It may be a slight month for sheer quantity of books, relatively speaking, but there’s still a lot of fantastical YA to keep you busy—from the latest from Cassandra Clare to a new book from Christopher Paolini! Sarah Beth Durst introduces a family of were-wyvern thieves; Arwen Elys Dayton visits a perfectionist near-future; Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner return to the Unearthed series with Undying; and Jonathan Maberry kicks off a new series with Broken Lands. Or you can go to space with Merrie Destefano or M.K. England! Or jump back into a series with Laure Eve or Sara Holland!
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
Queen of Air and Darkness (Dark Artifices #3)—Cassandra Clare (December 4, Margaret K. McElderry Books)
Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.
Stronger, Faster and More Beautiful—Arwen Elys Dayton (December 4, Delacorte Press)
The future is curious. Today our bodies define us. We color our hair; tattoo our skin; pierce our ears, brows, noses. We lift weights, run miles, break records. We are flesh and blood and bone. Tomorrow has different rules. The future is no longer about who we are—it’s about who we want to be. If you can dream it, you can be it. Science will make us smarter, healthier, flawless in every way. Our future is boundless. This is a story that begins tomorrow. It’s a story about us. It’s a story about who comes after us. And it’s a story about perfection. Because perfection has a way of getting ugly.
Valiant—Merrie Destefano (December 4, Entangled Teen)
The Valiant was supposed to save us. Instead, it triggered the end of the world. Earth is in shambles. Everyone, even the poorest among us, invested in the Valiant’s space mining mission in the hopes we’d be saved from ourselves. But the second the ship leaves Earth’s atmosphere, our fate is sealed. The alien invasion begins. They pour into cities around the world through time portals, possessing humans, forcing us to kill one another. And for whatever reason, my brother is their number one target. Now the fate of the world lies in the hands of me, a 17-year-old girl, but with the help of my best friend, Justin—who’s suddenly starting to feel like more—maybe if we save my brother, we can save us all…
Fire and Heist—Sarah Beth Durst (December 4, Crown Books for Young Readers)
In Sky Hawkins’s family, leading your first heist is a major milestone—even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you’re a wyvern—a human capable of turning into a dragon. Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family’s wealth and rank in their community. With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society—a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.
All the Wandering Light (Even the Darkest Stars #2)—Heather Fawcett (December 4, Balzer + Bray)
After the terrifying events on Mount Raksha, the witches have returned, and River has betrayed Kamzin to regain his dark powers. The witches’ next step: march on the Three Cities and take over the Empire—led by River’s brother, Esha. If Kamzin is to save Azmiri and prevent the destruction of the Empire, she must find a star that fell in the Ash Mountains to the north. Fallen stars have immense power, and if Kamzin and Lusha can find the star, they can use its magic to protect their homeland. To get there, Kamzin has allied with Azar-at, the dangerous and deceptive fire demon, who can grant her great power—in exchange for pieces of her soul. But River wants the star too, and as their paths collide in dangerous and unexpected ways, Kamzin must wrestle with both her guilt and her conflicted feelings for the person who betrayed her. Facing dark magic, a perilous journey, and a standoff against the witches, can Kamzin, Lusha, and Tem find the star and save their Empire?
Undying (Unearthed #2)—Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (December 4, Disney-Hyperion)
Earth’s fate rests in their hands. Trapped aboard the Undying’s ancient spaceship and reeling from the truth they’ve uncovered, Mia and Jules are desperate to warn their home about what’s coming. After a perilous escape, they crash-land on Earth’s surface?but Jules and Mia can hardly fathom their new predicament: No one believes them. Because the threat against Earth is hiding in plain sight. A mounting global crisis is taking shape, starting with a mysterious illness that seems to reduce its victims to a regressed state. Jules and Mia have no choice but to take matters into their own hands, escaping custody of the International Alliance in order to reuinte Jules with his father, the disgraced expert on the alien race, whose research may be the key to saving humanity.
Shatter the Suns (Last Star Burning #2)—Caitlin Sangster (December 4, Simon Pulse)
No one is safe, not with a horrifying new strain of Sleeping Sickness tearing through the population. After fleeing the City with her friends, Sev has one goal: to find the cure her mother developed and put an end to the epidemic once and for all. But decoding her mother’s last words—to seek out “Port North”—is easier said than done. Nobody she talks to has heard of Port North, and with only Tai-ge and June on her side, Sev fears Dr. Yang will find the cure first, and that he’ll use it to start a new world order under his rule. With no leads, Sev is running out of options—until she discovers someone hiding in the cargo hold of her heli plane. Someone she thought was dead. Someone with maps that could point the way to Port North, if only she could read them. Unfortunately, the one person Sev never wants to see again might be the one person who can help her find the cure.
Strange Days—Constantine Singer (December 4, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers)
Alex Mata doesn’t want to worry about rumors of alien incursions. But when he comes home to find an alien has murdered his parents, he’s forced to confront a new reality: aliens are real, his parents are dead, and nobody will believe him if he tells. On the run, Alex finds himself led to the compound of tech guru Jeffrey Sabazios, the only public figure who stands firm in his belief that aliens are coming. At Sabazios’s invitation, Alex becomes a Witness, one of a special group of teens gifted with the ability to glide through time and witness futures. When a Witness sees a future, that guarantees it will happen the way it’s been seen, making their work humanity’s best hope for stopping the alien threat. Guided by Sabazios, befriended by his fellow time travelers, and maybe even falling in love, Alex starts feeling like the compound is a real home—until a rogue glide shows him the dangerous truth about his new situation. Now in a race against time, Alex is forced to reevaluate who he can love, who he can trust, and who he needs to leave behind.
Once a King—Erin Summerill (December 4, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)
For twenty years, Channelers—women with a magical ability—have been persecuted in Malam by those without magic. Now King Aodren wants to end the bloody divide and unite his kingdom. But decades of hatred can’t be overcome by issuing decrees, and rumors of a deadly Channeler-made substance are only fueling people’s fears. Lirra has every reason to distrust Aodren. Yet when he asks for help to discover the truth behind the rumors, she can’t say no. With Lirra by his side, Aodren sees a way forward for his people. But can he rewrite the mistakes of the past before his enemies destroy the world he’s working so hard to rebuild?
Splendor and Spark—Mary Taranta (December 4, Margaret K. McElderry Books)
Faris has been forced to give up the man she loves for a dangerous but necessary alliance. Her loyalty is bound by a powerful spell to his future bride, the villainous Bryn. And her mother’s powerful spell that could be the key to saving Avinea fights with poisoned magic for control of her heart. Everything Faris has done has been for Cadence, the little sister she’s been trying to rescue from the king’s slavery. Now they’re finally reunited, but Cadence has a gut-wrenching confession: she remembers everything from while she was under the king’s enchantment. She wants nothing to do with Faris. Heartbroken, Faris focuses on tracking Merlock, the king who must be killed to stop The Burn, by manipulating her mother’s spell through her dreams. Before long, Faris realizes these aren’t normal dreams; they might just be real, and they may show her a way to kill Merlock herself. But there are things darker than poison that lie in The Burn, and not even the spell deep in Faris’s chest can stop them.
Realm of Ruins (Nissera Chronicles #2)—Hannah West (December 4, Holiday House)
Welcome to Nissera, land of three kingdoms and home to spectacular magic. A century after her legendary ancestors overcame a bloodthirsty tyrant, seventeen-year-old Valory Braiosa attends a training academy for elicromancers, immortal beings with magical gifts. Yet Valory’s immense power seems impossible to tame, and she faces imprisonment by the Nisseran authorities. Then a forbidden resurrection spell awakens a long-dormant evil, and Valory may be the only one who can vanquish this terrifying villain. Together with a band of allies—including an old friend; a haughty princess; and a mysterious, handsome stranger—Valory must learn to harness her power and fight back.
Broken Lands (Broken Lands #1)—Jonathan Maberry (December 11, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Ever since her mother’s death, Gabriella “Gutsy” Gomez has spent her days flying under the radar. But when her mother’s undead body is returned to her doorstep from the grave and Gutsy witnesses a pack of ravagers digging up Los Muertos—her mother’s name for the undead—she realizes that life finds you no matter how hard you try to hide from it. Meanwhile, Benny Imura and his gang set out on a journey to finish what Captain Joe Ledger started: they’re going to find a cure. After what they went through in the Rot and Ruin, they think they’ve seen it all, but as they venture into new and unexplored territory, they soon learn that the zombies they fought before were nothing compared to what they’ll face in the wild beyond the peace and safety of their fortified town.
The Cursed Sea (The Glass Spare #2)—Lauren DeStefano (December 18, Balzer + Bray)
Wil, the exiled princess of northern Arrod, must do what she never thought possible: return home to discover the origins of her own curse. But home is very different from how she left it—Wil’s unpredictable elder brother Baren is now king, leading a war against the Southern Isles. And with time running out, Wil must navigate the dangerous secrets within her family to find the truth. Nothing goes as planned, and suddenly Wil and her allies are fighting for their lives as the Southern king is out to ensure neither of his children will survive to take the throne. Traveling across cursed seas and treacherous kingdoms, Wil and Loom must make peace with their pasts if they hope to secure the future of their world. But when their plans lead them right back to evil marveler Pahn, and to Baren—who is more dangerous than ever—can Wil and her friends outsmart their enemies, this time for good?
The Disasters—M.K. England (December 18, HarperTeen)
Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours. But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats. On the run, Nax and his fellow failures plan to pull off a dangerous heist to spread the truth. Because they may not be “Academy material,” and they may not even get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.
No new titles.
The Curses (The Graces #2)—Laure Eve (December 31, Amulet)
Picking up the pieces after the chilling events of the previous year isn’t easy, but the Grace siblings are determined. Wolf is back after a mysterious disappearance, and everyone’s eager to return to normal. Except Summer, the youngest Grace. Summer has a knack for discovering the truth—and something is troubling her. But exposing secrets is a dangerous game, and it’s not one Summer can win alone. At Summer’s behest, the coven comes back together, drawing their erstwhile friend River back into the fold. But as the coven’s powers magnify, Wolf’s behavior becomes unpredictable—and Summer must question the nature of the friend she so loves. This riveting sequel to The Graces is saturated with magic, the destructive cost of power, and the nature of forgiveness.
Evermore (Everless #2)—Sara Holland (December 31, HarperTeen)
Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: She is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress. The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Now Jules must piece together the stories of her past lives to save the person who has captured her heart in this one.
The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm (Tales from Alagaesia #1)—Christopher Paolini (December 31, Knopf Books for Young Readers)
A wanderer and a cursed child. Spells and magic. And dragons, of course. Welcome back to the world of Alagaësia. It’s been a year since Eragon departed Alagaësia in search of the perfect home to train a new generation of Dragon Riders. Now he is struggling with an endless sea of tasks: constructing a vast dragonhold, wrangling with suppliers, guarding dragon eggs, and dealing with belligerent Urgals and haughty elves. Then a vision from the Eldunarí, unexpected visitors, and an exciting Urgal legend offer a much-needed distraction and a new perspective. This volume features three original stories set in Alagaësia, interspersed with scenes from Eragon’s own unfolding adventure. Included is an excerpt from the memoir of the unforgettable witch and fortune-teller Angela the herbalist … penned by Angela Paolini, the inspiration for the character, herself!