Top 12 Best Special Abilities/Super Powers in Young Adult Books

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Super abilities are one of the most effective ways to spice up characters, stories, and world-building. This is a list of my top 12 most favorite superpowers from young adult books. That could be because of either the strength, potential, uniqueness or general appeal-ness of the power.

#12:

Katsa – Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Ability: Survival

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Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

At the beginning of the book, Katsa’s grace was recognized as “death”. This is due to her apparent ability to be able to kill anyone with anything in any situation. Because of this “grace”, she was used and manipulated by his uncle, the king, to be his own personal weapon to terrify his subjects and finish off his dirty desires.

The reason Katsa is on this list is because of the unique nature of her abilities. The ability to basically beat anyone in physical combat and kill anyone in any situation is never unusual in fictional works, but I remember being really impressed by the twist of how the nature of her power not being dead, but actually survival. It was one of the most creative and well-done twists to such a simple and commonly used idea that I have ever seen, which is why she is on this list.

#11:

Meghan – The Iron King by Julie Kaawa

Ability: Manipulation of iron

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Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Meghan’s ability is very simple, but that’s exactly why it’s so powerful. The power itself has the disadvantage of having a very obvious weakness, but despite that, in a world where iron is literally everywhere, this ability has extremely dangerous potential.

“Simple is the most beautiful”, isn’t it? The simplest things are often the most powerful because that also meant how it has a broader range with fewer limitations – perfect for a superpower.

If enjoyed The Iron King, I highly recommend you to read Winter by Audrey Grey! Both books had enemies to lovers romance with fae princes (with both female protagonists ended up being more than just simple mortals).

#10:

Reyna Ramírez-Arellano – The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Ability: Manipulation of large crowds

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PERCY IS CONFUSED. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.

HAZEL IS SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem—when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wishes she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

FRANK IS A KLUTZ. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery—although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely—enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.

Especially when compared to the vast variety of superpower abilities we’ve seen throughout fictional works, Reyna’s is not…very physically useful. However, her abilities as the daughter of Bellona is extremely unique and useful especially in her position as a leader. Her ability to manipulate large groups of people allows her to be an excellent commander and chief and definitely contributed to her high-level of bad-ass-ness. In states of panic and disarray, her ability to calm, unite, and even motivate crowds is extremely useful.

#9:

Carter and Sadie – Kane Chronicles

by Rick Riordan

Ability: Egyptian magic

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Since his mother’s death six years ago, Carter Kane has been living out of a suitcase, traveling the globe with his father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. But while Carter’s been homeschooled, his younger sister, Sadie, has been living with their grandparents in London. Sadie has just what Carter wants—school friends and a chance at a “normal” life. But Carter has just what Sadie longs for—time with their father. After six years of living apart, the siblings have almost nothing in common. Until now.

On Christmas Eve, Sadie and Carter are reunited when their father brings them to the British Museum, with a promise that he’s going to “make things right.” But all does not go according to plan: Carter and Sadie watch as Julius summons a mysterious figure, who quickly banishes their father and causes a fiery explosion.

Soon Carter and Sadie discover that the gods of Ancient Egypt are waking, and the worst of them—Set—has a frightening scheme. To save their father, they must embark on a dangerous journey—a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and its links to the House of Life, a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

Carter and Sadie – being the main characters of the world of Kane Chronicles – are “special” thanks to the special combination of their “royal bloodlines” from both their parents (I can’t elaborate because it’s falling under spoilers territory).

What makes Carter and Sadie’s unique is the fact that they are the physical hosts of gods. This means that they get access to the gods’ powers (while cooperating with them), allowing them to do some pretty amazing things. Combine that with the cool magic “spells” from Egyptian hieroglyphics? Total badassery.

#8:

Nico di Angelo – Percy Jackson and

the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Ability: Summon and manipulation of the dead

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Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Nico di Angelo is one of the few children alive right now that is a child of the “big three” – Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades – meant that is also one of the most powerful demigods alive. Nico can summon the dead anywhere at any time and he can command the dead to do whatever he wants. However, he’s not completely overpowered, and this power does take a great toll on him after extensive use. He’s seen to just go to sleep after using his powers, leaving him completely vulnerable. But it can’t be denied how much potential he has, which is why he’s on this list.

#7:

Percy Jackson – Percy Jackson and the

Olympians by Rick Riordan

Ability: water control

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In my personal opinion, one of the most powerful types of supernatural ability is the ability to manipulate the earth’s elements. This is due to how easily accessible it is and how the generalized nature of these kinds of abilities gave it a wider range of use and fewer limitations. Anyone who knows anything about the PJ series knows that Percy is arguably the most powerful demigod in the entire series. To give you an idea – just use your imagination. From hurricanes to manipulating the water in our bodies’ system, this guy can do it all.

#6:

Juliette – Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Ability: Lethal touch, super strength, invulnerability

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One touch is all it takes. One touch, and Juliette Ferrars can leave a fully grown man gasping for air. One touch, and she can kill.

No one knows why Juliette has such incredible power. It feels like a curse, a burden that one person alone could never bear. But The Reestablishment sees it as a gift, sees her as an opportunity. An opportunity for a deadly weapon.

Juliette has never fought for herself before. But when she’s reunited with the one person who ever cared about her, she finds a strength she never knew she had.

Juliette is literally overpowered – full anime style. Like, her superpower started off as lethal touch and then somehow managed to spiral into superstrength…like, are you kidding me. She is so broken – she’s completely invulnerable and overpowered with practically no weakness, that’s not good writing.

But at the end of the day, overpowered still means damn right powerful, so here Juliette is, on this list, despite how broken she is.

I also would also recommended this book to people who like

#5:

Bella Swan – Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Ability: Mental shield

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Okay, I fricking love this power. This power is so useful and actually pretty unique. Its concept is simple – immunity to other powers, the ultimate defense power. But the fact that it’s actually like an imaginated “shield” and how that can be manipulated based on the user’s imaginations made it EXTREMELY powerful because of how now that can be used to shield other people

#4:

Renesmee Cullen – Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Ability: Tactile through projection and shield penetration

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What is really interesting about Renesmee’s powers is that her powers are both kind of “opposites” of her parents’ powers. She can penetrate people’s mental shields (opposite of her mother’s) and she needs to do it by touching someone (opposite of her father’s because Edward doesn’t need to touch anyone to read minds).

#3.

Rhysand – A Court of Thorns and Roses

by Sarah J. Maas

Ability: Darkness manipulation, winnowing, Daemati powers, glamouring, flight via wings, misting, and (so many) more.

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The difference between Rhysand’s “overpowered-ness” and Juliette’s “overpowered-ness” is that Juliette’s is really illogical and feels like it came out of nowhere. But Rhysand’s actually make sense (which I would not elaborate due to spoilers). All I would say is no one (and I mean no one) can compete with Rhysand when it comes to power and strength in the ACoTaR universe. That’s how powerful he is.

#2.

Chelsea – Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Ability: Relationship manipulation

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It was such a shame that this ability wasn’t included in the movie. It was a really important ability to the story too – it was thanks to Chelsea’s ability that the Volturi is able to stay so united. There’s a whole manipulation cycle going on (which if you want to know it’s summarized really well in the Twilight Saga Wiki website) that is pretty impressive and complicated. Chelse’s “relationship manipulation” gave her the ability to mess with people’s relationship and bonds.

However, her powers do have weaknesses. It cannot as easily influence the ties of people that are stronger, such as love or truly deep friendships.

By influencing emotional ties between individuals, she can enforce loyalty, break ties to get people to betray, which is extremely dangerous but also impressively unique. I personally found her powers fascinating.

#1.

Alina and the Darkling – The Grisha Trilogy

by Leigh Bardugo

Alina’s Ability: Sun Summoner

The Darkling’s Ability: Shadow Summoner

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Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Alina and the Darkling – two sides of the same coin. The true beauty of their powers is not just the powerful nature of it, it’s the symbolic meanings behind their power that made these abilities so beautiful. IThe way these powers – and their characters in the story respectively – reflect off each other so perfectly through these powers is so satisfying.

Aside from that, another reason why I love their powers is because of how the ability to control light and darkness in the world of Shadow and Bone is just really cool.

If you liked this post, you might enjoy other similar posts such as the me listing out the most stunning heroines in YA/NA books, as well as the list of characters I hate so much I would want to feed to the pigs.

This Month Wrap Up: October 2017

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LIFE

  • I got my first iphone (but it’s still restricted). I would love to take a picture of it, but then again how the hell are you suppose to take a picture of your phone (it’s like trying to write your name on your pencil)
  • I went to watch Thor: Ragnarok 🔨
  • My braces is already making notable changes, and my diet is still progressing
  • Winter is really coming! It’s starting to get cool where I live
  • Which is awesome because winter is my favorite season, and the cozy environment especially when I’m with my family just put a smile on my face 😊
  • STRANGER THINGS SEASON 2
  • Congrats on Avalinah’s success on her very new Goodreads group, where bloggers and reviewers band together to fight through and survive their band of ARCs. Make sure you join the group here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/269862-arcs-anonymous
  • Damn it this month I really didn’t read a lot. But I promise I’m going to read more next month 😤

BOOKS I READ THIS MONTH

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Breakaway by Sophia Henry

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

(Wow this looks pathetic…)

THIS MONTH ON THE BLOG

Book Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Book Review: Breakaway by Sophia Henry

Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Book Boyfriend Friday #9: Someone I Truly Did Not Expect

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes

This Week Recap #16: Moon Festival

TV Shows V.S Books V.S Movies

Blog Tour: Breakway by Sophia Henry Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Thethered by Jenn Marie + Excerpt + Giveaway

This Month Wrap Up: September 2017

This Week Recap #15: I Am Running Out of Titles

This Week Recap #16: Moon Festival

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Things I’ve Been Doing This Week:

  • Re-watching every Delena (Damon and Elena) scenes from Vampire Dairies ever
  • Because of Damon, I’ve on the hunt for one of those jerk-heroes in YA books. But I’m specifically looking for paranormal and fantasy
  • We were celebrating the Moon Festival this week. My mom got us coupons for the Häagen-Dazsice-cream moon cakes (they were awesome), and I went to visit my father’s mother.
  • Studying like crazy 😛

This Week on the Blog:

TV Shows V.S Books V.S Movies

This Month Wrap Up: September 2017

Blog Tour: Breakway by Sophia Henry Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Thethered by Jenn Marie + Excerpt + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Gifts of Our Mothers by Hazel Black

Next Week On the Blog:

Book Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes

Book Boyfriend Friday #9: Someone I Truly Did Not Expect

Books I Read This Week:

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