Looking for New Authors to Read

Awesome Bookshelf My personal library is made up almost entirely of eclectic yet mainstream pop fiction.  You’ll find sections dedicated to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, J.K. Rowling, Michael Crichton, George R.R. Martin, Jim Butcher, and Orson Scott Card.  I have the whole A Series of Unfortunate Events on my top shelf beside hardcovers of all four A Wrinkle in Time novels, and there is even a whole separate area in our bedroom for my Star Wars novels.

The reason?  I have fun reading those authors and series because of and despite their popularity.

But lately, I’ve been feeling a bit boxed in by my tendency to stick to authors I know and love, the tried and the true.  I mean, I absolutely adored Under the Dome, but I read it while also listening to Needful Things on audiobook—kind of a King overload.  I feel the same way about the new Michael Crichton novel, Pirate Latitudes.  And the new Dan Brown.  And the new Audrey Niffenegger.  And the…well, you get my point.

Reading John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series has really lit a fire under me to seek out authors I may have either never heard of or overlooked for some reason.

Leviathan Scott Westerfeld My first foray into reading new authors was Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan.  It was a pretty fun steampunk romp, and I’m sure I’ll get into his Uglies series eventually.

And because I enjoyed my introduction to steampunk lit, a friend on Twitter recommended The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, which also got me thinking about needing to read Gibson’s cyberpunk masterpiece Neuromancer, especially after hearing a wonderful presentation on it at last year’s Pop Culture Association conference.

Way of Shadows Brent Weeks My high school buddy and now cousin-in-law John has recommended the novel Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks.  I’ve added it to my Amazon Wish List and certainly intend to Kindle this one in the future.  It’s a dark fantasy with magic, ninjas, and assassins.  And I’ve never heard of Brent Weeks.  Sold.

Syp recommended that I try the Tuesday Next series, a British alternate history that’s said to be incredibly funny in a Douglas Adams kind of way.  And there are literary allusions that back up the humor?  Done and done.  Wishlisted.

Rowan of the Wood Christine and Ethan RoseAnd then on my own accord, I’ve decided to revisit Alan Campbell’s Deepgate Codex (a dark fantasy series about a city suspended on chains above Hell) that I started with Scar Night a few years back and never bothered to continue.  I also plan on reading Christine and Ethan Rose’s Rowan of the Wood and Witch on the Water (young adult fantasy from incredibly nice tweeps). And then there’s Brisingr, The Song of Ice and Fire, Fablehaven, and others on my Wish List, too.

On top of all this intended for-fun reading, I am teaching only literature-based courses this semester.  So I am literally going to be inundated with words for the foreseeable future.  And I love it.

So that brings me to my point:  I need you fine folks to tell me what authors and novels you think I need to add to my list.  I have the reading bug and want to expand my literary horizons.  Who do you think I should read?

This entry was posted in Books and tagged , by B.J. Keeton. Bookmark the permalink.

About B.J. Keeton

B.J. KEETON is a writer, teacher, and runner. When he isn't trying to think of a way to trick Fox into putting Firefly back on the air, he is either writing science fiction, watching an obscene amount of genre television, or looking for new ways to integrate fitness into his geektastic lifestyle. He is also the author of BIRTHRIGHT and co-author of NIMBUS. Both books are available for Amazon Kindle.

69 thoughts on “Looking for New Authors to Read

  1. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, starting with Storm Front:
    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Storm-Front/Jim-Butcher/e/9781429583893/?itm=3&USRI=storm+front

    I reccomend this to everyone. I like Butcher’s style of writing and definately his stories. I have a picture of my family with him and his wife at a book signing. Yep, creepy. But you should still try out his books.

    also, I’ll second the reccomendation above of The Song of Ice and Fire series, though I have not read A Feast of Crows yet, because I want to read it and A Dance of Dragons at the same time. This seemed like a reasonable goal a few YEARS ago, when it was supposed to come out.

    • I’ve read all the Dresden files books. I actually just got my wife started on the series; she borrowed a Kindle from her work (she works at a public library) and I convinced her to read Storm Front. She loved it and has plans to finish the other ten novels now.

      I like Dresden a lot better than I like The Codex Alera. I’ve read the first Alera book, but it was almost too generic after the quirkiness of The Dresden Files. I need to give it another shot.

      I have the 4 Song of Ice and Fire books on my shelf. The *only* reason I haven’t started them is because of their length. It’s a daunting task, though I keep hearing how good they are. I will hopefully get to them this year, maybe over the summer when I have more free time to dedicate to such an epic.

      Thanks for the recommendations!

      • You should definitely give the Alera books a second chance, while I’ve was instantly hooked on both of Jim’s series, I have heard from several people that they took a while to get into them.
        .-= Blue Kae´s last blog ..Skirmishes =-.

        • My cousin-in-law (not John that I mention above) actually told me the same thing. He said it wasn’t until Book 3 that the series really took off, but when it did, it //took off.// I have the second and third installment on audiobook already (yay for spare audible credits), so once I get through The Lost Symbol and Her Fearful Symmetry, I’ll give those a second look.

          Thanks, Kae.

  2. All have been wishlisted and SFreviews is bookmarked. The Warded Man looks particularly interesting. Too bad 2/3 aren’t available on Kindle. ;) I’ve been spoiled.

    SFreviews also already made me wishlist another Star Wars novel: Death Troopers. Star Wars zombie horror? Yes, please!

    So thanks, Long!

      • I can really agree and recommend Mistborn, too. Brandon Sanderson is a great writer that many people surprisingly do not know at all, I also liked his first novel, “Elantris”, perhaps even more than the Mistborn series.

      • No problem.

        Mistborn immediately became one of my favorite series of all time as soon as I read it. It has one of the most interesting and creative magic systems I’ve ever found in a fantasy book, and it’s a great read through and through.

        I’ll recommend that series to anyone. I’ll give props to all of the other books that Sanderson has written as well as each one has a uniqueness to it that you can’t find from many other authors.
        .-= Psynister´s last blog ..Mage Leveling Part III: 40-58 =-.

        • Uniqueness does play a role in what I’m looking for these days. That’s part of the reason why Scalzi appealed to me; it wasn’t just overdone SF.

          I generally avoid fantasy because of the tropes it falls into, but I think I could really get into Mistborn. What makes the magic system so unique? That was one of the things that put me off about the Codex Alera: the magic system was just them utilizing little spirits. I never cared.

          • Mistborn magic is something called “Allomancy”. They use reagents, mostly metals that they swallow in form of an elixir, for certain effects. And no, they don’t use Black Pearl and Mandrake Root.

            The clou of the system is that every action causes a reaction, which often rewards creative thinking and being smart over just using brute force and raw magic strength.

            Wikipedia explains all this in detail:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allomancy

            • That does sound neat. And unique at that. That’s why I didn’t like the Alera system: it was just magic where they had to convince a spirit to do it for them. They basically had familiars. Which worked for the story, but I was never really sold on it being unique.

              Now, eating metal…that’s a unique way to get powers. Thanks for the explanation!

    • I haven’t read it. Never heard of it, actually. I am really in the mood for dark fantasy, though. As much as I love high fantasy and epic quests, darker, grittier fantasy is really more appealing right now. Probably because I’m teaching a lit course this semester where I concentrate on hero epics.

      I wishlisted the first book on Amazon. Thanks!

  3. Scott Lynch, “The Lies of Locke Lamora”. First of a (7-book?) fantasy series about high-stakes con-artists pretending to be lowly thieves pretending to be priests. One of the best-executed novels, in every way, that I’ve ever read. The sequel, “Red Seas Under Red Skies”, is also out, and you can read excerpts of both plus a preview of the third book at http://scottlynch.us

    Kelly Link’s short stories, if you really want something unusual. As tends to be the case when writers take the risk of doing something different, some of her stories don’t work for me, and some of them are brilliant. Two of her collections, “Magic For Beginners” and “Stranger Things Happen”, are downloadable for free from her website, which also has samples from “Pretty Monsters”: http://kellylink.net

    Terry Pratchett. Anything and everything by Terry Pratchett.

    • Lies of Locke Lamora looks awesome. It now has a nice home in my Kindle wishlist. Being told by anyone that a book may be the best novel they’ve ever read holds a lot of sway with me. Plus, thieves as priests? That’s unpossible!

      I’m downloading the short collections now and converting them to my Kindle. I definitely heart me some short story collections, and the more unusual, the better most of the time. Which stories do you think are the most brilliant out of the collections? I tend to read collections sporadically.

      And Terry Prachett. I’ve never read any of his stuff. I should. I know I should. I’d love it. I just haven’t. I did download a copy of Unseen Academicals the other day that Kobo Books has for free: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Unseen-Academicals/book-zsXr7Y1wF0CKN6fVGV6r4A/page1.html I don’t know if I should start reading it or not since it’s the middle of the series, though.

      • I like “The Hortlak” (the first Link I ever read, in another collection) and “Lull” from “Magic For Beginners”; unfortunately the title story isn’t in that collection, for some rights-related reasons at the time, I think; it was reprinted in “Pretty Monsters” and is very good; from that one I also like its title story. (I think it was the title story; it had the title in it. My copy’s on loan to a friend, so I can’t check.) From “Stranger Things Happen” I liked “Water Off A Black Dog’s Back”, “Flying Lessons” (especially), “Survivors Ball, or, The Donner Party”, and “The Girl Detective”.

        Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books don’t necessarily have to be read in order. Each book has a stand-alone story, and there are groups of characters who get their own books (though they tend to cross into each other’s), so really it’s more of a easter-egg bonus to have read an earlier book when a character or event is mentioned again, but not necessary. There’s continuity between the books about particular characters or groups (Death, the City Watch, the witches, Unseen University, etc.), but you don’t have to read those in order, either. I read the City Watch books mostly in reverse. “Night Watch” is my favorite of the whole series.

        • Thanks for the recommendations on the shorts. I’m definitely going to have to check them out. I’ve already converted those two collections to .mobi for easy Kindle reading. :)

          That’s an interesting way to handle a series. I’ve heard a LOT about the Discworld series but haven’t ever given it a fair shot. Maybe I should after all, considering they don’t have to be read in a chronological order. And since Unseen Academicals was free….

    • It’s now on my Amazon Wishlist. You’ve mentioned that one to me before. I really do need to read it. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, though. I enjoy good non-fiction when I find it and make myself sit down with it.

      Have you ever read Newjack? It’s a neat look inside the American penal system.

  4. Just for the record, in the Way of Shadows, they are wetboys, not assassins… Assassin’s have targets, and you can miss a target. ;)

      • You think that at first a lot, then you get so wrapped in the story you don’t care any more and you’re just like, “Yeah F assassins, wetboys rule!”

        The essential difference is wetboys can use magic.

        • I’ll take your word for it. Sabrina told me tonight that there’s a Kindle edition of all 3 books in the series for 9.99 instead of the 7ish for them individually. I just might have to do that!

    • I’m glad you found it, too. I hope you stick around and join in the conversations, JT. And, based on what you said on the other post, never feel like you’re commenting too much. I love getting the emails that people actually respond to my posts. :)

      I’m very much looking forward to getting into Blood Meridian; it’s sitting on my Kindle right now just waiting on me. And I’ve heard good things about McMurtry, but I’ve never actually sat down with them. I didn’t know the original novel won the Pulitzer, either. Learn something new every day, I guess. To be honest, I can’t remember when the last time I actually sat down and read a legitimate Western was. The last Westerns I’ve enjoyed have been The Dark Tower and Firefly. Wow.

      • I’m rereading the Dark Tower series now–I have to say that they really sparked my imagination for what Westerns can be.

        Lonesome Dove and Blood Meridian both came out in 85. They both take a very realistic view to the west. They’re both more Searchers than Rio Bravo. But Lonesome Dove has some humanity that you can cling to, and pull for. Blood Meridian reminds me of Moby Dick, in that it’s almost a procedural, but this one for violence, with the antagonist as its most interesting draw. Judge Holden is the scariest monster I’ve ever seen put to page.

        I’ll have to look into Firefly, I’m not familiar, but always looking for good stuff.
        .-= JT´s last blog ..To the rest of the nba, Kobe and Tim Duncan are still better than you =-.

        • Firefly’s not a book (unless you count the graphic novel adaptations); it’s a television series. But it’s probably the best made TV series I’ve ever seen. It was cancelled after 13 episodes because Fox had no idea what to do with it, but because of that, the series never had a chance to hit a low point. There’s also a film that continues the story and tries to wrap it up called “Serenity.”

          It’s done by Joss Whedon and stars Nathan Filion, Summer Glau, Gina Torres, Adam Baldwin, and Alan Tudyk. It’s a Western in space, and you really shouldn’t miss it.

    • I do love hard-boiled detective fiction. There’s just something that makes me smile about all the noir and melodrama. Two of the best hard-boiled books I’ve read in a long time were Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union and Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon.

      And your recommendations: wishlisted. Thanks!

  5. You *totally* need to read Pratchett! Ethan’s favorite author (next to Tove Jansson of the Moomins)

    Thanks for putting our books on your list. I hope you enjoy them!

    I can recommend Gail Carriger’s SOULLESS. I really loved it.
    Also Beddor’s Looking Glass Wars are pretty good.

    • I’ve never heard of Tove Jansson or the Moomins, either. But Amazon is full of them. I’m certainly going to have to sort through all that.

      I do enjoy Rowan so far. I’m only a few chapters in (it’s my iPhone Kindle book I read when I’m out and about), but I already have Witch ready for me when I finish the first one.

      I’m checking out Soulless and the Looking Glass Wars, too. I do appreciate the recommendations, Christine. :)

  6. If the enormous Discworld series is just too daunting, you could try Pratchett’s “Truckers” series instead. It’s supposed to be aimed at a younger audience but it’s mighty good fun, only three books long, and will give you a good feel for his style.

    • That’s not a bad idea, given that I’ve never read any of his work at all. I usually try out new authors with short stories, but these days, I’m feeling adventurous.

      And I don’t care if they’re aimed at younger audiences. If my Ph.D. plans for film and television studies don’t pan out, my next desire is Young Adult/Children’s lit. Right up my alley. :)

      Thanks for the recommend!

  7. I can’t recommend Dan Simmon’s Hyperion Cantos (including Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion & The Rise of Endymion) enough. Believable characters, incredibly gripping plot, constant thought provoking dialog and even some interstellar dogfighting provide something for everyone. A word of warning though- the first book uses frame stories to set the plot in motion, I almost couldn’t make it past this device but happily I persevered.

    I’m not quite sure if you could classify it as blended-genre fiction but surely anything inspired by The Canterbury Tales and featuring relativistic velocities has to blur a few lines somewhere.

    If you aren’t familiar with any of Simmons’ books, I’m sure they would hold a special attraction for you as an English-based academic. They’re largely inspired by Homer & Shakespeare (Ilium/Olympos), Keats (The Fall of Hyperion) and even my old nemesis from my days of second-level English, Gerard Manley Hopkins (Carrion Comfort). Also worth a mention from the Simmons stable are ‘The Song of Kali’ and ‘Drood’, if only for their visceral portrayals of Calcutta and Dickensian London, respectively.

    • I’ve always meant to read Hyperion. Years ago, when I was in high school, InQuest did a top SF/F novels you should read article, and I bought Hyperion on their recommendation. I never, however, read it despite a lot of people telling me I should.

      I think I may wishlist the Kindle version and sink my teeth into it instead of the paperback I have lying around. That would be a good literary jaunt while still satisfying my SF/F craving. Thanks!

    • Funny stuff – B’s topic on twitter made me pull dan simmons stuff out of my closet to re-read again. I agree, the ilium and olympus books are fantastic.

  8. Pingback: Massively Moving Offline Reading Paper Guide « Bio Break

  9. Gene Wolfe is one of the best Scifi writers around. Neil Gaimon loves his work–that tells you a good bit about the quality of his writing, I think. He weaves a world that feels truly unique. His writing evokes a feeling of mystery and wonder that I’ve rarely found in other books, especially after becoming quite jaded about scifi and fantasy.

    I’d suggest The Book of the New Sun, an amazing tetrology. It’s generally published in two volumes: Shadow and Claw and Sword and Citadel.
    .-= evizaer´s last blog ..The Imitation Rut =-.

    • I do highly respect Neil Gaiman, so that’s high praise. The man knows a good story, whether or not he reads or writes it. I wish listed the two volumes you mention, and I’m really excited about it because I’m just what you mention: fairly jaded about SF/F. If it’s not new and unique, I can’t stand to sit through it. As much as I love LotR, Star Wars novels, and Dragonlance books, there’s only so much of that kind of SF/F I can take.

      Thanks for the information!

  10. I recommend checking out Harry Turtledove. He writes alternate-history novels ie his big series (‘The Great War’ series) is about what-if the South won the American Civil War. He has some other great series as well. He also writes some excellent fantasy works.

    • You’re a man after my heart. Part of the best (and my favorite) work I did on my Master’s was dealing with alternate history fiction like Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. I just wishlisted 3 Turtledove boosk: Give Me Back My Legions!, Liberating Atlantis, and Hitler’s War. Liberating Atlantis sounds the most awesome, actually.

      I never heard of these, so thanks!

  11. If you like The Way of Shadows, you’ll probably also really like the Assassin’s Apprentice series by Robin Hobb. Also, if you like the Black Company, take a look at the Malazan Book of the Fallen by Erickson.

    • I’ll certainly do that. Now I need to keep my Wish List organized by people who recommend and based on what other recommendations. I’ve heard good things about Hobb in the past but never looked in on it. Erikson is already on there, though, so I’ll check them out for sure.

    • Robin Hobb is fantastic, I only bothered to start reading her work recentlyish myself, and have since been devouring it all. Assassin’s Apprentice trilogy, Liveship Trader’s Trilogy, Tawny Man Trilogy, and now into the Soldier’s Son series. This latter one I haven’t enjoyed quite so much as the earlier series’, but I think that has a lot to do with the fact it is a completely new world, when I quite enjoyed the old one the prior series had been in.

      Despite my lesser regard (so far, I must confess still only in the first book of the Soldier’s Son series) of the more recent work, I highly highly reccomend and add my praises for Hobb’s body of work.

      Now as another author I also discovered somewhat recently, and haven’t seen mentioned to you so far, Peter F. Hamilton. Although if the length of the Song of Ice and Fire series has daunted you, then these books are like to do the same.

      Even so, amazing books. SF, and I don’t typically enjoy SF very much. Night’s Dawn trilogy is an amazing Horror / SF cross. I can’t say too much about it without ruining what is actually going on. I got far more of a spoiler than I actually wanted by looking up the series while reading it.

      The three books in that series are: Reality Dysfunction, Neutronium Alchemist and The Naked God.

      His other books are all set in a different Universe than the events of the Night’s Dawn trilogy. I actually read these books – the Commonwealth books – first, which lead me to Peter Hamilton’s other stuff. The first two books, Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained are less SF/Horror like Night’s Dawn, and more SF/Action Adventure with a bit of detective and deception work thrown in.

      My favourite books of all of his though, which follows on in the same universe as those two, are the Temporal Void trilogy books. At this point, only the first two are out which is driving me batty. The Dreaming Void and Temporal Void are out now, but the last book, Evolutionary Void are not out until Sept this year. Gah! These ones are told from dual perspectives (although still from many characters as in his previous works and as George R. R. Martin does) one of which is the SF ‘real’ side of things, and the other is much more Fantasy based. Magic exists there but exists mostly in the form of manipulating particular creatures as they grow. Mostly.

      All very well written and characterised, highly reccomend them all. Weakest two books I think, are the first two of the Commonwealth saga, Pandora’s Star/Judas Unchained, but given that they were still fantastic enough to cause me to go off and find what else the guy had done and devour it all despite the insane length?

      Yeah, I think very much worth it. :)
      .-= Naithin´s last blog ..Resolutions =-.

      • Hobb is great, my favorites were Assassin’s Apprentice and Tawny Man. I haven’t had a chance to read Liveship Traders yet (it’s on my wishlist), but I have read the Soldier’s Son Trilogy. Unfortunately, if you don’t like the first book, you’re probably not going to like the second one either. The third one improves a little bit, but I must say that these books are my least favorite of her work.

        Thanks for the Hamilton recommendation. I’m glad you mentioned Judas Unchained and Pandora’s Star, because those are the only two that I have heard of, and I have heard a lot of good things about them actually. To know that you liked the others he wrote more makes me want to check him out. Looks like a few more books on my wishlist!

        One series I hadn’t mentioned before is the Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind. I hadn’t mentioned them before because Hobb and Erickson seemed to be more in line with the theme of this post, but the Goodkind books really are excellent, and not very traditional for the fantasy genre. I think there are 11 or 12 books in the series now, and they get thicker and thicker as you move on, but the first few aren’t a huge commitment, and I can’t recommend them highly enough. Just a note, if you’ve seen The Seeker TV series that was on briefly on some cable channel, don’t judge the books by that series (which was based off the books). They changed so much that I wanted to cry, and the acting was pretty typical of a low budget cable series.

        • Max, were the Sword of Truth novels the Richard Rahl novels? I had a friend, I think, who read them and raved. I’ll have to give them a good ole wishlist.

          And it turns out that I already have the Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. It’s free on Kindle so I downloaded it a while ago and never opened it, but it’s there. So hey, free book = likely read soon. :) Thanks for the recommends!

          • Yes, those are the same books. The first book is Wizard’s First Rule.

            That’s exactly how I got in to Hobb as well, I downloaded the first one and couldn’t stop. Enjoy!

        • Liveship Traders has the most remarkable character arcs I have ever come across in a fantasy series. Don’t like one of the characters in Book 1? Don’t worry, you will barely recognise them by the end of Book 3! I don’t know if that makes the story more or less believable than one with stock characters, but it’s certainly different and memorable.

      • Naithin, I just found a Kindle version of the Night’s Dawn trilogy as one file that I just wishlisted. It sounds neat, and I do love me some SF/Horror.

        And as I read Zoe’s Tale, I’m incredibly interested in multiple perspective storytelling. Even though I know how the story goes, the novel still has made me cry. Yes, cry. So when you tell me about those Temporal Void books, I’m sold!

  12. Book of All Hours 1 & 2 (Vellum: 1, Ink: 2), by Hal Duncan
    http://www.amazon.com/Vellum-Book-Hours-Hal-Duncan/dp/0345487311

    http://www.amazon.com/Ink-Book-Hours-Hal-Duncan/dp/0345487338/ref=bxgy_cc_b_img_b

    Very interesting use of the Inanna myth, amongst (many, many) others.

    Moonwise by Greer Ilene Gilman

    http://www.amazon.com/Moonwise-Greer-Ilene-Gilman/dp/080955061X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1267112759&sr=1-1

    Hard going at first, (for this nugget, anyway), but one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read. If prose were poetry, that’s Gilman’s writing.

    Down the Long Wind trilogy (Hawk of May, Kingdom of Summer, In Winter’s Shadow), by Gillian Bradshaw
    http://www.amazon.com/Hawk-May-Gillian-Bradshaw/dp/1402240708/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1267112858&sr=1-1

    Retelling of the Gawain & Arthurian legends. This series is one I wave at people saying, if you only ever read ONE Arthurian retelling – make it this one. Be warned, it’s heartbreaking.

    >.> I think I’ll stop spamming up your blog now, and just point you at Librarything.com… it’s a great place to find new books to read, based on what other people whose tastes you share, read.

    This is my Librarything catalogue – if you haven’t tried Librarything, do. It rocks. =)
    http://www.librarything.com/catalog/nugget

  13. Thank you all for the recommendations! Please, keep them coming, and I will be adding them to my Amazon Wish List. :)

    My current choice is “The Lies of Locke Lamora” and then I’ll move into “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (it was lent to me by a student who really thinks I’ll enjoy it) and then perhaps into Scalzi’s “The God Engines” if there is a Kindle version available. I am also looking heavily at the “Mistborn” series, though it’s still up in the air about the order in which I get to these. I am pretty much playing roulette with my Wish List as I browse it. So keep those recommends coming! And thank you!

  14. I’ve seen your great blog a couple times now (also a new-ish writer with overlapping interests and spending the summer in a similar way to you), and I know this is an old post, but I just have to comment:

    A must-read fantasy for teens that posters haven’t yet mentioned is Nancy Farmer’s The Sea of Trolls Trilogy. (Her other stuff is great too, very imaginative with first-rate writing style, as well.)

    Sci-Fi for grownups you haven’t mentioned is (sorry, not a novel, but wonderful nonetheless) Michael Burstein’s anthology I Remember the Future: The Award-Nominated Stories of Michael A. Burstein.

  15. i recomend “The Passage” by Justin Cronin. I have not been able to put it down, it is a little slow from time to time but the twists are amazing and the fact that Justin portrays vampires as being bad is even better, was so bored of book where vampires are handsome and fall in love with humans. its definately a good read for long trips!

  16. A friend of a friend recommended “The Plaza” by Guillermo Paxton to me. I never heard of the author. It was like 3 bucks on Amazon so I picked it up for a quick read. I could not put it down. It is apparently based on true events on the drug war in Mexico. Crazy intense. Totally not the kind of thing I normally read. I grew up with Piers Anthony…lol

  17. How did I miss this? Alright, okay, let me pull up my Goodreads, which I think everyone should use because it’s my favorite way to look up books lately.

    “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” by Laini Taylor is one you might like. YA with romance playing a heavy role I guess, but the world she build is really interesting as well. It’s the only one out in the series, so I dunno, I’d say maybe give it a shot.

    “The Bad Book Affair” by Ian Sansom is a part of a series about the main character. I picked it up on a whim at one of those Border’s Going-Out-Of-Business sales. He’s a city guy librarian stuck out in the country in a mobile library truck. It was dry, not fantasy or sci-fi like you seem to like, but it had this sort of second coming-of-age feel to it that I enjoyed.

    The Hunger Games, I don’t remember you mentioning it. I’d recommend it. The third book is a bit messy, but it’s still a solid series. Also “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. That one tore my heart out more than once.

    I also want to second or third or whatever Pratchett. His books are easy reads, or at least the Color of Magic was, I keep meaning to read more, I honestly enjoy him, but I just keep finding other things to read.

    OH! Garth Nix? I started the second in his Abhorsen series, but then I was also finishing “A Feast For Crows” and then my friends’ and I started this book club deal, so it was shelved. Good series though, respectable strong females, which is always a plus and an interesting take on magic and necromancy.

    Someone I haven’t seen mentioned, but then I skimmed, is Ilona Andrews. She does a more urban fantasy, like Kim Harrison and Lord, a lot of others, but the world concept is really interesting. Again, the romance is a large factor in the story, but I don’t especially know how much that might bother you.

    Okay, I’m going to stop, but here’s just one more. It’s not the most polished of books, but her superhero concept was fantastic and she was such an amazing person with a huge imagination, so I try to promote her book whenever I can. “Lightning Spliced” by Zellie Blake. She was a friend from college and actually sent me an earlier draft. In all likelihood, you might have to use Lulu for it. She is self published and there were some issues originally, but I’m told those have been worked out. Plus all the money her book makes is donated to cancer research, so that’s some other nice stuff.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9267222-lightning-spliced

    And I’m going to stop now, honest!

    • Hah, thanks, Aden! I guess you missed it because it’s a fairly old post, but I’m still running through the recommendations here. On Mistborn book 3 right now.

      I have read the Hunger Games (there’s my review of the series around here somewhere), and I feel the same way you do, except replace third book with the second one. It just felt like a rehash, while the third one felt more unique.

      Thanks for the recommends! I’ll get right on it!

  18. I have just read an incredible political thriller ebook. I was browsing around at
    amazon.com and found this ebook called The Cain Sanction, I read the preview and a few chapters.
    It really was a page turner can’t put it down kind of book.
    I didn’t know how it ends until the last sentence of the last page.. great read!!

    Usually I don’t read this genre but someone recommended it and WOW, loved it..

    Amanda

  19. This is a pretty old post but I am always looking for new books to read too, so the comments have been very interesting :)

    Recent recommendations – Zero Sight and Zero Sum from Justin Shier are good for a debut author. The Iron Druid chronicles by Kevin Hearne are hilarious. Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy is good (YA though). Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss are brilliant although I have no idea how he’s going to wrap it up. And I second the recommendations for Brandon Sanderson and Robin Hobb. :D