Monday, April 16, 2018

LBS 803 Week Twelve- Geeky Books

This is kind of my happy place. I reside comfortably in the YA/Chosen One/Girl of the Future/Savior of Her People/Minimum-Three-Book in the Series/Sci-Fi/Fantasy world, and a lot of my favorite reading experiences are from this grand tradition. I'm glad I chose Warcross by Marie Lu as my novel for the week, as it's definitely something I'm enjoying and comparing to a lot of my favorite reads. My blog post this week is unusual in that I've read all of these suggestions, and have rabidly loved them for various different reasons.

An Ember in the Ashes (a quartet) by Sabaa Taahir
I've listened to this series exclusively on audio, and Steve West's voice in particular stops me in my tracks. The narration on the first switches between the main characters Laia and Elias, and the second in the series brings in a third, Helene. The world building is delicious, but the violence (both physical and sexual) can be a little much, although I am pretty sensitive to these things, and can still really enjoy. Laia ends up taking on an undercover role as a slave in order to convince a resistance group to help her brother. Elias is one of the top students at a school supported by a world he completely hates. They're drawn together repeatedly while dealing with the enormous stress of their responsibilities  Two are already out with a third coming this summer!

The Raven Cycle (a quartet) by Maggie Stiefvater
This is another four-book series, this one completed, dabbling in ancient Welsh myths, mystical ley lines, tarot readings and scrying, a dead king, a dreamer who brings things back when he wakes, and a girl fated to kill the boy she loves when she kisses him. This fantasy series is heavily lined with romance- I tried harder than Blue not to fall in love with Gansey, but it's the romantic developments in the fourth book that I most appreciated. Very dark and no nonsense, this series is often reread by yours truly.

The Diviners (a quartet) by Libba Bray
I'm sensing a pattern here...I guess good fantasy is easily tied up in fours. The Diviners series is another that dabbles in the mystical and fortune, similar to The Raven Cycle in that it brings its fantasy elements into a the already-existing world, but the similarities truly end there. The Diviners books are relentlessly researched historical fiction, bringing the 1910s to life in vivid color. A hearty cast of characters with together to understand themselves and various mysteries taking place against the backdrop of prohibition New York City. They take forever to come out because they are SO detailed and well-researched, but they are worth the wait.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (a trilogy) by Rae Carson
Full disclosure, I have not finished this trilogy. I didn't even finish the second book. But I really loved the first, and I have to include it, because INCREDIBLE FAT REP ON THE PAGE! Elisa is a fat heroine who does not suddenly acquire flashy fighting skills but uses her knowledge of strategy to save the day. Also, the gem-growing-in-your-belly-button is the coolest way to mark a Chosen One ever.

The Darkest Part of the Forest (stand alone) by Holly Black
This should not have been stand alone. Holly Black paints these really amazing worlds where the supernatural creatures exist in an uneasy truce with contemporary humans (see: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown) and this novel is no different. Hazel and her twin brother, Ben, have always made up stories about the sleeping prince in the unbreakable glass box, and while the seeming whimsy of the situation draws tourists, Hazel knows how dangerous the fae in the forest can actually be. My only complaint about this book is that TOO MUCH happens- there are storylines about romance and bad family situations and parental pressure and stolen identity and faerie courts and changlings- it's too much for one relatively slim novel. There's a new series that just began by Black- The Cruel Prince is patiently waiting for me when this class is over- and I'm hoping that with more space, we'll get more of these themes with more space to breathe!


At April 17, 2018 at 1:47 PM , Blogger Molly said...

Ooh, I'll have to add The Darkest Part of the Forest to my list. I adored the creepy vibe of Doll Bones, so I'm looking forward to reading something geared toward a bit older audience.

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