1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    GOOD YA fantasy novels wanted!

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Lea`Brooks, May 12, 2015.

    Hello all!

    So I've decided I'm sick of wasting my time and money on bad books. I've been getting nothing but them recently. I just finished Witches and Wizards by James Patterson... and it made me want to put a gun in my mouth. The shitty part? It got SUCH GREAT REVIEWS. And it pisses me off. How can such awful books get such glowing reviews? I just don't understand.

    So I'm on a book buying hiatus until someone can recommend a good book for me. I'm looking for a good YA book. I prefer urban fantasy, because too much magic (in a world where everyone can use it) just makes me cringe.

    I really love the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordon, the Wings series by Aprilynn Pike, the Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising series by Kelley Armstrong (and her new series Sea of Shadows... apparently I really like Kelley Armstrong!), Hunger Games, and this old discontinued series Everworld.

    I really just can't handle any more poorly written books. Between Witches and Wizards and Insurgent, I've had enough.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Kristin Cashore. Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue. They just kept getting better.
     
  3. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    I also read Witches and Wizards some 6 years ago (Give or take a few). It was advertised on T.V. constantly so I decided to give it a try. It was awful.

    I also loved the Percy Jackson series. Have read it three times to this point as I get a bit obsessive over things I enjoy (I've watched Breaking Bad eight times from start to finish, for example.)

    I'll go ahead and give the obvious suggestion of Harry Potter. I'm also currently reading the Legend series by Marie Lu, but personally don't think it's that great. The first book was good, but so far the second book has been nothing but awkward teenage love. I haven't read from it in a few weeks now.

    I'm not sure if it would be classified as YA-Fantasy or not, but I'm loving the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I would definitely recommend it. I mention it as YA because so far the first book follows the main character from 12 years-old to 15. It seems as though it's going to follow him into his later life as well, though.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Sone I've recently read and enjoyed:
    The Fifth Wave (Aliens but no magic.)
    The Young Elites (Magic but it's quite different.)
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Magic consists of wishes and maybe some powers not yet revealed (I'm half way through). There are chimera, devils and angels but neither of the latter are what they seem.)

    If you are tired of wasting money, have you considered the library? I get most of my books from the library, only buy a few.
     
  5. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series, although I've only read until book 5. I quit at 6 (River Marked) 'cause it was just about her and her fiance going on some boring vacation-honeymoon or something. In fact, book 5 wasn't very good either, but 1-4 were fun! Right now there're 8 books so it's possible it got better. By the way, the illustrated covers (there're several editions) are absolutely gorgeous -- well Mercy is, on the covers, while in the books she's supposed to be plain, but I keep imagining her as a hottie. :D
    It's urban fantasy with shape shifters, werewolves, vampires, the works. Could be old hat if you read the genre a lot, but I enjoyed them.

    And if you haven't read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials -trilogy... Please do! I loved the series as a kid (btw, I also loved Everworld and Remnants), but I started to read it again a while back and it's still engaging. :)
     
  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I don't know, John Green is perhaps the best YA fiction writer that I know of and have read.

    It's a shame you have limited yourself to just YA - because you have in contemporary adult fiction stuff like Murakami, le Carre, and Don Delillo at least. At least a lot of their fiction is either about or aims for an intelligent, disaffected 20-something reader. Throw in Carmac McCarthy too I guess.
     
  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've not read it but I've had it recommended to me that the Wardstone series is supposed to be pretty good - follows a teenage boy who can see the dead.

    I've read Daughter of Smoke and Bone - the first book was excellent. I'm not so hot on the second book but it's fine, the writing's certainly good. Not started on the third yet.

    There's also the infamous His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. Loved it as a teen. Reread the first 2 books as an adult - the first was still immensely enjoyable. The second not so much - too much filler (namely, landscape descriptions - seems like a lot of series suffer from this particular ailment...)

    I thought Maze Runner was awful, but it's immensely popular so... you could take a look anyway.
     
  8. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    How is it infamous?

    Of course there's the anti-God/religion stuff... as a kid I didn't really get any of it, though. I identified like crazy with Lyra and for a long time imagined Death actually follows me around like in that book. :D
     
  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've forgotten who Death is in the book - was it in the first, second or third one? Cus I haven't reread the third so I don't remember it much.

    Infamous because it's considered a bit of a British children's classic - almost everyone in England will have heard of Northern Lights, the first book in the trilogy, and likely read it too :)

    Ooh the OP could try Narnia - although that's probably a little younger than YA now :) but it's C.S. Lewis so you can't go far wrong!
     
  10. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Did you know His Dark Materials is Paradise Lost for young adults? :)
     
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  11. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Um, in the Amber Spyglass, I think -- but my memory is not too sharp. I always mix what happened in which book :bigfrown:. But Spyglass is the 3rd. For some reason the notion of Death being born when you born and following your every step just stuck with me since childhood.
     
  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yup that is indeed the 3rd book. All I remember from it was the River Styx and the boatman, actually, and there were harpies too. And The Authority lived in a cloud castle!? The whole idea of entering the Underworld with the cut of a knife stuck with me and is actually what inspired my own Underworld in my first novel. The whole idea of a mystical knife also inspired a little story I wrote as a teen where this Silver Dagger, as I called it, was attached to a teen called Matthew and the knife was sentient and Matthew could control it via telepathy :D This is sounding a lot cooler than in practice lol - it's a bit lame when you read it in prose but yeah, it was one of my favs when I was younger :) (my own story, not Pullman's lol)

    Serious? How so??
     
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  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Philip Pullman has admitted he is obsessed with Paradise Lost. To the point of editing and introducing the poem in a special, illustrated edition. And he's said the moral conflict is the same, the characters in HDM reflect characters in PL, and many of the features of the world HDM starts in are taken from the three 'worlds' in PL: Hell, Heaven, and Earth.
     
  14. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That actually sounds like it would make a really interesting comparison/study.

    You know, as a teen, the anti-religion/God thing was completely lost on me lol. As an adult I was wondering how on earth I missed it!! Pullman was hardly subtle in this respect lol.
     
  15. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I read the first two books as a very young teenager, didn't read the last for whatever reason. Paradise Lost, however, is a book I know quite well. What I might do one day is read the entire series with adult eyes, and see exactly how the two match up.

    And it's ok, a lot of themes in books I read as a child went totally over my head. That's the only thing you notice with experience I guess.
     
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  16. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I agree, His Dark Materials trilogy was excellent. And I read it as an adult. The only negative I can think about it was the movie didn't come off so well.
     
  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The butchered in the movie.

    Loved the books. There are lots of great YA books out there, but of more recent releases in the fantasy genre, I've really liked Cashore (mentioned above).

    You might also look at Sunshine and Deerskin, by Robin McKinley. Particularly Sunshine, if a vampire novel doesn't bother you. It was written before they became such a fad.
     
  18. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I went to the bookstore today! I hunted down as many of the titles you all suggested as I could, bought a coffee, and set off reading the first chapter of each one. Unfortunately, my bookstore is pretty small, so I only found three. But I bought Daughters of Smoke and Bone (and of course the new Kelley Armstrong book), and I'm excited to read it!

    I'll give the others a shot once I'm finished. :)

    Also, you're right that I shouldn't limit myself to YA. If there are any good adult urban fantasies, I'd be interested in those also. I just don't really like dark themes (rape, excessive murder, etc) so I've struggled to find good adult books that are still light and enjoyable.

    Thanks for the recommendations!
     
  19. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Adult urban fantasies:

    Emma Bull: War for the Oaks. A classic.

    Any of Charles de Lint's books set in Newford (his fictional north american city). Works like The Blue Girl, The Onion Girl, Widdershins, and so on. Great books. Characters that will pop up from one work to the next, and that you come to like a great deal.

    I'd recommend Caitlin R. Kiernan's Daughter of Hounds because it is brilliant urban fantasy, but there is a fair amount of violence, and a a lot of profanity in it.
     
  20. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Consider the Iron Druid Chronicles for urban type fantasy (by Kevin Hearne). They might be up your alley. For more standard fantasy, I always recommend Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber. Steven Brust's Vald Taltos series is pretty darn good too.
     
  21. LOliver
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    LOliver Member

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    I'd recommend the Shannara series by Terry Brooks. The series follows the different generations of a gifted family. I read my first one when i was still in school. I now have the full collection. I love how everything evolves in his stories
     
  22. terobi
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    terobi Contributing Member

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    I'm afraid most of the YA stuff I've read has been absolute mince - I recently read Divergent and regretted the decision after a single page. By the end, I had an urge to phone up the person who told me it was worth a read and hurl obscenities at them, which was only avoided by me not actually remembering who that person was.

    The Hunger Games I found to be largely dull, shoegazing nonsense which took far longer than it really needed to do anything at all, Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series genuinely had me groaning and telling the book to "shut the f**k up" as I read it (Westerfeld must have the patience of a saint to spend so much time writing characters so spectacularly irritating), I couldn't even finish City of Bones since it all felt so contrived and obvious, and the Percy Jackson series just came across as so strongly influenced by Harry Potter that it just felt like "kids' books by the numbers". Don't get me started on how appalling I find 99% of John Green's characterisation to be, either (this one came as a huge disappointment, because I've been a big fan of his youtube channel for years).

    That said, I did rather like Julianna Baggott's Pure trilogy (though I've not got around to reading the final instalment yet), and there was a lot of things I liked in Alexandra Bracken's The Darkest Minds (though again, not yet managed to read past the first one). Not strictly "fantasy", but there you go.

    Maybe I'm just out of step with the world?
     
  23. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There is actually a published book called Widdershins? Funny, T.Trian and I wrote one novel manuscript about a band called Widdershins, and that was also the manuscript's name. :D
     
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  24. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    That's cool. Some of the characters in Widdershins are in a band, but that's not the band's name. It's a good book, as are all of de Lint's "Newford" books.
     
  25. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Based on the listing you gave, it sounds like you're pretty much reading all of the 'pop' hits of the YA genre. Like pop music, most of it is going to be shallow and lacking any soul. To get to the good stuff in YA you've go to dig a bit deeper into the genre.
     
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