Science Fiction/Fantasy

Most Anticipated YA Fantasies of 2018

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Kristen Carter

Staff Writer

Kristen Carter was born, raised, and still resides in Philadelphia, PA. Currently, she’s working toward a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations. Besides being a full-time student, she works as a Black Girl Nerds contributor. In her spare time, she enjoys reading YA fiction, watching TV, and sleeping in late.

I love, love, love fantasy, it’s my favorite genre. I feel like a good fantasy can feed your imagination and soul, and transport you to other worlds. Last year, I added these books to my to-read pile and have been counting down the days. Now that 2018 is here, I look forward to reading them, and I hope you add them to your to-read pile as well.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Camellia Beauregard is a revered Belle in the cursed kingdom of Orléans, where the people are born gray. The citizens of Orléans revere Belles for their unique talent; they have the power to make people beautiful. However, Camellia doesn’t want to be just any Belle; she wants to work for the royal family. But she quickly discovers that being the favorite Belle isn’t what she thought it’d be. What’s not to love about this one: there’s a black girl on the cover and it’s written by a black woman! I feel like this book indications just how far publishing has come. But cover and hype aside, the synopsis immediately piqued my interest. Especially, with beauty being considered a commodity, it’s something that you see reflected in the real world, but I’d like to see how Dhonielle Clayton makes it work within a fantasy setting.

February 6, 2018

Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova

Bruja Born follows Lula Mortiz and picks up eight months after the events of Labyrinth Lost. After being rescued from Los Lagos, the rift between the sisters hasn’t healed. Lula feels like an outsider, but Maks, her sweet, loving boyfriend is the one bright spot in her life. Then a bus crash turns her world upside down. Her classmates are dead, including Maks. She can bring him back, but she needs the help of her sisters. But there are consequences when you practice magic that defies the laws of the gods. Initially, I was upset that the sequel wouldn’t be from Alex’s point of view. I quickly got over it because Zoraida Córdova is one of my favorite authors and I love the Mortiz sisters and their magical bond. I can’t wait to see what happens next and how Córdova will connect the two stories.

June 5, 2018

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Maggie Hoskie lives in a post-apocalyptic world, where most of humanity died when the rising waters came, but Dinétah, a former Navajo reservation, has been transformed. It’s a place where the gods and heroes of legends walk the land, but so do monsters. Maggie is a Dinétah monster hunter, and in a last-ditch effort, a small town asks Maggie to help find a missing girl. When the job turns into more than she bargained for, she enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man. Together they travel to the reservation to uncover the truth behind the disappearances. When I added this book to my to-read pile, I realized that I don’t read enough Native American literature. So, I want to correct that issue as soon as possible.

June 26, 2018

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Long ago, the land of Orïsha was a place where magic users called maji lived and thrived, but that all changed when the king banned magic. During his reign, maji were systematically killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. With the aid of a rogue princess, Zélie has one chance to bring magic back, but first, she must outsmart the prince who’s determined to eliminate magic forever. When I heard that Children of Blood and Bone incorporates West African mythology, I was intrigued. It’s something I haven’t seen before, and I hope to see more books include mythology outside of European mythology.

March 6, 2018

A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

The first time Alice encountered Nightmares, monsters from a dream realm, she almost died. Now she’s a skilled warrior ready to fight the creatures of Wonderland. Besides fighting evil, Alice is managing an overprotective mother, a high-maintenance friend, and a slipping GPA. But when her mentor is poisoned, she learns that the cure’s in Wonderland, but to get it she must journey farther than she’s ever gone before. When I read that A Blade So Black combines elements of Alice in Wonderland and Buffy the Vampire Slayer I was sold. I’m just happy to see books with black characters written by black authors. Plus, Alice is a warrior, and I can’t wait to see her kick ass and take names.

September 25, 2018

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

Mila and Riley are best friends, and since there’s not much to do in their small town, they dabble in witchcraft. When Riley and two mean girls die in a suicide pact, Mila refuses to believe it and decides to figure out what happened on her own. She does it the only way she knows how: with magic. I was drawn in because the synopsis promised magic and mayhem. I love witches, so adding this to my list was an easy decision. Also, the mystery sounds interesting as well.

May 8, 2018