All posts by SFF Book Bonanza

Character Building: Inside the Mind of a Burglar

by Andy Peloquin


As a dark fantasy author, there are two things I enjoy writing about most:

  1. The underside of society. This includes assassins, thieves, killers, brutes, thugs, mercenaries, and all the other seedy elements of a fantasy world.

  2. The dark side of human nature. I love delving into the psyche of my characters (antagonist and protagonists alike) to better understand the darker elements that make them tick.

In my latest series, I follow the adventures of a girl sold to the Thieves’ Guild of her city. She is raised as a thief—not just any thief, though. A burglar.

Burglars are a unique sort of thief. Pickpockets will steal while out in public. Muggers will threaten violence. But burglars tend to be much more artistic than other thieves. They look at architecture (buildings) and find ways to use the design elements to penetrate highly secure areas.

An article on Science Daily caught my attention as I was researching the character (Ilanna). It talked about a study done to understand the motivations and techniques of burglars. The researchers evaluated both male and female burglars to understand their mindsets, attitudes, and approaches. They found some truly fascinating things:

  • Factors considered – Before burglarizing a house, the burglars would evaluate proximity to people, police, traffic, and business. They would also evaluate escape routes (or the lack thereof), apparent security, surveillance, and the likelihood of being discovered.

  • Alarms matter – Up to 83% of the burglars looked for a security system before deciding whether or not to burglarize the home. 60% would choose another target if they discovered an alarm present. This was particularly true among the careful, planning type of burglars, rather than the “spur of the moment” burglars (the ones who tend to smash and grab).

  • Residential vs. commercial – Roughly 50% of burglars entered homes, while only 31% entered commercial residences.

  • Why? – Drugs were the most common motivation –51% of respondents. Money drove 37% of burglars. Oddly enough, only one burglar ever broke into homes to steal firearms.

  • Planned or not – 41% of burglars committed the crime on the spur of the moment, while only 12% planned all their burglaries in advance.

  • Male vs. female – Male burglars tend to be more deliberate and plan in advance, while female burglars tend to be more impulsive. Women entered homes in the late afternoon, while men entered in the evenings. Women were more likely to be dissuaded from their burglary by an alarm system than men.

I found this study a fascinating way to understand my burglar character. By understanding the mindset of a burglar, I was able to write a character that was realistic in her motivations, approach to the crime, and her decisions of whether or not to burgle homes.


To check out Andy’s books, click here.

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Sci-Fi & Fantasy Heroines: Why They’re Amazing, and Why We Need Them

by Alesha Escobar


A hero is someone we can look up to and aspire to be like. And, it’s a bonus when that hero shares something in common with us (culture, moral strengths, flaws, or gender). Growing up in the ‘80s, I remember rushing home from school with my older sister so that we could plop down in front of the TV to watch the latest episode of Wonder Woman, which starred Lynda Carter.

We loved watching a strong woman rush into danger to subdue criminals and save others. We also enjoyed that she did so while embracing and celebrating her femininity. As I grew up, I’ve realized that “strong heroine” can mean more than one thing, because there are many ways to display strength. Sure, it’s fun to watch Black Widow or Agent Carter high-kick a thug in the head without breaking a sweat, but what I also love about them is that their sharpest weapons are their brains.

This isn’t to say I can’t (or won’t) be inspired by a male protagonist–and there are quite a few in the sci-fi/fantasy genre that I think are amazing! However, now that I’m a parent and watch how my daughter perks up just a little more when she sees someone who looks like her appear on screen to save the day, or in a comic book to set off on an adventure, it hits home how the stories we tell, and the characters we use to tell them, can have an impact on our audience.

So why do we need heroines? Because their stories matter, just like real life heroines who’ve made history.

Have you heard about the woman who killed a Nazi with her bare hands? Her name was Nancy Wake, and she had one of the highest bounties on her head during WWII as she fought alongside the Resistance in Nazi-occupied France.

Nancy Wake (c. 1945)

Or, think of Harriet Tubman, the famous American abolitionist who bravely spoke out against slavery and personally led men and women to freedom despite many perils.

So if there are heroic women throughout history, I say let us also have them in our books and stories. International Women’s Day is March 8 of every year (and some territories have designated the entire month as Women’s History Month). This is a great time to remember and discover some of the earth-shattering accomplishments different women have made to the world.

If you’re a bookworm like me, and enjoy escaping into fantasy worlds, dare I say that we’d also like to see female protagonists with the same heart, intellect, bravery and determination of the real life women who’ve earned their place alongside our heroes.



AUTHOR BIO

Alesha Escobar writes and blogs to support her chocolate habit. She loves reading everything from Tolkien, to the Dresden Files and Hellblazer comics. Alesha is the author of the bestselling Gray Tower Trilogy fantasy series, of which the first book is now being adapted to screenplay. Her latest novel, House of Diviners, will be released in the Daughters of Destiny Boxed Set (March 15).

To keep up with Alesha’s latest shenanigans and grab free books, please visit: http://bit.ly/FMMReads

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Basic Types of Magic

 by Andy Peloquin


One of the most common elements in fantasy novels is magic. Just as technology is what drives many sci-fi novel plots, so too magic is the driving force behind many fantasy stories. But the truth is that there are SO MANY different types of magic to use.

Below is a rough “guide to magic types”, based on my experience reading and writing stories involving magic. Each universe/novel can have their own rules to follow, but this is a general outline of some of the more popular types of magic to use:

Mage – Mages tend to fall into the category of “scholars”. Most mages belong to an order or scholastic organization that trains them to use magic. The sort of magic used by magic may be innate (within them), or they could use magic that comes from the world around them. They may also be able to use talismans and other magic-imbued items. Mages usually use spells, cantrips, and incantations to access magic.

Wizard – Wizards also tend to belong the “scholar” category, but their magic is often far less academic. Some wizards will use books to learn their wizardry, but many will have access to it innately or instinctively. They tend to have an inner wisdom that grants them access to magic, and often are talented in wizardry. Study and practice can hone the talents, but wizards often inherit or acquire magic from outside sources.

Sorcerer – Sorcerers almost exclusively use innate/inner magic, which comes from within them. Sorcery tends to be more “soul magic”, meaning sorcerers control the magic using their internal power. Sorcery is also more instinctive. It can be honed, but the power is usually connected to the power of their soul. Some sorcerers also have instinctive access to the magic in the world.

Cleric – Clerics are given access to divine powers, which come from their particular god or goddess. They may rely on religious talismans, or they may access the divine powers using a spell or ritual. Clerics belong to a religious order or sect, and they are almost always priests (or paladins).

Druid – Druids, like the druids of ancient England, tend to rely on the powers of earth, stone, wood, wind, fire, and other forces/objects of nature. They may have knowledge of lore, herbal medicines, and the hidden properties of plants and herbs. However, their magic is almost always connected to nature.

Alchemist – Alchemists are like “magical scientists”. They may use magic to transmute liquids and solids, or they can create new substances with magical-like properties. A great deal of alchemy is based on modern science, though with a distinct “fantastical” twist to it.

Remember, there are exceptions to every rule. These are the “broad strokes” categories of magic, but the rules aren’t hard and fast. Every fantasy author will use their own take on magic, including the means of accessing it, the cost of using it, and the origin of the magic used.


You can check out Andy’s books here.

Inspiration for Alien Characters in Science Fiction

by Aurora Springer


Science fiction readers and writers love aliens. In order to create alien characters, a writer must describe the physical appearance, behavior, method of communication, and possibly the society of the aliens. We must extrapolate from what we know about humans and other living organisms on Earth. Here, I aim to inspire writers with ideas from the perspective of a scientist with a life-long interest in the diversity of life on our planet.

First, what are aliens? In science fiction, aliens are the inhabitants of other planets. They may, or may not, be intelligent. I believe life exists on other planets. In my opinion, the majority of alien lifeforms is likely to be microbial like bacteria on Earth. Microbes are robust and versatile. Different types can survive in a variety of extreme environments, including deep sea hydrothermal vents, Antarctica, underground and inside humans. Bacteria can exchange genetic material and communicate with chemicals. Has anybody used microbes as “characters” in their stories?

Little green men”, or human-like aliens are common in science fiction. Humanoid characters have a head, two arms and two legs. Humanoids predominate in video media, partly because they are easier to describe. Consider Dr. Who: even the exterminating Daleks are mutant humans in a robotic shell. I have mutated or genetically engineered humans in my stories.

Animal-like aliens are also common. Felines are popular, such as the lion-like Hani of C.J. Cherryh, Anne McCaffrey’s Hrubbans, and the Kzinti of Larry Niven.

Mythological Dragons are clearly related to reptiles and fall into the category of animal-like aliens. I have dragons and other alien reptiles inhabiting the Planet Sythos in my series, Grand Masters’ Galaxy.

We can move from vertebrates to invertebrate animals. Giant insects make vicious opponents, although they might be friendly. Adrian Tchaikovsky endows humans with insect characteristics in the Apt series, which is more fantasy than science fiction. I had fun with human colonists on the planet of giant arthropods in A Tale of Two Colonies. Insects resemble us in structure. They have one head with two eyes and a mouth, and three pairs of limbs on their bodies. Can we go beyond animals with this body structure?

One early example of non-humanoid aliens is described in the War of the Worlds (1897) by HG Wells. Piers Anthony in his Cluster series imagined a variety of non-humanoid sentient aliens. He used the unifying theme of aura as a means of communication and exchange of minds into different bodies. In Thousandstar (1980), a humanoid woman falls in love with an alien resembling a giant amoeba (my description).

Consider the myriad varieties of animals living in the sea. Many are spineless invertebrate animals such as jellyfish, sea cucumbers, and squid. Squid and octopuses may be highly intelligent. They can manipulate objects with their arms and exhibit familiar behavior like playing. Their “brains” are distributed throughout their bodies and they communicate by changing color. How would you talk with an octopus?

What about plants? Carnivorous plant-like aliens include the walking plants with lethal stings from John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids (1951). One of the characters in my Grand Masters’ Galaxy is a planetoid shaped like a giant flower with three pink petals, short stem and trailing roots. I named this character, Amarylla, to help readers visualize her. Amarylla communicates by rustling her leaves, folding or opening her petals like an umbrella, and by emitting scents. In fact, plants, fungi and microbes manufacture chemicals for communication and defense. Adding odors in your scenes is a great way to evoke emotional responses in your readers.

If we move beyond life on Earth, aliens might be entities of gas or pure energy. Sir Fred Hoyle, the eminent English astronomer, was a stubborn opponent of the Big Bang theory. His 1957 novel, The Black Cloud, explores the idea of an intelligent interstellar cloud. The key problem for the human characters was discovering the cloud was intelligent and devising a means of communication. Aliens of pure energy may be completely oblivious of us.

I hope some of these weird life forms will inspire you to create unique and believable aliens in your stories.


You can check out Aurora’s books here.

A World of Lawlessness Breeds Crime

by Andy Peloquin


As a fantasy author, I have the joy of being able to create my own worlds, societies, and environments for the characters and stories I write. As a DARK fantasy author, it’s a thrill to delve into the underside of human nature and see just how low people can stoop—as well as how high they can rise.

My latest novel, Child of the Night Guild, follows a girl sold to and raised by a Thieves’ Guild. In researching the novel, I spent hours poring over criminology, the art of thieving, burglary, and more. One fascinating article I came across in Psychology Today looked at the environment that led to crime.

In the article, it talked about a Caribbean island that had a very high crime rate. Not only were there unsanitary and unsafe environments, but the police paid little attention to reports. Some tourists and locals even said that “calling the police is usually a waste of time”. Despite all the “unsavory” elements, the police did little to prevent or deal with the problems.

It seems odd that such a potentially idyllic, “perfect” place could have such a high crime rate. And yet it all comes down to a simple formula: “It is the criminal who commits the crime. It is the responsibility of public officials to deter criminals. Crime flourishes in areas that tolerate it!”

Modern law enforcement organizations have established not only ways to deal with criminals, but even ways to DETER crimes from occurring in the first place. The modern judicial systems are equally equipped to deal with lawbreakers. But the laws that govern a fantasy world are often lacking. Not only are the laws less comprehensive than modern laws, but the organizations that enforce the laws are often less vigilant than modern law enforcement.

A common fantasy trope is a “crooked guard or soldier”, someone who could be easily bribed to look the other way. In a society like that, it’s no surprise that crime flourishes.

But even in fantasy worlds where there are strict laws and law enforcement agencies (city guard, Palace Guard, etc.) to enforce it, the lack of modern technology often makes finding perpetrators more challenging. Crime is able to flourish even in these lawful environments because law enforcement is unable to deter it.

In a fantasy world where law enforcement is too lazy or unethical to prevent crime, it’s to be understood that crime will flourish. But even if the law enforcement bodies are willing to stop crime, the lack of resources (manpower and technology) is often the main thing that prevents them from being truly efficient. This is the main reason that crime is such a common element in fantasy worlds—for better and for worse.


Check out Andy’s books here.

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Gravity: Does Size Matter?


by Robert Scanlon

When you think of epic science-fiction, do your thoughts turn to slow-motion zero-gravity scenes, or fancy space stations with complex mechanisms for simulating gravity?

But what do you think of when you imagine a planet several times the size of Earth? A colossus, right? So the gravity would be unbearable, wouldn’t it? I mean a massive planet must need high gravity just to stay together.

This is not the case. It’s possible to have massive planets with lower gravity than Earth, and planets smaller than Earth with high gravity.

It’s all a question of density and mass. And of course, size matters.

For example, Jupiter, a massive planet and the biggest in our solar system, is 31 times the mass of Earth, and 12 times the diameter. But Jupiter’s gravity is only just two and a half times that of Earth.

Mars, is half the diameter of Earth, and one-tenth of the mass, but has one-third of Earth’s gravity.

Mercury, the smallest and least massive planet in our solar system, is quite dense (only slightly less dense than Earth). Its gravity is about 40% of the Earth’s, and higher than Mars.

So what makes a planet dense? (And therefore more likely to have a higher gravitational attraction.)

For the most part, if the planet is solid, it will be down to the composition and distribution of the heavier elements. Metals such as iron — one of the galaxy’s most common metals — will contribute strongly to the planet’s density, and therefore its gravity.

But some planets are not entirely solid!

For example, Jupiter is a “gas giant,” meaning, although it is huge, it’s not that dense (compared to Earth). But because the outer portion of Jupiter is thought to be gas or liquefied gas, it is hypothesized that below all that gas is a solid core. So if you try to stand on Jupiter’s gaseous surface, you’d fall through the gas (and at two and a half times earth gravity, you’d fall fast!), and probably end up on a solid surface somewhere (note: don’t try this at home. It’s probably fatal).

Back to the sci-fi. Just because the intrepid explorers land on a big planet, it doesn’t mean it will be hard to move due to the high gravity. In actual fact, it’s more likely the g-forces will be less.

Which brings to mind an interesting observation. Given the number of extraterrestrial planets visited in sci-fi history, don’t you think it’s incredibly lucky that most of them seem to have a gravitational pull the same as Earth’s?

Makes it easier (and cheaper) to film, I suppose!

Maybe this is one reason I liked the movie, “Gravity” so much – they took the time to make sure the gravitational science was true-to-life, even though it is science-fiction!


Robert Scanlon is the author of Constellation, the first book in the Blood Empire series and a Space Opera Science-Fiction Epic. In which there are two planets and one moon with completely different gravity to that of the Earth’s. And lots of zero-gee floating!

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How Location Creates Stories (Venice)

by A.L. Knorr

The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice (1730)
by Canaletto


I moved to Italy (by accident, but that’s a story for another time) in June of 2015, and since then, one of the things people at home are most curious about is what it’s like to live and work there. When I first arrived, I had stars in my eyes, just like anyone who steps into the Italian life for a short time. The Italy in the imagination of someone who has never been there is an Italy of fantastic works of art, thousand-year-old churches, fine cheese and wine, and villas built into cliff faces over teal seas. That is all true. Whatever your taste, Italy can meet expectations. But after a time you begin to notice other, not so obvious, traits of the culture which could easily feed the appetite of an author looking to create conflict and tie in elements of the supernatural and fantastical. Italy is rife with conflict, danger, corruption, not to mention a rich history of unexplained and paranormal events. Rich ground for a storyteller.

Specifically, it was living in Venice for 8 months that yanked the rip-cord on my creativity and led to a work called Born of Fire. The story is a fantasy about a young woman who goes through an intense and dangerous elemental transformation. I had the idea for the story for a while, but the setting for it didn’t materialize until I spent time walking the canals and islands of Venezia. At first, I rejected the idea of setting it in Venice, after all, it is a city built on water, how could I possibly tie it into the element of fire? But as I toured the Palace of the Doge, visited underground prison cells, the bridge of sighs, and walked the uneven marble floors of the basilica and saw the true cost of building on top of a lagoon, I learned that Venice had a torrential relationship with fire and many boroughs had been completely destroyed by it. I was surprised by this, the city appears not only to be surrounded by water but to be made of stone, which doesn’t burn easily.

In actuality, the stone faces of the beautiful architecture in Venice are a facade. Underneath is brick, which is lighter and keeps the building from sinking but is also much more flammable. There were so many deadly fires that by the mid-sixteenth century, the Venetian government moved all of the glass-blowers along with their dangerous ovens north to the island of Murano. I suddenly had a relationship between fire and Venice. A setting for Born of Fire had been found and with the selection of a setting, so much of the story just fell together. I hope that, in addition to enjoying a fantasy story about a girl who finds herself in desperate need to take control of the fire raging inside her, readers who have never visited Venice will also feel like they’ve been transported to one of the most unique cities in the world.


You can check out A.L. Knorr’s books here.

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Why Time Travel Is So Much Fun

by Paul Levinson


Time travel is my favorite kind of science fiction – precisely because it’s almost certainly impossible. And because it’s so likely impossible, seeing how time travel stories can work, can make sense, is a special kind of fun.

Why is time travel impossible?

Well, if you travel to the past to change whatever event, and you succeed, how would you have had knowledge about the event you went back to change in the first place? This is often called the grandfather paradox – if you go back in time and accidentally kill your grandfather, then you wouldn’t have been born, so how could you have gone back in time in the first place – but there’s no need to kill anyone in your family for this paradox to be upon you, the time traveler. Anything you do, when you travel back in time, that invalidates the reasons or necessary ingredients for the trip, would trigger the paradox.

There are lots of ways out of this, such as the multiple words interpretation, which works like this: Time traveler 1 (TT1) from World 1 travels back in time, and accidentally prevents either set of grandparents from meeting. So TT1 is never born. And in that world – call it World 2 – since TT1 doesn’t exist, there may never be any time travel. But that’s ok, because we could day TT1 from W1 went back in time, stopped the grandparents from meeting, which resulted in W2 with no TT1 or TT2. No paradox at all with these multiple worlds.

But if our existence really consisted of an infinite number of multiple worlds or realities, with a new one triggered with every action of the time traveler, that would make for an existence far more insane than just our normal world with time travel, right?

Ok, but what about travel to the future? No grandparent paradoxes there, but we run into other problems. If I travel one day into the future, and I see you wearing a blue hat, what does that mean for you? That you have no choice but to wear a blue hat? Well I don’t know about you, but I think I have a choice about what color hat to wear tomorrow, or not wear any hat at all. We call that free will. Don’t you think you have that ability too, or do you think everything you do from now on is available to the scrutiny of anyone in your vicinity who travels into the future, which would result in your doing just that, and only that, whatever other ideas you might have right now about what to do tomorrow?

Time travel is such an enjoyable exercise for the mind that I get a kick just thinking about it, and writing about those paradoxes and loops. But reading a great novel like Isaac Asimov’s The End of Eternity, or seeing a movie like 12 Monkeys, or a new television series like Travelers – well, that’s always a rare treat indeed. If you’ve read this far, I’d bet that at least some part of your brain agrees….


Check out Paul Levinson’s books here.

The Science of Magic in Fantasy

by Andy Peloquin

The Flying Carpet (1880)
by Viktor Vasnetsov


We’ve all read books where magic is used as a tool to accomplish the impossible. The hero finds himself in peril or the heroine is confronted with insurmountable odds, and magic saves the day!

What rubbish. That sort of magic is unbelievable, not to mention lazy. To be realistic, magic has to be more of a science.

In truth, magic is sort of a pseudoscience. Well-crafted magic systems have their own very clear rules. For example, take Brandon Sanderson’s Three Laws of Magic:

  1. An author’s ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic.

  2. The limitations of a magic system are more interesting than its capabilities. What the magic can’t do is more interesting than what it can.

  3. “A brilliant magic system for a book is less often one with a thousand different powers and abilities — and is more often a magic system with relatively few powers that the author has considered in depth.”

Magic varies from book to book. What one fantasy author writes may be disdained by another. But a well-presented magic system is as clearly-defined (at least in the author’s mind) as the laws of gravity. If X happens, Y is always the reaction. Combine X and Y, and Z will always happen. There is a certain raw, elemental force to magic, but just like fire, water, air, and gravity, it must be understood in order for it to be effective.

As readers, we’re being asked by the author to suspend disbelief long enough to believe that magic exists. Fair enough, right? It’s why we love fantasy in the first place. But if the author doesn’t give us a sort of magic we can wrap our head around, it’s TOO unbelievable.

We may not understand how the magic works, but we have to understand how the magic works! Sounds silly, but let me explain:

  1. We don’t understand how the magic works – We don’t know where magic comes from. It could be wild magic from the earth, innate sorcerous abilities, mutant powers, or any number of magical sources. Seeing as we don’t have access to that magic, we don’t really know how the magic works. We just know that it does because the author has told us it does.

  2. We have to understand how the magic works – We have to know that when the mage waggles his fingers just so, it’s channeling magic from his mind, from the earth, from his deity, or from some talisman. We may not understand exactly where the magic comes from or how the person taps into it, but we understand their struggle with it, their limitations, their abilities, and their strengths and weaknesses.

It’s easy for an author to say, “Magic works” and trust that we’ll accept it. But that’s not the case! Magic needs to be as well-defined as the science of the world we’re reading. Just like we know that “what goes up must come down”, so too there have to be constants in the magic systems, something we can wrap our minds around. The more defined, the easier it is to suspend disbelief of what we know to buy into the premise of “magic”.


Check out Andy Peloquin’s books here.

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J.K. Riya’s Top 5 Fantasy Reads of 2016

by J.K. Riya

 


Wish you all a very Happy New Year!

I thought its best to start 2017 with a favorites list. But that proved to be a tough choice to choose just five books out of the 30+ awesome books that I read in 2016. Well, the books may have been published before 2016 but they are in this list because I read them in 2016. Without any further delay, here’s the list of my favorite books for 2016 by Indie authors!

1. Dragon’s Gift: The Huntress Series by Linsey Hall

This five book series is a great YA urban fantasy read packed with supernatural beings, action, romance and thrill. I thoroughly enjoyed this series as it helped quench my never-ending thirst for magic, strong female leads, a strong plot and unique settings (in this case ancient archeological sites sprinkled with magic and supernatural beings).


2. Timeless Fairy Tales series by K.M. Shea

Timeless Fairy Tales is an ongoing series of fairy tale adaptations. The unique and original touch that author K.M. Shea has weaved into the known fairy tales is truly amazing. If you’re looking for clean, sweet, fun reads with loveable characters and interesting plots then this series is a must read.


3. The Ugly Stepsister (Unfinished Fairy Tales Book 1) by Aya Ling

The Ugly Stepsister is a fairy tale retelling and as the name implies, it is Cinderella’s story from the Ugly Stepsister’s point of view. But the ugly stepsister is our modern-day Kat cursed and whisked away to Cinderella’s world. This is again a clean and fun filled ride for fairy tale lovers.


4. Armor of Magic Series by Simone Pond

This is a fantastic action-packed urban fantasy series for new adults. Fiona, the protagonist, is a sassy and tough female lead who captured my attention right from page one with her wit and courage. I finished reading all three books in this series in one sitting and was absolutely thrilled. Author Simone Pond’s other on-going series, The Coastview Prophecies, is a great read too.


5. Elizabeth’s Legacy (Royal Institute of Magic, Book 1) by Viktor Kloss

The Royal Institute of Magic is an ongoing series and all the books in the series are Amazon best-sellers, competing against each other to be in the top 20 spots in Children’s category. Though the books were written for children, I thoroughly enjoyed this spectacular world with unique magic, intriguing characters and amazing world building. All Harry Potter fans will definitely fall in love with this series.


Bonus pick: The Evil Twin’s Diary by Addie Abbati

This is not a traditional fantasy but geared more towards philosophy with a supernatural element which I loved. I found the concept to be unique that provides food for thought. It’s an interesting short read that would spark thoughts about our economy and society.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorites. Now it’s your turn! What are the books that blew you away and transported you to a new different world? What you liked the most about them? Was it the characters, the plot, the magic system, the world building, the settings or a combination of some or all?

Check out J.K. Riya’s books here.