Today I want to actually start of another year of If You Liked… posts by shouting out some adult science-fiction & fantasy novels by female authors!
I picked this specific subset because oftentimes, these books are miscategorized as YA, for numerous reasons. A lot of it is definitely misogyny in both the YA and adult SFF communities, believing that women writing SFF are YA because in these people’s minds, YA is also “lesser” and “less intense” (Which is not true. YA is very valid, and includes a different writing style.)
So anyways, I wanted to both boost some adult fiction work (that have crossover appeal, but are still not YA) by women, and also to maybe provide suggestions for readers who want to transition from YA SFF to adult, but don’t know where to start!
These recs, as always, work both ways, so pick up what feels comfortable to you! I hope you enjoy this month’s recommendations!
If you liked The Wrath and The Dawn, you’ll love Uprooted!
Uprooted honestly feels very 1001 Nights to me–women needing to be handed over to an overlord of sorts as payment, and then something interesting happens!
In the case of The Wrath and The Dawn and Uprooted–potentially falling in love with the monster?! I love these types of fairytales when they give enough complexity to the “villain” that you’re able to relate/they reach redemption! So I have my fingers crossed for Uprooted, because I’ve heard wonderful things and enjoy the sound of the concept.
It seems like a good read to transition from YA to adult fantasy!
If you liked Six of Crows, you’ll love Jade City!
Okay, so I’m on page 100-something of Jade City and AHHHHHH
Six of Crows is one of those YA titles I feel belongs more in NA, and the writing style is actually pretty close to the adult SFF that I have read.
And Jade City–although denser than traditional YA fantasy and third person with more characters (so, pretty SoC-ish)–is intricately plotted and features these different clans who certain areas of the island! It’s a bit of a metropolis, though, with its modern technology mixed with magic.
Even more than that, there’s this one drug that lets non-magic users use magic, and this is a big plot point as what’s threatening the clans. Sound familiar? Kind of like…jurda? GASP.
Anyways, Jade City is great and I definitely recommend older YA readers to maybe check it out if you want to start somewhere!
If you liked An Ember in the Ashes, you’ll love The Poppy War!
Okay, so I know there are a bunch of trigger warnings for The Poppy War and I urge all of you to take a look at them and make sure you’re comfortable with the content before starting, but it sounds amazing and I’m nervous/excited to start reading my copy.
The Poppy War is a military fantasy based off of the Sino-Japanese War. It starts when Rin is younger, in a sort of academy (cOUGH COUGH who’s in an academy in An Ember in the Ashes) who ends up becoming part of something larger and more dangerous than she could imagine.
The conceptual similarities between YA and adult are there, it’s just the writing style and sometimes the content. So be prepared, but this sounds amazing and I’ve read the first chapter and am very excited to continue!
If you liked The Last Magician, you’ll love A Darker Shade of Magic!
A Darker Shade of Magic is a really popular adult novel in the YA sphere, and I definitely thought it was YA when I read, based on how people promoted it.
But unlike YA, it’s a bit more . . . measured? Even in tone. Schwab is very deliberate with the way she writes this novel, and I think a lot of YA readers can enjoy that. Similarly, the concept of multiple Londons is very cool! And traveling between them!
I think people who enjoyed The Last Magician will like this because the former features past/present New York City, while the latter alternates through Londons, so the sort of “travel shock” feel similar. Plus, the sort of grittiness translates between both of them.
So yeah! A Darker Shade of Magic is honestly almost a classic. I know a lot of YA readers like it, so maybe check it out!
If you liked Wicked Saints, you’ll love Song of Blood and Stone!
Last year I heard a lot of awesome things about Song of Blood and Stone, and I had no idea it was adult fiction until a decent number of months after release! (The crossover, foiling me once again.)
I know I’m kind of The Worst for comparing this to a book that isn’t even out yet, but the summary reminded me really strongly of Emily A. Duncan’s Wicked Saints. A main character who has a special gift (in Song of Blood and Stone, Earthsong; in Wicked Saints, saintly magic) has to work with the enemy (Jack vs. Malachiasz) to save two nations on a perilous journey, relying on each other.
Sound familiar? I love the idea of this concept and potential enemies to lovers? SIGN ME UP. But yeah! Check out both of these books! They sound awesome!