There’s nothing like a series of novels about characters you care about. You get to watch as they grow and change, inviting you deeper into their stories with each successive tale. Perfect reading for curling up on blustery days and lengthening nights of fall. The good news is, there are new installments in some very compelling series. And the news is bittersweet, because in a couple of cases, these favorite series reach their conclusions. It’s some consolation that the endings are very satisfying. . .But the best consolation is a couple of new series sure to grab teen and tween readers (and the rest of us who agree that adolescent fiction is some of the best writing there is!).
Ghost Hunter by Michelle Paver
The final book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness just hit the shelves. Torak, now 15 years old, continues to battle the Soul Eaters, taking on the last– Eostra– as she weaves her evil spell on the forest world of clans and spirits that exist in the North 6,000 years ago. Author Paver continues to chronicle the world she has researched bringing the ancient forests and their creatures to life. In this world, spirits and demons, dreams and omens are as real as the humans and animals that survive in the harsh climate. As readers, we are reunited with Torak’s pack-brother, Wolf and his mate Darkfur and their cubs as well as the strong young woman Renn , who continues to grow in her Mage powers. We meet some new interesting characters, too. . .No spoilers here! A terrific plot that ties all the loose ends and creates a really suspenseful story along the way.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
In a series that is this compelling and beloved, it’s hard to tie it all up in a way that satisfies every fan. And, honestly, Mockingjay will probably disappoint you in some way (even if it’s just because we have to say good-bye to Katniss, Peeta and Gale). It’s a captivating and honest-feeling ending, even if it leaves you sad and drained (and it probably will). But it’s the kind of book that, the more you think about it, the more you can’t imagine the sequence of events playing out in any other way. And it leaves TONS to talk about with parallels to the world – past and present. If you haven’t read this series, but know any kids that have, go get The Hunger Games and read the whole series: we guarantee you’ll want someone to talk it over with, and that fascinating conversations with your favorite teen reader will result.
The Heroes of Olympus: Book One: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Return to Camp Half-blood. . .and the start of a new series! Percy fans will recall that he and his friends saved Olympus from the Titans. In this new series, the young demigods have rebuilt Camp Half-Blood with a whole new generation of characters. Jason, Leo, and Piper are 3 of these new demigods who are plucked from a school for troubled teens and brought to Camp Half-Blood to attempt an important quest. Some old favorites help the new heroes, making the new series an interesting mix of continuing the saga–and taking it in a new direction. The Roman gods enter here-not simply as counterparts to the Greek gods, but with their own character twists. Expect Riordan’s masterful prose, compelling action, and wry humor.
The Books of Elsewhere, Volume I: The Shadows by Jacqueline West
This spooky series reminded us a bit of Neil Gaim’s Coraline. Olive Dunwoody is a lonely 11-year-old. Pretty much friendless, she moves with her distracted mathematician parents to a creepy Victorian mansion and is left to her own devises by her loving–but decidedly nerdy–folks Olive finds the house interesting, with its multitude of paintings, and closets and drawers filled with interesting items, like a pair of ancient glasses But as she continues to explore, things get weirder and weirder. Strange visitors in the night, cats that talk, and evil lurking within the pictures create an ominous air. And when Olive discovers the old glasses allow her to enter into the paintings–well, Olive’s life gets even creepier and more mysterious. One of the gifts of this novel is the exceptional writing that draws the reader into the compelling haunted house tale. The beautiful illustrations by Poly Bernatene that are sprinkled through the text are a wonderful addition.