A diamond in the rough, a brilliantly crafted, folklore-based jaunt around San Francisco’s Chinatown and the spirit world therein. I cannot tell you how much I was inspired by the folklore and magic in this book. I loved the characters and their relationships, I loved the main character’s journey and I appreciated the unpredictable plot. I really think anyone can find inspiration from this novel, I really recommend this one highly.
A well-written non-fiction about a modern woman attempting a year of eating entirely unprocessed foods. I was surprised how utterly brilliant this one turned out to be. It was really informative and fun, I learned a lot and really ended up loving Megan Kimble, enjoying following her around her year as she learned to make her own flour, salt, chocolate and alcohol, even slaughtering an animal. A great read for someone looking into eating mindfully and/or a budding environmentalist.
8. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
This one wins the most gorgeous book cover of 2015, and most definitely earns its place in my top 10 reads. A desert land, a fierce academy, soldiers and mythological creatures: this one made me proud to be a reader of YA. A book that teaches a rough lesson or two, that takes difficult but real subject matters and doesn’t sugar coat them. Plus it’s got a genuinely scary baddie – possibly my favourite baddie of my 2015 reads!
You don’t have to be a nerd of the highest order to enjoy this one, but it probably cranks up the levels on the awesome scale if you are. This one’s all about immersive video games, and a quest to find a legendary Easter egg in a treasure hunt with high stakes. It was such a fun book to read; I really cared about the characters, was immersed in the story, and the little details and references really added to the experience. A light and Americanized Sword Art Online, with retro video games in the place of JRPG, anyone with even a slight appreciation for games will love this.
6. The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
Second book in The Bone Season series and, honestly, it’s not quite as good. It’s got a very different feel to it, more of a murder mystery jaunt around a grim alternate London. It was good though, and at the end of the day, what draws me to this series are its complexities, its world and its characters. I do love me some Paige and Jaxon Hall is such fun to read about. There were some epic scenes in this one, and I’m thoroughly excited for book 3.
Though I love Victoria Schwab as a person (her Twitter is just delightful), her previous novels haven’t really been my cuppa tea. Until now. A Darker Shade of Magic is a new adult fantasy series about alternate worlds, pirates and anti-heroes. The magic is cool, the characters are fab, and the plot was action-based and fairly enticing. Didn’t 100% do it for me, but I have an inkling book 2 will be all over that.
4. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
In a world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time, and a young smuggler must learn the challenges that await an apprentice librarian, Ink and Bone took me on quite the ride. The world-building was not quite up to scratch, but the plot was fabulous and I did quite like the characters (one in particular, very much so!)
3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
A highly anticipated new YA series from a fantastic author, loosely based on Beauty and the Beast. It tells the story of Feyre (a Katniss Everdeen-a-like, admittedly), who is kidnapped and brought to the realm of the Fey as punishment for a crime. Though I was neither a fan of the main character nor the love interest, the imaginative world and supporting characters made up for what this book lacks.
2. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
The fourth installment in the Throne of Glass series and arguably the best. Maas has improved her pacing tremendously this year, and my favourite YA heroine Celeana/Aelin is on her best form. I had no idea what to expect and it didn’t disappoint. This one’s a good one; I’m anxious to see if book 5 will beat it.
1. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
A vengeful madman, mystical obelisks and a world where the apocalypse is always guaranteed. This adult fantasy is different, engulfing and has some of the best world-building of any novel I’ve ever read. It was imaginative, emotional and even scary at times. It kept me guessing, kept me hooked and made me so anxious to read the next installment.
Happy New Year! xx