-kickass female protag who kicks the series off my running away from an abusive household in a shitty little town full of chickens
-and winding up in the most terrifyingly beautiful alternate dimension. Its like Alice in Wonderland on crystal meth
-the series plays with cool concepts largely unexplored by YA fantasy, like dark and light not necessarily equaling evil and good and the idea of a ‘fantasy’ world being slowly intruded upon by a 'scifi’ world
-representation everywhere. You’ve got PoC, LGBT characters, ladies as far as the eye can see (seriously this series fucking obliterates the bechdel test), commentary on racism and bigotry, people who are talking cats, people who wear fish on their heads, people who live in tanks of their own nightmares to cope??? Etc. Etc.
-the best sidekick ever seriously jesus bless Malingo you pure sweet child
- gorgeous paintings beyond your wildest dreams like seriously Clive Barker’s imagination is just full of horrific fucked up magnificence
-main villain is the King of the Fuckboys. Like seriously he’s a fucking mess who writes edgy poetry and wanders in graveyards for the aesthetic but trust me you’ll love him as much as I do I promise
-so many other cool nuanced villains and characters in general tho like I can’t even begin to list them all
-i need more people to cry about these books with
Reasons not to read the Abarat series:
-book 4? Is apparently never coming out?
-can’t think of any others go fucking read these books rn
I live for recommending books so. Here we go. This is probably going to get really long…..
The Books of Pellinor by Alison Croggon - Okay, listen. This is one of the two series that will always hold a very, very special place in my heart because I read these books when I wrote my first ever book. So they’re packed full of nostalgia and all that good stuff. Also they’re straight up amazing and I don’t understand why no one has read them?
The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima - This is the other series that will forever take up space in my heart. I will never forget how I cried myself to sleep after I finished reading the last one in the series (I have a problem with attachments to fictional characters, okay?). I love these books a lot and everyone should go read them right now and then come yell at me about them.
The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas - Another super incredible YA high fantasy series that everyone should read right now! The first book has some shaky world building but oh my god, the characters are AMAZING! I just finished the third book earlier this month and I already miss Iolanthe and Titus so much. I screamed at these books a lot and it was a great time.
Sekret & Skandal by Lindsay Smith - These psychic teenage Russian spies stole my heart go read these books now. I was so sad when I finished Skandal (still am) because I never wanted to leave these kids.
also Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith - Amazing high fantasy espionage. I really need to reread this soon. It was one of my favorite books from last year and I need everyone to read it. Right now.
(while you’re at it just go follow @lindsaysmithdc, she’s amazing and also she has another book coming out in October. I’m dying to read it and everyone else should be too)
The Mapmakers Trilogy by S. E. Grove-
MG fantasy. These books remind me a little bit of His Dark Materials
(which everyone should also go read if you haven’t already). Anyway. The
world building is incredible and the main characters Sophia and Theo are the cutest ever. I want to live inside these books.
The Monstrumologist Series by Rick Yancey
- I LOVE THESE BOOKS. SO MUCH!!! They’re dark and horrible and twisted
and I have never been so delighted. The writing, the setting, the
characters - it’s all incredible. Also I cried a lot while reading these and that’s always good.
An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet - Technically this is dystopia but it reads more like fantasy. This weird, wonderful book broke my heart. I’m overwhelmingly in love with all the characters and still weeping about everything.
In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo - This is one of the most beautiful books I own. Half of the story is written by Kiersten White (everyone go read her newest book And I Darken it’s phenomenal and I’m marrying it) and half of the story is illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo and it’s dark and creepy and sad and beautiful.
The Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld - Super incredible steampunk/alternate history of WWI. It’s been a long time since I’ve read these books but I love them a lot. Also Keith Thompson illustrated them and wow I could look at those illustrations for days. The characters in this series are some of my favorites ever and everything is just really, really delightful.
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow - So I’m not really a huge fan of dystopia, but I loved this. A lot. It’s quite unlike other dystopia and also involves a ridiculous AI. Honestly the whole cast of characters is brilliant. Also minor spoiler (I guess??) Happy bisexual girls!!!!! (Everyone should also read her debut Plain Kate. I’m still crying.)
The Abarat Series by Clive Barker - These books are WEIRD and I love them so, so much. I think I read the first one when I was like… 11 or 12? I have no idea when the fourth one is going to be published so that kind of sucks and I believe there is also supposed to be a fifth one? But oh man. These books are a trip. Also the villain!!! Like everything in this series he’s really freaking weird and I love him a lot. (He looks like a corpse, his grandmother stitched his lips shut with he was young, and his nightmares swim around in this weird collar thing he wears. And… I don’t want to say he’s the LI, because he’s not but… idk, it’s hard to talk about without being spoilery so everyone should just go read the books.) The illustrations are also great and sometimes a bit demented.
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev - I haven’t read the rest of this series but I’m sure the other books will be equally charming. The theatre geek in me was absolutely thrilled by this. I practically lived in my community theatre growing up (I mean… not to the extent of Bertie, who actually does live in the theatre, but you know) but trust me this book is still charming even if you have no knowledge of theatre whatsoever.
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee - YA historical fiction about a Chinese-American girl during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Yeah, this broke my heart and I might have sent it back to the library with tear stains…. (It also made me smile a lot, too, and is just really touching and beautiful.)
All right. I’m probably missing lots of wonderful books and I could go on for ages because books are my life but this is getting really long so we’ll stop here. I hope everyone finds new amazing books to cry about read!
(also I realize that a lot of this is just me saying GO READ IT NOW because I am not good at talking about books I love. Either I scream a lot, or I write like 15 page love letters and since no one actually wants to hear that I settled for lots of demanding)
I once knew a Chaos Mage that told me he was going to send crows and butterflies to me, the next day there were crows and butterflies everywhere around me, I asked him how he did that magical techniques and he said it was one of the secrets of creative visualization, I lost contact with him before I could learn the magical technique, since then I have been searching for this technique to no avail, can someone help me out in learning this magical techniques.
Creative visualization isn’t some super hidden secret technique. It is what it is. You visualize your intent and put enough focus and detail into it that it manifests. You can strengthen your visualization technique with reading fantasy novels often (or whatever novels suit you - I personally read very very often, such as Redwall, Harry Potter, Uglies series, Abarat lot of fantastical young adult novels), meditation, creating a “mind palace” and so on.
Within chaos magick, creative visualization is a very powerful tool, but to bring out its full effects one generally needs to first achieve gnosis. If you’re wanting to look into it I’d recommend looking through @bluefluke‘s blog. They have a very useful how-to guide on chaos magick.
Fiction: Ordinary Horror by David Searcy. This is not your run-of-the-mill horror story. There is a brooding sense of unease and disquiet that permeate the story. More literary than most horror stories - somewhat akin to Henry James’ Turn of the Screw crossed with Stephen King’sThe Plant.
- Wayne Roylance, Selection Team
I love Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini by Sid Flesichman for teens and adults. There is a lot about Houdini’s death on Halloween plus his wife’s attempts, after his death, to contact him during seances….despite Houdini’s deep seated disbelief and full on antagonism towards seances during his lifetime, not to mention his well publicized campaigns to defrock psychics and mediums.