I’m a little late, but better late than never.
KRYS’S TOP TEN 2016
10. The Novice by Taran Matharu
The Novice is the first of a series that is sure to appeal to fans of How to Train Your Dragon, Pokemon, and Eragon. It’s a book of magic and political intrigue and is sure to whet the appetite of any training/school book fans who love the Harry Potter style of plotting (children +specialty education + trials and tribulation = fun-filled adventure). I am really looking forward to the sequel, The Inquisition (releases May 10, 2016).
9. Winter by Marissa Meyer
It’s no secret that I deeply adore Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series. Winter released a few months ago and completely broke me apart. There is a great feeling of depth and exploration of the human condition within, a weighty cause and effect dynamic that really ups the ante for everyone involved. Plus, it’s fairy tales, which I adore to my proverbial core, and it’s really well done narration throughout all of the tales. It’s pretty much everything I wanted for the end of a series that I love.
8. The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
A few years ago The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate was in my top ten. Now that its sequel has come out I desperately want Kelly to continue the series. She could write Calpurnia into her adulthood and I would faithfully read all of her adventures. She’s the Anne Shirley of our time and her witty humor and can-do attitude are perfect fare for impressionable young folk.
7. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
I was quite surprised by The Wrath and the Dawn. I picked it up on complete whim and blew through most of it overnight. It’s a very thoughtful, composed, yet completely surprising retelling of The Arabian Nights tales. I expected to put this down after a few pages but It pulled me right along. I am very anxious to read the sequel The Rose and the Dagger (releasing May 3, 2016). I am not sure that Ahdieh will keep everyone alive in it, and I totally love that about her. She always keeps me guessing.
6. The Sandman Series by Neil Gaiman and Various Illustrators
Neil Gaiman and I go way back, but for some time I have felt like a bad fangirl for not reading his infamous Sandman series. I finally rectified that grievous error this fall to much love and devotion. I thought I would blow through the eleven volumes of Sandman in a week, but it took me six weeks. Each volume is deceptively complex, brimming with tales of horror and fantasy following Morpheus and his siblings, the Endless. Each one had to be read and digested before going on and I was ruined over and over again reading this. I think it’s something that a reader can revisit every few years and find something new. I know that I will be reading it again. And again.
5. The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace
I was completely surprised by The Storyspinner, so much so that I have kept thinking about it for the last eleven months. It’s fantasy with very simple elements, diverging plot lines, and subtle characterizations. That said, it’s very complex and nuanced and wonderful, and the sequel is coming out very soon and I positively cannot wait! The fact that it’s only a two-book series is also a huge plus, as I have grown very wary of trilogies.
Book two, The Skylighter, releases March 22, 2016.
4. Stone Field by Christy Lenzi
Stone Field shot right up my most-wanted reads sometime last fall. Fast-forward into October (and a full day of reading) and it quickly became one of my favourite debuts in a long time. The fact that it’s a Wuthering Heights retelling is only the tip of the iceberg – it’s also set in America during the Civil War in a period of bigotry and massive unrest. It’s a book of upheaval, true love, and devastation, and I was completely undone by it. It not only bested but smashed all of my expectations, and I cannot wait to see how Lenzi follows it up.
Stone Field releases March 29, 2016.
3. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
I have been a fan of Mead’s for years now, but none of her books has been as insta-love for me as this new gem. Following young women in another time and another place, this Alt-History/Uchronic plot finds our heroines signing away their rights to a company who would sell them as wives in a newfound colony based on early colonial America. Adelaide is not what she seems and everything in her life is one big risk, including the dashing young man whom she finds her heart betraying her for. It ticks all the boxes for what I want in a book and I cannot wait to read its companion book next year.
The Glittering Court releases April 5th, 2016.
2. A Thousand Pieces of You/Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray.
I read Claudia Gray’s Evernight years ago to very mixed feelings. I was so over Vampire books and her offering, while fun, seemed run-of-the-mill for me. Since then, I passed on many of her newest books. It wasn’t until the second of the Firebird books was near its release that I finally read them both, having been swayed by a ton of buzz that these books kept getting. I picked up A Thousand Pieces of You and was instantly a fan, finding myself completely sucked in. I completed Ten Thousand Skies Above You at a similar break-neck pace in the same weekend. It resides in a similar place for me as Marie Lu’s Legend series or Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky, both in action and in scope. I might even be convinced to go back and give Evernight a try again someday, but not before the third Firebird book comes out. Man, book three…I can’t wait!
1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.
I was actually offered a manuscript of this book very early into 2015. I read it over a weekend and kept mum about it a few months, but I couldn’t wait to talk to anyone and everyone about this marvelous book. Six of Crows follows six very diabolical people as they sneak across Bardugo’s landscape to commit a heist in a splendid, faraway ice palace. With questionable morals, drug abuse, manipulation, subterfuge, humor, tight-plotting, and wonderful characters, this book is so much of a win for me. Everything I read following this had to measure up to it and, believe me, Bardugo set her own bar far high. If the sequel, Crooked Kingdom, has a tenth of this power, I will be fully satisfied.
Crooked Kingdom releases September 22, 2016.
*Bonus – My name in a promotional blur for Six of Crows.
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