Another Three SFF Opening Lines And Why They’re Intruiging

Welcome back to SFF Opening Lines! As a reminder, this series focuses on the all-important first line of a novel; the sentence that shapes the tone and very essence of the novel that follows those words. While a first line doesn’t have to shock you to your core, it should intrigue you enough to want to keep reading.

This mini-review will include the first line and—depending on if I’ve read the book or not—either my opinion on how this first line sums up the novel or my first impression and predictions of what the vibe of the story will be. This week, I’m looking at Circe, House of Salt and Sorrows, and The Invisible Life of Addie Larue.

Circe (Madeline Miller)

“When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist.”

How does it sum up the book?

I think this first line does a great job. Circe spends so much of her immortal life trying to decide which world she belonged to after centuries of her family’s unwarranted wrath toward her existence. Toward the end of the book, she finally finds her answer—a satisfying one for both her and readers.

woman in yellow and brown floral dress holding black and brown book

House of Salt and Sorrows (Erin Craig)

“Candlelight reflected off the silver anchor etched onto my sister’s necklace.”

How does it sum up the book?

To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of HOSAS, but I won’t waste your time going into why here. If you’re interested, feel free to take a look at my Goodreads review.

I think this line is a fair amalgamation of the book. It has some good worldbuilding but tells us nothing of our speaker, their motivations, foreshadows any conflict, or gives us a reason to read on. The latter point is an accurate reflection of my experience reading HOSAS – I almost DNF’d a few times. 

What this first line doesn’t give away is that the necklace is around the throat of the main character’s dead sister and we’re at her funeral. That would have been striking to read in a first line, especially because the main character’s sister had a mysterious, untimely death.

aerial view photography of sea

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue (V. E. Schwab)

“A girl is running for her life.”

First Impressions/Predictions

All I know about this book is that a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever but no one remembers her… until someone does. I’ve actually never read V. E. Schwab before either (I know, I know. My TBR pile looks at me with that same expression of disdain too). Even so, this is my favorite opening line from this week’s picks, hands down. I mean, that simple sentence—only 6 words—practically begs you to keep reading, and how could you not? I’m really looking forward to reading this one.

photography of starry sky

Next Time on Opening Lines…

My next post will include Girl, Serpent, Thorn, Romanov, and Wilder Girls. Have other SFF books’ first lines you’d like me to comment on? Drop them below and I’ll add them to my list!

As always, thank you for reading. Have a wonderful day!