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Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab

Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

"Are You Single?" – Book Buying Requirements

My first question is - is your cover beautiful? If yes, let me adore you.

My second is - is your blurb wonderful? If yes, let me marvel you.

My third is - does your cover and blurb accurately represent you? If yes, there is no limit to my fangirl praise.

But after that - ARE YOU PART OF A SERIES? Because if you are... I’m sorry, book. I’m having doubts that we can make this relationship work. O_O

I can’t help it. I want to experience so many different authors that I leave myself with little time to read more of the authors I do like. Even if I end up with the second book in a series, so much time has passed between me reading the first and second books that I struggle to remember the details and, regrettably, I think that does alter my reading experience. As in, clues dropped along the way will take longer to fall into place because I have to remember what they had to do with the story in the first place. If I really can’t remember the first book, I consult Wikipedia. Recaptains is a great blog dedicated to solving this particular bookish problem, but I haven’t had an opportunity to use it yet.

One incredible historical fantasy book that springs to mind – I’m pretty sure it’s a standalone – is Uprising: Heirs of the Demon King by Sarah Cawkwell (I never got to do a proper review because I was so behind on reviews that eventually I had to stop my schedule). The cover could be better, but the blurb was great and it turned out to be an even better read than I hoped. I was anguished to reach the end but also glad that the story tied together coherently, leaving only those few nagging little issues that linger in your mind after the book was closed.

I wish there were more books like Uprising that I could bounce between without feeling guilty that I’m abandoning a series!

Still, despite my bouncing around, I have two mammoth fantasy series’ I want to read – the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett and The Wheel Of Time series by Robert Jordan. Also Brandon Sanderson; his books make up a few shorter series’ but the books themselves are still incredibly in-depth. I’d like to dedicate a chunk of time to these complex fantasy series and read them back to back, but we’d be talking several months... maybe longer.

Knowing me, even assuming that I’d never get bored reading the series, I’d want to throw in something different to read just for the variety.

Ashana Lian .

P.S. I sometimes find myself aggravated when a perfectly capable one-book story (usually YA) suddenly spawns a second and third book. Unless I loved that one book and I felt the cliff-hanger was just too much to deal with (The Falconer, omg).

How do you choose the book your buy/loan and read? Aside from genre, are you picky about book length, standalones vs series or that type of thing? I’m curious. Do share.


  1. I understand you on the whole series issue--I often hesitate before starting as series for some of the same reasons. Fortunately, I have a really good memory, but unfortunately, I can get very impatient with multiple books in the same world. I get bored and eager to move on to new and interesting things, and it's expensive for me to commit to multiple books because I have to buy most everything I read or I won't get to read it, which means I'm much more likely to buy standalone books. I do like trilogies, but I often draw the line there unless a series has a really great reputation/fanbase, etc.. Like, I'm reading A Song of Ice and Fire right now (I'm on A Clash of Kings), but that's pretty abnormal for me. Thanks for sharing!

    Liz @ Out of Coffee, Out of Mind

    1. Hey Liz, thanks for commenting! Sorry for the delay.
      I have the same issue when it comes to having to buy the books I wanna read. my library is pretty amazing in its range of fantasy books, but I still end up buying the very new, unusual or underground titles - and struggling to get round to reading them can be an issue. If i know that what I'm gonna read is the start of a ten-book series, sometimes I'm like =/ and sometimes I agree with myself to just try the first one and see how I go. That method has gotten me stuck into some amazing series', like A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (N.K. Jemisin), Across The Nightingale Floor (Lian Hearn), of course ASOIAF, But also Philippa Gregory and Patrick Rothfuss books as well. I hope you enjoy ASOIAF!

  2. I get this too. I find it hard to get into books that are series, ones that already have like 5 or 6 books out. For example, I own all the Mortal Instruments books and all the Vampire Academy books but haven't started either because they are long series and I don't know if I want to dedicate that much time to these books/authors/series.

    1. Hey Charnell, apologies for the long delay...
      When I've been rash enough to impulse buy a series, the same thing happens to me. Now, I make sure I just get the first one and at least try it out. On the one hand, the experience of getting stuck in a series is amazing, but on the other, less time to explore other things. So, I feel you on that one.

  3. I tend to just pick up random books, I guess. I never seem to be out of reading material so I never seem to need a ton of recommendations. I am picky about book length in that I'm kind of wimpy and don't like reading anything more than 300 pages, but beyond that, I AM AN INDEPENDENT READER WHO DON'T NEED NO RULES.

    1. Hiya Heather! Hahahaha, I'm never out of reading material either XD and I still accept recommendations!! I'm the opposite - if a book is huge, I go straight for it. That's how I got into Trudi Canavan, Alison Croggon, and GRRM.


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