Favorite Book World

I’m not typically one for favorites. Not really. Most of the time if someone asks me what my favorite of anything is, I can’t answer because it is always subjective. Color? Depends on what we are talking about. If it is flowers, then I’m limited in choices. Clothing? I like what looks good on me. You ask about food, forget it. I’m a mood eater, just like I’m a mood reader. So if you ask me what’s my favorite book, I’m not going to be able to answer. I can give you a list of books I love, but I couldn’t pick only one. Or even 5.

I was thinking about book worlds and it seems that is a different ball of wax for me because it doesn’t cover just one book or one thing. It is a much bigger concept with lots of little pieces tied into it. It is because of those complexities that I can say I have a favorite. When I realized I actually had one, I sat and thought about why. What makes it a favorite?

When it comes to book worlds, I immediately go to fantasy because those tend to require a level of creativity and detail that realistic fiction doesn’t require because the larger aspects of that world already exist. All those different parts and pieces need to work together and they need to work in a way that sells the reader on that world. That it makes them believe in it. At least that is the way the best ones work for me. I’m sure other genres could work, but something contemporary that exists in the real world probably would never even come close for me.

One of the things that makes a book world truly compelling is that I can’t get the world and how it works out of my mind even when my nose isn’t in the book. It is something that consumes my thoughts, invades even my dreams, and sticks with me long after I’m done reading. So much so, I’m heartbroken every time I finish a book and have to wait for the next release.

While I have several series/worlds that come so close to hitting that coveted favorite spot, only one truly stands out. It’s kind of funny, but all of those series are written by the same author, Anne Bishop. I have other authors and book series I adore (guess what? I don’t actually have a favorite!), but when it comes to worlds, she takes top billing.

The runner up for me has got to be her Black Jewels world. This was probably the first book world that invaded my dreams. I remember the first time I read through the series, I had dreams throughout the entire time I was reading the series. This isn’t entirely uncommon for me as my brain doesn’t like to let me sleep anyway, but it shocked me at how much this world influenced those dreams. I still love this series, but it has to take second place.

Tied for that second place has got to be her Ephemera series. I think part of why this world was so fascinating is because it truly exists on the foundation of this singular concept of “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” It is a world that forces you to look a little deeper into yourself and I was at a point in my life where this had a huge impact on me. This didn’t invade my dreams or daily life so much as just really forced me to stop and think, to be a bit more mindful, to see the larger impact of my words and actions.

First place goes to all the books in the Others world. The biggest reason this gets the top spot is because I keep seeing things from that world tie into issues in today’s real world. There are so many deeper concepts in this outside of just an entertaining fantasy. Mostly from the very broad and generalized concepts of humanity, its arrogance, willful ignorance, and finding a balance with the natural world. I cannot tell you how many times I’ll be talking about current events with Hubby and I end up bringing up something from one of the books in this world. I find it utterly fascinating.

While it does have a lot of elements from reality, it is also so very not. I think it is that balance, combined with the level of detail that I really fell in love with. I also feel like it is really unique. Sure, there are certain elements that you see a lot of, but they are presented in such a different way that it makes them feel like brand new concepts that have zero ties to any of those other representations.

Anne Bishop is one of those authors that I’d love to spend at least a couple of minutes inside their head just to see some of the crazy that has to exist to be able to create the stunning worlds she does. I think she is one of those authors that most ideas start out with a “what if?” and it just explodes from there with a ton more of those “what if’s” along the way. You can almost see the path she takes from that question into the worlds she’s created. It is probably why the worlds she creates hold all the top spots for favorite book worlds for me.

Looking at all of these things I’ve brought up with regards to worlds, I think the things that I like the most and what really intrigues me is when they make me think, if it can bring in connections to real life even if the world is completely fantastical. They are all also extremely well thought out, highly detailed and feel utterly unique.

Do you have a favorite book world(s)? What about those worlds stick with you?

*Yes, I am aware that the image I used for this post doesn’t actually picture any of the books from my favorite world. That is because I only have those in ebook form, something I need to rectify. And soon!

 

Wild Country: The World of the Others, Book 2

Author: Anne Bishop
Book Name: Wild Country
Series: The World of the Others
Order: #2
Genre: Fantasy
Rating:  Excellent/Favorite
5+stars

 

Blurb: There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the outlaw Blackstone Clan will either unite Others and humans…or bury them all.

This! This, this, this, THIS!! This is more along the lines of what I expected from Lake Silence. Where Lake Silence is set in this world, it is almost entirely a stand alone book. Outside of the need to be familiar with the world, there is almost nothing that ties that into the original The Others series and can be almost be read by itself. While that is still an excellent book, it didn’t have any familiar characters or settings. This book, however, absolutely does!

Many of the main characters are ones readers got to meet in the original series and it is set in Bennet, a place readers are familiar with because of events in the original series. No, it does not have Meg and Simon, other than mentions (always going to be a tiny bit of a disappointment because they are some of my all time favorite characters).

The timing of this book runs a little in step with Etched in Bone. It actually runs along Lake Silence as well, but because that one is so disconnected from all the other books, it is irrelevant. I would almost call this book #6 in the original series, but because of the lack of Meg and Simon, it does mostly fall outside of that series.

I love the fact that you get to follow many of the characters that we met through the job fair in Lakeside in Etched in Bone. We get to see what happens with them once they  make it to Bennet and how that town, Prarie Gold and it’s characters settled in. This ties up a lot of threads that were left open at the end of Etched in Bone. It also bring into the front a new element, a concept that has been flirted with throughout the original series, with the introduction of Joshua Painter.

While it is truly doubtful this is the end of the World of books, this book does not leave a reader with an obvious sense of where the next book is going to take them. I think it is a real possibility we will see a Hope book, but that isn’t clear. Or maybe we get to see more of Joshua’s story. It is just as likely we will see another unattached book like Lake Silence.

As is always my biggest complaint (if you can even call it that) about any Anne Bishop book is that it had to have a final page. I am never ready to step out of the worlds that she creates.

Lake Silence: The World of the Others, Book 1

Lake Silence
Lake Silence

Author: Anne Bishop
Book Name: Lake Silence
Series: The World of the Others
Order: #1
Genre: Fantasy
Rating:  Excellent/Favorite
5+stars


 

 

Blurb: Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others–vampires, shape-shifters, and even deadlier paranormal beings. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget….

After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns such as Vicki’s don’t have any distance from the Others, the dominant predators who rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what is out there watching you.

Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life. But when her lodger, Aggie Crowe–one of the shape-shifting Others–discovers a murdered man, Vicki finds trouble instead. The detectives want to pin the death on her, despite the evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim. As Vicki and her friends search for answers, ancient forces are roused by the disturbance in their domain. They have rules that must not be broken–and all the destructive powers of nature at their command.

The last several days I’ve spent re-reading The Others series in preparation for the new release. I’ve been sitting on pins and needles since the newest book was announced. As usual, I dropped this in my wish list as soon as it was available to do so and have been anxiously awaiting the release date.

Note to self: Just because a book is from one of your favorite authors and appears to be in their current series and you have loved every single book ever written by said author does not mean that you shouldn’t still read the blurb. Silly me didn’t actually notice that this was a “World of…” book and not actually the next installment. Oh, I noticed pretty much on the first page and figured it out, but I had to try really hard not to be disappointed. I should have really known since the cover art for this one was so different from all the other books in The Others series, but I just thought it was decided to go a different direction. Again, silly me for making assumptions.

I did struggle not to be a little disappointed because the problem was mine, but I had spent months looking forward to another Meg, Simon, Sam, Vlad and all the rest of the courtyard’s residents book. This book didn’t have them at all, even as side characters. There are teeny tiny bits where a name is mentioned in passing, but you never see any of those characters in this book. It is a whole new location, new characters and even a few new types of Others that we haven’t seen before.

The other thing that I think was hard for me is that because I love all of those original characters so much, it is exceptionally hard to measure up to them and I just don’t think that anything can ever compare. I enjoyed getting to meet these new characters and learn about a new place. I love this world and will take anything I can get from it, but the original series will probably always be my favorite. This one is still stunningly amazing, but sits just below the level of amazing that the original series holds.

I hope like crazy that this doesn’t mean that Ms. Bishop is done with that original one because I am so not ready to say goodbye to all of those characters. Then again, that is kind of classic for just about anything that Anne Bishop has ever written and why I can continue to read those books over and over again and never begin to get sick of them.