When in doubt, do a book tag.
When unprepared, do a book tag. 😀
I have a bunch of posts planned that I’m working on, but none are ready yet so….here’s the Wanderlust Book Tag!!
Secrets and lies: a book set in a sleepy small town
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
This novel is a favorite. It’s about the Waverley sisters who were estranged until the beginning of this story when the younger sister returns home with a child. The Waverleys are a quirky bunch who live in a small southern town filled with eccentric characters. It’s said that the plants in the Waverleys’ garden are unique and that they have an apple tree that bears fruit that foretells one’s future.
This story was a quick, fun read. I loved the story, the characters, and the writing. I look forward to trying more by this author.
Salt and sand: a book with a beach-side community
The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht
Well, I couldn’t think of a book I’ve read that is set in a beach-side community. I imagine such a book would be light and fun, not at all like the dark, slightly sinister Monster of Elendhaven, a fantasy novella set in a fictional city called Elendhaven the descriptions of which evoke a cold, unforgiving place, quite like the characters the story focuses on.
I would like to read a light romance novel set in a beach-side town, so if you know of any, please recommend them below. I think I came close to reading one a few days ago — The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber — but I wasn’t in the mood for it.
Here there be dragons: a book with a voyage on the high seas
Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb
This question is my excuse to feature a ROBIN HOBB BOOK!!! 😀 Feast your eyes on Ship of Magic, a high-seas adventure, fantasy novel about a family that loses everything and the women who sacrifice much to regain it all.
Ship of Magic is the first novel in a trilogy filled with amazing characters and a fantastic world with very interesting ships, which is one of the coolest things about the story. It took a while for me to get into this book (I almost DNF’d it), but once I got going, I was hooked!
Tread lightly: a book set down a murky river or a jungle
Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb
Aha! Another excuse to feature a Robin Hobb book! (I’m having so much fun with this tag!) Dragon Keeper is the first novel in the Rain Wild Chronicles, a collection of four books that are all set in the Rain Wilds, a place in Hobb’s fantastic Realm of the Elderlings world that’s basically a jungle filled with gigantic trees that are so big that people build houses inside them and create a city among them. The inhabitants of the Rain Wild live and travel among the trees. They hardly ever walk on the land itself because the river is unpredictable, floods often, and is acidic. It’s one of my favorite settings in a fantasy series.
Frozen wastes: a book with a frost-bitten atmosphere
Above the Timberline by Gregory Manchess (illus.)
I could have made this a Robin Hobb answer too, but instead I’ll mention Manchess’s Above the Timberline, an illustrated sci-fi novel set in a world that’s thrown into perpetual winter. It’s about a young man who’s searching for his father, a famous polar explorer, who went missing while searching for a lost city. The story was okay, but the artwork is amazing. See my review for samples.
The boonies: a book with ruff or isolated terrain
The Martian by Andy Weir
Well, depending on how you look at it, you could say the terrain is rough and it’s definitely isolated. The Martian is a sci-fi novel about an astronaut who’s stuck on Mars all by himself and has to survive until help comes. It’s a great read about resilience and the will to survive despite huge obstacles and other difficulties. I was surprised at the humor in the story, which quickly endeared the protagonist to me.
Hinterlands and cowboys: a book with a western-esque setting
Copperhead, Vol. 1 by Jay Faerber, illus. by Scott Godlewski
This is a sci-fi, western-inspired comic book about a single mom who moves to a backwaters planet to serve as its sheriff. I’ve only read the first volume, but it’s pretty good and does good work laying the foundation for what I hope is a compelling story with complex characters. I didn’t like the illustrations much, but the story made me look past that to want more.
Look lively: a book set across sweeping desert sands
Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu
I don’t have an answer for this question. I just realized that I haven’t read any books fully set in the desert. I’m featuring Twelve Kings of Sharakhai here because I assume it has some desert sands in it.
Wild and untamed: a book set in the heart of the woods
In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey
In the Night Wood fits this category perfectly. It’s a literary fantasy novel about a couple who move to Yorkshire to live in the remote manor of a mysterious children’s book author deep in the woods. The couple are grieving a loss and hope the change in location will help heal them. But instead, the woods seems to haunt them and prey on their insecurities.
This was such a good read and I loved the prose. It was one of the best written books I read last year.
Wildest dreams: a whimsical book shrouded in magic
Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley
I chose McKinley’s YA fantasy retelling of Sleeping Beauty because the setting and characters are whimsical and the country the story is set in is so steeped in magic that even one’s kettle can talk or have a personality and one would have to get a fairy to set it right.
I enjoyed both the story and writing in this one and wish McKinley had written more books set in this world.
That’s it for me! I tag:
Kristin Kraves (if you haven’t already done this one)
SciFi & Scary (I’m curious to see if it’s possible to recommend all horror books/shows for all the categories)