Originals: Nine Books On Other Supernatural Families

We only have a few more weeks until “Originals” returns to our DVR’s. How should you spend the time? You could spend it watching other TV shows, reading books, or even turning on old vampire films. In fact, how about we spend the next few Game of Nerds posts covering just that?

If you’re a fan of the “Originals,” you’ll probably like the book suggestions below. These aren’t just paranormal romance, which you can find super easy. Instead, these are books that feature supernatural family dynamics. This can mean between brothers, between sisters, or between a whole handful of siblings. This can include parental involvement too or multi-generational. I’ve read all but the last two, with the first two being my personal favorite books of all time!

(1) The Cal Leandros Books by Rob Thurman. (Volume 1: Night-Life

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Amazon Summary: 

Welcome to the Big Apple. There’s a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side—and that’s only the beginning. Of course, most humans are oblivious to the preternatural nightlife around them, but Cal Leandros is only half-human.

His father’s dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares—and he and his entire otherworldly race are after Cal. Why? Cal hasn’t exactly wanted to stick around long enough to find out.

He and his half-brother Niko have managed to stay a step ahead for three years, but now Cal’s dad has found them again. And Cal is about to learn why they want him, why they’ve always wanted him…for he is the key to unleashing their hell on earth. The fate of the human world will be decided in the fight of Cal’s life…

My Personal Comments:

It’s only appropriate that I begin with my favorite book. I refuse to admit to how many times I have read this book or the sequels to it. I have multiple copies and I have been known to mail them as gifts, give them away as prizes, and even just abandon copies at hostels while I travel. If I get a tattoo one day, it’ll be a line from Cal Leandros. Why? The man has snark down to such an art, you’ll never see snark the same way again. He’ll make you laugh and then feel ashamed for laughing. These books are so quotable, they feel like a TV show. Not only should these books be read by fans of the “Originals,” but they should also be enjoyed by fans of Supernatural’s Sam and Dean Winchester, Vampire Diaries’ Stefan and Damon Salvatore, and Lethal Weapons’ Riggs and Murtaugh.

(2) The Demon’s Lexicon Series by Sarah Reese-Brennan. 

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Photo property of Amazon

Amazon Summary: 

Nick’s family has been on the run from magicians his whole life. His father is dead, and his insane mother hates him—she starts screaming if he touches her. After Nick’s protective older brother is marked with a demon sign that means death, danger is unavoidable. The only way to erase the sign is to kill a magician.

As Nick and his brother play a deadly cat and mouse game with the magicians, Nick begins to suspect that everything his brother has told him about their past is a pack of lies. Not knowing whom to trust or where to turn, he walks into a trap—and a startling revelation that changes everything he’s ever believed.

My Personal Comments: 

This is my second favorite book in the world. I’ve read it more than four times since I was a teenager and I continue to find parts that I missed the first time through. The relationship between Nick and Alan is fascinating to watch and has so many sides to it, you won’t be able to count them. The paranormal theme doesn’t end with Nick and Alan, but extends to the second set of main characters too. This series, along with its twists and turns, would be appropriate for YA audiences, but it won’t feel like YA when you read it. (Note: You’ll never visit a festival or fair again without thinking of these books!)

(3) The Raven Cycle Series by Maggie Stiefvater. (Volume 1: Raven Boys)

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Photo property of Amazon

 

Amazon Summary 

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

My Personal Comments:

I do love this series, but I do think the summaries on each volume are misleading. They make you think that the budding relationship between Blue and Gansey takes center stage. It SO doesn’t. Blue comes from a family that is full of magic, although it takes different forms. Gansey and his friends, too, come into different kinds of power of their own. Of any book on this list, this is probably the best example of another paranormal family. (Note: You’ll also find that there is an atmosphere to books by this author that you’ve never seen anywhere else. I can’t describe it. Just go check it out)

(4) The Korsak Brothers by Rob Thurman. (Volume 1: Chimera) 

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Photo property of Literary Escapism

Amazon Summary 

What makes us human…
What makes us unique…
And what makes us kill? 

Ten years ago, Stefan Korsak’s younger brother was kidnapped. Not a day has passed that Stefan hasn’t thought about him. As a rising figure in the Russian mafia, he has finally found him. But when he rescues Lukas, he must confront a terrible truth-his brother is no longer his brother. He is a trained, genetically-altered killer. Now, those who created him will do anything to reclaim him. And the closer Stefan grows to his brother, the more he realizes that saving Lukas may be easier than surviving him . . .

My Personal Comments

As you already know, I can’t say enough good things about Rob Thurman’s books. The Korsak Brothers are her lesser-known series, but no less twisty. Jump into these books if you like solving mysteries, if you like thinking you know the twist only to be wrong, or if you enjoy a pair of brothers a bit more functional than the Mikaelsons.

(5) Shattered Mirror by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.

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Photo property of Amazon

Amazon Summary 

Sarah Vida is a witch and a vampire hunter — and a loner. Christopher Ravena is a vampire trying to pass as a normal high school student who wants to know Sarah better. Drawn to him despite her better judgment, Sarah’s forced to admit that there’s room for gray in her otherwise black-and-white world of good versus evil — until she meets Nikolas, Christopher’s twin and one of the most hunted vampires in history.

My Personal Comments:

While it might sound as if the plot revolves around the romance, there is actually a lot more going on. Sarah Vida herself comes from a family of magic wielders. Christopher and his brother Nikolas have their issues too, almost all of which have to do with magic in some way. (Fans of the relationship between Klaus and Elijah will find the dynamic between Christopher and Nikolas very familiar)

(6) The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare. (Volume 1: Clockwork Angel)

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Photo property of Live Long and Procrastinate (Tumblr)

Amazon Summary 

When Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks, and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

My Personal Comments: 

While this one has a love triangle at the center of its plot, there are plenty other dynamics going on. The protagonist herself comes from magical ties, including her problematic brother. For people who like bromance particularly, there is a great friendship between the book’s other two main characters, Will and Jem. While it is a rare opinion, I actually enjoyed this trilogy more than the author’s more famous series, “The Mortal Instruments.”

(7) Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. 

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Photo property of The Story Siren
Photo property of Amazon

Amazon Summary

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris–the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls’ bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett’s only friend–but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they’ve worked for?

My Personal Comments:

I haven’t read this one, but who gets tired of reading the latest spin on old fairy tales? Not me!

(8) Croak by Gina Damico. 

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Photo property of the Write Path
Photo property of Amazon

Amazon Summary 

Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex’s parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than shoveling manure. He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach Lex the family business.

She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can’t stop her desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she encounters a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. Will she ditch Croak and go rogue with her reaper skills?

My Personal Comments:

I haven’t read this one, but how you can go wrong with a rogue reaper?

(9) The Vacation by Matthew Costello. 

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Photo property of Bookgasm

Amazon Summary 

In Matthew Costello’s Vacation, Jack Murphy and his family need a vacation. This one might just kill them. . .

In the near future after a global crisis causes crops to fail and species to disappear . . . something even more deadly happens. Groups of humans around the world suddenly become predators, feeding off their own kind. These “Can Heads” grow to such a threat that fences, gated compounds, and SWAT–style police protection become absolutely necessary in order to live.

After one Can Head attack leaves NYPD cop Jack Murphy wounded, Jack takes his wife and kids on a much-needed vacation. Far up north, to a camp where families can still swim and take boats out on a lake, and pretend that the world isn’t going to hell.

But the Can Heads are never far away, and nothing is quite what it seems in Paterville. . .

My Personal Comments 

I haven’t read this one myself, but my mother has. She tells me this isn’t for the faint of heart. While many of the titles on this list are YA, this isn’t one of them. This story revolves around a supernatural family and their troubles. At turns creepy and hysterical, this is one you’ll race through to the end of!

Merry Reading . . .

An Unblinking Death
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I hope you enjoyed these suggestions! Tune back in next week and I’ll have some TV show suggestions for you instead!

 

 

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Author: Nicole Orr

Freelance writer and digital nomad.

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