Discussion: My Perfect Historical Fantasy Book


Today continues in my new feature, talking about what makes my perfect book in a particular genre! I did fantasy one a while ago and this past month, followed it up with supernatural. Going in line with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I am now talking about what my perfect historical fiction book just HAS to have.

  1. A new take on a time period. I’m all up for some time periods (give me WW2 for days!), but I want to see different perspectives from them. This includes different sides of the war, different social classes, different genders. Whatever it might be, I want it to be distinctive from all the other books in that time period. Or, taking on a whole new one!
  2. Being grounded in a LOT of history. I tend to prefer my history with gobbles of history. In fact, my preferred way is if the book is actually a retelling of some sort or a little-known story from a time period. Seeing the research that went into building the character is really fun, especially if I know that it is realistic. Nothing worse than an unrealistic setting.
  3. Characters that fit into their time period. If anything messes these books up, it’s characters that don’t really fit into their time period. And I’m not saying they all have to fall into the gender/society rules for their period, but some phrases of dialogue maybe didn’t exist yet. Or a romance moves WAY too quickly than would have been socially acceptable.
  4. A world that doesn’t get TOO big. There’s so much history! And it gets crazy when they jump around time periods in time travel books, especially too often. It’s crazy – focus on something! Or, even without that, just a little small town thing could be fine. I feel like it should be really narrowed in onto a certain place or time..
  5. A good plot. Obviously, critical for any story. But especially so here. Otherwise, it reads like a nonfiction book! I see a lot of romance/contemporary issues or mysteries in historical fiction and those are really fun. But I still want it to hold up against other plots.

So that’s it! The five things that I want to see in the perfect historical fiction book. Here are a few of my personal favorites that rank pretty close to this:

The Book Thief   Elephant Run   The Help   Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1)   Between Shades of Gray

And now, a couple on my TBR list that I want to live up to my perfect historical fiction novels:

Vengeance Road   Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity, #1)    The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)   The Luxe (Luxe, #1)   Out of the Easy

What makes up your perfect historical fiction novel? Any recommendations?



Discussion: My Perfect Supernatural Book


FOREVER ago, I did a really fun discussion post all about my favorite fantasy books and what exactly makes up the perfect fantasy book in my mind. I always meant to continue this with different genres of books and it is finally time to talk about another genre, maybe even a subset of fantasy – supernatural.

For some reason, every time I start thinking about supernatural books, my mind immediately jumps to Twilight. Vampires and werewolves are the two featured there, but there are so many other types of supernatural creatures. Just a few that I have read include wizards, faeries, mermaids, and more. I think that this genre is really fascinating because it continues to grow in many ways. There are endless options to look at these creatures and integrate them into our world or a whole new one.

What are some of the aspects that I am looking for in the perfect supernatural book?

  1. A system that makes sense! This is critical because it is the backbone of the entire story. If I don’t understand the creature or the rules they live by, it will ruin the entire book for me. I am pretty easy to convince of something (which may or may not be a good thing) and finding plotholes is not something I try to do, but if it is really obvious, I have a big issue with that!
  2. A relationship with humans or the non-paranormal that also makes sense. In most cases, this is just their inability to be seen and I am okay with that. But it really shouldn’t be obvious that they exist if it is supposed to be a secret. For example, the Twilight vampires! How has no one but Bella made the connection before? Especially if there are some really damaging action scenes, I need a real world explanation for all of us mundanes out here.
  3. Some really interesting plot/conflict! Of course, this is the perfect key to most books, but here it is really essential. I get pretty bored by books that are JUST about supernatural creatures doing their thing, so having some type of conflict is great. It can be between humans and the supernatural, but I really prefer when they aren’t!
  4. Characters who already know about their powers. I really enjoy reading about characters who already know the supernatural world and the system, instead of focusing on the characters discovering their powers. There’s nothing wrong with it, as it seems to be the focus of most supernatural books, but I would love to see some from people established within their abilities!

These are just four of the parts of supernatural books that I look forward to reading in these types of books. Some of my favorites that exemplify some of these qualities include:

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)      The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)      Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1)      Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)      The Host (The Host, #1)

And a couple on my TBR that I hope can becoming a new favorite supernatural book:

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)     The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)     The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)    Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)      The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

What do you think makes a good supernatural book? And what are some of your favorites?