Finally, time for another Top 5 Wednesday, it’s been too long! But this is a topic I can really get my teeth into – Auto-Buy Scifi and Fantasy Authors!
I’ve only recently gotten into Scifi, but I’ve been a fan of Fantasy for as long as I can remember. It’s my favourite genre, I practically live in Fantasy novels if I’m honest, and I have several authors I auto-buy without even thinking. I barely look at the synopsis for them, I just see they’ve released a new book and jump right in!
So, without further ado, let’s get into my Top 5 Auto-Buy Scifi and Fantasy Authors!
- Terry Pratchett.
Were you really expecting anything else from me, honestly? I adore Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, they’re the ultimate Fantasy for me. They’re clever, funny, and all-encompassing. He’s sadly no longer with us, but if I ever go into a bookstore and find a Discworld novel I don’t own, I snap it up immediately! I have no room on my Pratchett shelf, the new covers do not match our original covers (they’re not even the same size, and are a mess of paper and hardback covers) but that doesn’t stop me. I won’t stop until I own every single thing Terry wrote. My only exception is the things he co-wrote (with the exception to that rule being Good Omens, because my God that book is good), I’m not keen on anything he wrote with other authors, but anything solo is mine.
- V.E. Schwab.
Again, any surprises here? No, not really. I have a serious thing for Schwab’s writing, it’s a beautiful mix of incredible world building, impeccable characterisation and brutal violence, which essentially ticks every box on my ‘book needs’ checklist. And that’s without even mentioning how effortlessly diverse her books are, so expertly woven into her incredibly imaginative stories. I simply adore her books, and always look forward to whatever she’ll write next. Whether it be a comic book, a middle-grade novel, or a spin-off from an already-established series, I will always pick up her stories.
- Derek Landy.
The author of Skulduggery Pleasant, one of the best children’s books series I’ve ever read. I may have only read the first three (to say the least I’m stretching it out as much as possible, so it doesn’t end too quick), but I’m always on the lookout for the latest book in this wonderful series. I’ve also got the first book in his other series, Demon Road, which I am also saving for when I can dedicate a decent amount of time to it. Landy’s writing is so sharp, so quick and never talks down to its reader. It revels in the scary and of the consequences of magic. I have loved his writing ever since I was a child, to the point where I actually dressed as Valkyrie Caine for a World Book Day when I was twelve. Essentially, I adore Derek Landy, especially his Skulduggery series, and will never stop recommending it to others, let alone buying every book he comes out with.
- Jay Kristoff.
I only recently discovered the joys of Jay Kristoff’s books, and even though I’ve only read one and three quarters of another, I have loved every second of his writing style. It’s frank, and doesn’t shy away from brutal murder, or the gore that follows it. Like I said before, I’m a bit of a fan of murder and gore, but Kristoff has a certain talent for it that I cannot help but be drawn to like a moth to the flame. Nevernight is now one of my favourite books of the year, and I’ve basically pushed it on my mum and best friend, insisting they read it ASAP. As for Illuminae, it’s hit me in a way I didn’t expect, forcing me to put it down for a while, but that, to me, just speaks of its quality. I cannot wait to see what else Kristoff comes up with in the future, whatever it’ll be, I’m sure it’s going to be incredible.
- Skottie Young.
After reading I Hate Fairyland, I’ve decided that Young is a freaking genius with comic books. Somewhere between brilliance, hilarity and OTT violence, Young is an absolutely fantastic writer. Ever since I’ve wanted to pick up every comic book he writes. Alas, I haven’t managed it yet, but I’m constantly on the lookout for everything he’s written (especially the Marvel comics, I’m a bit obsessed…). He’s a great author to read when feeling a little low, or looking for an incredibly quick read. I would recommend him to anyone who’s a fan of Mark Millar, or Deadpool-esque violence and madness.
And that’s my top 5! But I can’t finish this blog post without a few honourable mentions.
- Tom Fletcher.
Children’s book author with The Christmasaurus and The Creakers, soon to be YA author, too, with Eve Of Man in May, I love this man’s writing. He’s funny, imaginative, and sweeps you into a story in just a few sentences. Between the humour, the fourth wall breaks, and the musical accompaniments, I cannot resist Tom’s books! Also, it helps that he’s a McFly boy, so I auto-buy anything he ever does!
- Carrie Hope Fletcher.
She deals with more magical-realism, so I have no idea if that really counts as fantasy, but I’m counting her! Carrie makes me actually like romance in a novel and has such a great way of pulling emotions out of me I didn’t know existed. Her second book, All That She Can See, also dealt with mental health issues in such an interesting way I cannot help but love her writing. I’ll buy anything she writes!
As for a few authors, I think will end up on the auto-buy list eventually… well, I have a few.
- Rick Riordan.
Please do not judge me, but I’ve never read anything by Riordan… yet. I now am the proud owner of the first five Percy Jackson books, as I had heard so much about them, and saw them down from £40 to £15 (thanks to The Works!), I had to snap them up! They’re one of my top priorities to read after May, and if what everyone else has said is true, I’m going to absolutely love these books, and I cannot wait to get into them and fall in love with Riordan’s writing.
- Marissa Meyer.
Yeah, I know, how the hell have I not read anything by Meyer yet? Simple, I’m an idiot. And slow. But as of Monday morning, the day I type this up, I started Cinder, I’m currently only five chapters in, but I’m enjoying it so far, and I’m hoping it’ll continue. I’ve also got Renegades saved for just before the sequel to be released, so I’m currently semi-confident in my loving her writing. The disability rep is so far great, in my mind at least, in Cinder, it’s just my aversion to love stories that may put me off at this point…
- Phillip Reeve.
Finally, an author I have read before. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Larklight by Reeve. I read it cover to cover, and when I finished, I didn’t even pause in starting reading it again. I recently uncovered the book, and I cannot wait to reread it at some point and relive my childhood a bit. Recently, I also bought Mortal Engines, because of the film adaption coming out at the end of the year, so I reckon this is going to kick start my love of Reeve again. I’m very excited to find out.
- Sarah J Maas.
This is where I beg the book community to not totally shun me for the rest of time, but I’ve never read anything by Maas before. But my interest has been piqued, thanks to almost literally everyone ever. So I bought Throne Of Glass for my birthday, and it’s on my list of ‘things to read in April.’ I have a good feeling about this book at the moment, and about the author in general. I’m hoping it comes through, and I become a die-hard fan too.
I could go on for days, but I’m going to stop there, I’ve already gone over the actual prompt, but I couldn’t really help myself if I’m honest. There’s just so many authors I’m passionate about, or just plain excited to read!
What are you guys auto-buy authors? Anybody, I should check out right this second? Leave me a comment down below so I can check them out, I’m always on the lookout for more authors to read!
March has been a busy one, between shopping trips, turning 22, and a whole load of other things, I’ve barely had time to read!
Well, when I say that, I mean that I’ve barely had time to focus on a book that actually interested me. Recently, as I said in my previous post, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump, and it wasn’t until I read Nevernight that I came out of it.
But before then, I still tried to read a few books, so I thought I’d do a wrap-up and give my thoughts on what I’ve read this month. I would usually wait until April to make this post on my youtube channel, but the next two weeks are dedicated to the Superheroathon, which is going to have its own wrap up at the end of it. So I thought I’d do a written wrap up over here instead.
So, let’s get to it then!
Firstly, I read Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D Volume One – The Coulson Protocols.
I read this one because the TV counterpart to this comic was coming back to English TV this month, and I wanted to finally explore the comics a little, so I gave this one a shot.
The comic storyline was quite fun – someone had stolen a whole load of S.H.I.E.L.D files and were using those files to figure out how to kill the superheroes, so the team set off to try and find the culprit. Classic S.H.I.E.L.D storyline, and enjoyable too. The plot twists were great, and I loved how many superheroes turned up in the comic.
There was only one thing I couldn’t get passed.
Everyone was so different from their TV counterpart. I’ve been a S.H.I.E.L.D fan ever since the show started – have loved Coulson as a character since he turned up in the first Iron Man film, but all the characters were different in this.
Maria Hill was apparently evil, Coulson was the same rank, or slightly below, Ward, Fitz could have been working for the other side, it was weird. Like, really weird. And I wasn’t sure what to make of it, to be honest. It felt like the team hadn’t gelled as well as they do in the show, which for me left a fundamental hole in the story. I watch S.H.I.E.L.D partly for the story, but partly because I love the family they have become, having that missing was weird, to say the least.
On the whole, despite its flaws, I gave the comic a 4/5 stars, if not just because the supers knew that Coulson was alive, and they actually turned up to help.
Next, I went on to start Sabriel by Garth Nix.
I’d been looking forward to this one for a while, I’d heard many great things about this series over the years, but I sadly just could not get into it.
I DNF’d after 10 chapters sadly, even though I really wanted to like it. I found that I couldn’t connect with the characters or the story that well, I didn’t really care for what was going on or for the magic world Nix had created.
It was incredibly disappointing, especially after having spent so long looking forward to reading the book, I wished I could have continued, but I just found that I didn’t care at all for the characters.
That being said though, I am willing to give this book another chance at some other time. If I’m completely honest, I’ve been in a weird mood this year so I may have not liked this book because of that. So, hopefully, once this mood lifts, I’m going to pick it up again and give it another try. Who knows, maybe I’ll like it then. It had great potential, and it did have a storyline I’m usually interested in, so there’s a chance I’ll like it more the second time around.
I then moved onto Jessica Jones: ALIAS Volume One.
Again, I read this because Jessica Jones series two came out this month, and I wanted to explore her comic origins a bit more. I chose ALIAS because that is the Jessica incarnation I’m most familiar with.
But again, I had the same problem as I had with S.H.I.E.L.D. The comic was just so different from the TV counterpart. Jessica knows the Avengers, is friends with Carol Danvers and lives in the same city as the Fantastic Four. I know that in the comics, everybody lives together in the same universe and that copyright doesn’t prevent crossover, but it was weird.
I could have gotten over that though if it wasn’t for the fact that I didn’t feel like Jessica was very Jessica. In the Netflix TV show, Jessica Jones is a badass, superstrong, mess of a human being. She drinks, she swears, she sleeps around to distract herself from the trauma she has experienced. She calls out men and women who take advantage of others, or even hint at it. She’s abrasive, rude, and generally, well… Jessica.
In this comic, I felt like she was incredibly watered down. Yes, Jessica drank and was super strong, but she was nowhere near as badass as she usually was. She gave in too quickly with things, didn’t have the same drive she usually has, and generally she just… wasn’t herself. There didn’t seem to be any trauma, thanks to The Purple Man, no drive to point out sexism. All in all, I felt like she was letting people walk all over her, and to me, that isn’t Jessica Jones.
So again, I loved the superhero appearances, the references to Jessica’s time as an out and proud superhero, but for me, it wasn’t as good as the TV show. It didn’t give me the same feminist feeling, it just felt like there was something missing.
3/5 stars, mostly, again, for the superhero appearances.
After that, I moved onto the crowning glory of this month. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.
I won’t speak much about it because I’ve already reviewed it in another post, but what I will say is this:
Nevernight is amazing. I loved every single second of this assassin’s journey for revenge. I loved the plot twists, the action, the world-building, all of it. I loved the questions it gave me at the end, the girl power vibes, and just about everything else.
This book brought me out of a reading slump so quick it nearly gave me whiplash. If you ever get the chance to read the book, I highly recommend it, unless you are squeamish over blood, guts, and gore. If you’re a lover of it like me, then you will be in for an unforgettable treat with this book!
Onto the final book of March before the Superheroathon, which was Marie Lu’s The Young Elites, and I have mixed feelings on this one.
First of all, I flew through it. The chapters were all incredibly short, and the story moved at a good pace, so things moved along quicker than usual, which was great, as I was short on time.
But with the quick speed, things fell by the wayside. Things like character and world building.
Out of The Daggers, a group of Young Elites, only three are focused on in any detail. We get the main characters back story and fully detailed scenes of her with these two other characters. We get the villains perspective at times, giving his motivations. We get a bit of detail as to why the main character is so dark inside.
But we don’t get any information on anyone else. We get incredibly brief descriptions of the other Elites powers and fleeting mentions of their names, but that’s about it. There’s no real backstory, no time to build up any sort of detail in character, and it had me incredibly lost the entire time.
The side characters blurred so much for me I could not tell them apart, I barely knew what anybody’s powers were, let alone what their code names were, so when there was a scene involving these characters, I spent them lost and confused as to who was doing what.
Personally, I feel like this book was better suited for a younger YA audience, rather than an older one. Or maybe the detail comes in the sequel, I don’t know. All I know is that I was confused and lost for half of the book, which disappointed me a bit.
Maybe it was my fault for building it up in my head so much, I knew it was about supervillains, or at least people perceived as supervillains, and got far too overexcited. I was expecting dark, detailed, possibly disgusting death scenes, just like Nevernight. When I didn’t get that, I couldn’t get passed it.
I might read this one again one day, expectations lower. Or maybe I should read the next one, see if there’s any more detail there. I could be missing out on a goldmine of a series, I’ll let you guys tell me down in the comments if I should continue or not.
3/5 stars again, it was a great concept, with a lot of delicious darkness in the main character, it just lacked the detail I wanted in everything else.
But that is everything I read in March, what did you guys read? Agree with me on any of this, should I continue with The Young Elites? Let me know down below in the comments!