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The next big book series? Time will tell

Publishers can try to predict what books will take off and become blockbusters. They can hope, guess, promote ... but it's the readers who decide.

Children's books have the potential to be hugely successful because they can attract both children and adult audiences. The "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" books fall into that category. So does "The Hunger Games" and its sequels.

They are the superstars of kids literature. So what's next?

Here are some recent or soon-to-be-published young adult books that are possible contenders. Vampires and otherwordly creatures seem to have given way to stories of survival and the battles between good and evil.

"Under the Never Sky" by Veronica Rossi. Two teens from different segments of society come to depend on each other when they are thrown out of their walled city to fend in the Outer Wasteland. They must fight cannibals, endure violent energy storms and withstand poisonous air and other horrors. First book in a trilogy, already optioned for a film.

"Grave Mercy" by Robin LaFevers. This is the first book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. It follows Ismae who escapes an arranged marriage in the Middle Ages only to find herself in a convent full of teenagers who are taught the art of killing and worship the god of death.

"Ripper" by Stefan Petrucha. Combine old New York and Steampunk elements and you have this tale of an orphan teen who wants to become a Pinkerton detective. But when he searches for his father, what he finds could turn his world upside down.

"Delirium" and "Pandemonium" by Lauren Oliver. In a future world, love is a disease. In the first book, Lena loves Alex and they try to escape the "cure" and find safety. In the second book, Lena becomes part of a movement bent on revolution. Movie rights have been optioned on "Delirium."

"Illuminate" by Aimee Agresti. Book one in the Gilded Wings series. A girl is removed from her suburban high school and given an internship at the mysterious Lexington Hotel in Chicago. She discovers why the hotel staff seem ageless and what their evil agenda is, and must find a way to save her former classmates at their prom.

"Everneath" by Brodi Ashton. A teen is dragged into an underworld, then allowed to return to her home. She has six months to figure out how to escape a future in Everneath. Of course, she's torn between her boyfriend above and an immortal from below.

"Seeds of Rebellion" by Brandon Mull. This is the second book in the Beyonders series, which features Jason, who has just returned to his home from his adventures in Lyrian. But he wants and needs to get back to that land and his love, Rachel. Once there, he discovers new strengths in himself but also great danger from the evil Maldor.

"Above" by Leah Bobet. In this urban fantasy, Matthew, Ariel and their friends live in Safe, an underground refuge built in tunnels. After an enemy invades Safe, Matthew and Ariel escape to the dangerous Above. While trying to survive, Matthew has to figure out how to re-create Safe.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1067, carol.bicak@owh.com


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