For some reason I find fantasy books much more believable than mainstream fiction. I mostly read fantasy and all sub-genres but if overwhelmed with curiosity I'll occasionally read a 'norm' book.
I am an author also but I am mostly on this site to connect as a reader.
So being a big young-adult novel reader, I get a lot of requests from friends asking ‘what book should I read?’ (I’m sure many of you do too). So, as I have done in previous years I thought I’d make a little list of young adult fantasy books (including sub-genres) that should not (under any circumstance) be missed that were released so far in 2015. I’m not really one for blurbing other’s books so I’ll link to their pages where you can check out the details. This is in descending order of how much I think they are ‘not to be missed.’
10) Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles #3) by Kresley Cole
So, this book is actually the third book in “The Arcana Chronicles.” This series is amazing, it’s magical-fantasy, dystopian, about as anxty of a romance as you get and just so all around awesome. However, even though it is classified as “young adult” it’s extremely gory and has explicit sex. This book in particular was fantastic, but not my all time favorite in the series. It’s still a five star read though and the series is a ‘miss it and suffer the consequences of never loving it’ series.
9) Six of Crows (The Dregs #1) by Leigh Bardugo
I know there are some that would cry foul that I even put this book as number nine on my list (it’s that good). However, even though it was amazing, I had a hard time getting into the book until about halfway through where it really picked up pace. The book is a fantasy that takes place in Ketterdam another region of Bardugo’s fictional land from her Grisha series. The book is about a team of ‘street rats’ (type) who go on a thought-impossible heist. There is violence and sexual references, some heavy concepts are brushed upon. Definitely a not to be missed book.
8) The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh
This was the review I wrote right after reading this book: “This book is full of angst, has somewhat of a love triangle, and a love story you feel down to your toes. I was not a big fan of the ending.” Unfortunately, while I remember really loving this book, there have been too many in between to really go into much detail. However, the book was very much a romance and full of tension and emotion. Even though after reading the premise, I didn’t think I would fall in love with this book I did. As I remember, there are some mild sex scenes and mild violence.
7) Darken the Skies (Kricket #3) by Amy A Bartol
So, I am obsessed with this series. It is a cross genre sci-fi/high fantasy/paranormal novel (sounds impossible, doesn’t it?). This particular book (again) wasn’t my favorite in the series but still one of my favorite books of the year. Maybe I’m just a little bitter because it looks like the series might be ending (No!!!!). However, this might be considered New Adult, there are definitely some sex scenes and they get somewhat explicit. I think the main character’s age is eighteen. Tons of anxt and romance and action and spaceships and magic.
6) Empire of Night (Age of Legend # 2) by Kelley Armstrong
This is another book where I remember LOVING it but the details are a little fuzzy (oh, well). This is the second book in a high fantasy series where the main characters are twins whose land is being taken over by a ghost-plague (If I remember correctly). It’s kind of Garth Nixish. If you don’t like Kelley Armstrong’s slow detailed style of writing, however, you will probably not like this series. I love Kelley Armstrong, I am a complete fangirl of her so…there you go. Not for everyone but if you like this kind of book, OMG it’s good.
5) Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J Maas
This is a very popular series (I probably don’t even need to tell you about it, huh?). But I do want to mention that the books start pretty typical YA then grow in scope and character development and world building. This book and series is definitely not to be missed.
4) A Book of Spirits and Thieves (Spirits and Thieves #1) by Morgan Rhodes
So this book is actually a paranormal off-shoot of Morgan Rhodes high fantasy series Falling Kingdoms. Falling Kingdoms is one of my favorite series but when I heard there was going to be paranormal off shoot I was like “Um, no way.” But thank goodness I did not pass it over! It was so good; dare I say that it was even better than Falling Kingdoms. This book does not need to be read after the other series though it does give you fun insight into what is going on. Just…just read it. Seriously.
3) Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Rosamund Hodge is the type of author that you either LOVE or don’t get and/or hate. I am firmly in the first category. LOVE is too small a word (even in all caps). She stretches the fantasy genre in the most delicious and amazing ways. And just the way she writes, like she’s painting a picture (in blood, sometimes). I love her work, I love this book. It is about a malicious forest that infects people into being murderers.
2) A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J Maas
I am a big fan of beauty and the beast rewrites and this is one of my favorites. Sarah J Mass just brings a lot of spunk and sensuality into the story. Her writing is just beautiful. This book also may be considered new adult.
So this book was a gem among gems. It was the second book of 2015 I read about a sentient malicious forest, the other was Crimson Bound. I had never read a book with this type of 'evil' before but both books were spectacular and very different, and coincidentally two of my favorite books this far this year.
I'd actually go so far as to call this book the best epic fantasy book I've found since Daughter of the Forest by Juliette Marilier (maybe even better).
This novel was incredible. Almost perfect. The narrative, voice, pace, style, it was all flawlessly delivered.
The protagonist was one of my favorite literary characters ever. I was pretty much sold from the beginning but there's a scene pretty early on where she's pressured by the very mixed hero of the book who is titled the 'dragon' he keeps pressuring her to beautify herself but she defies him and says 'she doesn't owe him pretty.' It sounds way more trite with me writing it but I just loved that. That wasn't the only great thing about the MC, she grew as a person but never to please anyone really. She just rocked, 100%.
This book was tame in sexual content and violence. It was just amazing. Not to be Missed.
So there is my list, if you would like to add yours please comment below.