Action & Adventure
What makes a great action & adventure book?
A classic action & adventure book is a little bit like real life, only much more exciting, faster-paced and more dangerous. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie who enjoys taking risks in real life or whether you’d rather just vicariously experience the thrills of others from the comfort of your favourite chair, this genre can provide plenty of nail-biting moments.
A spellbinding Action & Adventure can keep you on edge and guessing right until the taut ending, whether that conclusion be happy or sad. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself staying up late into the night because you’re afraid that if you close your eyes you’ll miss something exciting!
5 things to look for when choosing an action & adventure book
- Don’t be afraid to mix it up. Genres, that is. Elements of action and adventure can be successfully combined with romance, science fiction, mysteries and various other genres.
- Decide whether you want to read about a hero, a heroine or even both. Although action and adventure stories can seem to be male-dominated, there are plenty of options these days for anyone who prefers a tale featuring formidable women.
- Pick a time. Action and adventure books can be set in a variety of time periods. There are plenty of offerings that are historical as well as stories that are contemporary or even futuristic.
- Choose a location. Whether you’re interested in a story set in England, South Africa, the United States or more exotic locations such as the Middle East, the South Pacific or anywhere else on this planet (or even another planet), you should be able to find something in the genre to pique your interest.
- Decide how realistic or fanciful you want the main character and story to be. If you prefer a story with a character and setting that makes you think “That could actually happen”, there are action and adventure books to fit the bill. If you want to suspend your disbelief, you can do that, too.
5 great action & adventure books
- If you like a large dose of history mixed with adventure and excitement, Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe was published in 1820 and is set in 1194 in Saxon England.
- If you prefer an action and adventure story that will allow you to stay on dry land, Sir H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines (published in 1885) is a fast-paced tale of intrigue set in South Africa.
- Tarzan (published in 1914) is the first book featuring the popular title character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Tarzan was a pivotal character in adventure stories and movies for several decades.
- Long before Johnny Depp played Captain Jack Sparrow, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote about the quintessential pirate, Captain Flint in his classic adventure story Treasure Island.
- Even if you don’t immediately know who Ian Fleming is, you’ve no doubt heard of James Bond. Casino Royale written in 1953 was the first James Bond novel but there were many more that followed – all fast-paced, high-octane yarns with a big helping of Bond attitude.