There are plenty of amazing books placed in real settings that make you wish you lived in another part of the world, but there is just something about authors who throw out reality and decide to make their own. World building seems like such a daunting task, and after recently devouring Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, I was reminded once again how immersive good world building can actually be.
Cline's future dystopia where most people live out their lives in a virtual world was breathtaking if not a bit tedious in the beginning as there was so much explaining of the universe. As a dedicated fantasy and sci-fi reader, this is not the first world I found myself wanting to travel to at least for a day because at the end of that day, people are still starving to death. Some other worlds I would love to visit include:
Like the OASIS, Hogwarts and the wizarding world exist within another world--the one you probably wish you could forget about if you know about the other. Although I believe I was 13 when I started reading the Harry Potter series, I like everyone else so desperately wanted to get my letter. Who wouldn't want to learn spells, fly on broomsticks, and battle the forces of evil. Ok, maybe I could live without the last part because I mean if Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them taught us anything it's that this world is still pretty cool without the threat of a bad guy lurking in the background (shh... we don't talk about the villain in this movie.)
I considered putting Middle Earth second on this list, but if I'm being honest, Narnia was the first experience I had with a world outside my own. Putting the Jesus Lion aside, this place was amazing to an 8 or 9 year old. Talking animals, child royalty, and the first bad guy I can remember truly being unnerved by. I mean as fantastic and detailed Narnia was to still live on in my imagination, Jadis is probably what I remember the most from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Yeah, because I was really going to leave it off. Tolkien's world is probably one of the most layered and in depth universes in existence. Any person who creates multiple languages and writes out songs and poetry using them is definitely dedicated to his craft.
My first experience with Endor was from reading The Hobbit, but I did eventually get around to The Lord of the Rings series and even peruse through some of The Silmarillion. Even though I had read other fantasy novels before this one, I'm not sure I ever grasped what an entire new world could feel like. I haven't read it in years, but I still can vividly see Ents walking through the forest with hobbitses in tow.
In recent years, no other fantasy novel has impressed me as much as The Necromancer Awakening series for its world building. It's clear Nat Russo spent a countless number of months developing his universe. From the creatures to the mythology, you can't put this book down without some of it staying with you. I've only read the first book so far, but I look forward to seeing how book two expands on the surroundings and history of this land.
While I considered making Westeros and Essos the last places on this list, I wouldn't forgive myself for not putting the entire universe from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, instead. Douglas Adam's genius series is probably one of my all time favorites. I'm not sure I read a sci-fi novel with a comedic and light-hearted approach before these stories, and while I've always been fascinated with space, his books truly made me sad that space travel is not yet a thing. He also made me question the many possibilities of how the entire universe and our existence came into being, which is always fun.
Posted in Dystopia, Lists on Sep 26, 2017