Happy Wednesday bookworms, I was unfortunately unable to post my usual Sunday review, Monday post or Tuesday meme this week because my work schedule has gotten to be insanely busy this week. But I am back today with another post. I was thinking about what I should talk about today and I realized that I talk a lot about the major genres I read (Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, etc.) but I don’t often mention the interesting sub-genres of books that I love! I will include a book recommendation for each sub-genre below but I would love to hear any of your recommendations or even other sub-genres you guys love.
To borrow wikipedia’s description “Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.” It usually takes place in 19th or 20th century settings, typically in London or New York. The Victorian era or the Wild West are the most common settings. It also usually has technology that didn’t actually exist, sometimes with a supernatural twist to it. Mortal Engines, Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel, and Leviathan are some famous examples.
The Girl in the Steel Corset By: Katy Cross
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one… except the “thing” inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch…
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin’s investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff’s little company of strays apart, and it isn’t long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she’s on even if it seems no one believes her.
The most obvious example of this one is Harry Potter. Magical realism is a sub-genre of fantasy wherein the magical elements are integrated into our world. They are usually more subtle and written to be more believable. The Night Circus is a famous example of this genre as well. The stories typically follow a hero’s journey narrative, which is most obvious in the Harry Potter or Percy Jackson book series.
The Raven Boys, By: Maggie Stiefvater
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
Fairytale fantasy is distinguished from other sub-genres of fantasy by the works’ heavy use of motifs, and often plots, from folklore. These are usually re-telling of classic fairytale stories (such as Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, etc.). There are also some unique stories that only draw on the classic tropes and archetypes of fairytales to craft a new story.
The Hazel Wood, By: Melissa Albert
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”
Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.
To borrow from my trusty friend Wikipedia again “space opera is a sub-genre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology.” Probably the two most famous film examples of this sub-genre are Star Wars and Star Trek. As for books, Dune is a very famous example, as are Ender’s Game and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
The Disasters, By: M.K. England
Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.
But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.
On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.
They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight