My Favourite Fantasy #2

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I’m so excited for this post, cos it’s been *ages* since I talked about my top ten favourite fantasy, and I’ve been wanting to do a follow up for years! Now I’m finally doing it and *bonus* I’ve added in some sci fi this time round (yes, I could have done a separate post, but I don’t have such a long list for it). I feel like this will be a bit like my favourite classics and romance lists- I’ll just keep adding to it more and more 😊 Without further ado, let’s talk about some of my *new and shiny and glorious* faves:

bear and the nightingale

Bear and the Nightingale– I mean, you all knew I was going to include this, didn’t you? This sumptuous Russian fairy tale retelling stole my heart from the second I stepped into Arden’s world. Atmospheric and so-darn-beautiful, I will never cease to be amazed by how magnificent this book is.

strange the dreamer

Strange the Dreamer– well, duh, Laini Taylor had to be on this list! Her writing is exquisite, her worlds sensationally unique and her romances to die for!

circe

Circe– this is by far and away one of the most exquisite books I’ve ever read. And on top of that, it’s a perfect retelling of the Odyssey. I. am. in. awe.

hazel wood

Hazel Wood– another book I have endless admiration for. For me, what makes this so special is how it balances the gothic and fairy tale elements just so. As a lover of both genres, this book bowled me over, transporting me far away into the Hinterland.

Neverwhere

Neverwhere– bringing me closer to home, Neverwhere tells the story of a hidden London, steeping the streets in mythological imaginings. A truly magnificent work.

charmed life

Charmed Life– I know there are probably a lot of other Diana Wynne Jones’ books with more renown, however, this one for me brings me such joy. Perhaps I’m being a little sentimental, it’s just this one hits all the right emotional notes.

poison chris wooding

Poison– I had to triple and quadruple check that this wasn’t on my last list- because I ADORE THIS WONDERFULLY WEIRD BOOK. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it may make you feel like you’ve hopped down the rabbithole in terms of plot, yet it’s undeniably a unique read.

warrior heir

Heir Series– I read this fairly recently and it still manages to make me oddly nostalgic- because the characters and relationships and stories have a way of clinging to your soul. Yes, Chima Williams is another author making a repeat appearance on this list- that’s just because she’s another author who never fails to knock it out of the park.

red sister

The Book of the Ancestor Series– I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the kind of series that reminds me why I got into fantasy in the first place. There’s so much to love about this- from the world to the sense of sisterhood to the romance. I just adore this series and can’t wait to read more from the author!

Red Rising Pierce Browns

Red Rising– well, when I mentioned sci fi faves, I bet you all guessed this would be on here. Many of you will already know my love for this *prime* series, so I’ll be quick in saying for the millionth time: this is gorydamn good! I mean, it’s Romans in space- need I say more?!

shades children

Shade’s Children– I’m never quite sure what genre this is- but it doesn’t matter, cos I will always love this twisty standalone.

the martian

The Martian– who’d have thought that a book about a guy stranded on Mars would be so much fun? That’s because Mark Watney rocks. Funniest protagonist I’ve ever read- and he makes this race-against-time sci fi so spectacular.

And that’s all for now! I have a few more I’d like to add, but I like to give it some space after I read books before declaring them *favourites*. Are any of these your favourites? Do you have any favourite fantasy books you’d like to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

All the Endings: Books Finales that *WOWED* Me

orangutan list

So I mentioned yesterday that I’m being a bit introspective at the moment and thinking about endings. A lot of books are about the journey- but let’s face it, the ending can often make or break a book. Since I’m upto that stage in my WIP, I started to fret about the kind of endings that leave me dissatisfied, but while I was writing the piece I realised there are a lot more endings that blew me away than let me down. And since this seems to be such a great procrastination tool, I decided I should do a counter-post and share some endings I’m utterly enamoured by:

c2813_poison_4cc_z

Poison– no spoilers, but loved the inventiveness of the book and unexpected ending blew me away.

emperor of thorns

Emperor of Thorns– completely bold, completely perfect- this ending was everything you could want from a series finale.

golden son

Golden Son– I love a good cliffhanger- it’s a special kind of torture to have to wait between books when everything’s on the line- I’m weird I guess 😉

Heir-of-Fire-UK

Heir of Fire– what was I saying about cliffhangers? 😉 It was an emotional end to an emotional book. This happens to be my favourite of all Maas’ books- and that’s cos the drama didn’t let up for even a second. And while the conclusion resolved a lot that went down in the book, it set up plenty for the next instalment.

broken things

Broken Things– kind of spoilery, but this is kind of my answer to the issue with TFIOS ending. I love when books are a little meta- especially when that means they mirror an aspect of a book within the book.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets

Chamber of Secrets– this is my favourite HP ending. It has the best mystery and reveal in the series in my opinion. And I simply adore how it was executed.

daniel deronda

Daniel Deronda– I love how realistic this felt at the same time as meting out justice for the characters. While the flawed heroine didn’t get exactly what she wanted, it made sense to me. And the perfect hero got exactly what he deserved. It felt so right.

persuasion

Persuasion– I’m a sucker for a happy ending and no one does that quite like Austen. This for me is the most perfect of all her creations in that regard, because it feels the most earned.

memoirs of a geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha– in a similar vein this appealed to the romantic in me. I love how this book is devoted to the idea that love can work out in the end.

tess

Tess of the D’Urbervilles– I also really appreciate books on the other end of the spectrum and frankly this is that. It’s perfectly tragic.

we were liars

We Were Liars– this heartbreaking finale made me absolutely break down- and I can’t say anymore because of *spoilers*- it’s best to go into this book blind and see for yourself.

count of monte cristo

Count of Monte Cristo– not only does this deliver exactly what you want, it also deals with a complex moral in a clever way.

shades children

Shade’s Children– this is the kind of ending that I used to just pick up and read on its own over and over. Because it’s just perfection. The twist towards the end was great, but really the best moment in the whole book is that flash forward.

anansi boys

Anansi Boys– I always love the way Gaiman shifts the story around a twist- and this is no exception. In fact, this was the book that made me fall head over heels for Gaiman’s work. And that ending- I wasn’t expecting that at all- *mindblown*.

noughts and crosses

Noughts and Crosses– it kind of had to end this way- but OH MY HEART! I will never be over it.

strange the dreamer

Strange the Dreamer– of course, Laini Taylor had to make it onto the list- because this is how to do an ending. I love how it felt both foreshadowed and sudden!

And that’s all for now! Do you agree or disagree with any of the books on this list? And what’s your favourite endings? Let me know in the comments!

Once was enough… Books I Loved But Probably Won’t Reread

 

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I don’t normally do weekly memes, but I do really enjoy reading them. As a lot of you probably know, Top Ten Tuesday had a fantastic topic this week on “Books I loved, but will never reread” and it really got me thinking does this apply to me? I mean, I’m not a huge rereader anymore (so many books, so little time!) however, I do hoard books that I love in the hope that I will get a chance to reread them someday. Nonetheless, the more I thought about it, the more I realised there are some books which I gave all the bananas to and can’t see myself picking up again. Evidently, it’s not Tuesday, but I thought I’d share my list, because why not?

memoirs of a geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha– I adored this book. Still, this is one of those books that I feel I read at the *exact* right moment and I don’t know that I want to ruin that. Especially since I now know how inaccurate it is- I think I might be better served staying in that world and exploring it from a more authentic angle in the future.

facing the light

Facing the Light– do you ever have a book that you look back on with rose tinted glasses even if you know objectively it’s probably not as good as you remember? That’s what this book is for me. I was captivated by this when I read this as a teen and ended up fixating on the authors work (even though none of her other books ever held the same magic for me again). So yeah, it doesn’t make sense to reread it and risk ruining my memory of it.

poison chris wooding

Poison– my nostalgia is strong for this one. I can remember falling in love with this and being blown away by the story in so much detail. However, that’s in some ways to the book’s detriment, because I can’t bear the idea of not loving it as much the second time round. It’s such an unusual book that I’m even reluctant to mention it sometimes in case other people don’t love this hidden gem as much as I did- so how could I cope if I reread it and didn’t fall under its spell the second time round? Nope, as wonderful as I remember this book being, the experience of reading it is best left safely in the past.

book thief

The Book Thief– I do actually want to reread this- I’ve picked it up many times thinking I might. Yet the thing that always stops me is how much it emotionally *wrecked* me the first time round- I’m not sure I could knowingly do that again. (Who knows though, I might end up feeling like a good cathartic cry someday…)

1984 book

1984– I have actually reread this one, so it’s kind of cheating putting it on here, but the first time I read it I was sufficiently creeped out to say “I’m never reading this again!” Of course, I didn’t keep to that, so who knows? I could totally end up going back on my word again for this one.

jude

Jude the Obscure– speaking of emotional books, I don’t know many other books that are as traumatising as this. I think it’s a masterpiece- and yet I can’t see myself ever being able to reread it.

rape of nanking

Rape of Nanking– okay this is not something I will say I loved per se, but it really fits with the “once was enough” theme. Quite simply, there are few books more harrowing than this and I can’t foresee any situation where I’d want to even think about it too much. This is one of those books that it’s worth reading once in a lifetime- and no more.

and then there were none

And Then There Were None– it doesn’t really seem worth rereading a murder mystery, does it? Well at least not for me, knowing exactly what happens kinda ruins the pleasure of wondering who dunnit. Besides, there’s loads of other Christie books to choose from- I may as well pick one of those.

we were liars

We Were Liars– this has turned up on a few lists and I totally get why. It was beautifully written and incredibly moving- however, knowing all the twists will kinda take a lot of the fun out of rereading it I think. The first time I read it was so impactful- I don’t know that I could ever replicate that feeling.

life of pi.jpg

Life of Pi– this book is so hit or miss for people, so I was nervous about going into it. Luckily for me, it was a massive hit. As much as I don’t like to be swayed by the court of public opinion, I do see its faults and I’m worried I won’t get as much out of it the second time round- particularly because I now know exactly how it ends.

And that’s all from me for today! What do you think of any of these books? Which books do you love but won’t reread? Let me know in the comments!