for Young Readers
“Though Jorie’s reluctant to bring a city boy out onto the Flats with her, she’ll do whatever it takes to save her sister. But anything can happen out on the ice, and soon Jorie and Cody find they need one another more than they ever imagined–and they’ll have to trust each other to survive threats beyond their darkest nightmares.” – Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
February 16, 2021
Blood Sworn by Scott Reintgen (Ashlords #2)
“Their secrets are long-buried, but one disgruntled deity is ready to unveil the truth. Every whisper leads back to the underworld. What are the gods hiding there? As the sands of the Empire shift, these heroes will do everything they can to aim their people at the true enemy. But is it already too late?” – Crown Books for Young Readers
“When they discover the emperor has a new, more terrible mission than ever for their kind, Pran and Oksana vow to escape his tyranny once and for all. But their methods and ideals differ drastically, driving a wedge between them. Worse still, they both soon find that the only way to defeat the monsters that subjugated them may be to become monsters themselves.” – Swoon Reads
“It’s all too much, too fast, and Eli pushes her mother away, not expecting her to disappear as abruptly as she appeared. Her mother’s gone again, and Eli’s devastated. Until she finds the note written in mother’s elegant scrawl: Find me where I left you. And so, off to Svalbard Eli goes.” – Razorbill
February 23, 2021
A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth (A Dark and Hollow Star #1)
“Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales.” – Margaret K. McElderry Books
The Desolations of Devil’s Acre by Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #6)
“The last thing Jacob Portman saw before the world went dark was a terrible, familiar face.
Suddenly, he and Noor are back in the place where everything began–his grandfather’s house. Jacob doesn’t know how they escaped from V’s loop to find themselves in Florida. But he does know one thing for certain: Caul has returned.” – Dutton Books for Young Readers
“The job is mostly cleaning floors and equipment, but one night, while running her own experiment, she revives a lab rat that has died in her care. One minute it is dead, the next it is not.” – Katherine Tegen Books
“Rose Colter is almost home, but she can’t go back there yet. When her car breaks down in the Nevada desert, the silence of the night is broken by a radio broadcast of a voicemail message from her best friend, Gaby. A message Rose has listened to countless times over the past year. The last one Gaby left before she died.” – Razorbill