Book Recs: Atmospheric Reads

Well, this is a bit out of character. Here I am with a book recommendation post that’s not based on a meme or book tag. I’d like to congratulate myself for stepping out of my comfort zone, but this is all because I haven’t seen a meme or book tag that focuses on only atmospheric stories.

I’ve been working on this post for weeks because I keep overthinking it. I feel weird recommending books sometimes because I start thinking that I haven’t read enough and I don’t know much, but I’ve gotten over myself for the moment and will share in this post a few books I’ve read that I’d describe as atmospheric.

The term “atmospheric” sometimes baffles me. I’ve only ever seen it applied to stories that are dark and gloomy and eerie, which makes me wonder if it’s only such books that can be described as atmospheric. But I’m sure that’s not right. I call a story atmospheric if it convinces me of a particular feeling… Okay, that probably didn’t make much sense, but I now realize that this is hard to explain. For me, an atmospheric novel is one that convinces me of a particular “feeling” about the setting, which doesn’t necessarily has to be dark and eerie.

So, here are a few novels that have a strong sense of atmosphere:

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3 Bookish Things Tag

It’s book tag time! 😀

I recently saw this over Kristin Kraves Books and immediately considered myself tagged and drafted up a post. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the creator of the tag, but whoever you are good idea!

3 read once and loved authors
Yaa Gyasi

Gyasi is a Ghanaian-American author. I fell in love with her writing as soon as I started reading Homegoing, a historical fiction novel about the experiences of 2 half-sisters who were born in 18th-century Ghana and their descendants. I love Gyasi’s prose, I love the structure of the novel, and I love how impactful the story is. I consider it a modern classic.

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“City of Saints and Thieves” by Natalie C. Anderson

I read this in a buddy-read with Rachel from Life of a Female Bibliophile. We initially planned to read The Devourers by Indra Das together but after a few pages in, we realized it wouldn’t work well for a buddy-read. The pace was ploddingly slow, it’s character-focused, which I usually love, but neither one of us were interested in the characters. The story is interesting and my curiosity about what will happen next makes me tempted to complete it, but — ugh! — I really am not feeling it.

So we switched books. Rachel suggested City of Saints and Thieves and I decided to try it since I’d never heard of it or its author before. Unfortunately, the library branches close to my house didn’t have it in stock but eventually I was able to procure a copy from a different area.

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“Sky in the Deep” by Adrienne Young

Hey now! Here’s another read that I was surprised to enjoy. I loved the beginning but then the story took a turn that made me worry that I wouldn’t like it. But by the end, I thought it was good.

Genre:

Fantasy; historical

Pubbed:

April 2018

Goodreads summary:

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield — her brother, fighting with the enemy — the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

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“The Oddling Prince” by Nancy Springer

It wasn’t what I expected.

I requested an ARC copy from the publisher through NetGalley because the premise sounded interesting and the cover and title were appealing.

Genre:

Fantasy

Pubbed:

May 15, 2018 by Tachyon Publications

Quick summary:

The Oddling Prince was an interesting read and a bit different from the YA fantasy novels that are popular these days. The story, set “in the ancient moors of Scotland,” focuses on Aric, prince of Calidon and heir to the throne. Aric is the only child of his parents. When the story begins, his ailing father is nearing death because of a weird ring that won’t come off his finger. The ring appeared suddenly on his finger one day while out riding. It seems to be draining the king of his vitality.

But at the moment when death is about to sweep the king away, a stranger magically appears, seemingly out of nowhere, and saves the king by removing the ring. The king is immediately healed, or so it seems, and the stranger, who seems fey in appearance, claims to be the king’s son. The king denies this. All members of the castle shy away from the fey stranger, named Albaric, because of his inhuman beauty but Aric and his mother, the queen, quickly and easily accept the stranger.

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“Crown of Midnight” by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of MidnightI really want to like this series. Everyone does and I’d like to be a part of the excitement. But after reading this book, I have to admit that this series isn’t for me. I don’t like the characters and I’m not curious about what will or won’t happen. This will a series I won’t complete.

Quick summary:

I borrowed an e-copy of this from the library and read it back in early March so some of the details have since faded away, which means I don’t think I can give a good summary of the story. But basically, Celaena is now the king’s Champion, she develops feelings for one of the guys, secrets are revealed, someone dies, and there’s a witch and an annoying talking doorknob.

My thoughts: (some spoilers)

Warning: This is a rant. erenTghts may bhoue incoht.

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“Throne of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of GlassI read this one a couple weeks ago for a variety of reasons. First, I bought it because of all the hype I heard which made me curious. Then I read it because I woke up one morning in the mood for something purple and the dusky cover of the Throne of Glass caught my eye.

Quick summary:

Celaena Sardothien, the most feared assassin is just an eighteen year old girl. A year prior to the events of this book, she was betrayed and carted off to the salt mines of Endovier to work as a slave until the end of her days. But one day Prince Dorian visits and presents Celaena with a deal she can’t refuse.

Prince Dorian’s father, the King of Adarlan, is steadily expanding his empire and wiping out all traces of magic while he does so. Magic is outlawed. The King has conquered all countries to the east of the Oakwald Forest except Eyllwe, a country to the south that is barely hanging on. To hasten his interests, the King decides to host a competition from which he will select a Champion to carry out his illicit deeds. The best criminals (it seems) are chosen to compete. If Celaena wins, she will work for the King for four years after which she will receive her freedom. With the promise of freedom in mind, Celaena acquiesces though she despises the king.

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