I’ve been wracking my brain, thinking about a post for the end of the year…2015 has been a long year for me (while still being really quick), but one thing I had plenty of time to do was read. Being laid up after surgery is a great time to work down that TBR pile, and boy, did I. I’ve read some amazing fiction this year, and thought I’d share my faves.
In no particular order:
The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearon
The second book in the Remnant Chronicles was even better than the first. Both books are great, but this one added depth, danger, and passion. It’s a lovely epic-fantasy style YA perfect for people who enjoyed The Girl of Fire and Thorns series. YA 13+
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Fans of the Grisha trilogy know Bardugo can craft a great yarn. This book, set in the same universe, is one of the most fun caper tales I’ve read. A ragtag group of criminals/malcontents are charged with completing a dangerous heist in return for a big reward. Nothing ever turns out as it seems, making it very hard to put down. YA 14+
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, unusual world-building, or unlikely love stories, this book is for you. Gorgeously written, it takes an old plot and gives it a hard shake into something new. It’s a little similar to Red Rising, but only in that one protagonist comes from an oppressed people, and the other from the oppressors. I read it in two days while on vacation–just devoured it. Lovely work.
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Speaking of Red Rising, you knew this one would be in here. It seems like forever since it came out–but it was January 2015, so it qualifies. With the final book in the trilogy, Morning Star, coming out in early 2016, you really should take some time to pick up this series. Part Roman society oppression tale, part dystopian, part space opera, this book has everything. Epic space battles, beautiful nuanced character moments, and some bloodydamn good writing. Howlers, let’s rock. Adult due to violence (but suitable for ages 15+)
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Anybody who’s read Girl of Fire and Thorns knows Rae Carson can write. She creates intimate portraits of her characters, and protagonist Lee/Leah is no exception. On the run from her parents murderer, Leah has to pose as a man to join a wagon train on its way west to the California gold rush. I’ve never read a YA in this time period, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a planned trilogy, so this book is all about the journey. The details are spot-on, and the drama, fear, and hope is real. YA 13+
There are so many more books I enjoyed this year, but these were some of my very favorites. Next year, I’m looking forward to series follow ups from all these authors plus (be still my heart) the conclusion to the The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, and the conclusion to The 5th Wave series. I’m always looking for new reads, though–care to share some of your faves in the comments to send me off to my next book obsession?
The Heart of Betrayal was great. Looking forward to the next installment. I got Ember in the Ashes and read the first several chapters but I was coming off a really bad book hangover and wasn’t in the mood for it. The same for Girl of Fire and Thorns, but I think after the first of the year I’ll pick them back up and enjoy them.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik was great. Thanks for the heads up on that one.
Ink and Bone: The Great Library by Rachel Caine was really good too and one I think you would enjoy (similar to the world of Ember in the Ashes)
Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb, the second book in the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy. The final book in the trilogy comes out next year. The previous two trilogies with Fitz and the Fool are must reads for Epic Fantasy lovers. HIGHLY recommend them for you. Fitzchivalry Farseer is an all-time great hero. You would love him. And no one tortures her characters and builds tension better than Robin Hobb. She is a master even George R.R. Martin could take lessons from.
If you like gothic, historical, ghost story romance, I would recommend Simone St. James. The Other Side of Midnight, her latest title, is the best of her stories so far. All of her books are set in the 1920s with strong but believable heroines and a heavy dose of the unexplainable. I can’t find anyone else who writes stories quite like hers. They are a fun, eerie mix of mystery, paranormal, and romance.
I read lots of good books this year. And I listened to many more! Hope you’re feeling well and hope to see you soon! Merry Christmas. Hugs and love.