Top Ten Tuesday: Characters who would make great leaders

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!  Today’s theme is ten characters who would make great leaders, which is super fitting for election day.

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First up we have Darrow from Pierce Brown’s Red Rising saga.  Do I remember a lot about Red Rising?  No, not really, which is one of the reasons that I still haven’t picked up Morning Star.  But do I remember that Darrow was awesome?  Yes, absolutely.

Next up is Starr from Angie Thomas’ bestselling debut, The Hate U Give.  Starr is put in an almost impossible position as the sole witness to her childhood friend’s tragic death.  Stuck between the expectations of her fancy prep school friends and the real-life implications of the shooting in her neighborhood, Starr has to figure out how to do the right thing without letting anybody down or creating any additional problems.

Then there’s Victor from V.E. Schwab’s Vicious, probably the most controversial pick on my list.  It’s true.  Victor’s a villain.  But this guy has serious leadership potential!  And, in his own way, he is the leader of his group of misfits.  (Side note: I cannot wait for the next installment in this series.)

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It’s been a long, long time since I read Peter F. Hamilton’s Void series and I honestly remember very little of it, but I do remember Edeard being a great leader.

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Both Rose Calloway and Connor Cobalt from Krista & Becca Ritchie’s massive Addicted/Calloway Sisters series easily make the list of great leaders. While Connor is logical, refined, and cunning, Rose is a perfectionist who wouldn’t hesitate to tear out the heart of her enemies (and look great while doing it).

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I’m maybe cheating with these last four picks since they actually are official leaders in their books, but next up is Prince Kai from Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series.  It’s true that Kai starts out the series primarily as a love interest for Cinder, but as he grows up, he becomes a strong, morally sound leader who isn’t afraid to stand up for his people.

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I’m definitely cheating with Lady Jane Grey, who ruled England for nine days back in the 1500s.  I’m not sure if the real-life Jane Grey was quite as awesome as this fictionalized version, but the Jane from this book made an awesome leader.

And what about Alexander Hamilton?  The amount of attention this guy is getting now is insane.  There are so many books (above: Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz) written about him, a musical so popular that people wait months for tickets, and suddenly everybody is interested in his life. Why was he never president?

Finally, I’m going with Prince Rhy Maresh from V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series.  While Rhy comes across as a flirty playboy as the series begins, he grows as a person and a leader as the series comes to its conclusion.

Who are your favorite fictional leaders?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I loved more than I expected

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!  I actually forgot to post this last week, and I even had everything all ready to go!  Luckily for me, this week is a TTT hiatus, so I have another chance to post it.

Anyway, this topic is all about books that I loved more than I thought I would.  There was an option to do books that I disliked, but I figured I’ve talked about those enough!  I tried to go back in time since I feel like I’m always raving about the same few books.  I went way back to 2013 for this one, so I hope you enjoy!

Please feel free to send me any books that you’ve enjoyed more than expected and I’ll add them to my TBR!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett: I have a documented problem with bestsellers.

Margot by Jillian Cantor: Historical fiction about the Holocaust, however important it may be, is not my favorite topic.

In the Blood by Lisa Unger: I don’t read a lot of thrillers and I really like kids, so I don’t generally enjoy books about creepy children.

Stiff by BB Hamel: This was the first stepbrother romance I ever read and I honestly did not expect to like it even one bit.

Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan: If I’m honest, I don’t generally love memoirs. Especially memoirs from people I’ve never even heard of before. But this was surprisingly good and it read like fiction, which helped a lot.

Marie Antoinette’s Head by Will Bashor: Although I was a huge fan of Sofia Coppola’s film about her life, Marie Antoinette’s hairdresser does not top my list of interests.

Lust is the Thorn by Jen McLaughlin: I really just requested this book for kicks, but even though I went to thirteen years of Catholic school and have never thought of a priest sexually before, this book was HOT!

The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane: As a rule, I’m generally skeptical of anything from Kindle First, but this book was honestly really great.

Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman: I only read this book because I needed something published in 1990 for 2015’s reading challenge and it was enchanting.

The Void Series by Peter F. Hamilton: I don’t read a lot of epic fantasy – like the real kind that spans universes and millennia – but Hamilton is one of my boyfriend’s favorite authors and I can clearly see why.

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This book is so, so different from what I normally read that I’m not even sure where to start. I know that Peter F. Hamilton is one of my boyfriend’s favorite authors, and he’s been suggesting to me for years that I try out some of his favorite epic fantasy novels. So I guess it’s just a coincidence that when I got really frustrated with young adult/new adult as a whole, I saw Hamilton’s new novel, The Abyss Beyond Dreams, pop up on Netgalley. I never thought I would be approved – most of my Netgalley approvals are embarrassing romance novels – but for some reason, Del Rey decided to take a chance on me and approve the request. I had a little moment of panic when I received that approval email, because, after all, now I needed to read almost 2000 pages of the Void trilogy to really understand what’s going on. What if I didn’t like it? What had I gotten myself into?

I didn’t need to worry. It was a little bit of a change, going from reading fluffy romances to the intricate world that Hamilton has built in his Void series. Instead of following one character, you’re following a good dozen or so, but it’s easy enough to adjust.

I’m actually surprised at how much I liked The Dreaming Void.

Suffice it to say that there’s a lot going on in The Dreaming Void. While there are a handful of stories carefully woven together, it’s split into two main sections taking place in two different worlds. I will admit that at the beginning of the novel, I was so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information that I was getting that I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. It took me almost a week to read the first 200 pages, and then another week to finish the remaining 400+. The story starts off a little slow, but then really picks up steam as Edeard’s story unfolds and it becomes apparent why a religion began as a result of his actions.

I wish that I’d actually started with the Commonwealth series to have a bit more background on this universe, but then I’d be even further from completing The Abyss Beyond Dreams prior to its release date. (I suppose I can always go back and read it once I’ve finished the next three books.)

I’m already fairly deep into The Temporal Void, and I’m looking forward to finding out what comes next for these characters that I’ve grown to love.

Final rating: 

I received a free copy of The Abyss Beyond Dreams from Netgalley, so I’m catching up on the books that come before it before delving in.  The Void series begins with The Dreaming Void:

The year is 3589, fifteen hundred years after Commonwealth forces barely staved off human extinction in a war against the alien Prime. Now an even greater danger has surfaced: a threat to the existence of the universe itself.

At the very heart of the galaxy is the Void, a self-contained microuniverse that cannot be breached, cannot be destroyed, and cannot be stopped as it steadily expands in all directions, consuming everything in its path: planets, stars, civilizations. The Void has existed for untold millions of years. Even the oldest and most technologically advanced of the galaxy’s sentient races, the Raiel, do not know its origin, its makers, or its purpose.

But then Inigo, an astrophysicist studying the Void, begins dreaming of human beings who live within it. Inigo’s dreams reveal a world in which thoughts become actions and dreams become reality. Inside the Void, Inigo sees paradise. Thanks to the gaiafield, a neural entanglement wired into most humans, Inigo’s dreams are shared by hundreds of millions–and a religion, the Living Dream, is born, with Inigo as its prophet. But then he vanishes.

Suddenly there is a new wave of dreams. Dreams broadcast by an unknown Second Dreamer serve as the inspiration for a massive Pilgrimage into the Void. But there is a chance that by attempting to enter the Void, the pilgrims will trigger a catastrophic expansion, an accelerated devourment phase that will swallow up thousands of worlds. 

And thus begins a desperate race to find Inigo and the mysterious Second Dreamer. Some seek to prevent the Pilgrimage; others to speed its progress–while within the Void, a supreme entity has turned its gaze, for the first time, outward…

Since there’s a good 2000 pages or so of the Void series, it will probably be awhile before I post my review of The Abyss Beyond Dreams, but I’m looking forward to getting there.

Does this series sound interesting to you?  The Abyss Beyond Dreams is currently available on Netgalley and Goodreads First Reads!