So I was scrawling through a variety of book bloggers recently, trying to find inspiration for my next post as I am slogging through The Two Towers at the moment. There is something about Tolkien’s writing that ever so slightly bores me. So, as I was trawling through, I noticed Fangirl Fury’s Book Bait post.
Essentially, this post is all about tropes, settings, plot points or genres that instantly make you put the book on your TBR list and at times make them a priority as your next book. Posts like this on my blog are few and far between so I thought it would be good to give you an insight into my faves.
I absolutely love the idea of taking a story or source material that we already know and twisting it into something brand new. My favourites tend to be the more darker re-tellings, taking an innocent story and putting an evil twist on it. There is something about viewing a story you once knew through a different lense that makes for a great reading experience.
- The Snow Child is a re-telling of the Russian folktale, The Snow Maiden.
- Lost Boy is a very dark re-telling of J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan.
- Spinning Silver is a re-telling of the German folktale, Rumpelstiltskin.
Mythology and folklore for years has intrigued me. I love learning about cultures from around the world. I love most is diving into a story that has influences from stories passed down from generation to generation. Giving just a small insight into such detailed cultures and religions. Plus, mythology and folklore have some the most vibrant, exciting, action-packed and imaginative stories.
- Circe is a re-telling of the life of Greek Mythological witch Circe.
- Children of Blood and Bone is inspired by West African folklore.
- The Golem and the Jinni was inspired and uses characters from Jewish and Middle Eastern folklore.
I have used the title Steampunk but what I mainly mean is I love settings where the technology is more advanced than should fit either the time period or current circumstances/setting. Anything that includes advanced technology in a setting that historically wouldn’t have it is my cup of tea. Especially if the technology is ever so slightly old and slapped together.
- Senlin Ascends is set in what feels like possibly the early 1900’s but includes technology such as working mechanic limbs, flying ships and the power to function an entire tower with ease in a world where not everyone has electricity at home.
- Mortal Engines while set in the future I feel it still fits under this bracket due to the fact that the war referenced in this book wiped out a lot of buildings and projects etc. So, it feels that everything is just slapped together from what they can find and the tech feels more advanced from what would be left over after the war.
- Full Metal Alchemist fits under the same glove as Senlin Ascends set roughly around the early 1900’s but includes advanced machinery for the time.
Murder Mystery is probably my favourite genre. I love the cozy mysteries like Agatha Chrisite’s work or T.P. Fielden’s Miss Dimont series so they will always go on my TBR but what I love the most are the more unconventional mysteries. Books that aren’t just a nosy neighbour or a divorced detective with a drinking problem like most thrillers. I love murder mysteries that flip the script a bit and shake it up with merging genres, crazy settings and unexpected protagonists.
- The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle follows a man who must solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle but he is stuck in a time loop and must relive the day of her murder again and again until he solves it.
- Three Bags Full has the twist of the sheep being the detectives and trying to solve their shepherd’s murder.
- Rivers of London merges genres and follows your typical PC who just so happens to be able to speak with the dead. This skill lands him working with a detective who solves crimes involving magic.
Anything with grim reapers has me sold. I don’t know what it is about these beings who have power over death but it just fascinates me. We have no answers to what happens after we die and reading about the people who have that knowledge and/or power is something I would love to read about.
- Sycthe follows two trainee Sythe apprentices who must compete against eachother for the job of a Sycthe; A powerful individual who has the power to take the life of people in their Utopian soceity where death has been reversed.
- Mort, following the same lines of Sycthe, follows Mort who becomes Death’s apprentice.
Really Unique Settings
So this is a varied and vast point. But I love when the setting of a story is incredibly unique and you haven’t really seen it been done before. It’s not a spaceship or a kingdom filled with orcs, elves and dwarves. It’s utterly unique and will help pave the way for future novels.
- Caraval’s setting is an island that has been turned into a live-action game where you’re not sure if it’s real magic or just an illusion.
- Harry Potter obviously is the magic boarding school. Not the first of it’s kind but definitely the pioneer for more magic boarding school stories to come.
- Arm of the Sphinx’s setting is a gigantic tower with each level vastly different to the one above and below it. Each level, called a Ringdom, holds a vastly different governing power or leadership than the rest.
Big Cast of Characters
I love big cast of characters. I love having a diverse cast who all have different personal experiences and backgrounds. They all have different skill sets and would bring different things to the team. I love when they all come together as one big family or the complete opposite. I really enjoy a big cast of characters.
- Battle Royale is the latter I mentioned and focuses on a group of students who are forced to kill each other, by the Government, in order to be the last one standing. We get a lot of detail into each individual character and as well as the varied alliances.
- The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet is a more character based novel and we spend the duration of the book meeting and learning about the varied crewmembers that make up the Wayfarer.
- The Mark of Athena sees the characters from both The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune coming together for the very first time. Old friends reunite and new friends are made in a battle to save the world. Again like with the novel above these characters are vastly different and all bring something new and fresh to the story.
So, there you have it! A couple things that instantly make me put a book on my TBR list. I hope you enjoyed reading and let me know what your book baits are!