T5W – I Don’t Like You, But I Love You

Howdy-Ho! Today’s Top 5 Wednesday Topic is: Favorite “Unlikable” Protagonists!

I’ve actually read surprisingly few books where the main character is the bad guy (I’m not sure why; I’ve always loved a good villain), so I’m actually going to have to throw a few antagonists into the mix on this one.

Artemis FowlArtemis Fowl (Eoin Colfer)
Protagonist

249747At the start of this series, 12 year old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius, and criminal mastermind. He kidnaps a faerie so he can study magic and wackiness ensues. To be a bit fair, Artemis DOES do some good along the way, but my favorite bits are when he’s being a bad guy. He’s like a tech-savvy Moriarty, only without all the murder. This is a fun series, even for adults. I highly recommend it!

The MasterDoctor Who (Multiple Authors)
Antagonist

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I adore The Master, in all his incarnations. He’s dastardly, clever, witty, and completely unpredictable…everything a good villain should be. And he’s the only antagonist who seems to truly be the Doctor’s equal. His newest regeneration, Missy, is fabulous. She’s every bit the character I remember from previous incarnations and I love her to bits.

Captain HookPeter Pan (J.M. Barrie & Others)
Pro/Antagonist

34262I know, I know, odd choice, right? I’ve just always loved Captain Hook (I blame Dustin Hoffman 😉 ). I am ecstatic that, now that the book is partially under public domain, other authors have started to explore this character more in-depth. There are a TON of good pre-Peter Pan novels out now, including several about how Capt Hook became Capt Hook. I’ve you’re looking for a good one, I’d definitely recommend Peter and the Star Catchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson.

QStar Trek: The Next Generation (Multiple Authors)
Pro/Antagonist

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Ah, Q. How can anyone not love Q? He’s such a pest! 😉 An all-powerful being from an alternate dimension, the writers of Next Gen brought Q in as an antagonist for the pilot, where he tests the crew’s resolve and worth. He became such a fan favorite that he came back not only for several more episodes, but also appeared on several of the other shows, in books, comics…he even took on Spock himself in an audio drama called Spock vs. Q. Heck, John de Lancie is so well-loved as that character, that they spoofed him on My Little Pony…AND GOT HIM TO DO THE VOICE! Seriously, he’s totally awesome.

The JokerBatman (Multiple Authors)
Antagonist

A vicious (though funny) psychopath hell-bent on destroying Batman, he’s done everything from personally beating one of the Robins to death to letting someone CUT OFF HIS FACE. He’s completely unpredictable because he honestly doesn’t care what happens. And that’s the mark of a really good villain, isn’t it? The Joker is the epitome of chaos; with him in the story…anything can happen.

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Who are YOUR favorite unlikable protagonists (or antagonists, same diff 😉 )?

 

T5W – Ravenpuffs Represent!

Hey all! Today’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is: Hogwarts House Pride, in which we are supposed to give you a list of five books that represent our Hogwarts House. But since I’ve always considered myself to actually be a mixture of TWO houses, I’m going to also give YOU a mixture. 😉

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What is a Ravenpuff, you might ask? Well, I tend to describe it as “bookish but friendly”. I enjoy losing myself in a fantasy world, but I also really love hanging out with my friends in this one. I consider myself a scientist AND a believer; as Sherwood Eddy said “Faith is not contrary to reason.” And I like to think I have enough sense to know when being right isn’t necessarily the most important thing…though I do love being right. 😉

So here are a few books that represent both of my houses and the lovely mixture that is Ravenpuff. 🙂

Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell) — Ravenpuff

17286849This one is slightly a cheat, since I’m mainly picking it because the main character, Cath, reminds me so much of myself. 😉 Cath is crazy about books & writing and completely obsessed with her fanfiction. She still makes time for her friends and real life, though, and even if she gets a bit defensive about it, isn’t afraid to admit when she’s wrong. This is kind of a “coming of age” story, showing just how much people can be changed by their first year of college.

A Dog’s Purpose (W. Bruce Cameron) — Hufflepuff

7723542I know, I know, picking a dog to represent one of my houses should be insulting, right? Not if you’ve read this book, it isn’t. “Dog” is one of the most loyal characters I’ve come across. Everything he does is for the good of his people. He doesn’t care about the danger to himself or whether or not he is rewarded, he just wants to make sure his people are ok. This was a very heart-warming tale and I highly recommend it, especially to dog owners.

Strange the Dreamer (Laini Taylor) — Ravenpuff

28449207Lazlo Strange, the main character in this book, is such a good representation of the Ravenpuff mentality. He’s extremely bookish and slightly obsessive about his favorite field of study, but he’s also immensely loyal and fair, even to people he doesn’t really like. By the end of the book, he’s willing to risk life and limb to make sure his loved ones are safe. This one is a duology, folks, so be prepared for a cliffhanger. I can’t wait to read the conclusion!!!

The Mermaid in the Basement (Gilbert Morris) — Ravenclaw

1964325The main character in this book, Lady Serafina Trent, is definitely a Ravenclaw. She is one of the most logic-based characters I’ve ever read. Almost a female version of Sherlock Holmes, Lady Trent uses science and method to try to save her brother from the gallows when he is accused of murder. She does get swayed a bit into the more emotional side of life by some of the characters, but she never loses her logic.

And speaking of Sherlock Holmes…

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle) — Ravenpuff

The ultimate Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff match-up. Holmes is super methodical and logic-based; virtually his entire life is devoted to improving his mind. Watson, on the other hand, is much more focused on the personal side of their cases, the people and their woes. They balance each other perfectly.
Book Illustration Depicting Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in a Train Cabin


What books do you think best represent your house?

 

T5W – There’s No Such Thing as a Small Part

It’s time for another Top 5 Wednesday! This week’s topic: Favorite Minor Characters.

I’ve been having so much trouble with this one, you guys! I will be the first to admit that my memory isn’t the best, so trying to think of my favorite minor characters (that weren’t all just from Harry Potter) was SUPER difficult for me.

Here’s what I came up with…

Smokey Lonesome (Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe – Fannie Flagg)

8b67d259aee82e2eee1f97b3b3634fedSomething about this character pulled me in; I just felt so much compassion for him. I also loved that he was willing to stand up for his friends, even against someone who could easily have taken him down.

Calixte (Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor)

61yt-aCI16L._AA300_I loved this character. She was charismatic, feisty, and wasn’t afraid to stick up for herself. She also didn’t rag on the main character, Lazlo (with whom I felt an immediate kinship) just because he was bookish, unlike a lot of the other characters.

Rubeus Hagrid (Harry Potter – JK Rowling)

ebafecac73151e5c53694808c9a14ce0Well, I had to give myself one! 😉 I LOVE Hagrid. I always have. He’s compassionate towards the children and animals, extremely loyal to those he deems worthy, and just so…well…lovable! (Side note: I still think Robbie Coltrane was the best casting in the entire HP series. He completely epitomized my Hagrid!)

And, now, since I’m having so much trouble with this category…I’m going to cheat a bit and give you three books where the minor characters turn into the main characters!

Welcome to Night Vale (Joseph Fink & Jeffery Cranor)

51IZUXor7hL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_The authors of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast took a handful of very minor characters and an even more minor subplot and managed to turn it into a brilliant novel-length adventure, delving into parts unknown for parts even more unknown.

NPCs (Drew Hayes)

22088245In this book, the NPCs (non-player characters) in a role playing game end up having to become the heroes they usually despise in order to save their town from a tyrannical king. It’s actually a really great story about finding strength you didn’t know you had.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here (Patrick Ness)

23830990Ever wonder what it’s like to live in an apocalyptic town when you aren’t the hero? This book reads like a John Green novel set in the Buffy Universe, but focuses on the kids who aren’t trying to save the world.


So give a girl a hand, who are some of YOUR favorite minor characters?

T5W – Summer Reads

Hi all! This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is “Books That Remind You of Summer”. Now, I don’t really have a lot of books that remind me particularly of summer itself, but I can think of a few that would be great to read in the summer!

This book actually does take place in the summertime, so let’s start with it. 

Where Things Come Back (John Corey Whaley)

12162432The summer before Cullen’s senior year turns into a season of loss and rediscovery. Just as the town is celebrating the reemergence of a bird thought to be extinct, Cullen’s little brother Gabriel goes missing. — I don’t want to give to much away, so I’ll leave it at that, but this was an interesting book. The secondary story, about a missionary in Africa, gets woven into the tale in such a way that you aren’t sure what’s going to happen until the end. I wasn’t a huge fan of the jumping POVs, but it worked ok within the narrative. I’d recommend this one for people who like a little mystery in their ‘coming of age’ tales.

I seem to be reading a lot of “life journey” type books lately, which meshes well with the idea of summer to me. I’m not sure why, it just feels like summer is a good time to find yourself (or others). 

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper (Phaedra Patrick)

34532251After Arthur’s wife passes away, he finds a charm bracelet in her closet that he didn’t know she owned. Curious about what the charms mean, he goes on a journey of discovery to find out more about his wife’s life before they met. — I really enjoyed this book. The idea was an interesting one: how well do we REALLY know the people we think we know the best? Finding out about Miriam’s life alongside Arthur was fascinating and watching Arthur coming back to life after his wife’s passing was touching.

The Last Voyage of Sigismund Skrik (Karstin Flohr, John Brownjohn translator)

24965065Sigismund Skrik is the “master hairdresser of the seven seas”. Plying his trade on a transatlantic ship called The Liberty, he meets and chats with quite a wide variety of people, from a circus strong woman to a concert pianist…even some monkeys! — This was a quirky little book. The tale of how Sigismund came to be a hairdresser on a ship is interspersed with the backstories for all the characters he meets. I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, lighthearted read with a nice ending.

Gone Tomorrow (P.F. Kluge)

3409917Upon the death of campus legend George Canaris, fellow professor Mark May becomes his executor. Expectations abound on whether or not he will find the infamous, never-published novel that Canaris has supposedly been working on for decades. Finding a kind of memoir instead, we get to follow along on May’s discovery of Canaris’ life. — This book was really interesting. It follows the life of an author who was expected to be the next coming, but instead spent his life as a college professor. Not a great description, I know, but if you enjoy life-story novels, especially about fellow book people, this one would be a good one to pick up.

And now, for something completely different. This was the first book I stayed up all night to finish, so it always reminds me of summer, not because of its content but because of when I read it first. 😉

The Death & Life of Superman (Roger Stern)

110918This book is the novelization of one of the greatest story arcs in the Superman comics. It runs from the death of Supes at the hand of Doomsday (not a spoiler, it’s right there in the title 😉 ) through the aftermath and the rise of the pseudo-Supermen. — I will admit, I’ve never been a big Superman fan (too much of a boy scout for me; I’m a Batman gal all the way), but the story line and the writing of this novel kept my attention well enough for it to become my first ever binge read! I highly recommend it to fans of comics and especially Superman fans.


What books or types of books shout “summer” to you?

T5W – Judging a Book by its Cover

Crud puppies! I completely forgot to do my T5W yesterday! That’s what happens when you stay home sick on a Monday; it throws your whole week off. 😉

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is Favorite SFF Cover Art! Tough category, but here are a few that really drew me in.

Meddling Kids (Edgar Cantero)

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This book is a kind of horror satire of the 1970’s Scooby Doo and the cover does a great job of capturing the essence of those old cartoons.

Shutter (Courtney Alameda)

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This cover is just creepy. It was what first drew me to the book when I was scrolling around Goodreads and it matches the storyline perfectly.

Leven Thumps and the Eyes of Want (Obert Skye)

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Really the entire series has wonderful covers, but this one is my favorite. It’s just gorgeous!

End Games (T. Michael Martin)

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Another horror, I know, but you have to admit the cover is neat. It has a wonderfully creepy feel and I love how they turned the trees into zombies.

The A.I Gang series (Bruce Coville)

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Ok, yeah, I need to explain this one. No, the artwork isn’t the best. But, you have to admit, 90’s era kid’s book artists really knew how to draw in the reader. All three covers show the main characters right in the midst of action, battling mortal danger. Exactly what you’re looking for when you want an adventure.
Let’s compare that to the 2014 version…
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Seriously? Come on now. Which would YOU have picked up as a kid?


Show me yours! What are some of your favorite covers?!?

T5W – Give Me More!

Hi all! Today’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is: Authors You Want to Read More From.

Here’s my list of authors who I desperately need to read more of, regardless of whether I’ve only read one book or several.

Laini Taylor – Well, if you’ve been reading my blog the last couple of weeks, then you know I have a new obsession, Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. This book was just completely wonderful; the characters were all very complex, the plot was extremely interesting, the world building was superb, and the writing in general was just beautiful. I definitely need to give her other books a try!

Neil Gaiman – Always a winner, Neil Gaiman has an amazing talent for world & character building. He manages to make even the most unbelievable stories seem completely believable. I’ve only read a handful of his novels so far; thankfully, though, he’s fairly prolific in the book department, so I can continue reading his work for a long time.

Francis Hardinge – Last year I read my first novel by this author, Cuckoo Song, and it completely amazed me. I decided then and there that I had to get my hands on more of her novels. Thankfully, my tiny library has several of her books, so I was able to snag The Lie Tree as well. I can’t wait to try out more!

Fredrik Backman – I have currently only read one book by this author, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry. It was just fantastic! Apparently a lot of his books contain at least vague references to characters from his other novels, and I loved the characters in this book so much that I’m ecstatic about not having to let them go. I think I’ll read Britt-Marie Was Here next!

Fannie FlaggFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is one of my all-time favorite novels (and movies). I can’t believe I’ve never read any of her other work! I recently found A Redbird Christmas at a rummage sale and received the audio version of The Whole Town’s Talking from a Goodreads’ giveaway, so hopefully I can get more read soon.

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How about you? What authors would you recommend I try?

 

T5W – Gaming Books

Hi all! This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is: Books that would make good video games! I’m going to cheat a bit here and do 5 gaming categories rather than just 5 books…I couldn’t narrow it down, there’s so many good ones!

Fighting Games

10137823The Rithmatist (Brandon Sanderson)
In this game, you fight with your drawing power! The book focuses on warriors who fight each other by drawing intricate chalk figures, which sounds kind of lame on the surface, but when you get into the tactics & strategies needed to bring down your opponent, it could be a really cool game.

Weird West Tales series (Mike Resnick)
What could be more fun than a game set in the Old West, where8253037 you can pick to be real ‘heroes’ but with crazy powers. Fight as Doc Holliday with a lightning gun, make alliances with other gunslingers like Wyatt Earp, protect notable figures like Teddy Roosevelt, and fight magic-wielding Shamans like Geronimo.

Zombie Games

15096164.jpgWayward Pines series (Blake Crouch)
One day, you get into a car accident and wake up in a perfect little town. The only problem…nothing is what it seems. This series would make an awesome mystery/zombie game. You have to find out exactly what happened to you, where you are, what’s up with this weird town, and what are those creatures outside the fence? Keep yourself and as many innocent townspeople alive as you can, while fighting off creatures and crazy doctors alike!

The End Games (T. Michael Martin)
Set in rural West Virginia (USA), you would have to travel difficult13228537 terrain and protect yourself (and your little brother) from the wilds of nature…and zombies…and other survivors. Finding your family won’t be easy, especially when the ‘safe havens’ turn out not to be so safe. On the plus side, if you survive long enough, you might be able to steal a hot air balloon. 😉

Survival Games

18007564The Martian (Andy Weir)
Trying to survive on Mars? Hella difficult. In this game you need to find water, grow food, and keep yourself from going crazy all while trapped inside a temporary shelter ON MARS. All the odds are against your survival. Can you keep yourself alive long enough for rescue?

Bedlam Stories series (Christine King)
As an investigative reporter, Bedlam seems an ideal story on which to25864970 make your name. Unfortunately, this asylum is filled with evil doctors, hidden secrets, and two enraged little girls who can bring to life the creatures from their hallucinations. Can you survive the crazed staff and the warped versions of creatures from the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland long enough to figure out the mystery?

Quest Games

21416690The Invisible Library (Genevieve Cogman)
You work for the largest library in all the worlds. Your job is to go into alternate universes and save their greatest literary treasures for posterity. Not all worlds are benign. Magic and evil await you on your journey. Go undercover, find the books, and get back to the library alive. (I REALLY want this video game!!!)

NPCs (Drew Hayes)
In a role-playing game turned on it’s head, you play as the NPCs. 22088245Four heroes suddenly die in the local pub. In order to save their town, four locals have to take their place and journey into the depths of a ferocious world. Play on your own or with your friends! Stop the evil king, save the world, and become the hero.

Kids Games

953260The Kingdom Keepers series (Ridley Pearson)
Kids would love fighting alongside their favorite Disney heroes in order to protect the world from their favorite Disney villains! Find the clues and solve the riddles in order to stop Maleficent and her crew from taking over the Magic Kingdom!

The Land of Stories series (Chris Colfer)
You magically find yourself falling into your Grandmother’s 11607446favorite book of fairytales. In order to get home, you need to find the most well-known items from your favorite stories: Cinderella’s glass slipper, a lock of Rapunzel’s fair, Snow White’s apple, and more.

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What books would you love to see turned into video games? 🙂