Space opera, star-crossed lovers, a magical institute, and ghost-fighting warriors—what more could you want? And all are included in this list of fantasy and sci-fi new young adult reads!
Check out the July 2023 titles (organized by release date):
by Alechia Dow Zaira Citlali is supposed to die. After all, she’s the god Indigo reborn. Indigo, whose song created the universe and unified people across galaxies to banish Ozvios, the god of destruction. Although Zaira has never been able to harness Indigo’s powers, the Ilori Emperor wants to sacrifice her in Ozvios’s honor. Unless she escapes and finds Wesley, the boy prophesized to help her defeat Ozvios and the Ilori, once and for all. Wesley Daniels didn’t ask for this. He just wants to work as a smuggler so he can save enough money to explore the stars. Once he completes his biggest job yet—bringing wanted celebrity Rubin Rima to a strange planet called Earth—he’ll be set for life. But when his path crosses with Zaira, he soon finds himself in the middle of an intergalactic war with more responsibility than he bargained for. Together, Zaira, Wesley, and Rubin must find their way to Earth and unlock Zaira’s powers if they’re going to have any hope of saving the universe from total destruction.
by Mary Su
Lab Partners, Love, and Visions of the Future
Strailer is a young elf who loves friends and fun. When the lab instructor pairs him off with Lilliana "The Ice Queen," he hopes his charms can melt her icy exterior.
Lilliana is a young elf who likes things just so-her hair, her stuff, and her assignments. She realizes Strailer is as handsome as he is funny, but she knows he's not the one for her. She's seen visions of her future-including her love life-and she knows Strailer's not in it.
When the elf of Lilliana's dreams arrives in Valley Glen, it's not as perfect as she had hoped. He brings chaos that could upend all of their futures. Will Lilliana find the heart to do what's right or leave Strailer holding the bag?
by Lauren Yero Sixteen-year-old Rumi Sabzwari has spent his entire life behind the armored walls of St. Iago, which protect citizens of the Union of Upper Cities from the outside world’s environmental devastation. But when rebels infect his father with a fatal virus, Rumi escapes St. Iago, desperate to find a cure. In the ruined city of Paraíso, Rumi meets fifteen-year-old Paz, who agrees to guide him on his journey. As they travel together, Rumi finds himself drawn to Paz—and behind her tough exterior, she begins to feel the same way. But Paz knows more about Rumi’s father’s illness than she’s saying and has her own agenda. With the powerful forces at play in their cities putting them at odds, can the two learn to trust in each other—enough to imagine a different world?
by Adrienne Tooley
For centuries, the citizens of Velle have waited for their New Maiden to return. The prophecy states she will appear as the third daughter of a third daughter. When the fabled child is finally born to Velle’s reigning queen all rejoice except for Elodie, the queen’s eldest child, who has lost her claim to the crown. The only way for Elodie to protect Velle is to retake the throne. To do so, she must debilitate the Third Daughter—her youngest sister, Brianne. Desperate, Elodie purchases a sleeping potion from Sabine, who sells sadness. But the apothecary mistakenly sends the princess away with a vial of tears instead of a harmless sleeping brew. Sabine’s sadness is dangerously powerful, and Brianne slips into a slumber from which she will not wake. With the fates of their families and country hanging in the balance, Sabine and Elodie hurry to revive the Third Daughter while a slow-burning attraction between the two girls erupts in full force.
by Marie-Hélène Lebeault
The group of students at the Institute is back for another semester, but things are a bit different this time. Penelope is struggling because she doesn't have a mate, while Herja is pursuing a diagnosis for her neurodivergence. Kaia learns that Finnegan has escaped from prison, and there are rumors of a second magical spring while the group is camped at the base of Thunder Ridge, learning to take their dragon forms and ride their dragons. When Herja receives a letter from an old friend, the group sets out to help, but they face danger and a mysterious magic that turns woodland creatures into stone. As they wait out a massive thunderstorm in a cave, Penelope opens up about her insecurities, and the group comes together to help each other through their struggles.
by Erin A. Craig
In a manor by the sea, one sister is still cursed.
Despite dreams of adventures far beyond the Salann shores, seventeen-year-old Verity Thaumas has remained at her family’s estate, Highmoor, with her older sister Camille, while their sisters have scattered across Arcannia.
When their sister Mercy sends word that the Duchess of Bloem—wife of a celebrated botanist—is interested in having Verity paint a portrait of her son, Alexander, Verity jumps at the chance, but Camille won’t allow it. Forced to reveal the secret she’s kept for years, Camille tells Verity the truth one day: Verity is still seeing ghosts, she just doesn’t know it.
Stunned, Verity flees Highmoor that night and—with nowhere else to turn—makes her way to Bloem. At first, she is captivated by the lush, luxurious landscape and is quickly drawn to charming, witty, and impossibly handsome Alexander Laurent. And soon, to her surprise, a romance . . . blossoms.
But it’s not long before Verity is plagued with nightmares, and the darker side of Bloem begins to show through its sickly-sweet façade. . . .
by Nicki Pau Preto Ready your blade. Defeat the undead. In the Dominions, the dead linger, violent and unpredictable, unless a bonesmith severs the ghost from its earthly remains. For bonesmith Wren, becoming a valkyr—a ghost-fighting warrior—is a chance to solidify her place in the noble House of Bone and impress her frequently absent father. But when sabotage causes Wren to fail her qualifying trial, she is banished to the Border Wall, the last line of defense against a wasteland called the Breach where the vicious dead roam unchecked. Determined to reclaim her family’s respect, Wren gets her chance when a House of Gold prince is kidnapped and taken beyond the Wall. To prove she has what it takes to be a valkyr, Wren vows to cross the Breach and rescue the prince. But to do so, she’s forced into an uneasy alliance with one of the kidnappers—a fierce ironsmith called Julian from the exiled House of Iron, the very people who caused the Breach in the first place…and the House of Bone’s sworn enemy. As they travel, Wren and Julian spend as much time fighting each other as they do the undead, but when they discover there’s more behind the kidnapping than either of them knew, they’ll need to work together to combat the real danger: a dark alliance that is brewing between the living and the undead.
This article was written by Allison Rose.
Allison Rose writes YA fantasy featuring magic and otherworldly beings. Her current series feature a truly unique world of Faerie. Click the covers below to check them out.