It’s time for the end of year roundup! What books did I love this year, which ones are the best and how many would I recommend you spend your money and time on! Read on to find out…
There have been so many good books I have read and as someone who has tried to write a book a few times, succeeding once with a first draft, I know how hard this is, so to get one published and have people read it is such an impressive feat.
I’ve read about 45 books this year so there were a lot to choose from. I’ve ranked them from 10th best book to the 1st best book below. These opinions are just mine and of course if you haven’t read any of the books on this list I really hope you add them to your TBR, they’re all brilliant.
Featuring 7 fantasy, 3 sci-fi and 3 self published books, I present my top 10…
This is a really great debut novel from Essa Hansen. Nophek Gloss makes me excited to read more Sci-Fi. When you read this story, it’s like Caiden and you are old friends discovering the universe together. The book flows nicely, builds up problems before building up Caiden and the characters all bring something unique. This has Red Rising and Mass Effect vibes so if you like them, you’ll really enjoy this.
My full review: Nophek Gloss
Vakov is like The Punisher but in space with aliens, psychopaths, stormtech addicts and rail guns. This was one hell of a ride showing that Jeremy’s writing skills have evolved from Stormblood into something even more serious. Blindspace is the kind of book you want to read when you want brutal, space-faring action with aliens, devious enemies, found family and high stakes. Be prepared to wince, grimace and turn the pages quickly when you pick this up. It’s one hell of a ride.
My full review: Blindspace
Dim Stars is an exciting sci-fi space opera story perfect for sci-fi fans everywhere. The characters feel open and warm, their relationships with each other real and emotional. The worldbuilding is exciting and the ship is a location on its own within the universe. The whole story is a page turner which feels like it has been written by someone with a lot more writing experience. You need to give it to yourself to enjoy this book.
My full review: Dim Stars
You need to read this book. Cameron Johnston is a fantasy name you need to look out for. The story that Cameron has painted on these pages is scarily good. Monsters, heroes, epic action, bigger monsters, constant twists and turns, brilliantly written battles and a hilarious and angry God of War. I don’t know what else to tell you without spoiling it. Get it. Now.
My full review: The Maleficent Seven
The Justice of Kings is an excellent fantasy story that takes something so ingrained in our own society and brings it the front of the story, carried by fantastic characters who feel real, finding their way in a sometimes lawless world. This is an interesting and thought provoking read providing page-turning situations, pacey events and a mystery that unravels itself as quickly as you can turn the pages. I am already excited for the second book in this series and I highly recommend you get on this trilogy as soon as you can as I expect this trilogy to be well loved by all who read it.
My full review: The Justice of Kings
Shackled Fates is a blockbuster sequel that somehow out performs everything the first book gave us. The characters are amazing, the story brilliant and the worlds, alive. This will keep you turning the pages until the early hours and will leave an impact on you akin to Thor’s hammer. I can’t wait to see what Thilde has lined up in Slaughtered Gods next year because this is a fantastic fantasy story that really brings Norse men, women and gods to life. Everyone should read this series. Fact.
My full review: Shackled Fates
Ryan has created an epic fantasy series that wouldn’t look out of place if it was penned by Brandon Sanderson and I don’t say that lightly. He’s no Sanderson, no, not yet, but for a debut author of less than 12 months, he has created something epic here. He has the characters, the magic, the worldbuilding and my attention. Ryan has breathed fresh air into old tropes, creating a fantastic epic fantasy story with high stakes that deserves your precious time. He has blasted himself into the author stratosphere with this brilliantly imagined second book and The Bound and The Broken should be the next series on your TBR, lest you miss out and find yourself the one person in your group of friends who doesn’t understand what the hype is about.
My full review: Of Darkness and Light
The Hero of Ages is the final book in what is an amazing fantasy series. What begins as an entry into a dark world with a niche magic system ends in the most unexpected way which then ushers in a new trilogy set in the same but also new, world. This is a masterpiece in how you end a fantasy trilogy. The feels!
No review posted as this was pre-blog.
This is an S rank book. If you’ve played games you’ll know what that means and if you don’t well consider it a 6 out of 5. I’ve only given this (in my head) to two other books before – The Hobbit and Ready Player One. This is for those books you recommend to everyone whenever you’re asked if you know any good books. This is for those books you need to have special editions of. This book is nothing short of extraordinary. It made me excited to turn the page and that is special. Rob has created a living breathing world with characters who I felt I knew everything about. It’s a world I can’t wait to get back into and a world I can’t wait for others to explore. I couldn’t put this book down and for good reason. To me this is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I implore you to get a copy when it’s released. I can’t wait to see where Rob is taking this world next. This is what fantasy writers should aspire to and what fantasy readers deserve. Did I mention it’s also self published?
My full review: Spirits of Vengeance
Yes! S rank! This book is only the fourth book I have ever given a coveted S rank too. It’s a book that is perfect in every way and surpasses the standard 5 star system. Every word has been placed down with thought as if there was a word limit and not single consonant or vowel could be wasted. Fonda has written something utterly brilliant here that everyone needs to experience. She has taken an idea about clan warfare and turned this into an epic fantasy trilogy that has shot her up to the top of so many reader’s lists. Jade Legacy is how you tie off a trilogy. It’s fun, exciting, tense and heartbreaking all at the same time. Real people living in a story that feels so real that it is only limited by the pages it lives on. This is fantasy and if you don’t read this trilogy you are missing out on one of the best pieces of fantasy writing I have ever absorbed. Well done Fonda, well done.
My full review: Jade Legacy
So there you have it! The top 10 books I have read in 2021. There are more amazing books but these are the ones I felt were my top ten and of course yours might be different. Let me know which was your #1 in the comments below or in reply on Twitter!
Thanks for reading 🙂