Today I bring you what has become a slightly rarity on my blog as of late – tags! Since this one is a Harry Potter themed tag designed around the functions of the spells, however, I couldn’t resist when the ever-lovely Ariana from The Quirky Book Nerd nominated me to do this.
This tag and all of the lovely art you see below was created by Lashaan and Trang from Bookidote. The only rule is you cannot use Harry Potter books for any of your answers! Let’s see how that goes, haha…
A book where you found the theme interesting, but you’d like to rewrite it: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
As much as I love the Grisha trilogy (come on, the Darkling, why wouldn’t I love a questionable villain-come-love-interest?) I can admit the writing, at times, can be a bit eye-roll worthy because of the expected (at this point almost necessary) YA fantasy tropes regarding plot devices and particular turn of phrases. It’s a compelling story though, so I feel like if only the writing was a bit (well) better then the trilogy as a whole would benefit.
The first book in a series that got you hooked: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
I recently read the first book in Jim Butcher’s new series, The Cinder Spires, and boy oh boy am I hooked. Noble houses, pirate ships, steam punk, and magic – of course I’m in this for the long haul. This is actually the first time in a while that I’ve started a series when only one book has been published so far – so I’m pleasingly all caught up and so, so ready for the next in the series – eagerly anticipating it, in fact!
A book you wish you could have right now: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
It’s the final book in the Raven Cycle and I am dying because some people have it already due to shops mistakenly selling it but I will have to wait a whole two days before I have it in my hands and it makes me cry a little. Not that I’m being dramatic at all but, I mean, if you’ve read The Raven Cycle, you’ll understand how it could inspire such emotional reactions at the thought of having the final book in the series in your hands.
(As you can see from this answer, this post has been in drafts for a few days, oops! I officially have The Raven King in my hands, thank goodness.)
A killer book. Both senses. Take it as you like: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
So much character development! So many tense moments! So much gruesome and excruciating detail in the crime! The Cormoran Strike books really do go from strength to strength and, since he is a private detective, it’s no surprise that he comes up against some violent and nasty people and events. So this was a killer book for both literal and figurative reasons.
A book that you found really confusing: The Wicked + the Divine Volume 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson
I recently read the first trade of The Wicked + the Divine during the #AuthorAThon and, whilst the concept of famous individuals with powers realising they are reincarnated deities (kind of) who won’t live past two years before being re-reincarnated in a 90-year cycle is really intriguing, it’s also very odd. Add into this the fact that I’m not versed on ALL the mythological figures ever and, well, I just found myself very confused by what was happening. In a way, it’s a good thing, because it hooks you and means that you want to read on and to comprehend what the hell is going on, but it’s also disorientating and frustrating as a reader.
Your spirit animal book: Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre
I struggle with this question since I’m not entirely comfortable with the whole idea of “spirit animals” but I did my best and would have to choose Viper Wine. Viper Wine encompasses a love of nerdy Renaissance settings, themes, and concepts, alongside pop culture such as the lyrical stylings of David Bowie. As summarised on Goodreads “Based on real events, Viper Wine is 1632 rendered in Pop Art prose; a place to find alchemy, David Bowie, recipes for seventeenth-century beauty potions, a Borgesian unfinished library and a submarine that sails beneath the Thames” – I mean, come on, it’s like all the seemingly discordant thoughts I have were committed to paper and became a beautifully bizarre novel.
A dark, twisted book: You by Caroline Kepnes
Anyone who has ever had the misfortune to read You will understand just how dark and twisted it is. In fact, even those who haven’t read Caroline Kepnes’ book has probably still heard of it due to its premise and narrative style – it’s told in second person narrator so it reads as though the character, Joe, is watching you, the reader. It’s a good narrative device to choose considering it’s a book basically about stalking and obsession but it’s also extremely unnerving and creepy and it’s safe to say I felt very paranoid whilst reading it. Mind you, that also meant I flew through it and finished it practically in one sitting – it’s just unfortunate that another side-effect was that I kept looking over my shoulder in public for days afterwards!
A book that surprised you in a great way, reveals to be more than it is: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
I adore Neil Gaiman – I think such an opinion is perfectly reasonable and expected of most book lovers. However, as it is considered a children’s book, I didn’t expect to love The Graveyard Book quite as much as I did since I was reading it at the ripe old age of 22. I ought to learn – Gaiman’s books, regardless of the alleged target audience, are always books for all ages, and all ages can enjoy them equally. The Graveyard Book turned out to have not only the fantastical and beautiful prose I expect of Gaiman, but also had heart and humour alongside the chilling and frightening scenes – an altogether unexpected, near-perfect read.
I hereby nominate anyone reading this who hasn’t yet completed the tag and/or is a Harry Potter fan – I think I’ve covered every conceivable base there.