As with a lot of entertainment this past year, my hectic life kept free time down — and reading with it. I’m finding that I actually get more reading done if I tote around my Kindle with me everywhere, but by and large, I didn’t have as much time to chew through novels this year.
That said, I read probably around 20 of them, and I wanted to at least share with you my favorite from that batch, plus a couple of audiobook mentions! Here goes.
#1: The Stars Were Right by Alexander
While I got bogged down in the second book, I rather enjoyed the first one right out of the gate. It’s set in a sort-of industrial, frontier fantasy world where a guy is framed for a murder he didn’t commit and has to go on the run while uncovering a wide conspiracy. Just really impressed with all of the races and world building, and the main characters were pretty likable as well.
#2: Grey Sister by Lawrence
Lawrence’s Book of the Ancestor series takes the assassins-in-training fantasy trope and at least gives it a fresh coat of paint and some fun developments. Probably my favorite part is that the setting is on an alien world where old human technology and this new medieval society mix. I also liked the Nevernight books and Foundryside, although I am really tiring of the whole assassin/thief angle that many fantasy novels pursue.
#3: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by James
I think I liked the concept of this YA novel a lot better than the actual execution. Lots of great ideas here, with a teenage girl who’s living by herself on a colonization ship after an accident, a second colony ship that makes contact, and some dark history from the past. As I said, lots of great ideas, but the novel lurches from scene to scene and doesn’t handle its protagonist very well.
#4: Them Bones by Waldrop
I’ve read a lot of time travel books, but nothing quite like this one. A trio of tales bound together — somehow — tell of a man who is thrown into the far past as he tries to avoid a nuclear holocaust, a platoon of soldiers from the future who clash with natives in the past, and an archaeological dig from the 1930s that uncovers several confusing finds. While kind of depressing in the end, it was still a really gripping read start to finish.
#5: The Ark by Tomlinson
A free book with a generic title and cover art belied an actually awesome scifi tale within. The Ark takes place on a generation ship that’s fleeing a now-destroyed earth in the hopes of establishing a colony on a new planet. 230 years into the voyage, there’s a locked-door whodunit and a security chief who won’t give up until he figures out what’s going on. The sequels take place on the colony itself, which is kind of a shame because the ship itself made for such a great and unique scifi setting.
And for audiobooks, I mostly purchased ones from novels that I had already bought on Amazon (since you can get the audiobooks for much cheaper that way). I finished up the excellently narrated Harry Potter series, went through the entirety of the Greatcoats (just as awesome in audio form), and spend many short drives going through Peter Clines’ 14.
Bonus list: Your picks
I once again polled Twitter for favorite novels this year, and here are some of the ones you said:
- Sturbborn: Collapsing Empire
- Woolydub: The Name of the Wind, Fire and Blood
- Jazz: Children of Blood and Bone
- Katriana: Before the Storm
- Andy Starr: Red Rising
- Stephen Sattler: Shadow and Claw
- Mike: TheWay of Kings
- Kherova: Pilot X
- DDOCentral: Doorways to the Unseen
- David: The Three-Body Problem
- Jason: Ethan of Athos, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
- Magnet Head: Once and Future King