- High stakes
- Larger than life characters
- A high-suspense dramatic question
- A hot concept
- Multiple points of view
Thinking about Killick's list as well as Zuckerman's, I had a revelation about my own recent reading list, which includes: War for the Oaks, Darklight, Heist Society, Fallen, and Shiver. It turns out, I'm a sucker for complicated love, high stakes, and suspenseful story. But what really gets me is the setting. For me, it really is about the magic, whether or not that is truly magical. War for the Oaks, while it certainly has the element of faerie to lift it from out of the ordinary, is magical because of the way Emma Bull uses the music and the urban setting. I am probably the least musical person on the planet, but I felt her riffs and inspiration. In Heist Society, the world of theives and society is so vivid and sophisticated I couldn't help but be drawn in. Not only did I feel transported as I read, I know I will carry little pieces of those worlds with me like jewels within my heart.
Killick's post was a great kick to help me put a little extra thought into the setting for my new novel. Turns out, I need that touch of magic.