Take a break from reality by delving into these unique, magical, out-of-this-world reads.
Reading fantasy novels is often seen as a way to escape real life—and that’s definitely a big draw. There’s always some current event happening that makes us want to stick our heads in the sand and ignore it all. But sometimes fantasy can be used as a way to explore real issues, just using a different, carefully-controlled lens. I tend to read a lot of fantasy written by women, because I find that female fantasy authors use their writers’ magic to create worlds where female characters are given all the agency they wouldn’t have in, say, a realistic historical novel. So naturally, when I put together our Fantastic Worlds reading list, the ones I was personally drawn to all made me analyze their different representations of female characters.
Was the book better? Read before you watch, and see for yourself!
How many times have you said “the book was better”? I know I’m guilty of this. But recently there have been some excellent book adaptations that are not only as good as their source material, they may even improve on it (blasphemy? Perhaps). In 2017 especially, we’ve seen a number of adaptations take off in popular culture and dominate social media. I’ll discuss some of the biggest newsmakers below, but I also recommend checking out our Page to Screen reading list, so you can get a jump on the year’s biggest adaptations.
Enter the magical world of Caraval, where nothing is what it seems and magic is around every corner. Scarlett Dragna has been writing to Legend, the mysterious game master behind Caraval, since she was a little girl, hoping to receive an invitation to play the game and escape with her sister, Tella, from their abusive father. In order to leave their homeland without their father’s notice, Tella makes a deal with handsome sailor Julian to secure safe passage on his ship to Legend’s island. As the game begins, Scarlett soon discovers it is more than she bargained for. When Tella is kidnapped, Scarlett forms a tentative alliance with Julian to navigate the streets of Caraval, not knowing whom she can trust, and solve a number of clues in order to find Tella and win the game.
I had a major case of TEABS* when I finished this book. I just wanted to stay in Stephanie Garber’s fantasy world and find out what other surprises mastermind Legend has in store for his Caraval guests. Although I found Tella super annoying and sometimes got frustrated with Scarlett as well, I did enjoy the mysterious characters Julian and Legend. As I was reading the book I didn’t quite know what was real and what wasn’t, which made me want to rush through to the end. Recommended for fans of fantasy and romance.
*The End of an Awesome Book Syndrome