Tough Traveling: Saving the World!

The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan of Review Barn, who has come up with the excellent idea of making a new list each week based on the most common tropes in fantasy, as seen in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones. Nathan has invited anyone who is interested to come play along, so be sure to check out the first link for more information. Compulsive list-maker that I am, I’m very excited to take part!

This week’s tour topic is: Saving The World

SAVING THE WORLD is something many Tours require you to do. You have to defeat the DARK LORD or WIZARDS who are trying to enslave everyone.

After a few weeks of easy topics, Nathan decided to toss us a hard one this week. We’re talking about saving the world. Not saving a kingdom. Not saving the protagonist’s own little corner of the realm or a slice of his or her community. We’re talking the WORLD or nothing, all of life at stake and the whole shebang.

Modern fantasy has actually shifted away from a lot these “OMG the whole world is at stake!” stories in recent years, so I actually had a tough time coming up with pure fantasy examples that I have read lately and my brain isn’t working really well this week. And you know what I realized? For a lot of these books, despite our protagonists desperately trying to save the world, things don’t always end well.

KrakenKraken by China Miéville

This is simply one WEIRD book, so rather than try to explain, let me just let the novel’s Wikipedia entry do the talking: “An inexplicable event has occurred at the British Museum of Natural History — a forty foot specimen of giant squid in formalin has disappeared overnight. The wondrous squid represents deity to the Church of Kraken Almighty. Did they liberate their god, or could it have been stolen by a rival cult? The only thing that all agree upon is that the fate of this embalmed kraken is intimately tied to the End of the World.”

ShadowfeverFever series by Karen Marie Moning

When Mac’s sister Alina was murdered in Ireland, she travels there to hunt her killer. But then she discovers that she and Alina are descended from an ancient bloodline of Fae hunters. The battle between humans and the immortal Fae have been waged in secret for thousands of years, and now the Fae are trying to break through to our realm and take over. Dark zones are appearing not just in Dublin but all over the world.

The Last PolicemanThe Last Policeman series by Ben H. Winters

A killer asteroid is approaching earth, set to collide with the planet and cause planet-wide effects and effectively ending human civilization as we know it. However, young detective Hank Palace is determined to do his job to the very end, even though his sister Nico has fallen in with a group of suspicious radicals armed with heavy artillery and who claim to have a plan to destroy the asteroid and save humanity.

I’m sure I’m leaving off a lot! Looking forward to seeing other people’s lists to school me in what I’m missing.

26 Comments on “Tough Traveling: Saving the World!”

  1. I had a much easier time once I started thinking Science Fiction. I think its easier to destroy a planet when your working with all of space! 🙂 (it gives whoever destroys it somewhere else to go!) Moning sounds like it could be good, is it YA?


    • Yes, I don’t know why I didn’t just go science fiction with my picks. Expanse series, Old Man’s War series, etc. all about the earth/worlds being in peril! Would have been easier, I think.


  2. I have the Moning books (first couple I think) but haven’t picked them up – it’s a really good series then??
    Next week should defo be easier – I think I’ll try and come up with something a bit more obscure – or try to anyway – or, I could just check out your shelf on Goodreads and completely rip you off!!!!!! LOL – and no, I wouldn’t really do that!!
    Lynn 😀


    • Moning’s series is not too bad if you enjoy UF, though it is more heavily romance as well. I’m going to try to come up with more obscure titles next week as well, since I’m sure everyone will have werewolves 🙂


  3. I’m losing my mind. I could have sworn I already did this this morning, but clearly I did not. WHOOPS. Anyhoots, YAS to Fever. Save the world from FAE. Then there’s King Jackhole from ToG, Darkling from the Grisha trilogy, Queen Levana from the Lunar Chronicles . . . all need their worlds to be saved. But hey, it’s popular b/c it’s exciting 😉


  4. Haha, oh China Mieville. “Weird” is definitely appropriate! I actually tried to read those Fever books but couldn’t get past book 2. The relationship between Mac and Barrons made me super uncomfortable.


    • China Mieville is generally too “weird” for me, and Kraken was probably not the best choice for my first Mieville book 😛

      And ugh, I hear you about Mac and Barrons. The series is quite entertaining but I could not get into their relationship…calling it a “romance” gives me a bad taste in my mouth!


  5. Whew! I am really missing out on a lot of fantasy books. I’ve never heard about any of these books/series. I get what you mean about having a hard time coming up with a list. I must admit though that this week was easier compared to last week. Just the same, I have to meticulously browse my goodreads shelves to whip up a decent list. Hahahaha.


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