Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is:
Worlds Never Want To Live In
This is the very first time I have participated in this meme (yay!) but who could resist a topic about the top ten worlds I’d never in a million years want to live in? When I saw this topic I knew straight away that I wanted to be a part of this. The future themes look just as interesting and should hopefully encourage my creativity! I am really excited so without any further ado, here is my list of the top ten worlds I’d never want to live in:
1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Dystopian settings are my favourite to read about – but I certainly wouldn’t want to live in one of them! Panem would be a pretty nightmarish place to live. The hardship and poverty that abounds in the 12 Districts, the gluttony and greed of the Capital. Neither sounds very tempting! Plus the whole yearly Hunger Games tournament where children are pitted against each other. The sheer brutality of it all – no thanks.
2. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
The main character Isobel finds herself falling for the school outcast Varen Nethers. However, Varen has a secret – he is being pulled into a frightening dream world created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. Poe’s work is unsettling enough (believe me – it is!) but this book manages to put an even creepier twist on some of the famous Poe tales.
3. The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake
It has been many years since I first read these books but the world created within these pages was so vivid and surreal I have never quite managed to forget. The world of Gormenghast is a twisted place, in some ways like our own world but almost as if you are looking through a filter – normal events become uncanny, there is magic and wonder but it is somehow tainted.
4. Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris
Parallel universes collide making this a tense and exciting novel but some of the alternative universes were downright frightening. When a cataclysmic event wreaks chaos in ‘our’ Earth, a kidnapping ring from an alternate universe preys on the those left homeless and destitute, turning them into slaves. Even more frightening is the more advanced universe where inter-universe travel is closely monitored. Corruption from those in charge poses an even bigger threat.
5. The Stand by Stephen King
A deadly flu kills the vast majority of the population. Survivors must band together to try and form some kind of society in its wake. However, the forces of good and evil must do battle on this bleak and empty landscape – and those who are left behind must choose whether they are going to be on the side of good (led by 108 year-old Mother Abigail) or throw in their lot with the ‘dark man’ Randall Flagg.
6. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
A classic tale of whimsy and wonder this book nonetheless scared me when I read it as a child. This is a land where rules do not exist, the impossible is more than likely to happen and strange things could beset the unwary traveler. A delightful tale undoubtedly but the absurdities and bizarre characters always left me with the prevailing sense that something was very, very wrong. It is a much darker tale than one would initially think.
7. The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
The author has created a matriarchal society in a world where magic flourishes and power is divided by castes. The more powerful magic users wear the darkest jewels, the least powerful the lightest. So far, so good right? Wrong. Generally women hold the most power but when they menstruate their power is greatly weakened. They must then be coddled and taken care of by the men sworn to protect them. A witch’s power can be also be taken from them by an act of violence (specifically rape). This is what happens to the young girl destined to be the greatest witch of them all. Also, men are turned into prostitutes by a vicious (female) ruler and are often castrated as a form of punishment by cruel queens. Doesn’t sound fun does it? Well it is actually a great read but you couldn’t pay me to live in this world.
8. Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr
One of my favourite fantasy series but a dangerous and scary place for the protagonists. Sure there is magic but there is also lots of death, fighting, dirt, incest (yup incest), and general mayhem to contend with. Plus the whole reincarnation thing; by a twist of fate the same characters are intertwined with each other from one life to the next. Forced to play out similar scenarios time and time again, permanently stuck in a destructive pattern until their wyrrd (fate) can be changed.
9. The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
Part of this book is literally set in hell (in a city called Pandemonium) so it kind-of goes without saying really that it ended on on this list. An vividly interesting but intensely frightening interpretation of the site of eternal suffering. Not to mention the fact that the demons end up coming across more sympathetically than the angels who appear. Turning preconceptions you may have completely the other way around.
10. Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
This is perhaps my favourite fantasy series (after the Lord of the Rings) but I would hate to live in this world. Political machinations aside, the threat posed by the white walkers would leave me a quivering wreak! In a series where the most likable characters are quickly bumped off, I wouldn’t like to imagine my chances of making it through the summer night mind the ‘long winter’.
This actually turned out to be a lot harder than I thought but I have to say, it really made me think long and hard about what I would like to include on this list (there were so many that sprung to mind it took awhile to pare them down!). I had a blast with this and I am looking forward to taking part in my top ten choices again next week.