Have you ever had a hardcore book hangover? Since you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure you know exactly what I mean. Some books are so captivating that we get completely absorbed into their worlds. Once you have tasted the sweet perfection of the Harry Potter universe, it’s very hard to follow up with anything that comes close. Finishing such an epic series of books brings a strange sadness because you know you will never get to see your favorite characters go through the same journey again. Even the most joyous of reads can pale in comparison.
So, if you have found yourself in a similar situation, what should you do? You must be craving the same sense of adventure, humor, and a thickly woven plot that plays out over the course of cleverly planned installments. No two books or series are the same, but I do have a few recommendations for such Potterheads. It is my hope that you will be able to dull the ache in your heart to a certain extent and enjoy a fresh world with these picks.
The Bartimaeus Sequence by Jonathan Stroud
I love American writers, but you have to admit that British humor has a distinctly different style and class. If it’s the sarcastic, whimsical, and downright hilarity of Rowling’s penmanship that you’re missing, this one’s for you. Jonathan Stroud created a rich world with plenty of lore and legend to curb your hunger for fantasy. But the star of the show is his humorous writing style. You’ll never get enough of the 5000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus and his witty remarks.
Stroud’s Bartimaeus series originally only consisted of three titles, kicking off with the first installment called The Amulet of Samarkand. A fourth book was later added as a prequel to the events of the first three books. You can grab an e-book copy for $9.49 at the Amazon Kindle store or an audiobook version for $13.91 at the Kobo store.
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J. R. R. Tolkien
This gem of a novel is a timeless literary work from the mind of J. R. R. Tolkien. You may choose to follow up with The Lord of The Rings trilogy afterward, but it can be read standalone as well. The story centers around a young hobbit in his prime who sets off on an adventure unwillingly. Led by the great wizard Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins and his company of dwarves encounter trolls, goblins, a dragon, and all manner of unpleasant creatures on their quest.
It may not be as long as the Harry Potter series, but it certainly comes the closest — and for some, it even surpasses — the fun and thrilling adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione. You can grab an e-book copy for $2.49 at the Amazon Kindle store or $7.59 at the Kobo store.
Septimus Heap by Angie Sage
In the likeness of the Harry Potter novels, Sage’s coming-of-age series Septimus Heap also features seven books. Nostalgia will hit you when you read about the prophesied seventh son of the seventh son. Sage mixes a healthy dose of magic, mystery, and comedy with a riveting plot spanning over the course of many years. You get to see the characters grow as they unlock secrets about themselves and come to terms with their identities, all while battling evil forces of course.
Magyk, the first part of the Septimus Heap series, is available in e-book form for $7.80 at the Amazon Kindle store. Alternatively, you can score the complete seven-book eBook set for $76.29 at the Kobo store.
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Who doesn’t love a good ol’ sage about dragons? Author Cressida Cowell crossed mythical creatures with Vikings in the spectacular tale of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third. Our protagonist is as far from being a stereotypical Viking as possible, but that’s just the beginning. Over the course of 12 books, Hiccup comes very far from his prior gangly self. Even the writing itself matures with the books, which is a testament to Cowell’s literary genius.
Enjoy wharfing down one book after another surrounding Hiccup and his escapades with dragons, pirates, and other nasty villains in the mix. You can buy an e-book copy of the first novel for $3.30 at the Amazon Kindle store or $8.99 at the Kobo store.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan
If you’re into Greek mythology, you will thoroughly enjoy Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Our hero’s story begins with him finding out that his father is none other than the legendary Poseidon himself, making Percy a demigod. Along with his trusty demigod friends, the 12-year-old boy heads off into a newly discovered world to face fabled monsters and ultimately, the main antagonist who is Kronos.
Rick Riordan has explored the Percy Jackson universe in several spinoffs, but the best place to start is with The Lightning Thief. The Olympians Series consists of five books, following the life and times of Percy Jackson until he turns 16. You can get the complete e-book set for $23.68 on the Amazon Kindle store or try out just the first installment for $12.99 on the Kobo store.
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Unless you live under a rock, you must have heard of this epic fantasy masterpiece. The Lord of the Rings picks up several years after the events of The Hobbit. Bilbo is replaced by his nephew Frodo Baggins as the main character, but there’s also a slew of other individuals who work together to bring the story to life. This trilogy depicts the rough roads in life that we never asked for, but have to face with all our might nonetheless. It is a story about friendship, struggle, hope, camaraderie, danger, and adventure that tests our beloved characters to their limits.
You could easily purchase the first title in the series, but I would highly recommend getting the complete works. Kindle users can grab the omnibus edition for $16.68 at the Amazon Kindle store. If you’ve got a Kobo e-reader, you can acquire the collection for $45.69 at the Kobo store.
Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Enter the wonderful land of Narnia where time runs differently and magical beings roam the lands; all seemingly contained behind a wardrobe door. The legendary Chronicles of Narnia series is on par with Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. C. S. Lewis wrote seven delicious tales of fantasy for you to relish. Talking lions, witches dressed in all white, epic battles, and royal feuds await you in the wondrously rich world built by Lewis.
These novels are suitable for all ages, so you can read them out to your children. Purchase the complete seven-part series for $23.44 at the Amazon Kindle store or $17.19 at the Kobo store.
Guardians of Ga’Hoole by Kathryn Lasky
Kathryn Lasky did away with humans entirely in the unique tale of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole. The series is set in the fictional world of intelligent owls who can read, write, craft, and smith objects. It may sound odd but the titles read surprisingly easily and aren’t very long. There are a whopping 16 installments in this saga but the exciting storyline and relatable characters are worth it. It’s perfect for younger readers who prefer to follow up Harry Potter with something similar, touting adventure, magic, and friendship.
You will be impressed by Lasky’s skills and ability to make creatures such as owls so lifelike and similar in feel to humans. Start reading Guardians of Ga’Hoole by picking up the first book The Capture in the series. Snag an ebook copy for $6.52 at the Amazon Kindle store or $5.39 at the Kobo store.
Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi
So far, I listed a good number of options for people of all ages. This one is a little different as it is a graphic novel series. Mystery, magic, and deep bonds aside, Amulet shares something else in common with the famous Harry Potter series. The author and artist Kazu Kibuishi created the cover art for the 15th-anniversary box set of J. K. Rowling’s most notable work back in 2013. Amulet features stunning artwork and captivating visuals from Kibuishi, pairing perfectly with the unique storyline.
The unusual blend of sci-fi and fantasy works beautifully and it is all tied together by the plot. The main characters include a brother and a sister on the hunt for their kidnapped mother and a mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Take the plunge into the underground universe of Amulet with the debut title, The Stonekeeper: A Graphic Novel, for $7.99 at the Amazon Kindle store or $10.69 at the Kobo store. There are eight titles in the series so far, with the ninth volume set to conclude the series. Kibuishi has not shared a tentative release date as of yet.
Namerah is a Technology Journalist with experience at leading online publications like Android Central. She has a passion for all things tech and gaming, and has been an honorary Goodreads librarian since 2011. When she isn't writing, she can be found chasing stray cats and dogs in the streets of Dhaka or slaying dragons in the land of Skyrim.