My wonderful friend Zaheerah made a tag based off of The Great British Bake Off recently, and of course it took me until Week 8 (who's ready for botanical week?) to make my post in response. I thought this was a great idea at first, and having gone through and looked at Zaheerah's categories I think it's both hilarious and ingenious. If you aren't aware, The Great British Bake Off is an extremely popular baking show on BBC1 in the UK, and we're currently in what might be the last series on the BBC. So in celebration of how a baking show has somehow created such a huge cult following - myself included - here's the tag.
[The beautiful graphics were also created by Zaheerah, and if you like what I do here on my blog, she's absolutely someone you should also follow - zaheerahkhalik.wordpress.com]
I haven't read that many self-published books, but Nimona was published as a web-comic before it can out in physical form and this is one of my favourite graphic novels of all time. Noelle Stevenson's art is wonderful and quirky, but her character dynamics are so witty but genuine I couldn't help but fall in love.
This series in general had such brilliant potential, and the final book especially started off on such a great beginning, but by the end I felt so disappointed and almost cheated because it fell so flat. I really mourn the way this series ended because it is a genuinely good quartet.
I admit All the Birds in the Sky was mainly a cover buy, because just look at that design. But aside from the stunning cover, it sounded really interesting with its blend between sci-fi and magical realism and pure fantasy. But from what I can remember - and it's not a lot - nothing happened or suggested anything was going to happen in the first 100 pages or so, and what did was childish, irritating and not enough to compel me to read any more.
If we're going with British children's books then I've got to mention Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by our own Children's Laureate: Chris Riddell. I've met him a few times and he's absolutely wonderful, and his books reflect that friendly, imaginative and enthusiastic personality - especially in Ottoline.
I think what impressed me so much in Eon was the fact that I wasn't expecting what I got. I knew it was a high-fantasy Asian-influenced historical adventure, but I did not expect the politics, representation and pure spectacle that came along with this book. Goodman is such a talented author and I need to get onto reading the rest of her books.
I always struggle with recommending books to large groups of people because I often read quite niche books that wouldn't please everyone. But I think Schwab is good at blurring the lines between genres books and crowd-pleasers - This Savage Song is probably the best example of that, because everyone enjoys a good old crime adventure with some original twists.
In last place is Here's Looking at You, and then we've got The Secret History at the other end. In short, one of the books I've enjoyed reading least, to my favourite book of all time.
I've called it my Harry Potter more times than I can count, but Skulduggery Pleasant really was the series that grew up with me and grew in its complexity and maturity and darkness as I did. I can't praise it highly enough, and my love for it isn't merely sentimental, the quality of this series - especially the last couple of books - still amazes me.
The Black Magician Trilogy was really what got me into high fantasy; luckily, I read it at a point where I didn't really get intimidated by big books - and these books are huge. And the politics and magic system and a Game of Thrones-size cast of characters are sustained throughout all three books. It's so well done, and really uses the structure of a trilogy well to tell its story.
Again, I don't really read many companion books unless they stand on their own - I'm lazy and not a fan of reading something that requires a pre-established understanding. Having said that, I have read quite a few novellas in my time, and I considered putting Sarah J. Maas' The Assassin's Blade in this category, but instead I went with a proper companion book with everyone's favourite English swordswoman and general badass: Tanith Low. (Yes, it's a Skulduggery Pleasant companion book, what did you expect?)
Thanks to Zaheerah again for making the tag and letting me use her lovely graphics, definitely check out her blog. Happy reading everyone, and ready, set, BAKE!
Graphics - Zaheerah
Nimona - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19351043-nimona?ac=1&from_search=true
The Raven King - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17378527-the-raven-king?ac=1&from_search=true
All the Birds in the Sky - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25372801-all-the-birds-in-the-sky?ac=1&from_search=true
Ottoline and the Yellow Cat - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/607513.Ottoline_and_the_Yellow_Cat?ac=1&from_search=true
Eon - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7261699-eon
This Savage Song - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28696452-this-savage-song
Here's Looking at You - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18140586-here-s-looking-at-you?ac=1&from_search=true
Raven's Gate - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18470187-raven-s-gate
Under the Empyrean Sky - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17817631-under-the-empyrean-sky?ac=1&from_search=true
The Storyteller - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13741785-the-storyteller
The Secret History - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/70897.The_Secret_History
Skulduggery Pleasant - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/924062.Skulduggery_Pleasant
Playing with Fire - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/284441.Playing_with_Fire
The Faceless Ones - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6384722-the-faceless-ones
Dark Days - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7940205-dark-days
Mortal Coil - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9767135-mortal-coil
Death Bringer - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13485199-death-bringer
Kingdom of the Wicked - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16881421-kingdom-of-the-wicked
Last Stand of Dead Men - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18746282-last-stand-of-dead-men
The Dying of the Light - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24935433-the-dying-of-the-light
The Magician's Guild - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/460337.The_Magicians_Guild
The Novice - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/460335.The_Novice
The High Lord - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/460336.The_High_Lord
Tanith Low and the Maleficent Seven - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16119043-tanith-low-in-the-maleficent-seven?ac=1&from_search=true