At the end of this month, the Christy Awards, longest running awards for excellence in Christian fiction, will be announced from a group of finalists in nine categories. Recently the award committee announced the finalists. Five speculative novels have been recognized—three in the Visionary category, and two in the Young Adult bracket.
Here are those books, ones you may want to add to your “To Be Read” pile.”
- The Five Times I Met Myself by James Rubart (published by Thomas Nelson)
What if you met your twenty-three-year-old self in a dream? What would you say?
Brock Matthews’ once promising life is unraveling. His coffee company. His marriage.
So when he discovers his vivid dreams—where he encounters his younger self—might let him change his past mistakes, he jumps at the chance. The results are astonishing, but also disturbing.
Because getting what Brock wants most in the world will force him to give up the one thing he doesn’t know how to let go . . . and his greatest fear is that it’s already too late.
- A Time To Speak by Nadine Brandis (published by Enclave Publishing) Book Two in the “Out of Time” series.
What happens when you live longer than you wanted to?
Parvin Blackwater wanted to die, but now she’s being called to be a leader. The only problem is, no one wants to follow.
The Council uses Jude’s Clock-matching invention to force “new-and-improved” Clocks on the public. Those who can’t afford one are packed into boxcars like cattle and used for the Council’s purposes.
Parvin and Hawke find themselves on a cargo ship of Radicals headed out to sea. What will the Council do to them? And why are people suddenly dying before their Clocks have zeroed-out?
- Waking Beauty by Sarah E. Morin (published by Enclave Publishing)
What if the Sleeping Beauty Refused to Wake Up?
The rescue wasn’t going at all how he planned. Prince Arpien intends to gain a throne and the sleeping beauty’s heart with a single kiss that wakes her from the evil fairy’s curse. But kissing the princess is only the beginning of a series of unforeseen obstacles: man-eating bugs, deadly spindles, talking lapdogs, and fiery pickles. The sleeping beauty is the biggest complication of all.
Princess Brierly is beautiful and Fairy-Gifted, but also…daft. After one hundred years of sleep imprisonment, Brierly refuses to believe this rescue is anything more than a tantalizing but doomed dream.
Arpien is drawn to the vibrancy be-neath Brierly’s indifferent exterior. Can they reclaim her kingdom? Do they dare trust in the Prince of the old tales to help them battle the evil fairy who cursed Brierly? What is the price of waking beauty?
- The Choosing (A Seer Novel, Book 1) by Rachelle Dekker (published by Tyndale House Publishing)
Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for—her Choosing ceremony—to end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority.
But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. Though the whispers contradict everything she’s been told, they resonate deep within.
Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, yet she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her.
- Rebel (No Ordinary Fairy Tale, Book 2) by R. J. Anderson (published by Enclave Publishing)
The last time Timothy broke a rule, he got suspended.
But when he defies the faery empress, it might well get him killed.
Timothy Sinclair doesn’t believe in faeries—after all the hardships he’s suffered since his missionary parents sent him away to boarding school, he’s not even sure he still believes in God. But when a tiny winged girl named Linden bursts into his life and begs him to help save her people, the skeptical Timothy finds himself drawn into a struggle against a potent evil that threatens humans and faeries alike.
With a deadly pair of hunters on their trail, Timothy and Linden flee across country, drawn by the legend of a white stone that could be the faeries’ salvation. But the dangers that await them test their courage and resolve to the limit, threatening to tear their unlikely partnership apart. And when it comes down to one last desperate battle, they and all the people they love will be doomed unless Linden and Timothy can find the faith to overcome . . .
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One final note about all these Christy finalists: I’m not surprised that two of the three young adult novels fall into the speculative category. I’m pleased, definitely, but not surprised. Speculative fiction is all around in our culture as TV programs, movies, games, and books. Why shouldn’t Christian novels reflect this same interest?
Speculative novels continue to grow in number, and it’s exciting to see them recognized in such a prestigious award as the Christys.