10. American War by Omar El Akkad
…an inventive and timely story…Sarat’s unrelenting personal narrative wasn’t quite as compelling to me as the overall world that she inhabited, but this was still a really impressive debut. See the full review here.
9. An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock
I was immediately drawn in by the wondrous setting and Curtis Craddock’s beautiful prose. The humor and clever turns of phrase were perfectly matched to such a fantastical story…an entertaining adventure in a fresh new setting. See the full review here.
8. Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
This book starts with a bang, quiets down and then steadily builds to a satisfying conclusion. In typical Michael J. Sullivan fashion, there are plenty of common fantasy tropes at play here, but he utilizes them in a way that is fresh, inviting, and fun…an enjoyable adventure with a stellar cast. See the full review here.
7. City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett
Robert Jackson Bennett nailed this trilogy and did a wonderful job with the interplay of gods & mortals, modernity & traditional fantasy worlds, and great characters & an imaginative story. See the full review here.
6. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
The Stone Sky is my favorite book of the trilogy and is a dazzling conclusion to a remarkable and devastating series. As a whole, this was a visionary work, written by a wonderfully imaginative author. See the full review here.
5. Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
The epistolary format combines with Neuvel’s sharp writing to make for an infinitely readable sci-fi adventure that twists and turns its way to a big cliffhanger ending. I’m excited to see where the series goes from here. See the full review here.
4. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
There is a general charm and pace to S.A. Chakraborty’s writing that made for a delightful reading experience with the feel of a summer blockbuster popcorn movie. The City of Brass is an excellent debut novel that seamlessly blends together rich cultural worldbuilding, solid action, complex politics, and a set of nuanced characters. See the full review here.
3. All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
It was truly a delight to read a novel with such a perfect blend of wit, adventure, and poignancy. Mastai writes with a smart, self-assured edge that makes his wonderfully absurd plot feel plausible and all the complexities of time travel seem straightforward. See the full review here.
2. The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear
I can’t say I’ve read anything so gorgeously written with a setting so brilliantly realized. The Stone in the Skull is one of the best books I’ve read in a good long while. It is fresh, engaging, and was a joy to read. See the full review here.
1. Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb
…features tremendous buildup, non-stop action, and a conclusion that left me emotionally spent…This is a supremely satisfying finale to a series that will stick with me for my entire reading life. See the full review here.