2017 is nearly upon us so it’s time to showcase my favourite books of the year! I’ve read a mixed bag of books this year, roughly half I’ve loved and half I’ve disliked. I decided to allow a few more than three books like I did last year as it was to hard to narrow it done.
The Girl with No Hands by Angela Slatter
This was amazing, instantly becoming one of my favourite anthologies. It reminded me of Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan and The bloody Chamber by Angela Carter.On their own the stories are like tidbits of moreish food, wonderful but brief. Only together do they become a glorious meal, retaining the essence of faerie tales but giving them a new spark. Some of my favourites were Red Skien, The Chrysanthemum Bride, The Hummingbird Heart and The Girl With No Hands. I wish her other books were as easy to get hold of so I could immerse myself in more of her short stories.
Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier
This was even better than the first book, if that’s possible! It’s such a bitter sweet tale of wasting life living in a dream and that when that dream is realised it can never be as perfect as imagined. A tale of stubborn love and unrealised love, where no one is evil or pure but shades of both. The themes of the first book are carried forward also as Blackthorn and Grim struggle to accept their past. I absolutely adore Grim and loved finding out about his past. I spent most of the book wanting to cuddle him to death. I do wish the scene with the curse had been more dramatic and scary but that is only a minor fault. I can’t wait until Den of Wolves comes out!
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
This is a delightful slow burn of a book, rich in character and world building. Becky Chambers uses aliens and space to highlight so many diverse themes both on the ship Wayfarer and the planets they travel too. I laughed, cried and basically beamed throughout the whole book. At it’s heart it’s a story about friendship and making a misfit family. It is completely heart warming, comforting and I adored it.
I also got a bit of a crush on Sissix.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
So far this is my favourite book by N.K Jemisin and completely deserving of all the praise it is receiving. The stillness is a fascinating and volatile world where earth shakes and volcano eruptions can happen at any time. Amide these devastating occurrences life clings on and we follow a myriad of characters including Stone Eaters and Orogenes who can control the earth. As I’ve come to expect with Jemisin, she seamlessly weaves diversity throughout while creating complex characters and a plot that teases. Alot of people have mentioned how they struggled with Essun’s point of view as it’s told in second person but I thought this was a perfect way to illustrate her grief at losing her children. As if she was mentally pulling herself along, constantly reminding herself to live as if she wasn’t in control of her body. Sadly, because I read this a long while after it was first released I was expecting the massive twist so figured it out before it was revealed! It didn’t make it any less great but did take away the surprise!
The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud
This is a brilliant addition to a wonderful series and I’m going to be so sad when the last one comes out next year. It felt just like meeting old friends again after a time apart, the banter between the Lockwood & Co crew was so funny despite the more fraught feelings being dealt with in this book. Though not as creepy as the previous books it still builds on all the tension and clues that are leading up to the grand finale. I can’t wait to see how it’s all going to end!
The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley
I borrowed this from my brother last Yule as he hadn’t gotten around to reading it and I’d heard good things about it. Unfortunately library books pushed this to the bottom of my ‘to read’ pile so it was left sitting on a shelf. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did once I finally got around to reading it! I could hardly put it down and I’ve since tried to force my brother and my husband to read it.
I loved how it revolved around a set of three siblings and it was this that tied the different points of view together. It was fast paced, full of interesting world building and varied characters bursting with personality. I’ll be reading the second book the minute I get my hands on it.
Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët
This was a perfect mix of cuteness juxtaposed with horror! I found it wonderful and rather unsettling! The artwork is lovely, the little people simply drawn and the humans and woodland scenes more detailed. I’m glad Aurora gets revenge and I loved the ending, I wish there was a second book to find out what happens to her. I do wish that the human girl’s death had been explained but maybe that was deliberate as the little people didn’t care at all so why should we?
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda
This was incredible, everything I look for in a comic! An epic story, captivating creatures and characters, stunning art and dark themes. It unfolded at a tantalising pace, giving glimpses of truths or introducing characters I imagine will become important at a later date. I’ve never been happier left with so many questions and I just want more!
Pretty smitten with my new teacup that I bought when last visiting family in Bristol. Makes the joy of drinking tea even better.
Looking forward to hopefully reading many great books next year! What have been your favourite books of 2016?