If You Liked Harry Potter Read . . . The Chronicles of Narnia

Photobucket

Photo Credit 1

 

My uncle gave me a boxed set of the Chronicles of Narnia when I was seven or eight years old, and I’ve loved it ever since. To this day, a small part of me still believes that I can find Narnia in the back of my closet, in a painting, at a train station . . . You never know, okay?

 

Here’s the strange thing: While everyone has heard of this series and considers it a classic, very few people I know have actually read it.

 

Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie are playing hide-and-go-seek when they discover Narnia in the back of a wardrobe. There, they have all sorts of adventures, become kings and queens, and grow old together. When they discover their way back home, they realize that time runs differently in Narnia. Although they were gone for a lifetime in Narnia, they were only away for a few minutes in the “real” world. In later books, they go on to have other adventures in Narnia.

There are different ways to read this series. Most people start with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe—the most popular book and the first one featuring the Pevensie children.

 

There has been debate on the order in which the books should be read. I read them in chronological order because that was how they were labeled in my boxed set—with the Magician’s Nephew as the first book.

 

Although I think you need to read the whole thing to get the entire effect of the world, I think that the books featuring the Pevensie children are the most magical. If nothing else, read these three books: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. (Yes, these are the three books that have been turned into movies. I definitely believe that they picked the right ones to film.)

 

The part of this series that really resonated with me when I read the series was Aslan told Peter and Susan that they were too old to return to Narnia (Prince Caspian). It’s symbolic—Narnia is a place for children to discover. Giving up Narnia means growing up and living in the real world.

—-

Have you read this series? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below..

If You Liked Harry Potter Read . . . The Hunger Games Trilogy

Photobucket

Photo Credit 1

The connection that this series has to Harry Potter isn’t as obvious. Many people who read fantasy read it to escape to a different world. Sometimes that world is light and magical. Sometimes it’s dark and horrifying.

From my experience, this series does appeal to some Harry Potter fans, especially those who liked Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I absolutely would not recommend this series to younger readers who are bothered by violence or death. As a 22-year-old, I wasn’t bothered by it, but it is classified as a Young Adult novel and some of those readers might be.

This synopsis was in my previous review:

[The series] is set in a dystopian North America, known as Panem. Panem has 12 (formally 13) districts, and is ruled by the Capitol. As a result of a failed rebellion, most of the citizens of Panem are struggling to get by. Another consequence? The Hunger Games, an annual televised fight-to-the-death tournament that the entire nation is required to watch. Two “tributes” from each district, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18, are selected each year to compete. Only the winner will survive.

Katniss Everdeen, the main character, is the tribute from District 12. Although she sees the tournament as a death sentence, she volunteers to compete so that her younger sister doesn’t have to. Here’s the catch—Peeta, her fellow tribute from District 12—is in love with her.

In addition to merely surviving, Katniss must figure out what Peeta is playing at. Does he really love her? Does he want more sponsors? After all, they can’t both survive.

Although I genuinely liked this series, parts of it are not written very well.

  • By default, I always cringe a bit when I realize that something will be narrated from the first-person. I blame Twilight for this.
    • Part of the reason why this bothers me is that there is too much description about hair and clothing. Do I care if she braided her hair or left it down? No.
  • As a writer, Collins lacks subtlety. Her flashbacks and foreshadowing are painfully obvious and poorly-written.
  • Peeta—I think that this character could have been great, but as he’s written, he just falls flat.

If You Liked Harry Potter Read . . . Percy Jackson

Photobucket

Photo Credit 1

I was sad when I read the last Harry Potter book, but luckily there are plenty of other books out there set in amazing fantasy worlds. This series will let you know about some of my favorites. It was originally going to be one post, but it was so long I thought I’d do one post per series instead.


Today I want to talk about the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. I actually read this series at the recommendation of my 12-year-old cousin, but I think it’s entertaining no matter what your age. For the record, my mom likes the series as well.

I think that this is a great series of books for someone who likes Harry Potter and should appeal to many of the same readers.

Even if Percy Jackson is about Greek gods and goddesses and Harry Potter is about witchcraft and wizardry . . . they are quite similar. To start with, Percy Jackson didn’t know that he was a demigod until the books began and Harry Potter didn’t know that he’s a wizard.

Here’s a quick little comparison:

Percy Jackson Harry Potter
Appearance Black hair, green eyes Black hair, green eyes
Age range 12-16 11-17
Number of books 5 7
Female Friend Annabeth—smart, bookish Hermione—smart, bookish
Male friend Grover—goofy, comic relief Ron—goofy, comic relief
Main setting Camp Half-Blood Hogwarts
Prophecy Yes Yes

The characters have a similar since of wonder at discovering a new world, and are thrown into ordeals that they can only survive with the help of their friends. Furthermore, both children might be the subject of a prophecy.

I’m not trying to imply that Percy Jackson copied Harry Potter—I think that it’s inevitable that books will resemble each other to an extent. I honestly enjoyed this series.

Overall, I say try it. It’s a fun and entertaining read.

——-
Have you read the Percy Jackson series? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

If You Liked Harry Potter, Read . . . the Young Wizards Series

PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Photo Credit 1, 2, 3

It was sad when I read the last Harry Potter book, but luckily there are plenty of other books out there set in amazing fantasy worlds. This series will let you know about some of my favorites. It was originally going to be one post, but it was so long I thought I’d do one post per series instead.

Today I want to talk about the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane (@dduane on Twitter). In my opinion, this is probably the best young adult fantasy series that no one’s heard about. I actually started this series when I was ten years old—over a year before I started the Harry Potter series—and these are still some of my favorite fantasy books of all time.

At the moment, there are nine books in the series, and there area likely more to come. The first book was published in 1983, and the ninth published in 2010 (I have yet to read it, I’m afraid).

The first book of the series is called So You Want to be a Wizard. In it, thirteen-year-old Nita discovers a book called So You Want to Be a Wizard when she is in the library hiding from bullies. She takes it home and learns that she can become a wizard if she takes an oath and undergoes an ordeal. Amazingly, this turns out to be true. She meets twelve-year-old Kit, a fellow wizard, and together they are thrown into the world of wizardry as they struggle to pass their ordeal and keep the Lone Power at bay.

This series is about Kit and Nita’s adventures, and later books include Nita’s younger sister Dairine as well. Most of the books are action-packed and exciting, plus Kit, Nita, and Dairine are interesting and relatable characters.

You can read the first chapter of So You Want to be a Wizard here if you want to give it a try.

———

Have you read this series? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!