We’ve all been there.
We have all felt bereft after finishing a series so nailbitingly good that we are nothing but walking shells of readers trying to find that next book high. So let me save you some trouble and here are 7 books to tackle after Red Rising by Pierce Brown.
Have no fear. You won’t find one palette cleanser here.
Please note links that follow are AF, so if you purchase via my links you help support my blog too. Wehey!
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
If you’ve got another revolution in you, then let me introduce you to Sabaa Tahir’s Ember Quartet. My only word of warning is these books do not take you where they think you will.
For years Laia has lived in fear. Fear of the Empire, fear of the Martials, fear of truly living at all. Born as a Scholar, she’s never had much of a choice.
For Elias it’s the opposite. He has seen too much on his path to becoming a Mask, one of the Empire’s elite soldiers. With the Masks’ help the Empire has conquered a continent and enslaved thousands of Scholars, all in the name of power.
When Laia’s brother is taken she must force herself to help the Resistance, the only people who have a chance of saving him. She must spy on the Commandant, ruthless overseer of Blackcliff Academy. Blackcliff is the training ground for Masks and the very place that Elias is planning to escape. If he succeeds, he will be named deserter. If found, the punishment will be death.
But once Laia and Elias meet, they find that their destinies are intertwined and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire.
In the ashes of a broken world one person can make a difference. One voice in the dark can be heard. The price of freedom is always high and this time that price might demand everything, even life itself.
NeverNight by Jay Kristoff
Feeling like you need a murderous heroine? Then Mia Covere is someone you should get to know from the saftey behind your pages. Trust in Mr. Kindly and the footnotes within these pages. For this reason, try to pick up a physical copy rather than an ebook.
Mia Corvere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, and Mia must become a weapon without equal. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya.
Inside the Church’s halls, Mia must prove herself against the deadliest of opponents and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and daemons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Church is no ordinary school. But Mia is no ordinary student.”
Wool by Hugh Howey
If a dystopian novel is more where you’re leaning right now, then Wool could be just the ticket. This is a story of how hope and the human desire to explore can never be completely suppressed. Originally, a short story turned into 5 linked short stories. This is an interesting read, which leaves you thinking long after you finish the book.
In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.
Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.
To live, you must follow the rules. But some don’t. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism.
Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside.
Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Ah, I can’t help but smile when I think of Ready Player One. Part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera, this book is easily consumable. The writing is captivating and fun while the story has you belly deep cheering for Wade.
Sometimes out loud.
In inappropriate places. Yes, I can forget myself when I read. Don’t you?
A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?
It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We’re out of oil. We’ve wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS – and his massive fortune – will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle.
Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions – and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.
Geomancer by Ian Irvine
Oof! Geomancer has been one of my favourites for years. Hands up, I trained as a scientist and Ian Irvine is also a scientist, so maybe this book is one of my comfort reads. Great characters with immense world building these books take you through a war for humanity against flesh-eating lizard creatures. Just be in the mood for a saga before you start!
Two hundred years after the Forbidding was broken, Santhenar is locked in war with the lyrinx – intelligent, winged predators who will do anything to gain their own world. Despite the development of battle clankers and mastery of the crystals that power them, humanity is losing. Tiaan, a lonely crystal worker in a clanker manufactory, is experimenting with an entirely new kind of crystal when she begins to have extraordinary visions. The crystal has woken her latent talent for geomancy, the most powerful of all the Secret Arts – and the most perilous. Falsely accused of sabotage by her rival, Irisis, Tiaan flees for her life. Struggling to control her talent and hunted by the lyrinx, Tiaan follows her visions all the way to Tirthrax, greatest peak on all the Three Worlds, where a nightmare awaits her…
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Ah, this book wins for the ‘most questions posed and pondered’ during my read along. Scythe is a rather timely book about an AI with a god complex who looks at humans as its children. Based in the future when humanity has control over death and life can be everlasting, Scythes control the gleaning i.e. the human population. Great writing, fantastic one liners delivered by a hilariously dry AI, you’ll want to read this book for the evolution of the AI’s character alone.
A dark, gripping and witty thriller in which the only thing humanity has control over is death.
In a world where disease, war and crime have been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional scythes. Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythes’ apprentices, and despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation, they must learn the art of killing and understand the necessity of what they do.
Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice and as Citra and Rowan come up against a terrifyingly corrupt Scythedom, it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser.
Empire of the Vampire Jay Kristoff
Yes, I think this author is so good; I included him twice. Empire of the Vampire is very much an adult fantasty, and it’s everything I wanted from a vampire book. It’s a rich, well-realized world of darkness and danger. There is nothing standard with this book and it is DEFINITELY, not what you’re thinking. To me, this book feels like Jay said, “I want to have some fun. Some murderous, dark, body obliterating fun while pulling the readers through the wringer.” That about sums it up spoiler free!
It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise.
Ever since, vampires have waged war against humanity building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Gabriel de León, half man, half monster, and last remaining silversaint – a sworn brother of the holy Silver Order dedicated to defending the realm from the creatures of the night – is all that stands between the world and its end.
Imprisoned by the very monsters he has vowed to destroy Gabriel is forced to tell his story – a story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the War of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:
The Holy Grail.
I hope you found something new with these books or that I’ve mentioned one of your favourites too. If there is something else you’d like to recommend drop it into the comments below.