Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Top Ten Most Vivid Book Worlds/Settings
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
1. Northumberland in the Sadler's Wells series by Lorna Hill - I love the Wells books, and for me the best bits were always the parts set in Hill's native Northumberland. Her portrayal of the countryside is gorgeous and the books are wonderful comfort reads for me, partly because of this.
2. The Abbey and the surrounding area in The Abbey Girls by Elsie J Oxenham - Speaking of gorgeous countryside, how could anyone not read EJO's classic series and not want to be transported to the beautiful Abbey of Gracedieu or the lovely area that surrounded it. Girls' Own at its very finest.
3. Prydain in the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander - My recent reread of this fantasy series has got me raving about it. Alexander created, drawing on influences from both Tolkien and from traditional Welsh mythology, a wonderful setting populated with remarkable characters.
4. Maycomb County in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - The only book I had to read for school which I ever liked, Lee's skill at portraying Southern America in the Great Depression makes this one to savour.
5. Gatlin County in The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - Drawing on TKAM for inspiration, Garcia and Stohl have created a wonderful modern Southern Gothic series here. Especially impressive is the balance between the realistic part of Gatlin County, trapped in the past with the inhabitants still referring to the War of Northern Aggression, and the world of the casters, filled with magic and voodoo.
6. Prohibition-era Chicago in Vixen by Jillian Larkin - I haven't read the other books in the series yet, but Larkin's first is superb, particularly the way in which she captures the feel of the Jazz Age so wonderfully.
7. The USA in Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - I love road-trip books, and Matson's is the best I've read. Her characters' journey from California to Connecticut, with - as the title suggests - a fairly meandering route, is wonderfully written.
8. Africa in Tarzan by Andy Briggs - Briggs has done wondrous things with his Tarzan reboot, cleverly modernising the stories but making sure they feel just right. His breathtaking portrayal of the continent is one of the main reasons to read these excellent books.
9. The FAYZ in Gone by Michael Grant - Grant's series is perhaps the best sci-fi out there at the moment. His chilling portrayal of a society where the adults have vanished and the remaining teens are imprisoned by a huge impenetrable dome is incredibly well done. I'm particularly impressed by the major roles played by some of the non-powered kids who manage to play a huge part without being overshadowed by the mutants.
10. Lyssia in Wereworld by Curtis Jobling - What Grant has done for sci-fi, Jobling has done for epic fantasy. Lyssia feels real, despite the shape-changers roaming around. The politics, the romance, the characters and the adventures are all pitch-perfect.