They’re all behind you, you can feel their hearts beat in time with yours. You feel strong, and the magic is strong in you. But the task ahead is risky and unsafe. All you can do is charge forward. This month’s YA titles are about taking a leap into the unknown: gather your friends to steal the Holy Grail in Sword in the Stars by Cori McCarthy & Amy Rose Capetta; enter an academy full of monsters and vampires in Tracy Wolff’s Crave; and join a memory thief working against the crown in Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova.
Head below for the full list of YA SFF titles heading your way in April!
Keep track of all the new releases here. You can also find horror titles scheduled for 2020 here. All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher. Note: Release dates are subject to change.
WEEK ONE (April 7)
Sword in the Stars (Once & Future #2)—Cori McCarthy & Amy Rose Capetta (jimmy patterson)
Ari Helix may have won her battle against the tyrannical Mercer corporation, but the larger war has just begun. Ari and her cursed wizard Merlin must travel back in time to the unenlightened Middle Ages and steal the King Arthur’s Grail—the very definition of impossible. It’s imperative that the time travelers not skew the timeline and alter the course of history. Coming face to face with the original Arthurian legend could produce a ripple effect that changes everything. Somehow Merlin forgot that the past can be even more dangerous than the future…
Crave—Tracy Wolff (Entangled)
My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods… or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me. Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me. Which could spell death for us all. Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait.
The Empire of Dreams—Rae Carson (Greenwillow)
Red Sparkle Stone is a foundling orphan with an odd name, a veiled past, and a mark of magic in her hair. But finally—after years and years of running, of fighting—she is about to be adopted into the royal family by Empress Elisa herself. She’ll have a home, a family. Sixteen-year-old Red can hardly believe her luck. Then, in a stunning political masterstroke, the empress’s greatest rival blocks the adoption, and everything Red has worked for crumbles before her eyes. But Red is not about to let herself or the empress become a target again. Determined to prove her worth and protect her chosen family, she joins the Royal Guard, the world’s most elite fighting force. It’s no coincidence that someone wanted her to fail as a princess, though. Someone whose shadowy agenda puts everything—and everyone—she loves at risk. As danger closes in, it will be up to Red to save the empire. If she can survive recruitment year—something no woman has ever done before.
So This is Love : A Twisted Tale—Elizabeth Lim (Disney-Hyperion)
What if Cinderella never tried on the glass slipper? Unable to prove that she’s the missing princess, and unable to bear life under Lady Tremaine any longer, Cinderella attempts a fresh start, looking for work at the palace as a seamstress. But when the Grand Duke appoints her to serve under the king’s visiting sister, Cinderella becomes witness to a grand conspiracy to take the king-and the prince-out of power, as well as a longstanding prejudice against fairies, including Cinderella’s own Fairy Godmother. Faced with questions of love and loyalty to the kingdom, Cinderella must find a way to stop the villains of past and present… before it’s too late.
Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy #2)—Emily A Duncan (Wednesday)
Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who—and what—he’s become. As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. Their paths are being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.
WEEK TWO (April 14)
Girls Save the World in This One—Ash Parsons (Philomel)
Mega-fan June Blue’s whole life has been leading up to this moment: ZombieCon!The Ultimate in Undead Entertainment has finally come to her hometown. She and her two best friends—gorgeous, brilliant Imani and super-sweet, outrageously silly Siggy—plan on hitting all the panels and photo ops, and meeting the heartthrob lead of their favorite zombie apocalypse show, Human Wasteland. It’s going to be the best time of their lives—and one of their last adventures before they all split up for college. And when they arrive, everything seems perfect. June’s definitely not going to let anything get in the way of the flawless con experience. But something’s not quite right at the con—there are strange people in hazmat suits running around, enthusiastic cosplayers taking their shambling a little too far, and someone actually biting a cast member. Then, at a panel gone wrong, June and her friends discover the truth: the zombie apocalypse is here. Now June, Imani, and Siggy must do whatever it takes to survive a horde of actual flesh-eating zombies—and save the world. A hilarious and heartfelt horror comedy, that is an ode to zombies, friendship, and girl power.
Elysium Girls—Kate Pentecost (Disney-Hyperion)
Elysium, Oklahoma, is a town like any other. Respectable. God-fearing. Praying for an end to the Dust Bowl. Until the day the people of Elysium are chosen by two sisters: Life and Death. And the Sisters like to gamble against each other with things like time, and space, and human lives. Elysium is to become the gameboard in a ruthless competition between the goddesses. The Dust Soldiers will return in ten years’ time, and if the people of Elysium have not proved themselves worthy, all will be slain. Nearly ten years later, seventeen-year-old Sal Wilkinson is called upon to lead Elysium as it prepares for the end of the game. But then an outsider named Asa arrives at Elysium’s gates with nothing more than a sharp smile and a bag of magic tricks, and they trigger a terrible accident that gets both Sal and Asa exiled into the brutal Desert of Dust and Steel. There Sal and Asa stumble upon a gang of girls headed by another exile: a young witch everyone in Elysium believes to be dead.
Deeplight—Frances Hardinge (Amulet)
The gods are dead. Decades ago, they turned on one another and tore each other apart. Nobody knows why. But are they really gone forever? When 15-year-old Hark finds the still-beating heart of a terrifying deity, he risks everything to keep it out of the hands of smugglers, military scientists, and a secret fanatical cult so that he can use it to save the life of his best friend, Jelt. But with the heart, Jelt gradually and eerily transforms. How long should Hark stay loyal to his friend when he’s becoming a monster—and what is Hark willing to sacrifice to save him?
WEEK THREE (April 21)
The Deck of Omens (Devouring Gray #2)—Christine Lynn Herman (Disney-Hyperion)
Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat lurks in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most—her father, Ezra Bishop. May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town—Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it. With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all. But the monster they truly need to slay may never been the Beast…
An Outcast and an Ally (A Soldier and a Liar #2)—Caitlin Lochner (Swoon Reads)
Lai, Jay, Al, and Erik are on the run after the military accuses them of being traitors. Tensions between everyone are high, but they have to stick together if they want to survive. And somehow stop the war that’s now in full swing. But when Erik returns to the rebels to find answers about his past, Lai, Al, and Jay have no choice but to go to the Order—a peace coalition bent on stopping the rebels and dissolving the enmity between gifted and ungifted. However, the longer the war drags on, the more Lai’s long-kept secrets threaten to destroy everything she’s ever worked for. Sparks fly as the team constantly questions whether they can trust one another and everyone tries to navigate a war that will change everything.
Queen of Coin and Whispers—Helen Corcoran (UK release—O’Brien Press, 4/23)
When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold… Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father. Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason? In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country—and for each other. (Available in the US July 2020)
WEEK FOUR (April 28)
Incendiary—Zoraida Cordóva (Disney-Hyperion)
Renata was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucía. As a memory thief, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata was used by the crown to carry out the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people. Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown. The Whispers may have rescued Renata years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred-or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she drained during her time in the palace. When Dez, the commander of her unit-and the boy she’s grown to love-is taken captive by the notorious Príncipe Dorado, Renata must return to Andalucía and complete Dez’s top secret mission herself. Can she keep her cover, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it. But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the fate of the entire kingdom-and end the war that has cost her everything.
Don’t Call the Wolf—Aleksandra Ross (HarperTeen)
A fierce young queen, neither human nor lynx, who fights to protect a forest humans have long abandoned. An exhausted young soldier, last of his name, who searches for the brother who disappeared beneath those trees without a trace. A Golden Dragon, fearsome and vengeful, whose wingbeats haunt their nightmares and their steps. When these three paths cross at the fringes of a war between monsters and men, shapeshifter queen and reluctant hero strike a deal that may finally turn the tide against the rising hordes of darkness. Ren will help Lukasz find his brother… if Lukasz promises to slay the Dragon. But promises are all too easily broken.
Seven Endless Forests—April Genevieve Tucholke (Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux BFYR)
On the heels of a devastating plague, Torvi’s sister, Morgunn is stolen from the family farm by Uther, a flame-loving Fremish wolf-priest who leads a pack of ragged, starving girls. Torvi leaves the only home she’s ever known, and joins a shaven-skulled druid and a band of roaming Elsh artists known as the Butcher Bards. They set out on a quest to rescue Torvi’s sister, and find a mythical sword. On their travels, Torvi and her companions will encounter magical night wilds and mystical Drakes who trade in young men. They will sing rowdy Elshland ballads in a tree-town tavern, and find a mysterious black tower in an Endless Forest. They will fight alongside famous Vorseland archers and barter with Fremish wizards. They will feast with rogue Jade Fell children in a Skal Mountain cave, and seek the help of a Pig Witch. They will face wild, dangerous magic that leads to love, joy, tragedy, and death. Torvi sets out to rescue a sister, but she may find it’s merely the first step toward a life that is grander and more glorious than anything she could have imagined.