I’ve decided to do a little Top 10 every Friday, just to wind down the week. Anyway. Let’s begin!
1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
Let’s face it, people. Harry Potter was kinda, sorta… AMAZING! And here, look at this! Not ONLY is this a dystopia. This is a freaking Harry Potter-type house separation thing. Oooh, I love it. Oh. And thanks to The Bookgineer for telling me in her review that it was one of those types. Check out her review.
2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.
When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.
Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future.
Look at that cover. Come on looook at it. Isn’t it just kind of beautiful?
Better say yes. It looks mysterious, and fantastic. To be honest, I only came across it when I was writing my own review on Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Pretty similar in names, huh? Anyway, I did a double take as I came across it at B&N. But it continues to tempt me just out of my hungry, book tongue’s reach, due to my sad lack of wallet fatness. My wallet’s kind of anorexic, much to my frustration and concern…
3. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.
Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.
But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.
A rare epic fantasy that doesn’t recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It’s also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.
To be honest, I want this just because it’s been written by Brandon Sanderson, who is one of my favorite authors. Read Mistborn and maybe you’ll see why. But, knowing Sanderson’s work, I’m prepared for clever politics, assassins, and beautiful, beautiful world-building.
4. Leviathon by Scott Westerfield
Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.
Oooh. I love brilliant heroines. I really, really love them. And a prince whose people have turned on him? Sign me up, baby! Also, that loyal crew of men? Oooh am I loving this plot, because I see characters that are going to be highly, highly interesting.
HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER
Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie’s only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.
He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie’s head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator’s grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .
Look at that cover. Look at it! *drools* Um. Sorry. You know that person who said… “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Well. I am the prime violator of that little mantra. But anyway. Starters seems so delightfully dystopic and interesting. Old people wanting to rent out young people’s bodies. Ugh. Gross. wtiugbg. Don’t get me wrong. I love my gramma. In fact, I think I got my love of writing and all things book-ish from her. But if she suddenly said, “Wanna switch bodies with me?”
Uh. I’ll pass. I’ll pass.
6. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.
I hate horror stories with a passion. But I love friendly ghosts. Although I can’t help but wonder why Kendare named her hero Cas. Because that reminds me of this:
7. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.
But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.
Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she’s determined to do something about it.
Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?
Jay Kristoff honestly had me at… Japanese steampunk to do with griffins. Not to mention the adorable Japanese names. In fact, I think I want to rename my shiba inu whose name is currently Ringo, Buruu.
He’s Japanese, so that works, right?
Just kidding. He just said something in Japanese dog language to express exactly how he feels about that.
8. Becoming by Raine Thomas
Every three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens explosion, but whatever it is always hurts like hell and leaves her life a shambles. She’s already worked her way through five foster placements, and she’s doing whatever she can to avoid getting blasted into a sixth.
As her eighteenth birthday approaches and she feels the strange and powerful energy building, disaster looms. When the inevitable explosion occurs, her life gets its biggest shakeup yet. She’ll not only learn how her fellow foster and best friend, Gabriel, really feels about her, but she’ll discover that she isn’t really without family.
To top it all off, she’ll finally find out why she’s having the power surges: she isn’t entirely human.
Amber must Become, transitioning to another plane of existence and risking the loss of the most important relationship she’s ever had. Her choice will impact the future of an entire race of beings, and will pit her against an enemy that will prey upon her doubt to try and take her very life.
Kind of makes the explosions now seem like a cakewalk.
Did you read the words on the book cover? Because it says Daughters of Saraquael on that. And that, my lovelies, is a name that makes me think of mermaids and unicorns, and rainbows that come as farts from unicorns. And, sort of a bad reason to want a book, but, really, that’s why I want it. I’ll think of unicorn farts every time I read Saraquael in the book.
9. The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
Sixteen-year-old Nick and his brother, Alan, are always ready to run. Their father is dead, and their mother is crazy—she screams if Nick gets near her. She’s no help in protecting any of them from the deadly magicians who use demons to work their magic. The magicians want a charm that Nick’s mother stole—and they want it badly enough to kill. Alan is Nick’s partner in demon slaying and the only person he trusts in the world. So things get very scary and very complicated when Nick begins to suspect that everything Alan has told him about their father, their mother, their past, and what they are doing is a complete lie. . .
So this author is getting a very good reputation on Goodreads for being a snarky little minx. And, guess what? I love snarky little minxes. I’m really looking forward to finally getting my hands on this book and reviewing it, because I have a feeling this won’t disappoint. Plus, I love crazy characters in books. Just saying.
10. Faeries of Dreamdark by Laini Taylor
When the ancient evil of the Blackbringer rises to unmake the world, only one determined faerie stands in its way. However, Magpie Windwitch, granddaughter of the West Wind, is not like other faeries. While her kind live in seclusion deep in the forests of Dreamdark, she’s devoted her life to tracking down and recapturing devils escaped from their ancient bottles, just as her hero, the legendary Bellatrix, did 25,000 years ago. With her faithful gang of crows, she travels the world fighting where others would choose to flee. But when a devil escapes from a bottle sealed by the ancient Djinn King himself, the creator of the world, she may be in over her head. How can a single faerie, even with the help of her friends, hope to defeat the impenetrable darkness of the Blackbringer?
At a time when fantasy readers have an embarrassment of riches in choosing new worlds to fall in love with, this first novel by a fresh, original voice is sure to stand out.
My, I mentioned Laini Taylor twice in this post, didn’t I? Well. Let’s just say that I was very, very impressed with Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I’m looking for more of her magical style. And I caught snippets of djinns, which is a myth that I’m not very familiar with, but love, thanks to choice books. Also. I like faeries.
11? I said Top 10 right? But a bonus. Yes. For you, lovelies. A bonus.
Written by an Asian with Asian men in mind within the context of a western society. Provided inside are the knowledge, framework and tools necessary for an Asian man to understand, plan and put into action the steps to successfully date a white woman
*snickers* I’d like to say that I’m very interested in dating the elusive thing called the White Woman… Is what the Female Asian Kim said.
Found this “guide” on Goodreads.
The book previews are all Goodreads, too.
If you’ve already read these books, let me know how you feel by commenting. Bad TBR choices or good? If you haven’t read these. Well. Comment too.