Neil Gaiman’s American Gods tells the electrifying and action-packed tale of Shadow Moon, an ex-convict roped into being a bodyguard for the strange Mr. Wednesday. Yet there’s more to Mr. Wednesday than what meets the eye, and soon, Shadow finds himself embroiled in the coming conflict between the old and new gods of America.
American Gods blends Americana, mythology, and fantasy tropes to arrive at a stunning conclusion. If you fell in love with this combination, you won’t want to miss these twenty fantasy books like American Gods.
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Before it was a hit Amazon series, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett collaborated to create Good Omens, a tale of angels, demons, and everything in between.
Gaiman and Pratchett’s voices complement each other, earnest and irreverent in the space of pages as they tackle the end of the world. With doomsday right around the corner, it’s up to a persnickety angel and devil-may-care demon to protect the human world they’ve grown quite fond of.
You can find Good Omens here.
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Mischief and mayhem reign supreme in Anansi Boys, a spinoff of American Gods featuring Mr. Nancy—and his sons.
Fat Charlie’s dad had a knack for naming things. Even “Fat Charlie” stuck for Charlie, who considers his life thoroughly ruined after his dad dares to keel over on a karaoke stage. Now, with a stranger on his doorstep claiming to be his brother, Charlie realizes that even from the grave, his dad still has more tricks to play.
Be sure to pick up Anansi Boys here.
The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
Step inside the modern myth of New York City with N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became, a story with a strong heart of culture and magic.
Across the city, strange happenings begin. A grad student loses his memory but gains a sense of New York City’s magic. A gallery director hears messages in graffiti. A mother and politician can hear songs within the streets.
To discover the source of this new occurrence of myth, pick up The City We Became here.
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Silvia Moreno Garcia’s neo-noir Certain Dark Things transports readers to Mexico City, where street kid Domingo’s life is upended by a vampire on the run. Domingo risks everything to help the vampire, Atl, and with cops and criminals alike on their trail, Domingo and Atl must do whatever it takes to survive.
Elegant and gritty in the same breath, Certain Dark Things is a pulse-pounding glimpse into Mexican history and vampire lore.
Find your copy here.
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Strap in for a story that’s reminiscent of American Gods’ sharpest edges with V.E. Schwab’s Vicious.
The gritty story follows two brilliant loners, Victor and Eli, as they set out to explore a fascinating prospect: developing superpowers through near-death experiences. Yet their experiments go wrong and Victor is imprisoned, and a decade later, Victor is looking to settle the score.
With morally gray heroes and toxic relationships, Vicious is a deliciously dark ride.
Pick up your copy here.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
Blending African history, mythology, and fantasy traditions, Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf is an entirely original outing that follows a mercenary tracking a missing child.
The mercenary, Tracker, is famed for his skills and is notoriously independent. Yet to find a boy who vanished three years ago, he must work with a crew who all have something to hide. As Tracker questions the missing boy’s true identity, he must also work out whose motives are true.
Pick up this adventurous novel here.
Jade City by Fonda Lee
In Kekon, jade triumphs over everything, and for centuries, warriors have utilized it to strengthen their magic. With one war passed, a family of warriors strives to control the jade market and defend themselves from a rival clan looking to disrupt tradition.
With a stunning setting, gritty action, and unforgettable characters, Jade City is bound to be one of your next favorite reads.
You can check it out here.
Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
It’s all fast cars, cool swords, and dreams brought to life in the action-packed first book of Maggie Stiefvater’s Dreamer Trilogy, Call Down the Hawk.
While some characters from Stiefvater’s YA quartet, The Raven Cycle, feature, Call Down the Hawk stands on its own two feet and draws readers into the adventure. Like American Gods, this novel shows us a world of crime and conniving with thoroughly magical undertones. And with a thrilling finish, you won’t want to miss out.
You can find Call Down the Hawk here.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
When Zachary opens a mysterious book and finds the story of his childhood inscribed on its pages, his investigation brings him to a New York City masquerade party, a secret club, and eventually, a library far beneath the earth’s surface. In a world of lost lovers, lies, and seas without stars, Zachary finds himself desperate to find answers and protect the mysterious realm.
Full of myth and magic in equal measure, The Starless Sea enchants from start to finish.
Pick up your copy here.
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
With inspiration from twentieth-century Chinese history, R.F. Kuang’s The Poppy War is an ambitious yet rewarding venture into the fantasy genre.
The tale follows Rin, a peasant girl, from her lowly village to the Empire’s most prestigious military academy. As she adjusts to the world of the elite, Rin finds otherworldly power within herself: an ability to call upon supposedly long-dead gods. And with war looming, Rin must decide how she will use this new ability.
Check out The Poppy War here.
Only Begotten Daughter by James Morrow
For another tale of the end of the world with a twist, pick up James Morrow’s Only Begotten Daughter.
Julie can walk on water, resurrect dead sea creatures, and coax fireflies to light up. Other than that, she has a pretty normal life—that is, until she’s forced to discern what her Supreme Being mother has planned for her.
Satirical and whip-smart, you won’t want to miss out on this classic.
Find Only Begotten Daughter here.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Dark magic and society’s deepest secrets clash in Ninth House.
Alex Stern is the only survivor of an unsolved homicide. Even though Alex is now a Yale student thanks to a mysterious donor, the murders haunt her, and she wants answers. At her benefactor’s request, she monitors Yale’s secret society, and soon, Alex realizes their sinister intentions may impact her more than she once believed.
You can pick up Ninth House here.
Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi
Riot Baby, Tochi Onyebuchi’s first novel for adults, follows siblings Ella and Kev in a dystopian Los Angeles. Ella can foresee the future, and Kev is determined to protect her. But when Kev is locked away, Ella must forge her path and choose if she can watch Kev suffer.
Set against global disaster, Riot Baby interrogates the dark effects of police brutality and asks readers to confront the extent of injustice and racism in America.
You can find Riot Baby here.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
It’s been called bizarre, hilarious, satirical, and everything in between, but whatever you call it, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a cult classic with an adventure at its heart. With a cast of misfits and plenty of hijinks, protagonist Arthur Dent is a fish out of water who is forced to rely on the fundamentally unreliable, which makes for a great tale.
Be sure to grab Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy here.
The Hobbit by J.R. Tolkien
Preceding Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit captures your attention with an adventure tale for the ages. With wry humor and memorable heroes, this is your sign to pick up this classic if you haven’t yet or have only seen the films. You won’t regret getting to know Bilbo Baggins and his friends.
To begin the adventure, find The Hobbit here.
Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
Delight in Discworld, Terry Pratchett’s circular world deep in space that resides on a turtle’s back. On Discworld, all things ordinary turn extraordinary, and Brutha’s life is no exception. In Small Gods, Brutha hears a god calling upon him. Now, it’s up to him to discover what this god desires.
You’re in for a treat with this humorous and adventurous glimpse into outer space.
Find Small Gods here.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Madeline Miller creates a stunning portrait of Circe’s eponymous character in this epic fantasy novel, drawing inspiration from Greek mythology. With Miller’s gorgeous prose, Circe comes to life as a naive at times yet always powerful figure. Much kinder to women than mythology often is, Circe offers the dual gifts of emotion and adventure all in one.
You can find Circe here.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
Fall in love with the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess, in Sue Lynn Tan’s epic fantasy debut.
After exposing her magic, moon dweller Xingyin must flee her home and disguise her identity to dissuade her enemies. Yet even with these measures, Xingyin’s mother is still in danger. To save her, Xingyin must face off with creatures of legend and ruthless foes.
You can find Daughter of the Moon Goddess here.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Piranesi lives in a home with infinite rooms and endless hallways—a labyrinth, of sorts. Rather than fearing the house, Piranesi relishes exploring it. Yet as he ventures deeper within the realm, Piranesi realizes he might not be alone within the maze.
Piranesi is the offbeat, mind-bending fantasy novel of your dreams. At under 300 pages, you’ll fly through this exhilarating tale in an afternoon and turn right back to the beginning.
Find Piranesi here.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
A Discovery of Witches spurred three seasons of a hit TV series, but before her story graced the silver screen, Diana Bishop came alive on the page.
Diana’s a scholar descended from witches, and when she uncovers an enchanted manuscript, an entire world beyond her own comes to life. With vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, Diana must embark on an adventure through the underworld she summoned.
You can find A Discovery of Witches here.
Myth, Magic, and Adventures
With these twenty novels, the mayhem of myth thrives. Let each of these stories bring a touch of magic to the mundane, and take care to check out both the old and new. Happy reading!
What genre is American Gods?
In American Gods, Gaiman blends fantasy tropes with Americana and mythology.
Is American Gods part of a series?
While there is no set sequel, Gaiman’s Anansi Boys features characters from American Gods, and Shadow features in several of Gaiman’s short stories.
Is the TV series American Gods based on the book?
Yes! Gaiman serves as an executive producer for the series.
Can teenagers read American Gods?
Parents might want to vet some of the sexually explicit scenes and check out content warnings. Otherwise, this book is thought-provoking and promotes excellent discussion.
Which books did Neil Gaiman write?
Here’s a list of Neil Gaiman books in order:
1. Good Omens (1990)
2. Neverwhere (1996)
3. Stardust (1999)
4. American Gods (2001)
5. Coraline (2002)
6. Anansi Boys (2005)
7. The Graveyard Book (2008)
8. The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013)
9. The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains (2014)
10. Trigger Warning (2015)
11. Norse Mythology (2017)
12. The Sleeper and the Spindle (2016)
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