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Top Ten Tuesday (#41)

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HOSTED BY: The Broke and The Bookish
DESCRIPTION:  Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Last week’s theme: Books I’ve Added to My TBR Lately

Find their latest post here!

But as usual, IIIII want to go a different direction ENTIRELY.  Instead, I give you:

Top Ten FIVE Mythologies/Mythological Creatures I’d LOVE to See in More Books

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The Phoenix

I mean…have you guys ever READ the mythologies around the Phoenix?!  Some SERIOUSLY COOL things could be down with them in books, so…why aren’t they BEING done?!?!?  Do I have to write everything myself?!  Someone, please, bite the bullet and give us something awesome!

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The Selkie

I mean, okay–Selkie mythology?!  Is fracking TERRIFYING, penguins.  If you haven’t already, go find some on the webs and read–trust me, you’ll be sleeping with the lights on for a few nights.  But honestly, I can only think of one?!  book that incorporates selkies, and while I love it to death…Well, I want more.

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Sirens

And I don’t mean the ones that save you from drowning and send you on your way.  I mean the TRUE sirens–the ones that lure you in and eat you.  Because… I guess I want more horrifying books in my life?!

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Voodoo Dolls

Anyone else think this would be the CREEPIEST BOOK EVAR?!  I nominate Stephen King for the job.

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Tricksters

The episodes on Supernatural that play with the idea of a trickster are, admittedly, some of my ABSOLUTE.  FAVORITE. EPISODES EVER!  So it’s not that much of a stretch for me to WANT to see books take on tricksters, too.  Right?!  RIGHT?!  Gimme!

And just for funsies, the runner-ups include:

Golems ; Djinn; Kami; Medusa; Pegasus

Shush now, my needy little penguin heart!

What are some mythologies/mythological creatures YOU’D love to see more of in books?!  Have any recommendations for books with the ones listed above?!  Let me know!

Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments, or link me to your own Top Ten Tuesday!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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A Review of Monstrous Beauty, by Elizabeth Fama

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Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect … or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

Rating: 4/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: mermaids; folklore; myths/fairy tales; ghosts and other paranormal creatures; well-researched, intriguing narrative; awesome ideas and plot

It is obvious, as soon as you flip open the cover of this book, that the journey you’re about to take is going to be a wild one. I fell in love with the cover image–the water overlapping her skin, the way her hair is “floating” across the page. The font is just as gorgeous as the model’s pose; everything about this came together in a beautiful, tempting way. I knew, even before I read the premise, that I needed to pick it up.

When I found out what the story was about, the deal was done. I haven’t read many novels with mermaids as a focus; I’ve heard many things about Elizabeth Fama’s writing, particularly her book Plus One…and decided I wanted to start my journey into her worlds with something I hadn’t heard as much about. I picked this book.

The writing is breath-taking. Both lyrical and scientific, you can tell that Elizabeth Fama has done her share of research for the time periods of the book. Everything comes together so beautifully, you know a lot of hard work, heart, and soul went into the writing. The details are intricate, the story is bursting with mystery and action, and the characters are almost enough to leave you collapsed in a heap.

I wasn’t sure, after finishing it, that I was meant to have foreseen so many of the “plot twists” I did. However, having skimmed over the author’s notes and answers in the “extras” section, it appears Elizabeth Fama went into this project with a clear goal in mind: to have the readers know, BEFORE the character, each and every plot twist they would be meeting along the way. It’s an intriguing spin to the usual “mystery” story; in a sense, it’s like what happens on stage during a play–when characters soliloquize, or we see something occur that the main protagonists don’t realize is happening. It was an interesting journey, and so well done I didn’t really think about it until the very end.

If you’re looking for a novel that focuses on a strong-willed, independent woman and gets to the heart of sea myths and folk lore–with mermaids as a primary side-story–this is definitely a book you should pick up! There are some mature themes, though, so take care if violence and/or rape scenes trigger you. I thoroughly enjoyed this first foray into Elizabeth Fama’s writing, and will be reading her again in the future!