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Scifi and Fantasy Recommendations (for a younger reader)

Published by marco on

I recently learned that a young reader I know is a fan of The City of Ember (Wikipedia), which is a science-fiction novel “[…] about Ember, a post-apocalyptic underground city threatened by aging infrastructure and corruption.” I heard she’d received the The People of Sparks (Wikipedia) as a gift and was intrigued to learn that she was reading books deemed “science fiction”.

I dug back through my own lists of recent years to find the following recommendations for (more or less) age- and reading-level appropriate series that provide useful fodder for a voracious reader.

I attached the following note:

“None of my recommendations—either this one or future ones—are to be seen as a full-throated endorsement of any politics or opinions contained in them. None of them are YA and none of them will have been vetted for young audiences, but since you’re 16, I don’t see that as highly relevant. YMMY.

“I don’t expect you to read any of them, nor will there be a quiz. I’m just delighted to find that people are still reading books. It gives me hope. If you do try something I recommend, I’d of course be interested to hear what you (will have?) thought of them (everyone brings their own perspective to anything they read).”


The description of City of Ember on Wikipedia reminded me of a series I read a few years back. This set of books, too, are about a society finding its way underground—and some people’s efforts to perhaps get out.

From Wikipedia:

“The story of Wool takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth.[6] Humanity clings to survival in the Silo, a subterranean city extending one hundred forty-four stories beneath the surface.”

My reviews and notes:

The Kingkiller Chronicle

From the Wikipedia entry for the first book:

“The Kingkiller Chronicle takes place in the fictional world of Temerant, a large continent of which the known part, called the Four Corners of Civilization, is divided into several distinct nations and cultures. Much of the world follows a religion similar, though not identical, to medieval Christianity.

“Coexisting alongside the mortal world is the realm of The Fae, a parallel universe inhabited by supernatural creatures which can move between the two realms only when the moon is full. Magic exists in Temerant, too, but obeys a well-defined set of rules and principles that can only be exploited by those who have trained in its professional and scientific use.”

My reviews and notes:

The Hexalogy

From the Wikipedia entry for the first book:

“In the story’s worldline there exists a magical realm beneath the surface of all things—referred to as the Twilight (or Gloom in other translations). The action in the novel centers on a group of people referred to as the Others —human beings who tapped into the Twilight and gained supernormal abilities.”

The books were published in the original Russian and translated to English later.

My reviews and notes:

The Broken Earth

From the Wikipedia entry for the first book:

“The Fifth Season takes place on a planet with a single supercontinent called the Stillness. Every few centuries, its inhabitants endure what they call a “Fifth Season” of catastrophic climate change.

“[…] In a prologue, an extraordinarily powerful orogene discusses the sad state of the world and laments the oppression of his race. He then uses his enormous power to fracture the entire continent along its length, threatening to cause the worst Fifth Season in recorded history. The story then follows three female orogenes across the Stillness from different time periods: Essun, Damaya, and Syenite.”

My reviews and notes: