If You Want A Female Version Of 'Supernatural,' Read These 11 YA Novels
CW juggernaut Supernatural just aired its 300th episode during its 14th season on television. It goes without saying that this a huge milestone in the world of TV, where hitting syndication (typically 88 episodes, or about four seasons) is all that most programs can ask for. If you're not familiar with the premise, the show stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as the Winchester brothers Sam and Dean — famed hunters of all things ghostly, demonic or otherwise evil — as they fight the bad guys, grapple with their pasts, and gift viewers with arguably one of the greatest family love stories to ever hit TV screens.
But there is no denying that Supernatural is a man's world: there have been very few female characters in a recurring role, and many of them ended up dead. While there have been a few complex female characters on the show — Mary Winchester, Ellen and Jo Harvelle, Charlie Bradbury, and Jody Mills all come to mind — their stories are never really center-stage. Even if you love the adventures of Sam and Dean, you might be wondering where you can find some horror-centric stories that put women at the center (especially if you're still bummed that the Wayward Sisters spin-off never came to be). Well, I've got them in the 11 YA books below.
While these reads are not all necessarily about female hunters per se, they are each about women who fight supernatural evils in one form or another — and unlike the (mostly mortal) Winchesters, some of them even possess magical powers themselves. After you're done celebrating Supernatural's milestone, check out a few of these reads for some fiercely female takes on the genre:
'Slayer' by Kiersten White
Nina has grown up at the Watcher’s Academy, where teens are trained as guides for Slayers — girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle... that is until Nina is picked as the newest Chosen One — and the last Slayer, ever.
'A Blade So Black' by L.L. McKinney
Alice is trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. But when Alice's mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before.
'Rebel Belle' by Rachel Hawkins
Harper Price is a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with super strength and lethal fighting instincts. She is tasked with protecting David Stark, subject of a mysterious prophecy — and her least favorite person — whose fate could very well be to destroy Earth.
'The Witch Hunter' by Virginia Boecker
Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong.
'Labyrinth Lost' by Zoraida Cordova
When bruja Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power, it backfires and her whole family vanishes into thin air. She must venture into the magical world of Los Lagos to fight the Devourer and save her family's souls.
'Undead Girl Gang' by Lily Anderson
When Riley and two other Fairmont Academy girls die mysteriously, Mila refuses to believe everyone's explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, she uses a spell to bring the girls back to life. Now they must work together to discover their murderer, before the killer strikes again.
'Shadowshaper' by Daniel José Older
When Sierra Santiago discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers — who connect with spirits via artwork — she also learns of anthropologist who uses the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now she must harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family's future.
'The Boneless Mercies' by April Genevieve Tucholke
Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies — girls hired to kill. When Frey hears of a monster ravaging a nearby town, she knows that bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. But her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere.
'The Diviners' by Libba Bray
Evie O'Neill worries that her uncle Will may discover her darkest secret: That she possesses supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
'Dread Nation' by Justina Ireland
Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the Civil War battlefields. Now, Jane is about to graduate from Miss Preston’s School of Combat. But families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, and she is soon caught in a conspiracy.
'Anna Dressed in Blood' by Kendare Blake
OK, so this one is about a mother-son hunter duo, but it's as Supernatural-esque as they come. Cas Lowood and his witch mother travel the country hunting ghosts. When searching for a ghost called Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage.