Whether you want the last book in a completed trilogy, a middle-book to tempt you, or a debut novel to start something fresh, November’s YA SFF releases have something for every kind of reader. Julie C. Dao (Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix) and Marissa Meyer (Archenemies) are among those with second-books-in-series out this month; Emiko Jean (Empress of All Seasons) and Natasha Ngan (Girls of Paper and Fire) present tempting debuts; and if you’re ready for a complete trilogy or two, point yourself at Alison Goodman’s Lady Helen series (which winds up with The Dark Days Deceit) or Traci Chee’s Sea of Ink and Gold (winding up with The Storyteller)!
And, of course, there’s a new book by this fellow you might have heard of, Brandon Sanderson…
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
The XY—Virginia Bergin (November 6, Sourcebooks Fire)
In River’s world, XYs are a relic of the past, along with things like war and violence. Thanks to the Global Agreements, River’s life is simple, safe, and peaceful…until she comes across a body in the road one day. A body that is definitely male, definitely still alive. River isn’t prepared for this. There’s nothing in the Agreements about how to deal with an XY. Yet one lies before her, sick, suffering, and at her mercy. River can kill him, or she can save him. Either way, nothing will ever be the same.
Umbertouched (Rosemarked #2)—Livia Blackburne (November 6, Disney-Hyperion)
Even though Zivah and Dineas discovered a secret that could bring down the empire, their information is useless without proof. With their cover blown and their quest abandoned, their only remaining hope is to get home before Ampara brings the full might of its armies against their peoples. As Shidadi and Dara alike prepare for war, Zivah and Dineas grapple with the toll of their time in the capital. After fighting against his own kin, can Dineas convince the Shidadi—and himself—where his loyalties lie? After betraying her healer’s vows, can Zivah find a way to redeem herself—especially when the Dara ask her to do the unthinkable? And after reluctantly falling in love, what will the two do with their lingering feelings? Time is running out for all of them, but especially Zivah, whose plague symptoms surface once again. Now, she must decide how she’ll define the life she has left. Together, healer and warrior must find the courage to save their people, expose the truth, and face the devastating consequences headed their way.
Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix (Rise of the Empress #2)—Julie C. Dao (November 6, Philomel)
Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as Empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the Empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?
Empress of All Seasons—Emiko Jean (November 6, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)
Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy. Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy—if she weren’t hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast. Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku.
Archenemies (Renegades #2)—Marissa Meyer (November 6, Feiwel & Friends)
As Insomnia, Nova is a full-fledged member of the Renegades, a syndicate of powerful and beloved superheroes. She works to protect the weak and maintain order in Gatlon City. As Nightmare, she is an Anarchist—a group of of villains who are determined to destroy the Renegades. Nova wants vengeance against the so-called heroes who once failed her when she needed them most. But as Nova, her feelings for Adrian are deepening, despite the fact that he is the son of her sworn enemies. Nova, Adrian, and the rest of their crew—Ruby, Oscar, and Danna—are faced with escalating crime in Gatlon City, while covert weapons and conflicting missions have Nova and Adrian questioning not only their beliefs about justice, but also the feelings they have for each other. The line between good and evil has been blurred, but what’s clear to them both is that too much power could mean the end of their city—and the world—as they know it.
Girls of Paper and Fire—Natasha Ngan (November 6, Jimmy Patterson)
Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after—the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king’s interest. Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learns the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, she does the unthinkable—she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.
Frozen Reign (Burning Glass #3)—Kathryn Purdie (November 6, Katherine Tegen Books)
Civil war is on the horizon, and Sonya is helpless to stop it. With her empathic powers gone, she can no longer protect her beloved Anton from his vindictive brother Valko, who will stop at nothing to get his revenge and reclaim his throne. Even if that means using an Auraseer to hunt—and kill—both Sonya and Anton. Then Sonya hears about an empath in a far-off kingdom who may be able to heal her—but without her powers, finding the legendary Auraseer will be dangerous. And if she doesn’t succeed, the peace Sonya sacrificed so much to achieve will be shattered forever.
Skyward—Brandon Sanderson (November 6, Delacorte Press)
Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s—a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa’s chances of attending flight school at slim to none. No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.
The Wren Hunt—Mary Watson (November 6, Bloomsbury)
Once a year, Wren is chased through the woods near her rural Ireland hometown in a warped version of a childhood game. Her pursuers belong to the judges, a group in control of an ancient, powerful magic they stole from her own people, the augurs … but they know nothing of her real identity. If they learned the truth, the game would surely turn deadly. Though she knows the risks, Wren also goes on the hunt, taking a dangerous undercover assignment as an intern at enemy headquarters, the Harkness Foundation. If she can uncover a long-buried secret, she can save her family and end the judges’ reign once and for all. But as the web of lies, deceit, and betrayal thickens around Wren, she hurtles toward a truth that threatens to consume her and reveal who she really is. Not only has she come to the attention of powerful judge Cassa Harkness, but she is also falling dangerously in love with the one person she shouldn’t. And she may need to decide which she’d rather lose: her heart or her life.
The Dragon Ridge Tombs (Ghost Blows Out the Light #2)—Tianxia Bachang (November 13, Delacorte Press)
Self-proclaimed gold hunter Tianyi, who has excellent feng shui skills, along with his best friend, Kai, and a shady antiques dealer called Gold Tooth, have traveled all the way from Beijing to Gulan in search of treasure in ancient tombs. But what they think will be a simple grab-and-go of loot turns into trouble when they are faced with a perplexing labyrinth of tunnels full of unexpected obstacles, traps, and deadly creatures that thwart their advancement, as well as their escape. As if that weren’t enough, the return of their American friend Julie Yang, with whom they faced perils on a previous expedition, leads to a startling discovery—one tied to both China’s ancient past and the Yang family’s history, and one that could very well be the death of them all.
The Storyteller (Sea of Ink & Gold #3)—Traci Chee (November 13, Putnam Books for Young Readers)
Sefia is determined to keep Archer out of the Guard’s clutches and their plans for war between the Five Kingdoms. The Book, the ancient, infinite codex of the past, present and future, tells of a prophecy that will plunge Kelanna in that bloody war, but it requires a boy—Archer—and Sefia will stop at nothing to ensure his safety. The Guard has already stolen her mother, her father, and her Aunt Nin. Sefia would sooner die than let them take anymore from her—especially the boy she loves. But escaping the Guard and the Book’s prophecy is no easy task. After all, what is written always comes to pass. As Sefia and Archer watch Kelanna start to crumble to the Guard’s will, they will have to choose between their love and joining a war that just might tear them apart.
Dark Mind Rising (Dark Intercept #2)—Julia Keller (November 13, Tor Teen)
New Earth, 2296. Two years after the destruction of a universal surveillance system called the Intercept, New Earth struggles to keep crime under control. The citizens are free, but not protected. Violet Crowley, the eighteen-year-old daughter of New Earth’s founder, has opened Crowley & Associates, a private detective agency, to handle the overflow from the overburdened police force. Violet’s first case—a death written off as a suicide—becomes an obsession. Soon a series of similar deaths leads Violet to believe the Intercept is not only still running—it’s in the hands of a killer.
This Splintered Silence—Kayla Olson (November 13, HarperTeen)
Lindley Hamilton has been the leader of the space station Lusca since every first generation crew member on board, including her mother, the commander, was killed by a deadly virus. Lindley always assumed she’d captain the Lusca one day, but she never thought that day would come so soon. And she never thought it would be like this—struggling to survive every day, learning how to keep the Lusca running, figuring out how to communicate with Earth, making sure they don’t run out of food. When a member of the surviving second generation dies from symptoms that look just like the deadly virus, though, Lindley feels her world shrinking even smaller. And as more people die, Lindley must face the terrifying reality—that either the virus has mutated, or one of their own is a killer.
The Dark Days Deceit (Lady Helen #3)—Alison Goodman (November 20, Viking Books for Young Readers)
Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete. She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. But the heinous death-soaked Ligatus Helen has absorbed is tearing a rift in her mind. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy.
Legacy of Light (Effigies #3)—Sarah Raughley (November 20, Simon Pulse)
After Saul’s strike on Oslo—one seemingly led by Maia herself—the Effigies’ reputation is in shambles. Now they’re being hunted by nations across the globe, grouped in with the very terrorists they’ve been trying to stop. With Maia’s resurrected twin, June, carrying out vicious attacks across the world, everyone believes Maia is a killer. Belle has gone rogue, Chae Rin and Lake have disappeared, and the Sect is being dismantled and replaced by a terrifying new world order helmed by Blackwell. As for Saul, his ultimate plan still remains a mystery. And Maia? No one has seen or heard from her in weeks. It’s all somehow connected—Saul, Phantoms, the Effigies, everything. But if the Effigies can’t put the pieces together soon, there may not be much left of the world they’ve fought so desperately to save.
Runebreaker (Runebinder #2)—Alex R. Kahler (November 27, Harlequin Teen)
Aidan desires only one thing: to rule. Arrogant, headstrong, and driven by the element of Fire, he will stop at nothing to bring the evil Howls that destroyed Scotland to their knees. But Fire is a treacherous element, and the very magic that brought him to power could burn his world to ash. Especially with the blood of his fellow Hunters on his hands. Driven by a bloodlust he can’t control and dark whispers that may not be entirely in his head, he and his magic-eschewing friend Kianna will do whatever it takes to liberate their broken world. Even at the risk of confronting the Church. Even at the risk of losing his humanity. But power isn’t the only thing on Aidan’s mind. He’s falling for the intoxicating Tomas, an Incubus who offers everything Aidan desires. For a price. And if that price burns the world down, well … Aidan is used to playing with Fire.
Amber & Dusk—Lyra Selene (November 27, Scholastic)
Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie knows it gives her a place in Coeur d’Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies. So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers. But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot. Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. As Mirage strives to seize what should be her rightful place, she’ll have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.