Welcome to our young adult science fiction and fantasy spring preview! This, folks, is where the magic happens. If you’re in the market for retellings, we have a Mulan-inspired novel for you, as well as one based on Arabian Nights. Anyone looking for a galactic adventure can travel to an Earth colony in the midst of a revolution. And those looking for lesbian pirates fighting mutant sea creatures… we’ve got a book for you, too.
Our fears do not make us traitors
Alwyn Hamilton kicks off our list of spring titles with the exhilarating sequel to Rebel of the Sands. The Sultan of Miraji committed patricide to quicken his ascent to the throne, or that’s what Amani has been led to believe. Now that she’s been captured and held in the palace, Amani realizes that the situation is far more complex and tangled than she originally thought possible. She starts to question the rebellion, the dynasty, and her own role in the future of her land. Without Jin or her other friends, Amani is alone and surrounded by enemies. She must rely on herself and her Djinni powers if she hopes to survive the traitorous and bloodthirsty schemes that seem to lie around every corner of the palace.
On shelves: March 7
I do believe in Freya, I do, I do
It’s not easy being a modern goddess, just ask Freya. Once the respected Norse goddess of love, beauty, war, and death, Freya now passes her days posing as Sara Vanadi, a teen in a mental hospital. Goddess are strengthened by belief, a rare find in the 21st century. But when Freya learns of a corporation that is promising deities followers, she’s instantly suspicious. She secures a job playing Cinderella in the Magic Kingdom, where little girls’ belief that she is a princess quite literally strengthens her, and begins to investigate the company. When she learns of their nefarious plans, Freya seeks out the help of three Hawaiian goddesses to save the day. Matthew Laurence has delivered a playful and powerful novel that is sure to be a hit with fans of Rick Riordan.
On shelves: March 14
Witches, kings, and ghosts. Oh my!
Meridy Turiyn lost both of her parents, but she inherited something from each of them: She possesses dark skin from the father she never met and black eyes from her mother, the witch. She’s shunned for both of these traits, and feels like an outsider in her own town. Still, Meridy is determined to use the magic in her veins. When her aunt pressures her into a future she doesn’t want, Meridy decides to take fate into her own hands and run. The world is large and dangerous, but filled with adventure. Along the way Meridy learns that her destiny is greater than anything she ever could’ve imagined.
On shelves: March 14
Screw your courage to the sticking place
Yeva can’t help but feel a little grateful when her merchant father loses his job and moves her and her sisters back to the forest. She’s always prefered the quiet of nature to the pointless chatter of aristocrats. Her father begins hunting again, but seems to have lost the skills he once possessed. He starts speaking of a Beast that frightens away the animals he’s hunting, and when he mysteriously disappears, Yeva fears the Beast has taken him. Though her sisters try to stop her, Yeva leaves the safety of their home to track the creature and bring back their father. Fairytale lovers, Meagan Spooner’s standalone is for you.
On shelves: March 14
Dream a little dream
Lazlo Strange has been dreaming about the lost city of Weep since he was five years old. The city is said to have disappeared after a brutal war between humans and the gods who inhabited Weep. In his dream, Lazlo sees the city and the blue-skinned goddess named Sarai. When Lazlo is offered the chance to join a group that is journeying to the mystical city, he decides to leave his life behind and finally discover if his dreams are real. This is the first in a new duology from Laini Taylor, and it is perfect for dreamers of all ages.
On shelves: March 28
Fight for freedom
Noemi Vidal is prepared to fight. She’s a soldier from the planet Genesis, a colony of Earth that is fighting for its independence against the robotic mech armies from Earth. She assumes that all mech are the same, until she meet Abel. Trapped on an abandoned ship with only each other for company, Abel’s programming requires that he see Noemi as his commander. She’s in a position to force him to adhere to her revolutionary plans, even if those plans mean that he’ll die in the process. But as they spend more time together, Noemi begins to realize that Abel isn’t a heartless machine and Abel’s determination to help Noemi becomes less about duty and more about desire. Science fiction fans will adore this tale. Check out what Publishers Weekly had to say in their starred review: “[Claudia] Gray’s characters are nuanced, her worldbuilding is intelligent, and the book’s conclusion thrills and satisfies while defying expectations.”
On shelves: April 4
Batten down the hatches
In a starred review, Kirkus called Emily Skrutskie’s latest “a dazzling, satisfying sequel,” and we have to agree. Cassandra Leung is no longer a captive of the pirate ship Minnow. She’s sworn her allegiance to captain Santa Elena. While she’s still nursing a broken heart, Cas doesn’t let anything get in the way of her training on the ship. And she’ll need every bit of tutoring she can get once she realizes that Reckoners, genetically modified sea creatures, have broken free from their captors and have begun attacking every ship in their path. As a former Reckoner trainer, Cas may be the only person capable of saving the Minnow.
On shelves: April 18
Readers, the stars have listened and your dreams have been answered: This is not the end of the ACOTAR series. Earlier this year, Sarah J. Maas announced six (!!) new books. A Court of Wings and Ruin marks the final book in this series, but readers have three new novels, two novellas, and a coloring book set in the magical ACOTAR world to look forward to. Before we reach those new tales however, we must first survive this one. A Court of Mist and Fury left readers with a gripping cliffhanger: Feyre was trapped in the Spring Court, surrounded by enemies, and separated from her mate, Rhys. Still, Feyre is wry, clever, and cunning. The King of Hybern may have plans, but Feyre has a few tricks up her own sleeve. There’s a storm brewing in Prythian, and we can’t wait to see our girl in action.
On shelves: May 2
That old black magic
In the Realm War, the prophesized Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, defeated her enemies and saved her people. Years later, a new prophecy has been foretold of the next Black Witch to rise. Carnissa’s granddaughter should fit the bill, but Elloren seems to have been born without magical powers. Instead of following in her powerful grandmother’s footsteps, Elloren journeys to to become an apothecary at Verpax University, where she’s surrounded by Icarals, dangerous enemies of her people. No matter where she goes, the granddaughter of the Black Witch finds herself in harm’s way, and Elloren must learn to use her own strengths if she hopes to live long enough to create a name for herself.
On shelves: May 2
Let’s get down to business
This is a Mulan-inspired fantasy. Do you really need to know anything else? That alone had us sold, but for anyone who does want more: Flame in the Mist is set in feudal Japan and follows Mariko as she goes from a betrothed girl to woman warrior. Seventeen-year-old Mariko is on her way to the imperial city to meet her future-husband when she’s attacked by the Black Clan. She doesn’t know who put a price on her head, but she’s intent on finding out. Disguised as a boy, Mariko begins to earn the trust of Takeda Ranmaru, the clan’s leader, and Okami, his second-in-command. But the more they confide in her, the more she realizes that the world around her is filled with far more secrets and danger than she ever could’ve imagined. Renée Ahdieh blew us away with her Wrath and the Dawn duology, and we can’t wait to see her tackle this new tale. Dishonor on you, your family, and your cow if you don’t add this one to your TBR pile.
On shelves: May 16