I would suggest The Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanly Robinson
It is a fun sci-fi series about the colonization of Mars. Its full of very detailed descriptions of the process of sending team to set up the first colony on mars and covers ~200 years concerning the colonization including scientific advances and inter planet politics. It follows these events through the eyes of the original colonists and their children.
The one draw back to the song of ice and fire books (I have read them all and really enjoyed them) is that the series isn't finished and it could be years until Martin finishes the series.
If you want Hunger Games-type stuff, go for the Legend series by Marie Lu , or Divergent, by Veronica Roth. My choice, however, would be the Maze Runner series by James Dasher or the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. Both are excellent.
Darth Plagueis. The story of the Emperor's master.
Since you mentioned something about modern times with a twist, I'd suggest Fatherland by Richard Harris.
Fatherland: A Novel: Robert Harris: 9780812977219: Amazon.com: Books
I wouldn't say it's the greatest piece of literature ever, but I thought it was an enjoyable read. It's basically a crime thriller, but the story takes place in 1964 Berlin shortly before Adolf Hitler's 75th birthday. The Nazis have won WWII, and the detective in the story quickly discovers that the Gestapo is none too happy about his investigation.