Top 5 Wednesdays: The Calm After the Storm

I find so many of the Top 5 Wednesday topics so interesting and creative…until I actually sit down and try to find books that would fit. That was definitely the case with this week’s “The Calm After the Storm,” which was meant to focus on sequels, novellas or add-ons to a book that were much calmer than the original. It’s an interesting idea, but I also found it very hard to find books that might fit. I don’t read very many novellas that are added on to series, although I would expect these are the ones that would fit this prompt the best. In a series, they might be a book that is a bit calmer, but that is often the middle book which is more of a transition into the main action of the finale. I often find the middle book of a trilogy has the least action since many of them focus on the characters moving from one place to another in preparation for the final battles, or else gaining a lot of background information. These books would definitely be calmer, but in many cases they are also less memorable, so less likely to come to mind for a prompt like this.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) A Court of Frost & Starlight by Sarah J. Maas – This was the first, and really the only, book that I immediately thought of that would fit this week’s prompt. It focuses on Feyre and Rhysand and their friends as they celebrate the Winter Solstice following the war at Hybern. There isn’t much of a plot to it, but it was a fun and easy read, and definitely much more peaceful than the rest of the series.

2) Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor – I’m guessing a bit on this one since I haven’t actually read it yet, but it seems like a novella that would definitely fit for a calmer option. This book is part of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, focusing on Mik and Zuzana’s first date. This sounds like it will be so much fun to read, and definitely a lot lighter than the rest of the series. Mik and Zuzana were one of my favourite parts of the series, and I’d love to read more about them.

3) Wires & Nerve by Marissa Meyer – This graphic novel, as well as its sequel, definitely had a bit more action to it than the previous two on this list, but nowhere near as much as the rest of the Lunar Chronicles. I loved being able to revisit these characters and get more of their amazing dynamics, and especially loved the focus on Iko. While I didn’t really think I needed any more of the Lunar Chronicles series, I absolutely loved these two additions and thought it was very interesting to see this world in a graphic novel format.

4) A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab – This is probably the most debatable book on this list, but I chose it mostly because I remember finding it a bit slower than the other two in the series. This book definitely had a lot of action because of the Element Games, but given that those were a self-contained competition, it didn’t feel like the same kind of high-stakes action as in the other two books. It felt like a more transitional book, albeit a very strong one.

5) Love, Creekwood by Becky Albertalli – I haven’t read this one yet either, but I’ve very recently bought a copy so I’m hoping to pick it up soon. This one seems like a bit of a weird fit among all the other fantasy books above, but I think it fits because it seems to provide a bit of a follow-up on all of my favourite characters without out much drama or stress. The book consists of emails the characters wrote to each other during their first year of college, and it sounds like a very cute addition to the Simon stories.


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