Some Fun Alternative History I Actually Like

orangutan list

As I mentioned the other day- I do like a fair amount of alternative history- which is why I thought I’d share a quick list today!

american royals

American Royals– an alternative history where the Washingtons set up a 250-year dynasty? Yes please! Plus, *bonus points* for all the romance and drama!

my lady jane

My Lady Jane– you guys know how much I love this fun and totally off-the-wall take on Lady Jane Grey. It doesn’t give a hoot about historical accuracy- but at the same time it really manages to cleverly embrace the past- and I love that about it!

what the wind knows

What the Wind Knows– I mentioned this in my last post- because yeah, it’s not super realistic to time travel back to the fight for Irish independence… but it is entertaining as heck!

V_for_vendettax

V For Vendetta– a hallmark dystopic graphic novel, this gives us a view of what a totalitarian Britain might look like.

noughts-and-crosses

Noughts and Crosses– an old one, but a good one- Blackman’s now classic YA series reimagines racial division, intertwining the story with reflections on history and star-crossed lovers.

diviners

Diviners– for something a bit more fantastical, I’m thoroughly enjoying the Diviners series (I’m up to book 2). Set in a more magical and spookier 1920s New York, this is one hell of a wild ride! Also, I’ve recently been listening to the audiobook version and I can’t recommend it enough!

city of masks

City of Masks– sticking with the fantasy, the Stravaganza series gives us a taste of Renaissance Italy, as teens step from one world to the other. What I really like about this series is how it allows each of the characters to grow and come to understand their own issues through their journeys.

ten thousand doors of january

Ten Thousand Doors of January– thinking about other portal fantasies featuring historical elements, this more recent release springs to mind, for the way it balances modern sensibilities whilst maintaining a degree of authenticity. I especially liked the way the otherworldly element became an extended metaphor for finding your place in the world.

missperegrinecover-1

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children– not always a popular book, because it is highly unusual, I stand by how fascinating a take this is on the holocaust, imagining WW2 through the metaphor of monsters and peculiarities.

Have you read any of these? Do you like them? Do you have any alternative history books you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!

46 thoughts on “Some Fun Alternative History I Actually Like

  1. My Lady Jane was so fun!! I’m reading My Plain Jane right now and while it’s enjoyable, I still miss the first book (but I just started so this may change).

    Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is one of the few series where I bought the paperback after reading so that shows my love for it :p

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    1. It was! Ah I understand- I enjoyed that one, though not as much. Still, I’ll pick up whatever they put out as a team now! (they’re doing a few more!)

      Ahh that’s great! I rarely do that as well, but when I do, it’s for books that are really special (I took a risk and bought the paperback before I read it- and luckily it paid off!)

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  2. I’ve actually read a couple of these, which I did not expect. Did you ever read Wolf by Wolf? That’s definitely one of my favourite alternate history books (also WWII related).
    On a slightly different but still connected note: Have you watched the new BBC Noughts and Crosses series? I haven’t had a chance yet, but I am utterly curious. The characters definitely seem to start at an older age than in the book, but it’s Josh Dylan in it, so I am not going to complain.

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    1. Oh that’s great! I did and I had a serious internal tussle about whether to include it (I think it’s beautifully written and loved the story, but my one qualm with it was not being a huge fan of parts of the alternative history element… though I thought some of it was good- I was just so on the fence about it for this particular list lol- maybe I’ll put it on if I do a part two!)
      I haven’t yet, but I definitely plan to soon. Yeah they’ve aged them up (and I’ve heard they’ve made a few other changes) but it still looks good. Haha!

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  3. I know it’s the Washingtons but an American Royal family in modern times considering their seemingly unending popularity gives me flashes to Princess Kim Kardashian. Her Majesty Kris Jenner 🙂 I don’t think I could read that one without thinking it the whole time!

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  4. American Royals was so good. The whole idea of a king in America is crazy, but I loved it. I adore the way they bend history and mix different famous characters/people in the Jane books. They are also pretty hilarious. I read the Peculiar Children so long ago, but it’s a neat take on the the world war

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  5. I just started listening to Ten Thousand Doors of January and think I’ll have to stop for now and pick up a physically copy. I like the writing and can’t fully admire it by just listening to the story. I need the book.
    As far as alt-history, I really liked Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. It’s YA horror set after the Civil War (if I remember correctly) with zombies. And also Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith, basically the president was a vamp hunter in his younger days.

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  6. Great list! I haven’t read any of these. I recently read In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael A. McLellan. it’s based on civil war with red Indians. I don’t know how much was altered but that The Sand Creek massacre actually happened. It was good but filled with horror and hopelessness.

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  7. I love how there’s always a great variety of books in your lists! The Diviners sounds fascinating, and its world sounds dangerous but thrilling. Although it may not be approved as the best way of learning history, I still think alternative history in fiction is a good way to introduce past events to a wide audience!

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  8. I read Noughts and Crosses with my work’s book group. I did enjoy reading it but it was a hard read emotionally,very thought provoking and stayed with me for a long time after I’d finished it.

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  9. Hi, I’m a fan of dystopian fiction but this is the first I stumbled upon this genre “Alternate History.” Thank you for blogging about it, as you’ve helped me discover a new genre to follow.

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