On The Shelf: Fantasy / Dystopia

Hi booknerds.

For this very first edition of On The Shelf, I will be focussing on my Fantasy and Dystopia collection which I have accumulated over the last two years. As I am a teenager, most books fall under the category YA (young adult), although there are some exceptions. I would love this series to be a way for me to document my book collection over time and look back on some of my favourite novels.

Due to my rapidly growing addiction to reading and acquiring books, my shelves are overflowing to the point where I am scared the shelves could drop on my head when I am sleeping and crush me to death (my shelves are exactly over my pillow). But then again, “death by books” wouldn’t be the worst way to go.

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These are the main two shelves where I store my books. The lower shelf hosts my Fantasy / Dystopia novels.

Here’s a quick list of all books shown before I will dive a little deeper into some of my personal favourites. If I happened to write a review on certain book, there will be a link attached which you can access by clicking on the given title. The link will redirect you to my review of that book on Goodreads.

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(from left to right)
  • Game – Anders De La Motte
  • The 100 – Kass Morgan
  • Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi
  • Replica – Lauren Oliver
  • Half Blood (Covenant #1) – Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Pure (Covenant #2) – Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Deity (Covenant #3) – Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Apollyon (Covenant #4) – Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Sentinel (Covenant #5) – Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1) – Dan Wells
  • Mr. Monster (John Cleaver #2) – Dan Wells
  • I Don’t Want To Kill You (John Cleaver #3) – Dan Wells
  • The Wrath And The Dawn (TWATD #1) – Renee Ahdieh
  • The Rose & The Dagger (TWATD #2) – Renee Ahdieh
(from bottom to top)

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(from left to right)

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(from bottom to top)
  • The Hunger Games (THG #1) – Suzanne Collins
  • Catching Fire (THG #2) – Suzanne Collins
  • Mockingjay (THG #3) – Suzanne Collins
  • The Maze Runner (TMR #1) – James Dashner
  • The Scorch Trials (TMR #2) – James Dashner
  • The Death Core (TMR #3) – James Dashner
  • The Kill Order (TMR #0.5) – James Dashner

 

I also have a second set of smaller shelves where I also keep books – one solely dedicated to my Outlander collection:

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Ps. Did you spot the Harry Potter books behind?
(from left to right)
  • Outlander (Outlander #1) – Diana Gabaldon
  • Dragonfly In Amber (Outlander #2) – Diana Gabaldon
  • Voyager (Outlander #3) – Diana Gabaldon
  • Drums Of Autumn (Outlander #4) – Diana Gabaldon
  • Outlander (Outlander #1) – Diana Gabaldon
  • Voyager (Outlander #3) – Diana Gabaldon
  • The Fiere Cross (Outlander #5) – Diana Gabaldon

As I speak German, I also have a few German Fantasy/ Dystopia books on the shelf above:

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(from left to right)
  • Die Ankunft (Cassia & Ky #3) – Ally Condie
  • Die Verratenen (Die Verratenen #1) – Ursula Poznanski
  • Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
  • Ashes, Ashes (#1) – Jo Treggiari
  • Saeculum – Ursula Poznanski
  • Dark Love – Lia Habel
  • Sommerfalle – Debra Chapoton
  • Snow White And The Huntsman – Lily Blake
  • Throne of Glass (TOG #1) – Sarah J. Maas

 

Favourite FANTASY / DYSTOPIA

Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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If you like greek mythology (and of course fantasy) mixed with action, wit and romance, then this book series will be for you. The YA series is a fast-paced and entertaining read, which you will definitely fly through. Here’s the blurb:

“The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals–well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1: Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is.

If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.”

John Cleaver series by Dan Wells

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I Am Not A Serial Killer is one of those books you will either love or hate. Fun fact about me: I am obsessed with reading about real life serial killers. So you can probably imagine why this book fascinated me and belongs to my all-time favourites. The series consists out of six books, although I have only read three. The books get better with each one and the amount of research Dan Wells must have done in order to even write the first book is impressive.

“John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat—and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.”

The Wrath & The Dawn series by Renee Ahdieh

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As an avid fantasy reader in this day and age, where millions of books are released each year, it is hard to find books that stand out from the crowd. This duology is the diamond in the rough – the perfect combination of magic-infused fantasy, romance and action-packed mystery. I have seldom read a book series so beautifully written, so imaginative and descriptive. In the fantasy world, this is a definite must-read.

“In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?”

 

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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I read this book in the beginning of this year and I was absolutely blown away. The different points of view make this book lively and keep readers on their toes. The world building does start off on the slower side, but once you’re in, you’re in. I was sucked into the world of queens, secrets, magic and rivalry between sisters. I am also delighted at the prospect of three books to come in the future of this series. CAN’T WAIT!

“In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.”

 

Throne Of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

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Let it be known that I will worship Sarah J. Maas until the end of time. I have so much respect for her when it comes to her writing. Over the last few years she has written two of my favourite book series ever, Throne Of Glass being one of them. Fun fact: she wrote the first book when she was sixteen years old. WOW. I have read books 1-4, the 5th I will be starting in a few weeks. Celaena Sardothian, the MC, is the perfect kick-ass female AND she is an assassin. The books play in this phenomenal world of magic, a tyrant king, and so, so much more. IT IS INCREDIBLE. This book series is what sucked me into the fantasy world again.

“After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.”

 

ACOTAR series by Sarah J. Maas

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I didn’t think it was possible to love characters this much until I began reading A Court Of Thornes And Roses. I love ACOTAR even more than Throne Of Glass and would describe it as my current favourite book series, like, ever. The first part is loosely based on Beauty And The Beast (I even thought I saw Parallels to Cinderella). Despite this book series officially being under the category of YA fantasy it is more like adult fantasy (I mean it). So if you’re not a fan of veeeery steamy love scenes, then this series might not be for you. The character development in these books is unreal, the writing and the world building are MASTERFUL.

“Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.”

I just wanted to add another picture because the covers are so pretty:

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Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard

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Now THIS is what I call fantasy. Holy shit. Even the thought of this book gets me excited all over again. I found this book randomly on my Dad’s shelf and decided to just jump in. I couldn’t put the damn book away and read it in one sitting. The series consists of four books, the fourth is being released 2018. The second part is a bit of a drag, I must admit, but crucial to the plotline. The third book picks up the speed nicely and left me breathless by the time I finished it. I am really looking forward to the final book.

“This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.”

 

Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

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This book is one of my all-time favourites. Time travel, Scottish highlanders, war, action and a timeless romance – have I got you hooked yet? This is definitely adult fantasy, I would recommend it from sixteen onwards. If you haven’t picked up on the Outlander hype yet then I urge you to read the books first (as many might know, there is also a phenomenal show based on the books). I know that it might be intimidating to start a nine-book series where each book has 800+ pages. I finished the 1000 page book the same day I started it – it is one of my fondest reading experiences: I stayed in bed the whole day because I couldn’t stop! The research behind this historical fantasy drama must have taken forever.  Due to my Scottish roots, I also found it really interesting to read about Scotland’s history and clans, as most information in this book is historically accurate.

“The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just 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 circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.”

 

Thanks for reading!

This concludes my first On The Shelf edition! I hope you enjoyed this insight into some of my books. As always, I would love to hear some book recommendations from you, as I am always looking for new literature, so leave them in the comment section below or add me on Goodreads. The next feature will be about my classics, so definitely stay tuned for that one! In preparation for the classical literature edition, I have been catching up on some of my to-read classics. Here’s a small sneak peek:

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Currently Reading: “On Love” by Charles Bukowski

 

4 thoughts on “On The Shelf: Fantasy / Dystopia

  1. Nice collection. For myself, I find Lord of the Rings pretty timeless, Hunger Games is great, and another that I’ve enjoyed recently is the Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I’ve been reading more non-fiction recently though. I’m currently really into a book about the Haitian revolution called Avengers of the New World.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read Lord Of The Rings yet, but I am planning on doing so soon. That sounds so interesting! I have been trying to branch out a little when it comes to my reading habits – try new genres and books I normally wouldn’t read. Do you have any recommendations regarding biographies?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Georgina Howell wrote an excellent biography of Gertrude Bell called “Queen of the Desert” that I really enjoyed. She’s a really fascinating person, but it isn’t an easy read and took me a long time. Also, since I’m a music person, I really liked “26 Songs in 30 Days” by Greg Vandy. That one is about Woody Guthrie and the Grand Coulee Dam.

        Liked by 1 person

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