“With the last sound, his mouth became unstopped like a bottle, and it was as if all sound hissed from the room. The candles blew out, the darkness expanded to envelop all. And then the darkness receded. The candles flickered back to light, and the sound came back into the room.
In the middle of the circle stood a man.”
– To Summon Nightmares, J.K. Pendragon
Genre: Paranormal, contemporary, romance
Categories: M/M, trans, demons
Content Warnings (highlight to read): Transphobia. Graphic descriptions of dysphoria, self-harm attempts. References to torture, child abuse.
Description: A gothic-horror contemporary story set in rural Ireland. Cohen, a Jewish trans writer, finds himself unexpectedly involved in the life of Niall—a gorgeous man suspected of murder, on the run from a haunting past involving demon summoning, and possessing incredible magic powers. There’s a secret organization and a very unpleasant ex-boyfriend involved. And all Cohen wanted was a quiet place to write…
“When he inherits an old house in the country, Cohen sees it as a perfect opportunity to escape the press and work on his new book. What he doesn’t count on is becoming embroiled in a small town murder mystery and falling for the primary suspect, a man whose reality makes Cohen’s fantasy books seem like child’s play…”
“As my datelike thing with Nico drew closer, the fears careening around in my head multiplied. What if Nico got flirty again? What if he didn’t get flirty again?”
– Willful Machines, Tim Floreen
Genre: Science fiction, YA
Categories: M/M, futuristic, robots
Content Warnings (highlight to read): Some terms & references to race that were… cause for pause. White mc calling himself ‘Kamikaze Lee,’ exoticising the love interest, etc.
Description: Equal parts romance and sci-fi thriller, Willful Machines is the story of the closeted son of the US president unraveling an elaborate plot involving robots & artificial intelligence… while also falling in love with the new boy at school. (And I think you can see where this is going, but I’m not going to outright spoil it for you).
“In the near future, scientists create what may be a new form of life: an artificial human named Charlotte. All goes well until Charlotte escapes, transfers her consciousness to the Internet, and begins terrorizing the American public.”
“Strange he hadn’t had a premonition of what this place would become to him all those months ago. But maybe not. So much of magic—of power, in general—required belief as a prerequisite.”
– The Raven King, Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Urban fantasy, YA
Categories: M/M, M/F, YA, multiple narrators, wizards/magicians, mythology, ghosts
Content Warnings (highlight to read): N/A
Description: A sharply-written YA series about slowly uncovering the magic underneath the mundane day-to-day world. The series follows Blue, slightly put-upon daughter of a house of psychics, and her adventures with the Raven Boys—private school boys with their own evolving mysterious pasts and destinies. Boys that could be kings, men that might be trees, magic dream worlds, ghosts, fortune-telling, high-maintenance murderers, cars, and bees?—There’s a lot there.
“For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.”
“Danny had most certainly fallen down the rabbit hole. He didn’t know if he ever wanted to return.”
– Timekeeper, Tara Sim
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Categories: M/M, alternate history
Content Warnings (highlight to read): N/A
Description: Danny is a clock mechanic, tasked with keeping the world’s clocktowers running in an alternate Victorian world. These clocktowers literally keep time: if a town’s tower is broken, time around it grows out of sync, or may even stop entirely, trapping those inside its influence in an infinite loop. When a series of bombings starts attacking clocktowers around England, Danny urgently works to solve the mystery, alongside a mysterious clock spirit that he becomes very invested in protecting.
“It’s a gift, not a trade.” Or it wasn’t a sly trade anymore, anyway. I couldn’t handle his haunted look, as if I’d just given him everything and he wasn’t allowed to keep it.
– Junk Mage, Elliot Cooper
Genre: Science fiction, fantasy, romance
Categories: M/M, cyborgs, wizards, technomancy, personhood arc
Content Warnings: N/A
Description: Quill, an emotionally immature but well-intentioned technomancer, crash-lands his spaceship on a remote planet and has to figure out how to repair his ship in order to leave. There he meets Hunter, an amnesiac cyborg, whose trust (or cooperation) he has to earn in order to get off the planet and to not lose his best shot at a new life.