This is by far the most competitive of my lists because it is the genre I read the most often. These include traditional fantasy novels with dragons and elves as well as urban fantasy and magical realism. I can’t possibly decide which is the very best, so I have them listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name…
Dorothy called it Oz, Alice called it Wonderland, but Nightmares call it HOME. When an evil shifter takes over the gateway to the realm of Dreams, it falls to 14-year-olds Parker and Kaelyn to stop him. Their only hope lies with Gladamyr, the Dream Keeper, but can they trust a Nightmare to save their world?
In Gelia City, magic is music – a constant, ever-changing melody known as the Strains. All can hear the Strains…but not everyone can use them equally. Leilani is Common, able to do only the most mundane “beggar magic,” but when she befriends the gifted Highmost girl, Zebedy, she is swept into the gilded world of the upper class, who can access the magic’s full potential. Behind the polished, academic façade of the Highmost manors, the girls run headlong into danger. An unknown force is consuming the Strains, leaving heartrending silence behind. Desperate to save their beloved Strains, Leilani and Zebedy soon realize that solving the mystery may cost them their friendship, or even their lives.
On her first assignment out of the Academy, young healer and scholar, Shannon Macaulay is summoned to the struggling kingdom of Regone to see to the wounds of a young but crippled king. When the unwanted attentions of an aggressive knight and the sudden appearance of a hated dragon turn her world upside down, she decides to take matters into her own hands even if doing so proves dangerous.
Finding herself strangely drawn to the company of the dragon, Gnaw, Shannon must force herself out of her safe world of books and botany to come to the aid of her unexpected ally in a strange kingdom, cursed by a fateful encounter with a dragon and the loss of a beloved prince. Can she learn to put aside her fears, and perhaps sacrifice her deepest desires, to help a friend and restore a family?
Fourteen-year-old Joss Morgan loves a good prank, but the joke’s on him when he discovers he has superpowers. He quickly learns that with the new powers comes real danger. The Mockers are coming for Joss, and they’ll use any means necessary to force him into a life of crime.
To fight back against the Mockers, Mara, assigned by the Guild of Sevens to train Joss in his new powers, sends him to steal corporate secrets. Fighting crime with crime feels upside down, and Joss wonders which side he’s really on.
When the Mockers arrive at his home, Joss, out of time and desperate, sets up a high-stakes prank to save his family. This time he knows that if he fails, he won’t end up in the principal’s office; he’ll be six feet under.
Special note: The audio book versions of these are INCREDIBLE!!!!
If you owned a pen that wrote the future, would you use it? What if the consequences spread like ripples in a pond? What if they raged out of control? What if the pen demanded tribute…in blood?
Thirteen-year-old Micah has found such a pen. One that’s ensnared him in a curse dating back generations. One that’s devastated two families and now threatens his whole New England village. But how can Micah destroy the pen when it offers him his only chance at the future he dreams of?
Orphaned at a young age, Song has grown up listening to his grandfather recite legends of the distant past. But it is his own history he seeks to uncover, particularly the events surrounding his parents’ deaths. That is a secret closely guarded by his grandfather. Then Song discovers an heirloom that links him to an ancient prophecy. His destiny lies within the old tales he has scorned. Song must follow the path that killed his father.
Warrior faery princes can be very stubborn. Especially when they possess your body. Fourteen-year-old Finn just wants to keep his little sister out of Child Protective Services—an epic challenge with their parentally-missing-in-action dad moving them to England, near the famous Stonehenge rocks.
Warrior faery Prince Zaneyr just wants to escape his father’s reckless plan to repair the Rift—a catastrophe that ripped the faery realm from Earth 4,000 years ago and set it adrift in an alternate, timeless dimension.
When Zaneyr tricks Finn into swapping places, Finn becomes bodiless soul stuck in the Otherworld, fighting spriggans with sharp teeth and rival faery Houses. Back on Earth, Zaneyr uses Finn’s body to fight off his father’s seekers and keep the king’s greatest weapon—himself—out of his hands. Between them, they have two souls and only one body… and both worlds to save before the dimensional window between them slams shut.
When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.
Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden underworld of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.
One Girl. One Accident. One Incredible Superhero.
Cassidy Jones is your typical fourteen-year-old— that is, until a seemingly harmless accident in the laboratory of a world-renowned geneticist turns her world upside down.
Discovering incredible strength, speed, and enhanced physical senses that defy logic, Cassidy embarks on an action-packed adventure that has her fighting for answers…and for her very life.
Wren could not remember the glorious city, and could not regret the quiet way she had been raised. But she knew Sky longed for nothing more than to return to the capital. Obviously, she was willing to do anything, even leave Wren behind, to return there.
When a stranger arrives from the capital, Wren is faced with a decision that will change her life forever as dark forces from across the mountains compel her to act.
Can Wren let her sister go, restore honour to her family, and come to grips with the world of magic unfolding around her?