On this week’s edition of ‘things I read before I even realised blogs were a thing’ I’m taking a look back at some of the books I really enjoyed, but am not sure they would hold up to my current level of enjoyment for one reason or another.
As always, due to the vast amount of effort I’m not willing to exude, I’ll only post the first book cover in the series rather than the whole lot.
My other posts in this series can be found here:
The Deathstalker Series by Simon R. Green:
Owen Deathstalker, last of the infamous warrior Clan, always considered himself more of a writer than a fighter, preferring his history books to making any actual history with a sword. But books won’t protect him from Her Imperial Majesty Lionstone XIV, who just Outlawed and condemned Owen to death, without any explanation, reason, or warning. No wonder she’s called the Iron Bitch. Now, on the run from Imperial starcruisers, shady mercenaries, and just about everyone else in the Empire, Owen’s options are limited. Though the name Deathstalker still commands respect in certain quarters, out on the Rim, Owen is lucky he can cobble together a makeshift team of castoffs, including an ex-pirate, a cyborg, and a bounty hunter. But allies won’t be enough to save him. If he’s to live, Owen can either run forever…or take down the corrupt Empire. To do that, he’ll need the fabled Darkvoid Device—an artifact dating back to the first Deathstalker and perhaps the only weapon powerful enough to help this ragtag rebellion win. The time has come for Owen to finally embrace his Deathstalker heritage…and all the blood and death that go along with it.
My Format: Paperback
This was easily one of my all-time favourite science-fiction series. It was my first taste of the space opera genre and tells the lengthy tale of Owen Deathstalker as he fights the system after being exiled for no good reason by Empress Lionstone. I remember starting the sequel trilogy (books 6-9 first by mistake but still loving the first 6 books despite knowing that certain things would happen. It has some of my favourite characters in it (Jack Random and Valentine Wolfe) and yet I get the feeling it just won’t hold up to my memories of it. Especially after having read, and absolutely hated, one of the author’s newer books. Said newer book was written in a very simplistic, almost ‘made for a younger audience’ style and I dread having a similar experience with this if I were to try it again.
On a totally less-important to the story note; these new covers are some of the most bland and uninspiring I have ever seen. It screams generic. A cover is supposed to catch a reader’s interest. These just feel like the publisher is going fishing without any bait and is just hoping a fish is feeling charitable enough to take a bite out of the hook. Just looks a bit like a screenshot of a Microsoft Windows wallpaper option with some text thrown at it. I say this because my own wallpaper is a shockingly similar picture of the cosmos haha.
The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan:
Each year the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants, urchins and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no one can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as impenetrable as they believe.
Sonea, angry, frustrated and outraged by the treatment of her family and friends, hurls a stone at the shield, putting all her rage behind it. To the amazement of all who bear witness, the stone passes unhindered through the barrier and renders a magician unconscious.
The guild’s worst fear has been realised . . . There is an untrained magician loose on the streets. She must be found before her uncontrolled powers unleash forces that will destroy both her, and the city that is her home.
My format: Paperback
I absolutely adored this trilogy when it first came out and pretty much blasted through it at a rate of knots. It felt a bit fresh compared to the other books I’d been reading as it had a female protagonist rather than just a damsel that needed saving. Canavan is a very talented writer and the way she told the story had me spellbound. I remember seeing her other series ‘Priestess of the White’ and buying all three books but never actually reading them (someone told me it’s essentially the same story just with different characters. So it sits on my bookcase unopened).
My enthusiasm died for this series when I tried reading ‘The Ambassador’s Mission’ which is the start to a sequel trilogy of sorts, and just couldn’t get on with it. The only thing that is keeping me from trying this series again is that it’s a bit too romance-based for me. I do love the character of Akkarin, though!
Goosebumps by R. L. Stine
My Format: Paperback
Growing up, much like most kids, my main introduction to reading, and the horror genre, came in the form of the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine. Now this series kind of deserves to be on this post and it kind of deserves to be on my previous one (Series I’m tempted to re-read), as I am genuinely tempted to go through them and do posts on the series as a whole. As a writer of horror myself, writing short, 100-page novellas aimed at a younger market is appealing. That being said, I have been tempted since I started blogging and I’ve still not done it.
Do you have any fond memories of this wonderful series? My personal favourites were the Night of the Living Dummy books and the Monster Blood ones. When it got to Series 2000 it started to lessen a bit and I just didn’t read anything after that series. The whole ‘Give Yourself Goosebumps’ can just not exist for all I care.
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling:
Escape to Hogwarts with the unmissable series that has sparked a lifelong reading journey for children and families all over the world. The magic starts here.
Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
My Format: Hardcover
Much like Goosebumps being the horror that most kids grew up with, Harry Potter was the fantasy that pretty much every kid grew up with. If you didn’t read it, you couldn’t escape hearing about it from friends or seeing it at the cinema or the countless times it’s been re-shown on TV networks around the world. It’s probably the most successful fantasy book, if not the most successful book series of all time. And yet I find myself hesitant to ever read it again. I just don’t know if the YA aspect or the age range it was aimed at will make me, in any way, enjoy it less. Out of all things on my list, this would rank as probably the safest as far as my being certain to enjoy it is concerned.
I also never finished reading the series, so I suppose it may eventually have to happen. But I’ll always have those doubts. Perhaps I should buy the audio and let Stephen Fry read it to me? After all, that man could make an inventory of a nun’s sock cupboard sound enjoyable.