I read about 35 new books this year. That’s fewer than normal, but I also didn’t read as many comics/manga this year, and I re-read a lot of books (including some long ones).
Here’s some highlights of 2015’s reading adventures:
Talion: Revenant (Michael A. Stackpole)
This fantasy stand-alone by X-wing author Stackpole is a perfectly plotted and paced book. It’s standard fantasy in some ways, but very inventive in others. If you liked Stackpole’s writing in his Star Wars books, I think you will like this one also.
Caliban’s War (James S. A. Corey)
I liked this follow up to Leviathan Wakes as much if not more. The characters are really excellent, and the pacing keeps you on the edge of your seat. I’m in the middle of the next book, Abaddon’s Gate, right now, but I’ve gotten stuck because it kind of slows down in the middle. But overall I highly recommend The Expanse series.
I came across this short book when it happened to be free on Amazon for a promotion, so I gave it a chance and I’m glad I did. It follows Percy, our “ordinary knight,” on his quest to save the cursed Princess Matilda. While it follows a traditional fairy tale format, there are some cute twists and deconstructions of tropes that make it fun and fresh.
I almost didn’t put the cover on here because I don’t think it fits the book well. There is some romance, but it is clean, and it has a very quirky sense of humor–think The Princess Bride. It would appeal to a wide age of readers.
If you liked that other Martian adventure novel this year, you might like this one, too. It shares the same theme of using science to solve problems and help people.
Skylights follows the crew of the Tycho on the second manned mission to Mars, intent on finding out what happened to the first one. It is enjoyably suspenseful, and joyfully tech-positive.
Howl’s Moving Castle (Diana Wynne Jones)
How had I never read this book before?! It is amazing. The characters, especially protagonist Sophie and wizard Howl, are amazing, and the writing is beautiful and clever.
I had never watched the Miyazaki animated movie either; I loved that, too, though it is different from the book. I highly recommend both!
I am Princess X (Cherie Priest)
A very creative novel-comic hybrid that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, with a little bit of adventure and suspense thrown in (but no romance at all). It was original and captivating and great.