This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish is all about books that feature travel. My first thought when I saw this topics was that it this would be an easy list, given my love of time travel and road trip books. But, then I started making my list and realized that it looks like just about every Top Ten list that I make. If you all don’t know by now how much I love Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier and Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour Morgan Matson then you 1. are a new reader, welcome and thanks for stopping by, 2. are not paying attention! or 3. have a terrible memory. In any case, I need some variety in my TTT lists so I have decided to interpret travel to mean a journey or quest. When I do that, it’s a whole new list!
1. Going Bovine by Libba Bray. Ok, so this one features a literal road trip as well as a personal quest. A stoner with Mad Cow disease, a dwarf, and a talking garden gnome set out on a quest to find a cure and save the universe. Their guide is a punk-rock angel named Dulcie. I love the characters, the deadpan sarcasm, and the bizarre adventures. In fact, bizarre is the one perfect word to describe this book.
2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. The year is 2044 and most people escape reality in the OASIS, a sprawling virtual reality world created by billionaire James Halliday. Upon Halliday’s death control of his company and fortune will be left to the person who can find the clues he has hidden in his virtual kingdom. When Wade, a nobody teen from Oklahoma, stumbles upon the first clue the race is on and the world is watching. Gamers and 80’s pop culture enthusiasts will not want to miss one. It’s impossible not to cheer for Wade and his band of misfit virtual pals as they go head to head against an evil corporation in order to save the one place they feel at home. As an added bonus, the audiobook is narrated by pop culture legend, Wil Wheaton.
3. The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. Sixteen-year-old Meghan Chase gets some disturbing news: she is the daughter of the faerie king Oberon and her brother has been kidnapped by faeries. Meghan has to venture into the land of the fey to save him. Her guide on this quest is her best friend, Robbie, who is actually a faerie better known as Robin Goodfellow, or Puck. Accompanying them is Ash, a prince from the rival faerie court and Grimalkin, the talking cat faerie. The travelers discover that they must face an unknown enemy that threatens the very existence of Nevernever and the fey. I loved this unique take on traditional faerie lore and Grimalkin is one of my favorite supporting characters!
4. Ashfall by Mike Mullin. When a super volcano erupts in Yellowstone National Park, all hell breaks loose. Literally. Ash travels far and wide, devastating the country. Among the survivors is fifteen-year-old Alex. He sets out from his home in Iowa and begins the arduous journey to Illinois in the hopes of reuniting with his parents and sister. The horrors he encounters on the road are disturbing and unforgettable. This is the first book in a trilogy and I really need to get the second book started soon.
5. The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. Arthur Penhaligon should have died the day he had an asthma attack at school. Instead, he was saved by a strange clock hand-shaped key and drawn into an epic battle of good vs. evil. Arthur ventures into the magical house in order to save the human world from a deadly virus. One in the Lower House he learns that he is the rightful heir to the seven keys of the kingdom. In order to secure his position he must defeat each of the days of the week, the current possessors of the keys. This fantasy series is complex and action-packed. I love Suzy Blue and the unusual parts of the Will. Definitely a fun adventure with a surprising ending.
6. The League of Princes series by Christopher Healy. In the first Hero’s Guide book we meet the four Princes Charming-Liam, Duncan, Frederic, and Gustav. They’ve been rejected by their princesses (you know, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, and Rapunzel) and tossed out of their castles. When they stumble upon an evil plot to destroy their kingdoms, the four princes join forces. The League of Princes is formed and the bumbling band of boys sets of to save the day. This series is hilarious! The princes are a group of goofy misfits, but each manages to overcome his shortcomings and they all end up being heroes. Even if the girls had to come along and bail them out of trouble! Don’t be fooled by the fact that these books are in the children’s section. Anyone who loves a good fairy tale will want to read these.
7. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Blue Sargent comes from a family of clairvoyants, but has no powers of her own. Gansey is a wealthy student at Aglionby, a local private school. Blue has a strict rule about staying away from Aglionby boys, but that is all about to change when she gets tangled up with Gansey and his friends. Gansey, obsessed with the supernatural, is on a quest to discover the burial-place of Owain Glendower, a medieval Welsh noble who disappeared right before the English could capture him. Blue could either be the key to his success or the cause of his death. This series opener is truly captivating. The setting is gorgeous, the characters are so real they jump of the pages, and there are a few absolutely shocking twists. I can’t wait for The Dream Thieves!
8. Legend by Marie Lu. The year is 2130. The United States no longer exists. Fifteen-year-old Day is the most wanted criminal in the Republic. June is the teen prodigy assigned to finding him. June’s first case is personal; Day is suspected of murdering her brother. When she goes undercover looking for answers, she discovers that she and Day have a common enemy. This may be a little stretch to make it fit into my quest theme, but I don’t care. Day is a fugitive, June has to find him. Quest. And it’s awesome.
9. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. Matteo Alacran is a clone. He was created by El Patron, the drug lord who rules the country of Opium. When Matteo learns of his true fate he plans to escape. His journey to freedom takes him to Aztlan, where he discovers that all clones are not treated as less than human. This is a chilling story about medical ethics, labor rights, drug policy, and ultimately what it means to be human. I am thrilled about the upcoming sequel, Lord of Opium.
10. No quest list would be complete without Percy Jackson. You can’t have a Greek mythology retelling a good old-fashioned quest.