Tor.com content by

Christine Lynn Herman

Fiction and Excerpts [2]
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Fiction and Excerpts [2]

5 SFF Books About Deadly Magical Games

Both of us have always loved stories about games. They’ve played big roles in our childhoods, whether it was Pokémon or Mario Kart tournaments with our siblings (Amanda) or reading The Westing Game approximately twenty-five times (Christine) or being overly competitive at family game nights (…both of us).

So when we set out to write about a death tournament filled with dark, twisted magic, no one was particularly surprised. But while we’ve had a blast crafting our own duology, we also have a deep-seated love for other books that feature magical contests, tournaments, and puzzles.

Here are just a few highlights–some old favorites, some new favorites, and some upcoming releases we’re excited to read.

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Series: Five Books About…

5 Books that Mix Modern Teenage Life with Supernatural Problems

One of my favorite things about YA literature is the way it talks about the unique challenges of teenage life. As people come of age, their entire world shifts and changes around them. YA has always celebrated that change while acknowledging that it can be tough to grow up, whether it’s through the lens of a real-world setting, a spaceship, or a fantastical kingdom.

But some books choose to merge the real and fantastical together with compelling results. In my latest book, The Deck of Omens, the five modern-day teenagers at the center of my story must defeat the monster that’s tormented their families for generations—while coming to terms with their individual grief and trauma.

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Series: Five Books About…

Five Books with POV Characters Who Don’t See Eye-to-Eye

I’m a lifelong devotee of speculative fiction, and I spent my childhood reading broadly across that category—fantasy, science fiction, horror. But my favorite books that I read as I grew up always had one major thing in common, regardless of genre: multiple narrators. There’s something deeply compelling about seeing the way different people look at the same situation, showing over and over again that there is more than one side to every story. In YA spec, many authors make use of this storytelling device as a way to bring a cast of characters who seem completely at odds together. When executed well, this broadens world-building and creates depth and tension in character relationships and plot.

Here are five multi-pov speculative YA novels that do a fantastic job of creating characters who seem completely different at first glance, but have more in common than you might think.

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Series: Five Books About…

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