With Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and Midnight Sun, spinoffs appear to be the name of the game when it comes to extending a franchise. And whether these spinoffs add to the series in a well-thought-out, conclusive, complex way or just toss existing and established canon straight into the garbage is up for debate, but they’re definitely worth discussing. If you’re hungering for more from a series, or you want to explore the compelling worldbuilding of a series, these spinoffs can help you do that!
1. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Bloodlines is the spinoff series of Vampire Academy, a bestselling series set in a fantasy world of vampires, vampire school, and vampire magic. Vampire Academy follows the story of Rose and her best friend Lissa, who have to navigate this treacherous and dangerous world full of forbidden romance, a ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. However, after Lost Sacrifice, the conclusion to this six book series, it seemed as though the world of Vampire Academy was gone.
But then came Bloodlines, the first book in another six book series set in the world of Vampire Academy. This story is about Sydney, an alchemist who appeared as a supporting character in Blood Promise, and how she gets entangled with the story of Jill Mastrano, who’s life changed at the end of Lost Sacrifice.
Bloodlines is a very different take on the same world, and as Mead herself puts it, “Rose was a great narrator, and Sydney’s fun in a lot of different ways. She gives us a human take on the Moroi world, which isn’t something we’ve really seen yet. Vampire life, through Rose’s eyes, is a very normal thing. For Sydney? Not so.” This shift in perspective shows the world of Vampire Academy in a whole new night, which is exactly what a spinoff should do. Go check out Bloodlines!
2. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer
At this point, every Twilight fan has heard of Midnight Sun, the spinoff which tells the story of Twilight but from Edward’s point of view instead of Bella’s. But Meyer wrote another spinoff, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, in 2012. This spinoff follows Bree Tanner, a newly-turned vampire whom readers first met in Eclipse.
Bree’s story is an in-depth look into the world of Twilight and the main plot of the books through a different perspective, giving the universe fans know and love another dimension. And even though fans will already know how Bree’s story ends before they even read the first page of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, they don’t have the full story. This spinoff novella will expand upon Twilight and every fan who wants more should check it out!
3. Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth
The Divergent series is definitely an impressive feat of worldbuilding and imagination, and it’s certain that any reasonable fan would want to explore that more. And Four, a spinoff collection, allows them to do just that. Four has, fittingly, four long narrative pieces—“The Transfer,” which follows Four/Tobias’s transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless just like Tris did in Divergent, “The Initiate,” which is about his Dauntless initiation, “The Son,” which is about the first clues of a foul plan brewing between factions, and the final one, “The Traitor,” which is a retelling of Divergent from Tobias’s perspective.
Much of worldbuilding and alternate universe storytelling comes from the protagonist either being new to a particular world or facet of their life. With Divergent, readers learn about the harsh world of the Dauntless faction as Tris does, after she makes a snap decision to join and leave behind her home faction. Seeing the series through Tobias’ eyes gives readers a new perspective on both the world and characters in an intriguing way. Fans of Divergent should definitely go check out Four: A Divergent Collection!
4. Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, started by City of Bones, is an extremely interesting fantasy series with loads of background, lore, and worldbuilding to explore. The world of Shadowhunters, demons, and angels engaged many fans for the entire six book Mortal Instruments series.
Chain of Gold is a different kind of spinoff than the previous three on this list. Instead of a sequel series from a different perspective or a retelling of a side character or love interest, Chain of Gold takes the story back in time to Edwardian London. It features new characters, though they have connections to the characters fans already know and love from Clare’s other work. So for fans who want more of the world of Shadowhunters but have already finished the series, Chain of Gold will give you another look into this intricately built world. Go check it out!
5. Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass
Another well-known dystopian novel is The Selection, the first of a five book series which follows the story of America, who is less than thrilled with her situation and the world she has to live in. But did you know that the author also wrote a spinoff collection of stories in that world? Happily Ever After includes four novellas, “The Prince,” “The Guard,” “The Queen,” and “The Favorite,” as well as exclusive new scenes from The Selection, the second book in the series The Elite, and the third book The One.
Readers will get to see the world of The Selection from the eyes of Prince Maxon before he fell in love with America, and they’ll learn more about Amberly before she became queen. For fans of the Selection series, Happily Ever After will expand on that interesting world and compelling characters in a way only a spinoff could do. If you want to explore the thoughts and motivations of supporting characters and learn about the world they live in, go check out Happily Ever After!
It’s no secret that when a fantasy book series with excellent and compelling worldbuilding ends, fans will want to learn and explore more about that world. These five spinoffs will give fans a chance to do just that, whether you want a whole other series from a different perspective, a retelling of the story from the love interest or a side character, or just another story in that same world. For fans who love reading about intriguing fantasy or dystopian worlds and want more than the main series can give them, these spinoffs are perfect!
Featured Image Via Juniper Books