30 Diverse YA Sci-Fi Recommendations + WARCROSS Spotlight + Giveaway

YA sci-fi is a genre that I normally avoid, but recently, more and more diverse YA sci-fi releases have been coming out, and I’ve read and loved many of them. Today’s post is all about spotlighting those books (as well as many I haven’t read, but am excited for), and am also going to be promoting a specific diverse YA sci-fi upcoming release: Warcross. 

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of Marie Lu’s upcoming book, Warcross. It’s been gathering so much praise from readers and bloggers and booksellers alike, and as someone who has already read it, I can tell you: It’s fantastic. 

Warcross is a futuristic sci-fi novel set in Tokyo, centering around a Chinese-American hacker named Emika who is drafted onto a team competing in a virtual reality tournament known as Warcross. It’s brilliant and inventive and Marie Lu’s best book so far. If you’d like to know more about the book, here is the official site.

Today, I’ll be sharing a ton of recommendations for diverse YA science fiction books, as well as what my dream Warcross team would look like if it was compiled of other YA characters. At the bottom of this post, there is a Warcross-themed giveaway and pre-order campaign that both look amazing, so be sure to check them out, too!

Warcross teams have five members, and each position has a specific purpose. To build my dream Warcross team, I’ve assigned one of my favorite YA characters to the role I think they’d be best at. Without further ado, here’s the Warcross team of my dreams! 

Team Captain: Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

If you’ve read Six of Crows, you know exactly why I picked Kaz as the leader of this Warcross team. He’s absolutely ruthless, and willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants – so if he wants to win, he will.

Architect: Lingyi (Want by Cindy Pon)

Lingyi, like Emika from Warcross, is a hacker, and she’s brilliant. Architect is Emika’s role on the team, and Lingyi could also do an incredible job. She’s smart while also being crafty and resourceful, and would be perfect for this job.

Thief: Lila Bard (A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab)

This is another obvious choice – Lila is a thief in ADSOM, which would make her perfect for the role of Thief on this Warcross team. I can’t think of anyone better – this position was made for her.

Shield: Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee)

Genie is strong in many ways (physically being only one of them). I feel like she’d really want to protect the people she loves, and she has the capability of doing so, which would make her a great addition to the Warcross team in role of Shield.

Fighter: Elias Veturius (An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir)

Elias is a fighter in every sense of the word, and he knows when to use more force and when to utilize mercy. For this position, he would be ideal, and I’d love to see him in it.

This team could win the Warcross competition, and would look good doing it. I’d love to see them working together and in action.

Warcross by Marie Lu


Diversity factor: Chinese-American protagonist, Japanese love interest, side queer characters, disabled character

Preorder links: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble






Since Warcross is a fantastic example of a diverse YA sci-fi, I wanted to include a bunch of recommendations to busy yourself with until it releases. Enjoy!

(Note: Clicking on the title of the book will lead you to its Goodreads page.)

(Note #2: I’ve tried to be as specific as possible when describing the diversity in each book, but as I haven’t read all of them, it became difficult.)


Want by Cindy Pon

Diversity factor: All-Asian cast, queer side characters




The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina

Diversity factor: Indigenous protagonist




Dove Arising by Karen Bao

Diversity factor: Main characters of color




Exo by Fonda Lee

Diversity factor: Unknown




Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh

Diversity factor: Korean protagonist




Proxy by Alex London

Diversity factor: Gay protagonist




Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Diversity factor: Main characters of color




On The Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

Diversity factor: Biracial autistic protagonist, trans side character




The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

Diversity factor: Bisexual protagonist




Zodiac by Romina Russell

Diversity factor: Unknown




No More Heroes by Michelle Kan

Diversity factor: Aroace genderfluid character, characters of color




Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee

Diversity factor: Main characters of color




Dreadnought by April Daniels

Diversity factor: Lesbian trans protagonist




Angelfall by Susan Ee

Diversity factor: Character(s?) of color




The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Diversity factor: Main characters of color, side queer characters




The Living by Matt de la Peña

Diversity factor: Mexican-American protagonist




Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller

Diversity factor: Queer characters (including genderfluid side character)




Boy Robot by Simon Curtis

Diversity factor: Gay protagonist




Beyond The Red by Ava Jae

Diversity factor: Characters of color




The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

Diversity factor: Lesbian Chinese protagonist




27 Hours by Tristina Wright

Diversity factor: Main characters of color, 99% queer characters (gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, transgender, nonbinary), Deaf main character



Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Diversity factor: Bisexual protagonist




Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Diversity factor: Black protagonist




Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee

Diversity factor: Bisexual Chinese-American protagonist, f/f relationship, trans side character




Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Diversity factor: Bisexual protagonist, disabled protagonist, main characters of color




That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston

Diversity factor: Intersex character, f/f relationship, characters of color




Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana

Diversity factor: Biracial Indian-American protagonist




Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Diversity factor: Black protagonist, side characters of color




Ida by Alison Evans

Diversity factor: Bisexual main character, nonbinary love interest




At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson

Diversity factor: Gay protagonist, m/m relationship



*takes deep breath* Woo! There you have it: 30 diverse YA sci-fi recommendations. (31 if you count Warcross!) Creating posts like this always takes forever, so if you appreciate the work I do, here is my ko-fi. As always, I appreciate your support. Now, you have a ton of options to read next – go, go, go!

Are you excited for Warcross to release? What would your dream Warcross team of YA characters look like? Which of these diverse YA sci-fi titles have you read? Which do you want to read?

Thanks for reading,



Enter here via Rafflecopter!

Enter for a chance to be one (1) of five (5) grand prize winners of a WARCROSS Galley set (including galley, shirt, keychain, and postcard) or to be one (1) of ten (10) second place prize winners of a WARCROSS Galley (ARV: $0.00 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on July 31th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on August 28, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about September 5, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.


If you pre-order Warcross and submit your receipt here, you will receive a new story from Marie Lu’s Legend series. Fans of Legend, don’t forget to do this!

29 thoughts on “30 Diverse YA Sci-Fi Recommendations + WARCROSS Spotlight + Giveaway

  1. ava, i must say, i LOVE your lists!!
    i haven’t read any sci-fi novel in about a year i think, but i think i will give these novels a try? i definitely will. they all look amazing.


    1. Thank you SO much, Maha! That means so much – I spend HOURS on them.

      I truly normally do avoid sci-fi, but I’ve read a few fantastic ones lately, and if you need recs…text me!

      And I’m so glad you’re excited for WARCROSS!! It is even BETTER than you’re expecting. I loved it so so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. No More Heroes has an aroace genderfluid character??? I need it. I also can’t wait to read 27 Hours and At The Edge of the Universe!! Amazing post! My tbr just grew. Again. 😅


    1. Yes! I can’t wait to read it – It looks absolutely amazing. And I’ve read 27 HOURS and I can say: it’s incredible. A new favorite book of mine, for sure. AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE looks great, and I’m excited to read it. Making everyone’s TBR grow is my JOB. *evilly laughs*


  3. I love your picks for your Warcross team 😍 also I’ve read a lot of these or have them on my TBR. I really need to get on that preorder since I need the Legend short story 😭


  4. Awesome post, Ava! I’ve got most of these on my read or TBR but I added the ones I didn’t know! 😊


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