My Top 10 Recent YA Fantasy/Adventure Series

One of the recent trends I have not shirked is young adult series. But like any books, I’m fairly discerning and so I avoid the Twilights… and the realistic young adult novels. I was never ever into reading realistic young adult novels. Never ever; teen relationship drama? not for me. I’m sure Fault In Our Stars is brilliant, but I don’t think I will ever feel the need to actually read it. I can vicariously have read it through the enthusiasms of people who did. I do love a good adventure fantasy romp, though!

  • Monster Blood Tattoo by D.M. Cornish (also published as The Foundling’s Tale)
  • The Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
  • Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy (set in Ireland! with cutting, dry Irish humor. The only other series I can think of set in Ireland is Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl, which I also recommend.)
  • WondLa written and profusely illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy/Sequence by Jonathan Stroud
  • Finishing School by Gail Carriger (her Parasol Protectorate is better known, but aimed at a more mature audience. Finishing School is a prequel series of sorts geared more towards a middle grade audience. Both series are hilarious.)
  • His Dark Materials Philip Pullman
  • Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (and while we’re at it, his Larklight trilogy which is a much lighter, funnier and more absurd steampunk adventure series.)
  • The Fairyland (or as I think of it, The Girl Who...) Series by Catherynne Valente
  • Wildwood by Colin Meloy (of the band The Decemberists) and illustrated by his wife Carson Ellis

Some of these series might technically go under “middle grade” rather than “young adult” fiction. Oftentimes I prefer the middle grade books. They aren’t intense in the way that, say, The Hunger Games is (though I’ve only read the first book). Middle grade fantasy adventure books tend to be pretty light on romantic relationships, which is refreshing – friendship, though, is always a theme and inevitably that friendship focuses on the unlikely boy hero and the feisty girl whose fates become entwined. Actually with several of these series it’s the unlikely (but still usually feisty) girl hero, which is also refreshing!

Some of the pretty covers (which do not necessarily show all the books in the series):


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