Hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. With 2017 not actually being over yet, I’m thinking it might be possible that I’ll read a book that would have been added to this list before the year ends. I did that once, actually, and was left talking about the book non-stop the next year. This year I’ve done really good with DNFing books that I can tell I won’t care for much, which has left me with a lot more four and five star books than I usually have. (And at the same time, I’ve really found my type of books, I think, and gotten somewhat more easygoing about them. Course I’m complaining like crazy about TV shows to anyone that’ll listen, so it balances out.) Few other random notes: I’ve not DNFd any book that released in 2017, and I’ve read the most five star books this year.
Sort of in countdown order – at least as much as I could make it without ripping my hair out!
As the eternally rebellious Heathlands plot a bold new campaign of war, Crown Prince Demnor must not only overcome traitors within the court and the ever-growing rebel forces, but he must also master the birthright power which could well prove his doom.
Notes: I wanted a thick, dense fantasy book when I read this one and it was exactly what I wanted to read. I’ve not gotten around to the next in the series, mostly because I haven’t been craving a chunky fantasy since then, but I am looking forward to it. (Especially because I love the way gender is handled in this setting.)
Rogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.
Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.
As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.
Notes: I’m not usually one to have romance novels make this list, but this book is just lovely and I am a huge fan of Sebastian’s historical romances. (And this one is my favorite of her’s so far.)
Risking all for freedom – and love.
The governor has disbanded the Colonial Assembly, removing the last shred of representative government from American shores. The Rebel Mechanics and their magister allies can’t let the Empire get away with that. The time has come to act.
But to truly start turning the wheels of revolution, they need popular support from ordinary laborers, housewives, students, and the middle class—people outside the rebel movements. That’s a job for Verity Newton, under the guise of her journalistic alter ego. As the rebel movement builds momentum, Verity must take a more public, open stand for the cause—a stand that could jeopardize her job, her home, and her place in society.
At the same time, a revolution is the only way Verity stands a chance of being with Lord Henry, since they’re divided by class and by the fact that he’s wanted for treason. It’s a risk she’s willing to take.
Notes: This is a series that I think keeps getting better and better and I am super looking forward to the continuation of the story.
Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.
When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…
Notes: I think, more than how much I love this book, there’s also a bit of surprise because I never thought I’d like it as much as I did. (Of course, I thought I’d like the sequel more than I did and I just hated it.)
Kiram fought his family and Cadeleonian bigots to remain in the Sagrada Academy to prove himself as a mechanist and to dispel the deadly shadow curse that threatens to destroy his upperclassman, Javier Tornesal.
But when his efforts provoke retaliation, Kiram’s family and home are endangered. Both Kiram and Javier risk everything in a desperate gambit to combat the curse.
But they never imagined their battle would come so soon, or that it would be led by the one person they trust most of all.
Notes: Really, both the books in this duology should be on this list, but between the two, I liked this one more. Partially because the characters finally got their heads on straight, but mostly because of the wonderful payoffs that were set up in the first.
A broken mirror. A stolen child. A final mission to try to stop an enemy they never dreamed they would face.
When a spell gone wrong shatters Snow White’s enchanted mirror, a demon escapes into the world. The demon’s magic distorts the vision of all it touches, showing them only ugliness and hate. It is a power that turns even friends and lovers into mortal foes, one that will threaten humans and fairies alike.
And the first to fall under the demon’s power is the princess, Snow White…
Notes: Currently the series finale (Hines has said he’d like to write another in the series) and I think it might be my favorite. The story is a bit more serious than the previous ones and it just works and I really like the way things turned out.
The Queen of the Eldritch has offered Reese Eddings a life out of a fairy tale, one beyond the imagination of a poor girl from Mars who’d expected to spend her life eking out a living with a rattletrap merchant vessel. Unfortunately, the day Reese reached out to accept Liolesa’s offer, Hirianthial’s enemies betrayed him–and his entire planet–to a race of sociopathic shapeshifters with dreams of conquest. Now the only thing between Reese and a castle of her very own is a maniacal alien despot, his native quisling and all the Eldritch dead-set on preventing the incursion of aliens at any cost, including the ousting of their current usurper, who happens to be an alien himself…
Reese, Hirianthial and the crew of the Earthrise have been battling these pirates since Hirianthial’s capture inspired their fateful meeting, but to beat them Reese will have to own the power she’s always denied herself, and Hirianthial must make peace with his bloody past and uncertain future.
The stakes have never been higher, and this last time will count for all. The final battlefield awaits.
Notes: It was really hard for me picking between this one and Rose Point, the previous book in the series. I finally went with this one because it wraps up everything so nicely and made me so happy. (And lose too much sleep on a weeknight.)
All his life, Moon roamed the Three Worlds, a solitary wanderer forced to hide his true nature–until he was reunited with his own kind, the Raksura, and found a new life as consort to Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud court.
But now a rival court has laid claim to Moon, and Jade may or may not be willing to fight for him. Beset by doubts, Moon must travel in the company of strangers to a distant realm where he will finally face the forgotten secrets of his past, even as an old enemy returns with a vengeance.
The Fell, a vicious race of shapeshifting predators, menaces groundlings and Raksura alike. Determined to crossbreed with the Raksura for arcane purposes, they are driven by an ancient voice that cries out from…THE SIREN DEPTHS.
Notes: Another difficult choice between this one and Harbors of the Sun (the series finale). I chose this one because I love the new characters that were introduced and this was really the first book that gave the Fell any depth. (Of course, the later books took that and ran with it and I love them for that!)
When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war.
There, her fate becomes intertwined with that of three very different women: Zech, the fast-thinking acolyte of a cunning, powerful exile; Viya, the spoiled, runaway consort of the empire-building ruler, Vex Leoden; and Gwen, an Earth-born worldwalker whose greatest regret is putting Leoden on the throne. But Leoden has allies, too, chief among them the Vex’Mara Kadeja, a dangerous ex-priestess who shares his dreams of conquest.
Pursued by Leoden and aided by the Shavaktiin, a secretive order of storytellers and mystics, the rebels flee to Veksh, a neighboring matriarchy ruled by the fearsome Council of Queens. Saffron is out of her world and out of her depth, but the further she travels, the more she finds herself bound to her friends with ties of blood and magic.
Can one girl – an accidental worldwalker – really be the key to saving Kena? Or will she just die trying?
Notes: This book was a very nice surprise – and surprising myself I loved everything about it. I’m always begging for more diversity in fantasy and this book is that plus feminist and it’s just so lovely. (And I am so nervous to finally sit down and read the sequel.)
The future is coming…for some, sooner than others.
Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing, but when faced with a terminal illness, he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He’s built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. He could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began…but only if he can survive Hollow World.
Notes: I never expected this. While I love Sullivan’s fantasy work, I was super nervous for his only foray into novel length sci-fi. And, really, besides sounding like a very different book for him, it also is a very different book for him. That being said, it is my favorite book of his so far.
Have you read any of these books? (Conversely, can I convince you to?) What were your favorite books of the year?