Greetings – welcome to our new Alphabet tag. Every few weeks we’ll being posting our favourite books for three letters of the alphabet (shocking, I know.) Maybe you’ll find something new in amongst an alphabet of our favourites.
Anna Dressed in Blood – luna
I saw this in 2014 when I was working in Waterstones. I haunted the YA section when it was quiet, tidying up displays and generally being nosy at what we had in stock. I spotted this book then, with its distinct monochrome cover and the vivid red of Anna’s dress.
Boy meets Girl. Girl murders a few people. Boy goes to destroy her with magic knife. Boy and Girl weirdly fall in love. Something else starts murdering folks. It’s a classic love story.
OK, maybe not a classic. Your normal love story probably doesn’t involve knives or murder or dark magic. But hey, I love a good bit of murder so this makes any mushy love stuff bearable. And for a final seal of approval, this is a YA story Andy has read and loved. Win!
American Gods – andrea
This choice is pretty apt because starz has just wrapped up it’s first season adaption of the Neil Gaiman novel. And my gods, it was fantastic (though I am yet to see the finale – so no spoilers!).
American Gods tells the story of Shadow Moon, days away from being released from prison and eager to get back to his wife, only for her to die in a car crash along with his best friend. Devastated and alone, Shadow crosses paths with the mysterious Mr Wednesday, who offers him a job as his driver and body guard, taking Shadow across America and making him question everything he believed (or didn’t believe) in. Take it on faith – this book is fantastic; an intensely magical love letter to America, it’s history and the beliefs and traditions of the many peoples that created it. A mystery unfolds, with Shadow at it’s centre, and the writing is bloody, dark, and erotic in true Gaiman fashion.
Blood Song – andy
I love Blood Song! It is probably one of my favourite fantasy novels of all time, and that is saying something. I made my dad read it, and then my brother, and they all thoroughly enjoyed it. The hero, Valen Al Sorna is abandoned at the Sixth Order as a child; an order of Warriors of the Faith dedicated to battle. Valen has no family now except the Brothers of the Order.
The book skillfully melds Valen the mighty warrior, hero, and Hope Killer in the present, with flashbacks to Valen the child as he grows within the Sixth Order amongst his brothers, and the hardships he endures to become the hero we know he becomes.
Between – luna
Between is one of my favourite books. It was a book I couldn’t put down until the very last page. It was heartbreaking and beautifully written. Elizabeth is a complicated character and goes through some great character development.
Elizabeth has basically everything….right up until the night of her 18th birthday when she is awoken by a strange sound, bumping against the side of her parents boat. Elizabeth has died and has no memory of what happened on the last night of her life. Watching her friends and family after her death, she tries to make sense of what happened, accompanied only by Alex, a class mate who died last year.
I bought this book in a charity shop, lured in by the cover and the tag line and I sat down that evening and did not move until I was done (I was in the bath at the time. It got very cold ater two hours.) It gripped me right until the very end. I could see a few things coming but it doesn’t detract from the story at all – it’s about Elizabeth discovering these things and how she progresses as a character.
caraval – luna
I chose Caraval for my C because it was an amazing read. It’s full of interesting characters, who have their own secrets and agendas and you’re never quite sure who we or Scarlet should trust. Not to mention it has some spectacular world building – you can just see the magic and colour of Caraval in front of you as you read it.
Caraval tells the story of Scarlet and her younger sister, Tella, both desperate to leave their tiny island to escape their cruel father. After many years of writing to Legend, the master of Caraval, Scarlet’s wish finally comes true and she, Tella and a handsome sailor are on their way to Caraval.
But when they get there, Tella disappears and finding her becomes part of the game. Scarlet has to try to find her, while figuring out what’s real and what’s only a game. Scarlet isn’t sure who to trust and how she and her sister will ever safely leave Caraval…
(the) carpet people – andy
“In the beginning there was nothing but endless flatness. Then came the carpet…”
Terry Pratchett wrote his first story, The Carpet People, when he was thirteen which, incidentally, was the same age I was when I read the book for the first time. Imagine there are people living in your carpet; that each fiber to them stands as tall as a redwood tree, that a dropped penny is a copper mine, and that they live in terror of the Fray which sweeps a trails of destruction across the carpet.
This book is full of Terry’s trademark humour and imagination, with eccentric characters who are desperate to save their world from destruction.
This has been our first installment of the Alphabet tag! Have you guys read any of these books or has something caught your interest?