Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Vivid Worlds

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and Bookish.

Top 10 Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books

To begin with, I'm going to avoid Potter as I'm sure that's on EVERYONE'S list, but other than that this tends to be one of my biggest loves in reading books (world building) so I'm excited to list them. (And in no real particular order)

1) Patricia C. Wrede's Frontier Magic Series
Thirteenth Child, Across the Great Barrier and The Far West (coming out soon) are the three books in this amazing series. The world is part American Historical and part magical awesomeness. In this version of the world, magical beasts like Swarming Weasels and Steam Dragons, and non-magical beasts such as Mammoths range out past the Mississippi (or Mammoth) River and people can go to college and focus on magical learnings. Effie, the main character, is the 7th daughter of a 7th son, twin to a 7th son of a 7th son and well, the 13th child, and her family moved out to the edges of the frontier when she was fairly young. This world is so unique, yet I can see it so clearly in my mind and know there is so much more to it left even now.

2) Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
This book is a steampunk novel, need I say more about how vivid the world is? Yes? Well among steampunk novels, I'd have to say that this book is extra-ordinary vivid. Another AU Historical, taking place around WW1, the ideas behind it are so different and awesome. The descriptions are well done, but even if they weren't, the illustrations of some of the creatures in this world are mesmerizing. When I was reading this book, I would waste five minutes just staring at some of them.

3) A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
Like, Harry Potter, this is a pretty obvious answer, but honestly as much as I don't want to live in this world, I have to admit it is quite easy to picture in one's hand, which causes some of the issues when the show takes a slightly different approach, but considering most of the things in the HBO show are considered perfect, that is a testament to the vividness of the world building.

4) The Chronicles of Faerie by O.R. Melling
So here is probably a series that you have never heard about (sadly), it is a very vivid version of faerie mythos, specifically in the final book The Book of Dreams where Melling combines Irish mythos with Canadian mythos seemlessly, and having us travel through worlds described so perfectly it's like we're there.

5) The Dark Lord of Derkholm/Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones
There are so many Jones books with absolutely amazing and vivid world building, but for me personally The Dark Lord of Derkholm and Year of the Griffin take the cake. The world we are first thrust into is that of magic and wizards and such, however someone from OUR world has gotten their greedy hands on a portal to this world and with the help of the demon in his pocket is forcing the world to be almost like an amusement park, so that he can charge people for entrance into this world for an "adventure".

6) Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
Ice is a combination of fairytale, our world inspired mythos and life at a Arctic Scientific Station, a combination that works brilliantly. Every step of the main characters way is described vividly for us so that we can picture where she is, where she is living and then where she is journeying through.

7) Black Jewels Series by Anne Bishop
Like A Song of Ice and Fire, this is definitely not a world for kids. This series takes place in a corrupt matriarchal society with a mythology, history, social and magic system so well thought out and shown bit by bit until you could start imagining where you could be or would want to be in such a place.

8) Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale
There are so many fairytale inspired books that were able to develop vivid worlds from the fairytale they used, but of all of them The Goose Girl and its sequels stand out because the world that was built was strong enough to hold not one, but four books easily. Although, in my opinion, the books are more about character growth than world building. This is another world that I have no trouble imagining my place in and the abilities that I might have.

9) Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer
As a kid this series of books was just not my thing because I didn't connect with the world very well, personally, but even I have to admit in a second that Colfer created an amazing world that is unique and just as vivid as Harry Potter.

10) Gone Series by Michael Grant
I'm going to argue that this world is TOO vivid, considering it may be the only book I know to give me an honest to god nightmare (if you're curious it involved zekes living in one the carpets in my house, and me keeping them from devouring my cats). The things happening, the creatures, the problems are so easy to picture in your brain and to see it's horrifying. My family has seen me make noises and react to reading these books (like the disease where they cough up a lung oh god, too well described aaaaghhh)


April (BooksandWine) said...

Oh! I love it when I come across lists that have lots of books I have yet to read but have every intention of checking out, like Leviathan and the Diane Wynne Jones books (I've read Howl's Moving Castle and Stopping For A Spell and that is pretty much it). It kind of reaffirms my desire to read them. I had Westeros on my list as well.


lillylilac said...

Good list. I love the worlds of A Song of Ice and Fire and Artemis Fowl as well.

Jenny said...

I love your list! I have A Song of Ice and Fire and Leviathan on mine too. I really need to read the Patricia C. Wrede books! Here's my list.

Unknown said...

Cool list you got there. They looked so interesting.

Btw, I tagged you on the Would you rather...? tag!
Find out more about it here: http://bookforya.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/would-you-rather-tag.html

The Avid Reader said...

I have wanted to read the Gone series for a while now.

Nancy @ The Avid Reader
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