Out of the six dozen or so books I read (or started and abandoned) this year, here are the ones that were most successful in capturing my attention and drawing me into that state of willing suspension of disbelief long enough to enjoy the ride. That kept me entertained, in other words.
The list includes a couple I haven’t gotten around to writing reviews for yet, and only a few were published recently. (I make no claims to being up-to-date.)
In no particular order:
- Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks: Ordinary people coping with catastrophe as plague rips through their English village in 1665.
- Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke: Rich fantasy/historical novel crossover. Dense and slow-paced but worth the effort.
- Matters Arising from the Identification of the Body by Simon Petrie: Science fiction/crime fiction crossover set on one of Saturn’s moons.
- The Traitor and the Thief by Gareth Wood: The Artful Dodger goes to a school for spies in this steampunk fantasy.
- Cunning Devil by Chris Underwood: Dark urban fantasy with a likeable protagonist.
- The Lord of Dreams by C J Brightley: Explores a young woman’s character growth as she’s pulled into the land of the fae.
- Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch: Mayhem in Police Constable Peter Grant’s London with chimeras and jazz vampires.
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik: Fantasy war story rooted (pun intended) in Polish folktales.
- The Spirit Ring by Lois McMaster Bujold: War in Renaissance Italy with magic, murder, invasion, and a sweet, clean romance.
- Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson: Cross-cultural romance between two mature adults in contemporary Britain.
- The Silence of Medair by Andrea K Höst: Fantasy with an appealing heroine faced with an impossible choice, coming to terms with hatred and shame.