If you’re a true Potterhead, chances are you’re missing the magical world of Harry and his friends. Sure, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is coming to theaters in 2016, but the wait is maddening! If you’re wondering what to do in the meantime, here are 11 books to read if you love Harry Potter. These fantastical novels are full of magic and mystery, and are sure to please the grown-up Harry Potter fan. Publishers’ descriptions included below.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn’t real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college — friendship, love, sex, and booze — and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery. But magic doesn’t bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin’s yearning. But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they’d imagined.
Why Harry Potter fans will love it: Grossman’s series has been hailed as the Harry Potter for adults. The themes are much more grown-up, but there’s still lots of magic for enthusiasts to revel in.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
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But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway — a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love — a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
Why Harry Potter fans will love it: There’s a magical duel, a gorgeous love story, and a topsy-turvy circus that will make your head spin.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancee. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her — and the life he knows vanishes like smoke.
Several hours later, the girl is gone too. And by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won’t stop for him, his landlord rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.
Why Harry Potter fans will love it: The best thing about Neverwhere? The doors have a Room of Requirement feel to them, something Harry Potter fans know and love.
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens
Why Harry Potter fans will love it: There are dragons, century-long feuds, and of course, plenty of magic. (Be prepared for many more deaths, though.)
Witch & Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they’d never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents — and maybe the world?
Why Harry Potter fans will love it: Teenagers with magic powers? Count us in! Fans of Rowling and Patterson alike will love this new novel of magical discovery.
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker
Nora Fischer’s dissertation is stalled and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman. During a miserable weekend at a friend’s wedding, Nora wanders off and walks through a portal into a different world where she’s transformed from a drab grad student into a stunning beauty. Before long, she has a set of glamorous new friends and her romance with gorgeous, masterful Raclin is heating up. It’s almost too good to be true.
Then the elegant veneer shatters. Nora’s new fantasy world turns darker, a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. Making it here will take skills Nora never learned in graduate school. Her only real ally — and a reluctant one at that — is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past.
Why Harry Potter fans will love it: This twisted fairy tale will make you feel like an old fable has come to life — kind of like Harry and The Tale of the Three Brothers.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries — and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Why Harry Potter fans will love it: A group of powerful women discovering their witching abilities — what more could Hermione fans ask for?
City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte
Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.
Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings?
Why Harry Potter fans will love it: Ancient cities steeped in historical magic can’t help but remind us of Diagon Alley.
Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
A dejected teenager discovers that the universe is communicating with him through talismanic objects left behind in a seagull’s nest. A community of girls held captive in a silk factory slowly transmute into human silkworms, spinning delicate threads from their own bellies, and escape by seizing the means of production for their own revolutionary ends. A massage therapist discovers she has the power to heal by manipulating the tattoos on a war veteran’s lower torso. In a family’s disastrous quest for land in the American West, the monster is the human hunger for acquisition, and the victim is all we hold dear. And in the collection’s marvelous title story — an unforgettable parable of addiction and appetite, mortal terror and mortal love — two vampires in a sun-drenched lemon grove try helplessly to slake their thirst for blood.
Why Harry Potter fans will love it: If you miss Rowling’s quirky characters and unique, in-depth plot lines, this is the book for you.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Why Harry Potter fans will love it: In this story about a grown man reflecting on his life, Gaiman captures the childlike sense of wonder that Potter fans know so well.
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Following a terrible fight with her mother over her boyfriend, 15-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her family and her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.
For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics — and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly loves — even the ones who are not yet born.
Why Harry Potter fans will love it: Similar to Rowling, Mitchell’s writing is intricate and well-thought-out, creating a world so full of intrigue that you’ll close the book still wondering how he did it.