As the weather turns colder, if you’re anything like me, you want to lock yourself up inside and never venture out into that face-hurting blustery “wonderland.” To help you cope, here are some series to keep you busy while you’re all tucked up in a fluffy blanket by the fireside, ready to hibernate the season away.
1. The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson (Three books. Finished.) – This saga comprises three hefty but action-packed books about a world in which superheroes are the bad guys. Something about gaining powers turns people selfish and cruel and it is up to a band of ordinary humans called The Reckoners to try and keep them in check. I wrote my review before reading the third book, Calamity, which is by far the best and most feminist book of the series.
2. The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness (Three books. Finished.) – An adult vampire romance with a scholarly twist, the All Souls Trilogy follows research historian/reluctant witch Diana Bishop and her danger-fraught relationship with undead scientist Matthew Clairmont. As Diana and Matthew fall deeply in love, they are caught up in the politics of witches, vampires, and demons. Woven throughout the series are documents, symbols, and allegories that allude to the ancient study of alchemy, Diana’s research specialty. Combining magic, romance, academia, history, mystery, and even time travel, Harkness creates the perfect recipe for readers who enjoy books like The Historian or People of the Book.
3. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (Three books plus companion stories) – The premise has certainly been done before (see The Young Elites by Marie Lu): an epidemic disease affects children but not adults and those who survive walk away with supernatural abilities. But the execution is unique and the writing is interesting. Ruby is a category Orange kid, meaning that her powers allow her to manipulate the minds of others. Alongside brainy greens, techy yellows, telekinetic blues, and destructive reds, Ruby finds herself in a holding camp for kids with special powers, but soon ends up embroiled in a battle between an authoritarian government, ruthless rebels, and the talented children who are caught in the crossfire. Fans of Hunger Games may enjoy this series. Fox is currently adapting the series for film so now’s the time to hop on the bandwagon!
4. Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud (Four books plus a companion story. Ongoing.) – London has a ghost problem and while only children can see and hear the spirits, all are susceptible to the fatal Ghost touch. Thus bands of kids and young teens are trained to fight supernatural infestations. But Lockwood & Co. are different from other such organizations because instead of being organized by an adult supervisor, they are completely self-run. Can they beat out the competition and survive against dangerous ghosts? You’ll have to get reading to find out. Episodic, and appropriate for middle grade readers and up, this series is published a little out of order, with one short novella listed as book 1.5 in the series. Check out my full review of books one and two.
5. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (Four books plus multiple companion stories. Finished.) –This series takes familiar fairytales and adds a sci-fi twist: Cinderella is a cyborg, Snow White lives on the moon, and the Evil Queen can control minds. Like Lockwood & Co., there are a bunch of companion stories added between the main books, so be sure to read them all! I’ve only just started on the first book, Cinder, but my sister says she is flying through the series. Entertaining and easy to read, these books make the perfect fireside fluff.
6. Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer (Twelve books. Finished) – If you are an insatiable reader, it might take a series of this size to meet your needs. Though they are written for a middle grade audience, I only came across these books as an adult and still can’t put them down. The novels trace the path of the adventurous and trouble-prone Jackie Faber as she journeys from street urchin to society lady to pirate and everywhere in between. There are definitely parts that make my feminist side flinch (especially when it comes to the relationship between Jackie and her star-crossed love-interest James Fletcher), but in general Jackie is a clever, talented, accomplished character who shirks gender roles and societal constraints to follow her heart.
7. Shannara by Terry Brooks (Over 20 books, grouped into multiple sub-series. Ongoing over the course of 4 decades.) – If you need a really long series, turn to Terry Brooks. With the recent popularity of the Shannara TV show, this high-fantasy series that my father enjoyed as a teenager is back in the spotlight. Complete with elves, underdogs, great evil, and a grumpier version of Gandalf, fans of Lord of the Rings may love the Shannara books. There is even a sci-fi element in that the fantasy world takes place here on planet earth, after civilization as we know it is destroyed in a nuclear war. If these don’t help you while the winter away, I don’t know what will.
What series will keep you warm this season? What do you think of my suggestions? Be sure to let me know in the comments!