This January, novel sequels feature fairies-in-waiting, wicked kings, kid spies, black holes, magic, and more.


by Sara Holland (HarperTeen, Dec. 31, $17.99, ISBN 978-0-06-265369-7)

Holland blends adventure, romance, and political intrigue in a mythical follow-up to her debut novel, Everless. In a world sharply divided between rich and poor, heroine Jules has gained insight into her dark past, learning that she is a powerful being known as “the Alchemist,” who stole the vengeful Sorceress Caro’s heart.

The Wicked King

by Holly Black (Little, Brown, Jan. 8, $18.99, ISBN 978-0-316-31035-2)

In this eagerly awaited sequel, Black picks up the story that she began in The Cruel Prince and continued in an e-novella, The Lost Sisters. Jude, a mortal girl living in a Faerie world, has come to control the Faerie Kingdom and has bound the Wicked King Cardan to her. With a complex heroine at its center, Black’s multilayered fantasy explores power dynamics, familial bonds, and trauma.

How to Properly Dispose of Planet Earth

by Paul Noth (Bloomsbury, Jan. 15, $13.99, ISBN 978-1-68119-659-6)

New Yorker cartoonist Noth continues his illustrated middle grade series that began with How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens. Protagonist Happy Conklin Jr., who saved his family in the first book, finds himself in another conundrum: this time, he inadvertently opens up a black hole at his middle school.

Imprison the Sky

by A.C. Gaughen (Bloomsbury, Jan. 22, $18.99, ISBN 978-1-68119-114-0)

Gaughen returns to the world of the Elementae, which she introduced in Reign the EarthThe second novel focuses on Aspasia, an air Elementa who captains a flying ship and is in search of her lost family members. Gaughen integrates themes of political corruption, abuse of power, and the impact of trauma against the backdrop of a richly imagined fantasy realm.

Spirits, Spells, and Snark

by Kelly McCullough (Feiwel and Friends, Jan. 22, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-250-10785-5)

Thirteen-year-old protagonist Kalvan Munroe discovered his magical powers in Magic, Madness, and Mischief. Though he broke the Winter King’s power, forces are intent on taking his life, and his mother is suffering from delusions. In the second of McCullough’s middle grade series, Kalvan and his familiar, a fire hare named Sparx, set out to rescue Kalvan’s father from a magical world. 

The End of the World and Beyond

by Avi (Algonquin, January 29, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-61620-565-2)

Avi’s sequel to The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts finds the 18th-century protagonist in transport from England to America, where he will serve as an indentured servant. Avi offers verisimilitude while calling to mind classic picaresque novels.

Fairy in Waiting

by Sophie Kinsella (Delacorte, Jan. 29, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-5247-6991-8)

Kinsella introduced Ella Brook—a “Fairy in Waiting”—in Fairy Mom and Me. Though Ella doesn’t yet have wings or a “Computawand,” that doesn’t stop her from trying out magic on her own. Kissi’s sprightly illustrations work in tandem with Kinsella’s exuberant b&w art.