From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Let’s Talk Mistborn!

We’ve been discussing magic systems in fantasy books this week. There are so many different kinds of systems, some a little closer to the “classic” magic system found in earlier books, and others that are completely different.

Today, Sue from the fantastic blog Sue’s Musings, gives a wonderfully laid-out explanation of the magic system in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. You really can’t have a discussion on different magic systems in fantasy without mentioning Sanderson’s incredibly detailed and well-thought out addition to the genre.

Sue:

In Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books there are three types of magic: Allomancy, Ferruchemy and Hemalurgy, with Allomancy being the most prevalent. The thing I like the most about the Allomancy system is that it makes physical sense. It is governed by the laws of physics, if a “pushing” or “pulling” force is applied to something by an Allomancer, there will be an equal and opposite reaction.

Allomancy

Allomancers use metals to enhance their mental and physical capabilities by ingesting them. Allomancers capable of only “burning” (or using) one metal are known as “Mistings”, whereas those who can use multiple metals at once are known as “Mistborn”. There are different types of Misting, named for their capabilities:

Coinshots

Coinshots use steel to “push” on metals in their area. This lets them force metals which weigh less than they do, such as coins, away from themselves at speed to act as a weapon. If a steel object weighs more than the Coinshot, physics will mean that the person is pushed away from the metallic object. A Coinshot is unable to “push” on alluminum or its alloys, so an aluminium bullet can be used to kill a Coinshot.

Lurchers

Lurchers “burn” iron and are able to “pull” on metals that are close by. This lets them pull metallic objects weighing less than they do towards themselves. If an iron object weighs more than the Lurcher they can pull on it to cause themselves to be pulled towards it. A Lurcher cannot feel or pull alluminium or several of its alloys. 

Tineyes

Tineyes use Tin, to enhance their senses. Tineyes are often used as lookouts because,  when burning Tin, they can see in when there is barely any light. A Tineye can be stunned for a short while by a loud noise or bright light overwhelming their senses while they are burning tin.

Tin also enhances mental capabilities and allows a Tineye, or Mistborn to assess a situation more quickly than non-Tineyes. 

Pewterarms or Thugs

When burning Pewter, Pewterarms or Thugs are able to enhance their physical capabilities, allowing them to fight for longer than a normal person, or perform strenuous tasks for longer, since they become much stronger while burning pewter. This increased strength also means they can heal quicker and also have greater balancing skills, speed and dexterity. A “pewter drag” allows a Thug to run for hours at speeds similar to a racehorse. However this drains their body and requires them to continue burning pewter after the run to heal themselves and stop themself from dying of exhaustion. Running out of pewter at the wrong time can therefore be fatal to a Thug. If they are carrying something extremely heavy and their pewter runs out they could be crushed by the object.

Seekers

Bronze is burned by Seekers and tells them if another Allomancer is using metals in their area.

A Seeker can often pinpoint the location of the person using metals and figure out which metal they are burning, and so what kind of capabilities they will have.

Copperclouds or Smokers

Copperclouds, affectionately known as Smokers have the ability to burn Copper and hide themselves from Seekers. The area they hide is known as a Coppercloud. Smokers therefore help Allomancers within gangs from being spotted.

Rioters

By burning Zinc, Rioters are able to affect the emotions of the people around them. In this way they can incite a riot, or just affect one person within a crowd.

Soothers

Soothers burn Brass and can soothe the emotions of an individual or a group of people. 

Augurs

An Augur can burn gold. This lets them see what might have happened if they had made different choices in the past. This can lead to emotional trauma, so it is rarely used.

Oracles

Oracles can burn Electrum, an alloy of gold. This lets them see their future.

Pulsers

Pulsers burn Cadmium which lets them slow down time in a bubble they set around themselves. Noone can enter or leave the bubble while the Cadmium is being burned.

Sliders

Sliders burn Bendalloy, which allows them to speed up time within a bubble they set around themselves. If a Pulser and Slider set a bubble at the same place their effects cancel each other out.

Nicrobursts or NicrosA Nicro burns Nicrosil, which causes their target’s metals to burn off in a brief intense flash.There has to be physical contact for this to work.

Seers

Seers are able to burn Atium, one of three “God metals”, the others being Lerasium and Malatium. Atium is mined in the Pits of Hathsin and is the most valuable metal in the world and coveted by the nobility and Allomancers. Atium lets the Mistborn burning it see a few seconds into the future, which lets them anticipate the moves of their opponent. It also enhances their mind to help them understand these new insights, effectively making a Mistborn invincible for a short amount of time. Atium burns very quickly.

The other two God metals are not used by specific types of Allomancers and are:

Lerasium

Lerasium lets the burner (which can be anyone)  become a Mistborn, giving them access to all of the Allomantic metals. These beads are the source of Mistborn, which is a genetic trait.

Malatium

Malatium is an alloy of Atium and Gold which lets an Allomancer see someone’s past. In legend it is called the Eleventh Metal. Kelsier thought it would defeat the Lord Ruler when burned in his presence, but that did not happen.  Instead, it showed Vin the Lord Ruler’s possible life as a mountain guide. From this vision she worked out that he was Rashek, not Alendi and was able to figure out how to defeat him.

Feruchemy

Feruchemy is the second magic system in the Mistborn series. I find this to be a particularly intriguing magic system. It would be fantastic to be able to store away knowledge, strength or wakefulness for a time in the future when you might need it. You could revise for an important exam and store all of the knowledge away in a metalmind. You wouldn’t have any of those useless facts floating about in your brain as you went about your daily business. Then you would be able to retrieve all of the knowledge exactly when it is needed.

A Ferruchemist does not burn metals in the way that an Allomancer does. Instead they use them to store up their own power – as containers known as “minds”. A Ferruchemist can transfer all of their energy into a mind but will then be without energy until they become rested and restored. They can draw on the stored up energy at a later date. A Feruchemist can draw out the power of the metalmind with barely any upper limit, using it up in one big burst if they want. In this way a Feruchemist using a pewtermind can be a whole lot stronger than a powerful Mistborn burning pewter, but for a limited time. The Terris people such as Sazed have Ferruchemy in their genes.


Taken from the Mistborn Wiki (https://mistborn.fandom.com/wiki/Mistborn_Wiki)

* Iron: Stores Weight. Less weight slows descent . A Skimmer Ferring using this will decrease the pull of gravity on them in exchange for increasing it later.

* Steel: Stores Physical Speed. A Steelrunner Ferring using this will be physically slower now in exchange for being faster later.

* Tin: Stores Senses. A Windwhisperer Ferring using this will become less sensitive in one of the five senses of his choice (sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste) in exchange for heightening that sense later.

* Pewter: Stores Strength. A Brute Ferring using this will lessen the size of his muscles to increase them later

* Zinc: Stores Mental Speed. A Sparker Ferring using this will think very slowly in exchange for thinking faster later.

* Brass: Stores Warmth. Firesoul Ferrings using this will cool themselves in exchange for being able to warm themselves later by tapping the metalmind.

* Copper: Stores Memories. An Archivist Ferring using this will be able to store memories inside copper, forget it, then will be able to recall it with perfect clarity later while withdrawing it from the metal.

* Bronze: Stores Wakefulness. A Sentry Ferring using this will sleep or be drowsier now in exchange for staying awake longer later.

* Cadmium: Stores Breath. A Gasper Ferring may hyperventilate while storing breath in exchange for eliminating or reducing the need to breathe later on.

* Bendalloy: Stores Energy. A Subsumer Ferring using this can consume large quantities of food and store the calories in the metalmind, in exchange for the ability to forgo eating later.

* Gold: Stores Health. A Bloodmaker Ferring using this will feel sick now in exchange for increased regeneration and healing later.

* Electrum: Stores Determination. A Pinnacle Ferring using this will become depressed in exchange for a manic state when tapping the metalmind.

* Chromium: Stores Fortune. A Spinner Ferring will become unlucky during active storage in exchange for increased fortune later.

* Nicrosil: Stores Investiture. Little is known about Soulbearer Ferrings.

* Aluminum: Stores Identity. Trueself Ferrings can store their spiritual sense of self within an aluminum metalmind.

* Duralumin: Stores Connection. A Connector Ferring can store spiritual connection inside a metalmind, reducing friendship and outside awareness during active storage, in exchange for the ability to quickly form friendships and relationships while tapping.

* Atium: Stores Age. A Feruchemist using this will become older now in exchange for becoming younger later, the same amount of years for the same time.

Mistborn Allomancers who are able to also use Ferruchemy, such as the Lord Ruler gain great advantages over their opponents. There are certain Allomancers called Twinborns, who can only access one type of metalmind, and also have one Allomantic power (the following is taken from the Mistborn Wiki: https://mistborn.fandom.com/wiki/Mistborn_Wiki):

* By burning a metal containing a stored attribute, such as burning atium which contains youth, the user effectively makes a profit on the attribute stored in the metal due to allomancy’s property of drawing power from the metal. Thus the user gains more of the attribute than invested. A Twinborn who can do this is called a Compounder. An example of this process is the Lord Ruler’s immortality which he achieves through periods spent aged and sickly, storing youth in atium and health in gold, which he later burns and stores in the main metalminds which sustain him. With effectively limitless amounts of youth and healing, he convincingly posed as a god. Note that the attribute stored must have originated from the user, hence Vin’s inability to use the power in Sazed’s pewtermind.

* If a Feruchemist taps an Ironmind and steelpushes or ironpulls, then they can increase their weight to become the anchor for the push or pull, even if an enemy also manipulating the piece of metal weighs more, or the metal weighs more than the user. One could also decrease their weight to gain more movement of their own body from each push or pull.

* If a Feruchemist taps a Pewtermind, Steelmind, Bronzemind, and Goldmind and Allomantically burns Pewter, they will gain increase in Strength, Speed, Wakefulness and Health beyond what one would normally be able to achieve. This will work if you tap smaller combinations of those minds, however, only for the attributes you tap.

* Likewise, if a Feruchemist taps a Tinmind and Allomantically burns Tin, then their senses will increase beyond what one would normally be able to achieve.

* If one Allomantically burns a metal then fills the Metalmind of the same attribute, they can fill the metalmind without lessening that attribute. This is why one might burn pewter to fill a Goldmind, then fill an Atiummind and tap the Goldmind, possibly creating the Lord Ruler’s ability to live forever. This is most prevalent with burning pewter, which can fill Pewtermind, Steelmind, Zincmind, Brassmind, Bronzemind, and Goldmind.

* If a Pewtermind is filled using Allomancy burning pewter, then the Feruchemist won’t experience an increase in muscle size when they tap their collected strength from the Metalmind. This allowed the Lord Ruler to tap enormous strength without revealing his use of Feruchemy to onlookers.

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Hemalurgy

The third magic system in Mistborn is called Hemalurgy. This one creeped me out somewhat as it involves metal spikes being inserted into a person’s body/vital organs.

Taken from the Mistborn wiki (https://mistborn.fandom.com/wiki/Mistborn_Wiki):

To use Hemalurgy, a metal spike must be driven through someone’s heart. Then the spike is taken and stabbed into the body of another person, the location of which determines the power transferred. The preferred method is to stab it directly through the heart into the other person, as the longer it is left out of the body the more power is lost. While Allomancy is the art of Preservation and Feruchemy is the art of balance, Hemalurgy is the art of Ruin, as the transfer of power destroys some of it. Allomancy creates power, and Feruchemy does not destroy or create, but preserves. Having a hemalurgic enhancement makes one susceptible to Ruin’s influence (e.g. Zane, to whom Ruin could directly communicate; and Vin, who occasionally heard Ruin’s voice in her head, though she mistook it for memories of her brother, Reen) or even to his control (e.g. Steel Inquisitors in books two and three). This, along with the fact that kandra and koloss, both of which are hemalurgically enhanced, can be controlled by Soothing, leads to the further speculation that hemalurgic enhancement of any kind makes one susceptible to being controlled by an outside force.

Hemalurgic Metals

* Iron: Steals human strength

* Steel: Steals Allomantic physical powers

* Tin: Steals human senses

* Pewter: Steals Feruchemical physical powers

* Brass: Steals Feruchemical cognitive attributes

* Zinc: Steals human emotional fortitude

* Copper: Steals human mental fortitude, memory, and intelligence

* Bronze: Steals Allomantic mental powers

* Aluminum: Removes all powers

* Duralumin: Steals Connection/Identity

* Atium: Steals all Allomantic and Feruchemical powers

* Malatium: Unknown

* Gold: Steals Feruchemical hybrid powers

* Electrum: Steals Allomantic Enhancement powers

Hemalurgy + Allomancy

When an Allomancer increases a certain aspect of themselves using Hemalurgy this aspect can gain new powers assuming the Allomancer can already use this power.

What each metal does after Hemalurgically increased is as follows:

Iron

An Allomancer is able to pull much harder. Since Steel Inquisitors can pull upon metals inside people’s bodies, it is assumed this power is granted also

Steel

An Allomancer is able to push much harder. Since Steel Inquisitors can push upon metals in people’s bodies, it is assumed this power is also granted.

Bronze

A Seeker can pierce Copperclouds.

Copper

A Smoker can prevent his cloud from being pierced, and put his cloud around a wider range.

Brass

A Soother is able to soothe peoples emotions at more drastic rates

Zinc

A Rioter is able to Riot peoples emotions at more drastic rates.

Tin

A Tineye is able to increase their senses to far higher rates.

Pewter

A Pewterarm is able to have incredible strength when burning pewter.

Hemalurgically Enhanced Groups/Characters

* Steel Inquisitors (many spikes in various places in their bodies)

Marsh- He became a Steel Inquisitor at the end of book one and provided the crew with more in-depth knowledge of the nature of the Inquisitors.

* kandra (a pair of spikes called the kandra blessings)

* koloss (four spikes positioned in various places in their body)

* Vin (earring that her mother gave to her)

* Zane (spike through the middle of his chest that allowed the God Ruin to speak to him and likely granted him increased precision with steel)

* Spook (tip of a sword left in his shoulder during a fight lets him burn pewter

For more information, check out the Mistborn Wiki (https://mistborn.fandom.com/wiki/Mistborn_Wiki):

About the Blogger:

Sue Bavey: Sue is an English mum of two teens living in Massachusetts with husband, kids, a cat, and a bunny. She enjoys reading all kinds of genres, especially fantasy, historical fiction, and thrillers.

Where to find Sue:

Blog: Sue Bavey – Book Blurb

Twitter: @SueBavey

For more from this series:
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Wheel of Time
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- The Coldfire Trilogy
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Magic for Mercenary Kings
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- The Weather Warden
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- And Now This
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Blood, Fire, and Death
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Teaching Physics to Barbarians
From Merlin to Mistborn: A Discussion on Magic- Discworld

Books with Relationships for People who Don’t Love Love

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m not a big fan of most romances in books. I don’t read the romance genre anyway, but even in other genres, romance isn’t my thing. Every now and again I’ll read a book with a loving relationship that doesn’t make me want to roll my eyes or giggle like a little kid. By loving relationship, I’m thinking more than just the romantic kind. It could be a loving family dynamic, or even a relationship with good friends. Anyway, on a day when love is in the air (or something like that), here are a few books with love in them that I…LOVE.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place―and realizing that family is yours.(taken from Amazon)

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune has the sweetest relationships! While there is a bit of a love story going on, it’s the found family aspect that I absolutely adore. Add to the fact that Linus also learns to love himself a little in this wonderful novel, and it has all the makings of a perfect book featuring love. Find my review here.

Mammy” is what Irish children call their mothers and The Mammy is Agnes Browne—a widow struggling to raise seven children in a North Dublin neighborhood in the 1960s. Popular Irish comedian Brendan O’Carroll chronicles the comic misadventures of this large and lively family with raw humor and great affection. Forced to be mother, father, and referee to her battling clan, the ever-resourceful Agnes Browne occasionally finds a spare moment to trade gossip and quips with her best pal Marion Monks (alias “The Kaiser”) and even finds herself pursued by the amorous Frenchman who runs the local pizza parlor.Like the novels of Roddy Doyle, The Mammy features pitch-perfect dialogue, lightning wit, and a host of colorful characters. Earthy and exuberant, the novel brilliantly captures the brash energy and cheerful irreverence of working-class Irish life.(taken from Amazon)

The Mammy by Brendan O’ Carroll has the most fun family dynamic! A little dysfunction, a dash of zaniness, and a whole lot of love make this series a great one. Again, the book doesn’t have the typical romancy type of relationship, but it’s fantastic to read.

Amelia Peabody, that indomitable product of the Victorian age, embarks on her debut Egyptian adventure armed with unshakable self-confidence, a journal to record her thoughts, and, of course, a sturdy umbrella. On her way to Cairo, Amelia rescues young Evelyn Barton-Forbes, who has been abandoned by her scoundrel lover. Together the two women sail up the Nile to an archeological site run by the Emerson brothers-the irascible but dashing Radcliffe and the amiable Walter. Soon their little party is increased by one-one mummy that is, and a singularly lively example of the species.

Strange visitations, suspicious accidents, and a botched kidnapping convince Amelia that there is a plot afoot to harm Evelyn. Now Amelia finds herself up against an unknown enemy-and perilous forces that threaten to make her first Egyptian trip also her last . . .(taken from Amazon)

I love this series so much! This actually has a romantic relationship that I enjoy reading about, one between Amelia Peabody and Radcliffe Emerson. She’s stubborn and nosy, and he’s cantankerous. This whole series is a blast and the relationship between these two characters is a big part of that.

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance. (taken from Amazon)

I’m pretty sure this is the most “traditional relationship” on this list. The writing in The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is brilliant, including that of the romance. It’s far from mushy, or angsty. I loved everything about this book, romance included.

Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it, goblins must perform an ancient ritual involving the rarest of their kind—a newborn changeling. But when the night arrives to trade a human baby for a goblin one, something goes terribly wrong. After laying the changeling in a human infant’s crib, the goblin Kull is briefly distracted. By the time he turns back, the changeling has already perfectly mimicked the human child. Too perfectly: Kull cannot tell them apart, so he leaves both babies behind.

Tinn and Cole are raised as human twins, neither knowing what secrets may be buried deep inside one of them. When they are thirteen years old, a mysterious message arrives, calling the brothers to be heroes and protectors of magic. The boys must leave their sleepy town and risk their lives in the Wild Wood, journeying through the Deep Dark to reach the goblin horde and uncover who they truly are. (taken from Amazon)

The relationship between the boys and their mom is perfect in The Oddmire: Changeling! When the twins, Tinn and Cole, go into the Wild Wood, their mom goes charging in after them as any loving mom would. Being a mom of boys myself, I could totally relate. It’s a great book in what is shaping out to be an awesome series. You can find my review for The Oddmire: Changeling here.

So, here you have it. Five books that focus on loving relationships that are more than worth the read. What books do you enjoy that feature love in some form?

How to Be a Hipster Reader: Part Two

I’m back with another guide to becoming a part of the Book Hipster Collective. If you’d like to read my original post, so that you can say you read it before there was a part two, you can find it here.

As previously determined, while skinny jeans and Buddy Holly glasses are a plus, the real definition of a “book hipster” is a reader who has read the book before it was a movie/show. So, here I am to help you with that worthy goal! I’ve gathered a list of books that are going to be movies or TV shows before too much longer, so that you can read them now. Due to… *gestures at everything*…release dates are very much up in the air. Still, it’s a good time to get started.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot: Despite not being my usual fare, I loved this book. It’s the gentle sort of wonderful that is always timely. This has become a PBS show which is already on the air, so now is the time to read this book.

For over forty years, generations of readers have thrilled to Herriot’s marvelous tales, deep love of life, and extraordinary storytelling abilities. For decades, Herriot roamed the remote, beautiful Yorkshire Dales, treating every patient that came his way from smallest to largest, and observing animals and humans alike with his keen, loving eye.

In All Creatures Great and Small, we meet the young Herriot as he takes up his calling and discovers that the realities of veterinary practice in rural Yorkshire are very different from the sterile setting of veterinary school. Some visits are heart-wrenchingly difficult, such as one to an old man in the village whose very ill dog is his only friend and companion, some are lighthearted and fun, such as Herriot’s periodic visits to the overfed and pampered Pekinese Tricki Woo who throws parties and has his own stationery, and yet others are inspirational and enlightening, such as Herriot’s recollections of poor farmers who will scrape their meager earnings together to be able to get proper care for their working animals. From seeing to his patients in the depths of winter on the remotest homesteads to dealing with uncooperative owners and critically ill animals, Herriot discovers the wondrous variety and never-ending challenges of veterinary practice as his humor, compassion, and love of the animal world shine forth. (taken from Goodreads)

Dune by Frank Herbert: There’s been a lot of excitement over the upcoming movie adaptation, which has been pushed back a little. Still, it’s on the horizon, and this is one of those books that sci-fi fans really should read anyway.

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for…

When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream. (taken from Goodreads)

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton: First of all, it should be noted that, here in the U.S., the title is actually The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. The slight name difference never ceases to amuse me. Whatever name it goes by, this is a fantastic novel!

Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. With a locked room mystery that Agatha Christie would envy, Stuart Turton unfurls a breakneck novel of intrigue and suspense.

For fans of Claire North, and Kate Atkinson, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a breathlessly addictive mystery that follows one man’s race against time to find a killer, with an astonishing time-turning twist that means nothing and no one are quite what they seem. (taken from Goodreads)

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: This is not a drill, folks! Douglas Adams’ hilariously bizarre book is once again being adapted, this time into a HULU series. If you didn’t read the book before watching the 2005 movie, you can save your book hipster cred by reading it before checking out the show.

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox—the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years. (taken from Goodreads)

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid: I’m tentatively excited about this upcoming movie. I say tentatively because I loved the book so much that I’m afraid no adaptation will do it justice. Sigh. Such is the burden of a book hipster.

A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous break up.

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the real reason why they split at the absolute height of their popularity…until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go-Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Another band getting noticed is The Six, led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend. (taken from Goodreads)

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood and Co. #1) by Jonathan Stroud: There is going to be a Netflix series based on the Lockwood and Co. series. If it’s anything like the books, it’s going to be a lot of fun.

A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren’t exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.

In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall’s legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day? (taken from Amazon)

The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips: It’s still early days for this one, but it looks like Warner Bros. has picked up the film rights for this delightful book. I devoured this one. Join me, fellow book hipsters, in reading this before it becomes a movie!

Beauty comes at a price. And no one knows that better than Ebenezer Tweezer, who has stayed beautiful for 511 years. How, you may wonder? Ebenezer simply has to feed the beast in the attic of his mansion. In return for meals of performing monkeys, statues of Winston Churchill, and the occasional cactus, Ebenezer gets potions that keep him young and beautiful, as well as other presents.

But the beast grows ever greedier with each meal, and one day he announces that he’d like to eat a nice, juicy child next. Ebenezer has never done anything quite this terrible to hold onto his wonderful life. Still, he finds the absolutely snottiest, naughtiest, and most frankly unpleasant child he can and prepares to feed her to the beast.

The child, Bethany, may just be more than Ebenezer bargained for. She’s certainly a really rather rude houseguest, but Ebenezer still finds himself wishing she didn’t have to be gobbled up after all. Could it be Bethany is less meal-worthy and more…friend-worthy? (taken from Amazon)

What say you, Reader? Are you a book hipster? Do you plan to read any of these books before they get the adaptation treatment?

As always, you can find most of these titles on Bookshop.org, which supports local bookstores (I also get a small kickback, if you use the above link).

Sources:
“All Creatures Great and Small (TV Series 2020– ) – IMDb.” Www.Imdb.com, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt10590066/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1. Accessed 6 Jan. 2021.

Kroll, Justin, and Justin Kroll. “Warner Bros. Acquires Rights to ‘Beast and Bethany’ for ‘Harry Potter’ Producer David Heyman (EXCLUSIVE).” Variety, 13 Mar. 2020, variety.com/2020/film/news/beast-and-bethany-movie-warner-bros-david-heyman-1203533521/. Accessed 6 Jan. 2021.

Ravindran, Manori, and Manori Ravindran. “Netflix Unveils New U.K. Projects With Sam Mendes, Rowan Atkinson, Andy Serkis.” Variety, 13 Dec. 2020, variety.com/2020/tv/global/netflix-uk-original-series-slate-1234852613/. Accessed 6 Jan. 2021.

Villeneuve, Denis, et al. “Dune.” IMDb, 29 Sept. 2021, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1160419/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1. Accessed 6 Jan. 2021.

The Tropening: Book Tropes that I love (or hate)

“Colloquially, people use the term trope to mean recognizable elements of storytelling that audiences associate with specific genres. Like clichés, tropes act as storytelling shorthand and can apply to both plot lines and character types.“- SuperSummary.com

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about things I love (or hate) to see in books. There are clichés that I see as overdone and lacking, but there are also some that I’d love to see more of. I’m kind of changeable that way. It’s always just a matter of preference, of course, but here are some that I love and some that I’m sick to death of. That being said, there are exceptions to all of these for me. As long as the trope is well written, I’m flexible.

“I’m immortal!“- Authors spend a ton of time on their characters, so of course it’s hard to say goodbye. However, when a character is being constantly put into situations that they shouldn’t survive, and they survive anyway, it lessens the stakes of a book. If you don’t want to kill your character (completely understandable), maybe don’t chuck them into the depths of hell, light them on fire, and have a squad of rabid Jello Jigglers attack them.

On the flipside- I love when a character is brought back from the death, or the brink of death (once!) and it changes either them or another character irreversibly. Used correctly, that makes for some major character development. An author that knows when to save a character and when to let go is awesome.

Mental illness as a criminal motive- I’ve read a few mysteries/thrillers in the past year where the villain’s sole motive was that they were “psychotic” or had a mental illness of some sort. To me, that smacks of lazy writing, not to mention that it perpetrates a harmful stereotype. People with mental illnesses are not automatically dangerous or violent. Dovetailing off of this: I would love it if authors wouldn’t use suicide as revenge. Just stop.

On the flipside- I love when mental illness is represented accurately and well. So many people struggle with mental illness of some sort (myself included) that it is a breath of fresh air to see it written as something other than an excuse for horrible actions. Some authors that have done this amazingly are Ricardo Victoria, author of The Withered King, and Heidi Heilig, author of For a Muse of Fire.

Love Triangles (octagons, hexagons, or other shapes)– Of course I have to mention this. I can’t stand one person mentally making a pro/con list regarding which of their wanna-be lovers is best. Let me say something: if you’re waiting with bated breath for someone to choose you over ye random rival, just walk away. No one should be compared to someone else like that. And Wishy Washy obviously isn’t mature enough to be in a relationship anyway.

On the flipside- I love seeing a friendship grow into something more. Not as a main plot point; I think it’s pretty well established that I’m crotchety regarding literary romance. But seeing two characters who respect each other and enjoy spending time together become closer is pretty great.

One person against the world- I can’t stand it when a character immediately loses every single person they care about and it becomes the catalyst to take on the world. Alone. That’s boring. Give me a tragic backstory, sure. I’ll even take a whole slew of corpses left behind, but give the character someone to interact with.

On the flipside- If the main character picks up allies/co-workers/found family after losing someone or even on the way to take bloody revenge for losses, I’m totally good with that. I just want to have a chance for that character to grow.

The dreaded info dump- I’m not a “here it all is at once” kinda girl. I’ll either lose interest or miss something incredibly important. My brain just doesn’t work well with a ton of new information all at once.

On the flipside- I absolutely love it when information is shared naturally throughout a book, especially when a world is fully developed. I love reading about different histories and mythologies in fantasy or science fiction books, I just don’t want all the information to be chunked at me at once.

Anyway, there’s really no point to this post, except as a way to generate conversation. What do you think? What are some tropes that you love? What about tropes you hate?