Sunday, 26 July 2015




It takes a lot to sell me on a series. And there are many popular ones I haven't read, not out of snobbery, but because either their premise didn't meet my tastes, or their reviewers highlighted some points I wasn't keen on.
On the other hand, there are a few series I'm utterly in love in, that - IMHO - should be more popular, and I do believe the main reason why they aren't is that they don't get the necessary hype. I'm the type of person who revel in discovering something on her own count, something that hasn't been talked about to death...while there are readers who need a thousand recommendations from friends or popular bloggers in order to put a book in their TBR list, and who assume that the most talked about are the best ones as well. Which isn't necessary true.
Here are a few recs for those who dare to plunge into the deadly not-hyped-series sea ;). I do hope you'll find something enticing in my list!

(my review of the first installment here)
Main tag: sci-fi.
The Cold Awakening trilogy deals with the aftermath of the incident that took teen Lia's life and turned her into a "mech", thanks to a technology that basically recreates human experiences and sensations in a synthetic body, by downloading the dead person's brain into it. This also means the recipient can live forever, because if the new body wears off, a copy of the mind can be downloaded in a new body, again and again. Of course, all the small and big things that define our humanity are either nonexistent or artificially (and unsatisfactorily) recreated/processed. So, think The Jenna Fox Chronicles with more action and self-reflection at the same time, since this series takes the life-recreation issue and the what-defines-humannes theme to a whole new level. The Cold Awakening series is one of the reasons why I felt the need to blog about books in the first place - I had this urge to spread the word around and let people know they were missing something significant by not reading it. I hope this rec will do the job!

(my review of the first installment here)
Main tags: afterlife, urban fantasy.
Meet Lucy Day, the girl who was too stubborn to die. At the very beginning of book 1, 15 y.o. Lucy is attacked by some guys and apparently left for dead. Except the next day she's not. And mind you, this is not your usual zombie/vampire/ghost stuff. I can't tell you what Lucy has become, but it's something you haven't seen before. Also, her Grim Reaper isn't too happy about that - as in, starts to relentlessly hunt her in order to set things right - which makes Lucy's tries to make peace with what she is and to, um, "live" like a normal girl (dates included) just a teeny bit difficult. Deadgirl is a fantastic read about being young, passionate and hungry - literally - for life. Unique concept, top-notch characterization and peculiar prose make a winner out of this one. Book 2 out soon (probably next year).
(my review of the first installment here)
Main tag: urban fantasy.
Yes, B.C. Johnson again. Because he knows how to spin a story and make you care for his characters. The Bad Rescue of Devon Streeter (book 1 in the Riven series) tells the tale of two world that have collided - Earth and an alien dimension - creating a series of portals through which all kinds of cool-but-deadly monsters poured in. Also, people who gravitated around those breaches were infected with magic, and most of them didn't make it. Those who did have been "deviated" - that is, turned into superpowered freaks, who subsequently can change the still normal people around them. In this dangerous wasteland, two childhood friends, a girl and a boy - Devon and Bloom - try to survive while helping others, but circumstances separate them, and the novel recounts their struggle to find each other again while trying to stay alive and whole. This book is SO MANY THINGS. It has a sci-fi premise and a strong magic twist. It's a post-apocalyptic fable that asperses the gore with a poetic flavour and peppers it with humour. It's a love story in the widest, purest sense between two friends of different sexes, neither of which is gay. It's a tale of powerful individuals and ordinary heroes. And it doesn't end with a cliffhanger, which is always a plus :). Book 2 out soon (probably next year).

(no review of mine yet)
Main tag: urban fantasy.
Christopher Pike is the reason why I started to read YA books in my adultness, so I may be a bit biased here :). But really, this is a fantastic series, that started off in 1994 as The Last Vampire saga, supposedly ended in 1996 after 6 installments, and was revived in 2010 (still in progress BTW). While a huge hit when it first came out,The Last Vampire series (now renamed Thirst) is doing nice, but not great, as far as sales go these days (at least according to the number of ratings it's got on Goodreads to date). Which breaks my heart, because it's SO unfair. Now, I'm sure most of you are sick and tired of vampires, and for this very reason are a bit wary of giving this series a chance. But Sita - the main character - is her own brand of vampire (not to mention, Pike created her when all the modern vamp tales you've read were still unborn ideas floating in the cosmic void). Also, genres galore! Pike is a master when it comes to mingling urban fantasy, sci-fi, action/adventures, mythology and horror. And since Sita is five thousand years old (!!!), we get to see her past interwined with different ages and places - so there's (slightly) alternate history in the mix as well. I don't even like historical novels, go figure, but I can't seem to get tired of visiting the past with Sita :).

(my review of the first installment here)
Main tag: paranormal.
We follow Astrid and Max, who meet in a facility for messed-up kids. The duo form a strong bond, but not a romantic one - which is SO refreshing. The facility seems to hold quite a number of gifted individuals, as far as powers come, but we only get the full extent of it in the very last pages. Anyway, not all the kids have paranormal abilities...or so it seems, because this is a double trilogy (of which only the first three books have been released so far), and my sensitive nose has picked up a certain smell...Anyway, at the end of book 1, a few inmates are able to flee the asylum, and we get to follow them on the road while trying to escape their former capturers' clutches. The series started out a bit slow, but it's picking up and getting stronger with every single book...not to mention, there are a number of well-crafted characters and lots of cool, quirky magic. This is only an example of how indie/small pub authors are every bit as worthy as the bigwigs in the publishing game...
So, those were five great series that, IMO, deserve more recognition. I just hope you'll be tempted of picking them up because of my post. Anyhow...happy reading!
But before I leave you with all those wonderful books I mentioned, I have to thank Mia for letting me ramble so long about my favourite underrated series :). And I wish her blog fame and fortune!

Roberta R. is a senior blogger with a penchant for YA books. Her love of music has landed her a job as a host for a local radio station. Her fancy for TV series, from police procedural to sci-fi to urban fantasy, causes her to experiment wild adventures with too many fictional characters in her night dreams. Her urge to spread the love for overlooked YA novels drove her to start her blog, Offbeat YA, in 2012.

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