Getting our young people interested in books and turning off their gaming devices can be a real challenge. It seems everywhere we go, people are staring at their screens as if they drew their actual nutrients from them.
Many of the games they play have characters based on much older references than they may suspect. Point this out to them to encourage them to learn more about their gaming heroes and get them reading more.
The best part about books geared for younger adults is they are a retelling of the tales in a modern setting that young people will understand. They are also available for audiobooks, just in case.
Here a few books on mythology that are ideal for young adults.
The Flame of Olympus by Kate O’Hearn
What else do you need, other than a young girl, a winged horse, and an Olympian war? This is a great place to start for this exciting trilogy.
Thirteen-year-old Emily’s life changes forever when Pegasus crashes onto a Manhattan roof during a terrible storm. Now teamed with a winged horse she’d always thought was mythical, Emily is thrown right into the midst of a fierce battle between the Roman gods and a frightening race of multiarmed stone warriors called the Nirads.
Emily must team up with and trust a thief named Paelen, the goddess Diana, and a mortal boy named Joel in order to help Pegasus return to Olympus and rescue the other gods from impending death.
Throughout her journey, Emily and her companions have to fight monsters, run from a government agency that wants to dissect Pegasus, and they soar above the Manhattan skyline. All this adventure to save Olympus before the Olympic flame burns out.
Muse Unexpected by V.C. Birlidis
Another fantastic retelling of Greek mythology in a modern world.
Sophie doesn’t believe in muses, but her mother tells her she is one, anyhow. “We’re Muses. Not vampires, not fairies, not werewolves. We’re Muses.”
She thought Muses were lame and the entire idea ridiculous. However, Sophie couldn’t explain away her physical transformation. Nor could she explain or understand the mood swings. These made her want to shoot powerful bursts of energy out of her hands.
Sophie soon realizes modern day Muses have turned into powerful guardians of humankind, responsible for keeping mortals on the right path and leaving the original Olympians locked away from the world.
But old wounds don’t heal easily, especially for immortal enemies that have an eternity to plot and gather their forces. With the knowledge of the Fates’ foretelling of another Olympian war and a new young Muse that would rise up as a warrior and defeat them, the Olympians have vowed to either possess Sophie and make her one of them or destroy her.
But, either way, they will make sure everyone responsible with their imprisonment will reap an eternal damnation in the Underworld, leaving the Olympians to restore Mount Olympus and force humankind into a world of never-ending servitude and misery.
Painted Blind by Michelle Hansen
This debut book is a fantastic adventure, complete with an amazing story, great characters, and world-building.
Psyche Middleton vows her dad will never see the risqué photos she took during a summer modeling stint abroad, but one of them ends up on a billboard in her Montana hometown, where everyone, including her dad, will see it.
However, this is not the biggest worry she will have. It happens when she meets Erik, a mysterious guy who rescues her from a mob and who she’s never actually seen. That’s because he can make himself invisible.
Erik takes her to his palace in an idyllic kingdom, and she is swept into the beauty and culture of his world, but his affection has one condition: she may not see him. Enchanted, intrigued, and not wholeheartedly believing he’s real, Psyche can’t bring herself to love him blindly.
When she betrays his trust for just a quick glimpse of his face, Psyche ends up at the mercy of Erik’s controlling mother, who demands that Psyche prove herself if she ever wants to see him again.
Psyche knows love is never easy, but can she do this? She agrees to complete three impossible tasks to prove her devotion to Erik or end up dead trying. This modern retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche is a fantastical journey filled with laughter, danger, and the indomitable power of love.
Elementals by Michelle Madow
Nicole Cassidy is a witch descended from the Greek gods; however, she doesn’t discover this deep secret until she moves to a new town. Here, she will discover a dangerous world of magic and monsters that she had never eve dreamed of.
For the first time in three thousand years, the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky. This results in Nicole and four others receiving the gift of elemental powers.
But that’s not all. The comet also opens the portal to another dimension that has imprisoned the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes, it’s up to Nicole and the others to follow a cryptic prophecy in time to save the town and even the world.
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Everneath, where immortals feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, completely sucked into this underworld, but then returned home to her old life, her family, her boyfriend.
Until she’s banished back to the underworld, but next, forever, she has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find some kind of redemption if it exists at all.
Nikki only wants to spend these few months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack. He was completely devastated by her disappearance, and he is one person she loves more than anything.
However, there’s a big problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. He is determined to do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen. A captivating story of love, loss, and immortality
Dark Descendant by Jenna Black
Jenna Black is the author of the Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist books. This is a gripping first novel in a new series about a private eye who discovers, to her surprise, that she’s an immortal huntress.
Nikki Glass can track down anyone. But when her latest client turns out to be a true descendant of Hades, it’s then Nikki discovers she can’t die. As unbelievable as it sounds, Nikki’s manhunting skills are, in fact, god-given.
It turns out; she is a modern-day descendant of Artemis, who has stepped right into a trap set by the children of the gods. Nikki’s new “friends” include a descendant of Eros, who uses sex as a weapon; a descendant of Loki, whose tricks are far from laughable; and a half-crazed descendant of Kali who thinks she’s a spy.
But, of course, most powerful of them all are the Olympians. They are a rival clan of immortals seeking to destroy all Descendants who refuse to bow down and obey them. In the eternal battle of good god versus bad god, Nikki would make a divine weapon. But if they think she’ll surrender without a fight, the gods must be truly crazy.
Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
With ties to Greek Mythology, this story has a good pace and a solid storyline that holds together well — part of a series. The Hematoi are the children produced by the union between a god and mortals.
The Hematoi are children who descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals, however, are not so lucky.
The half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pure-bloods.
Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it away being anyone servant. But she may end up having to do so anyhow.
Students at the covenant must follow several rules. Alex has a few problems with them all, but especially:
- Rule #1: Relationships between the pure and halves are forbidden.
Unfortunately, that’s going to be difficult. She has fallen hard for the pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden won’t her biggest problem. Staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel.
If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon and being hunted by Aiden. Now that would be a problem.
Just to Get You Started
These are just a few selections to get you interested. Some of these are single books, and some may have more volumes. These are popular choices and best-selling books of mythology for young adults.
We hope you enjoy some of these books and share them with your friends. If you have a few you think we should know about, please contact us and share your favorite choices.