Hey everyone! I’m doing something a little special today. First of all, even though it’s not Wednesday, this post doubles up as a very late Top 5 Wednesday catch-up, and its topic is taken from the prompt for the 18th of April. Since May is Top 5 Wednesday Rewind Month anyway, giving everyone a chance to catch up on old topics, I figured it’s never too late.
The prompt in question goes as follows:
You know those comp titles they list in synopses that read something like “perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones”! What would be some of your favorite mash ups, that would make you pick up a book? “A mix of ________ and ___________.” Remember, you can also incorporate games, tv, movies, etc. Get creative!
This is probably the quirkiest Top 5 I’ve taken on yet, and the one that’s required the most thought. I know which books, TV shows, movies and games I like, but considering how they’d work together is a different matter entirely. I can’t say I’ve come up with anything remarkably clever, but here’s my take on five of the snazziest cross-genre mashups. Given in no particular order, because each is so different that I don’t have a clue how to begin ranking them:
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black and Town of Salem
Y’all, I love The Cruel Prince. It’s filled with drama, bloodshed, scheming, betrayal and you know what would be even better? More drama, bloodshed, scheming and betrayal, of course. Duh. I can’t say I love Town of Salem and I certainly don’t love the players on it, but if there’s any concept with more intrigue and power plays, I’ve yet to find it. If this mashup was just throwing Jude, Cardan, Dain, Taryn and the whole lot into the game, I’d be plenty happy with it. Jude would be a sneaky, powerful town role, maybe a Transporter. Balekin, head of the Mafia. Cardan would be the Serial Killer, although everyone thinks he’s affiliated with organised crime. Until it’s too late.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Caraval by Stephanie Garber
I say The Hunger Games because everyone knows it, but what I’m really trying to capture is the Battle Royale essence. (Although I wouldn’t necessarily object to a side dish of realpolitik seasoned with social commentary.) Imagine how the Hunger Games–or Fortnite, if you please–would be in the breathtaking magical setting of Caraval, where an intellectual dimension is added to the usual mix of free-for-all fighting. If the combatants had magic–and not just any magic, but the willpower-based, mysterious magic of Caraval–to work with, it’d be quite a different fight to get to the last man standing. Whoever has the wits to unlock the secrets of the new mysterious arena would have a significant leg up over the contestants who are merely the best at punching.
Two franchises that need no introduction. Their mashup basically describes one of my favourite sci-fi series of all time, The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid. Everything that I love about those books can be found in some form in GoT or SW, whether it be the merciless death toll, the insane plot twists or the galactic politics. The great thing about these two worlds, though, is that they’re so expansive and multi-faceted that there must be hundreds of original ways to mash them up and get something equally new and exciting. “GoT meets SW” doesn’t necessarily have to be set in space or a medieval high fantasy world either; although speculative world-building is likely a must, any world that opens itself to the possibilities of cinematic, perceptive storytelling should do.
Two authors who write heart-wrenchingly beautiful prose, chronicling fateful character journeys set in vivid fantasy universes. Madeline Miller may use Greek mythology and Victoria Schwab create her own worlds, but damn, I can only dream of what a book that combined the best of both authors would be like. No doubt it would be amazing enough to make me never want to read another book again, whatever premise it used. Alone, both authors have seriously awesome projects coming up. Word from Miller is that she might be writing a book based on The Tempest soon, and in that case, we’ll get to see her take her talents to a plot outside the classics. And next year means the arrival of the Victoria Schwab book that I’m most excited for, billed as a “love story between a French girl and the devil.” It’s gonna be great.
Mission: Impossible and Warcross by Marie Lu
Basically, I just want to see the Phoenix Riders infiltrate CIA headquarters, scale the Burj Khalifa, hang from a flying helicopter, etc. Emika, Asher, Hammie and maybe even Tremaine (the Ilsa Faust of their squad, surely) have all the chemistry to make this a cohesive and entertaining team. Add in a hefty dose of the usual Marie Lu enemies-in-love conflict, and the IMF’s missions should become even more interesting. This is just reminding me how much I need a Warcross movie in my life. And how much I need Wildcard.
That’s it for my five mashups that I’d love to see. If you’ve got any exciting ideas of the next big “X meets Y” to add, comment below!