Heir of Thunder by Karissa Laurel is the first novel in the Stormbourne Chronicles. This is a fantasy novel with a touch of steampunk. This book is probably not one that I would have picked up on my own but I am glad that I did because a lot of the elements are ones I personally quite enjoy in novels and therefor have included in the novel I am working on. It was really interesting to see how Karissa did these things and I think reading this book has helped me to improve my writing.
Lodestar is the fifth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series by Shannon Messenger. This series is aimed at middle graders however the later book show more ya themes. I have been a fan of these book for year now, since just before the second one came out. You can read my review for the first book in the series, Keeper of the Lost Cities. Note this review will have spoilers for the previous books in the series. Read on at your own risk.
Monthly recommendations is a goodreads group hosted by Trina from Between Chapters and Kayla from Kayla Rayne. This month’s theme is monster mash in honor of Halloween so I will be recommending books with paranormal creatures. I have to admit that I kind of had a difficult time with this one despite the amount of fantasy novels that I read so I’m only going to list a few.
Trylle Trilogy – Troll
The Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking is a fantasy novel about changelings and troll communities. This, like most of the others on my list, are good options for people who don’t like scary novels. This novel is a romance and is great for a heartwarming read.
Halo – Angels and Demons
The Halo series by Alexandra Adornetto features angels sent to Earth in order to stop demons. Although this novel has a love story, it also has elements of mystery as you try to determine the identity of the demon. There are some creepy elements, however this series remains mainly happy and uplifting.
Replica – Clones and Technology
Replica by Jenna Black is a sci-fi which contains clones and some other scary technological developments. This book isn’t dark at all, but it is highly enjoyable. The characters are both so well developed and I love the idea of the story. There is some really interesting things going on under the surface of this series and I liked how the LGBT+ characters where an integral part of the story and had an impact on the story.
Throne of Glass – Witches and Demons
The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas has a selection of demons in it but I want to focus on the witches which are so great. They are dark and cruel, yet still well rounded characters. They aren’t human and don’t act like they are, their culture is so different. However they don’t really show up until a few books into the series.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This weeks theme is ‘top ten books of a genre’. I have already done a top ten high fantasy post (here) so I decided to do a top ten urban fantasy list. Urban fantasy, for those who don’t know, is fantasy that is set in our world, not a completely different one. *note* I have chosen to exclude dystopian novels from this list.
Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson was one of my fav series a few years ago, and it was quite popular among my friends. I have been reading these books for the last five years, this is his first series but all of Rick Riordan’s novels are urban fantasy and they are all amazing. The characters are all so realistic which I love and the blend of the real world and the fantasy world that he creates is amazing.
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
What sort of a post would this be without one of my other all time fav series, Keeper of the Lost Cities. This series mainly takes place in the elven cities but there are parts of the book that take place in places across the world, especially in the later books in the series. Plus the plot is quite affected by what is happening in the human world.
I am Number Four by Pitticus Lore
I am number four is a fantasy series that kind of reminds me of the superman origin series. This group of aliens traveled to Earth after their world was destroyed and now they are being hunted by the species that killed the rest of their species. In this novel the fantasy world really overlaps with the real one. This series takes place all over the world and there are conspiracies that go all the way to the top.
Impostor by Susanne Winnacker
Impostor takes place in our world but it’s characters have supernatural powers. There’s murder and some really intense fight scenes. However a lot of this book revolves around the main character’s love life problems. It was kind of cute, but mostly it was quite annoying. If you want a full on thriller then this book is not for you.
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
This is a series that I just raced through. It is about a sister and brother who find themselves involved in a weird magic world. The Alchemyst is one of my friend’s fav series and I would recommend it to everyone. The magic system and history of the world is so well thought out and the plot twists at the end…. wow.
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
This series is very much so a romance, and I really enjoyed reading it considering I don’t really read many romances. Halo is the story of an angel who falls in love with a human, and all the drama that follows. It is a really light read, although also surprisingly dark with the demons and all. I think I love the first book the most because it is so interesting to see how the angels get used to the human world.
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Switched is about a troll civilization and is basically about changelings. I feel like there were a lot of them that came out a few years ago, so the plot was slightly familiar. However the characters are people that you just fall in love with and it is a really cute read. It is interesting to see how the troll world interacts with the real world, and how they get their money.
Talon by Julie Kagawa
This book is about dragons and dragon hunters which is awesome, and it is also a romance. It is another rather light read. I love the contrast between the fighting scenes and the friendly beach scenes, and the growing up story about a girl with a crush not liking being controlled is something that every teen can relate to. I would recommend Talon to everyone.
City of Masks by Mary Hoffman
City of Masks is about a boy who has cancer and an alternate world that has magic and is very fantastical. I have read the first few books in this series and it is such an emotional ride it was something that was really interesting to read. The plot moved fast and I really enjoyed all the mystery.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
What would this list be without Harry Potter. If there’s one urban fantasy book you’ve read then make it Harry Potter. This book is pretty much everyone’s childhood fav and perfectly mixes the real world with the wizarding world.
That’s my top ten urban fantasies. I have learnt that although I haven’t read much contemporary I do real a lot of light urban fantasy which is good, you always need a mix. Have you read any of these books? If not then what are your urban fantasy recommendations?
The theme for Top Ten Tuesday this weeks is TV so I have decided to share with you the TV shows I just can’t stop watching. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly group hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Now I watch a lot of TV, but my list of shows to watch is even longer (its the same with books) so if you ever need recommendations then know I have many for TV shows as well as books. I mainly watch comedies and dramas, so I will be recommending five of each.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the theme is something to do with school, and one of the best things about school is getting to spend time with your friends. Most of my friends read at least a little and a lot of the relationships I have with people have been built upon books and reading, and specifically recommending books to each other or talking about books we have both read so today I have decided to recommend ten books to read and talk about with friends although it is more like top ten series. Obviously there are always going to be highly popular books that people love to talk about including Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Throne of Glass which are basically staples of the fantasy genre for our generation.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner, specifically the first one, is great to read with friends due to the level of mystery and suspense present in the book. This series isn’t too long, however there are also movies which have been coming out for the past few years which I have seen every year with a friend that I also read the books at the same time as.
Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan
I read all of this series in a few weeks, but while I was reading it and soon afterwards there were two or three of my friends that were at different points through the series. It was good to talk with each of them about my opinions of the series and characters, and because the series is so extensive there is lots to talk about and it is great to borrow them off friends to save you the trouble of buying them all.
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
This book was a really cute one to read and there were a bunch of characters to get attached to. I borrowed this book off a friend, and I have to say that it isn’t the sort of book that I would normally choose to read. However it was her type of book, so we both read it and talked about it. This one is a series but the first one finishes off nicely so you don’t really need to read the others.
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
One of my friends has read this series and loved it, I have only read the first one but I know that when I get around to reading the whole series I will have a lot of fun. The premise of this story is a bit bizarre but it provides heaps of opportunities for discussion and inside jokes, plus the series is quite long.
7 Souls by Barnabas Miller
The sheer weirdness of this book made it one that my friends and I talked about with great excitement. It’s a stand alone and has elements of a thriller or mystery novel but if I’m honest with you it’s hard to but into one genre. Reading this with friends is guaranteed to prompt many conversations on how to commit a murder and what the heck is even going on in the character’s minds.
Time Riders series by Alex Scarrow
This is a series that I am currently on the last book of, and it does get quite crazy by that point, but the first few books in the series I read at the same time as a friend and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. History and alternate versions of it are always fun to talk and hypothesize about and there are several plot twists in this series that I enjoyed chatting about with my friends.
The Alchemist by Michael Scott
Another wonderful series full of magic and incredibly lovable characters, plus some crazy events that only people who have read the books will understand when you talk about them. This series is going to twist your brain so make sure to have a friend handy to chat about it all with.
The Rain by Virginia Bergin
This duology was a bit deal in my corner of the world for a few months and I knew around five people who had read and loved it. They hyped me up for this book and I wasn’t disappointed. The main character, although being slightly annoying, is someone I could relate to and I found the way that she told the story to be really interesting.
Pretty Girl by J.C. Burke
This was probably the book that started off me buddy reading with friends. I had been reading it and was about half way though, then one of my friends saw it and picked it up at her local library and sped through it. There are plenty of twists and turns in this thriller that make it perfect for reading with friends.
Mind Games by Teri Terry
This book is one I am just about to start reading, and one of my friends is part way through it. From their words ‘I just need someone to complain to about this book’. From what I gather, there are parts of this book that she is really annoyed by and what better reason to read a book with someone than to complain about the bits that annoy you.
Do you have any recommendations of books that are perfect to read with friends?
Monthly recommendations is a goodreads group hosted by Trina from Between Chapters and Kayla from Kayla Rayne. This is going to be my first time participating, and luckily this month is a mash up of all their previous topics due to the one year celebration of the group. As always I have tried to include a range of less popular books that I would recommend reading. Without further ado, let’s begin.
The Glass Demon by Helen Grant
This book is a mysterious supernatural thriller that I picked up at a library. On goodreads it is rated 3.5 and has only 1100 reviews in total. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a psychological thriller with a mystery.
Book set in school
H.I.V.E. by Mark Walden
This book is set in a school for villains in training, there are so many heists and plots and challenges. It reminds me of Harry Potter in the amount of drama that happens there, but the kids are so amazing and talented.
Pretty Girl by J C Burke
If you want a book with unexplained murder, kidnapping and college drama then this is the book for you. I read this with some of my friends and we all found it chilling. It was fast moving and stayed with me for years after I read it, although that might just be the inside jokes I had with my friends.
The Paladin Prophecy series by Mark Frost
I haven’t read the whole series but the first book was amazing, and the second one was pretty good. The characters are life like and the settings are amazing. The second book didn’t feel like much of a slump and was a necessary part of expanding the world.
Book others should read before the end of the year
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
I have heard amazing things about her other books, but this is the only one that I have read. I would highly recommend it. The world was real and fantastical, it was a stand alone that didn’t take much time to read. However the characters wants and the life lessons they learnt have stuck with me since I read it.
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
I have been following this series since the second book was released three years ago which for me is a long time. This book might be aimed more at middle grade kids and it remains light throughout the series despite the dark plot twists, murders and kidnappings. I think this series will become a staple fantasy novel in the years to come.
(my full review here)
Book with little or no romance
The Novice by Taran Matharu
This book doesn’t need romance to be great. There is an abundance of teenage characters of both the male and female gender but at the completion of the first book there was no hint of romance. I have high hopes for the rest of the series.
(my full review here)
Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington
I read this at the end of last year and I cried at the end. It is an amazing stand alone by an Australia author who is really good at evoking emotions. The plot leaves you not sure whether it was real or not, but in a good way. It doesn’t take too long to read so you should go do that right now.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
This book, and the sequel, are very much so what I think of when asked about survival stories. They aren’t set in the wilderness or on some strange planet, instead these books are set in WW2. Not everyone survives these books, making the situation all the more real, and I learnt much about what happened during those years from reading these books. The story is told in an easy to read way and teaches of the life of women in WW2.
Time Riders by Alex Scarrow
The friendship between Liam, Maddy and Sal is great. Despite hardly knowing each other situations soon require them to trust each other, and their skills perfectly compliment each other. They manage to joke around together despite the often dangerous circumstances and are always able to trust that the others have their back. I wish I had friends like this, but then again I doubt I would ever know unless I ran into a situation where I would need to trust others with my life so maybe not.
Set outside of the US
This was by far the hardest category to fill because I wanted to pick something actually set in the real world as opposed to a fantasy one. I finally settled on:
A Waltz for Matilda by Jackie French
This novel is set in Australia, where I am from and I read it when I was younger. It embodies not only the place Australia but also the culture. A great way to get a taste of the land.
Empowering female character
Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody
I have been following this series since I was in year five, and the last book just came out (no spoilers please I have to do a full series reread before I read it). Elspeth Gordie has been a constant role model for me in the past five years of my life, from ages ten to fifteen which are quite impressionable years. Elspeth has romantic interests, but they don’t dominate her life. She stays strong through so many situations where it seems like there is no hope including the loss of many friends and a secret that she has to bear alone. Her strength has impacted me and how I view the world, and for that I am thankful.
What books have you read recently that fit these categories?
This list is mainly middle school novels which people hadn’t reviewed at that age then had forgotten about. These are all books that I thoroughly enjoyed at the age of ten to twelve. I would love to hear if you have read any of these books. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
So I loved this series when I was younger, so it’s a real shame to see not many people seem to have read it. This is one of the first books I remember reading, a medieval type fantasy adventure quest. It was great, and I loved the characters and I loved the idea of a fantasy setting. It set me up to continue reading fantasy.
Born to Rule is a novel about a summer camp for princessess from different kingdoms to
meet and make friends. This book provided a good look into the backgrounds of each of the characters. There was also a mystery in the novel which was very interesting to try to piece together. I am glad that I read this novel as a middle schooler, as it had some strong female characters and there really weren’t many male characters. Romance wasn’t really a feature, and it was more about the princess developing into better people.
Runaway Retriever combined my love for dogs with some interesting characters. I loved the world and wanted to learn more about each of the children. This is an extensive series about dogs causing trouble for their owners, however I never got around to reading more than the first four in the series.
I read this more recently, when I was in year eight. It is a fantasy style novel about two
cousins who are transported to another world and get involved in the war there. There were many different worlds/landscapes explored in this novel and I liked how the different species and cultures were introduced.
I read Alexandra Adornetto’s Halo series because the covers looked nice, so I moved on to this series which is a bit more fantastical. It is about the bizarre adventures that some kids get up to in their rather strange town. This was really fun to read and was easy to get into.
The Carbon Diaries is written in a diary style, and is about a world where global warming is so bad that carbon is rationed. This novel follows the main character Laura as her family tries to deal with being more energy conscious in various different methods. It is entertaining to see the various different characters and this book also manages to teach you something about global warming consequences and helpful strategies.
This is more targeted at an older audience and is a supernatural mystery. I enjoyed how the character dealt with the struggles she faced, and the setting was in Germany which was really interesting to read about. This author usually writes adult fiction, so I was surprised to find that this novel had less than 2000 reviews.
This books in the first in a sci-fi trilogy that is highly confusing. I didn’t really understand what was going on for a lot of the novel, but it really made me think and the ideas explored were really interesting. This novel dealt with a lot of time travel and dimension jumping
I was really shocked to see that this series had less than one thousand reviews. It is a young adult sci-fi, and the two main characters Nadia Lake and Nathan Hayes are set up to be married, however both of them know any marriage will be closer to a friendship. There is political drama and some very scandalous secrets.
Earthfall reminds me heavily of the 5th wave, with aliens and apocalypse and brain
washing. I loved Mark Walden’s previous series, HIVE although it did drag on a little bit too long. I am looking forward to seeing where this series goes.