10. The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon
The third installment in one of my favourite fantasy series, but not the best so far. I love the characters and the world-building in this series, but I found The Song Rising slightly lacking in substance. The series has focused far too much on the politics of the story in the latest two installments, and we’re left wondering about the greater meaning of the world and its characters. I love this series, but this was a 3-star novel for me.
9. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
I have tried a lot of Shusterman’s novels and Scythe was the first I properly enjoyed. In his latest awesome piece of speculative YA fiction, Shusterman shows us a futuristic world in which humans have conquered death, but in order to curb population, select members of society called scythes chose who lives and who dies. I thought the novel was brilliantly thought-out with two enjoyable protagonists showing us the way. Great for the younger spectrum of YA readers.
8. The Pale Dreamer by Samantha Shannon
In this prequel novella, my favourite characters of the main The Bone Season series band together to capture a ghost. It was everything I loved about the series: the fast-paced action the character quirks and quips, the fantasy and the clairvoyance and the supernatural (oh my!)
One of the most enjoyable installments in the series, and definitely the most fun and light-hearted!
7. Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas
After a worryingly slow start, Empire of Storms ended up as quite possibly my favourite of the whole Throne of Glass series. I feel like I have a special and unique connection with every character (except Chaol, glad he’s not in this one!), and I’m rooting for them all. Maas has improved her pacing exceptionally, and mixed with her killer story-telling and her expertise in character depth and growth – by the Gods this book is close to perfection.
6. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
A weird, speculative sci-fi about parallel worlds that just kept getting better, and one I devoured in one evening.A weird, speculative sci-fi about parallel worlds that just kept getting better, and one I devoured in one evening. It’s great to find a book that makes you examine your life and the universe around you. It’s great to find a book that makes you imagine what choices you would make if you were living the life of the protagonist. And it’s just the best to find a book that keeps you up until midnight soaking it up. Dark Matter was fast-paced and highly interesting. The main character I thought was fabulous and the plot was kind of predictable, but not at the same time.
5. When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman
According to the blurb, this book is about a brother and a sister. It’s not though, it’s about a girl, Elly, and her relationship with everyone. Her parents, her extended family, her brother and maybe most poignantly (in my view), her relationship with her best friend Jenny Penny. This book isn’t the stuff of legends. It’s not some epic fantasy with an incredible magic system and an intricate plot that makes me weak at the knees. It’s not the kind of thing I usually read. But I loved it. I loved the protagonist, I loved and related to everyone in her life. I relished the prose and actually cried over the hurt characters. And it takes a very strong book to make me cry. I couldn’t put this book down. It was compelling and glorious and I strongly recommend it.
4. Drown by Esther Dalseno
I have forever searched for a really good, dark, engrossing fairy-tale retelling. Something true to the original, but with its own twists. I’m telling you: this is it. Drown takes Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid and adds so much depth (excuse the water-puns). The world, the characters, the story, the drama: it’s everything I love about The Little Mermaid, but re-imagined for adults. Damn fabulous.
3. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
This is one of those books that popped up in my life right when I needed it. I have accepted the cult of Amanda Palmer and accept her as a guru in my waking life. This book was just everything. In a blend of autobiography, social commentary and self-help book, Amanda Palmer achieves a lot in only a small amount of pages. She not only tells us stories about her life and self (making me adore her in the process), but makes acute and poignant observations about our society and her most favourite part of it: people. The most remarkable thing is that she does all of this while making it all feel like she’s taken me out to coffee and we’re having a wonderful afternoon chat, having a fabulous time of it too. I learned a lot from this book. I devoured it and I have never felt so amazing.
2. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Hands down, best horror I’ve ever read. Bird Box is, to pick just one word, brilliant. The story takes place both at the beginning of an apocalypse and four years after the event. It’s an interesting premise in that no one really knows what’s going on. All they know is that people are snapping, becoming homicidal, suicidal, and all because they saw something. Pretty soon, it becomes a global epidemic and the world as we know it comes to change. Those who remain have to survive in a world where they cannot look outside. They live in boarded up houses, only venturing outside to scavenge for essentials. But they must do this blindfolded, coming up with ideas for systems to help each other navigating, all the while not even knowing what the threat even is. I didn’t imagine just how many boxes this book would tick for me (hint: ALL OF THEM).
1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Oh, Sarah J Maas. The things you do to me.
This is the second installment in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series and I’m not going to say a damn thing about it. Except that I can’t remember a time when I felt so terribly and wonderfully connected to fictional characters. I didn’t want to spend time with my actual friends because I needed to know what happened to Feyre and Rhysand. I know.
This series breaks my heart. And completes it at the same time.