Thursday, April 12, 2018

Discussion: Fantasy Friction

Once upon a time, I considered myself a mixer. I used to read all over the place, and I used to enjoy quite a few fantasy books, but I reading less and less fantasy these days. Today I want to discuss my Fiction Friction.


This Week’s Topic: Fantasy Friction

My co-bloggers are big fantasy readers, and I would often read Kiersten's books when she was done with them, but recently, I started gravitating towards contemporaries, and discovered they are really my favorites. I decided to reflect on why I shy away from fantasy books.
  1. Have you ever noticed how long fantasy books tend to be? I know the authors have a whole world to build and all, but let's just put it this way, at the end of the year, when I look at my Goodreads stats, a fantasy book is ALWAYS the longest, and it will beat any contemporary book by at least 250+ pages.


  2. Fantasy books require a commitment. I find that most fantasy books are series, and just when you think you are reading the last book, BOOM! Three more! Talk about your never-ending story.


  3. Sometimes the worlds are so complicated, that I need a wiki to keep up with it all the details. Then with the gaps between books, I feel like I have to relearn it all.

  4. Reading some fantasy books makes me feel like I need to take a remedial reading class. The pronunciation of the names and places flummox me. I mean, some fantasy writers make YouTube videos to help readers pronounce their characters' names.

This doesn't mean that I never read fantasy, I just don't read it that often. However, I will admit sometimes I get FOMO, because it seems like everyone else is reading fantasy books, and it almost makes me want to pick one up. 


Now it's your turn!


Are you a fantasy reader? Why do you love it? 
Let us know in the comments!

40 comments:

  1. Sci-fi and fantasy I enjoy reading reviews of and appreciate good blurbs, but it take a superhuman effort for me to read them -- for all these reasons and the fact that they were pretty much the only thing I read for a whole lot of years ages ago. Got burned out. Urban fantasy I still enjoy though. Heaps more!!

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    1. I used to think mixing genres was the way to avoid burn-out, but I have found, for me at least, reading what I really love works best. Though I am not ga-ga for fantasy, I enjoy magical realism. I think that touch of fantasy elevates a contemporary if used properly.

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  2. I haven't read alot of Fantasy-The last one was probably The Hobbit which took me a month to read (my precious...), however,there are several I want to read-but I agree with learning the language and all that is a bit much, I am always looking at the maps in the front of the book!! I love the giphy's you used, very nicely done. But I enjoy the books that I do like most, which to me is the point of reading!!
    https://justmeandmyblogreviews.blogspot.com/2018/04/why-wednesday-3-discussion-post.html

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    1. I read the Hobbit when I was just a wee lass. XD

      When the book becomes a chore to read, I kind of shut down. I read for relaxation and escape, as well as entertainment, and though a fantasy world is quite a place to escape to, I sometimes find it a lot to take in as a reader.

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  3. I agree with all of this!!! I so love contemporaries. I read very little fantasy for all your reasons - especially how long they are and the fact they are mostly series. There are a few I do read and like though.

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    1. I have a few I like too, and I am anticipating the next TDC book, but it's not a genre I read a lot of by any means.

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  4. Yes to all of these. I love the occasional fantasy novel, but they take up so much of my brain power. I'm a contemporary girl through and through! Plus, lately, a lot of these fantasy books all sound the same to me.

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    1. I feel like I am working harder too. There are so many details that are important, which is one reason why I was never successful doing a fantasy book in audio format.

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  5. It will take a LOT of thought before I will venture into a fantasy book commitment. They are just not as fun to read for me. The length, learning the world, the fact that they're ALWAYS a series. I just can't get into it. I think I like reading books that I can relate to, and it's hard to relate to someone flying through space or fighting to the death in the HUNGER GAMES.

    It gets lonely though, right?? Everyone and their mother seems to read soley fantasy books and I'm over here like: HELLO????? What about THIS book??

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    1. I am shocked by the responses to this post, because I was feeling like the loneliest contemporary reader out there. Glad to know I am not all by myself (you're singing it now, right?). Though I don't read a ton of fantasy books, I appreciate them as the ultimate escape.

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  6. I’m currently reading the second Game of Thrones book, and it’s over 1000 pages, so I relate to the books being too freakin’ long and complicated. I don’t read a lot of fantasy, either. For me, fantasy books are too similar. There’s a lot of vaguely European settings, chosen-one-saves-the-world, love triangles. The genre is just too tropey for my tastes. Great discussion!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. GoT is the scariest series I have ever seen. I admire your fortitude. I think you could put that "sameness" tag on a lot of different kinds of books. There are only so many themes. It's really about the way they develop the characters and their journey that distinguishes a book for me.

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  7. As someone who reads almost exclusively fantasy books, you're not wrong! XD Sometimes I'll pick up a contemporary NA book just to read something short and sweet. There are absolutely some never ending fantasy series too, mostly adult series, that I'm terrified of. I've been reading a 14 book series since like 2013. Great post!

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    1. There are contemporary and mystery books that are long running series, but they are really companions. You can pick up any one of them, but with fantasy, you have to read them in order and wait for the next book to find out what happens. It takes a lot of patience and dedication.

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  8. I'll read fantasy here and there, but yeah, it's not really my favorite and your reasoning's are very similar to my own. They are SO long, and I hate all the words that I can't pronounce. It makes my head hurt. LOL Plus, I'm not a big series person because I just can never keep up - so it makes it hard to read through all the books, especially if it goes on and on. And like Nick already commented, a lot of fantasy books DO sound the same, or at least the summaries and that doesn't entice me to read them either.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. The books are quite complicated and besides being long, the language and complexity make me have to read the book at a slower rate. I have read some that fly by, but there are some that seemed like a chore, and I abandoned those series.

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  9. Twins! I talked about this a bit in my post today. Ever since I was a child, fantasy has always been one of my favorite genres, but I think I've kinda fallen out of love with it over the past couple years. The gaps between books are what always get me, tbh. I never remember anything from previous books and it just leaves me frustrated.

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    1. I saw your post! Brilliant minds....
      I read a lot of classics as a kid, and many fell into the SFF realm, but I think I was a big-time mixer back then. My teen years were all about contemporary romance. Getting back into reading, I was reading my daughter's books. Many were fantasy books, and I liked them, but I like the feelings my contemporaries bring me even more. Series are always a struggle, because you just want the next book NOW. I am lucky I was late to the party on so many books. I don't re-read, so the author better do a good job reactivating the information in my brain in the early chapters.

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  10. Girrrlll I feel you. I love fantasy and I will probably always love fantasy but I think I need a break. They're long af, require a lot of brainpower and overall commitment. Every now and then I'll ditch them for cute romances to help reset my brain. I think I'm at that point right now. I've read about 6 fantasy books back to back and I'm exhausted. And don't get me started on adult fantasy!

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    1. Maybe after a break, I will appreciate it again. I feel that way about the genres I don't read often, but cute romances are really my faves.

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  11. I always think of myself as a reader of fantasy and mystery, but I find I'm reading more and more contemporary these days. I tend to like YA fantasy but adult mysteries. I don't mind not knowing how to pronounce words and names, because I'm not reading it out loud so it doesn't really matter. But I do get bored if there's too much politics and battle descriptions (which is why I'm less fond of adult fantasy in general). I know what you mean about forgetting during the lag between books in a series, but I've found enough finished series that I can read them all in a row. Some of my favorites are Girl of Fire and Thorns, Graceling, Imposter Queen, Song of the Current, Six of Crows, Three Dark Crowns, The Queen's Thief, the Nightwatch books of the Discworld series, Strange the Dreamer, The Scorpio Races, Jackaroo, and books by Robin McKinley, Garth Nix, Susan Cooper, Phillip Pullman...okay, there are a lot!

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    1. Maybe that is one of the turn-offs for me these days. It's politics all the time lately, and I just don't want it in my books. I want to turn off the world. Hmmmm, maybe you nailed another issue I have having with the genre lately. My daughter was more of an SFF reader, and I used to read her books. I loved many of the series I read - Girl of Fire and Thorns, Graceling, SoC, TDC are some I adore as well.

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  12. Same! I find fantasy worlds very difficult to get into. There are a few I've enjoyed but they tend to be more character driven.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. I have a few series that I loved a whole lot, but I think they tend to be the ones the dedicated fantasy readers consider on the "light" side of fantasy. XD

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  13. I totally get this, and frankly I read a lot less fantasy now too (especially the epic variety). I've always considered it my favorite genre, but maybe it isn't anymore? And the wait between books is killer. The other thing is, when I browse the fantasy section at the bookstore, I often have trouble finding any that appeals to me- so my tastes have definitely changed.

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    1. Hey, we grow and change, but the beautiful thing is that those books will be waiting for us when we are in the mood again. When I think about it, I read mostly contemporaries in my teens, so maybe I knew, even back then, that that was my favorite genre.

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  14. I actually love fantasy, but I tend to read much more contemporary novels, too. Especially because in fantasy, there's never a guarantee the characters I love the most will actually make it through to the end of the book. And these days, I feel like I want a happy ending :D
    Great topic, Sam!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. I didn't even think about all the bloodshed in fantasy books. You are so right!

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  15. I do love fantasy, but I completely agree that the books are so long. That's why I only read one George R.R. Martin novel a year even though I love his series, lol.

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    1. I concede that you need quite a few pages to create a world, but shouldn't the subsequent installments be a little shorter? Kudos to you for tackling Martin. That's a HUGE undertaking.

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  16. Yes to almost everything you said! I'm *not* a fantasy reader and on the very rare occasions that I do pick up a fantasy novel it's what I call "fantasy lite." No massive world building, no intricate magic systems, etc. I loved the ACOTAR series and I really enjoyed The Cruel Prince but those are very few and very far between. You're right about fantasy being a commitment. Most are series... and not just trilogies, either. Looong series. And with a year between each book am I really supposed remember those other-worldly details? Yeah right. The fact is, I like my stories based in reality. It's what I relate to and it's what I enjoy.

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    1. Ha! I think the ones I enjoy the most are also fantasy "lite". I think that is why I enjoy magical realism. It's a contemporary with a touch of fantasy. I like seeing parts of my reality in a book, but I want it to be a little bit of an escape too, which is why I have no problem with all the "unrealistic" things that happen in contemporaries.

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    2. Yes! When I see reviews of contemporaries that take issue because something is “unrealistic” I don’t go it. I mean, it’s FICTION. LOL I’m willing to give it some leeway.

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    3. It makes me nuts too. I guess, since they have that sub-genre, realistic fiction, it sets certain expectations. But, you know, I am ok with fiction.

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  17. I actually really agree with you! I was just reading a fantasy, and like, it was good but it was too much work? I don't want to work that hard, you know? It also depends on the sub-type I guess too. Like- I read a fantasy that was definitely NOT work, and just was a good story, and I think that's the kind I need to stick to. Because like you said, I could have used a Wiki for Furyborn, and even then I'd probably still have been lost. And I mean, I'm too tired for that.

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    1. My luck has been with fantasy "lite" as Tanya called it, and I have much love for many paranormal series. I am excited when the book has a map, but when I see there is a glossary, I get a little scared.

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  18. LOL, this is so true. Right now however I am on a huge Fantasy and Paranormal binge. Even though Urban is my prefered fantasy genre you are right they are series. I will say, I prefer to listen to them. This eliminates one of your complaints- pronunciation.

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    1. Paranormals and magical realism tend to work better for me than high fantasy. The line gets fuzzy for me with all the subgeneras. Urban fantasy is supposed to NOT have romance, right? I find fantasy stories too complex to listen to. I am not a great auditory learner, I am more a visual learner. The less complex stories work better for me in audio.

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  19. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS POST IS SPOT ON! Omg, i thought it was only me!

    love love love this, relatable X100!

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    1. I felt so alone in my contemporary world until I wrote this post. Glad you could relate.

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