Two of these books are 2015 releases. One thing I noticed about my reading habits in 2015 is that I was a lot better at reading books that were published in 2015. I was also a lot better at reading debut novels, because two of the books on this list are debuts.
So, without further ado, here are my Top 3 Novels of 2015!
by Katherine Addison
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.
Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.
Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend... and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne – or his life.
Why I loved it: I was a little hesitant when I first picked up The Goblin Emperor; it had been so long since I'd read high fantasy that it was a genre that intimidated me, and while I had a feeling I would like it - I'd seen so many positive reviews - I wasn't entirely sure. As it turns out, I adored it. The world-building in this book is so exquisitely done, but what really gave this book a special place in my heart is the protagonist, Maia, who is one of the most charming characters I have ever encountered in high fantasy. I tend to enjoy high fantasy most when the world isn't at stake, and The Goblin Emperor isn't an end of the world story - this is both a coming of age novel and a novel of courtly intrigue. It blew me away, and whether you're a fan of high fantasy or not you need to give this book a try!
by Becky Chambers
When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that's seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past.
But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix, the friendly reptillian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the constantly sparring engineers who keep the ship running. Life on board is chaotic, but more or less peaceful - exactly what Rosemary wants.
Until the crew are offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They'll earn enough money to live comfortably for years... if they survive the long trip through war-torn interstellar space without endangering any of the fragile alliances that keep the galaxy peaceful.
But Rosemary isn't the only person on board with secrets to hide, and the crew will soon discover that space may be vast, but spaceships are very small indeed.
Why I loved it: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is a very recent read, but it's earned itself a firm place on my list of favourite books. Like high fantasy, science fiction is a genre that used to intimidate me, and there is some sci-fi that still does. This book is similar to The Goblin Emperor in that it's not about a group of people trying to save the galaxy, but about a group of people who are, quite literally, on a journey. This is another book that surprised me with how much I loved it; I finished it and immediately wanted to reread it and shout from the heavens how wonderful and life-affirming and heart-warming and touching and beautiful it is. Chambers' world-building is gorgeous, as are her characters; I wish I could go and live on the Wayfarer with them.
by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Mexico City, 1988: Long before iTunes or MP3s, you said “I love you” with a mixtape. Meche, awkward and fifteen, has two equally unhip friends -- Sebastian and Daniela -- and a whole lot of vinyl records to keep her company. When she discovers how to cast spells using music, the future looks brighter for the trio. With help from this newfound magic, the three friends will piece together their broken families, change their status as non-entities, and maybe even find love...
Mexico City, 2009: Two decades after abandoning the metropolis, Meche returns for her estranged father’s funeral. It’s hard enough to cope with her family, but then she runs into Sebastian, and it revives memories from her childhood she thought she buried a long time ago. What really happened back then? What precipitated the bitter falling out with her father? And, is there any magic left?
Why I loved it: I was very lucky to win a copy of Signal to Noise in a giveaway hosted by SciFiNow, before then I'd never even heard of it so I'm very, very glad I won that giveaway. If there's anything Signal to Noise has taught me it's that I always seem to love books I completely wasn't expecting. This book stole my heart because it's one of the only books I've ever read that's reminded me of what it feels like to be a teenager. I find it hard to relate to a lot of contemporary YA because so much of it is centred around romance, and there wasn't any romance in my school years - I was too busy thinking about Harry Potter and dipping my toes into feminism for a boyfriend. While there is a little romance in Signal to Noise, it's not a romantic story. It's about life and growing up and what confused, hormonal teenagers would really do if they found out they could do magic. It's such a fantastic book, and I can't wait for Moreno-Garcia's next book!
What were your favourite books of 2015?
Happy New Year! Thank you for reading my blog and for all of your comments, and I can't wait for another great blogging year in 2016!