I have a confession to make. I didn’t want to write this post for 2017. The only reason I am doing it is because I don’t want to break my four year streak. I really haven’t read a huge amount this year, mostly because I’ve been busy or tired (sometimes both!). But over the last year and a half I’ve become more particular about what I read, I’m more picky now, so if I’m not enjoying a book I just won’t finish it. This means that I really enjoyed most of the books on this list, but also I’ve already reviewed most of them.
Even though I’m basically rehashing things I’ve already said, here are my favourite books of 2017.
TOO LIKE THE LIGHTNING
by Ada Palmer
Too Like The Lightning is not written like a normal science fiction book. The closest thing I could liken it to is reading Shakespeare or another book written hundreds of years ago. Its set 400 years in the future and the language has changed so you feel like it was written in the future. Ada Palmer has done an incredible job with that, you would expect her to as well because she is a historian.
This is the story of a society who claim to be a utopia but the actual reality isn’t quite so simple. It plays with religion and gender and has some interesting ideas about both. In this future religion is banned. But religion still exists, the society is just very careful to ensure that every person’s belief system is truly their own. People can’t force their beliefs onto others. The society claims to be gender neutral however in actuality it isn’t and these gender ideals are still based on stereotypical behaviours.
I enjoyed Too Like The Lightning but it’s a hard read. The sequel Terra Ignota came out over the summer and I haven’t started it simply because I know I will need to reread the first book. I think the best way to describe TLTL is it makes me feel like I’m not smart enough to read it but I’m going to try anyway.
LA BELLE SAUVAGE
by Phillip Pullman
La Belle Sauvage is one of those books I read over a very long period. I didn’t have much time when it came out so for a while I was reading 2 pages a day. It took quite a long time to get into, at least over a hundred pages. I wasn’t all that interested in the book till around halfway through. But there was a moment, and if you’ve read the book you’ll know what that is, which reminded me that this was no ordinary book set some time in the past. This was a Philip Pullman book and they get weird sometimes. Really weird.
I think that was the point which made me excited to be reading a new Philip Pullman. But it also made me excited to be back in that world. I can’t wait for the next book in the series and I would also love to go back and read His Dark Materials again. However like I mentioned, I don’t really have the time for it.
by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom has this amazing trick where it can turn me back into a Tumblr fangirl. I don’t really understand how it manages this but there you go. The thing about making a character feel real to me, they don’t have to be interesting or smart, they have to be damaged. And every character in this book is damaged in some way, they all have their flaw, and I love that. All Kaz needs is a hug.
Seriously though I don’t normally read fanfiction based on books – apart from Harry Potter- but I did go looking for Crooked Kingdom fanfics. And that is a big deal to me because it means I really enjoyed this series. Also there are no good fanfics set in the Grisha universe which is sad.
INK AND BONE
by Rachel Caine
Ink and Bone reminds me of a Harry Potter fanfiction. I wouldn’t say it was good, but its enjoyable. The story seemed a bit far fetched, but like any AU fanfic you suspend your disbelief for a little while and enjoy it. The plot is kind of interesting, I like the characters. But it’s an easy read. I read the first two books of this series in about a week. But it’s also not a memorable book. I couldn’t tell you the actual premise, or even what the main characters name is. Like I said, enjoyable but not good.