Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I guess I'm cheating a little bit because sci-fi and fantasy are technically two genres, but hey, there are a lot of books that don't fit neatly into either category so I'm going to stick with it! If you click on the covers you should be able to get to their goodreads pages. We'll see if my HTML experiments actually work haha
1. Hero of Ages is the third book in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series, and it blew my mind! I liked but didn't love the previous two books - some things worked and others didn't. But this book blasted my reservations about this series - it was so intricately plotted, and you found out answers to things that you didn't know could be answered. The mythology and history of the world really came alive in surprising ways, and the characters grew so much. I was literally sitting in an airport and grinning ear to ear from the very first page. I highly recommend this series!
2. I was told this book was really good, so I had really high expectations going into it. I was a little nervous about being disappointed, but I loved it so much that I ended up buying myself a copy before I'd even finished the one I'd borrowed from the library! The characters are lovable, the cons are interesting and don't always go according to plan. This book has some beautiful moments, some witty ones, and a lot of truly horrific ones as well - I loved it!
3. This book is more historical fiction than fantasy, but the two main characters are creatures from different cultures' mythology and magic does play a large part in the story. This was one of my favorite reads of last year - poignant, gorgeously written, and just utterly beautiful.
4. Melina Marchetta is one of my favorite authors, since she writes such beautiful, hopeful stories about very broken people. This is no exception, and I grew to love the characters in this book so much that I'd be in tears and have to remind myself that they weren't real and that it was going to be okay! There is a lot in here about both the beauty and ugliness of humanity, as well as how complicated loyalty and doing the "right" thing can be.
5. Patrick Ness is another one of my favorite authors, and this book is my favorite of his. Like Froi of the Exiles, it's really hard to pick a side with this book because everyone has their own motivations and flaws. And just when you think the situation can't get any worse or complicated, it does! I loved the way the characters were all shades of gray instead of purely good or evil; I also really liked the writing style of this whole series.
6. Unwind is one of my favorite YA dystopian novels. A lot of them follow the formulaic "evil government keeps two (and sometimes three) young people apart" but this one is incredibly unique and one of the most frightening visions of the future I have read about. The concept of Unwinding is truly horrific, and yet there is a lot of hope in this book too. Again, I loved the characters, and I liked the rather open ending. Although this is now a series, don't let that scare you away - this book can definitely be read as a standalone.
7. What's a set of sci-fi recommendations without Ender's Game? This book is particularly special to me because it was the first book I read where I really didn't know what would happen next. It showed me that books could be intelligent, not just fun. This is the book that got me into sci-fi in the first place, and I will always be fond of it.
8. This is another book I'm fond of - I read it when I was probably 12, and the ending left me with my mouth hanging open and frantically turning pages that weren't there because that couldn't possibly be it! I loved Bartimaeus' snark and his witty footnotes, and in the end I grew to love Nathaniel and Kitty too. My favorite parts are the interludes about Ptolemy, and sometimes I just flip through this book and read those over and over again.
9. This book isn't for everyone, but I absolutely loved it. It's slow to start, but it has an incredibly rich world, complete with politics, government conspiracies, sinister corporations, racism, and lots of other good stuff. Despite tackling a lot of large scale global and social issues, this book is very character-centric, and I loved seeing this story unfold from different points of view.
10. I love Laini Taylor's gorgeous writing style, which made this book a treat to read. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, but this one was far grittier and darker, which I liked better. You learn more about the world of the chimaera and the seraphim, and there are some surprising revelations and new characters to love. This book is also special to me because it's my first signed book, which I won through a writing contest judged by Laini Taylor herself :)