award: Awesome Indies: APPROVED
author: Laurel McHargue
series: Waterwight Series
publisher: Alpha Peak LLC
In a post-cataclysmic world threatened by stinking ooze, a brave girl searches for her missing parents with the help of talking animals and evolving powers. When a mountain spirit challenges her to save the planet, she and a flying frog must overcome a magical, malicious castle of sand and a shapeshifter who wants her dead.
author: Michael J Sanford
series: The Druid’s Guise
He's not crazy. Honest, he's not. He's just Wyatt. Wyatt the Mighty. Fifteen-year-old Wyatt has been sent to a treatment center for "disturbed youth." No one understands him. He wants nothing more than to escape from it all. And he does. Through a magic he doesn't understand, he finds himself in Hagion, a realm of fantastical creatures and immense wonder. He quickly finds himself in the company of a runaway warrior and two Children--a strange race of underground creatures that seem forever joyful. They claim Wyatt is a Druid, a powerful figure of myth and legend, sent to restore peace to all of the Realms. He doesn't bother correcting them. Finally, he can be the hero he's always dreamed of. But claiming to be a hero and actually being a hero are two different things. And it's a lesson Wyatt may have to pay dearly for.
author: Intisar Khanani
series: The Sunbolt Chronicles
publisher: Purple Monkey Press
In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter. When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges. Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery. If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.
Category: Young Adult
author: Robin Gregory
publisher: Mad Mystical Journey Press
Moral allegory, mysticism, and lyrical prose, THE IMPROBABLE WONDERS OF MOOJIE LITTLEMAN tells the story of an orphan boy who is sent to St. Isidore’s Fainting Goat Dairy, where he learns about “family” through a series of extraordinary misadventures with outcasts from an alternate universe. His determination to belong fuels his self-mastery, and a surprising destiny awaits him if he can survive one last terrifying trial.
Tags: fairy tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, paranormal, thriller, urban fantasy, YA, YA Romance
author: Jennifer Quintenz
series: Daughters of Lilith
publisher: Secret Tree Press
When 16-year old Braedyn learns she’s a descendent of Lilith–the mother of all demons—she is swept into an ancient war with no easy answers. Welcome to Braedyn Murphy’s life. She’s a typical—if shy—sophomore navigating the slings and arrows of high school life with her two best friends, Royal and Cassie. Then a new boy, Lucas, moves into the house next door, and Braedyn finds herself falling in love for the first time. But Braedyn’s normal life comes crashing down around her ears when she learns she’s a descendent of Lilith, the mother of all demons – and that she might play a critical role in an ancient war between the Sons of Adam and the Daughters of Lilith. Turns out the right answers aren’t always clear or easy. And as for “good” and “evil” – it all depends on how you choose to act. Inspired by the ancient Mesopotamian myths of Lilith and her offspring, Thrall explores first love, strong friendships, and taking on adult responsibilities against the backdrop of powerful supernatural forces and life-and-death stakes.
author: Farah Oomerbhoy
series: The Avalonia Chronicles
publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad. Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms–including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear. With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.
Assessed for Awesome Indies
author: Sally Slater
publisher: Perfect Analogy Publishing
Brash, cocky, and unbeatable with a sword (well, almost), Sam of Haywood is the most promising Paladin trainee in the kingdom of Thule… and knows it. The only problem is that Sam is really Lady Samantha, daughter of a duke, and if anyone finds her out, she’ll be marrying a Paladin, not becoming one. But Sam has never held much interest in playing damsel-in-distress, and so she rescues herself from a lifetime of boredom and matrimonial drudgery. Disguised as a boy, Sam leaves home behind to fight demons — the most dangerous monsters in Thule — alongside the kingdom’s elite warriors. Pity that Tristan Lyons, the Paladin assigned to train her, is none other than the hero of her childhood. He hasn’t recognized her — yet — but if he does, he’ll send her packing. Sam is not the only trainee hiding secrets: Braeden is a half-demon with a dark past that might be unforgivable. Whether he can be trusted is anyone’s guess, including his. As demons wreak havoc across the land, rebellion stirs in the West, led by a rival warrior faction. A war is coming, and Sam must pick a side. Will saving the kingdom cost her life — or just her heart?
Assessed for Awesome Indies
author: Gwen Dandridge
publisher: Hickory Tree Publishing
The dragons came from beyond the Crystal Mountains, demanding a virgin sacrifice… and Princess Genevieve learns she’s it when she’s handed a golden token – the mark of the chosen. Genevieve accepts her fate. She must, in order to save her kingdom. But the journey to her final destiny is complicated by the arrival of Chris, a 1970s Berkeley co-ed. To Chris, the whole scenario reeks of deception. Where she comes from, corsets are for burning and virgins are hard to find. She’s sure the dragons are out for more than innocent blood, but the only way to find out what they really want is to accompany Genevieve on her journey. Not what she had planned for her sophomore year of college. Genevieve is duty-bound–unless Chris is right. Then her sacrifice would mean nothing. Other than woe to those who duped her…
Assessed for Awesome Indies
Tags: climate change, dystopian fiction, Genetically modified teens, healing, post-apocalyptic novels, sci-fi/fantasy, young adult romance
author: PJ Sharon
In post-apocalyptic 2057, genetically enhanced teens Lily Carmichael and Will Callahan must journey across a sun-ravaged U.S. to the Western desert on a dangerous rescue mission. WESTERN DESERT, Book Two in The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael trilogy, takes off where WANING MOON ends. Genetically enhanced sixteen-year-old Lily Carmichael, and seventeen-year-old Will Callahan embark on a journey across a sun-ravaged and decimated US in the year 2057, bound for the Western Desert on a dangerous rescue mission. The survivors they meet along the way put Lily’s healing abilities to the test and challenge Will’s resolve to find his missing father—no matter the cost. But even with the burden of life and death on their shoulders, and the Industry hot on their trail, the greatest challenge they face is trusting their hearts to each other.