List of the Week: 2016 YA Fantasy & Sci-Fi You Might Have Missed


It’s been an INCREDIBLE year for books, especially if you’re a fantasy or sci-fi fan. Presented in no particular order, here’s a huge list of the 2016 ya fantasy and sci-fi books that flew under the radar this year. How many of these did you read – and how many do you need to buy now that you know they exist?

fear-the-drowning-deep-sarah-glenn-marshFear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release date: October 4th
When a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

never ever sara saediNever Ever by Sara Saedi
Publisher: Viking
Release date: June 21st
When Wylie encounters Phinn at a party the night before her brother goes to juvie, she can’t believe how fast she falls for him. And that’s before he shows her how to fly.

these vicious masks tarun shanker kelly zekasThese Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks #1) by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release date: February 9th
England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her.

vicarious paula stokesVicarious (Vicarious #1) by Paula Stokes
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release date: August 16th
When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered, Winter won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict, Winter isn’t sure what to believe.

how to hang a witch adriana matherHow to Hang a Witch (How to Hang a Witch #1) by Adriana Mather
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release date: July 26th
When Sam, the descendant of Cotton Mather – one of the men responsible for the Salem witch trials – moves to Salem, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants.

bleeding earth kaitlin wardBleeding Earth by Kaitlyn Ward
Publisher: Adaptive Books
Release date: February 9th
Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. All over the world, blood appeared out of the ground, even through concrete, even in water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones.

gifted h a swainGifted by H.A. Swain
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release date: June 14th
In Orpheus Chanson’s world, geniuses and prodigies are no longer born or honed through hard work. Instead, procedures to induce abilities are now purchased by the privileged.

where futures end parker peevyhouseWhere Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Release date: February 9th
Five people, divided by time, will determine the fate of us all. These are stories of a world bent on destroying itself, and of the alternate world that might be its savior–unless it’s too late.

labyrinth lost zoraida cordovaLabyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Cordova
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: September 6th
Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation, but when she accidentally vanishes her family into thin air, the only way to get them back is to travel to Los Lagos, a land in-between…

bright smoke cold fire rosamund hodgeBright Smoke, Cold Fire (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire #1) Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: September 27th
Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan. Which means Romeo must die.

beyond the red ava jaeBeyond the Red by Ava Jae
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release date: March 1st
Alien queen Kora has a problem. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne.

the marked girl lindsey klingeleThe Marked Girl (The Marked Girl #1) by Lindsey Klingele
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: June 7th
When Cedric, crowned prince of Caelum, and his fellow royal friends find themselves stranded in modern-day L.A. via a magical portal and an evil traitor named Malquin, all they want to do is get home.

on the edge of gone corinne duyvisOn the Edge of Gone by Corrine Duyvis
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release date: March 8th
January 29. That’s the day the comet will hit. Denise is autistic and fears that she won’t be allowed on a ship leaving Earth. When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?

as i descended robin talleyAs I Descended by Robin Talley
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: September 6th
Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to bring down campus superstar Delilia—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

we awaken calista lynneWe Awaken by Calista Lynne
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release date: July 14th
When Ashlinn assumes human form to be with Victoria, they take the opportunity to explore their feelings for each other, and their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last.

frost m p kozlowskyFrost by M.P. Kozlowsky
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release date: October 11th
Frost knows why she’s never met a human besides her father, why he forbids her to look for medicine for her dying pet. But the thing is, it’s not her real father giving the orders… It’s his memories.

everland wendy spinaleEverland by Wendy Spinale
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release date: May 10th
Captain Hook hunts for a cure to the deadly virus which destroyed London. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna.

thief of lies brenda drakeThief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1) by Brenda Drake
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release date: January 5th
Reading from a book, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where they’re rescued from a demonic hound.

burning glass kathryn purdieBurning Glass (Burning Glass #1) by Kathryn Purdie
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: March 1st
Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years.

the keeper of the mist rachel neumeierThe Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release date: March 8th
Keri has three people to guide her: her mysterious Timekeeper, clever Bookkeeper, and steadfast Doorkeeper. Together they must protect the kingdom of Nimmira.

ruined amy tinteraRuined by Amy Tintera
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: May 3rd
Emelina’s home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. She watched as her sister was kidnapped. But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose.

iron cast destiny soriaIron Cast by Destiny Soria
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release date: October 11th
Corinne and Ada have been friends ever since gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. When a job goes wrong they’re forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.

into the dim janet b taylorInto the Dim (Into the Dim #1) by Janet B. Taylor
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release date: March 1st
Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, sixteen-year-old Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her time-travelling mother and get back to their own time.

assassin's heart sarah ahiersAssassin’s Heart (Assassin’s Heart #1) by Sarah Ahiers
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: February 2nd
As a highly skilled member of a powerful clan, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames.

the impostor queen sarah fineThe Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release date: January 5th
Elli was a small child when she was chosen to succeed the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. But when the queen dies, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

rocks fall everyone dies lindsay ribarRocks Fall, Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Release date: June 7th
Aspen Quick can reach inside people and steal their innermost things—fears, memories, even love—and his family’s secret ritual has kept the cliff above their town from collapsing.

daughters of ruin kd castnerDaughters of Ruin by K.D. Castner
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release date: April 5th
Rhea, Cadis, Suki, and Iren have lived together since they were children. They are called sisters. They are not. They are called equals. They are not. They are princesses…and they are enemies.

starflight melissa landersStarflight (Starflight #1) by Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release date: February 2nd
When a twist of fate lands Solara and Doran on the Banshee, and Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy, he and Solara must get past their enmity and evade those out for their arrest.

the girl from everywhere heidi heiligThe Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere #1) by Heidi Heilig
Publisher: Greenwillow
Release date: February 16th
Nix’s time-travelling father is only interested in one time, and one place: a time before Nix was born, when her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix’s existence rather dangerously in question…

the great hunt wendy higginsThe Great Hunt (The Great Hunt #1) by Wendy Higgins
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: March 8th
In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature stirring fear in the kingdom of Lochlanach and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

a fierce and subtle poison samantha mabryA Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Release date: April 12th
Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

curio evangeline denmarkCurio (Curio #1) by Evangeline Denmark
Publisher: Blink
Release date: January 5th
Grey has tried to stay unnoticed by the Chemists, who rule her town. Then her best friend is caught by the Chemists’ enforcers and suddenly taking risks seems the only decision she can make.

kingdom of ash and briars hannah westKingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West
Publisher: Holiday House
Release date: September 15th
Bristal, an orphaned kitchen maid, lands in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she is one of an ancient breed of immortal magic beings, an elicromancer with a knack for shape-shifting.

the forgetting sharon cameronThe Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release date: September 13th
Every twelve years the city of Canaan descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost.

unhooked lisa maxwellUnhooked by Lisa Maxwell
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: February 2nd
For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London.

a darkly beating heart lindsay smithA Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release date: October 25th
While visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping back in time into the life of Miyu, a young woman bent on revenge.

heir to the sky amanda sunHeir to the Sky by Amanda Sun
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: April 26th
When Kali, heir to a kingdom of floating continents, falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth.

vassa in the night sarah porterVassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release date: September 20th
In Vassa’s neighbourhood where she lives with her stepmother and stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue.

unicorn tracks julia emberUnicorn Tracks by Julia Ember
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release date: April 21st
Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed.

the women in the walls amy lukavicsThe Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: September 27th
When Lucy begins hearing the same voices as her cousin, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.

future shock elizabeth briggsFuture Shock by Elizabeth Briggs
Publisher: Albert Whitman Teen
Release date: April 1st
Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life–or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporation selects her for a top-secret project, she can’t say no.

consider kristy acevedoConsider (Holo #1) by Kristy Acevedo
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Release date: April 19th
As if Alexandra Lucas’ anxiety disorder isn’t enough, holograms suddenly appear from the sky. They bring an ultimatum: step through a portal-like vertex to safety, or stay and be destroyed.

the abyss surrounds us emily skrutskieThe Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us #1) by Emily Skrutskie
Publisher: Flux
Release date: February 8th
For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. When the pirate queen Santa Elena snatches her, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.

sword and verse kathy macmillanSword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: January 19th
In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. So when Raisa is selected to replace the tutor-in-training, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

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About Author

Nicole Brinkley

Nicole is the editor of YA Interrobang. She has short hair and loves dragons. The rest changes without notice. Follow her on Twitter at @nebrinkley or Tumblr at nebrinkley. Like her work? Leave her a tip.

1 Comment

  1. Iron Cast and The Girl From Everywhere were AMAZING reads, really enjoyed Rocks Fall and Everyone Dies as well. I’m going through Fear the Drowning Deep now and am loving it so far. Adding plenty more to my TBR from this.