Top 5 Wednesday #2 | (Diverse) Books That Would Make Good Video-Games

T5W2

Top Five Wednesday (T5W) is a weekly meme hosted by Thoughts On Tomes. Each week there is a new theme which you can find on the T5W Goodreads group. It’s my first time participating but certainly not the last! (What? I love lists okay). Every week, I’ll try to pick diverse or translated novels, because I feel like sometimes we tend to use diversity as a genre when really, it should be seen as the expression of good craft (realistic, etc.) and present in every genre.

April 12th: Books That Would Make Good Video Games

Many gamers love Skyrim, but as far as I’m concerned, I often miss the time I could lose myself in Morrowind, be annoyed by the fucking cliff-racers, explore some mine for the umpteenth time and join the Telvanni House because really, there’s never been a better choice, isn’t there?

Who cares if every conversation could be more annoying than the last? Certainly not me.

If my gaming time tended to shrink over the years,  I still very much notice when the books I’m reading would make fun video-games. Here are some of them.

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Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

I feel like that this novel opens so many possibilities… So many worlds to explore… It would make such a FANTASTIC adventure!

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Orphan Black meets Inception: Two formerly conjoined sisters are ensnared in a murderous plot involving psychoactive drugs, shared dreaming, organized crime, and a sinister cult.

One night Tila stumbles home, terrified and covered in blood.

She’s arrested for murder, the first by a civilian in decades. The San Francisco police suspect involvement with Verve, a powerful drug, and offer her twin sister Taema a chilling deal. Taema must assume Tila’s identity and gather information – then if she brings down the drug syndicate, the police may let her sister live. But Taema’s investigation raises ghosts from the twins’ past.

The sisters were raised by a cult, which banned modern medicine. But as conjoined twins, they needed surgery to divide their shared heart – and escaped. Taema now finds Tila discovered links between the cult and the city’s underground. Once unable to keep secrets, the sisters will discover the true cost of lies.

Damn, I’d just want to unplug and dream, wouldn’t you?

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THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS. FOR THE LAST TIME.

A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, from which enough ash spews to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

And it ends with you. You are the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where orogenes wield the power of the earth as a weapon and are feared far more than the long cold night. And you will have no mercy.

Who wouldn’t want to explore the broken earth, earn new rings and expand its orogene powers, and maybe turn into a stone-eater some time? What a silly question, really.

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CROWN PRINCESS RHIANNON TA’AN WANTS VENGEANCE.

The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, RHEE has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne – and her revenge.

ALYOSHA is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.

Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.

The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding – even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee’s name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.

I’ve always had a soft spot for space-operas, and I’d enjoy following Aly SO MUCH!

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Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

First the world-building is fantastic and imaginative, but what would really make a great video-game out of Monstress are the characters.

First a kickass heroine

… teamed-up with an adorable fox girl… Awww ❤

… a talking cat

… also, a monster

… and many complex villains. What more could we want?!

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Other novels whose video-game adaptation I would very much enjoy playing :

  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab : I just want Kell’s coat, alright? Okay, who am I kidding? I want to explore all four Londons. Yes, all four.
  • The Rose Society by Marie Lu : There’s something so damn fun about impersonating a villain in the making, and honestly, I just want to use Adelina’s powers. *evil cackle*
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo : Would you rather impersonate Nina, develop your powers and play Princess and Barbarian, or choose Kaz and take over responsibility in a gang? Or perhaps would you prefer handle the Wrath’s tasks, Dishonored like? Honestly, I’ll do EVERYTHING.
  • The Scorpio Rules by Erin Bow

What diverse novels would make amazing video-games in your opinion?  

9 responses to “Top 5 Wednesday #2 | (Diverse) Books That Would Make Good Video-Games

  1. Such a good list! Every Heart a Doorway is a good one I didn’t think about at all. Many of these are on my TBR soon list but I haven’t gotten to them yet… a great post, it’s good to have another blogger do Top 5 Wednesday! I wanted to ask since you are a diversity advocate… I read that to be counted as diverse the author has to be diverse but not white diverse so a Spanish writer who looks white their work doesn’t count! Also that the diverse character has to be the protagonist and be 51% to be counted as diverse… I originally loved the idea of looking out for diverse books to promote too but with these restrictions most that I found don’t count. A lot of diverse protagonists are halfbreeds so 50/50 or even less if they have a halfbreed parent. Why can’t those count!? In fact many times their situation is more tough as they don’t feel they fit in any many times don’t! Anyway just wondering your thoughts on this! I’m really interested in your suggestions but I didn’t really see the diverse element in your post. Respectfully…

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    • Thank you! I’ll try to answer your questions, but bear in mind that I’m not marginalized and that I am not a specialist on diversity by any means. First, there’s no such thing as a 51% rule, on the contrary. There are too few books portraying biracial characters (I’m sure you didn’t mean harm, but halfbreed is a very offensive term – it’s better to use biracial :)) and they’re of course part of diversity! It doesn’t always revolve around race or origin : a white Muslim, for example, will be considered as diverse, because they are too rarely represented in literature (apart from harmful stereotypes, sadly). Same with a LGBTQA+ character.

      As for the author, there are different kind of books that could be considered as diverse, depending on who you ask : you have books written by white/straight/cisgender writers with diverse characters – some of them are well-researched, but most of the times they’re unfortunately full of stereotypes and harmful :/ Then you have books written by marginalized authors who write about characters that don’t share their marginalizations. Finally you have #ownvoices novels, when a marginalized author write about a character who shares his own marginalization. It’s more complicated than that, of course. Say an author is black and straight, and writes about a bisexual black boy : only part of the representation will be considered as ownvoices. Personally I privilege both ownvoices and books written by marginalized authors, because the treatment they get in publishing is not fair.

      Here you have : an asexual MC in Every Heart a Doorway ; The Fifth Season features POC characters, and NK Jemisin is a black woman ; the MC in False Hearts is part Samoan and bisexual ; Empress of a Thousand skies features a Filipino-inspired MC and a black MC ; etc…. (ask me if you wonder about the representation of another one of these books)

      As for the Spanish question, on my blog I also review translated novels, including from Spanish, or other European authors – they’re not necessarily diverse, but they suffer from the English hegemony in publishing so I thought interesting to promote them as well.

      If you’re not sure, you can look at Diversity lists on Goodreads (the Diversity Bingo list, for example) or google the book if you have a particular book in mind 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your reply! My mother is half Japanese and uses halfbreed all the time but biracial works for me too. It’s good to hear that these rules I read about are not followed by all! And many of your suggestions look really good like The Empress of a Thousand Skies/Suns? (what a mouthful!) I like the idea of reading more diverse books especially when that diversity is made a part of the story. I’m not such a fan when the diversity is simply mentioned then the character acts like any other shallow/stereotypical character I’ve read a thousand times. And there are so many good diverse books written by white people who simply love that diverse aspect and want to explore it more… I look forward to more of your suggestions!

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  2. I see that I have to read Monstress. The frames you shared are lovely! I just don’t think my Kindle does colour. But that book is on my must-read TBR!

    Glad that Six of Crows got honourable mentions and very interesting to see that your choices were so different to mine ;D !

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