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For science fiction and fantasy readers, living vicariously through protagonists and characters who warp their way through time and space makes the day a bit brighter. You’ve probably found yourself on one too many nights gleefully curled up into a new fantasy complete with aliens, magic, time machines and the likes. If that’s you—or if you’re looking to explore the genre of YA sci-fi and fantasy a bit more—2022 has ensured your reading list stays out of this world.
Here are the most anticipated new sci-fi and fantasy YA novels releasing in Fall 2022.
Lightlark by Alex Aster (August 23, 2022)
The island of Lightlark appears every 100 years to host the Centennial, a deadly game between the rulers of six realms. Each realm has been tormented by a unique curse for centuries, and one ruler must die in order for the curses to be broken. Isla Crown is the young ruler of Wildling. The realm is full of temptresses cursed to kill whoever they fall in love with. Others fear and despise them, and everyone is counting on Isla to put an end to their torture. Isla must be smart, deceitful and selfish, even when love is thrown into the mix and complicates everything.
Belladonna by Adalyn Grace (August 30, 2022)
Signa has been raised by a string of guardians ever since she was a baby. Each guardian cares more about her wealth than they do her, and each one has unexpectedly died. The only family she has left are the ambiguous Hawthornes. The patriarch is mourning his late wife, as his son struggles to control the family’s reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. When their mother’s spirit comes back and claims she was poisoned, Signa makes it her responsibility to find the killer. She teams up with a stable boy and Death himself to find the murderer in this romantic and Gothic murder-mystery fantasy.
Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah (September 6, 2022)
On an island surrounded by black seas and terrifying monsters, Koral and her brother Emrik are tasked with hunting and capturing the maristags that lurk in the waters. These creatures are used in the Glory Race, a dangerous and deadly competition for the elite, and the winner receives gold and glory. When the last maristag escapes, and Koral’s family can’t afford medicine for her chronically ill sister, Koral must cheat her way into the Glory Race. She’s forced to go against competitors, including her ex-boyfriend, who have trained their entire lives and will do everything they can to prevent a low-caste girl from winning it all.
The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas (September 6, 2022)
At the start of each decade, Sol selects ten of the best semidioses to partake in the Sunbearer trials in order to replenish the Sun’s power. The winner brings light and life to all the temples of Reino del Sol, but the loser is honored by being sacrificed and refueling the Sun Stones. Teo is a seventeen-year-old Jade semidios and the trans son of a goddess. He’s not worried for himself, but for his best friend Niya, a gold semidios who is a sure pick for the trials. In an unexpected twist, Sol selects two Jade competitors, Teo and Xio, the child of the god of bad luck. It’s Teo’s mission is to ensure he and his friends stay out of last place and survive the trials.
The Depths by Nicole Lesperance (September 13, 2022)
Addie Spencer is forced to tag along to Eulalie Island on her mother’s honeymoon. The island is beautiful, all isolated beaches and forests bursting with white flowers. When Addie meets a mysterious boy on the beach, the white flowers suddenly start turning pink. The boy tells Addie that this means the island loves her—but then she starts sleepwalking, the birds are calling her name, and she finds a strange young girl in the woods who wants to play hide-and-seek. Then Addie learns an old story about two sisters who died on the island centuries ago. It’s clear that Eulalie Island is full of dark secrets that Addie needs to uncover before the island makes her its prisoner.
The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber (September 13, 2022)
In this sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller Once Upon a Broken Heart, Evangeline Fox swears never to trust Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, after he betrayed her again. With her magic, she believes she can restore the chance at happily ever after that Jacks stole. But as a horrific new curse is revealed, Evangeline hesitantly enters a relationship with the Prince of Hearts. This time, he might be the only one she can trust as more forces come into play. Instead of a love spell, a murderous spell has been cast and its up to Evangeline and Jacks to break it.
Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland (September 20, 2022)
Set in 1937, America is divided between those who can work magic and those who cannot. After the Great Rust, a magical event that had catastrophic consequences for the country, many people believe the future is industry and technology, known as Mechomancy, and not the mystical arts. Laura Ann Langston is a young and talented queer mage whose dream is to earn her mage’s license. When things don’t go according to plan, Laura gets a job with the Bureau of the Arcane’s Conservation Corps, a US government branch dedicated to the success of Mechomancy. Laura becomes an apprentice for the Skylark, a powerful mage with a hidden past. On their first mission, they find the work of mages who have not been seen since the darkest times in American history, when Black mages were executed for their power. The work they discover threatens Laura and the Skylark’s lives, as well as everything they’ve worked for.
Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong (September 27, 2022)
Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was saved from death—but she doesn’t sleep or age, and she can heal from any wound, making her immortal. Now in 1931 in Shanghai, Rosalind uses her powers as an assassin for her country under the code name “Fortune.” But when a string of murders in Shanghai creates unrest, the Japanese are under suspicion and Rosalind has to infiltrate foreign society and uncover the truth behind the murders. She’s forced to pose as the wife of the playboy Orion Hong, another Nationalist spy with a hidden agenda. As they work to solve the mystery, the two spies find more horrors than they could’ve ever anticipated.
The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik (September 27, 2022)
Following A Deadly Education and The Last Graduate comes the conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy. Everyone in the Scholomance dreams of surviving and leaving the place. And now that El, Orion, and their allies are miraculously out, things should be fine, right? Wrong. After someone else picked up the project of destroying enclaves, everyone is at risk amidst the brewing enclave war. And El has no choice but to turn around and find a way back into the Scholomance to finish what she started.
Love in the Age of Dragons by Fatima R. Henson (November 1, 2022)
When a wormhole opened two years ago, ferocious dragons entered the world and burned Earth’s cities. Ayanna Grace, a seventeen-year-old Black girl, has been living in an abandoned subway system as part of a large underground community. Medicine runs short, diseases spread uncontrollably, and the water supply is low. Rebellions rise and dragon attacks are impending. Ayanna also struggles with her feelings between Richard, someone she’s known forever, and Jackson, a mysterious outsider. To make things worse, her mentor and the only doctor in the community is dying. Can Ayanna save him before it’s too late?
Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn (November 8, 2022)
In the highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling and award-winning Legendborn, Bree finds herself with a new identity: a medium, a bloodcrafter, and a scion. But the war between demons and the Order is waging on. Nick has been kidnapped, and the Regents who control the Order won’t let Bree fight. Bree and her friends flee to rescue Nick themselves, but adversaries are everywhere, and Bree’s powers are wild and dangerous. She also can’t stop the attraction she feels towards Selwyn, the mage responsible for protecting Nick. To save herself and those she loves, Bree must learn to control her powers without losing herself first.
The Q by Amy Tintera (November 8, 2022)
Where Austin, Texas once was, the Q now exists: a post-pandemic quarantine zone. Seventeen-year-old Maisie Rojas has spent her entire life there, behind the high security walls. Now, she’s a lieutenant for one of the territory’s controlling families. Lennon Pierce is the charming son of a US presidential candidate whose been kidnapped and dropped into the Q with nothing but a parachute. After being given a temporary antidote, Maisie has to get him out of the zone within forty-eight hours, or Lennon will be permanently infected and stuck in the Q. But with turmoil growing inside and outside the walls, getting to the exit is close to impossible. If they fail, disaster could fall upon the entire area and its residents—as well as costing Lennon’s life.
A Wilderness of Stars by Shea Ernshaw (November 29, 2022)
Vega has lived within the borders of the valley her entire life. When her mother dies, Vega leaves the protective boundaries, but finds that the outside world is scarier than she ever anticipated: right before they die, people lose their eyesight and hearing. But Vega has a secret. She’s the Last Astronomer and is the only one with knowledge of the stars that could carry the cure. When people discover the mark of an astronomer on Vega’s neck, mayhem breaks out, and the fears her mother instilled in her are brought to life. She’s rescued by a girl named Cricket who takes her to Noah, a boy with his own mysterious tattoos. The three of them set off in search of the cure, all while hiding from the men hunting Vega.
A Thousand Heartbeats by Kiera Cass (November 29, 2022)
Princess Annika’s father, the king, is no longer the loving man she knew. He’s turned frigid, forcing his daughter into a loveless marriage for political gain. Lennox has been loyal to the Dahrainian army, his goal to help them reclaim the throne that was stolen from them. The concept of love is nothing but a distraction for him. But love finds both Annika and Lennox, and while there’s no way for them to be together, the thrum of a thousand heartbeats can’t be ignored.