A friend shared Owlcrate’s Circus book tag with me on Facebook a little while back, and I thought it sounded fun. So, roll up! Roll up! Or run away, whichever you choose.
Rings Master – Best Main Character
Sabriel, from the book of the same name, will always be a favourite of mine (although Lirael from the sequel is a close runner-up – she’s a librarian, after all). Sabriel is brave but also eminently sensible, handy with a sword, and looks good in blue. All of my boxes, ticked. Ta-daa!
Trapeze Artist – Favourite Friendship
Karou and Zuzana, from Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, have one of the best fictional friendships. Karou is not the easiest person to have as a best friend – an intrusive magical double-life will have that effect – but she does try. Zuzana, though, takes loyalty to the next level. There IS an understandable wobble when Karou tells the truth (not very coherently, it must be said), but when faced with magic, Zuze takes it in her stride. She then follows Karou to MOROCCO. If that isn’t friendship, I don’t know what is.
Juggling – Best Love Triangle
I didn’t completely enjoy Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen, although I believe this was the result of poor timing: I’d just read The Jewel by Amy Ewing, which spoiled me for dystopias for a while. I did, however – much to my surprise – really like the love triangle. I have a low tolerance for romance and the mere mention of a love triangle tends to make me roll my eyes. However, Mare’s relationship with princes (and half-brothers) Maven and Cal surprised me. She is attracted to Cal but connects emotionally with Maven. I found a lot of unexpected nuance and so this love triangle has my appreciation.
The Big Top – Fantastic World Building
I was blown away by the world building in Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. This work of science fiction won most of the prizes a few years back; as far as I’m concerned, it could have been for the world building alone. Leckie constructs multiple worlds, complete with their own cultures and histories. Yet she conveys all the detail lightly, without interrupting her story. I imagine she has at least a novel’s worth of notes – I would kill to read them.
Magician – Favourite Magic System
I do fancy the Charter magic in Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series (check out this excellent explanation). It is described so beautifully in the books; you get a sense of the magic’s infinite possibilities, but also of the danger, should the wielder overreach or lose control. This double-edged system appeals to me.
Tight Rope Walking – A Book That Kept You on the Edge of Your Seat
Without a doubt: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin. I’ve discussed the book’s phenomenal pacing in an earlier post; suffice to say here that I was loathe to put it down. I took it with me during a fire drill at work, and stood in the car park reading until the sirens stopped.
Contortionist – Best Plot Twist
My pick would have to be We Were Liars by E Lockhart. Whoa! I couldn’t say what I was expecting, but it was NOT that. Will need to read it again to work out how I feel.
Human Cannon Ball – Best Explosive Ending
I almost threw a book on the bus once, and that book was The Last Shot by Michael Adams. It’s the second in a series – Australian near-future apocalypse – so I can’t say anything without spoilers. BUT. As far as cliff-hangers go, it was a cracker.
Until next time!