Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #2 - on Wednesday

I know these are supposed to post on Tuesdays, but yesterday I had a lovely guest post from talented historical fiction author Victoria Lamb in honor of the release for her Tudor novel The Queen's Secret. I've read, reviewed - and genuinely enjoyed - this fresh look on such a beloved Queen. So go ahead and look at that after reading Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

My Top Ten Series I'd Like to Start But Haven't Yet.

#1. The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta

 At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh to save his kingdom. He stands on the rock of the three wonders with his friend Prince Balthazar and Balthazar's cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood to safeguard Lumatere.

But all safety is shattered during the five days of the unspeakable, when the king and queen and their children are brutally murdered in the palace. An impostor seizes the throne, a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere's walls, and those who escape are left to roam the land as exiles, dying by the thousands in fever camps.

Ten years later, Finnikin is summoned to another rock--to meet Evanjalin, a young novice with a startling claim: Balthazar, heir to the throne of Lumatere, is alive. This arrogant young woman claims she'll lead Finnikin and his mentor, Sir Topher, to the prince. Instead, her leadership points them perilously toward home. Does Finnikin dare believe that Lumatere might one day rise united? Evanjalin is not what she seems, and the startling truth will test Finnikin's faith not only in her but in all he knows to be true about himself and his destiny.

In a bold departure from her acclaimed contemporary novels, Printz Medalist Melina Marchetta has crafted an epic fantasy of ancient magic, feudal intrigue, romance, and bloodshed that will rivet you from the first page.

Books in the series: Finnikin of the Rock, Froi of the Exiles, Ferragost, and Quintana of Charyn
Reasons I want to read this series: Melina. Marchetta. Fantasy. "Bold departure.." Do I need any others?


#2. The Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand

 In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

Books in series: Unearthly, Hallowed, and Boundless
Reasons I want to read this series: Hype. I own and have neglected the first novel. Angels. Friends love and won't stop talking about it.


#3. Balefire series by Cate Tiernan

After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she's ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans. New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries, but none as unbelievable as the moment she comes face to face with the impossible -- an identical twin, Clio. Thais soon learns that she and the twin she never knew come from a family of witches, that she possesses astonishing powers, and that she, along with Clio, has a key role in Balefire, the coven she was born into. Fiery Clio is less than thrilled to have to share the spotlight, but the twins must learn to combine their powers in order to complete a rite that will transform their lives and the coven forever.



Books in series: A Chalice of Wind, A Circle of Ashes, A Feather of Stone, and A Necklace of Water
Reasons I want to read this series: It was recommended by a reader with great taste - Kara of Great Imaginations. I own all three and just haven't gotten to them yet.


#4. Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon


The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Books in series: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, An Echo in the Bone, and Written In My Own Heart's Blood.
Reasons I want to read this series: Hometown hero! Great word of mouth, long-running, I own the first two.


#5. Fly By Night series by Frances Hardinge

Twelve-year-old Mosca Mye hasn't got much. Her cruel uncle keeps her locked up in his mill, and her only friend is her pet goose, Saracen, who'll bite anything that crosses his path. But she does have one small, rare thing: the ability to read. She doesn't know it yet, but in a world where books are dangerous things, this gift will change her life.

Enter Eponymous Clent, a smooth-talking con man who seems to love words nearly as much as Mosca herself. Soon Mosca and Clent are living a life of deceit and danger -- discovering secret societies, following shady characters onto floating coffeehouses, and entangling themselves with crazed dukes and double-crossing racketeers. It would be exactly the kind of tale Mosca has always longed to take part in, until she learns that her one true love -- words -- may be the death of her.

"Fly by Night" is astonishingly original, a grand feat of the imagination from a masterful new storyteller.

Books in series: Fly By Night and Fly Trap
Reasons I want to read this series: I read and loved Hardinge's A Fave Like Glass - it was original and very creative. I'm hopeful for the same from this. Also: I own it.

#6. The Passage series by Justin Cronin

 “It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.
Books in series: The Passage, The Twelve, and The City of Mirrors
Reasons I want to read this series: Hype. Ambition. An interesting mix of genres. I own it.


#7. Tatiana and Alexander series by Paullina Simons

A magnificent epic of love, war and Russia from the international bestselling author of TULLY and ROAD TO PARADISE.

Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose palaces and avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg. Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents. The routine of their hard impoverished life is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanov family, for Leningrad and particularly for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On that fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young man named Alexander. The family suffers as Hitler's army advances on Leningrad, and the Russian winter closes in. With bombs falling and the city under siege, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn inexorably to each other, but theirs is a love that could tear Tatiana's family apart, and at its heart lies a secret that could mean death to anyone who hears it. Confronted on the one hand by Hitler's vast war machine, and on the other by a Soviet system determined to crush the human spirit, Tatiana and Alexander are pitted against the very tide of history, at a turning point in the century that made the modern world.

Books in series: The Bronze Horseman, Tatiana and Alexander, and The Summer Garden
Reasons I want to read this series: peer pressure from my sister, Russian historical fiction, I own the first two.

#8. The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart


 "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" ad attracts dozens for mind-bending tests readers may try. Only two boys and two girls succeed for a secret mission, undercover and underground into hidden tunnels. At the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, the only rule is - there are no rules.

Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children-two boys and two girls-succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they'll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you're gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help. 

Books in series: The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, and The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma
Reasons I want to read this series: I own all three. They seem cheeky and fun, a la Lemony Snicket.


#9. The Dust Lands by Moira Young

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back. 


Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

Books in series: Blood Red Road, Rebel Heart and Untitled
Reasons I want to read this series: Unique. Apocalyptic. Strong female heroine. I own it.


#10. Graceling Realm by Kristin Cashore

 Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight--she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graces as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po's friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace--or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...

Books in series: Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue
Reasons I want to read this series: Hype. Female warriors. I own the first two.


Honorable mentions: The Monstrumologist series by Rick Yancey, Widdershins Adventures by Ari Marmell, Shanghai Girls by Lisa See, Wildwood by Juliet Marillier, Dublin Murder Squad by Tana French, Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan, and Onyx Court by Marie Brennan.

9 comments:

  1. So many good ones for you to read still! I'm a huge fan of The Outlander series and The Passage (not so much book 2 but it was still good). I tried reading Finnikin and not sure if it was just me or the time but I didn't care for it... always planned a re-read, one of these days. :) I had no idea that Cate Tiernan had wrote something else!! I'm reading her Immortal Beloved series right now and have really enjoyed her writing I'll definitely check this one out thanks!

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    1. I've heard nothing but good things about Tiernan so I've scooped up her books when I find a great sale. Now to just get reading them..... :D

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  2. The Lumatere Chronicles are just AMAZING and so are the Seven Realms Trilogy. I love Fire the best of those three! :) The Mysterious Benedict Society is a ton of fun and Blood Red Road is just fantastic! I wasn't a huge fan of the Unearthly Trilogy, but I do want to start Outlander and The Passage myself. Great list, Jessie! :)

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    1. Your review for Quintana was what convinced me to buy Finnikin when it was on sale! Now I am just waiting for the third to come out in paperback so all my editions will match.

      If I can wait that long!

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    1. Soon! I love Melina Marchetta so I can't go long before jumping in.

      Also - The Steph Su on my blog? That's just awesome.

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  4. I can't even read the descriptions. MY TBR is huge right now, and your blog makes it grow every time I stop by.

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    1. Hahahah I take that as the best compliment I could receive :D

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  5. #1-I own the first book and I can't believe I haven't started this yet. I know I should but I never have the time. And I hate myself for it. All I can say is I hope I can get to it soon.

    #2-Same thing here. Own book one somewhere, on e-book I think, but no time. I will now wait to read it until next year once it's obsolete because that's the way I roll.

    #3-Why thank you! I'm glad you bought them and I cannot wait to hear your thoughts. It's a GREAT witchcraft series, and New Orleans, and hot guys, and great characters, and ohhhhh now I want to reread it.

    #4-I've often thought about reading this but the blurbs just don't interest me, AND I think I just wouldn't like them.

    #5-Lyn and I are doing a dual review of this together soon once we both get it read. We actually need to have a discussion about that this week.

    #8-It was okay and it was fun but I just wasn't that impressed with book one. I hope you love it though!

    #9-Oh, you must!! This series is one of my favorites!

    #10-Again, I am with you on this one. I have been meaning to start this forever. But time is an issue as always. Hopefully later this year I can get caught up on review books and get some of my own read.

    Fantastic list, Jessie!

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