Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly prompt created by The Broke and The Bookish. I was in love with this week’s topic until I sat down to actually try and come up with ten settings I’d want to visit. I feel like this topic lends itself more to fantasy and sci-fi books and I’ve been reading a lot of books that take place “in real life”. So boring, right? I did manage to come up with enough settings and I had to reach into the DEEP past for one or two of these which only made me feel like I really need to step my reading game up in the coming months. These settings are in no particular order.
1. The Kiesha’ra Series by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
This series is probably the oldest one on this list. I read a lot of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’ books when I was in middle school and I feel like her books have been lost to time because they mostly came out before the Twilight series and the subsequent YA boom. Despite this, or maybe because of it, I loved the uniqueness of these books because they don’t really don’t have a ton of cliche YA tropes. This entire series consists of 5 books (Hawksong, Snakecharm, Falcondance, Wolfcry, and Wyvernhail) and follows multiple kingdoms of different shapeshifters. I’m pretty sure that this was my first introduction to shifters as a young adult and I have a lot of nostalgic feelings about this series. I would love to fall into this book’s setting just to be around all the shapeshifters.
2. The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Pirates, assassins, witches, and ninjas! And all in one book! Honestly, what more could you ask for? Again, this is a book I haven’t read in years, but I remember liking it so much because it was so different from all of the other formulaic YA books I had been reading at the time. This book gives you a little bit of everything, from ships on the high seas, to cities bursting with magic, and dangerous deserts, and still manages to be cohesive instead of overwhelming. And, once again, I don’t think this book ever really got the hype it deserved.
3. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
I just finished reading the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy and, while the setting is, for the most part, relatively normal, I can’t shake the feeling that there is something much more sinister and mysterious going on in Area X. I’m still wondering if there is something in the environment that is driving the groups crazy and turning then against each other, but the plot is so open ended and unexplored at the end of book one that I have a least a dozen theories about where it’s going to go.
4. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Honestly, I would visit any setting the Laini Taylor creates. Her writing is so beautiful and her descriptions of setting are so vivid that they feel real. What I love most about her writing is how the descriptions are so effortlessly woven into the stories and not dumped on you all at once. I don’t think I’d like to live in the dreamless city that most if this story takes place in, but, in true book nerd fashion, I just want to live in the library Lazlo worked in before he left. If he can live their why can’t I? To be fair though, I already work in a library, so I’m not to far from accomplishing my goal.
5. Six of Crow by Leigh Bardugo
Although Six of Crows takes place in a few specific locations, I would really just like to live in the Grishaverse. I feel like this is a tougher one because there are a lot of scary places with some vicious characters running around, but the entire world is full of such beautiful and interesting magic that I can’t resist.
6. The Raven Cycles Series by Maggie Steifvater
This series was one that really got me back into reading after a my second year of college, and while I know there are a lot of people that don’t love this series as much as I do, I still enjoy returning to it when I’m stuck in a slump. Apart from a desire to befriend the characters in this book, I want to visit Cabeswater. It’s magical. It’s a forest. How much more do you need? The idea of being in a place that is not only a dream, but could literally make your dreams come to life is something I would love to experience.
7. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
I feel like this one is cheating and if you’ve read the book or seen the movie you probably understand why. This book takes place in six different settings in six different time periods. The one that intrigued me the most was Neo Seoul, which takes place in the future. The plot in Neo Seoul follows a young woman who is a clone that is used as a slave and becomes self aware of her and other clone’s situation and raises a rebellion against the society’s treatment of them. Kind of intense, but the book covers some pretty interesting concepts that I think our own society is going to have to face in the coming decades with the rise of robotics and AI, and in the movie Neo Seoul was visually stunning. I feel like the idea of going to the future just to see how we turn out is something that everyone thinks about at some point.
8. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
I think that fact that this is a graphic novel seriously lends to my desire to visit literally any part of the universe in Saga… except maybe the sex planet. Again, the idea of exploring the universe and finding out what’s out there is something a lot of people think about at least once. For me, this is something I think about a lot, but since I’m to scared to fly in a plane let alone a spaceship, Saga is the next best thing for me. One of my favorite things about this story is the ability of Vaughan to create so many stories that are taking place literally across galaxies and still be able to tie them together so effortlessly.
9. The Shining by Stephen King
The Overlook hotel is the epitome of one of my new favorite concepts in horror… the sentient haunted house. I would love to go to a haunted house in real life, as long as it’s not my house. But this book is so creepy because of the way the entities of the house work against the characters to drive them crazy.
10. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
As a rule I try not to include Harry Potter on any list like this if I can help it, but I think this topic is the most perfect one to include it so, here it is. This book is so nostalgic for me because it was the first chapter book that I read on my own that wasn’t a Magic Tree House book. These books are really what got me into reading as a child and even as an adult I still return to them from time to time. Can we all just live at Hogwarts please? I feel like this is the childhood dream of most people in my age bracket.