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This month’s blog is brought to you by…. conversations with my coworkers. Some fellow librarians and I were talking about weird books that we had seen while weeding. Which led to discussing the weirdest books we had ever read and the weirdest books we had ever heard of. Let me just tell you, there are some odd ones out there. For instance, did you know that there is a whole niche category of the romance genre that revolves around dinosaurs? It’s a thing…. I promise. So that conversation gave me an idea. I wanted to see what kind of weird fantasy novels that we have on the shelves at the library and I was not disappointed. Here is a list of just a few that I found. So, how about you get a little strange with me and try out one of these unusual books.
Updraft by Fran Wilde
Fran Wilde’s book, Updraft, centers on Kirit Densira. All Kirit has ever wanted to do is to fly by hers mother’s side, trading across the skies. However, when Kirit breaks Tower Law, she is instead forced to become a part of the city’s secretive governance called Singers. As she learns and grows in her new power, she begins to understand that the Laws of her world are not as unassailable as she had once thought.
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville takes place in New Crobuzon, an unsavory city lying beneath the ribs of a long dead beast. The air and rivers are polluted. Humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in fear of the corrupt government and its armies; and Isaac is a brilliant scientist living amongst the squalor in New Crobuzon. He has spent his life quietly dedicated to his research until a Garuda (half-human, half-bird hybrid) comes to him seeking help, and one of his longtime lab specimens (a colorful caterpillar that exists off of hallucinatory drugs) becomes all consuming. Isaac’s quiet life and research, are about to shake up all of New Crobuzon.
Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Adrian Tchaikovsky’s epic fantasy series Empire in Black and Gold revolves around the idea of insect-kinden. Insect-kinden are human races that draw their powers and inspirations from various totem insects like beetles, mantises, and wasps. The Lowlands have been a place of peace for decades, that is, until it becomes apparent that the Wasp Empire has its sights set on a complete takeover. Stenwold Maker, is one of the only kinden that understands the great risk that is about to befall their world. Stenwold, with the help of his young protégés, will be the best and possibly only defense against the coming armies.
Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig
Chuck Wendig might take home the best synopsis award for his book Under the Empyrean Sky as it starts with, “Fear the Corn.” In Wendig’s book corn is the only crop that the Empyrean government allows to be grown in Heartland and it’s not any ordinary strain. Instead it is genetically modified to the point of being aggressive. More than that, the world of Emypryean has the rich living in extravagant flotillas in the sky while the rest of the world struggles to survive down on the surface. Cael is one of these surface dwellers that scavenge the dangerous fields of corn with his crew, trying to make a living. Cael is under the constant threat of his first mate and love of his life, Gwennie, being taken away from him when the government finally chooses his spouse and when he finds a secret illegal garden, it finally becomes clear that it is time for him to strike out and make his own rules, even if the elite doesn’t like it.
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells is about a unique, winged shape-shifter named Moon. He has little to no memories of where he came from and has no luck fitting in with the various tribes that inhabit the river valley where he lives. That is, until he finally discovers a shape-shifter just like himself, who promises that Moon will finally be able to fit in. But things aren’t so simple, there are dangerous Fell around and Moon’s discovery tips the balance into new and troubling territory.
The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway
In Nick Harkaway’s The Gone Away World, Gonzo Lubitch and his best friend embark on a hazardous mission that will have them encountering mimes, ninjas, and pirates, in a post-apocalyptic world where the Go Away War has left everything in shambles, and an evil villain is set on world domination.
Casual Rex by Eric Garcia
I told you that there were dinosaur fantasy novels and this is one: Casual Rex by Eric Garcia (the first of a series). Vincent Rubio is a private eye along with his partner Ernie in Los Angeles. They have all of the everyday problems of normal cops, but they also have the added weight of a secret identity of being dinosaurs. While most dinosaurs are happy to hide in their latex suits and pretend to be human, there has been a new movement of dinosaurs, led by a beautiful Velociraptor, that want to “come out” and be as they really are. When one of these cult dinosaurs comes up dead, it is up to Vincent and Ernie to find the murderer while also searching for a priceless dinosaur treasure named the Mussolini, a rare prosthetic.