Saturday, June 27, 2015

10 YA Paranormal/Fantasy Series You Should Read...

From Harry Potter to Twilight to the Hunger Games, YA paranormal fantasy has become one of the most incredibly popular sub-categories of the YA fiction genre. The tones of these novels tend to be a bit darker, and the world-building bears a close resemblance to that of adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance. While we mainly read adult fiction, we do have a few YA paranormal fantasy favorites. Here are ten YA paranormal fantasy series we think you should read if you're in the mood to get lost in a whole new world...

Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
Current Number of Books in Series: 3 (Complete)

Synopsis: In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them... Read Clockwork Angel, book one in the Infernal Devices series...

Why You Should Read It: Clare brilliantly blends the human world, as we know it, with a fantastical and mythological demon hunting world - all set in Victorian London. She splashes in some Angelical history, science fiction / steampunk and of course heartbreakingly beautiful romance. There is so much going on in these stories, demons, angels, automatons, vampires and warlocks, yet it never feels like too much. Clare also has a knack at writing intrinsically interesting characters and The Infernal Devices is full of them.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor
Current Number of Books in Series: 3 (Complete)

Synopsis: Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?  Read Daughter Smoke & Bone, book one in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series...

Why You Should Read It: The Daughter of Smoke and Bones trilogy, will probably be one of the most beautifully written series you'll ever read. It's thoughtful and methodical. Taylor definitely takes her time to develop strong characters, intriguing worlds and a slow simmering star crossed romance that leaves your heart skipping beats. Her characters make you laugh, at times, and break your heart at others. 

Penryn and the End of Days by Susan Ee
Current Number of Books in Series: 3 (Complete)

Synopsis: It's been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain. 

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. 

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back... Read Angelfall, book one in the Penryn and the End of Days series...

Why You Should Read It:  These are not the angels you learned about in Sunday School. They're here to destroy the human world as it stands today. Penryn, a seventeen year old girl, must join forces with one of them to save her baby sister.  This is not just a YA Fantasy, it's a bit of a horror story as well. Ee did things in this series that will blow your mind a little bit. It's creepy, gritty and raw but also romantic, brave and funny.  Penryn may end up being one of your favorites after you see just how strong this girl is.

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow
Current Number of Books in Series: 5 (Complete)

Synopsis: In Strange Angels, Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.) Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—orwhoever— is hunting her?  Read Strange Angels, book one in the Strange Angels series...

Why You Should Read It: Strange Angels stands out because it has somewhat of a raw sexiness to it.  Not so much with it's romantic relationships, though those are quite appealing as well. More for in the sense of the world St. Crow builds. It's kind of sexy in a dark and dangerous way. The romance plays a strong role in the series as do one special vampire and one special wulfen. Outside of the romance you'll get some pretty epic fights!

Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent
Current Number of Books in Series: 7 (Complete)

Synopsis: She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next. Read My Soul to Take, book one in the Soul Screamers series...

Why You Should Read It: Vincent pushes some boundaries, makes some unconventional choices and adds some twists you may not see coming. Soul Screamers is a very human story about things that are not at all human. 

Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa
Current Number of Books in Series: 4 + novellas

Synopsis: Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart. Read The Iron King, book one in the Iron Fey series...

Why You Should Read It: Julie Kagawa's stunningly imaginative fairie world in the Iron Fey is one of the best you'll ever read. This enthralling tale of Fae and their wicked ways had me gripped from the very beginning. Kagawa's description of the Fae world is so vivid that you'll easily get lost in the story. It's creative, scary, emotional, gripping and all sorts of good. Plus, there's a hot Fae Prince for you to swoon over. 

Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa
Current Number of Books in Series: 3 (Complete)

Synopsis: To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for… again. Read The Immortal Rules, book one in the Blood of Eden series...

Why You Should Read It: Because it is one of the most bad ass vampire tellings you'll ever read. Is that a good enough reason? Okay, how about this: Kagawa creates a world of fear and when you think all is lost, she sprinkles a little tiny bit of hope on it. But the hope comes in another fearful way and it takes battle upon battle to keep hold of it.

Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine
Current Number of Books in Series: 15 (Complete)

Synopsis: College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood. Will she be able to face the town's terror or will she drown like everyone else? Read Glass Houses, book one in the Morganville Vampires series...

Why You Should Read It: Ah, Morganville. This town is not what it seems. Even after you think you've figured it out, you haven't.  Morganville has many of the elements you expect in a YA series and so much more. Claire is brilliant. Like, literally. But she's also very young and still learning who she is when thrust into a new life full of vampires. And these aren't the sweet sparkling kind. Morganville has some extremely interesting characters, one in particular that give this series a bit of a leg up on some of the other YA series on the market.

The Inheritance Cycle by Christophe Paoloni
Current Number of Books in Series: 4 (Complete)

Synopsis: One boy . . .One dragon . . .A world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. 

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands. Read Eragon, the first book in The Inheritance Cycle series...

Why You Should Read It: Dragons. Need we say more? The Inheritance Cycle is reminiscent of Lord of the Rings. With dragons. I found it hard not to be impressed with Poalini's talents, especially considering how young he was when he wrote this series. It is fantastical to the core, with Elves and Dwarves and magic and DRAGONS.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Current Number of Books in Series: 7 (Complete)

Synopsis: Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny. Read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, book one in the Harry Potter series...

Why You Should Read It: J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter is the quintessential YA fantasy series that everyone should read. The series is extremely well-written, the characters are very relateable, and Rowling's world building is top notch. It's so easy for kids, young adults and adults to get lost in this whimsical world, and it's the reason why it's the #1 most read YA fantasy series. 

Have you read any of these series? What did you think of them? 
What are some of your favorite YA Paranormal/Fantasy series?
Tell us in the comments below.

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