Fantasy, sci-fi, horror, these are few of the many genres young people fall in love with these days. It does not matter if we love the books or the film adaptations, as long as the stories are great, we automatically add them to our “list”. Most of the books created by this generation’s writers are notable and well-received. However, we do not understand most of the genres they fall into, one of which is the so-called “speculative fiction”.

If you are still unfamiliar with what speculative fiction is, it is basically a story that takes part in another world or dimension. The main genre may focus on horror, sci-fi, or anything fictional, but the main point of the story is that it takes place in another universe. If you are interested in reading one of these and you have nowhere to go, you are in the right place at the right time! Today, we are going to dive in this list of the best speculative fiction books for young adults.

Before The Origin, by F.S. Bala

Amy Taff was just a simple girl, enjoying her life in the world she set herself in. However, as she experiences an unfamiliar disturbance, Amy sets a personal mission to protect her perfect utopia. Her expertise in this area could be widely used for this new adventure, but she doesn't know what is waiting for her at the end of the line.

After being hurled in another world full of magic and mystery, Amy notices the familiarity of African folklore within the place. She then encounters Scythe, a secret organization devoted to saving the crumbling world that she just encountered. Now, Amy’s adventure has only begun, but the continuous threats on her life are making every second worth to live in. The fate of the entire world rests in her hands, and of course, the small group of people that she can definitely rely on.

We Hunt The Flame, by Hafsah Faizal

What would you do if you had a reputation that you did not want? That is exactly the case of Zafira and Nasir. Being the Hunter and provider of her people, Zafira always goes out of her way to take care of them, even if that includes disguising herself to be a man. Being the son of an autocratic sultan, Nasir (The Prince of Death) is required to have a firm and deadly hand, especially because he is an assassin. Zafira cannot be caught as a woman since she would be rejected by society, and Nasir cannot show compassion because his father would punish him.

As the war continuously rages, the cursed forest (Arz) is slowly consuming the land. Their only hope is for Zafira to successfully get the ancient artifact that can get rid of Arz once and for all. However, the sultan wants his son to get there first, and Nasir is tasked to kill Zafira before getting the artifact. What they did not know is that the more they keep on playing this game, the ancient evil grows faster and stronger underneath them.

Chain of Gold, by Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare is arguably one of the best writers of this generation. In this book, we will be diving once again into the world of the Shadowhunters, wherein we will find Cordelia Carstairs, a woman who has been trained as a warrior since she was a child.

After the terrible accusations towards her father, Cordelia travels to London with her brother in the hopes of saving her family. Their mother always wanted to marry Cordelia off, but she is determined to be a warrior rather than become a bride. After encountering her childhood friends and rediscovering the mythical world of the Shadowhunters, Cordelia starts to enjoy the other half of her life with a more welcoming attitude. However, all of these changes when a new breed of demons start to attack London, spreading chaos all around and triggering Cordelia’s fighting spirit.

The Elements of the Crown, by Kay L Moody

Talise has lived her whole life in an unjust empire wherein society is divided into three rings. As a citizen of the outer ring, she is accustomed to facing danger on a daily basis. That is why she is determined to finish her training in the elite academy, wherein she constantly practices her skills of controlling the elements. However, her competitor Aaden is a pretty sly fellow, and he is willing to do everything to ruin Talise’s goals.

As they approach the emperor to become the Master Shaper, he is amazed by the skills both of them possess. This is where their trials take place, and they must now finish these quests within the palace walls. Talise is determined to finish this mission, but she is continually discovering the dirty secrets inside the palace, making it a lot more dangerous than her home in the outer ring. Now that she uncovered an unexpected enemy, she has no other choice but to go through with the emperor’s games, unless she wants to die in that horrible place.

Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette Ferrars is probably the most extraordinary human you will ever meet. Imagine a living weapon, running free and able to get rid of anyone with just one touch. That is how her life goes.

She did not want this power at all, because for her, it seemed to be more like a curse than a blessing. However, The Reestablishment wanted her “gift” for something else – they want to use her as a deadly weapon. Despite her extreme capabilities, Juliette never had the chance to fight for herself in her entire life. That is why when she reunites with the person who cared for her the most, she is able to summon the type of strength that was not even there to begin with.

Crown of Feathers, by Nicki Pau Preto

How cool would it be to ride on the back of a Phoenix? Soaring up above the sky, spreading fiery embers with their majestic wings – that is the only dream Veronyka had ever since she was a child. However, when her sister betrays her for personal gain, she sets out to join the Phoenix Riders alone. Of course, that means she has to go through the task of disguising herself as a boy to enter their ranks.

Veronyka eventually succeeds in joining the Riders. She goes out on adventures with them, until finally, her sister returns to the scene. As she began to untangle the series of lies that came between them, everything seemed to change in an instant. Aside from that, the Riders now have to face the threat of a new empire that is looking to destroy them permanently.

The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black

What would you do when your parents get murdered while you are only seven years old? Nothing much, right? That is exactly the case when Jude and her sisters were forcibly abducted by the Faerie. But then, after ten years of living in the cruel place, Jude actually adapted to the environment. Now, she does not want to leave the High Court at all, despite the dirty looks she gets from the locals because of her mortality.

In order to win a position in the High Court, Jude must defy the wishes of the cruel Prince Cardan. She then embarks on an unbelievable mission to go through the palace’s secrets. While doing this, she discovers that she has a unique talent for bloodshed, and she will use this with her other talents to create a life-threatening alliance. Jude must save her sisters and Faerie itself, no matter how hard it may seem.

Sorcery of Thorns, by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery has always been evil in Elisabeth’s eyes. She believed that even before she discovered her skills. However, she has no choice but to take part in their ways because she is raised as a novice sorceress in the Great Library of Austermeer. She grew up witnessing the magical items all around her, from the whispering grimoires in the shelves to the rattling chains that have minds of their own.

However, when an unknown saboteur releases a dangerous grimoire from the library, Elisabeth becomes implicated. She has no one to turn to but her nemesis, Nathaniel Thorn, and they must work together to unravel the footsteps of their enemy. However, as they go deeper within the library, they discover a lot of conspiracies that puts the entire world at risk.

Chosen, by Kiersten White

Most people think that all demons are evil, but that is not the case for Nina. She has the ability to detect lonely and hurt demons, and she takes them back to Watcher’s Castle so that she can take care of them. Of course, she has to look out for her family as well, meaning that these tasks are taking up too much of her time. Aside from that, she just regained the Slayer powers she once had, and it seems like they are malfunctioning.

As Nina continues to take care of her internal struggles, a new threat brews up outside the Castle. Strange triangular symbols keep popping up everywhere, piquing her interest and introducing her to a whole new deadly adventure.

Ship of Smoke and Steel, by Django Wexler

Isoka is probably the best eighteen-year-old fighter you will ever see. By using Melos’ power from the Well of Combat, she can enforce the will of her masters anytime she wants. Of course, when the government finds out about her magic, she gets arrested and brought in front of the Emperor’s notable spymaster. He then assigns an almost impossible mission to Isoka, and that is to steal Soliton – the legendary ship from history in which no one ever came back.

Her journey to Soliton seems to be a bit easy. However, new adventures are waiting for Isoka in this ghost ship, and the twists and turns she will face would only keep on getting worse.

The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert

For seventeen years, Alice has been living on the road with her mother. She spent her life playing a constant game of tag with bad luck, and it seems to be winning every time. The source of this bad luck soon reveals itself in front of them, in the form of her grandmother, who suddenly died in her estate (the Hazel Wood). As the menacing stories come to life in front of Alice’s eyes, she then sets out on a mission to rescue her mother from the evil creature that originated from her grandmother’s dark fairy tales.

This Vicious Cure, by Emily Suvada

Humanity is on the brink of extinction, and the more they try, the more the threat seems to grow stronger. Cat and her hacking skills are not doing well enough, and now everything has been taken away from her. Even though she is trapped in an unfortunate situation, she will continue to fight on. If there’s one thing Cat always believes, it’s that she’s a fighter.

After containing the virus outbreak, a new threat suddenly pops out of the blue, attempting to start a worldwide war. How will Cat manage to contain the genetic technology that is apparently “the root of all evil”? Join her and tickle your brain in this amazing futuristic adventure.


Speculative fiction is something that almost everyone appreciates. Aside from the amazing storylines and interesting twists and turns, we could never get enough of these fantastic books. It does not matter what age bracket you are in. If you have a playful imagination or maybe a mind that loves to wander, these stories can take you on a whole new adventure.

If you are torn between choosing the right book, you do not have to worry. Just take your time and let things run their course. Also, do not forget to go through this list of the best speculative fiction books for young adults. This way, you will always get to read a detailed guide on picking out your first book in this genre.