Our Most Anticipated Science Fiction Novels of 2018

It’s a new year, which means a new spacefaring lineup of awesome YA sci-fi to take you to other worlds and galaxies! Here are twelve forthcoming YA sci-fis heading your way in the first six months of 2018, featuring space pirates, alien wars, wormholes, cybernetic bounty hunters, sentient spaceships, Star Wars–style action-romance, and so much more.

See all 2018 previews here.

A Conspiracy of Stars, by Olivia A. Cole (January 2)
If you’re looking for some serious Avatar feels, you’re going to want to upload your consciousness into A Conspiracy of Stars, which takes place on the verdant, Pandora-like planet of Faloiv. In the far future, Earth (the Origin Planet) is toast, and what’s left of the human race is on a mission to colonize new worlds. A spaceship malfunction forces them to land on Faloiv, and prevents them from ever leaving, making Faloiv humanity’s new home. Which is fine with sixteen-year-old Octavia, who only wants to join the whitecoats and study the local fauna and flora—until she discovers she can communicate telepathically with the native Faloii. When some of the humans decide that peaceful treaties are so last year, Octavia finds herself in the center of a potential war for the planet. A thrilling, otherworldly start to your YA sci-fi year!

Unearthed, by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (January 8)
The authors of the wonderful Starbound trilogy are back with a new series that has been described by Kaufman as Indiana Jones in space. It follows Mia and Jules, a scavenger and a scholar, who—very unwillingly—have to team up to discover the secrets of an alien race called the Undying. A message from this seemingly extinct race is intercepted by Earth, and our two heroes sneak aboard the mission to the Undying’s homeworld of Gaia, where they face all kinds of threats and tests and traps on their way to the temple where the secrets to save Earth may be located. Again, it’s Indiana Jones in space, people! There’s the pre-order button. You know what to do!

Zenith, by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings (January 16)
Androma, aka Andi, is a notorious mercenary known as the Bloody Baroness, because after killing the daughter of the General, she gathered a small, loyal crew and began terrorizing the galaxy. However, when she’s captured and imprisoned, the General offers her a deal. To win her freedom, she must work with the bounty hunter who captured her to rescue the General’s son from an inescapable prison. The bounty hunter is Andi’s ex—awkward—but she takes the deal. As the mission proceeds, the secrets the crew uncover could lead the galaxy to war. Jam-packed with action, banter, and all kinds of cool aliens, this is the first in a space opera trilogy. TL;DR: all-female space pirates on space heists in space.

The Last Girl on Earth, by Alexandria Blogier (January 23)
Li isn’t just the last girl on Earth, she’s the last human: an alien race, the Abdoloreans, annihilated humanity and now rule Earth. Li was saved and raised by an alien as one of them—the Abdoloreans look human apart from their gills, and Li’s fake gills have enabled her to live undetected (although they make the underwater training exercises she’s going through to become an elite officer a little tricky). However, fake gills aren’t as complicated as the fact that Li is falling for an alien, Ryn. Li’s father wants her to concentrate on her training and avoid detection, but Li can’t stop thinking about Ryn and whether she should tell him what she really is. This novel’s Netflix category would be “lushly written alien invasion romance.”

Honor Among Thieves, by Rachel Caine and Anne Aguirre (February 13)
Zara Cole lives a hardscrabble life on the streets of New Detroit. She chose to stay there when her family left for Mars, but now she’s homeless and can only survive by stealing—and when a deadly local criminal starts hunting her down, she gets herself checked into a detention facility. So she’s surprised when she’s plucked from the facility and chosen as one of the Honors. Every year, one hundred “Honors” are selected by the Leviathans, a race of sentient spaceships, to travel amongst the stars. Zara, along with Beatriz, are assigned to a ship called Nadim, and form a charming misfit family of three. With narration shared between the two girls, we see the strong bond developing between them, as their mission gets more intense and sinister secrets are uncovered.

Restore Me, by Tahereh Mafi (March 6)
Book four in the Shatter Me series! 3 years after Ignite Me hit shelves, Mafi delivers the next eagerly awaited installment. Juliette now rules North America with Warner beside her. She thought she’d won, but she’s in more turmoil than ever as she faces the ultimate question: Can she possibly use her power for good? Told from both Juliette and Warner’s perspectives, giving us deep insights into their journeys, Restore Me explores the darkness both of them must face in this, the first of three new novels in the series.

Reclaiming Shilo Snow, by Mary Weber (March 6)
The sequel to The Evaporation of Sofi Snow finds brilliant hacker and gamer Sofi on the isolated ice planet Delon, desperately searching for her brother Shilo. Everyone believes he’s dead, but Sofi is having nightmares that make her think otherwise. She’s joined there by Miguel, playboy Ambassador to Delon. As they search for Shilo, they realize the technologically advanced civilization there has plans for Earth that Earth’s citizens urgently need to know about. Back on Earth, Sofi’s mom is fighting to stop even more secrets being exposed. And as they begin to question reality itself, Sofia and Miguel must race to uncover memories locked deep inside Sofia’s mind, memories that may be their only chance to save everything they care about.

Genesis, by Brendan Reichs (March 6)
The sequel to Nemesis grabs that book’s cliffhanger plot twist and races off with it in a morally complex, action-packed, twisty-turny journey that finds Min and Noah and their Fire Lake sophomore class struggling to make their way in a new, violent virtual world. With elements of Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games and Red Rising, Genesis follows the betas’ journey as loyalties shift dangerously, and no one knows who to trust. Spoiler: Reichs loves those cliffhanger endings!

Obsidio, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (March 13)
If you haven’t read Illuminae and Gemina, take care of that before March. And if you have read them, then the eighteen months since Gemina has probably felt like crawling through deep space with no hyperspace engine or wormhole shortcuts. But book three, at last, is nigh. Illuminae showed us events on the starship Alexander, while Gemina focused what was happening at the same time on Jump Station Heimdall. Obsidio brings all of our beloved characters from both novels together at last in what promises to be a noodle-bakingly epic finale. Kaufman and Kristoff have promised extreme emotional devastation. Because apparently they enjoy making us feel that way. We’re not ready. Only, we are. Really, really ready. Bring the pain. 

Defy the Worlds, by Claudia Gray (April 3)
Gray has written some of the very best Star Wars novels recently, including the extraordinary YAs Lost Stars and Leia, Princess of Alderaan. Outside of a galaxy far, far away, she has her own amazing series, which started with the poetic and epic space adventure Defy the Stars, and continues in April with Defy the Worlds. Noemi is now a pariah on her homeworld of Genesis, while Abel is off in the stars captaining his own ship. When Genesis is threatened, it falls to Noemi to try to save it. Big bad Burton Mansfield has plans for Noemi, though. And when Abel tries to intervene, he and Noemi discover a way to save Genesis (and—bonus!—Earth) that might also destroy them. High-stakes intergalactic adventure from one of the best.

LIFEL1K3, by Jay Kristoff (May 29)
With Unearthed in January, Obsidio in March, and this book hitting in May, 2018 is a busy year for team Kaufman/Kristoff! A solo Kristoff novel set in a post-robot uprising/apocalyptic U.S. where the robot populace is now enslaved, LIFEL1K3 tells the story of Eve, a cybernetic girl on a local gangster’s hit list who finds out she has machine-killing powers, discovers a good-looking “lifelike” (what they call androids in this world) called Ezekiel who knows what happened during the robot uprising, and begins to realize that everything she’s ever believed about herself may be a lie. She sets off on an epic adventure through a blasted-out sci-fi dystopia with her bestie Lemon Fresh and a robot buddy called Cricket. Kristoff has promised sassy sidekicks, giant war machines, cybernetic bounty hunters, and lots of explosions. He also pitched it as “Romeo and Juliet meets Blade Runner while Fury Road plays a guitar solo in the background” (related: No one pitches a book like Kristoff!). Seems like you should be pre-ordering it, methinks.

Fugitive Six, by Pittacus Lore (June 26)
The follow-up to Generation One finds the friends of kidnapped Taylor Cook on a mission to save her. Known to their classmates at the Human Garde Academy—a school for teens with powers—as the “Fugitive Six,” they uncover the mysterious group behind the kidnapping. When they discover the group is behind so much more, the Six have to do everything they can to stop them. This action-thriller set in the world of I Am Number Four will keep the pages turning!

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