Adventure is an action-packed and exciting genre. From unexpected journeys to epic quests, the reader gets taken on a heart-pumping, adrenaline-inducing ride through epic missions, dangerous situations, narrow escapes and courageous deeds.

What is Adventure in genre?

Adventure is a genre of fiction that is categorised by its plot as it involves a remarkable or unexpected journey. Books in the adventure genre often include a lot of action, too. Adventure novels have strong protagonists who are willingly, or by chance, faced with a mission that thrusts them into an epic experience. This journey can be both personal and geographical based and has elements of danger, risk and excitement as the characters overcome many obstacles and challenges in their way. Novels in this genre are very versatile and are often combined with other genres such as action, romance and drama. 

What are the charactistics of the Adventure genre in books?

  1. The Hero: The main character of an adventure novel is a hero who overcomes considerable obstacles to save the day and complete their mission. The hero can be a strong, larger than life figure who takes on the challenge willingly but they can also be an ordinary person who’s courage and strength is revealed when they are thrown into the quest.
  2. A Journey: All adventure novels have a journey that the hero takes on. The journey is exciting, dangerous, fast-paced and full of challenges. The adventure novel can focus on the hero’s personal journey or it can be an external journey such as a geographic journey. Often it has elements of both.
  3. Exploration: The journey in the adventure novel takes the hero from a familiar setting and takes them to unfamiliar places. The journey through these unexplored environments forms the grounds for many challenges and conflicts that the hero has to overcome to continue on their journey.
  4. The Antagonist: All adventure novels have a villain. Someone who tries to prevent the hero from achieving their goal. The villain is always in pursuit of the hero and turns up during the journey to challenge them. The antagonist is an important element of adventure novels as they build danger and risk for the hero which increases the excitement and tension for the reader. 
  5. Action: Adventure novels utilise action to make the story fast-paced and exciting. In good adventure novels, there needs to be a degree of uncertainty surrounding the success of the hero on their journey. To increase the excitement and risk, the action in these novels is usually fast-paced, tense and dangerous.
  6. Transformation: The protagonist often doesn’t begin the story as a hero. Adventure novels emphasise character development and show the protagonist go through a metamorphosis during the journey to become the hero.

11 best adventure books

  • The Adventures of Willy Nilly by Chris Stead
  • Lord of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  • Ivanhoe by Walter Scott
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy


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