[TOP TEN TUESDAY] Worlds I wouldn’t want to live in

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This week’s TTT, hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish, is one that definitely appealed to me! I read a lot of dystopian and apocalypse fiction so the answers came to mind pretty easily for me, so I decided to mix it up and make my post a little different. I’ve included the top six worlds I definitely would not like to live in, and the top four that I would!

Worlds I Would Hate to Live in:

1. The Hunger Games Trilogy (Panem)
Does this one really need an explanation? Not only are the citizens working to death and still starving, but they’re also being forced by an oppressive government to send their children into an arena to murder each other. Umm… I’ll pass, thanks.

2. Slated Trilogy
Kyla lives in a world where children can be taken away and have their memories ‘slated’ overnight. Accused of terrorism, they’re given a second chance under close observation with a new family, a new personality and a new mind. Sounds scary enough without even factoring in all the shady business, suspicion and lies the people responsible for slating are involved with. Nope, no thank you!

3. Penryn and the End of Days
I have no burning desire to witness the end of days, with angels of the apocalypse being sent down from Heaven to destroy everyone and everything in their path. Not my idea of a good day.

4. Blood of Eden (The Fringe)
If I were a vampire, this would definitely make it onto my list of worlds I would like to live in. Life seems pretty grand as a vampire. Sadly, being the feeble human I am, I can’t say a life of extreme poverty quaking under the constant shadow of a hoarde of predators really does it for me.

5. Mindjack Trilogy 
Living in a world filled with the constant noise of other peoples’ thoughts would drive me insane. I wouldn’t be able to deal with knowing everything someone was thinking, and knowing that they could hear exactly what I was thinking too! The privacy of your own mind is a blessing I don’t think many people would like to sacrifice.

6. Mistborn Series (Scadrial) 
This has a lot to do with the extreme poverty and dictatorship again, as found in more than a few fantasy novels. While having the powers of Allomancy would definitely be a plus, I don’t think I’d be happy to trade off for a life of scavenging and oppression.

Worlds I Would Love to Live in:

1. Harry Potter Series
I don’t believe that anyone in my generation who grew up with Harry Potter hasn’t felt the bitter pinch of disappointment when birthday after birthday their letter didn’t arrive from Hogwarts. The Harry Potter universe is a wonderful, magical place hidden within the everyday, urban, boring world of Muggles. Yeah, Voldemort might be trying to destroy everything and kill everyone in his path, but you get to be a wizard! With magic!

2. Draykon (Seven Realms)
Draykon’s world is absolutely gorgeous, filled with mysterious plants and creatures and its own unique pattern of night and day. The whole world is magical and I would just love to dive in and experience it first hand.

3. Wheel of Time 
This world is so expansive with a history so rich that it already feels like it could really exist in some kind of alternate reality. I love High Fantasy and the old-fashioned historical feel to it, so I could definitely imagine myself jumping straight into Two Rivers and joining Rand’s adventure. I think I’d like this place even if I wasn’t an Aes Sedai (but I do want to be, please oh please!).

4. Black Jewels Trilogy
A matriarchal society where nearly everyone is gifted with varying strengths of magic? Yes please! I’d take even a White jewel to live in that world! I see a pattern emerging, I clearly have a thing for the promise of magical powers. Oh dear.

I really enjoyed this weeks Top Ten Tuesday! Let me know in the comments which fictional worlds you would love or hate to live in!

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[REVIEW] Draykon – Charlotte E. English

Summarydraykon_cover
Characters – 4/5
Plot – 4/5
World Building – 5/5
Style – 4/5
Overall – 4/5

In a Tweet
“Jeweller unearths a gem people will die for, gates to other worlds mysteriously open and the biggest danger imaginable threatens the realm.”

Review
A clever combination of mystery, fantasy and adventure, DRAYKON is the first novel in the eBook trilogy by Charlotte E. English. Following two female protagonists, talented but anxious Llandry Sanfaer and the experienced High Summoner Lady Evastany Glostrum, DRAYKON threw me into a vivid world complete with its own plants, creatures and history.

When Llandry stumbles upon a cave filled with the beautiful but mysterious gemstone istore, demand for her jewellery begins to unexpectedly soar. Overwhelmed by the unexplainable fervour surrounding her work and horrified by the gruesome deaths beginning to be linked to her pieces, Llandry is instructed to stop trading and hand over any remaining istore.

As High Summoner, Eva takes it upon herself to investigate the deaths and randomly opening gates to other Realms, but as her search grows deeper and more complex she discovers much more than she was ever anticipating.

English writes with a careful flair, she knows exactly how to build stunning scenery and her characters are well developed and likeable. The two point of view characters are very different from the stereotypical fantasy heroines; Llandry is young but not inexplicably special or strong while Eva is older, capable and sensible.

I was initially a little put off in the prologue when I realised Llandry had wings as I very rarely knowingly pick up a fantasy book that involves ‘fairies’ but I’m glad I kept going. The Darklanders are essentially humans with added wings, nowhere near the classic fairy archetype.

One of the particularly striking features of this novel for me was the world building. Eva and Llandry both live in the Middle Realms; akin to our world it lays between the two unstable and magical Off-Worlds each with its own wildlife, nature and dangers.

Perhaps the most interesting element of English’s worldbuilding is the differences between the inhabitants of the Daylands, such as Eva, and the Darklands, like Llandry. Daylanders live in perpetual sunlight, while Darklanders’ eyes have grown accustom to only the light given from small floating orbs. This is a completely new concept to me and I loved the originality and how it plays a role in the narrative.

DRAYKON has a great pace and builds piece by piece to a fantastic and dramatic ending that I definitely didn’t see coming. The plot is original and exciting, the mystery genre element kept me guessing throughout and I was totally hooked very early on. As my first free eBook I wasn’t sure what to expect from DRAYKON, but if the standard set by Charlotte E. English is anything to go by I will definitely be downloading more! Sequel LOKANT is already on my Kindle ready to go!