Star Trek DS9 Season 1: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite episodes for each season. To compare, see her favorite episodes of season one of Deep Space Nine.

On this rewatch of Star Trek, we’re watching the episodes in the order they were aired, meaning that in the middle of TNG season 6, we started incorporating Deep Space Nine episodes into the mix. It’s been interesting so far to see DS9 with knowledge of what happens; I have had more appreciation for some of these earlier episodes (especially the pilot) and some of the characters that it took me some time to care for (namely Kira, Nog, and Garak). And in case you’re new to my blog, Deep Space Nine is my absolute favorite, so it’s a joy to see the characters again.

I thought I would go ahead and mention two honorable mentions: A Man Alone (for Odo’s speech about compromise in relationships) and Babel (for “simple hesitation!”). Overall, season one really isn’t so bad as some make it out to be. On with the Top 5…

5. Past Prologue

ds9-s1-past-prologue

I decided to put this one in my Top 5 because it’s the first time we see Garak. I actually didn’t like Garak on the first go-around until the episode “The Wire,” but this time I like him and his complicated friendship with Bashir right away.

4. Emissary 

ds9-s1-emissary

I have a lot more appreciation for the pilot now that I’ve seen the whole series. There is a lot of exposition and introductions, and I got a little tired of Sisko trying to explain linear time to the Prophets/wormhole aliens for the 100th time, but overall this pilot was pretty solid. It was definitely a better start to the series than TNG’s pilot. UGH.

3. Captive Pursuit

ds9-s1-captive-pursuit

This is a pretty good O’Brien episode where he befriends an alien from the Gamma quadrant whose whole existence is about being hunted. It definitely raises interesting Prime Directive related questions.

2. If Wishes Were Horses

ds9-s1-ifwisheswerehorses

This is probably surprising to a lot of people, but I really have a fondness for this one. I’ve always shipped Bashir and Dax, so I just love his pining over her at the beginning of the episode, and then to have the “imaginary” Dax throwing herself at him. I remember very specifically from my first watch of DS9 that this was the first episode where I finally felt connected to the characters and decided I would probably would like DS9. I don’t know why, but it is what it is.

1. Duet

ds9-s1-duet

This is an early turning point for Kira, in which she learns she can’t paint all Cardassians with the same stroke. It’s a twisty episode that keeps you guessing and a good episode for DS9 period, not just a “good for season one” episode. It’s non-happy ending is exactly the sort of thing you come to expect from DS9 as well.

What are your favorite episodes of Deep Space Nine season one?

Star Trek TNG Season 6: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

In case you missed it, I did my Top 5 of Season 5 on Tumblr during my hiatus. 

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 5 favorite episodes of season six of The Next Generation.

On this rewatch of Star Trek, we’re watching the episodes in the order they were aired, meaning that this season we started incorporating Deep Space Nine. This meant that it took us a longer time to finish season 6 (it feels like ages since I saw the early episodes of the season!), and it also meant that I anticipated Deep Space Nine nights and not TNG nights… oops… That makes me sad because I do love TNG, especially these later seasons, but I just love DS9 so much and have been so happy to see all the characters again. It’s going to be even worse when we’re watching Voyager episodes too… But on my with my favorites of the season! (Note: Tapestry is an honorable mention. Even though I don’t generally like those “It’s A Wonderful Life” plot elements or Q, I do think it’s a worthwhile episode.)

5. A Firstful of Datas

tng6-fistfulofdatas

I don’t particularly care for Lore (or B-4 from Nemesis, shudder), but any other time Brent Spiner gets to deviate from the typical characterization for Data, I’m pretty happy. In this one, something goes haywire and Data is all over the holodeck, but not in typical Data fashion. I also enjoy seeing Troi fitting in well with the Wild West theme of the holodeck program.

4. Starship Mine

tng6-starshipmine

Picard kicks some butt in this episode! It’s nice to see him deviate from his normal behavior, but it still feels like Picard. I’m a little surprised he doesn’t seem more remorseful about killing the baddies, but they were after him! Also noteworthy: Data’s attempt at small talk.

3. Rascals

tng6-rascals

This episode is just plain fun, and the actress who plays younger Guinan seriously NAILS her character role. There is definitely some suspension ofdisbelief in how bad things get on the Enterprise before “children” have to save the day, but still a fun episode nonetheless.

2. Frame of Mind

tng6-frameofmind

This is one of those psychological episodes of TNG that just really surprised me. Riker is playing the role of a character in an insane asylum for a play on the Enterprise, yet also finds himself in an actual insane asylum, being told this he has delusions of life on a starship. My biggest complaint about this episode is that it wasn’t a two-parter that delved deeper into the story, and that none of the ramifications were ever shown.

1. Chain of Command Parts 1 & 2

tng6-chainofcommand

These episodes are just phenomenal; they truly make the psychology minor in me geek out. In fact, I wrote a post a while ago comparing Picard’s torture to the torture in 1984. THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!

What are your favorite episodes of TNG season six?

Star Trek TNG Season 4: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 5 favorite episodes of season four of The Next Generation.

So this was an interesting season for me. Season 3 I felt that most episodes were pretty consistently good, and I thought I probably felt the same way about Season 4… until I looked back on the list of episodes and realized there were more “meh” ones than I recalled. Some had some things I liked about them before something weird happened or the resolution was unsatisfying. However, I came with five that I did feel were pretty consistently good. I have to say I’m a little surprised by what I haven’t seen yet at this point, so these later seasons should be good as I see some of the episodes I remember from before.

5. Family

tng4-familyAfter his experience with becoming Borg, Picard goes back to his home on Earth and visits with his family. This episode has an extremely sad undertone if you’ve seen a certain TNG movie, but it is interesting to see Picard where he grew up and interacting with his brother, who has very different interests and ambitions.

4. Redemption, Part One

tng4-redemptionI am seriously appreciating the Klingon episodes more this time around. In this episode, we get some important set-up for the future of the Klingon Empire and important development for Worf’s character. This part one doesn’t end in a real cliffhanger, but it certainly sets things up in a shocking way with something that was alluded to in a previous episode (holy Deep Space Nine, TNG has continuity after all!).

3. First Contact

tng4-firstcontactWhat I enjoyed about this one is that you get to see things from the perspective of those outside the Federation. No, it’s not told from their viewpoint, but you get to hear more of their viewpoint than you normally do in a typical Star Trek episode. You understand why someone who has never, ever heard of Starfleet would not necessarily jump at the chance to join them. You see aliens react to humans like we would to aliens. It makes for good food-for-thought.

2. Data’s Day

tng4-datasdayThis episode is a fun one. We get introduced to Spot (Data’s cat) and Keiko, who marries Chief O’Brien. I’ve actually forgotten a lot of the details of this one already, but I do remember enjoying it.

1. The Drumhead

tng4-thedrumheadThis episode was a real standout for me this season. I think a large part of it is because I found it crazy relevant for something happening in my life right now, but even so, it’s not hard to think of just how relevant this episode is, period. Immediately your mind will take you to the Salem witch trials and the 1960’s Red Scare. This is an episode that you can appreciate even without really knowing anything about Star Trek, and I highly recommend it to really anyone reading this right now. Queue it up on Netflix if you have it.

What are your favorite episodes of TNG, season 4?

Star Trek TNG Season 3: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 5 favorite episodes of season two of The Next Generation.

Season three is definitely when TNG picks up, and I had a harder time narrowing my selection because of good options this time! I also wanted to be sure to mention an honorable mention, The Ensigns of Command, since I did have a hard time choosing it or my #5 choice.

5. The Defector

tng3-thedefectorThis was one of those episodes that left me feeling kind of depressed in the end, but it was pretty poignant. It reminds me a bit of the DS9 episode “Duet.” I really don’t want to say too much to spoil the episode for those who have not seen it, but there are some interesting twists in it.

4. Sins of the Father

tng3-thesinsofthefatherI’m not a big fan of Klingon episodes, so I was surprised how much I liked this one. I have a feeling I got much more out of it this time around than I probably did the first time, simply because now I’m familiar with Worf’s journey, and his family is a big part of that journey (and I don’t just mean blood family). I also love what Picard does for Worf in this episode.

3. The Hunted

tng3-thehuntedI have a definite love for the psychological episodes of Star Trek, and this one explores the fascinating psychological idea of engineering a group of people a certain way, in this case, to be soldiers.

2. Yesterday’s Enterprise

tng3-yesterdaysenterpriseFirst off, from a purely productional standpoint, I love the dark lighting of the other timeline’s Enterprise. Second, we see another version of Tasha who is just so much more awesome for some reason. And third, there’s just something about this story, that I can’t really explain, that is just plain great. It’s a fan favorite so clearly I’m not alone.

1. The Best of Both Worlds

tng-thebestofbothworlds2Just as a note, this is a wicked cliffhanger two-parter that comprises the season three finale and the first episode of season four. For the sake of simplicity, I am including both parts in my season three recap (though Charlene waited until season 4). I mean, I don’t know what to say about this episode other than the first time I watched it I was just FLOORED. It was the first really huge risk I feel they took in Star Trek and it worked really well. This time around, instead of watching parts one and two in the same fashion they were originally aired, we watched the enhanced Blu-Ray that edits the episodes together as one seamless film. Even when you know the outcome, you still feel the tension in these episodes. It’s one of the best stories of The Next Generation, period.

What are your favorite episodes of The Next Generation, season 3?

Star Trek TOS Season 3: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite five episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 5 favorite episodes of season three of The Original Series

I thought season two was bad… but season 3 was full of some clunkers. HOWEVER, the episodes that were decent I think were more decent than those in season two, and when selecting my favorites I ended up with a list of 6, so it wasn’t all bad. Also, there were some episodes that I think actually had real potential, and if they had been done like in Deep Space Nine they could have been awesome, but they just fell flat or took a turn for the dumb. I’m particularly thinking of The Mark of Gideon and Requiem for Methuselah. Also, I had distinctly remembered Spock’s Brain (this season’s first episode) as being the worst ever of the series, and I was so wrong. Was it good? No, but there were much worse.

So first off I’ll go ahead and mention my sixth favorite and runner-up for this list was The Tholian Web. I thought I should mention it because it’s popular. There were a few more that I liked a little more, however. Also, I also struggled with this order a lot, so it may not reflect my feelings everyday, but nonetheless, I did the best I could.

5. For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

ST-theworldishollowI will voice my biggest gripe about this episode (my second biggest grip is the awful costumes, FYI) up front: McCoy gets MARRIED in this episode and then ABANDONS his wife! And she’s OK with it! And there’s also awful instalove here (doesn’t just happen in YA books), but even that’s better than abandoning your spouse! What did I like? The premise, mostly, about a traveling planet (really, a ship) where the people don’t know exactly what their purpose is as they follow arbitrary rules set for them. And unlike many of the episodes this season, it wasn’t poorly executed, other than this whole abandonment thing.

4. Day of the Dove

ST-dayofthedoveI think the Klingons are a lot more interesting in TOS than they are in the subsequent series (with the exception of, very specifically, the Augment episodes of Enterprise), and this is a good episode showcasing them, probably my favorite TOS episode featuring them. An alien force that feeds off of hatred causes the Klingons and the crew of the Enterprise to act violently towards one another, and once they realize what is happening, they must fight against it.

3. The Cloud Minders

ST-thecloudmindersI think this is another one I like more for the premise than anything, and thankfully the execution wasn’t terrible. On this planet there is a group of people who live on ground and work in the mines, and then there are the privileged who get to live in the city on the clouds. This is probably one of the best TOS episode for the portrayal of women, even if there are skimpy outfits, because Vanna is strong and ambitious and nobody’s love interest (even if she is stubborn for not listening to Kirk when she should have, I can’t blame her for being skeptical), and while Droxine is really into Spock (who has some uncharacteristic dialogue in this episode with no explanation as to why) and naive, she has a really nice arc in this episode and sees reason when her father does not. There are several Star Trek episodes throughout the various series that touch on the issue of the separation of classes and I think this is a pretty good one for the time period.

2.  The Enterprise Incident

ST-theenterpriseincidentAt the beginning of the episode, it seems Kirk has lost his mind flying into Romulan space, then we come to find out he did so under Starfleet orders. Spock plays a huge role in distracting a woman Romulan officer while Kirk gets what he needs from the ship, which proves to be an easy task because she is fascinated by him, and dare I say, he might be by her as well. However, he stays clear-headed in his typical Spock way, but the psychology of their interaction, as well as the general sneakiness going on while Kirk is on his mission, definitely makes this episode a stand-out for season three.

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1. All Our Yesterdays

ST-allouryesterdaysI don’t even remember this episode from my first watch of the show, but I was pretty into it this time. First off, I found the concept really interesting of a planet that sends people back in time when their existence is about to end, and also that they are capable of time jumping but not space travel! Also, the fact that when Spock went back 5000 years in his past that he started to act like a Vulcan from 5000 years ago was really interesting! It was a sad ending but I still loved the last line from Spock when he says: “Yes, it did happen. But that was 5000 years ago.” I also think it’s funny that both this episode and the popular YA novel of the same novel borrowed the title from Shakespeare AND have time travel plots!

ST-allouryesterdays2Season three was an interesting season for Spock and McCoy. Of course, there has been friction between the two all through the series, and the dynamic continues into the movies, but there were several episodes of season three where they were forced to work together, like “The Paradise Syndrome,” “The Tholian Web,” “The Empath,” and “All Our Yesterdays.” After “The Tholian Web,” in fact, I feel like their relationship changed and become less hostile toward one another and that they started to respect each other more. I also felt like we got to see more facets of Spock this season, where he seems more open to people groups that seem different from him on the surface (“The Way to Eden”) and shows more interest in women for a typical season (“The Enterprise Incident,” “The Cloud Minders,” and “All Our Yesterdays”).

ST-thewaytoedenSo we’re moving on to The Next Generation next, though my husband did bring out The Animated Series DVDs out first. Most people don’t count it and I just wasn’t ready to go through it again yet. We’re also actually watching the shows in the order they were aired, meaning that after the first few seasons of TNG we’ll start mixing in some Deep Space Nine episodes as well. But until then, we’ve got to endure the not-so-great beginning of The Next Generation.

If you’ve seen season three of Star Trek’s original series, which episodes are your favorite?

Star Trek TOS Season 2: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite five episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 5 favorite episodes of season two of The Original Series

Season 2 of TOS is filled with a lot more “blah” episodes than season 1, so I had a much harder time choosing a Top 5, when I felt like there were only 3 truly stand-out episodes. I thought about doing a worst episodes list instead, or at the suggestion of my husband, listing my favorite episode three times (because really, it does deserve it), but I buckled down and looked at the few “just fine” episodes and picked two of those to round out this list.

5. Journey to Babel

Journey_to_BabelIt is kind of neat, especially if you haven’t seen any other Star Trek that comes after this, to see Spock’s parents and how they interact with Spock. And even though Spock drives me up the wall in this episode, I’m glad he finally caved and decided to the transfusion to save his father. Also, this episode was worth it for me because of the “Andorian fight scene.” You’ll have to listen to podcasts from the Trek FM network to fully understand that joke.

4. Patterns of Force

Patterns-of-ForceI don’t even remember this episode from my first run-through of the series. It has some problems, particularly in that it suffers from some of the lame reoccurring themes of the season (Starfleet person goes crazy, parallels with Earth), but there’s something about WWII, even if it’s not real WWII, that fascinates me. The whole Nazi party is interesting psychologically too, and this could have been an awesome two-parter that really delved into all that. We didn’t quite get all that, but I did like the underground movement that helped Kirk and Spock as they tried to figure out how to get “The Fuhrer” without getting themselves killed.

3. Mirror, Mirror

mirror-mirrorPart of me resents this episode’s existence because it brought about way too many lame mirror universe episodes in Deep Space Nine, and the highly regarded mirror episodes of Enterprise that I can’t stand because it’s ALL about the mirror versions of the characters and not the ACTUAL characters and they’re just mean and I don’t like them. But ANYWAY, if I look at this episode by itself, it is kind of neat. And who doesn’t love Mirror Spock and his goatee? The whole episode is worth watching for that alone. I also love that Regular Spock recognizes right away the landing party are their mirror counterparts and locks them up. Go Spock!

Mirror_Mirror

2. A Piece of the Action

a-piece-of-the-actionSeeing Spock and Kirk dressed as 1920s gangsters is priceless. Kirk’s invention of Fizzbin is hilarious. The territory leaders are great in their roles. Really, I just love so much in this episode.

1. The Trouble With Tribbles

tribbles2Could this have possibly been any other episode? The Trouble With Tribbles is hands-down my favorite TOS episode, and one of my favorites of all of Trek. And I love even more that Deep Space Nine later honored this episode with Trials and Tribbleations. It is truly priceless. I just find it impossible to resist the cute, furry, cooey tribbles! And Kirk in that pile of Tribbles… it’s just great. Nearly every moment in this episode is just perfection.

tribblesSo why all that hate towards season 2? Aside from a lot of mediocre episodes, there were also a lot of reoccurring themes that really bothered me, such as…

  • Starfleet officers gone crazy
  • Kirk unfit for command (I think this only happened twice, but it was two episodes in a row!)
  • Parallels with Earth and/or America that felt forced and strange (ESPECIALLY in The Omega Glory, OMG)
  • Evil computers
  • Computers getting talked to death by Captain Kirk
  • Interference with cultures (AKA breaking The Prime Directive… of course this happens all the time in all the series…)

But it’s not all bad. For instance, you learn that Spock secretly has an affinity for soft, furry creatures, including Tribbles and cats…

spock_catI was glad to see Chekov make his appearance in season two. He got more screen time than I expected for his early episodes, but apparently they had to rewrite some of the episodes to feature him instead of Sulu because George Takei was caught up in another project for a time. Though Chekov was created for a younger audience and is pretty much supposed to be the Davy Jones of Star Trek, I think there is more to him than that. I really like him as a character and I’m glad they added him in.

Pavel_ChekovOne last notable mention: Seeing Zefram Cochrane in the episode “Metamorphosis.” If the episode had not ended so strangely I might have put it on my Top 5, but when I saw the episode for the first time the name of Cochrane meant nothing to me. Seeing him after having seen the rest of Trek though (particularly the movie First Contact) meant a lot more!

If you’ve seen season two of Star Trek’s original series, which episodes are your favorite? Does Kirk talking computers to death or the crazy Star Fleet officers or the Earth parallels drive anyone else crazy?

Star Trek TOS Season 1: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite five episodes for each season. To compare, see what she said about her top 5 favorite episodes of the first season of The Original Series.

5. Shore Leave

tos_shore_leaveAside from Kirk’s annoying old rival and old flame with bad fashion, this was a pretty entertaining episode that I remembered from the first time around, but did not remember being as entertained by it before as I was this time around. And it feels like a precursor to the Deep Space Nine episode “If Wishes Were Horses.”

4. Space Seed

tos_spaceseedI’ve technically seen Space Seed twice before this rewatch, once during my first watch of the series, and a second time before I rewatched Wrath of Khan one time. I wasn’t impressed with it either time. Quite frankly, though this is blasphemous to say as a Trek fan, The Wrath of Khan has never done a whole lot for me either. This time, I don’t know what happened, but I was WAY more into this episode. You know what I think it for me this time?

intodarkness-khanThat’s right, Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal as Khan in Into Darkness made me appreciate Khan as a villain, because I found him to be so much more charismatic than Ricardo Montalban. YOU HEARD ME. I have said it and will not apologize for it. Benedict Cumberbatch is not the original Khan, and Montalban was a great Khan for the original series, but for me, I could relate to Cumberbath’s performance much more. I almost believed him in Into Darkness, even though I completely knew better! He really was tricky; not clearly the abusive jerk I found Montalban’s Khan to be. And yet, watching Space Seed again, I bought into it better, even though he wasn’t Cumberbatch. They’re both Khan and they play different dynamics of him and they both look so completely different but WHATEVER. It’s OK.

I got off on a tangent, and all that is just to say I never dreamed this would make my top five favorite episodes of season one. But it did.

3. The Menagerie

tos_themenagerieThis is technically two episodes, but I’m counting them as one since they go together. Plus, they also feature the original Star Trek pilot, The Cage, which never aired. I technically like The Cage better since it’s one storyline instead of an interesting story within a convoluted storyline about Spock completely disregarding rules to help his old captain out, but again, since it’s not really part of season one, I’m going with The Menagerie instead. I have always found the idea thought-provoking: what if you were offered the chance to live out fantasies for the rest of your life? They wouldn’t be real, but they would be everything you wanted. Would you accept it, or fight back for reality? Those kinds of questions are why I love Star Trek to begin with.

2. The Naked Time

tos_thenakedtimeI just love this episode because it is so much fun. Sulu runs around like crazy fencing, Spock has emotions, an officer named O’Riley serenades the whole ship with his off-key rendition of an Irish tune. Sometimes, you just need a fun episode. However, there is also a pretty poignant scene with Spock when he breaks down, full of emotion.

1. The City on the Edge of Forever

tos_cityontheedgeHow Kirk, Spock, and McCoy end up back in time is a little convoluted, but really, there is just something special about this episode. (Charlene agrees because it’s her #1 pick too!) Again there’s a question: Would you allow events to unfold as they must to save millions, if it means watching someone you love suffer? It’s good stuff, people.

And just for fun, here are my two favorite aliens featured in season 1…

tos-season1-aliensThat’s right folks, it’s a dog wearing an “alien” costume and (presumably) a man underneath some sort of lasagna-looking rug (I refer to this creature affectionately as Pasta Puppy) that are my favorite aliens of season one. Forget the introduction of the Romulans or the Klingons and forget the Gorn. This is where it’s at.

I also wanted to say that this season my favorite character has actually turned out to be Scotty! After my first time watching the original series I really loved Spock, and Spock is great, but Scotty didn’t take crap from anyone in season one, which I respect.

tos_scottyIf you’re a Star Trek fan, let me know what your favorite episodes of the original series, season one, are! 

Top 5 Books I Want for Christmas

Top Ten Tuesday topic is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is the Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me. Even though there are certainly more than five books I’d like for Santa to bring me, I decided to just mention the top 5. I only asked for the first two so that’s probably all I’ll get, but you know, just in case Santa is reading this. 🙂

wish-list

1. These Broken Stars/2. Across a Star-Swept Sea/3. All Our Yesterdays/4. The Screwtape Letters/5. Les Miserables

Also: I went to all this trouble to make a video to share with you all, but it has proven more difficult to upload onto here than I thought it would be. Hopefully I’ll get it up tomorrow in time for Christmas, but just in case I don’t, I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas and enjoys the holiday season!

My Top 5 Most Anticipated Sequels

Top Ten Tuesday topic is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get My Hands On, but I am just focusing on five. This week’s list is in order of release.

Across a Star-Swept Sea, For Darkness Shows the Stars #2

acrossastarsweptI loved For Darkness Shows the Stars, so I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel!

Allegiant, Divergent #3

allegiantNo spoilers, please! I have this waiting in Nook for me for when I finish NaNoWriMo…

Cress, The Lunar Chronicles #3

cressI just loved the first two installments of The Lunar Chronicles and am really looking forward to more in Cress!

Split Second, Pivot Point #2

Split SecondI enjoyed Pivot Point and look forward to seeing Addie and Trevor interact again in Split Second!

Untitled, Hybrid Chronicles #3

The third book of Kat Zhang’s Hybrid Chronicles doesn’t have a name yet, but I’m looking forward to the rest of Addie and Eva’s story!

What sequels are you anticipating?

My Top 5 Books in a New or Mythological Setting

I really wanted to do this week’s Top 10 Tuesday. But when I first started participating, I decided I would only join in on the weeks that I could come up with 10 items for my list. When I decided to do my Top 10 Non-American settings, I could come up with ten, but I just wasn’t quite feeling it. Then I got excited about doing new or mythological settings, but really only came up with five. I still wanted to share them, so I hope I can get forgiven for only having a Top 5 this week. Here’s my list, in no particular order:

1. For Darkness Shows the Stars

setting1From reading the book, I know that Elliot’s world consists of islands, which are unknown to us. And though she lives in a future version of our world, the fate of what is outside the islands is unknown to her, which I felt provided an ominious undertone for the backstory of The Reduction and all that happened there.

2. The Scorpio Races

setting2I just finished this book, and the fictional island Kate calls home is strange, but the world-building is convincing enough that it feels real, even with mythological, flesh-tearing sea-horses.

3. Cinder

setting3Cinder’s world of New Beijing falls into the category of “new” more so than mythological. It is a reinvented version of a place we know of in our world now, and Meyer does a great job creating a Beijing where new meets old and feels realistic.

5. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

setting4Who of us when we were young did not feel at the back of a wardrobe, hoping against hope that Narnia awaited us on  the other side? Lewis creates a world that is fierce yet compelling, and most certainly magical, and was able to carry its story throughout a series of seven books.

5. The Hobbit

setting5I have to admit, my fondness for Middle Earth is based much more in the Lord of the Rings movies than from reading The Hobbit in junior high, but I feel that when I finally get around to reading the trilogy and rereading The Hobbit, I will grow to love it through Tolkien’s words. The places he created from the Shire to Rivendell, they all have a piece of life as we know it mixed in with something else entirely, sometimes life as we wish it or life as we fear it could be. Personally, I think I could live happily in Rivendell for all eternity.

What are your favorite new or mythological settings in books?