Tuesday, July 24, 2012

TOP TEN TUESDAY (30): Vivid Worlds and Settings in Books


1. Hogwarts and the rest of the Magical World (Harry Potter)
If there is one fictional setting I would like to visit, it would be Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Of course, I wouldn't say no to visiting any of the other wonderful settings in this series like Diagon Alley, The Leaky Cauldron, and the Ministry of Magic.

2. The Never Never (Iron Fey series by Kagawa)
A fantasy world that consists of the Fey Summer Court, Winter Court, and all the mysteries that surround them.   One of Kagawa's greatest strengths in these books is her description of this magical place that becomes a character of its own.

3. 2058 New York City (In Death series by JD Robb)
Homicide detective Eve Dallas solves murders that take place in a futuristic version of New York City.  The best part of this setting is the effortless way that Robb showcases how the city has changed and how it has remained the same.  I especially love it when she mentions events that happen "off planet".

4. Downside (Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane)
This isn't a beautiful, optimistic world.  Instead it is full of dirt, drugs, and poverty.  But, the way that Stacia Kane describes Downside brings it to life and provides the perfect backdrop for witch Chess Putnam's adventures.

5. Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien)

I remember reading The Hobbit in middle school and being completely engrossed in the adventures of this fantasy world.  Everything was so creative and detailed from the inhabitants to the food to the buildings.  Tolkien truly created a living, breathing world that feels like it could jump out of the page.

6. Space (The League series by Sherrilyn Kenyon)
This is a very large setting...it is the whole universe.  But, Kenyon's science fiction romances take place on multiple planets in multiple systems.  Each planet has its own appearance and culture which always serves a purpose in the series.  I was especially impressed with the way she described all the different technologies, particularly the spaceships. 

7. Panem (Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins)
My first experience with a dystopian world.  Collins is a genius at providing a picture of the poverty-stricken District 12 and the contrast of the glitzy, glamourous Capitol.  I don't know if Collins's message would have been so powerful without the vivid imagery.

8. New Beijing (Cinder by Marissa Mayer)
Another dystopian, futuristic world that is an example of contrasts.  Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, lives and works in a more poverty-stricken area while the royalty of New Beijing lives in a high-tech, glittering palace.  The sights and smells are perfectly portrayed by Mayer and I look forward to exploring the rest of this world in other books in the Lunar Chronicles series.

9. 18th Century Scotland (Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon)
I will admit that I have never been to Scotland, but I can truly imagine what it must be like after reading Gabaldon's time travel series.   The way she describes the plants and the animals and the people just gives the books a mystical feel.  It also provides insight into many of the characters since their livelihood is based on the resources of the land around them.

10. Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky (Jane Jameson series by Molly Harper)
A fictional small town that is modeled after Harper's hometown of Paducah, Kentucky...only smaller.  Like many other settings on this list, the Hollow ends up with a personality all its own by the end of the Jameson series.  I especially enjoy the mix of modern and historical that peppers the landscape which really sets the mood for all the supernatural happenings in the series.


  1. HP world was #1 on my list too (how could it not be!) I've read quite a few of the In Death series and 2058 NYC would be fantastic. I would love to have some of that technology that's for sure! (Have you read the more recent books in that series? I stopped after awhile because they kind of all felt the same but I've been thinking of reading them again, but I'm unsure if I want to reread or read some of the newer ones.)

    1. I am only on Book #5: Ceremony in Death so I can't say much for the later books. I will say that I have a relative who's read all of them and she has really liked the past few new releases. Don't know if that helps, but it is something!

  2. totally agree with you on middle earth. love your list today. kaye—the road goes ever ever on

  3. HP and Middle Earth made my list as well, but I love that you added Panem, New Beijing, and Downside as those are some of my favorite settings and I haven't seen them around too much. Great Top Ten! :D

    Ivy Book Bindings

  4. A great list! You've made me want to read several of these series: Iron Fey, Downside Ghosts, and In Death.

  5. I enjoy the parts in the early In Death novels where she talks about futuristic things that have since actually happened- it's hard to believe the book first came out in 1995! I enjoyed reading your list and am now a follower- I'm looking forward to reading your reviews. :D

  6. Oh yes, Tolkien is so wonderfully detailed.

    I really want to read In Death after seeing it on a few lists. I also really like how diverse your list is as well!

    My TTT

  7. New Beijing has definite potential! I cannot wait to read Scarlet and see that world develop even more!

  8. We do have a lot of overlap! I picked up Cinder to start last week, then wound up changing my mind at the last minute and started something else. I'm going to need to get on that. Great list!

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT!

  9. I think Diagon Alley would be one of the most fun parts of the HP world to visit - it was always one of my favourite parts of the first book, 'seeing' that place for the first time. New Beijing was really interesting, too. :)


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