TOP TEN TUESDAY

TOP TEN TUESDAYS

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where a new top ten list hits the web every week!

This week our topic is …

TEN BOOKS I ENJOYED THAT WEREN’T MY TYPICAL KIND OF BOOK

THE FALL OF FAIR ISLE10. The Fall of Fair Isle by Rowena Cory Daniells

I read this book in 2015,and while it is definitely a fantasy, I’m including it on this list, because it is a different type of fantasy than what I usually read.  Specifically I’d label this more along the lines of romantic fantasy.  And for that type of tale, The Fall of Fair Isle was a good read, filled with world building and more than enough characterization and romantic triangle dynamics to keep me turning the pages.  I won’t go so far as to say the story turned me into a fan of this sub-genre, but I definitely didn’t mind visiting.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

riders9. Riders by Veronica Rossi

This is a Young Adult novel which has an engaging and compelling story.  It also has something many YA stories are missing: characters who actually act and sound like they are young adults.  I mean, let’s be honest and just admit a lot of the YA faire out there has teenagers acting and speaking like they are thirty or forty year old adult.  Sure, you can enjoy the story anyway, but why do that when there is a compelling fantasy about true-to-life eighteen year olds, who also happen to be the physical representations of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  Yeah, that’s right — the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  Read it and see where it takes you.

Purchase the book at Amazon. 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00021]8. King of the Bastards by Brian Keene & Steven Shrewsbury

Sword and sorcery is a fantasy genre which I’ve enjoyed in the past, but it isn’t one I read very often.  In fact, I can’t really recall the last time my reading journey took me into a good old-fashioned, politically incorrect, blood splattered,testosterone fantasies like King of the Bastards.  And that is too bad, because this book was immensely fun.  Not horrible deep, but really cool in that B movie kind of way.  Plus, it rekindled my desire to revisit old sword and sorcery favorites, because, let’s face it, reading is suppose to be just fun sometimes.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

gideon smith and the mask of the ripper7. Gideon Smith and the Mask of the Ripper   by David Barnett

Okay, sure, I dabble in steampunk stories every once in a while, but it isn’t that often.  And, yes, I did read Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl, yet I totally missed out on the second book in the series.  So it might seem strange I’m adding this novel to my list.  It really shouldn’t be though, because Gideon Smith and the Mask of the Ripper is what I like to think of as a vacation.  You know, I go somewhere out of the ordinary — like a steampunk Victorian England, where vampires, mechanical girls, and all sorts of wonderful contraptions are running amock.  Once there, I have a lot of fun, then go back home, wishing I could have stayed a bit longer.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

shards of heaven6. The Shards of Heaven by Michael Livingston

This opening salvo in an epic historical fantasy is tailored made for my tastes.  One, it is something a bit different than the fantasy faire I usually devour, because it actually is based on true history with real historical figures strutting around on stage.  Two, it stays true to the real history of the time, as hard as that is to believe.  And, three, it somehow mixes in enough fantastical elements to liven everything up.  All of which means that a history lover like myself (Long ago, I was actually received a major in ancient history from university.) found this a delectable morsel not to be missed.

Purchase the book at Amazon. 

the iron ship5. The Iron Ship by K.M. McKinley  

Fantasy stories are like different amusement park rides.  Some are character focused; others are plot driven; while a few (like The Iron Ship) are world building thrillers. What the hell am I talking about, you ask?  Well, simply put, the star of the show here is the huge, fantastical world and its mysterious history.  Sure, there are lots of characters with multiple viewpoints steering this coaster down the tracks, but it is the scenery that ride is roaring through which really captures your attention, because it is just so damn interesting.  And that, my friend, is definitely a ride I like to take every now and again.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

LEVIATHAN WAKES4. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

One turned in my reading the last few years has been less and less sci-fi.  Not sure why that is, but the numbers don’t lie: I’m reading more fantasy and less science fiction.  To rectify this I tried to pick out one of the most talked about scifi series out there to usher me back into the fold, so to speak.  And while Leviathan Awakes didn’t turn me into a fan of the Expanse series, I definitely enjoyed reading about a place where space ships and scientific talk took the place of dragons and magic.  Well, at least, for one book, anyway.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

romulus buckle 33. Romulus Buckle & the Luminiferous Aether  by Richard Ellis Preston Jr.

Now, before you say it, I admit this is another steampunk adventure series which I have read in the past, much like Gideon Smith a few wheel spins further up the list, but it also is a welcomed departure from the fantasy stories I consistently read.  Plus, it has zeppelins in it, brother.  Well, maybe, this one didn’t have too many pages dedicated to those amazing airships of yesteryear, but instead we have a Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea-type adventure story which is full of fun of swashbuckling.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

a song for no man's land2. A Song for No Man’s Land by Andy Remic

While I’ve been a frequent reader of Mr. Remic the last few years (The Iron WolvesThe White TowersThe Dragon Engine), none of those grimdark epics prepared me for this amazing genre blender of World War I action story and dark fantasy.  I just finished this emotional and brutal story last night, so it is still fresh in my mind.  And while I haven’t had time to write a proper review of it yet, I will tell you that this is an amazing story, which does an excellent job pulling your heart strings while also showing the true horrors of the Great War down in the trenches!

Purchase the novella at Amazon.

AN APPRENTICE TO ELVES1. An Apprentice to Elves by Sarah Monette  & Elizabeth Bear

As strange and hard to believe as this may sound, this was one of only three fantasy novels which I read in the last year penned by female authors.  If you add in a few novellas I read, then the number goes up to five.  And the strange thing is that I never even noticed the absence of the female voices until a blogger friend of mine invited me to participate in a list regarding the best female authored fantasy books of 2015.  Then I was like “WTF!”  But as much I wanted to deny the truth, I couldn’t.  So I’m placing this fantasy extravaganza by the team of Monette and Bear at the top of my list, because it appears fantasy written by female authors wasn’t something I enjoyed very much in the past, but I did enjoy this novel immensely.

Purchase the book at Amazon.

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5 Responses to TOP TEN TUESDAY

  1. Looks like straying away from your usual path as helped you find some cracking, slightly different reads. I haven’t read any of these books, however I have heard good things about An Apprentice to Elves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear; I also love the cover!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never heard of any of these books, but they all sound like a BLAST. I know nothing about sorcery and whatnot, but I’m down to read a book that has bastards in the title. I’m also down for some testosterone and bloodshed. Perhaps when my book buying ban is up?

    My TTT: http://brownbooksandgreentea.com/2016/02/23/reading-outside-of-my-comfort-zone/

    Like

  3. Leaving one’s comfort zone can be difficult, but sometimes you can find unexpected treasures when you leave the beaten path: “Shards of Heaven” was one such find for me as well, a surprisingly delightful discovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice list. Looking forward to reading the Brian Keene fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

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