Our Favorite Books of 2016 (So Far): Part 1

I shouldn’t be surprised but I’ve read a ridiculous amount of books this year — I don’t even have enough shelf space for them all. So it might be a bit early but I decided to go through everything I read and pick my favorites for the year so far. There are still a few books coming out later this month that i’m looking forward to so this is only part 1, look for part 2 after the New Year!

So here in no particular order are 10 of the books I absolutely loved this year and think everyone should read. Let us know in the comments what you think of our list so far and tell us some of your favorite books that released in 2016!

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I think this one was a gimme. Who doesn’t love Brandon Sanderson, and who wasn’t excited to read Edgedancer?

Our Review

Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson’s first story collection: novellas and short stories set in the Shardworlds, the worlds of Stormlight, Mistborn, Elantris, and more.

An all-new Stormlight Archive novella will be the crown jewel of Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, the first book of short fiction by #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson.

The collection will include eight works in all. The first seven are:
“The Hope of Elantris” (Elantris)
“The Eleventh Metal” (Mistborn)
“The Emperor’s Soul” (Elantris)
“Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania, Epsiodes 28 through 30” (Mistborn)
“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” (Threnody)
“Sixth of Dusk” (First of the Sun)
“Mistborn: Secret History” (Mistborn)

Originally published on Tor.com and other websites, or published by the author, these wonderful tales convey the expanse of the Shardworlds and tell exciting tales of adventure Sanderson fans have come to expect, including the Hugo Award-winning novella, “The Emperor’s Soul.”

Arcanum Unbounded will also contain a currently untitled Stormlight Archive novella which will appear in this book for the first time anywhere.

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Anyone who hasn’t read Glynn Stewarts Starship’s Mage series should really consider picking it up. His other books as well. He is a great author!

Our Review

Voice of Mars by Glynn Stewart

YOU CAN NEVER GO HOME

When accusations of piracy and mass murder are laid against his homeworld, Damien Montgomery is sent to resolve the crisis.

As counter-accusations fly and an old flame re-enters his life, the newest Hand of the Mage-King of Mars finds himself in the midst of a bloody interstellar shadow war. With the death toll mounting, Damien must decide whether he should trust the world he came from – or the world that asked for his help.

The wrong choice will trigger a civil war that could shatter human civilization.

No pressure.

Voice of Mars is book 3 of the Starship’s Mage series.

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One of the two best urban fantasy series out there right now. I don’t know any other series in the genre that compares.

Our Review

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

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I think Jack Campbell’s Pillars of Reality series is perfect for anyone who wants a steampunk and fantasy mashup. It’s excellent.

Our Review

The Wrath of the Great Guilds by Jack Campbell

The Great Guilds, fearing the loss of their control of the world of Dematr, have gathered their power and joined it with the relentless legions of the Empire. The full might of that host will fall upon the fortress city of Dorcastle. If Dorcastle falls, the revolt led by Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain will fail, and their world will soon descend into chaos.

Only Mari, believed to be the daughter of an ancient prophecy, can inspire the people and lead the defense of Dorcastle. The prophecy says she has a chance to win, but it doesn’t say she will survive. Alain will stand by her, both willing to die for the other, but neither one knows if their sacrifices will mean victory.

As they battle the Imperial legions and see friends fall, Mari and Alain face their greatest challenges. And if they somehow win in the face of impossible odds, neither one can be certain what sort of world that victory will produce

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This was just a beautifully written and illustrated book.

Our Review

Song of the Deep by Brian Hastings

Twelve-year-old Merryn lives with her fisherman father in a little cottage by the sea. Each day, her father braves the tumultuous waves and returns home in time for dinner. One stormy evening, he doesn’t come back. Merryn has a vision that he’s been dragged underwater by a terrifying sea creature, and he needs her help. Determined to rescue him, Merryn builds a tiny submarine and embarks on a journey through the undersea worlds she’s only heard about in her father’s lullabies. As she faces the dangers and wonders of the world below the waves, she realizes that her father’s stories were all real.

Readers can also experience Merryn’s daring journey firsthand in the new Song of the Deep video game from acclaimed developer Insomniac Games.

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Fran Wilde is an amazing author and she creates some of most beautifully terrifying monsters you’ll see!

Our Review

Cloudbound by Fran Wilde

Twelve-year-old Merryn lives with her fisherman father in a little cottage by the sea. Each day, her father braves the tumultuous waves and returns home in time for dinner. One stormy evening, he doesn’t come back. Merryn has a vision that he’s been dragged underwater by a terrifying sea creature, and he needs her help. Determined to rescue him, Merryn builds a tiny submarine and embarks on a journey through the undersea worlds she’s only heard about in her father’s lullabies. As she faces the dangers and wonders of the world below the waves, she realizes that her father’s stories were all real.

Readers can also experience Merryn’s daring journey firsthand in the new Song of the Deep video game from acclaimed developer Insomniac Games.

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I loved the Three Musketeers growing up and Sebastien De Castell’s Greatcoats series is heavily inspired by it. I wasn’t able to put it down.

Our Review

Saint's Blood by Sebastien De Castell

How do you kill a Saint?

Falcio, Kest, and Brasti are about to find out, because someone has figured out a way to do it and they’ve started with a friend.

The Dukes were already looking for ways out of their agreement to put Aline on the throne, but with the Saints turning up dead, rumours are spreading that the Gods themselves oppose her ascension. Now churches are looking to protect themselves by bringing back the military orders of religious soldiers, assassins, and (especially) Inquisitors – a move that could turn the country into a theocracy. The only way Falcio can put a stop to it is by finding the murderer. He has only one clue: a terrifying iron mask which makes the Saints vulnerable by driving them mad. But even if he can find the killer, he’ll still have to face him in battle.

And that may be a duel that no swordsman, no matter how skilled, can hope to win.

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I was going through a Steampunk kick when I picked up Eric R. Asher’s Steamborn series. It really stands out compared to most of the other books in the genre I read.

Our Review

Steamsworn by Eric R. Asher

The world dies in war only to be reborn. It is the way of things, and always will be.

Forged in the Deadlands crucible, and armed with the knowledge of their true enemy, Jacob, Alice, and their allies bring the fight back to Ancora. They’ll liberate their homeland, or die trying.

The wounds cut deep in their darkest hour, but in the end, vengeance will light their path.

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This was a great debut novel. I have high hopes for the rest of the series and for Todd Lockwood’s writing career in general.

The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood

The debut novel from the acclaimed illustrator—a high fantasy adventure featuring dragons and deadly politics.

Maia and her family raise dragons for the political war machine. As she comes of age, she anticipates a dragon of her own to add to the stable of breeding parents. Her peaceful life is shattered when the Summer Dragon—one of the rare and mythical High Dragons—makes an appearance in her quiet valley. Political factions vie for control of the implied message, threatening her aspirations, her aerie, her entire way of life.

The bond between dragons and their riders is deep and life-long, and Maia’s desire for a dragon of her own to train, ride, fly, and love drives her to take a risk that puts her life at stake. She is swept into an adventure that pits her against the deathless Horrors, thralls of the enemy, and a faceless creature drawn from her fear. In her fight to preserve everything she knows and loves, she exposes a conspiracy, unearths an ancient civilization, and challenges her understanding of her world—and of herself.


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This was probably my favorite book on this list. It was a bit slow to start but once it got going there was no way I could put it back down.

Dawn of Wonder by Jonathan Renshaw

When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer with veins full of fire and a head full of ideas, this officer is not what he seems.

The events that follow propel Aedan on a journey that only the foolhardy or desperate would risk, leading him to the gates of the nation’s royal academy – a whole world of secrets in itself.

But this is only the beginning of his discoveries. Something is stirring in the land, something more ominous than the rising threat of hostile nations. Fearful travellers whisper of an ancient power breathing over Thirna, changing it, waking it. In the very heart of these stirrings, Aedan encounters that which defies belief, leaving him speechless with terror – and wonder.

 

 

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