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Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Reasons Fantasy Fiction is The Boss

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish


Ever since I can remember I’ve read fantasy or been told fantasy stories. When I was little, my Grandad kept my imagination stoked with tales about talking hedgehogs, wizards and old castles… Fantasy was branded into me and it’s something that’s stayed ever since.

I’ve read other genres, still do. But I always end up going back to fantasy and enjoying it more than anything else, whether that be sci-fi, action, thriller or mystery.

The fantasy genre is The Boss. Here is your proof if you don’t believe me…

1 – The normal world can be dull and boring and depressing. Fantasy worlds are not…

Unless you’re reading a George RR Martin novel, fantasy worlds are generally great places to escape to. Even Westeros has it’s good side… somewhere. When you want to get away from the real world, Hogwarts, Narnia, (post White Witch eternal winter, unless you like winter) The Shire, Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory (unless you’re a bad kid) are the perfect place to escape to.

2 – There is no impossible…

Most books in other genres are grounded in reality and the realms of possibility. In fantasy, the sky is pretty much the limit in what is possible. Quidditch, everlasting gobstoppers, flying giant peaches, camps for demigods… fantasy has everything you can think of and a billion things you can’t think of.

3 – You can be anything…

It might sound cheesy–nope, it does sound cheesy–but you can be anything you want in a fantasy novel. Reading through the eyes of a son of Poseidon, a kid who wins a golden ticket, a boy who discovers he’s a wizard. You can even be an animal. Fantasy lets us be someone else for a little while as well as letting us go somewhere else for a little while.

4 – Good fuel for writer brains (and non-writer brains–all brains)… (brains looks weird typed so many times)

If you’re a writer, you’re constantly looking for things to inspire your own writing. It can be a word, a character, a world, anything, but the best fuel is to be found in fantasy writing. Most of the time when I’ve finished a fantasy novel (and most of the time when I’m only a chapter into a fantasy novel) inspiration hits and my fingers can’t keep up typing with the stuff burning in my head. But just as fantasy books are good for writer’s imaginations, they’re good for non-writer brains too, keeping our minds sparking and pumping. (Brains definitely looks strange when you’ve typed it this many times)

5 – It offers hope…

Apologies, again with the cheese, but fantasy offers hope. Like the great Albus Dumbledore said “Happiness can be found in the darkest of time, if one just remembers to turn on the light…” The Light in this case is fantasy, where anything is possible, where you can be anyone and where you can escape. I was going through some pretty dark times a couple years back and places like Hogwarts made things seem not quite so dark.

The above will definitely be the last of the cheese (mostly definitely)

6 – Most of the time it’s fast, epic, full of adventure and other cool stuff… Fantasy is where it is happening. 

A lot of genres are fast-paced, action-packed and exciting, but fantasy tends to be the most fast-paced, the most action-packed, the most exciting and full of adventure. In what other genre do characters battle evil overlords who take the form of a giant eye, or play chess where the pieces attack each other, or go on quests for golden fleeces? Only in fantasy. Fantasy is where it’s happening.

7 – There are no rules…

Everyday we are hit in the face with rules. Drive on this side of the road, don’t eat that chocolate bar, buy this useless piece of crap for half price… In fantasy there are no rules… for us the reader at least. Sure characters might have to avoid Mordor or risk death or behave or end up a blueberry, but us readers get to read it all without consequence.

8 – It’s educational…

It may not be as educational as a text book, but fantasy can offer some valuable life lessons. Don’t piss off evil wizards, don’t go into haunted houses, don’t eat strange food… But more seriously, fantasy usually has a moral message running through it that we can learn from. Good triumphing over evil by remaining good and not going to the dark side, friendship and family are important, fight for what you believe in. Fantasy has valuable lessons to offer.

9 – It’s inspirational…

This isn’t a rehash of #4. Fantasy offers inspiration to readers in real life. When a reader sees a hero beating the villain, when we read about a boy finding his parents, a character winning a competition or making friends… it inspires us, the readers, to mirror them in our own lives. Our villain might not be a dark lord bent on our annihilation or an megalomaniac out for our suffering or a bloodthirsty three-headed dog but if someone is being bullied and they read about a character standing up to their bullies they may find inspiration. If they have trouble making friends and see a character they admire making friends, they may build up enough courage to give it a shot themselves. Fantasy offers us inspiration, no doubt.

10 – Erm… ah… let me think… Because it’s fantasy, man. That’s all you need to know.

What other genre has dragons, schools for witchcraft and wizardry, gardens made from candy, worlds at the back of wardrobes, talking animals? Come on, man, what other genre has Quidditch? None I tell you. Which is why fantasy is The Boss.

Do you agree that fantasy is the top genre? Or do you prefer another genre? Feel free to drop a comment below.


Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Book to Movie Adaptions I’m Looking Forward To

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

1 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts Logo.png

The plot of the Beasts movies doesn’t sound interesting yet, but more Potter (at least sort of) movies (3 of them) is cool with me. Seeing more of the Wizarding World will be interesting and the already impressive cast is growing. 

2 – The 5th Wave

Reading the book is almost like watching a movie at times–Yancey knows how to write action. This series took an unexpected turn in the second book, so it will be cool to see how it translates to screen. The first trailer wasn’t mind-blowing, but I’m still looking forward to it. 

3 – Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

Tim Burton is probably the only director for this book to movie adaption, and hopefully he can make the movie as creepy and fast-paced as the book should have been. It will be interesting to see if the movie is better than the book. I enjoyed Miss Peregrine’s, but it had more potential. 

4 – Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

The reviews are already coming in for Mockingjay Part 2, and they’re mostly positive. Part 1 was a bit slow and not much happened. But everything ends in this second part so it should be action-packed from beginning to end. 

5 – Lockwood & Co. – The Screaming Staircase

Warner Bros. have optioned the rights to Jonathan Stroud’s book, but the rights to the Bartimeaus trilogy were also optioned and nothing happened. Hopefully, things will be different with Lockwood and the movie will happen. It would make an awesome, action-packed film series. 

6 – Red Rising

Universal have optioned this one, and Marc Forster (World War Z) is signed on to direct. With plenty of action and an epic setting, this could be a huge movie. But it seems every movie set on Mars (save The Martian) has been a flop at the box office: John Carter being the biggest, despite how wicked it is. 

7 – The Martian

The Martian is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and one of my favourite books of all time. The movie had been out a while, but I haven’t seen it yet. From the trailers Ridley Scott nails the scope and action and Matt Damon has Watney’s humor down pat. 

8 – The Maze Runner: Death Cure

I’m not a big fan of the book, but if the success of the first two movies are anything to go by, The Death Cure should be pretty good. Scorch Trials needed more plot, but everything has to be wrapped up in the last movie so it should be WICKED (is good).

9 – Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Some weren’t happy with Cruise as Reacher, but he nailed the character in the first movie. Never Go Back is the one Reacher book I haven’t read yet, and I’m holding off so the plot of the movie is unexpected. 

10 – His Dark Materials (BBC TV show)

I (and not many others) enjoyed the movie adaption of the Northern Lights. It wasn’t a great adaption, but it was an epic movie in it’s own right. The BBC have recently bought the rights for the whole series. TV seems a better way to adapt the books, so this could be good. 

Extras: Steven Spielberg’s adaption of The BFG by Roald Dahl, Narnia: The Silver Chair, Vicious by V.E. Schwab.

Anyone else looking forward to one or more of these, or a different one? Feel free to add a link in a comment to your TTT so I can check them out…

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Sophomore Novels I Want To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top ten sophomore novels I haven’t read yet, but look forward to reading. 

1 – J. K. Rowling’s new children’s book

JK Rowling has started writing another children's book

Only recently Rowling announced on Radio 2: “I have an idea for a children’s book, actually I have written part of a children’s book that I really love, so I’m definitely going to finish that. There will be another children’s book.”

She’s written the Galbraith books, but this is her sophomore children’s series. It’s not much to go on, but it’s something. Wicked.

2 – Winter’s Teeth (Sherwood’s Doom series) by Tim Hall

The first book in this series blends the legend of Robin Hood with werewolves and X-Men and Game of Thrones. It’s also action packed and some of the best written fantasy I’ve read, so I’m looking forward to the sequel. Check this series out if you haven’t already.

3 – Miss Peregrine’s: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

The first book was hyped a lot, and I was disappointed after finishing it. It was entertaining, but it should have been creepier and faster-paced. I’m still looking forward to the sequel which will hopefully be better.

4 – Fire (Graceling) by Kristin Cashore

Graceling was as close to a YA Game of Thrones as I’ve read, with plenty of action, adventure and some epic writing. I hear the sequel has different characters, but I’m still looking forward to reading it.

5 – The Map of Bones (Fire Sermon) by Francesca Haig

Even thought this series is dystopia, Haig managed to make it pretty unique. Plenty of action, some gripping set pieces and a solid plot made the first book epic. Hopefully the second will live up to it.

6 – Rebel Heart (Dustlands) by Moira Young

Blood Red Road (the first book) is action-packed from beginning to end. The other books have received positive reviews, so they should be as good as the first.

7 – Zhek by Andy Weir

The Martian is one of my favourite books. Weir has said his next book (tentatively titled Zhek) will be “a more traditional sci-fi novel”.

8 – Veronica Roth’s sci-fi series (Untitled Duology)

Technically this isn’t a sophomore novel, but it’s a sophomore series. I’m not a big fan of Divergent, but her sci-fi duology sounds cool: “In the vein of ‘Star Wars'” it will tell of a boy’s “unlikely alliance” with an enemy.
“Both desperate to escape their oppressive lives, they help each other attain what they most desire: for one, redemption, and the other, revenge.”

9 – Mr. Fahrenheit by Martin T. Michael


The End Games, Michael’s first book, was pretty good. A bit slow-paced, but his second novel sounds wicked, pitched as Stephen King meets Super 8, it will be about a group of teens who witness a flying saucer approaching Earth.

10 – Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Even though I was a bit disappointed with Red Rising after the hype it was still an action-packed, well written book, and I’ve heard Golden Son is better.

Has anyone already read any of these sophomore novels? If so, what did you think? Which sophomore novels or series are you looking forward to?

Top Ten Tuesday (Halloween) – Top Ten Fictional Fighters of Evil

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

1 – Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant)

Along with Stephanie Edgley and a big cast of other characters, Skulduggery fights monsters and villains (often more than a few) in each of the nine Skulduggery books. He also has to fight his own evil.

2 – Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass)

She fights a corrupt king, friends turned enemies, and creatures as well as a growing darkness than threatens her entire world.

3 – Tom Ward (The Wardstone Chronicles/Last Apprentice)

Each of the books in the Wardstone Chronicles/Last Apprentice series is packed with monsters for Tom Ward to fight. But his greatest enemy is the Fiend. He’s helped by his master and trainer Gregory and the witch Alice.

4 – Anthony Lockwood (Lockwood & Co.)

Anthony Lockwood isn’t the main character in the Lockwood & Co. books. Lucy Carlye narrates them, and along with George Cubbins, they help Lockwood take down malevolent ghosts.

5 – Darrow (Red Rising)

Like Katniss Everdeen, Darrow fights a corrupt government, but aims to do it from within. I’ve read Red Rising, but haven’t got around to Golden Son yet.

6 – Harry Potter (Harry Potter)

One of the most famous evil fighters in fiction, Harry Potter has been battling Voldemort since he was a baby. But he also faces off against dementors, death eaters, evil teachers and his own dark connection to Voldemort throughout the seven book series.

7 – Percy Jackson (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)

Percy Jackson fights monsters and creatures and gods all the way through the original series, and finally faces off against the leader of the titans Cronus. He is helped by his father Poseideon and other gods, as well as his fellow demi-gods and best friends Annabeth and Grover.

8 – Tyrion Lannister (A Song of Ice and Fire)

Tyrion Lannister is a hero and an anti-hero. He tries to do good, fighting his father and his sister as well as many other enemies. He does it all while still being funny.

9 – Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)

Katniss faces enemies in the games, twice, all while fighting against a corrupt government and President Snow too.

10 – Lyra Belacqua (His Dark Materials)

In the first book, Lyra fights Miss Coulter and the Gobblers, before the sequels introduce a corrupt government, The Magisterium, and finally larger evil forces that involve angels and god. I wasn’t a big fan of the last book, but the series is still epic and Lyra is a tough heroine.

Do you have a favourite fighter of evil, or know a few I haven’t included here? Leave links to your TTT list in a comment below so I can check them out…

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Book Wishes

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten book wishes…

1 – For there to be a book/novel series version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

There are comics and a couple of novels, but it would be cool to have original novels like there are movies for each character and novels were the Avengers meet up. Or it doesn’t have to be Marvel, just a good superhero series–Steelheart is the closest I’ve read so far.

2 – For J.K. Rowling to write more Potter books

She said she was writing an encyclopedia, which turned out to be Pottermore, but I want to read more books set in the Wizarding World–about Harry, or other characters, sequels or prequels. Or if she doesn’t want to write more Potter books, then at least another fantasy book.

3 – For Hogwarts to be a real place

This one doesn’t need an explanation.

4 – To meet Stephen King

King is my favourite writer, so it would be wicked to ask him questions about his writing process.

5 – For Jurassic Park to be a real place

A working Jurassic Park–not the one with escaped dinosaurs and screaming. But after two failed parks, this probably wouldn’t happen–even if dinosaurs could be brought back.

6 – To have a home library

Or a house that is a library–shelves of books lining every room.

7 – For Lee Child to write a stand-alone thriller or for Suzanne Collins to write more YA books

I couldn’t decide between these two. I’m a big fan of the Jack Reacher books but it would be cool to see what else Child could write. Suzanne Collins hasn’t written a YA book since Mockingjay, so it would be interesting to see what other book or series she comes up with.

8 – For Skulduggery Pleasant to be adapted into a movie

A movie has been in development for a long time, but Landy said the script was terrible and nothing seems to be moving forward. The Skulduggery books would make epic movies and it’d be cool to see how they created Skulduggery himself.

9 – To visit Middle Earth

Like #3, this one doesn’t need much explanation.

10 – To own a signed copy of a Potter book

They’re rare and expensive to buy, and Rowling doesn’t do much signing any more.

(Cheat) 11 – A book deal

I’ve wanted to be published since I understood what publishing was, and got one step closer with signing with a literary agent earlier this year. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a few steps closer soon.

Does anyone else have a similar wish, or a completely different one? Leave a link to your TTT in a comment below so I can check them out.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Two Authors Who Should Assemble To Write A Book Together

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

1 – George R.R. Martin and Joe Abercrombie

Both these authors write epic, gritty high fantasy. Both write great characters, too, so it would be cool to see how epic a world and story they could create working together.

2 – Derek Landy and Rick Riordan

Skulduggery Pleasant (Landy) and Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson) both have a wicked sense of humor and write cool characters and plots. Writing a book together would be awesome, but it would be cool to see the characters from Skulduggery team up with Percy Jackson for a Marvel-Universe-style mash up.

3 – Stephen King and Lee Child

Stephen King writes awesome plots and characters, and Child just writes awesome. A thriller written by them could be action-packed, twisted and gripping.

4 – Derek Landy and Eoin Colfer

I haven’t read any of the Artemis Fowl books, but I know Colfer has a wicked sense of humor like Landy. These two could invent something cool.

5 – Ransom Riggs and Stephen King

I’m halfway through Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and, after all the hype, I’m a bit disappointed. It should be tightly plotted and scary, but it’s plodding along at just a decent pace. The concept and idea of Miss Peregrine’s are wicked, but Riggs doesn’t seem to use them to their full potential. With King writing with him, Miss Peregrine’s could have been as creepy and gripping as it should have been.

6 – Pierce Brown and James Dashner

Both write gripping plots and world-build well; a book by them both would be interesting.

7 – Jonathan Stroud and Rick Riordan

Lockwood & Co. meets Percy Jackson could be like another Marvel-Universe-mashup. A plot idea could be all the souls from Hades being unleashed and Lockwood and Co. have to team up with Percy and the rest of the demigods. Or something original by them writing together would be action-packed and funny.

8 – J.K. Rowling and Phillip Pullman

Rowling and Pullman both wrote complex plots in Potter and His Dark Materials, so seeing what they could write together would be epic.

9 – Michael Grant and Rick Yancey

Both these authors write stories with plenty of action and plot twists, a book by both could be like a smart Michael Bay movie.

10 – Sarah J. Maas and Pierce Brown

Throne of Glass (without the heavy romance) meets Red Rising. Not much else to say, save epic.

Anyone else think any of these team-ups would be cool? Or is there one author you would have teamed with someone different? Feel free to drop a comment, and leave a link to your TTT…

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten YA Tropes That I Want To Read Less Of

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

1 – Too much romance not enough plot

More and more YA books these days focus so much on the romance that there is barely any plot. The story hinges around the love between two or more characters and nothing else. I hate romance more than most. I’d rather have a solid, twisty plot.

2 – Too much teen angst and talking about feelings (in the first person present tense)

What happened to good old third person past tense, or first person past tense? I’m a fan of first person present when it’s done right–it can pull you into the action. But sometimes it doesn’t work. And a lot of YA books these days are first person, and the main character talks too much about their feelings, and worries too much: Divergent, Red Queen.

3 – A corrupt government

Since The Hunger Games, a lot of YA books have the government or whoever is in charge as corrupt. It would be interesting to see a YA novel where the government are the good guys.

4 – A rebel or resistance force

Like the corrupt government, there is often a rebel force fighting against them.

5 – Love Triangles

I don’t like romance, don’t like love triangle either. They bog down the plot.

6 – A dystopian world

There are so many dystopian worlds that it’s hard to write an original one now, so most of the time they have something, or several things, in common with a world from another book. No water, no trees, desert, flooded etc.

7 – A main character made to be the face of a resistance (links to #4)

A lot of YA books, too many, have main characters like Katniss Everdeen, an unsuspecting hero/heroine who is forced into being the face of the resistance and fight against the corrupt government.

8 – The main character has memory loss

A lot of main characters wake up at the beginning of the book with no or few memories (Maze Runner).

9 – The main character is an assassin

Since Throne of Glass, a lot of books recently released, or being released soon have female assassins out for revenge as the main character.

10 – The main character has lost their parents, family etc.

It worked in the Potter books, because Harry was fueled by those he lost, but it gets old if almost every character in YA fiction is orphaned or separated from their family or their family is murdered.

Is anyone else tired of any of the tropes above, or have any other tropes they want to see less of, or even more of, in YA fiction? Feel free to leave a comment and a link to your TTT if you have one…

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books to Read if you like George R.R. Martin…

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

If you’re a fan of George R.R. Martin but are looking for a book more YA than A Song of Ice and Fire (I still recommend reading Ice and Fire if you’re a young adult), some of the books/series below are worth checking out…

1 – Red Rising by Pierce Brown

This has sci-fi and high fantasy elements, with some great writing and cool set pieces.

2 – The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

This is one of my favourite YA high fantasy series, with some of the best world-building I’ve read. There are 11 books in the main series, with a new series recently released. Beyond the Deepwoods is the first book.

3 – The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

This has dystopian elements, but it’s more high fantasy, with the same complex plotting and suspicious characters as Game of Thrones. Fast paced, well written, worth checking out.

4 – The Shattered Sea trilogy by Joe Abercrombie

Arguably the best YA high fantasy ever written, this is gritty, fast-paced and action packed with well-developed characters and plenty of violence. It’s YA, but it’s as close to Game of Thrones as YA comes. Half a King is the first book.

5 – The Rangers Apprentice series by Jon Flanagan

Another fast-paced series with solid action and characters. The plot isn’t as complex as Game of Thrones, but it’s still unpredictable and gripping. The Ruins of Gorlan is the first book.

6 – Shadow of the Wolf by Tim Hall

This book is underrated. It blends the legend of Robin Hood with werewolves, all in an interesting fantasy world.

7 – The Wardstone Chronicles/Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney

I grew up with this series. It’s fantasy/horror, set in a world just slightly different from the real one. Dark, fast-paced, worth checking out. The Spooks Apprentice/Revenge of the Witch (US) is the first book.

8 – Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

I wasn’t a big fan of the first book, but the sequels edged closer to A Song of Ice and Fire and the series got better.

9 – Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Similar to Throne of Glass in that it’s focused too heavily on romance for most of the plot, this is still a solid high-fantasy read with some good action sequences and an interesting world.

10 – Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Violent, gritty, funny, this is like Shattered Sea in that it’s as close as you can get to a YA Game of Thrones.

Anyone read or wants to read any of these books? If anyone can recommend any more books similar to Game of Thrones, I’d be grateful to hear them…

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books TBR This Autumn

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

1 – A Clash of Kings by George R.R Martin

I’m a big fan of the TV show and only recently started reading A Game of Thrones. The book is as addictive as the show, so I’ll be reading this as soon as I finish Thrones.

2 – A Storm of Swords by George R.R Martin

Even though they’re thick enough to build walls with, the Song of Fire and Ice books are addictive and I race through them, so I’ll read the third book this autumn too.

3 – Lockwood & Co. 3 The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud

Humour, action, great writing. Enough said.

4 – Skulduggery Pleasant 9: The Dying of the Light by Derek Landy

Humour, action, great writing. Enough said too.

5 – Demon Road by Derek Landy

The idea sounds pretty good and with Landy there is a guarantee of action and humour.

6 – Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

I wasn’t a big fan of the first book, but as the series gets gritter and more like A Song of Ice and Fire it gets better.

7 – Solomon Creed by Simon Toyne

The blurb for this sounds epic:

One lone figure emerges alive from the wreckage. He has no memory of his past, and no idea of his future. He only knows he must save a man. But how do you save someone who is already dead?

8 – Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer/Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan


Can’t go wrong with a book Riordan most of the time and Norse mythology is my favourite out of Greek, Roman, Egyptian etc.

9 – Duma Key by Stephen King

Stephen King. Enough said again.

10 – Golden Son by Pierce Brown

I wrote a mixed review about the first book, but looking back I enjoyed it more than I thought.

Is anyone reading one or more of the same books this autumn/fall? Anyone else read A Song of Ice and Fire, if so what do you think, as good as, better than, or not as good as the TV show?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Wish I’d Written

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

1 – Under the Dome by Stephen King

Stephen King writes characters and tension like nobody else.

2 – The Bartimeaus Sequence by Jonathan Stroud

Fast, funny, with some great world-building and vivid fantasy writing.

3 – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Save selling millions of copies, the reason I wish I’d written this is because of how fast and action-packed it is, but also how it’s some of the most believable fiction ever written.

4 – The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Who else wouldn’t wish they’d written the Potter books?

5 – 11/22/63 by Stephen King

Easily one of my favourite books, King shows again how well he can write characters and tension. I wish I had his ability to pull a reader into one of his stories.

6 – The Martian by Andy Weir

A wise-cracking main character, plenty of action and tension, plus some crazy-detailed research that Weir never makes boring.

7 – A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

Martin gives Tolkien a run for his money in world-building with A Song of Ice and Fire. I haven’t read them yet, but from the show and what I’ve heard, there’s no question I wish I could write worlds as detailed and vast as Martin.

8 – Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Another of my top 5 books of all time (and favourite movie of all time). Action, great plot and concept, and like Weir with The Martian, Crichton always makes the science interesting and understandable.

9 – His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman

I’m not a big fan of the final book, but the first and second are some of the best fantasy around.

10 – The Shattered Sea trilogy by Joe Abercrombie 

I like to read gritty fantasy as well as write it, and the Shattered Sea trilogy is as gritty and violent as fantasy comes. Epic.

Even if you’re not a writer, are there any books or series you wished you’d written, and why?

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