If You Liked This, Then Try That (Series Edition)

Hey, lovelies! One of my favorite types of bookish posts and/or videos is the ‘if you liked this book, then try that book.’ So, last year I tried some of my own and I really had fun picking books to compare to one another. Which is why I’m back today with another one. Let’s get right into it!

If you liked The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, you should try The Iron King by Julie Kagawa.
The Cruel Prince follows Jude. Jude is a human living in the Fairie courts. She is determined to prove herself. So, naturally, she becomes involved in the courts politics and the games that the fey play. She must prove that she belongs there by defying the prince, Cardan. While this wasn’t my favorite series with fey in it, it’s definitely a fun enemies to lovers story. The Iron King follows Meghan Chase as she’s thrust into the world of the Fey. She learns that she is the daughter of Oberon and that the courts are in danger. War is coming and Meghan might just be the person to stop it. These books both follow humans (or half-human for Meghan) that are taken into the world of the Fey. They Fey are a cruel people and that’s shown in both series. But I think it’s done better in The Iron Fey series. Meghan is a little annoying, but she has great growth. Personally, I found The Cruel Prince lacking, especially the final book. But with The Iron King, each book just got better and better.

If you liked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, you might like Red Rising by Pierce Brown.
The Hunger Games follows Katniss as she volunteers for the Hunger Games to save her sisters life. Each year 12 people are selected to compete in the Hunger Games, a vicious battle to the death. Two people from each district, and when Prim’s name is called, Katniss takes her place. It’s a story of survival in a brutal world. Red Rising follows Darrow. Darrow is a Red, the lowest caste. After the death of his wife, he joins the rebellion and infiltrates the Golds, the highest caste. He’s learned that everything he knew about the world has been a lie and he’s ready to burn it down. Both of these stories are ones of survival. But as the series continue, they both become stories about overthrowing a government that is mistreating its people, that’s keeping them separate, lower. They’re both filled with characters that just want things to change for their people. They see a chance to make that change happen, so they take it.

If you liked Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson, you will probably like A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro.
Truly Devious follows Stevie as she starts attending the well known Ellingham Academy. Shortly after the school was opened the founder’s wife and daughter were kidnapped and never seen again. Stevie has decided that at Ellingham, she is going to solve this unsolved crime, one of the greatest in history. While she’s researching this, mysterious things start happening in the present. Now Stevie may have more than one mystery to solve. A Study in Charlotte is a Sherlock Holmes retelling following Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes who are the descendents of the original Holmes and Watson. They meet at boarding school and quickly have their own mystery to solve. Both of these series follow characters at a boarding school. Both follow characters that are trying to solve a murder. Both also have really great mental health representations. They both have characters that don’t always make the best choice, but you can’t help but root for them anyway.

If you liked The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco, you should try For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig.
The Bone Witch follows Tea who has resurrected her brother. She has the gift of necromancy, which means she is a bone witch, a title that isn’t looked upon very nicely. Tea goes to learn to hone her asha abilities, but there is a darkness coming and Tea if forced to make some hard decisions. For a Muse of Fire is the story of Jetta. She and her family are shadow players. They put on a show with puppets behind a scrim. Their show is said to be as if their puppets aren’t being controlled by strings. That is because they’re not. Jetta is a necromancer. This means that with her blood she can bind souls to things. So, she binds them to her puppets. But the rebellion is growing and Jetta doesn’t want to hide her abilities anymore. I compare these two for the obvious reason, their main characters are both necromancers. And necromancers are forbidden or looked down upon. Aside from this, both of these series are set in diverse worlds, with diverse characters, and they talk about heavy, but important, topics. I highly recommend both of these trilogies.

If you liked All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace, you might like Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen.
All the Stars and Teeth is the story of Amora Montara. She’s the princess of Visidia, but to claim the title of heir to the throne she must master soul magic and gain the title of High Animancer. When things don’t go how she’s practiced, she flees the capital. This is when we meet Bastian. This is Amora’s first time seeing the rest of her kingdom and she learns that her father has been hiding things from her. There is unrest and Amora must find a way to fix things before she can claim her place on the throne. Dark Shores tells Teriana’s story. Teriana is the heir to the Maarin Triumvirate, essentially a princess. The Maarin are the only people in the world that know the entirety of the world. The East doesn’t know about the Dark Shores and the Dark Shores doesn’t know about the East, only the Maarin know. But when Maarin ships are being captured and held by the East, Teriana agrees to share what she knows and show Legatus Marcus of the 37th legion how to get to the Dark Shores. These stories are both part pirate stories and part princess stories. Both female leads are trying to figure out what it means to lead when everything around them is falling apart. They also both spend a significant amount of time sailing on ships. They both have really interesting worlds and magic systems. I do have to say that while I did really enjoy All the Stars and Teeth, I am majorly obsessed with the Dark Shores series.

These are the recommendations that I have for you all today. As always, these recommendations go both ways. Let me know if you’re read any of these or what you think of my comparisons?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Summary:
The truth is, when you banish the gods from the world, they eventually come back-with a vengeance.
In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March is a former investigator of religious groups who was sent into exile after a failed job, a fate that has left the brilliant servitor bitter and free to indulge his addictive personality. Suddenly, Justin is sent home to the Republic of United North America (RUNA) with a peculiar assignment-to solve a string of ritualistic murders steeped in seemingly unexplainable phenomena.
Justin’s unexpected return comes with an even bigger shock: His new partner and bodyguard, Mae, is a praetorian, one of the elite and deadly supersoldiers of the RUNA. Her inexplicably perfect beauty and aristocratic upbringing pique Justin’s avid curiosity-and his desire-though her true nature holds more danger than anyone realizes.
As their investigation unfolds, Justin and Mae find themselves in the path of terrible danger. Mysterious enemies and powers greater than they can imagine have begun to assemble in the shadows, preparing to reclaim a world where humans are merely gamepieces on their board.
Gameboard of the Gods, the first novel of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, delivers all the elements that have made her bestselling Vampire Academy series a breakout success: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and breathless action and suspense.
Review:
Richelle Mead became an auto-buy author for me the minute I fell in love with Dimitri from Vampire Academy. When I heard she was coming out with the Age of X series I was intrigued. I looked into it and became unsure. They didn’t really seem like my kind of books. After reading Gameboard of the Gods, I completely a thousand percent take it back. This series may end up becoming one of my favorites.
Gameboard of the Gods was a fantastic book, for many reasons. It had an amazing storyline, one I’d never read before. It was a seriously unique book. It was a mix of mythological, futuristic, romantic, adventurous. Gameboard of the Gods had a little bit of everything. Which is, I think, why I liked it so much. It took me a little longer than usual to finish this book. Partially because it’s a long book, and partially because I just moved and that took up a chunk of my reading time. When I wasn’t reading, all I wanted to do was finish this book. There were a couple slow parts that were interesting but dragged at points. The suspense was probably the worst for me, it almost killed me. I just wanted to know where the story was headed. It didn’t really have a huge cliffhanger, but it definitely ended leaving me wanting more. I don’t think the title for the second book in the series has even been released, let alone a date that it will be coming out. Which is infuriating because I just want to know what’s going to happen next. Isn’t that every reader’s worst nightmare?
Now, onto the characters, which is always my favorite part. Gameboard of the Gods mainly follows Justin March and his life, but it also jumps around a few other important characters. Justin March was a very interesting main character. He has so many secrets that all eventually come to light. I think Justin tries to have his head on straight and his heart in the right place, but he’s only human. In the beginning, we see him indulging in everything that’s bad for him. Gambling, drinking, doing anything and everything he can to deal with being in exile. We get to see more of who he really is when we meet our next important character. He shows who he really is when he’s around Tessa and her family. Justin has a lot of quirks, one of them being the voices in his head. I’m going to try to explain the best I can without giving anything away. The voices are a pest to him mostly, but end up helping him significantly at times. His voices are probably some of the most fun parts of the book, but they also give us quite a bit of information without giving too much away. As a whole, I liked Justin. He does the best he can to do what he thinks is right and I think that’s very admirable.
Mae, the praetorian, is loyal to her government. She does what she’s supposed to when she’s supposed to do it. When we first meet Mae she’s just lost the love of her life. She tries to keep herself collected and together but snaps at one point. The consequences of her brief breakdown are what leads her to be Justin’s bodyguard. The relationship that forms between the two of them is very complicated and describing it without giving any of the story away is pretty hard. Mae tends to bring out the asshole in Justin because it’s what he thinks is the easiest way to handle the situation. Mae tries her hardest to be emotionless and in control of everything, but usually ends up in over her head. I like Mae for the most part, there definitely are some points in the story where she isn’t my favorite. She is sometimes indecisive and never asks for any help with whats going on with her, which is always something that irks me. If she just asked for help everything would be so much easier on her! Overall, I really liked Mae, she stands up for what she believes in, and she does everything she can for those she cares about, even if she won’t admit she cares about them.
Next is Tessa. Tessa is the daughter of someone who helped Justin when he needed it. So when he is asked to come back to the RUNA one of his conditions is that he is allowed to bring Tessa so she can have a better life. Tessa doesn’t really have any options at home, other than marrying. In the RUNA she can go to school, live in a whole different society with a whole different lifestyle. When Tessa moves to the RUNA she’s kind of awkward at first, which is understandable. I think Tessa handles this life-changing event relatively well. She’s considered an outsider at school and is talked about and treated differently by almost everyone. She makes a couple of friends that really end up helping her adapt to her new life. I liked Tessa, she has all these changes thrown at her and she just keeps moving forward, going with the flow, making the best out of whats given to her.
There are a few other characters that play a part in this story, but the three I mentioned are the most important. I liked most of the other characters, except the obvious antagonists because they’re meant to be portrayed as assholes. I loved Gameboard of the Gods so much. I can’t wait for the second to come out and see where Richelle Mead is going to take these characters. I suggest this book to anyone that loves romance, or action, or futuristic settings, or anything mythological because Gameboard of the Gods has all this and more. Something that should be kept in mind is that this is, in fact, an adult series, not young adult. There are some parts that are a little inappropriate for the younger readers.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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