Well, it’s been a while since I’ve done a tag (only 3 days, but whatever). I’ve wanted to do this one ever since the Orangutan Librarian created and tagged me for it.
I actually didn’t know anything about The Emperor’s New Clothes story before being tagged for this. The only thing I’ve seen that relates to the story is the Disney cartoon, The Emperor’s New Groove, with this dude —
It was one of Disney’s stupidest shows. Anyway, the Orangutan Librarian has included a song of The Emperor’s New Clothes story in her post, so now I know what it’s all about (and realize it’s sometimes referred to in other works, like Mary Poppins, which I watched a couple days ago). I really like the song. I played it over and over again until it was stuck in my head. Now I want to play it again, but first, the tag. (I’ll choose from the books I read this year.)
“Your majesty, this is a magic suit.”
An overhyped book that promised to be *something more*
I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young (illus.)
A fantasy comic book series about a girl who gets stuck in fairyland for over 20 years because she can’t find her way out.
My opinion is an unpopular one because everyone loves this comic book series. I didn’t like the story much, though. It was just…meh. I guess the hype made me expect something more spectacular than what I got. The artwork is great, but it’s not a style I like.
“Somebody send for the Queen.”
A love interest that wasn’t called for
The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
A fantasy novel about a guild rat who becomes an apprentice to a notorious assassin.
Elene and Kylar together just doesn’t work for me. I think Kylar’s guilt over what happened to her is what drove him to believe he’s in love with her. He spends the majority of the story feeling guilty and, out of necessity for the plot, he suddenly falls in love with her. (It’s not exactly sudden since we are to believe he didn’t notice he was falling for her, but the development of this part of the story just doesn’t work for me. I still love the overall story, though.)
“The doublet is a lovely shade of green.”
A book that seduced you with its cover (that you ended up disliking)
Archie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid, illus. by Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, and Veronica Fish
A reboot of the classic Archie comic book series. In this volume, Archie and Betty break up and a new student arrives at Riverdale High.
Of course there’s a twist to the question. 😀 It’s odd, but this year I was mostly seduced by the promise of beautiful writing and great story. But for this question, the answer is definitely Archie, Vol. 1. I was disappointed by it because it was such a boring read. I bought this first volume because I enjoyed the Archie comics as a kid and didn’t want to miss the reboot since I’m interested in comics now; and because Fiona Staples, who illustrates the Saga comics, illustrated several issues of this. Even so, I was still disappointed. I loves Staples’s work, but didn’t love the other illustrations as much.
“Summon the court to convene.”
A book where you were swayed by public opinion
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
A YA fantasy novel about a girl who must save her sister from the Goblin King.
This is one of the few books I read because many said the writing is beautiful and the story is great. I agree on the writing, but not so much on the story. I debated reading it because I’ve given up a bit on YA fantasy, which has geared toward heavy romance, but because everyone was talking about it, I decided to give it a try. I loved the writing and the first part of the story, but then it started leaning heavily toward total romance, so I lost interest in the story. Because of that, I categorize this book as romance with some fantasy elements.
“Look at the king! Look at the king, the king, the king!”
A stark, raving mad book that just boggles the mind
Gilded Cage by Vic James
A fantasy novel set in present day U.K. except some members of society have powers and enslave those without it.
Although I was hooked on the story the entire time I read, parts of it boggled my mind because some things didn’t make sense when one consider that the story is set in the present day. I don’t think the world building was strong enough, but the concept is interesting and the writing is okay. It kept me interested for most of it.
“It’s altogether the very least the king has ever worn.”
A tropey get up you’ve seen before that probably needs redressing (a.k.a. a trope you’re bored with seeing)
The Fog Diver by Joel Ross
A middle-grade sci-fi novel set in the future where a dense fog has covered the land and people have to live on mountaintops and fly airships.
I really enjoyed reading the book and would like to read the second novel. I chose it for this question because the group of kids we follow in the story use the youngest member of their crew — Bea — as their reason to restrict or motivate themselves to do certain things. Basically, they want to protect Bea’s innocence. It’s said so many times that even Bea becomes annoyed with being the groups’s crutch. I’m really tired of that trope, the “do anything/suffer to protect the innocent” trope because it sometimes weakens the character who’s being protected. That character then becomes a symbol for something instead of a person, like Prim in The Hunger Games (the first book).
“Summon the court physician! Call an intermission!”
A book that needs medical attention, a.k.a. a rewrite
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
The second novel in a fantasy series about a farm boy who becomes a dragon rider and works to unite the races in his land.
Okay, I don’t totally mean this. I really like the Inheritance Cycle series and I’m currently rereading them, so Eldest was a reread. But, it was torture to read. Omg! I didn’t realize how slow and boring certain parts of it were. I think I noticed it on my first read, but I’d forgotten. I think this could be rewritten to cut out the unnecessary details and such. I hope my reread of the third book will be much better though.
“It’s altogether the very least the king has ever worn.”
There’s no hiding for this one: a book that is just nakedly bad
I had a great reading year and didn’t read many bad books. The ones I really didn’t like have already been mentioned above, so I’ll focus on the “naked” part of this question and choose out of the books I read this year the one with the worst cover, and that’s:
Sick by Christa Wojciechowski
A psychological thriller about a woman caring for her sick husband.
I read this on a plane ride from Florida to Washington, D.C., and I was hooked the entire time. It’s a novella, so of course, it was quick to get through. I recommend that you give it a read because it’s interesting and also unsettling, so if you hate to fly and need something to distract you, download and read this novella.
Bonus: “His majesty is wide open to ridicule and scorn.”
Something (anything) that astounds you with its popularity
Umm…Can’t think of anything so…that’s it.