3 Awesome Books I NearlyQuit On
I saw this great post idea over at Broke By Books and thought it looked fun. There are also a boat load of ideas on Sarah’s blog as well, you should definitely check it out.
So, have you ever started reading a book, got 25 pages in and just thought “Nah”, closed it, put it down, and now it’s sat gathering dust on some long forgotten shelf? Yeah, me too. The truth is, we’ve all done it at some point or another, I mean, our TBR shelves are growing by the week, hell, by the day! So why waste time on a book that doesn’t really manage to draw you in straight away? Well, now and again, you find that gem that for some reason you’ve returned to. You’ve dusted it down, put it back on the shelf of relevance where it shall remain. Below is my list of 5 books that I am glad I gave another chance, like a long ago high school lover returning to prominence….
3. The Blade Itself (The First Law Trilogy #1) by Joe Abercrombie
Anyone who has read anything on my blog before this will know that I count Joe Abercrombie as one of my all-time favourite authors, but the relationship didn’t start off so well. In fact, I really struggled with The Blade Itself due to the ‘grim’ nature of it (I know, I know, the guy who styles himself as ‘Lord Grimdark’ should have given me a clue) and the generally macabre feel of it. I had transitioned from heroic fantasy and a lot of what I was reading involved action that built up slowly and the bloodshed, whilst present, was not spilling, unlike Abercrombie, those authors dabbled with crimson, they didn’t swim in it. I put the book down (shame, shame, shame) but after hearing a lot of other readers say they were loving it, I picked up back (redemption, I hope) and I’m glad I did. The way that Abercrombie writes action is something I love, there’s one particular part where he shoots to the characters, writes from their point of view, lets the reader experience their death, then shoots to the point of view of the guy who’s just killed him and it carries on from there. Abercrombie does this mid-battle and within the space of a few pages, it’s breath-taking and brilliant. I’ve now read all of Abercrombie’s Grimdark works and some of his YA. It’s safe to say I’m a convert, and one of is biggest fans. And, being the massive geek that I am, I attended his reading of Sharp Ends at Waterstones in Newcastle; he was awesome.
2. The Edge Chronicles: The Curse of the Gloamglozer (The Quint Saga #1) by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Ah this hits me right in the childhood! For those who aren’t in the know, The Edge Chronicles is a sprawling fantasy series that takes place in the world of ‘The Edge’ and consists of 16 books(!) that document the stories of ‘The Edge’s’ more colourful characters. Now I originally struggled with the Edge Chronicles because of the drawings in the books. Weird right?! You’d think that having images would make it easier to read. Well it didn’t for me. The illustrations were a little ‘out there’ and I found that I couldn’t connect with them. Also, the stories themselves have quite a dark undertone, and as an 11 year old kid, I found that slightly off-putting. But I grew a little older, and after cutting my teeth on Eoin Colfer’s artemis Fowl novels, I found myself ready again for more stories from the Edge Chronicles. My newfound
mild bravery meant that I could read these wonderfully told (and illustrated) novels and actually enjoy them for what they were; awesome. Also, I highly recommend following Chris Riddell on Facebook, his illustrations are just fantastic.
1. The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson
Some people may look at this post and think “Why on earth would you put this book down, you pleb?! Well, great question. And the truth is, I don’t actually know. Maybe it was the page count – at over 1000 words, she’s a big un – or maybe it was a lapse in concentration and mind had temporarily been occupied by some IQ eating disease (they wouldn’t have had much to feed on), either way, picking this book back up was a step that changed my reading habits, and the way i view world building. Brandon Sanderson shouldn’t be aa new name to anyone who reads fantasy, he is, after all, hitting all of the necessary demographics; older readers of fantasy…check (he was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series), readers of YA…check – he has written over 6 books within the genre, those that only read standalone…check – I highly recommend Elantris. And the list is endless. He is, right now, in my mind, the greatest living fantasy writer. I can hear readers sucking air through their teeth. Well, if you disagree, that’s ok, some opinions can be wrong 😉 I LOVE Sanderson’s works, they are on a completely different level, whether it be the characters, the world-building, the ‘long-game’, or his knack for writing action in a way that makes your heart race, he is at the top of the game right now. And finally, I want to say thank you to me (conceited aasshole), for doing myself the favour of reading The Way of Kings.
Well that’s it for my short list of awesome books I nearly quit on. What about you? I’m sure you have some that you think “Damn am I glad I gave that a go!” and I’m dying to hear about them.