She reaches out her hand for yours, and you take it without question. The mist is thick, what lies beyond is unknown. But together, you are brave. Together, you move forward. August’s YA SFF books celebrate the risk-takers. Sacrifices are made for freedom in Sarah Hennings’ Sea Witch Rising; flee with a team of assassins and join a secret rebellion in Bright Star by Erin Swan; and run with outlaws Kazi and Jase in the sequel to Dance of Thieves by Mary Pearson, Vow of Thieves.
Head below for the full list of YA SFF titles heading your way in August!
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
WEEK ONE (August 6)
A Dress for the Wicked—Autumn Krause (HarperTeen)
True to its name, the sleepy town of Shy in Avon-upon-Kynt is a place where nothing much happens. And for eighteen years, Emmaline Watkins has feared that her future held just that: nothing. But when the head of the most admired fashion house in the country opens her prestigious design competition to girls from outside the stylish capital city, Emmy’s dreams seem closer than they ever have before. As the first “country girl” to compete, Emmy knows she’ll encounter extra hurdles on her way to the top. But as she navigates the twisted world of high fashion, she starts to wonder: Will she be able to tailor herself to fit into this dark, corrupted race? And at what cost?
Sea Witch Rising—Sarah Henning (Katherine Tegen)
Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes. Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds? Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.
The Demon World (The Smoke Thieves #2)—Sally Green (Viking BFYR)
A princess. A soldier. A servant. A demon hunter. A thief. When we last saw them, this unlikely group was heading into the Northern Territory of the kingdom of Pitoria, on the run from the sadistic and power-hungry King Aloysius of Brigant. The Smoke Thieves have discovered that demon smoke is not only an illegal drug used for pleasure, but in fact, when taken by children, demon smoke briefly gives its users super-human strength. Aloysius’ plan is simple and brutal: kill the demons for their smoke, and use that smoke to build an unstoppable army of children to take over Pitoria, Calidor, and then the rest of the world. The Smoke Thieves are the only ones who understand this plan—but can they stop it? Catherine, Aloysius’ daughter, is seen as a traitor from all sides; Tash is heartbroken after the loss of her one friend and sees nothing left for her in the human world; Edyon is wanted for murder; March is carrying the secret of his betrayal of his new love; Ambrose is out for revenge—and all the while, the demons have plans of their own…
Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #2)—Mary Pearson (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them—the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor’s Watch will be a kingdom, and Kazi and Jase will meet all challenges side by side, together at last. But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and they soon find themselves captured in a tangled web of deceit woven by their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies, a place where betrayals run deeper and more deadly than either had thought possible, and where timeless ambitions threaten to destroy them both.
House of Salt and Sorrows—Erin A. Craig (Delacorte)
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters and their father and stepmother. Once there were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods. Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that her sister’s deaths were no accidents. The girls have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with? When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
Containment (Sanctuary #2)—Caryn Lix (Simon Pulse)
Ex-Omnistellar prison guard Kenzie and her superpowered friends barely made it off Sanctuary alive. Now they’re stuck in a stolen alien ship with nowhere to go and no one to help them. Kenzie is desperate for a plan, but she doesn’t know who to trust anymore. Everyone has their own dark secrets: Omnistellar, her parents, even Cage. Worse still, she’s haunted by memories of the aliens who nearly tore her to shreds—and forced her to accidentally kill one of the Sanctuary prisoners, Matt. When Kenzie intercepts a radio communication suggesting that more aliens are on their way, she knows there’s only one choice: They must destroy the ship before the aliens follow the signal straight to them. Because if the monstrous creatures who attacked Sanctuary reach Earth, then it’s game over for humanity. What Kenzie doesn’t know is that the aliens aren’t the only ones on the hunt. Omnistellar has put a bounty on Kenzie’s head—and the question is whether the aliens or Omnistellar get to her first.
The Dark Beneath the Ice—Amelinda Bérubé (Sourcebooks)
Something is wrong with Marianne. It’s not just that her parents have finally split up. Or that life hasn’t been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital. She’s losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close. Something is after her. And the only one who seems to believe her is the daughter of a local psychic. But their first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing’s rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. Whatever is haunting her, it wants everything she has—everything it’s convinced she stole. Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it thinks it’s owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.
The Heartwood Crown (Sunlit Lands #2)—Matt Mikalatos (Wander)
After destroying the Crescent Stone, Madeline returns home, bringing Shula and Yenil with her. As her health continues to deteriorate, Madeline feels the Sunlit Lands calling her back. Meanwhile, Jason, Darius, and the rest of the inhabitants of the Sunlit Lands fight for survival and freedom. The magic that fuels the land is failing, threatening to destroy them all. Will Madeline’s return save the land and its people?
Beasts of the Frozen Sun—Jill Criswell (Blackstone Publishing)
Every child of Glasnith learns the last words of Aillira, the god-gifted mortal whose doomed love affair sparked a war of gods and men, and Lira of clan Stone knows the story better than most. As a descendant of Aillira and god-gifted in her own right, she has the power to read people’s souls, to see someone’s true essence with only a touch of her hand. When a golden-haired warrior washes up on the shores of her homeland—one of the fearful marauders from the land of the Frozen Sun—Lira helps the wounded man instead of turning him in. After reading his soul, she realizes Reyker is different than his brethren who attack the coasts of Glasnith. He confides in her that he’s been cursed with what his people call battle-madness, forced to fight for the warlord known as the Dragon, a powerful tyrant determined to reignite the ancient war that Aillira started. As Lira and Reyker form a bond forbidden by both their clans, the wrath of the Dragon falls upon them and all of Glasnith, and Lira finds herself facing the same tragic fate as her ancestor. The battle for Lira’s life, for Reyker’s soul, and for their peoples’ freedom has only just begun…
WEEK TWO (August 13)
Bright Star—Erin Swan (Tor Teen)
Paerolia has been at peace for two centuries, and all is well in the land—or so it seems. Beneath the surface, a tyrant is rising to power. A traumatic experience in Andra’s childhood has left her mute and subdued, a servant in the Chief Judge’s manor. But when an assassination team, led by the secretive and alluring Kael, infiltrates the manor and makes a quick escape, she takes her chance and flees with them. Andra is thrust into the ranks of a secret rebellion—a group of outcasts and believers seeking to overthrow the Chief Judge and replace the corrupt government with new members, ones who will restore and preserve the land they love. Now, the girl who was once an outcast must somehow become the leader Paerolia needs. But she is stronger than she believes—and with the help of a fiercely loyal dragon, she may just be the one to lead them all to victory.
Of Ice and Shadows (Of Fire and Stars #2)—Audrey Coulthurst (Balzer + Bray)
Princesses Denna and Mare are in love and together at last—only to face a new set of dangers. Mare just wants to settle down with the girl she loves, which would be easier if Denna weren’t gifted with forbidden and volatile fire magic. Denna must learn to control her powers, which means traveling in secret to the kingdom of Zumorda, where she can seek training without fear of persecution. Determined to help, Mare has agreed to serve as an ambassador as a cover for their journey. But just as Mare and Denna arrive in Zumorda, an attack on a border town in Mynaria changes everything. As Denna’s powers grow stronger, Mare struggles to be the ambassador her kingdom needs. By making unconventional friends, her knowledge of Zumorda and its people grow, and so too do her suspicions about who is truly behind the attacks on Zumorda and her homeland. As rising tensions and unexpected betrayals put Mare and Denna in jeopardy and dangerous enemies emerge on all sides, can they protect their love and save their kingdoms?
The Last Hope (A Raging Ones Novel)—Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie (Wednesday)
Imprisoned for weeks on an enemy starcraft, Franny, Court, and Mykal have sat with an unfathomable revelation. But as they fight to stay alive, escaping prison means trusting a young mysterious stranger. He knows everything about their lost histories, and when answers aren’t given freely, the bonded trio are forced to join a mission. One that will determine the fate of humanity. Legend says, a baby—the first of her species—has the power to cloak and teleport planets. Tasked with retrieving the infant, Court fears the baby is just a myth, and if they fail, they’ll never find the truth about their origins. As Court and Mykal grow closer, their linked bond becomes harder to hide, and dynamics change when Franny begins to fall for someone new. Vulnerable and with no choice, the hunt for the baby sends the trio on a dangerous path to Saltare-1: a water world where their enemies can’t die and survival comes at a high cost.
Curse of the Evil Librarian (Evil Librarian Series #3)—Michelle Knudsen (Candlewick)
After sending the evil librarian, Mr. Gabriel, back to the demon world once and for all at theater camp last summer, Cynthia is ready to enjoy a completely demon-free senior year of high school, especially once she learns the fall musical will be Les Misérables. She can’t wait to create the most incredible barricade set design in all of high-school theater. And her boyfriend, Ryan, is sure to land his dream role of Javert. But down in the demon realm, an epic mishandling of Mr. Gabriel’s essence leads to his escape—and soon he’s gathering strength, bent once again on revenge against Cyn and everyone she loves. Best-selling author Michelle Knudsen’s Evil Librarian series overflows with horror, humor, and hot guys—and it looks like this show’s got a third act.
Midnight Beauties (Grim Lovelies)—Megan Shepherd (HMH BFYR)
Ever since she discovered her affinity for magic, seventeen-year-old Anouk has been desperate to become a witch. It’s the only way to save her friends who, like Anouk, are beasties: animals enchanted into humans. But unlike Anouk, the other beasties didn’t make it out of the battle at Montélimar in one piece. With her friends now trapped in their animal forms, Anouk is forced into a sinister deal involving a political marriage with her sworn enemy, a wicked plot to overthrow London’s fiercest coven of witches, and a deadly trial of fire to become a witch. The price for power has always been steep in the world of the Haute. Now, it will cost Anouk everything.
Mayhem and Madness: Chronicles of a Teenaged Supervillain—J. A. Dauber (Holiday House)
Bailey is a pretty average teenager in a pretty average town. He runs track, gets decent grades, and has an unrequited crush. So what is a super-powered flying suit of computerized armor doing twenty feet under his boring suburban home? Bailey needs to know where it came from, if it belonged to his long-missing father, and most importantly, if it can be used to bring his dad back. This lightning-fast adventure inspired by classic comic book tales pushes a good kid to his limits and questions the difference between a hero and a villain. One day he’s getting beat up by the captain of the football team, the next day he’s robbing banks on Fifth Avenue, stealing diamonds from Tiffany’s, and zooming through aerial dogfights. But how much bad is Bailey willing to do to bring his dad home safely?
WEEK THREE (August 20)
Into the Hourglass (The Evermore Chronicles #2) — Emily R. King (Skyscape)
Everley Donovan’s mission: Retrieve the hallowed sword of Avelyn stolen by the wicked Prince Killian, who slayed her family and left her for dead. Should she fail, the seven worlds will come to an end, as could time itself. And no one treasures time more than Everley, whose lifesaving clock heart cannot beat forever. She has set sail with a rogue crew for the otherworlds, where the key to dethroning the prince lies deep within the Land Under the Wave. But passage through these unknown seas—where horrors lurk and pirates rove—proves a treacherous gamble. The Land Under the Wave was not made for humans, particularly one with a fragile clock heart. Here, Everley’s tragic past resurfaces unsolved questions. Here, too, the prince has hidden secrets more precious than pearls, secrets that could fracture the future forevermore. Everley must take back her sword and break free from this watery world before her time runs out… or so will everyone else’s.
WEEK FOUR (August 27)
Rage: A Stormheart Novel—Cora Cormack (Tor Teen)
Princess or adventurer. Duty or freedom. Her Kingdom or the storm hunter she loves. If Aurora knows anything, it’s that choices have consequences. To set things right, she joins a growing revolution on the streets of Pavan. In disguise as the rebel Roar, she puts her knowledge of the palace to use to aid the rebellion. But the Rage season is at its peak and not a day passes without the skies raining down destruction. Yet these storms are different… they churn with darkness, and attack with a will that’s desperate and violent. This feels like more than rage. It feels like war.
Mind Games—Shana Silver (Swoon Reads)
Arden sells memories. Whether it’s becoming homecoming queen or studying for that all important test, Arden can hack into a classmate’s memories and upload the experience for you just as if you’d lived it yourself. Business is great, right up until the day Arden whites out, losing fifteen minutes of her life and all her memories of the boy across the school yard. The boy her friends assure her she’s had a crush on for years. Arden realizes that her own memories have been hacked, but they haven’t just been stolen and shared… they’ve been removed. And she’s not the only one: Her mysterious crush, Sebastian, has lost ALL of his memories. But how can they find someone who has the power to make them forget everything they’ve learned?
These Divided Shores (These Rebel Waves #2)—Sara Raasch (Brazer + Bray)
As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: He’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success. Escape is impossible—unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again. Vex failed to save Lu and Ben—and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates—and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago. Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God? As armies clash and magic rises, Lu, Vex, and Ben will confront their pasts… or lose their futures forever.
Wild Savage Stars (A Sweet Black Waves Novel) — Kristina Perez (Imprint)
Branwen has a secret powerful enough to destroy two kingdoms. Her ancient magic led to a terrible betrayal by both her best friend, the princess Essy, and her first love, Tristan. Now this same magic is changing Branwen. Adrift in a rival court, Branwen must hide the truth from the enemy king by protecting the lovers who broke her heart—and finds herself considering a darker path. Not everyone wants the alliance with Branwen’s kingdom to succeed—peace is balanced on a knife’s edge, and her only chance may be to embrace the darkness within…
Crown of Coral and Pearl—Mara Rutherford (Inkyard)
Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land. Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave. In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.
Song of the Abyss (Tower of Winds)—Makiia Lucier (HMH BFYR)
As the granddaughter of a famed navigator, seventeen-year-old Reyna has always lived life on her own terms, despite those who say a girl could never be an explorer for the royal house of St. John del Mar. She is determined to prove them wrong, and as she returns home after a year-long expedition, she knows her dream is within reach. No longer an apprentice, instead: Reyna, Master Explorer. But when menacing raiders attack her ship, those dreams are pushed aside. Reyna’s escape is both desperate and dangerous, and when next she sees her ship, a mystery rises from the deep. The sailors—her captain, her countrymen—have vanished. To find them, Reyna must use every resource at her disposal… including placing her trust in a handsome prince from a rival kingdom. Together they uncover a disturbing truth. The attack was no isolated incident. Troubling signs point to a shadowy kingdom in the north, and for once, the rulers of the Sea of Magdalen agree: something must be done. But can Reyna be brave enough to find a way?