It was a great year for books and I have read 60 over the last 12 months (including 4 re-reads).
Here are my Top 10:
10. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
This novel, written by two hugely popular fantasy writers, is set in the run up to the apocalypse. To be precise, the world is ending next Saturday. However, an angel and demon (Crowley and Aziraphale) plan to prevent this by killing the anti-Christ. Who they seem to have misplaced.
This book follows a variety of characters, from the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse, to a witch and witch-hunter, to the anti-Christ himself. It’s brilliantly funny and a great story.
9. Free-Wrench by Joseph R. Lallo
I’ve heard very little of Joseph R. Lallo, apart from through Storybundle. He definitely deserves more recognition!
Free-wrench is s Steampunk novel which follows steam engineer Nita. She lives on an island cut off from the rest of the world, which focuses on art rather than science. Which means, when her mother falls in there is no cure. But Nita is determined to save her mothers life and so embarks on a voyage with a band of smugglers to find the medicine needed. Nita is a great character, and I look forward to reading the sequel.
8. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic, Book 1)
A Darker Shade of Magic is set on multiple parallel worlds, each with their own version of London. There is our London, Grey London, a place without magic. White London, a place ruled by whoever can murder their way to the throne. And the intriguing Red London, home to Kell one of the last Travelers (magicians with the ability to travel between these worlds). Once, there was also a Black London…
I really liked the way Schwab built up these distinctly different worlds, seamlessly jumping between them. But what really made me love this book was the character of Delilah Bard, a young thief from Grey London. She’s a brilliant, feisty character who takes the discovery of magic and parallel worlds in her stride.
7. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1)
The Farseer Trilogy is a fantasy trilogy following Fitz, the bastard son of the heir to the throne. Treated like an outcast by the royal court he is raised by his father’s stableman. While in secret, King Shrewd has him trained as an assassin.
I have also read, and enjoyed, book 2 Royal Assassin this year and plan to finish off the trilogy in 2016.
6. The Martian by Andy Weir
A hugely popular novel this year, following the release of the film adaptation starring Matt Damon. I actually watch, and totally fell in love, with the film first and just had to read the book.
The Martian follows Mark Whatney, and astronaut abandoned on Mars by his team after being believe dead. But Mark is very much alive, and plans to remain that way until he can be rescued in 4 years time. This is a wonderfully tense story, with dangers arising from all different angles. This novel is told partly through Mark’s journal entries which are brilliantly funny at times.
5. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (The Queen of the Tearling, Book 1)
The Queen of the Tearling follows Kelsea, raised in secret in order to keep her safe she how now turned 19 and is of age to take her throne. Since her mother’s death, the kingdom has been ruled by her Uncle under the thumb of the tyrant neighboring Red Queen. Kelsea now plans to bring order back to her kingdom, if she doesn’t get assassinated first that is.
The biggest thing that made me love this novel was how it stuck with me long after reading it. Reading books straight after each other means I’m often guilty of just moving on to a new story and world. But I just kept thinking about this!
4. Slated by Teri Terry (Slated, Book 1)
I’d not actually heard anything about this book series before reading it, but the synopsis sucked me in. Kyla has been Slated. Her mind has been wiped and memories deleted. She has been adopted by a new family and is starting her life again. The government claims this is because Kyla was a terrorist, and this is the way they deal with young offenders giving them a second chance. By Kyla feels like something is not quite right. But how can she find the truth?
A great read for fans of YA Dystopian novels.
3. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles, Book 2)
I’m sure you’ve all heard of The Lunar Chronicles. But if not: this series is set in a dystopian society well in our future. While a deadly disease is ravaging the population of New Beijing, tensions are high between Earth and the Lunar Queen. Each book in this series follows a different character, losely based on familiar fairy tales, with Scarlet following Red Riding Hood. I won’t say any more as I don’t want to spoil book 1 Cinder, but I will say that I actually much prefer the second in the series!
2. Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick (Ashes Trilogy, Book 1)
On to one of 2 books I rated 5 stars this year. The Ashes trilogy is a great take on the Zombie mythology. Seventeen year old Alex is hiking through the wilderness when an electromagnetic pulse causes destruction. Some of the survivors have developed hyper-senses as well as an overwhelming urge to consumer human flesh. But these creatures are very much alive and they seem to be learning.
I really enjoyed this novel, and it was a nice change to the terrible Zombie books I read this year! Alex is a great character, and I really enjoyed the story being told from her point of view. Book 2 (Shadows) was actually told from multiple point of views, so I didn’t enjoy quite as much but still rated a strong 4 stars.
1. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass, Book 2)
And my favourite book of the year is a blogger favourite. Book 2 of the hugely popular Throne of Glass series.
To avoid spoilers I’ll describe the plot of Book 1. 18 year old
bad-ass assassin has been put to work in the salt mines to pay for her crimes. But she’s been offered a way to earn her freedom. She has been chosen to compete to become the King’s champion against theives, warriors and assassins from throughout the kingdom. But the contestants have started to turn up dead…
I also read, and enjoyed book 3 Heir of Fire. I can’t wait to read the final book in the series!
What were your favourite reads this year?