Fantasy/urban fantasy, science fiction and dystopian genres are some of the hottest books available right now, especially in YA, and I’m going to be completely honest: I had a really hard time ranking these five amazing novels. From Gena Showalter to A.L. Davroe to Karen Marie Moning, I just couldn’t say a bad thing about any of them. That’s why you’ll find that the temp never dropped below 90° in this edition of Heat Index. Get ready to dive right in, because you’re going to want to immerse yourself in these worlds.
Guile, Constance Cooper (Clarion Books, March 1, 2016)
Heat Index: 16-year-old Yonie Watereye calls the bayou home, but this bayou is unlike any other. The water of Wicked Ford holds a special power called guile, which changes anyone and anything that is exposed to it. When an investigation surrounding mysterious guile-changed objects kicks up unknown family history and Yonie is put directly in the path of danger, she must find a way (along with her four-legged sidekick LaRue) to discover the truth behind who she is and where she really comes from. This is an exciting YA debut from Cooper that delivers in true scifi fashion.
Nexis: A Tricksters Novel, A.L. Davroe (Entangled, December 2015)
Heat Index: Following the death of Ellani Drexel’s father in an accident that left Ella, herself, incapacitated, she discovers the world of Nexis, a virtual reality game her father created. There she meets and befriends Guster, a senior player offering Ella all the knowledge she needs to not only survive but flourish, and maybe even leave her “real” life behind. However, everything’s not as it seems and Ella is about to discover the truth behind Nexis. Fast-paced, twisted and exhilarating, strap in for an exciting ride into a world we haven’t seen before. Davroe nails this scifi, dystopian novel.
Seven Black Diamonds, Melissa Marr (Harper, March 1, 2016)
Heat Index: Lilywhite Abernathy, daughter of a wealthy crime boss, has anything she could ever want at her fingertips, she also happens to be half-faerie, half-human. But on her 17th birthday, life changes and thrusts her into the world of the Black Diamonds, six half-humans just like her, who are determined to destroy the human race. Now positioned firmly in the middle of an ancient war and forced to be the seventh Black Diamond, Lilywhite just might be the only one that can stop the end of humankind and save her race in the process. I was mesmerized from page 1 to page 381 and didn’t want to ever leave the world that Marr created.
Firstlife: An Everlife Novel, Gena Showalter (Harlequin Teen, February 23, 2016)
“Firstlife illuminates the depths of human resilience and the power of love, even in the darkest hours.” —No.1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole
Heat Index: “Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.” With this one quote, Showalter gives us the perfect setup for this thrilling scifi, dystopian novel. 17-year-old Tenley Lockwood has been locked inside Prynne Asylum because she wants say over where she’ll live when she dies. Troika and Myriad, the two realms fighting for Ten, each want her desperately. Not knowing who to trust and confused by where her heart is leading her, she goes on the run, determined to find a way to live long enough to decide her fate. Let me say, book one is a slam dunk and I’m officially hooked. Lifeblood, book two, can not come soon enough.
Feverborn: A Fever Novel, Karen Marie Moning (Delacorte Press, January 19, 2016)
“I’m not sure how Moning is able to do it after eight books, but each novel proves more exciting than its predecessor as she continues to raise the stakes in this ongoing, exhilarating saga.” —USA Today
Heat Index: Burned left us hanging and now we finally have the continuation of MacKayla and Jericho’s journey. As Earth slowly disappears, Mac and Jada are being hunted and the powerful Unseelie prince is hell-bent on ruling every Fae and Man in existence. In order to save the worlds, the mythic Song of Making must be found. But will Mac be the one to save everyone or will she be her own worst enemy? I dove head first into this passionate tale and never looked back. Can you say #bookhangover? READ. IT. NOW.