Fantastic Fantasy

Last week, I promised to write about a few of my favorite books written post 1900.  I know that this is mostly a personal style blog, but I love books too, you know. So there.

I've been on a Fantasy/Science Fiction kick lately, which means SERIES BOOKS! Don't you just love getting lost in a well-written series? I do! It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it hits me like an elephant falling from the sky. Meaning, I basically am smooshed on the couch, reading intently for an indefinite period of time, only getting up when there are no longer books left in that series to read. Doesn't make sense? Oh well, I tried.

First up: Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins




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Three years after the first book came out, and I finally relent to reading the series. I don't usually pick up bestsellers because, well, you know, I'm a snob. But Jennifer Lawrence is playing Katniss Everdeen in the upcoming movie, so I wanted to read the book before I see the movie. I will confess that I found myself tearing the book apart when I first started reading it. The writing is just horribly atrocious and too melodramatic for my tastes, but I couldn't put it down. The pacing is perfect, and I found myself actually even commending Collins for using first person narrative to tell her story.

For those who haven't read this series (I may be the last one in the planet, and I'm still on book 3, so no spoilers, please), The Hunger Games is a yearly, televised event where representatives from each of the 12 districts in a post-apocalyptic country of Panem battle each other TO THE DEATH. I can't really say much more without spoiling it. So, I will leave it there. 

Next:  The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien



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I read this "series" about 10 years ago, when the movies first came out, and didn't think much of them. After becoming more familiar with Tolkien's critical writing on Anglo Saxon culture and the Old English language, however, I decided to revisit his well-loved fiction. I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was astounded that at how masterfully Tolkien draws from the Anglo-Saxon culture and Old English language to "craft" his own languages for his work (yes, I am a bit of a language nerd). 

I love the movies to death. I mean, I've seen all three extended versions multiple times (the actual number is unknown, and if ever known, will be kept secret), but I love the books on a different level. They are just THAT GOOD. 

Lastly: Leviathan Series by Scott Westerfeld



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I liked his Uglies series a lot, but the Leviathan series blew me away. This trilogy is a steampunk reinterpretation of WWI, with the Clankers (machine lovers) on one side, and the Darwinists (and their beasties) on the other. It's my first encounter with Steampunk, so I may be over-praising it, but I think for a Young Adult novel, it's really quite well-done. If you are mildly interested in science fiction but like the style and pace of Young Adult novels, this is a good series to pick up.The dialogue is convincing, the characters are very likable, the pacing is quick, and THERE ARE GORGEOUS PICTURES IN IT! 

Tell me: What are your favorite Fantasy reads? 

37 comments:

  1. I, too, got sucked into the Hunger Games. I read the books in 3 days (1 each day) which is horrible. I just sat there for hours and am surprised I remembered how to walk after my little bender. That said, I wouldn't trust me with books. I just read one by Hilary Duff (which was a follow up to her first book) and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  2. I am not much a of a fantasy reader - more horror than anything (Stephen King is my all time favorite). However, I did thoroughly enjoy the Harry Potter books! :)

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  3. Yay, books I don't know about! :) except for the LOTR, of course. I haven't loved any fiction series like I love Harry Potter (cliche, cliche, cliche...) but as you're recommending something, I actually might be brave enough to try out something. As you know, I'm kinda stuck to my silly girly novels that are light enough. :D maybe on the Christmas break, though ;) Thank you for the recommendations, I would love to read more of these posts from you sometime :) have a lovely day, gorgeous! xoxo

    http://handmadedreams-silvertigo.blogspot.com

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  4. I am all about LOTR. I've had a long standing obsession with Anglo-Saxon and Nordic mythology and history and so my love of the LOTR world is pretty deep seated.


    xoxo ~ Courtney
    http://sartorialsidelines.com

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  5. Ohh I have read the Lord of the Rings books as well cuz I was sooo hungry for more after I've watched the first movie haha! And there had been one too many times of brow furrowing on my part when I read the book lol. I read the HP series and I loved it, now that one, I've read the book before I even saw the movie lol. 

    Cheers,WiA Single Girl's Musings

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  6. sounds like interesting books, my husband is currently reading the art of war and I'm reading a motivational book ;-)

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  7. I've never heard of the last series. I'm in a point where I think the Hunger Games series is a rip off of Battle Royale, only for Americans. What do you think about that? I haven't read them so my opinion is only based off assumptions. 

    I don't really read anymore, but I've been dying to read Stephen King's new book 11/22/63.

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  8. Oh, I looooovvve reading. And especially the good young adult series we've been seeing lately.  Especially the Hunger Games books. It's such an intriguing story!

    I also really enjoyed the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo and Girl who Played with Fire. I still haven't read the last one, but I need to get on that!

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  9. I enjoy Lord of the rings movie for sure, not sure if I have the patience to go through a thick book. The only fantasy books I read were The chronicles of Narnia. I love them. I like the idea of entering a different world through a door. 

    mongsmythriftycloset.blogspot.com

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  10. I'm reading last of the Song of Fire and Ice books right now, and the Hunger Games are on my "to read" list.

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  11. I enjoyed the Lord of the rings trilogy, I read 'The Hobbit' at school and it left me wanting more! x

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  12. I admit to not having read The Hunger Games and I feel like I'm the only person in the world who hasn't. I've heard the writing is pretty terrible, too, and that's one of my main reasons for not finishing a book so I don't know if I'll ever read the series. I'll definitely check out Leviathan, sounds interesting! 

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  13. Mr. Taylor and his LadyNovember 22, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    need to get mockingjay! i read the hunger games and fell in love. and of course i have to add twilight on here. love, love love! just like the rest of the 13 year old nation, haha
    xo TJ

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  14. Ellesees.blogspot.comNovember 22, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    I'm going to read the hunger games! I've got to!
    Ps I'm still waiting on you to start making paper bag skirts! ;)

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  15. TracyBeautyReflectionsNovember 22, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    I need to read Leviathan now! It sounds fantastic. 
    I like LOTR too, but book 2 was kind of sloooooow for me. Especially the first half of it. But my fave of his has to The Hobbit. That's his best book I think.

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  16. HAHAHA. I didn't even know Hillary Duff wrote a book! That's insane. I flipped through the Miley Cyrus "autobiography." it was ridiculous.

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  17. I thought the same way about the Hunger Games, and I super love BAttle Royale. But it's actually quite good-- very gripping and definitely written for YAs. I'm not much of a Stephen King reader, but I never really had the proper chance to read his stuff.

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  18. HAHAH! I am sooo horrible! Sorry! I didn't know people really wanted them THAT bad-- also, I've been so strapped with time because of the shop and work. I now know that you are super interested, so I'll email you when I decide to do so! You've definitely got me thinking about it!

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  19. LOTR 2 was kinda slow at the hobbit parts for me. I actually HATED the hobbit parts! hahaha.

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  20. Girl, you NEED to read C. S. Lewis' "That Hideous Strength"...it might be a bit of a mindful, but it's worth it!  Most mindblowing story unfolds and it's unreal.

    <3 Cambria
    jupefashion.blogspot.com

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  21. I've never been much of a sci fi/fantasy reader - although I've expanded a lot in recent years. A lot of people have recommended The Hunger Game to me as well. I have a long list of reads that I need to get to - will tackle them after graduation, no wait after the bar exam - hahaha. Never enough time in a day for enjoyment reading!

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  22. I am not really into "fantasy" reading but my hubby LOVES Lord of the Rings! Kiah

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  23. geez, i was totally in my reading zone until netflix came along! i'm so behind...in fact, i think i'm still on the same book i was reading several months ago. sad, i know! but after someone gave me the whole twilight series (which i have to credit for jump starting my love of reading again) i stayed with the whole immortal thing. angels, immortals, vampires, demons, sirens. currently still on demon song (3rd book in series) by cat adams.

    [oomph.]What's the next line? Help write the story!

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  24. oh im actually reading lord of the rings right now! :D its sooo good! i think ive had my nose stuck in that book at all times for a couple days now :P

    katslovefashion.blogspot.com

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  25. I have been putting off the Hunger Games for a long time for fear that I wouldn't like them but you are the third person to rave about them in as many days so I might have to take them up this weekend!

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  26. Hunger Games also goes on my list, and it was the pacing that got me too! It's horrible when it's written the way it is but slow, I just get bored and move on I haven't read Leviathan, I might have to look that up soon, once I get through a series I'm still struggling with right now. Like you, I haven't read any steampunk novels either so maybe this could be a good first?

    The other Science Fiction book that I've read, and I'm currently waiting for the third book which will be released next year is the Newsflesh series by Mira Grant. Feed, which is the first book, was my first and, so far, only zombie novel that I have ever read. It hits the ground running and I could not stop reading. Every Christmas since I've read it, I've actually given it to some friends. I loooove that book. The second one wasn't as great though, but other people think it was just right, I guess it was because I predicted the ending and was a bit biased to one character. 

    So far those are my two favorites under the Science Fiction/Fantasy category :D

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  27. The Hunger Games surprised me.  I did not expect to like the books at all, but like you, I could not put them down!  I'm looking forward to the movies.

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  28. i so wanna read the hunger games series... i want to buy the book but its out of stock in the local bookstore

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  29. Hey Laura! I love Lord of the Rings and enjoyed all of the movies. I've heard of Hunger Games. Never read it though. I don't why, but I thought there was some buzz about a movie regarding this. Have you heard anything? Great selections.
    http://sassyuptownchic.blogspot.com/

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  30. ohhh thanks for posting this laura!! i will have to check out your all time favorite books!! :)

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  31. I've been curious about The Hunger Games, but haven't read them yet. Maybe someday. And speaking of Someday, maybe I'll get around to reading The Lord of The Rings. It's been on the ever-growing lit list that looms over my head for a long while now.

    I feel like I mentioned this to you before, but my favorite fantasy series is Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain. They're drawn loosely upon Welsh mythology, and, geez, the more I talk about them the more I want to re-read them :)

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  32. You're not the last person to read the Hunger Games. I still haven't read them even though they've been so highly recommended. I'm like you. I find a good series and you won't move me till I'm done. I have kids. That wouldn't be good parenting. Maybe I'll get to catch up on my reading when they've all graduated and moved out....And now I just got all sad. lol

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  33. I actually haven't read The Hunger Games but I have read so much about it. Haha. Funny. I'm not so much into fantasy lit though.

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  34. I love Lord of the rings. My favourite writer is Haruki Murakami and I also like Jane Austen, which are not really fantasy, well maybe the first one is a little... <3<3

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  35. Please read Battle Royale; it's translated from the Japanese and it is SO good. Much better than The Hunger Games mess.

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  36. I read Lord of the Rings so long ago! I need to pick it up again and reread it. I find sometimes after some time has passed, you get a better understanding of the books.

    I'll check out Leviathan! I've never read anything from Scott Westfeld. I love Science Fiction though, to a fault!

    And I have to admit, I didn't want to read the Hunger Games because like you, I didn't

    want to get into the hype. But I love Jennifer Lawrence so I'm going to check out the books too.

    Thanks for your recs! =D

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  37. My fave fantasy read is just gothic like dracula haha.. I tried reading LOTR but never got into it.. HP was too long.. I finished the Twilight Saga though. How lame am I! LOL.

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