Review: “An Arrow to the Moon” by Emily X.R. Pan

Release Date: April 12, 2022
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Description

Romeo and Juliet meets Chinese mythology in this magical novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Astonishing Color of After.

Hunter Yee has perfect aim with a bow and arrow, but all else in his life veers wrong. He’s sick of being haunted by his family’s past mistakes. The only things keeping him from running away are his little brother, a supernatural wind, and the bewitching girl at his new high school.Luna Chang dreads the future. Graduation looms ahead, and her parents’ expectations are stifling. When she begins to break the rules, she finds her life upended by the strange new boy in her class, the arrival of unearthly fireflies, and an ominous crack spreading across the town of Fairbridge.As Hunter and Luna navigate their families’ enmity and secrets, everything around them begins to fall apart. All they can depend on is their love…but time is running out, and fate will have its way.

An Arrow to the Moon, Emily X.R. Pan’s brilliant and ethereal follow-up to The Astonishing Color of After, is a story about family, love, and the magic and mystery of the moon that connects us all.

Continue reading “Review: “An Arrow to the Moon” by Emily X.R. Pan”

A Story of Imperialism and Identity: Bone Weaver by Aden Polydoros

Release Date: September 20, 2022
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Description

From the author of The City Beautiful comes a haunting fantasy following Toma, adopted daughter of the benevolent undead, making her way across a civil war-torn continent to save her younger sister as she discovers she might possess magical powers herself.

The Kosa empire roils in tension, on the verge of being torn apart by a proletarian revolution between magic-endowed elites and the superstitious lower class, but seventeen-year-old Toma lives blissfully disconnected from the conflict in the empire with her adoptive family of benevolent undead.

When she meets Vanya, a charming commoner branded as a witch by his own neighbors, and the dethroned Tsar Mikhail himself, the unlikely trio bonds over trying to restore Mikhail’s magic and protect the empire from the revolutionary leader, Koschei, whose forces have stolen the castle. Vanya has his magic, and Mikhail has his title, but if Toma can’t dig deep and find her power in time, all of their lives will be at Koschei’s mercy.

Continue reading A Story of Imperialism and Identity: Bone Weaver by Aden Polydoros

Sexy, Sapphic Gothic Horror: Alexis Henderson’s House of Hunger

Release Date: September 27, 2022
Publisher: Ace Books
Genre: Gothic, Fantasy

Description

WANTED – Bloodmaid of exceptional tasteMust have a keen proclivity for life’s finer pleasures. Girls of weak will need not apply.

A young woman is drawn into the upper echelons of a society where blood is power in this dark and enthralling Gothic novel from the author of The Year of the Witching.

Marion Shaw has been raised in the slums, where want and deprivation are all she know. Despite longing to leave the city and its miseries, she has no real hope of escape until the day she spots a peculiar listing in the newspaper seeking a bloodmaid.Though she knows little about the far north–where wealthy nobles live in luxury and drink the blood of those in their service–Marion applies to the position. In a matter of days, she finds herself the newest bloodmaid at the notorious House of Hunger. There, Marion is swept into a world of dark debauchery. At the center of it all is Countess Lisavet.The countess, who presides over this hedonistic court, is loved and feared in equal measure. She takes a special interest in Marion. Lisavet is magnetic, and Marion is eager to please her new mistress. But when she discovers that the ancient walls of the House of Hunger hide even older secrets, Marion is thrust into a vicious game of cat and mouse. She’ll need to learn the rules of her new home–and fast–or its halls will soon become her grave.

Continue reading Sexy, Sapphic Gothic Horror: Alexis Henderson’s House of Hunger

Electric and Enticing: Last of the Talons by Sophie Kim

Release Date: September 27, 2022
Series: Talons #1
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Description

After the destruction of her entire Talon gang, eighteen-year-old Shin Lina–the Reaper of Sunpo–is forced to become a living, breathing weapon for the kingdom’s most-feared crime lord. All that keeps her from turning on her ruthless master is the life of her beloved little sister hanging in the balance. But the order to steal a priceless tapestry from a Dokkaebi temple incites not only the wrath of a legendary immortal, but the beginning of an unwinnable game…

Suddenly Lina finds herself in the dreamlike realm of the Dokkaebi, her fate in the hands of its cruel and captivating emperor. But she can win her life–if she kills him first.Now a terrible game of life and death has begun, and even Lina’s swift, precise blade is no match for the magnetic Haneul Rui. Lina will have to use every weapon in her arsenal if she wants to outplay this cunning king and save her sister…all before the final grain of sand leaks out of the hourglass.

Because one way or another, she’ll take Rui’s heart.

Even if it means giving up her own.

Continue reading Electric and Enticing: Last of the Talons by Sophie Kim

Review: “The Loophole” by Naz Kutub

Release Date: June 21, 2022
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Description

A gay Muslim boy travels the world for a second chance at love after a possibly magical heiress grants him three wishes in this YA debut that’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda with a twist of magic.

Sy placed all his bets for happiness on his boyfriend, Farouk . . . who then left him to try and “fix the world.” Now, the timid seventeen-year-old Indian Muslim boy is stuck in a dead-end coffee shop job and all he can do is wish for one more chance . . .Sy never expects his wish to be granted. But when a mysterious girl offers him three wishes in exchange for his help and proves she can grant at least one wish with an instant million-dollar deposit into Sy’s struggling bank account, a whole new world of possibility opens up. Is she magic? Or just rich? And can Sy find the courage to leave Los Angeles and cross the Atlantic Ocean to lands he’d never even dreamed he could visit, all to track down his missing ex? With help from his potentially otherworldly new friend, will Sy go all the way for one last, desperate chance at rebuilding his life and refinding love?

Your wish is granted! Naz Kutub’s debut weaves an engrossing whirlwind of an adventure with a journey to find love, home, and family.

Continue reading “Review: “The Loophole” by Naz Kutub”

A Compelling Romance and an Unsatisfying Mystery: A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland

Release Date: August 30, 2022
Publisher: Tordotcom
Genre: Fantasy

Description

Kadou, the shy prince of Arasht, finds himself at odds with one of the most powerful ambassadors at court–the body-father of the queen’s new child–in an altercation which results in his humiliation.

To prove his loyalty to the queen, his sister, Kadou takes responsibility for the investigation of a break-in at one of their guilds, with the help of his newly appointed bodyguard, the coldly handsome Evemer, who seems to tolerate him at best. In Arasht, where princes can touch-taste precious metals with their fingers and myth runs side by side with history, counterfeiting is heresy, and the conspiracy they discover could cripple the kingdom’s financial standing and bring about its ruin.

Continue reading A Compelling Romance and an Unsatisfying Mystery: A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland

Review: “In the Serpent’s Wake” by Rachel Hartman

Release Date: March 1, 2022
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Series: Tess of the Road #2
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Description

MIND OF THE WORLD,

OPEN YOUR EYES.At the bottom of the world lies a Serpent, the last of its kind.

Finding the Serpent will change lives.Tess is a girl on a mission to save a friend.

Spira is a dragon seeking a new identity.

Marga is an explorer staking her claim on a man’s world.

Jacomo is a priest searching for his soul.There are those who would give their lives to keep it hidden.

And those who would destroy it.But the only people who will truly find the Serpent are those who have awakened to the world around them–with eyes open to the wondrous, the terrible, and the just.

Continue reading “Review: “In the Serpent’s Wake” by Rachel Hartman”

New Young Adult SFF for September & October 2022

It’s hard to tell it’s nearly fall with this heatwave I’m currently boiling alive in, but at least I have a bunch of cool new books to cluttering up my preorders list. I hope you like scary stories, fabulous anthologies, and monstrous mayhem. These are some of the young adult science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels I’m looking forward to in September and October.

Read the rest of this spotlight on Tor.com.