book recommendations · book talk · young adult

Book Talk: Underrated YA Series featuring Asian-American Authors

Hey there, bookworms! For today’s post, I wanted to share some YA series that I really enjoyed and am surprised to find aren’t more popular on bookstagram. It wasn’t until after I compiled this list that I realized all the authors of these books are Asian-American women, which is pretty cool, and not just because I’m also Asian-American 🙂 . Ratings for each title are my own!

14276468_681091165388027_209744317_nThe Goddess War by Kendare Blake
Urban Fantasy, Greek Mythology
1. Antigoddess ⭐⭐⭐⭐
2. Mortal Gods ⭐⭐⭐⭐
3. Ungodly ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This Greek-Myth-inspired/urban fantasy series is Blake’s take (HA) on the twilight of the Gods. Athena, goddess of Wisdom, and Hermes, god of thieves, find themselves dying in painfully mysterious ways. Feathers begin to sprout under her skin and in her lungs while Hermes contracts a fever that eats away at his flesh. In their search for answers and allies, they are led to Cassandra – an ordinary teenage girl who is unaware of her previous life as an extraordinary prophetess.  These Gods and Heroes of old live among us and we can only hope that we don’t perish while they’re fighting against their last breath.

I loved this series! It was painfully slow when I first started reading it and I was really scared that I wasn’t going to get through it! But about halfway through the first book, the action really picked up and continued all the way through to the end. I think Blake did a nice job of mixing Greek myth into a contemporary setting. You probably don’t need any background knowledge on Greek myth to enjoy these books, but they urged me to do some research and review anyway (particularly on the Trojan War). You’ve got kick-butt goddesses (and gods) killin’ each other in this book, so it’s pretty violent and gets pretty messy. Also, I don’t think I’ve really shipped a historical couple before…but Odysseus and Athena are OH TEE PEE – worthy guys!!

16583742_1806167353042060_1999848008375599104_nThe Elemental Trilogy
by Sherry Thomas
Fantasy, Magic, Romance
1. The Burning Sky ⭐⭐⭐⭐
2. The Perilous Sea ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
3. The Immortal Heights ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I picked up the first book of this series  at the library on a whim after reading the synopsis on the inside flap. 16-year-old Iolanthe Seabourne is destined to be the next greatest elemental mage of her generation…wouldn’t that have been nice to know? LOL. With no training and only a prophecy to dictate her fate, she is expected to defeat the Bane – the world’s most formidable mage tyrant – and save the Realm. Prince Titus of Elberon has made it his mission in life to find and protect Iolanthe. He will do whatever it takes to save the world – including sacrificing Iolanthe and himself in the process. But if he were to say fall in love with her…then things might get a little complicated.

I book talked the first in the series to some middle schoolers during a school visit last year and they were so hyped to check it out themselves. I told them that these books were a mix of the magic from Harry Potter, the cross-dressing from Mulan, and the mastery of the elements from The Legend of Korra. The writing of this one is pretty simple but the story is surprisingly more complex than I thought. The only regret I have is that I didn’t binge-read this one after the other because as I started each following book, I had a hard time remembering what happened in the last one! LOL. Overall, a really decent fantasy trilogy which I highly recommend to anyone who likes Harry Potter but want a little more romance like I do.

14156451_329388717404446_1585242533_nPenryn & the End of Days Trilogy by Susan Ee
Urban Fantasy, Dystopian, Paranormal, Horror
1. Angelfall ⭐⭐⭐⭐
2. World After ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
3. End of Days ⭐⭐⭐⭐

In this post-apocalyptic trilogy, the world is ruled by street gangs during the day and ravaged by angels at night. 17-year-old Penryn gets by with her somewhat schizo-mom and little sister, Paige, whom she adores. Penryn will do anything to protect her sister, including making a deal with the angel Raffe when she is kidnapped by other angels.

This is a great dystopian story if you like a lot of adventure that isn’t romance driven. Don’t get me wrong, there are some undertones of romance here between Penryn and Raffe, but it doesn’t frame the story. Also, this story is violent in that “post-apocalyptic” way. Ee has definitely used the words “chunks” and “flesh” more than any other author I’ve read, hahaha. I breezed through this story really fast which surprised me because I usually prefer stories with strong romances, but I found this to be one of the better dystopian stories out there today. Susan Ee’s writing is straightforward and easy to understand. She keeps your interest with suspense and horror but without excessive, flowery language or unnecessary descriptions.

Are there any other underrated series out there that you loved and think I should read? Have you read any of these? Definitely leave me a comment below on your thoughts!


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