10 Best Young Adult Books About People with Superpowers
When it comes to books about superpowers, we're no longer in the realm of kiddie fare. We've grown up, and alongside us, so too has the genre of superhuman literature — evolving into complex narratives filled with intricate character development, dilemma-ridden plots, and strikingly human struggles that hit closer to home than you'd think. We've handpicked 10 stellar novels and comics, each dealing masterfully with the concept of superpowers in an adult-themed setting. Let's be clear; these are not your stereotypical hero-vs-villain showdowns. They transcend far beyond, encapsulating the burden of power, the Diaspora of identity, the skeleton in the closet kind of secrets, and the gusty winds of romance. So, buckle up for a ride marked with tension, tragedy, humor, and suspense. Your perception of 'superpowers' is about to get a radical facelift. Spawned from the minds of exceptional authors and illustrators around the globe, these wonderworks are sure to whet your appetite for creativity and leave you pondering about the duality of 'ordinary' and 'extraordinary'. Let’s dive then into this captivating world where superpowers aren't merely fantastical elements but serve as metaphors highlighting the broader human experience. Happy reading, folks!
V. E. Schwab's New York Times bestseller Vicious is a masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers. Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end? In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn't automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question. "A dynamic and original twist on what it means to be a hero and a villain. A killer from page one...highly recommended!" —Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Marvel Universe vs The Avengers and Patient Zero One of Publishers Weekly's Best Fantasy Books of 2013 At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
|Author||V. E. Schwab|
|Release Date||Sep 24, 2013|
In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have "The Power" and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not. Reprint.
|Publisher||Katherine Tegen Books|
|Release Date||Apr 28, 2009|
In this World Fantasy Award-winning novel of magic and kungfu, four siblings battle rival clans for honor and power in an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis. *Named one of TIME's Top 100 Fantasy Books Of All Time * World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, winner Jade is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. It has been mined, traded, stolen, and killed for -- and for centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their magical abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion. Now, the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon's bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation. When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone -- even foreigners -- wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones -- and of Kekon itself. Praise for Jade City: "An epic drama reminiscent of the best classic Hong Kong gangster films but set in a fantasy metropolis so gritty and well-imagined that you'll forget you're reading a book." --Ken Liu, Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author "A beautifully realized setting, a great cast of characters, and dramatic action scenes. What a fun, gripping read!" --Ann Leckie, Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author "An instantly absorbing tale of blood, honor, family and magic, spiced with unexpectedly tender character beats." --NPR The Green Bone Saga Jade City Jade War Jade Legacy
|Release Date||Nov 07, 2017|
"The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies--humans with extraordinary abilities--who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone--except the villains they once overthrew. Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice"--Amazon.com.
|Publisher||Feiwel and Friends|
|Release Date||Nov 07, 2017|
『Shadow and Bone』
Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken to become the protegâe of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.
|Release Date||May 07, 2013|
『All the Birds in the Sky』
Entertainment Weekly's 27 Female Authors Who Rule Sci-Fi and Fantasy Right Now Winner of the 2017 Nebula Award for Best Novel Finalist for the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel Paste's 50 Best Books of the 21st Century (So Far) List “The book is full of quirkiness and playful detail...but there's an overwhelming depth and poignancy to its virtuoso ending.” —NPR From the former editor-in-chief of io9.com, a stunning Nebula Award-winning and Hugo-shortlisted novel about the end of the world—and the beginning of our future An ancient society of witches and a hipster technological startup go to war in order to prevent the world from tearing itself apart. To further complicate things, each of the groups’ most promising followers (Patricia, a brilliant witch and Laurence, an engineering “wunderkind”) may just be in love with each other. As the battle between magic and science wages in San Francisco against the backdrop of international chaos, Laurence and Patricia are forced to choose sides. But their choices will determine the fate of the planet and all mankind. In a fashion unique to Charlie Jane Anders, All the Birds in the Sky offers a humorous and, at times, heart-breaking exploration of growing up extraordinary in a world filled with cruelty, scientific ingenuity, and magic. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
|Author||Charlie Jane Anders|
|Release Date||Jan 26, 2016|
『The Young Elites』
An explosive new series from New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy, Marie Lu Darth Vader, Voldemort, Maleficent. Witness the rise of a new villain. Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites. Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen. Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her. It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt. Books in the series: The Young Elites (The First Book of The Young Elites) The Rose Society (The Second Book of The Young Elites)
|Release Date||Aug 25, 2015|
During his last year at Watford School of Magicks, Simon Snow, the Chosen One, faces a magic-eating monster wearing his face, a break-up, and a missing nemesis.
|Release Date||May 09, 2017|
The #1 New York Times bestseller from Brandon Sanderson, the author of Oathbringer, coauthor of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, and creator of the internationally bestselling Mistborn trilogy. And don’t miss the rest of the Reckoners series: Firefight and Calamity. How far would you go for revenge if someone killed your father? If someone destroyed your city? If everything you ever loved was taken from you? David Charleston will go to any lengths to stop Steelheart. But to exact revenge in Steelheart’s world, David will need the Reckoners—a shadowy group of rebels bent on maintaining justice. And it turns out that the Reckoners might just need David too. Look for book two in the Reckoners series, Firefight, available now. Praise for the Reckoners series #1 New York Times Bestselling Series “Another win for Sanderson . . . he’s simply a brilliant writer. Period.” —Patrick Rothfuss, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller The Name of the Wind “Action-packed.” —EW.com “Compelling. . . . Sanderson uses plot twists that he teases enough for readers to pick up on to distract from the more dramatic reveals he has in store.” —The A.V. Club
|Release Date||Sep 08, 2020|
『The Lightning Thief』
Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. Book #1 in the NYT best-selling series, with cover art from the feature film, The Lightning Thief.
|Publisher||Disney Electronic Content|
|Release Date||Feb 02, 2010|
Soldier... Sorcerer... Savior... Who is Vhalla Yarl? Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire's monster?
|Release Date||Nov 19, 2015|
Well, there you have it, my fellow superhero fans and bibliophile buddies. We’ve taken a wild ride through the reverberating realms of superhuman strength, mind-bending magic, and eye-popping paranormal adventures. These are no ordinary tales of caped crusaders or masked vigilantes. No, these stories dig deeper, exploring the human struggle, the internal conflicts, and the rollercoaster ride of emotions that lie underneath those iconic costumes. They invite us to ponder upon what it's like to be a person, just like you and me, with a dash of the extraordinary. Whether you're looking for an intense existential rumination or a heart-racing, page-turning thriller, there's something here for every kind of superhero fanatic in the adult spectrum. So, grab a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine, we don't judge), sit back, and let these narratives of super-powered individuals take you on an unforgettable journey. Brace yourself for a spectrum of emotions, from awe to angst, excitement to empathy, as you dive headfirst into these unmissable stories. These tales remind us that even with superpowers, the human spirit, heart, and the mind are the real heroes. Now, off you go to your next super-powered literary adventure! Stay super!
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