I read so few science fiction/fantasy books every year that it’s always a struggle for me to come up with a “favorites” list for the genre. However in spite of that, or perhaps because of it, I’m never short on SF/F books to choose off my TBR. And with both of those genres being more popular than ever, I ready do need to get reading- less I be buried under a mountainous pile of books very soon. This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic (which I’m two days late for, as per usual), is all about the SF/F books you’re most excited to check off your TBR. This could be 2017 releases, or books that have been out for years. In my case I’m opting to write about the latter, so without further ado let’s cut to the books.
1.The Circle by Dave Eggers
For those of you living under a rock, the film adaptation of The Circle (starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks) is set to release April 28th. The premise of this adult science fiction read is hard to explain, but essentially follows protagonist Mae after she lands a job at a Silicon Valley-esque Internet company. In the process she discovers that the influence of The Circle is vast and far reaching, in ways she has yet to even comprehend. Personally I tend to enjoy SF/F reads more when they have concrete ties to our current world, and Dave Eggers definitely plucked the inspiration for his story straight out of reality. I’m excited to have my world rocked, as I think many of Mae and myself will come to many of the same realizations together. Not to mention the movie trailer, which looks AMAZING; and is hopefully only a small fraction of the whole story. If you’ve read this one let me know what you thought of it, as well as if there’s any YA books you’d compare it too.
2.A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
I absolutely love V.E. Schwab’s YA work under Victoria Schwab, which makes it especially surprising I have yet to check out her most beloved work to date: the Shades of Magic trilogy. I put this on my “Books I Need to Read Before 2017” post way back in October, though things obviously didn’t go down as I had planned. Hopefully though I will actually read this one before 2018 rolls around. For my little bit of summary: there are four parallel London’s that all possess varying degrees of magic. Protagonist Kell is one of the last magician’s able to maneuver their way through the worlds, and in the process finds herself entangled in a perilous mission with deadly consequences. The last book in the trilogy released in February, giving me no excuse and all the reason in the world to pick up these books. I’m very intrigued by the prospect of parallel cities, and can’t wait to see if Schwab takes a more scientific or fantastical approach in explaining a London like no other.
3.Nemesis by Brendan Reichs
Nemesis snuck onto my radar quietly, with very little fanfare from the book blog or booktube communities. Which is especially unfortunate, I think, since the story sounds SO compelling. I would describe it as science fiction, with a substantial amount of horror elements thrown in for good measure. At first the premise seemed like something I’ve seen done before a lot in YA- the ritual slaying (or memory erasing, or kidnapping, or some other heinous crime) of protagonist Min every two years. But then Brendan Reichs adds a whole new dimension: the inclusion of an asteroid hurtling towards Earth, that somehow connects to a conspiracy between her entire sophonore class. Intriguing? For sure. Reviews have been sparce thus far so I can’t really tell you what the public’s consensus has been, though I have high hopes. With so many different stories weaving together my opinion will rely almost solely on Reichs ability to tie them together, so fingers crossed he can stick it.
4.Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
At this point Empress of a Thousand Skies holds a mediocre 3.51 rating on Goodreads, but enough of my favorite book blog people have given it rave reviews for me to place it on this list. Belleza’s debut reads like a unique mashup of The Lunar Chronicles and Carve the Mark, with a lot of interesting plot threads coming together. We have two main protagonists, Rhee and Alyosha, the former of whom is about to inherit an empire…and take revenge for her family’s murder. That is until a brutal attack nearly costs her life, and Aly (who struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices) is named as the prime suspect. The two are forced to go into hiding as a war between planets is waged in Rhee’s name, only to discover an evil that threatens to destroy their galaxy. I’ve never read a space opera before, which makes me super excited to see what all the hype is about. Empress seems about as hardcore as they come, and I can’t wait to see what the tagline of “vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy” is all about.
5.The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
When The Bone Season debuted back in 2013, Samantha Shannon was being touted as the next J.K. Rowling. A lofty comparison for sure, and one (from what I’ve heard) she’s more than lived up to. With only three out of seven proposed books being released as of 2017, I’ve very excited that Shannon’n epic series could easily morph into a favorite sci fi go-to of mine. The world of this series is meticulously crafted, taking place in 2059 London where protagonist Paige Mahoney slips in and out of the city’s criminal underbelly. Her work is as a Dreamwalker, or a clairvoyant who can slip into the minds of others and extract information. Highly illegal and highly dangerous, as Paige finds out herself when she’s kidnapped by the members of a secret city. Paige must escape at any cost…and get into enough hijinks to cover seven books worth of content. Sounds great!
What books are at the top of your science ficion/fantasy TBR? Let me know in the comments!