bookish worlds i'd never want to live in

Bookish Worlds I’d Never Want to Live In

Posted May 29, 2018 by Amber in Memes / 20 Comments


If you’re like me and you read a lot of fantasy novels, then you know how cruel the world can be.  Most contemporary novels are fluffy or thrillers, but ultimately they are our world and we already live in it, like it or not.  Science fiction and fantasy?  Those are dark places, more often than not.  And while a lot of us would love to go to Hogwarts, I’m sure there are places we can all agree we’d rather not go to.


The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three, The Waste Lands, Wizard and Glass, The Wind Through the Keyhole, Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, The Dark Tower

As much as I enjoy The Dark Tower series, I’ve got to give a hard pass to Midworld.  When Roland says “the world has moved on,” he doesn’t say so lightly.  The beams are breaking and the world is literally falling apart.  Through the ka-tet’s travels, we see the extent of this chaos.  Lud, where the city has fallen and a mad mono messes with their minds.  Topeka, where the mutated influenza virus has wiped the land clean.  Even on the western shores, where the lobstrosities will eat you if you can’t stay clear and kill them.  Noooo thank you.

Post-Apocalyptic United States


The world in Wonderblood is one of the darkest, creepiest I’ve ever seen.  There are blood rains, murderous carnivals, and everyone is looking toward the sky to see if the spaceships will return and save them all.  People carry around magicked heads to protect themselves.  Like… human heads that they keep in boxes and replace the eyes with precious gems.  Disgusting.

The Domed City

Logan’s Run

In this universe, in order to maintain the population, everyone is euthanized humanely at the age of 21.  Within the walls of the domed city, I am a dead girl walking, yipes.

The World Through the Window

Blue Window

When the five siblings fall into this world, it seems like there’s possibility for potential.  Like Narnia!  But as we continue forward, we see a place where people are so obsessed with their appearance that they would hunt and kill children to learn the secrets of their perfect faces.  Not to mention, even when they get to some form of sanctuary, it’s very controlling and sexes.  Women can plant flowers and let the men be important. Pfft.


A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance of Dragons

I feel like the Song of Fire and Ice series is mainstream enough these days that I probably don’t have to go into details, but Westeros is a big solid NOPE for me.  Any George R. R. Martin book gives you about a 3% chance of survival… lower if you have plans to attend any weddings.  If I’m going to live in a fantasy world at all, I want to be able to experience it for a couple minutes before I’m brutally murdered.

Besides, winter is coming.  I live in New England and I’ve had enough of that, thanks.

Vuuv-Invaded Earth

Landscape with Invisible Hand

I’ve got to give a hard pass on M. T. Anderson’s Feed Earth as well… but the Vuuv invasion sounds like a really bad time.  Unless you are super useful or had the money to get in on the ground floor when it all began, this invasion has widened the gap to Rich and Slaves.  Even with initiative, it’s very difficult to make your way and earn a living here and I think our world if difficult enough now.

Mars Invasion Earth

War of the Worlds

Okay, but given the choice between the Vuuv and H.G. Wells’ Martians… I’ll take the Vuuv.  At least they let the humans live!  Wells’ Martians are bent on one thing – destroy all humans.  Is there much wonder why everyone panicked back in 1938 when Orson Welles broadcast a radio play version?  Can you imagine just tuning in after lunch and hearing that London was in flames and to stay away from the cities because the Martians were killing on sight?  Geez….

When Hitler Won The War

The Big Lie, The Man in the High Castle

One of the most often discussed uses of time travel that I’ve heard was to use it to go back in time to kill Hitler before he was able to do what he did.  Now step back and imagine a world where somehow, someway, Hitler and the Nazis won.  I do not want to live in that world.

Zombie Apocalypse

Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies

I think it’s all quite lovely that the Bennett girls have been trained in the fine arts of zombie killing, even if it isn’t quite ladylike.  What I am most frankly against is the existence of the zombies in the first place.  I’d prefer to live in a world where if there must be undead, they behave like proper, civilized people.  Like vampires.

Racist/Sexist/Homophobic/Etc. World

The Hate U Give


This is our world right now and it isn’t right.  If you’re like me and the world of The Hate U Give is one you’d rather not live in… be active in trying to change it.  Educate yourself, educate others, and be kind.  Don’t steal the spotlight away from important issues, and support those voices that tend to get buried.  Be the change you want to see in the world.


What are some bookish worlds you wouldn’t want to live in?

How would you survive if you were thrust into them?

What would you do to change the bad ones?

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20 responses to “Bookish Worlds I’d Never Want to Live In

  1. Your last answer totally hit me hard! I haven’t read The Hate U Give yet, but I have read some other racist/sexist/homophobic books and they just make me so ANGRY. My family’s actually pretty racist, which is actually a common Chinese stereotype that is sometimes true. It grates on my nerves every time my parents would call an actor on TV ‘so dark,’ or when my friends wouldn’t watch Love, Simon with me because they’re homophobic. :/

    BTW your blog is so pretty! I’m a new Bloglovin’ follower. 🙂

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    • Amber

      Welcome to The Literary Phoenix! 😀

      As soon as I saw the prompt, THUG popped into my head. I considered not using it… but at the end of the day? It’s there, it’s a truth, and it’s a bummer that the world is like that. 🙁 I advise reading it SO HIGHLY, it’s one of those overly hyped books that lives up to its reputation. 🙂

    • Amber

      So glad you approve! 😀 I was trying to come up with some less obvious choices, and that one just popped out at me.

    • Amber

      I don’t think I know ANYONE who’d make it out of Westeros alive! Dystopias in general are a really bad plan… I was going through some other linkups and I can’t BELIEVE I forgot Panem!

  2. Great list! Westeros made my list this week, too. That world is just brutal – even more so if you’re a woman, particularly a lowborn woman who doesn’t have any form of protection. Midworld’s a good choice, too! I haven’t read any of the Dark Tower books but I saw enough of the recent film to know that’s one place I wouldn’t go on holiday.

    • Amber

      I’ve got to give so many props to Arya, Sansa, and Cersei who have made it through so much. Especially Sansa, who I wouldn’t have bet on in the beginning.

      Ahhhh nooo the movie! 🙁 If you ever have a hankering for a gritty western sci-fi, give the Dark Tower books a try XD. The movie was… so… nope. First book can be a bit of a drag, but the series grabs you pretty quickly after!

    • Amber

      I haven’t read the book either, but I really want to! I originally had just “The Big Lie” and remembered about MITHC as I was typing and had to add it for reference. Rotten world, that….

  3. I appreciate your last choice. I finished The Hate U Give about two weeks ago, and man did it pack a punch about how mean our society is sometimes. Education is key to helping people understand the differences in their neighbors. I haven’t read the other books you mentioned, but they all look really cool! I hope you have a great week 🙂

    ALEXIS MORGAN SPIVAK recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Worlds
    • Amber

      Packs a punch is right. THUG was actually the first world I thought of here, but it was real so I almost didn’t include it. I’m really glad I did because… well… truth.

      Have a lovely week yourself!

  4. Oh my gosh I love this list SO much. There are so many worlds that I love to read about but would absolutely hate to live in. I had a similar dilemma to you with your last list entry. There were so many books that I’d read where heavy topics are discussed and I had to sadly conclude that this is the world we *already* live in (guess that’s why I love the escapism of SF/fantasy so much…).

    • Amber

      Amen to the escapism of sci-fi/fantasy… that’s one of my favorite things about the genre as well. The worlds can be bad, but at least they have dragons? And, of course, we can leave them anytime. With this one, we’re stuck.

  5. I absolutely love this post!! <3 great minds truly think alike because I recently scheduled a post about which fantasy settings I would totally die in :''') (yours was much less depressing though HAHA)
    YIKES I wouldn't last a second in Westeros. I don't even want to think about it omg. I have no political brains and also no physical strength so my chances of survival are practically in the negatives.
    and wow, that last one… *places hand over heart* I couldn't agree more. we have a responsibility to come together and work to alleviate all these societal issues.

    • Amber

      I think the best survival plan in Westeros is to move to a nice country farm FAR FAR AWAY from everything and everyone and live sustainably. :/

    • Amber

      Isn’t it just? At least the other ones, we can withdraw from and say “thank goodness that’s just a book”.

      Our world can be better. We can make it as good as possible. Have faith. 🙂