If there’s one thing I love in books it’s fighting, but really what I love is a good adventure tale. Whether it’s sailing the seas of a fictitious time and place, hacking some futuristic internet, or giving into the wanderlust of Summer travel, all the books I’m sharing today are jam packed full of action and adventure.
While there are many adventure books that hold my heart this time around I’m limiting them to books I’ve read this year so if you’ve missed my “what I read” posts this covers some of the highlights. As a bonus a lot of these are newer releases so there’s a chance you haven’t read them yet! To stay up to date with what I’m reading make sure to subscribe to my newsletter where I share my current read each week and follow me on Instagram to catch my weekly Reading Roll Call where I share the books I’m reading and LOVE reading comments with the books of what you guys are reading and loving and hating.
Before I get to the books I want to give a huge shout out to FontBundles.net who provided all the awesome Calligraphy fonts used in today’s post. I had so fun playing with their Calligraphy bundle and just used 3 (Billow, Yurafima, and Delayota Script) of the 40 awesome fonts. If you love fonts you need to check out their site they sell bundles for an amazing deal (the Calligraphy one is only 29$ available through May 15th) but what is extra awesome is that they offer a bunch of free fonts and regularly send new ones fonts through their mailing list. And now to the books!
10 Awesome Adventure Books
Click on the title of each book to be taken to amazon (affiliate links) where you can read the official synopsis, see the covers, and read more reviews for each adventure.
1. The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Nix has grown up on her father’s ship sailing between times and places both within real history and myth. As long as her father has a map he can navigate to that place and time and what he most desperately wants is a map to 1868 Honolulu so he can save Nix’s mom. But things are a little more complicated than that.
I loved Nix! She was a mix of spunk, kindness, and smarts as she navigated the waters of fighting and a disfuntional one track minded father. The crew which is a fun diverse bunch was always filled with delightful characters. But what I loved most was the unique story full of light fantasy and time travel. I listened to this book and really loved the performance.
2. The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
When Shahrzad’s best friend becomes the victim of the Caliph’s twisted tradition of killing his brides the morning after their wedding Shazi decides she has had enough. She decides she must kill the young Caliph and finally put an end to this madness. But what she finds in the Caliph is not the monster she was expecting and much to her own horror she finds herself falling in love with her best friend’s murder.
This was one of my favorite books I have read this year. I have not read many books set in the middle east and I loved the new cultural perspective. I love all the characters. Shazi is strong and smart and caring and a wiz with a bow and arrow. Khalid the Caliph is admirable and and doing his best in a terrible situation. The villians are hateable and there is sass and wit from so many characters. Oh and there is fighting I do love fighting in books. I loved just about everything about this book it was so unique to me (although was based on A Thousand and One Nights).
3. Front Lines by Michael Grant
It’s 1942 and World War II is in full swing with all it’s atrocities. But in this version women are eligible for the draft so girls fight too. Front Lines follows the story of three very different girls from before their military days to right in the thick of things. It is a super interesting read that was equal parts entertainment and mind exercise. I really loved thinking through how the addition of women (in this capacity) would have tweaked how things looked.
This book was out of my comfort zone I don’t read much historical fiction and almost no wartime work but I really enjoyed this. I listened to the audiobook and thought it was great. I cannot wait for the next book because the ending of this definitely is the the end of these girl’s stories. It is probably to be expected with this kind of book but just in case if you are very sensitive to violence, racism, sexism, anti-jew redirect or other prejudices that were super common during the World War II era this might not be the book for you. But that said I thought it all fit and fed the story and was never used in a gratuitous way.
4. Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Despite being from very different backgrounds, Jenna and Ash both hate the king of Arden. They have both witnessed his infamous cruelty first hand. Ash a healer of royal blood is set on revenge. Jenna who possesses a magemark she herself does not know to use finds herself running for her life.
I really enjoyed the Seven Realm series and while I did like Flamecaster and plan to read the next book in the series I didn’t find myself sucked into the story in quite the same way as the other books set a generation earlier did. I liked the characters and the story well enough. There was nothing wrong exactly it just didn’t push me to say wow although I did enjoy listening to the story which was full of fighting, magic, and adventure.
5. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
This book is a different kind of adventure. Collin a long ago peeked child prodigy finds himself newly single on a Summer road trip with his lazy sassy friend. There is no real destination they are just going. They find themselves in a small town with a Summer job that allows Collin to try theorize about his Katherine dilemma. After all he has been dumped by 19 of them.
Such an easy fun read perfect for when you want something light. There is no end of the world or conquering even at large but there is normal live up and downs fantastic characters, and adventure of a different sort. If you want a great story full of friendships and witty dialogue this is a great one to pick up.
6. Court of Fives by Kate Elliot
Jessamy has been training in secret. While she tries to live the life of am upper-class lady despite her undesirable heritage, what she really wants is just one chance to run the Fives, a course of varying skill (think the historical gladiators meets American Ninja Warrior).
I’m just going to call this my favorite book I have read this year. Yup. If you read just one book on this list I vote for this one. It is SO good. The Fives part of the story is so fun and clever but it is also full of forbidden romance and one truly evil character. I just loved the setting. It reads like a historical fiction with the struggle of classes and racism while at the same time being full of adventure and a really fun game. I cannot wait to read the next book due out later this year.
7. All Fall Down by Ally Carter
Grace has a bad wrap and now finds herself moving in with her ambassador grandfather. The moment she leaves the grounds of her home she’s in another country. When she steps foot in her neighbors house it is yet another country. That all is a part of living on Embassy row. But Grace has been struggling. Everyone else wants to believe her mother’s death was just an accident but she is certain it is not. But it’s hard to know what to think when all the evidence and professionals say otherwise.
Ally Carter has done it again. I have really enjoyed all her books so far. This is no exception. Great characters, fun adventure, swoony boys and nothing too serious. If you ever found yourself (or even wished to be) living in a foreign country as a kid you will appreciate this even more. It’s perfect for when you want something fun.
8. Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard
This is the second book in the Red Queen series that starts with Red Queen which was one of my favorite books I read last year. It is a great mix of dystopian and kids with powers and fighting and royalty and romance. So many of my favorite things! It’s hard to give a not spoiler-y review so I’ll keep it short and say if you enjoyed the Red Queen you will definitely like this. It is different than the first book in that this book is really a war book. There is lots of fighting and strategy (kind of like Mocking Jay) but it’s really good and has all the things you liked from book one. If you haven’t read these books yet you really need to fix that. I listened to the audiobooks and really enjoyed them!
9. Bluescreen by Dan Wells
Marissa and her friends like most everyone in this not so distant future spend most of their time online. In fact almost everyone is has smart device implants right in their own brains. The cultural diverse cast of characters seem like typical albeit technological savvy teens. But they find themselves mixed up with a new and very dangerous virtual drug that functions in their smart implants.
So I am including this because even though I personally didn’t enjoy listening to it I suspect that a big part of that had to do with the reader of the audiobook who among other things really over pronounced all the various names (every single time). It seemed to say, look this is a name from a “different culture” kind of like when people say quesadilla with the intense flair of Rick Bayless (his food looks great and I know that’s how it’s pronounced but it’s soooo weird and distracting when it’s mixed with English). The reader’s “accents” also seemed caricaturish to a point that might be borderline offensive to some and I am NOT someone who is easily offended by that kind of stuff. My sister on the other hand RAVED about this book (she read the hard copy). I just had a hard time getting into the story and I found the characters kind of unlikable. But even with that, I liked the story line and the setting and the great representation of characters.
10. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Julian Blackthorn had to grow up fast. After the war his eldest siblings were ripped away from him and his parents were gone. He has raised his siblings with no real help from his guardian of an uncle. Not wanting to lose yet another person Julian has bonded himself to his best friend Emma Carstairs as parabati. But as bodies start appearing things become more complicated as Emma insists that they are related to her own parents’ murders.
The newest generation of shadow hunters! Lady Midnight is the first book of Cassandra Clare‘s Dark Artifices series. And while you don’t NEED to read the previous series I think you’ll get a lot more out of this book if you read the series in order. But if you like Clare’s writing you must read this. It is full of the witty banter, the wonderful magic system, the diverse host of characters both human, shadow hunter and paranormal, and of course romance.
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