It's time again to reveal my favorite reads of last year! These were the top ten books I read in 2017.
1. Gemina - Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristof
Illuminae was my favorite read of 2016, and its sequel lived up to the high expectations I had for it. Gemina was every bit as good as its predecessor. Despite featuring a new set of protagonists, the novel's blend of action, sci-fi story line, and unique format made it my favorite read of 2017. I can't wait for the third book in the series!
2. Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
Last year, I finished reading the remaining Rainbow Rowell books that I hadn't already read, and Fangirl was my favorite. This book shows why Ms. Rowell has become one of my favorite authors. I love the way she writes characters and dialogue. I wish I had half her skills. Even a quarter would be nice. She can turn mundane activities into the most interesting stories in the world. I can't believe it took me so long to finally read her books. Don't make the same mistake that I did. Read Rainbow Rowell now!
3. Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor
Laini Taylor is another author whose writing skills I can't hope to ever match. The first chapter of Strange the Dreamer read like poetry, and the rest of the book was just as good. I loved the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series, and this book is just as good, if not better! This is another book where I can't wait for the sequel.
4. Heartless - Marissa Meyer
With the Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer showed that she can write great fairy tale re-tellings. Heartless continues the trend with the origin story of the Queen of Hearts from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The way Meyer sprinkled Lewis Carroll's work into her own was masterful. There's also some Edgar Allan Poe added for good measure. I'll never look at the ill-tempered queen the same way again.
5. Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel
Giant robot meets unconventional storytelling format? Where do I sign up? I found the plot of Sleeping Giants to be engaging and fast-moving, and I was surprised by how much I was drawn toward the characters, given how little the book describes them.
6. Eliza and Her Monsters - Francesca Zappia
Interestingly, this is the second YA story about fandoms (after Fangirl) on my list this year. I had a feeling I was going to like this book from the description and reviews, and it sucked me right in from the beginning. The writing was engaging, and the characters were interesting. The last part of the book was a bit bumpy for me, but overall, I really liked it. I need to check out more of Francesca Zappia's writing.
7. Traitor's Masque - Kenley Davidson
This retelling of the Cinderella story mixes fairy tale with political intrigue. Sabotaging the crown is a common enough trope in fantasy books, but I haven't seen it applied to the Cinderella story. Overall, the author pulls it off well. The characters are flawed but sympathetic, and the prose flows . If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, this novel is for you.
8. The Alloy of Law - Brandon Sanderson
Last year, I read the Mistborn series and loved it. In 2017, I started the second Mistborn series. I have to give Brandon Sanderson credit for having the vision to write a sequel that takes place hundreds of years after its predecessor, where the world has progressed to a very different state. The characters from the first Mistborn series have passed into history as religious icons, but allomancy and feruchemy are still alive and well. The protagonist of The Alloy of Law, Waxillium Ladrian, reminds me of Kelsier, and Wayne and Marasi are likeable companions. If there's any complaint about this book, it's that I wished Marasi played a bigger role rather than just as a damsel in distress. I'm hoping this will be addressed in the later books of the series, which I definitely plan to read.
9. Waking Gods - Sylvain Neuvel
The second book of The Themis Files was almost as good as the first. Waking Gods was bleaker than Sleeping Giants, which didn't suit my taste, and some of the wonder of giant robots wore off after for me, but this was still a really good book. I recommend The Themis Files to fans of sci-fi and giant robots.
10. Half a King - Joe Abercrombie
This was the first Joe Abercrombie book I've read, and it convinced me that I need to read more of his books. Half a King was fast paced, with an action-filled plot, complete with mysteries and twists. The events of this book would have spanned over 500 pages or multiple books in the hands of other fantasy authors, and I'm very pleased that Mr. Abercrombie trimmed the unnecessary fat to produce an engaging story in 300+ pages.