Care for some edge-of-the-seat suspense?

 But a decade ago this kind of awareness was quite unthinkable. We used to read what bookstores and libraries stacked. While they used to get most of the bestsellers, what they didn’t get, we didn’t read. Many great fantasies debuted around the same time as Harry Potter. While young readers devoured Potter, they may have missed some equally exciting books.

‘Saga of Darren Shan’ is a 12-book series of horror stories written by Darren Shan. He tries to make the series seem like his autobiography. But be forewarned, it is pure fiction! A bit dark at times and very spooky always, this series is a boy magnet! It has captured the imagination of every child who has loved R L Stine’s blood, gore and dark humour.
 Darren accidentally gets involved with vampires when he goes to see a freak circus.

Each book chronicles a new adventure of Darren in vampire land. There is plenty of action in all the books and the last one in the series packs a knockout punch! These books may not be literary marvels but they certainly have ingenious plots and edge-of-the seat suspense.

Suzanne Collins is known for her ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy in India. But, her fame dates back to her superbly-crafted ‘The Underland Chronicles’. Gregor and his sister accidentally fall through a grate in their laundromat and go hurtling through a tunnel only to find themselves amidst giant rats, bats, and roaches. There is severe politicking and bickering amongst these ‘Underland’ dwellers and Gregor has no choice but to be part of the intrigue. He learns the history of this strange land and eventually sets out to find his long lost father. The series, while being a racy read, succeeds in making young readers ponder on loyalty, acceptance, tolerance and other important values.

Erin Hunter’s ‘Warriors’ is a mystery-fantasy series that chronicles the adventures of four wild cats that have to save their clans. Rusty, a town cat, joins the wild ones in the woods to become a Warrior cat. Characters are developed so realistically that you will start looking at cats differently after reading this book!

These books are not available easily within India and are mostly imported editions, but there is no reason to despair: a good library or an online bookstore can source them for you. If lucky, you may even stumble upon them in a second-hand bookstore. So keep browsing!

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