Saturday, August 16, 2014

Top 5 Qualities that I Look for in a Book: World Building (Part 1/5)

While reading other blogs, I have realized that a great book review blog does not just review books but has original book related discussion.  I enjoy discussing books with others.  I am going to start having more original, discussion based posts.  The first of which is discussing the qualities that I find in great, memorable books, which will be presented in weekly segments.

One of the main reasons that I enjoy reading fantasy and science fiction novels is the world building aspects.  World building shows creativity.  It sets the book apart from other books.  It makes the book memorable.

One of my biggest pet peeves about world building is when a book has a really complex world and throws all the information at you all at once.  It becomes confusing and hard to keep up with.  This was my biggest problem with the Queen of the Realm of Faerie series by Heidi Garrett.  Don't get me wrong, I loved this book but it was hard to keep up with the complex world.  There were many different fantasy races with unique abilities and grudges with other races.  There were also many different characters and it was hard to keep everything straight.  After I was accustomed to the world and understood the many facets, I was able to really enjoy the series.  Another example of this is the Lord of the Rings series.  I have problems staying interested in the books due to the complex world.

I enjoy unique nuances in a dystopian society that seeks to disclose a flaw in society.  Unwind by Neal Shusterman is a great example of this.  In Unwind, at the age of 13 parents have the right to "unwind" their children.  When a child is unwound, there body parts are used to replace malfunctioning body parts in others in order to save lives.  For instance, if someone was blind they could get eyes from an unwind.  Although this is really cruel, I feel like this shows how cruel abortion can be as it is also destroying the life of a child.  It also adds an incredibly unique twist to a book.

The Exile by Eric Buffington is another example of wonderful world building.  In The Exile, men are sent outside of the city to survive on their own for a year as part of a coming of age ceremony.  If they return, they are then considered men.  Additionally, each person is born with unique abilities.  Each person is marked with his or her ability.  For example, some people have marks on their ear and are incredible listeners.  Others have marks above their eyes and have incredible vision.  Stones of Power can increase these abilities and are incredibly rare.  What I enjoy about this world building is the complexity and uniqueness.  It creates the foundation for incredible plots for books.  I will discuss this a little more next week in my post about complex plots.

A few other books that have remarkable world building are pictured below:

What qualities are most important to you in a book?  How important is world building?  What books do you think have great world building?  Please leave your comments below.

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