Tag Archives: fantasy

BTT: Fantasy and Sci Fi — say whut?

I’ve been planning to answer the past two weeks worth of Booking Through Thursday but I keep on missing it (I know I could answer it on another day but I forget that too). Eeep. Anyway, I finally caught up with this week and so here it is! This week’s question is:

One of my favorite sci-fi authors (Sharon Lee) has declared June 23rd Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers Day.

As she puts it:

So! In my Official Capacity as a writer of science fiction and fantasy, I hereby proclaim June 23 Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Day! A day of celebration and wonder! A day for all of us readers of science fiction and fantasy to reach out and say thank you to our favorite writers. A day, perhaps, to blog about our favorite sf/f writers. A day to reflect upon how written science fiction and fantasy has changed your life.

So … what might you do on the 23rd to celebrate? Do you even read fantasy/sci-fi? Why? Why not?

Honestly…I think the 23rd will just be a normal day for me. I never got into the fantasy/sci fi genre, even as I was growing up. Sure, I liked fairy tales just as much as the next person, but as I was growing up, I was more inclined to read Sweet Valley or anything that does not involve magic. Or long names. Or maps and different worlds. I’d really rather read a fluffy book than read about a Plano Dentist with magic powers or travels to outer space or something like that. No offense to those who like them, of course…

Animorphs # 2: The Visitor - my first Animorph book
Animorphs # 2: The Visitor - my first Animorph book

…oh, but wait. One of the book series I really loved during late elementary school and high school: Animorphs. It was introduced to me by my best friend (Hi Toni!). At first I thought it was a fluffy kind of book where the kids involved were a part of some kind of fantasy power type of thing, but lo and behold, it was about aliens! And war! And surprisingly, I was hooked on this sci-fi series. I waited for this book series month after month and collected up to…about Book # 36, and then stopped and now I’m trying to complete my collection. I have about 10 books left or something. Hm, maybe I should write a completely separate post on that. :P

But after that, I stopped and went to pick up books about real life (or at least, as close as it can to real life). I hardly wander through the fantasy section of the bookstore and the sci-fi covers make me feel dizzy because they’re all so busy. I haven’t even read any of the LOTR books, and once I dreamt of reading Eragon but I never got around to it. The Chronicles of Narnia is still waiting to be read on my shelf (for a year now). I have no aversion to the movies, but when it comes to books, I’m really just more of the realistic type of fiction — YA, Chick lit, women’s fiction, general fiction…although I kind of draw the line on historical fiction. I think the only fantasy novels I’ve managed to finish are the Mortal Instruments series (which I totally loved :p) and Harry Potter, of course. Oh, and Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. And my brain stops counting there. :P

I’m still looking to work on this genre just like how I’m working on my classics reading. Hm, so maybe I do have something to do on the 23rd now. Any Fantasy/sci-fi books you can suggest? :D

City of Ashes (Cassandra Clare)

Rating: [rate 4.0]

City of Ashes (Cassandra Clare)A murderer is loose in New York City…and the victims are Downworlder children. Clary Fray and her fellow Shadowhunters have a strong suspicion that Valentine, Clary’s father, may be behind he killings. But if he is the murderer, then what’s his true motive? To make matters worse, the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, has been stolen and the mysterious Inquisitor has arrived to investigate, with his eyes vigilantly targeted on Clary’s brother, Jace.

Clary will need to face some terrifying demons and even more terrifying family decisions. No one said that the life of a Shadowhunter would be easy.

And finally, I got to read this book. Talk about resisting from buying the hardbound version and searching high and low for the paperback version just to read this book. :P

City of Ashes picks up some time after City of Bones ended, with Jace trying to forget what he found out and Clary trying to start her life again with her best friend Simon. But being who they are and everyone knowing is not easy, especially when the Lightwoods arrived at the Institute, driving Jace away and Clary coming to his aid, even if he didn’t want to.

I’m going to stop there because if I continue saying anything else about the story it would be a spoiler already. The second book of the Mortal Instruments is just as much as a wild ride as the first one, maybe even better. There were new characters introduced such as Maia, a werewolf, and even fairies who are also tricksters in Cassandra Clare’s world. We meet the ruthless and sort of crazy Inquisitor — who’s really a she, so it may be a typo on the blurb up there — and Max, the youngest Lightwood. There are also the old characters: Magnus Bane, Luke, Raphael the vampire.

There was a point in the novel when it started to feel like there’s so many things happening and that it’s taking too long to get to the actual climax of the story but after a while, it starts to get faster and we get somewhat of a satisfying fight scene with Valentine. We also get to know a bit more of what Clary can do, and I kind of wished she did it more in the novel. Oh, and there was a lot of angst, too, but it wasn’t too much that I didn’t want to read it anymore. The ending was surprising, heartbreaking and yes, very hanging, which is why I don’t know if I can wait for a year before getting a paperback copy of City of Glass. :P

The series shows great promise, and I’m really excited to know what would happen next. :) This series seems a real keeper, and I think I may start to rave about it now since I liked what I read for the past two books. I wonder if someone will ever pick this up to make a movie out of it…or maybe offer some tv deals, but I honestly think it would be hard to give proper justice to the book once it’s made into that. So I’d really rather read the books. :)

City of Bones (Cassandra Clare)

Rating: [rate 4.0]

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered in strange tattoos and brandishing bizaare weapons. Clary knows she should call the police, but it’s hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary.

Equally startled by her ability to see them, the murderers explain themselves as Shadowhunters: a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. Within twenty-four hours, Clary’s mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque demon.

But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get her Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

If there’s any book that kind of haunted me and called out to me when I first saw it, it’s this one. I spotted this one at National Bookstore last weekend and it took me a long time wondering if I should buy this or just watch Bolt. Guess what won.

I’m no stranger to Cassandra Clare’s work, as I used to read her Harry Potter fanfiction. I thought she wrote well, sounding almost like the real thing that sometimes, while reading the actual books, I recall something she wrote and wonder what book it was a part of.  (Oh, and yes I know that her works had a lot of controversies tied to them)

I’m not really sure what made me pick this book up, but I’m glad I did. I’m not much for fantasy books, and heaven knows what would happen if I try to write any fantasy. This however, actually made me think of some possible ideas. I realized, while reading this book, that if ever I will write fantasy, I’ll probably do urban fantasy, just like City of Bones.

The story is simple enough: 15-year-old Clary sees three kids killing someone, who turns out to be three Shadowhunters, a group of people who are half-human, half-angel and hunts for demons. Then Clary’s mother gets abducted, Clary gets attacked, and the three Shadowhunters wonder what’s up with her and why she can see those things.

I’m stopping there to prevent any spoilers, but it’s really a start of long adventures — from parties to vampires to werewolves and angels and such. The book held my interest, and although I found Jace a tad too annoying and a bit cliched for an anti-hero, I liked his chemistry with Clary and with the other characters. I liked how the story turned out, despite the numerous gray areas that sometimes I don’t know what’s happening and who’s telling the truth already. The world that Clare painted was a vivid and believable one, despite the fantasy elements. The ending, although not much of a cliffhanger, left me wanting more.

I have to admit that I’m going to be careful about this trilogy this time, and not jump in and say I love it and then end up disliking it very much in the end (er, Twilight?). But so far, I like this book, and I’m definitely picking up the next two books once their paperback versions are out.