If your teen reader enjoys fantasy novels with deep, intricate worldbuilding, point them towards Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer (and its sequel Muse of Nightmares). Both titles—in ebook and audiobook formats—are available on Overdrive.
About Strange the Dreamer:
“The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old, he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the form of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? And who is the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams?In this sweeping and breathtaking novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.
The answers await in Weep.”
For fantasy readers who want to tag along with unforgettable characters on a search for dead Welsh kings, Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle (start with The Raven Boys) is the way to go. Well worth the wait, available via Overdrive!
About The Raven Boys:
“Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them—until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
Does your teen enjoy Doctor Who? Sherlock Holmes? Whether the answer is ‘yes’ or ‘no’, give them William Ritter’s Jackaby (the first in a series). Ebook on Overdrive.
“Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary—including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local authorities—with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane—seem adamant to deny.”
Other titles in the series:
The Dire King
Before the series adaptation hits Netflix, read Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone. Available on Overdrive.
About Shadow and Bone:
“Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold—a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.
Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite—and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.
As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.
Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.”
Other titles in the series:
Storm and Siege
Ruin and Rising