So, I am officially joining in on “Top Ten Tuesday”, which is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This was a very interesting, and also quite illuminating, list to compile. Not only does it demonstrate that I read a lot of work by the extremely talented Cassandra Clare, but also that I have recently been reading a lot more fantasy novels than I have been reading science fiction. This is something that I desperately want to fix! I love reading science fiction books, so that is definitely a new resolution for the upcoming months.
1. Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1) by Cassandra Clare
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare is perhaps the best book that I have had the pleasure of reading in a very, very long time. In fact, I wrote a detailed review about Lady Midnight last week, which you can read right here. I loved this book for so many reasons — from the awesome, well-developed characters and loving dynamic of the Blackthorns to the very intricate plot, the investigation storyline and the way that Clare’s writing has matured from her The Mortal Instruments days.
2. Illuminae (Illuminae, #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
I have to admit, I was very uncertain about Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff when I came across it in a bookstore last year. But I am so glad that I decided to purchase it. This writing partnership has created one of the most cleverly written books that I have read in my entire life: the pages are beautifully illustrated, the characters are flawed and three-dimensional, and the overall story is so incredibly thrilling (and heart-stopping, I must add) that I actually read the book in TWO DAYS! I had a major book hangover after this young adult science fiction book, so I can guarantee that this book will not disappoint.
3. Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4) by Sarah J. Maas
I am probably incredibly biased, seeing as I find the very talented Sarah J. Maas to be a literary goddess, but Queen of Shadows was one of my all time favourite reads. Maas has a beautiful, poetic writing style and has a great ability to follow such a large cast of characters. In Queen of Shadows she continues to introduce some great new characters, revisit some old favourites, and she manages to propel the story forward in a way that sets up an incredible fifth book (that is coming out later this year!). Also, this book has confirmed that Aelin is one of my favourite fantasy characters ever.
4. The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5) by Rick Riordan
I love absolutely everything relating to Percy Jackson and the Olympians (and yes, I am even including the two movies), so it was fantastic to finally read the final book in this series. I felt so many emotions during this book — especially when it came to Percy and Annabeth. I. SHIP. THEM. Rick Riordan is such a captivating author, and he has constructed an amazing series with a group of characters that I would love to go on adventures with. I am left with so many feelings, it almost feels crushing, and I am looking forward to beginning Riordan’s The Heroes of Olympians.
5. City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6) by Cassandra Clare
I can quite possibly classify anything that Cassandra Clare has written as one of my favourite reads, but City of Heavenly Fire is definitely some of the best work that Clare has ever written (though, it still doesn’t beat ‘Lady Midnight’). This book manages to tie up all of the loose ends and the storylines that Clare created, providing some incredibly heart-breaking moments between characters (I may have cried once or twice), but also leaving enough room for Clare to continue writing about them later on. However, this was a very nice way to say good-bye — a truly perfect send off — to a group of characters that have been some of my favourites for years.
6. Red Queen (Red Queen, #1) by Victoria Aveyard
This book was a wonderful surprise for me. I came across this little beauty in a bookstore a while ago, but only decided to read it recently and I was so happy that I did. In some places, it kind of reminded me of The Hunger Games, but with a bit of a supernatural/magical twist. (Is anybody else in the same boat?) The characters are quite interesting and multifaceted, all of whom possess their own motivations and agendas, making me spend most of the time wondering who was on the main character’s side. This book is filled to the brim with various twists and turns, leaving me as a reader always guessing. I would definitely recommend this book!
7. The Copper Gauntlet (The Magisterium, #2) by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Whilst I found The Copper Gauntlet to not be as great as the first book in “The Magisterium” series, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I have found that this series is continuously compared to ‘Harry Potter’ and this book demonstrates that it really, really, really shouldn’t be. I love how this series is progressing. And The Copper Gauntlet only adds to the numerous growing mysteries that this series possesses. Callum, for example, is developing into an extraordinary main character and his friendship with Aaron and Tamara is developing into a very interesting dynamic.
8. The Mirror Empire (The Worldbreaker Saga, #1) by Kameron Hurley
This book was definitely a surprise read, managed to surpass every one of my expectations and demonstrates that Kameron Hurley is an author to watch. I only quite recently did a very detailed review on Hurley’s Game-of-Thrones-meets-Fringe The Mirror Empire, which can be read right here. In my review I discussed the three main reasons why I loved it and why you should read it: it is an action-packed epic fantasy, has many strong and captivating female characters, and the author isn’t afraid to challenge the traditional gender roles. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a different type of epic fantasy to read.
9. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) by J. K. Rowling (RE-READ)
I have extremely fond childhood memories of Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban. I remember reading this book late into the night, and it has quickly become one of my all time favourite books. I love re-reading this book every once in a while (I probably re-read it every year or so), because I am able to once again feel those emotions that I felt all those years ago. This is the book that introduced me to two of my favourite Harry Potter characters ever: Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. Also, even though I recently re-read this book, compiling this list makes me want to re-read it all over again!
10. Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth (RE-READ)
This is another one of my favourite books to re-read. I absolutely love Divergent, and I have probably read this wonderful book a million times. The world that the talented Veronica Roth has constructed is fascinating and it manages to still amaze me with each re-read. Additionally, I have fallen in love with every single one of the characters, especially Tris and Christina and, yes even, Peter. With the movies coming out, I love going back and re-reading the first book and it continues to still be one of my all time favourite books. Now, and forever.
What books have you read recently and enjoyed? Have you read any of the books above, and if so, did you enjoy them?