Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Settings I Crave, and Debuts to Read

I'm combining this week's Top Ten topic  with last week's Top Ten topic, which I figure works out to okay if I only list my top fives in each category instead of inundating my poor unsuspecting readers with 20 items.

Top Ten Tuesday is  an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish blog with a different top ten list theme (all related to books) every Tuesday (see the full list here). 

Top Five Settings I Want To See More of

1. Steampunk Ancient Egypt. Is it just me, or did the movie Stargate (1994) have just a touch of steampunk feel? Did the TV show series follow up on that? I see so much potential in books...

2. Steampunk Space - the old, weird movie version of Frank Herbert's Dune from the 1984 had one interesting component to it: a hint of steampunk spaceships and space guild. 29 years later, I still think about this and wonder why it's never been tried again in movies or books (at least to my knowledge).

3. Desert with a twist. I love books with desert settings. The Blue Sword, Girl of Fire and Thorns, Dune, to name a few. For this setting to not be cliche, it needs a fresh twist. I'm not sure what that twist would be - if I could pinpoint it, I'd try to write it myself. Maybe something desert, with a unique and sporadic season of growth/flowering that spawns deadly...things. Also, the most interesting and rarest ecosystems on the planet are coastal deserts, like the Namibia coast (or Skeleton Coast) off of eastern Africa. Haven't yet read anything in these settings.

4. Dangerous and exotic tropical - something like the setting from the movie Avatar, in book form

5. Huns vs. Romans.  The clash of barbarian horse warriors and a decadent, dying Roman empire fascinates me. Atilla was an interesting mix of savage and sophisticated. Hun men supposedly scarred their own faces. I've searched and found several books based on this era. And none of them were very good. I'm still searching, and hoping. A fantasy twist on this historical setting could be so, so, so very EPIC.  So, I started writing one, but not sure if I'm up to the task.

Top Five 2013 Debuts I can't wait to read

1. The Art of Wishing - I remember reading this premise (a high school girl falls in love with her genie, masquerading as a high school boy) over a year ago (maybe on Miss Snark's First Victims Baker's Dozen?) while it was still a pitch and not even agented. So when I saw it pop up on the list of debuts this year, I just about screeched with delight! And another gasp of delight (or fear) to see the main character's name is Margo.

2. Pivot Point, by Kasie West
A teenager who can see into the future, or at least two possible outcomes of a choice. Sounds like you can't go wrong, but I'm sure things are going to go very, very wrong.

3. The Rules for Disappearing, Ashley Elton
A girl in a witness protection program and a killer first line: "What do you want your name to be this time?"

4. Linked, by Imogen Howson and Parallel, by Lauren Miller
Yes, I'm cheating with two titles. Something about people being linked through memories or thoughts or actions  has always fascinated me.

5. The Archived. Okay, this isn't a debut, but I've been waiting for this book for WELL OVER A YEAR and I am so stinking excited and scared that it won't live up to its premise. It is out TODAY and I will be reading it TONITE.  Scared/happy/scared/happy/scared... takes deep breath. Okay, so there's this supernatural library of Histories, who are, I think, dead souls.  Histories are dangerous (creepy). They can be altered (hmmm?). Histories can... fall in love with their living Keepers (ahhhhh).

What setting would you like to get lost in? Or what book are you eagerly waiting to read?


  1. I'm dying to read every one of those debut novels. Great lists. I haven't read a lot of Steampunk, but I really ought to.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Here's mine

    ~Danica Page

    Taking it One Page at a Time

  2. Steampunk and Space...now that I'd love to try out sometime! Two of my favourite things, in one book.
    Haven't heard of any of these new books, I will have to look into them. The bottom one looks especially good.

  3. Agreed on deserts and jungles (and a lot of other 'exotic' settings) being underutilised. With the extremes of heat/cold and flash floods making stuff suddenly grow *everywhere* it would make an interesting place to journey across, rather than just another medieval fields and forests background. And the Huns and Romans idea sounds excellent; good luck making your vision of it work!

  4. That is really cool -- about The Art of Wishing. Seeing it from pitch to book!

    Steampunk Ancient Egypt sounds awesome.

  5. Terry Gilliam's movies seem to have a steampunk feel to me.

  6. As someone who lives in the southwest, I'm always craving more books with a desert setting, too! And wow, such great debut book choices. The first two especially intrigue me!

  7. Apologies for the stupid question of the day, but what is steampunk?

  8. I so agree with you on Egypt!!! Thanks for stopping by to see my TTT. Did you enter our contest to win some exclusive THE ARCHIVED swag!? SO EXCITED i'm getting my book today!!!!!

  9. Those are some pretty awesome settings. I like deserts too, but I prefer things like Arizona, where I used to live. :D Books? There are SO many, it's really hard to choose. I could cheat and say mine, but I won't! LOL

  10. Settings: Imperial Russia, the French Revolution, the American Revolution, and of course, World War II. And there are SO many books I can't wait to read...on my. My Goodreads shelf is overflowing!

  11. Ohh, your settings are really creative! Steampunk ancient Egypt would be really interesting.

  12. Steampunk Ancient Egypt sounds fab!

  13. Oh my GOSH! Is steampunk Egypt really a thing?! I would die of happiness! And Huns vs. Romans sounds beyond beautiful. Please please please someone do this.

  14. Steampunk ancient Egypt? Never thought of that but omg it'd be amazing! The closest I've come to it is Kai Meyer's Water Mirror trilogy (widely successful in Germany, not really known in its English translation) where the enemy is Egyptian and there is technology stuff and some of it plays in the desert, but it's not really all that steampunk-ish.
    Pivot Point and The Archived are also on my most anticipated list :)
    Thanks for stopping by yesterday!

  15. I had no idea you had the steampunk "bug". :)
    I can't wait to read about your "archived" reading. I finally got my own copy today. :)

  16. Wow, quite the lists! I hope The Archived lives up to your expectations - it sounds really cool. I'm looking forward to Lydia Kang's debut, CONTROL. I'd love to see an unusual combination of historical time period and setting for YA (like the Amelia Peabody series for adults, where Victorian Brits solve mysteries in Egypt at the turn of the (former) century).

  17. Another steampunk fan! Steampunk Egypt would be soooo cool! Have you read Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series? It's not in Egypt, but book 2 is in Istanbul... I just finished that series and highly recommend it!

    Pivot Point, Linked, and Archived are all on my debut to-read list as well! They all have such unique concepts! So excited!

    Lauren @ Hughes Reviews


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