Our trek through the alphabet continues! This week, Bionic Book Worm wants to know all about K-L-M-N-O! We’ve got some good options this week, so let’s go!
THE KINGDOM by Jess Rothenberg
This YA novel is a surprise favorite of mine for this year. Set at a futuristic theme park that is essentially Disneyland turned to 11, genetically engineered human/cyborg hybrids live as “Fantasist” princesses to entertain the guests. It’s a perfect life – as long as you don’t ask too many questions. But when one princess goes rogue and endangers the life of a guest, Princess Ana begins investigating what possibly could have made her snap – and discovers the secrets behind The Kingdom. I really enjoyed all the speculative details about how theme parks have evolved in future, in both wonderful and terrible ways.
THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA by Scott Lynch
I love a good thief story, and LOCKE LAMORA is one of the best! Full of plans within plans, betrayals, daring escapades, and more, it perfectly walks the line of “brutal yet fun.” So many books that I read, I have trouble recalling specific details a few years later because there’s just SO MUCH that I read. LOCKE LAMORA, however, is one that still pops vividly in my head, it’s such a good, good story.
MISTBORN by Brandon Sanderson
This letter was never going to another book. MISTBORN is one of my favorite fantasy books of all time. The fight sequences alone are absolute perfection in their kinetic feel and their use of the magic system. Add on top of that a crew of misfits working together to pull off a coup, and espionage that takes place at balls, and Be Still My Heart.
NEVER DIE by Rob J. Hayes
This book was my first foray into the world of self-published SFF and showed me just how GOOD these books can be despite the lack of a publisher stamp. NEVER DIE is fully inspired by Chinese martial arts films and FEELS like someone captured the essence of CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON. It features a group of legendary heroes who are gathered together by a young boy to take on a despotic emperor – but the only way they can join this quest is if they die first.
OUTCAST OF REDWALL by Brian Jacques
This choice is less about this specific book and more about the entire series (and I was REALLY having trouble with “O”). Redwall was a hugely influential series in my early teen years. I read most of the books about the adventuring mice and squirrels and firmly believed that if I were given the chance to be a character in this world, I would be a hare of Salamandastron (Eulalia!). It’s a perfect gateway drug for epic fantasy, full of daring quests for lost artifacts to save a beloved home from those fiendish foxes. Sure, they get a little formulaic after a while, but I was so excited for those adventures.