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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 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.
Thanks to Erika in Bookventureland for tagging everyone.
For this tag you have to answer the questions without using Google or Goodreads, or any other source but your own memory.
Name a book written by an author called Michael
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. One of my favourite books of all time, and my favourite movie of all time.
Name a book with a dragon on the cover
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The fourth book is in my top 3 favourite of the series. The dragon on the cover is the Hungarian Horntail Harry faces in the first trial of the Tri-Wizard tournament.
Name a book about a character called George
I can’t think of a book I’ve read with a main character called George Cubbins, but Lockwood & Co. has a character who is part of the main trio called George. His first appearance is in the first book, The Screaming Staircase.
Name a book written by an author with the surname Smith
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. I’ve only read half of this book, but I saw the movie and never got around the reading the second half.
Name a book set in Australia
Skulduggery Pleasant Mortal Coil is only briefly set in Australia, but it was the only book I could think of.
Name a book with the name of a month in the title
The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy. I have watched the movie, but haven’t read the book.
Name a book with a knife on the cover
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. They are more like swords, but I couldn’t think of a book I’d read recently with a knife on the cover.
Name a book with the word ‘one’ in the title
One Shot by Lee Child.
Name a book with an eponymous title
Probably the most famous of eponymous titles, The Harry Potter series.
Name a book turned into a movie
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling. There are a two dozen more I could have answered with, but this is the book to movie adaption I’m most looking forward to. The books isn’t a story, so it will be cool to see how they make a trilogy out of less than 100 pages of creature descriptions. If I was choosing the book I’d read most recently that has been turned into a film, it would be Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children–I hope the movie is better than the book.
If you want to give this tag a shot, then you’re tagged. Drop a link to your tag in a comment below so I can check them out…
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 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…
How I Read…
Erika, of Erika in Bookventureland, tagged anyone who wanted to give this Tag a shot. So I thought I would. Head over to Erika’s blog to check out her original post.
How do you find out about new books to read?
I used to search for similar books to whatever I was reading, but now I use Goodreads and it does it for you. I also keep track of several authors and when they’re new books are being released.
How did you get into reading?
I’ve been reading ever since I can remember, and probably before that. My earliest memories of stories are my grandad telling me them. It’s probably his fault I read and write so much.
How has your taste in books changed since you got older?
I used to only read fantasy, middle-grade and young-adult. But now I read pretty much everything save romance and non-fiction. I still read fantasy, but it’s less middle grade more young adult and adult now. I read a lot of crime/detective fiction and thrillers too.
How often do you buy books?
Pretty often. 1-3 a week. I don’t own, probably never will own, a Kindle, so I buy print books. Mostly second hand, but if it’s one my favourite authors and they have a new book out, I’ll pre-order it or buy it brand new.
How did you get into book reviewing?
When I started using Goodreads a few years ago.
How do you react when you don’t like the end of a book?
Half pissed, half indifferent. Being a writer I understand that creating the perfect ending to make everyone, including the writer, happy is a tough task.
How often do you sneak peek at an ending to see if there is a happy ending?
Never have. I like books to be unpredictable until the end, and I can like an ending if it’s happy or not as long as it’s a solid ending that does justice to everything that came before it.
Thanks to Erica for tagging everyone. I’ll do the same. Drop a link in the comment below, it’ll be cool to see how everyone else reads…
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…
Cait Grace, creator or the cool blog Paper Fury tagged all writers for this book tag. I’ve never done a tag before, but this one sounded cool so I thought I’d give it a shot.
Write Fuel : What do you eat/drink while writing?
I don’t eat anything while writing. I eat in between writing. Get up at around 5AM, eat first breakfast. Write with a cup of tea or coffee, the first strong, the second strong and black. Second breakfast/Hobbit breakfast, and then write some more.
Write Sounds: What do you listen to while writing?
Nothing. I can write if someone else is watching TV. And because I write in the living room, the TV is sometimes on. But because I get up at 5AM or sometimes earlier, I can write for a couple solid hours before everyone else gets up. I don’t listen to soundtracks or songs while writing.
Write Vice: What’s your most debilitating distraction?
If I’m reading a good book. George R.R. Martin is to blame recently. I spend a lot of time on IMDB and Goodreads, too.
Write Horror: What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you while writing?
Writing for two hours in a Word Document that had opened as Read-Only, so when I came to save it I couldn’t and lost everything I’d written.
Write Joy: What’s the best thing that’s happened to you while writing or how do you celebrate small victories?
Writing a sentence or scene or a chapter that I’m really proud of. It doesn’t always happen, but there are some moments where you write something and you say, “That’s not half bad.”
Finishing a book. A novel is a tough thing to face, but battling through it to come out the other side with a full novel is a wicked feeling.
Write Crew: Who do you communicate with or not communicate with while writing?
Nobody but the characters I’m writing about. I get deep into a world, sometimes too deep.
Write Secret: What’s your writing secret to success or hidden flaw?
Routine. I used to write only when I felt like it. I could go as long as a week without writing anything at all. So I started writing every day with a set word count. It took some getting used to but now I write at least 2000 words a day and don’t let myself do less.
Know where you’re going, at least some of the way. Some people are plotters, some pansters. I’m somewhere in between. I don’t outline a novel from beginning to end, but I do think at least one or two chapters ahead from where I’m writing in the moment. That way I don’t get writers block.
Leave it on a spot you can come back to easily. This could be in the middle of an action sequence or a conversation, it just makes it easier to pick up again the next time you write.
One of many flaws is that I am no good at writing romance. I’ve learned a little and know it’s necessary for some plots, but I’m just not very good at it.
Another flaw is description. Again, I’ve learned to write sharper description, but I still probably write too much.
Write-Spiration: What always makes you productive?
Reading other books. I want to write as well as some of my favourite authors, and the only way to do that is to keep writing.
Write Peeve: What’s one thing writers do (or you do) that’s annoying?
Write what they think will get published and not what they want to write. If everyone writes the same thing, with the same plot, ideas, characters etc nothing new will ever get written.
Write Words: Share one sentence from a project past or present
I’m editing with my agent at the moment, but recently I finished my first attempt at writing for adults. A supernatural horror. It was a great experience and I could write horror pretty much without any limits. Below is one of the more PG lines.
My hands sank into inches of gore, black and made soupy as it blended with the melted snow.
Thanks to Cait Grace of Paper Fury for offering this tag to all writers. I do the same now. So if you’re a writer, you’re tagged…
And check out Paper Fury. It’s a great blog for readers and writers.
Since I can remember I’ve read fantasy, mostly middle-grade and young-adult. Since I can remember, I’ve written fantasy too, again middle-grade and young-adult.
I wrote fantasy because it’s what I read, what I knew. It was probably instinct.
Many writers only write in one genre, some about only one character. Lee Child writes thrillers, all of them with Jack Reacher as the main character.
Some writers write in many different genres. Stephen King writes horror, thrillers, detective fiction, drama, fantasy, and once YA (Eye of the Dragon).
But does writing in one genre, just what you know, limit you? Or does it mean that what you write will be better than if you wrote something you didn’t know about or understand?
I used to write only fantasy, and for children-teenagers, but since I started reading more than just fantasy, for more than just middle graders and young adults, I’ve had an itch to write more than just fantasy too. For the past few years I’ve written books that are sci-fi, thrillers, crime fiction, high-fantasy and horror. Up until a month or so back, I’d still only written for middle graders and young adult.
Then I decided to give writing for adults a shot.
A month and two weeks later and I’ve finished the first draft of my first book for adults this morning. I’d had the idea for a while, was intending to use it for a YA series, but decided it could work better as a stand-alone adult supernatural horror.
Turned out to be some of the most fun I’ve had writing for a while. It was tough in places, but came smooth in others.
I’d never written for adults before, was worried it wouldn’t work or I would slip back into a YA tone at some point. But, as far as I can tell, it did work (but this could be bias–so I’ll have to wait until my agent reads it to find out the truth). I finished, and I’m as happy as anybody can be with a first draft.
So my answer to should we write or read only what we know or what we don’t is the former. If we only write or read what we know, we’ll never know what else we can write or read.