If You Liked… #13: Adult Science-Fiction & Fantasy by Women!

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

AMAZING

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!

What adult SFF by women would you recommend?!

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32 thoughts on “If You Liked… #13: Adult Science-Fiction & Fantasy by Women!

    1. OMG THAT’S AWESOME!!! I hope you enjoy if you pick any of these up (and also, I started Uprooted on a whim at 11:30 last night and stayed up till 3 am reading and I have No Regrets, Kate)

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  1. Thank you for these recommendations – this is exactly my type of genre so I’ve added a few of these to my TBR!

    For some of these, I’ve actually read the adult book (like ADSOM and Uprooted) and didn’t know until now that they aren’t YA!!

    I love that this post promotes adult books. I feel like quite a few people rule out adult books because they think it won’t be their style (I do, oops!) when actually, like you say, there is quite a bit of crossover and YA readers can also enjoy some adult books.

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    1. Oh yeah!!!! I think any transition stage (YA to adult, MG to YA) is difficult, and I’m glad to kind of help smooth this over for some people! And I STARTED UPROOTED ON A WHIM AND STAYED UP TILL 3 READING AND IT WAS FANTASTIC????? if you know more books like it hmu because wow

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  2. I love this so much! I’ve been trying to read more adult SFF (especially since I’m attempting to write NA/adult things) and I never actually realised Uprooted was considered Adult? I still love it so much, and I hope you do too!

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    1. (ooooh cool writing things) and yes adult SFF seems so far away sometimes, but i’m starting to warm up to it! a lot of people categorize Novak’s books as YA but they are actually adult I believe, even though the MC is 17. in uprooted It was part of the hugo awards thing, and I’m pretty sure YA isn’t allowed in the hugos! and some blurb-people marked it as adult, so yeah!

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  3. Great list Vicky and you’re totally right about women SF writers being categorised as YA. Literally saw V.E. Schwab talking about it on twitter the other day, it’s so frustrating!

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    1. YES! it gives me serious angry vibes and it’s not just the male SFF writers doing it, it’s also the whole YA community that’s dragging female SFF authors into YA because of their own subconscious biases

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    1. I’VE HEARD ABOUT THE LUMINOUS DEAD! I saw it and it looks really good so i’m glad you reminded me of it! and I love The Long Way it’s so amazing I am so happy you loved it!!!

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  4. I always love your recommendations posts so much, Vicky, I always find out about some great books! I’ve heard SO many good things about Jade City, I’m glad you’re enjoying it just as well, I might have to check it out 😀

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    1. YESSSS I just finished Jade City AND Uprooted today and whew! Adult SFF is actually not bad I think I can handle this? You should definitely give it a shot ❤

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    1. OMG YES I LOVE THE CITY OF BRASS & THE LONG WAY! I have yet to pick up the bear and the nightingale but I’ve heard so many good things and now that the series is complete (I think?) i’m considering picking it up!

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      1. OH YAY AHHHH

        and omg yesss (i dived into Copper without remembering anything from Brass, but it would have helped to have reread Copper ahahah)

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    1. THE CITY OF BRASS is amazing ahhH! have you read THE KINGDOM OF COPPER yet because WHEW THAT BOOK

      and yeah!!! I think goodreads needs to be a little more strict about their shelves ngl

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    1. OH YEAH! I’ve heard mixed reviews of The Night Circus but I’m honestly still really excited! and yes! the covers and theme remind me of each other so eeep!

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  5. Your comparisons were so on-point! I’ve read most of the YA stuff, but not their adult counterparts! Thanks so much for the recommendations 💓

    Liked by 1 person

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