9 books that literally changed the world


Alternate histories allow us to step back into the past and re-write history. We get to put women where they’ve been erased, make our faves live on and correct the wrongs of our ancestors. But sometimes it’s also just bloody good fun.

Can’t beat a bit of time travel, ya know. Here are some of our fave alternate histories. You won’t be leaving your sofa for a good long while.

‘Silver Stars’ by Michael Grant

The second book in Michael Grant’s brand new series is here and it’s EXCELLENT. We met Rio, Frangie and Rainy when they braved the front lines of World War Two. Women are now allowed to fight in the war for the US and girls and women come from all over the country to fight against the axis powers.

‘My Lady Jane’ by Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows and Cynthia Hand

Lady Jane Grey was the Queen of England for a whole 9 days before she was beheaded by Mary I. Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows and Cynthia Hand decided this was totally unfair. Instead, they introduced shapeshifters, magic and murderous plots to her world. But will she survive?

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‘Wolf by Wolf’ by Ryan Graudin

Yael was experimented on in a concentration camp during her childhood and now she can change her appearance at will. She’s intent on getting her revenge. She’s going to kill Hitler. How? By taking part in a gruelling motorcycle race from Berlin to Tokyo. And the winner gets personally congratulated by Hitler.

‘And I Darken’ by Kiersten White

Based on Vlad the Impaler, or Vlad Dracula, Lada has been raised as a brutal princess in 15th Century Ottoman Empire. A warrior as well as a princess, when Lada and her brother are kidnapped, siblings become rivals and tensions are stretched beyond anything they know. But Lada will do anything to stay alive.

‘Leviathan’ by Scott Westerfeld

The world is on the cusp or World War I and Germany and Britain are primed and ready. It’ll be the industrial Clankers versus the genetically engineered Darwinists and Aleksander and Deryn are on opposite sides of the war. When they both end up aboard the Darwinist Leviathan, they face an around-the-world adventure that will change everything.

‘Passenger’ by Alexandra Bracken

Etta James is thrown from present day NYC and lands on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic in 1776 where Captain Nicholas Carter is tasked with delivering Etta to those searching for her and the mysterious object she’s supposed to be carrying. Together they travel across the world piecing together the clues left behind.

‘Ink and Bone’ by Rachel Caine

Imagine if the Library of Alexandria survived, preserving the thousands of years worth of information that burned in 48AD. It would be the smartest, the most secretive and the most dangerous place in the world, wielding an unimaginable power. Jess Brightwell has been sent to infiltrate it by his criminal family, but will he de able to deceive the greatest institution in the world?

‘Etiquette and Espionage’ by Gail Carriger

Welcome to finishing school. At Mademeseille Geraldine’s you’ll learn how to curtsey while poisoning a man and throwing a knife to kill. In a version of Victorian England filled with werewolf clans, airborne dirigibles, steam-powered dogs and vampire teachers, sending Sophronia to finishing school may not have the effect her mother had hoped.

‘The Dark Days Club’ by Allison Goodman

It’s England in 1812 and Lady Helen should be thinking only about balls and marriage prospects, but with demons to get rid of, she’s got a little more on her plate. Enter Lord Carlston, a man of dubious manners and an offer of danger and savagery – not quite what a young lady wants for her first London season.

Which period of history would you travel back in time to visit? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by Sophie Waters

Sophie is the Head of Commercial at Maximum Pop! Having studied English Lit and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, she came to MP! to satisfy her passion for books. Sophie is a diehard Hufflepuff and feminist. She's also a huge cat lover, and can often be found rocking her socks off at a gig.

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