A Classic™ Tag, because we’re more or less halfway through 2018.
1: Best book you’ve read so far this year.
Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee. I’ve read many books I’ve loved since I started reviewing, but I was never obsessed with them the way I am with this series. There’s honestly nothing I don’t like about this? Sometimes you find those books that work for you on every level and you just can’t stop thinking about them.
Anyway, the third and probably not last mass murder magic math book was very good, good enough that if before I didn’t know which one between Ninefox Gambit and Raven Stratagem was my One Favorite Book, now I have three to be undecided about!
2: Best sequel you’ve read so far this year:
(I know, technically it’s Revenant Gun, but that would be a boring post.)
Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova. This was a surprise. I didn’t even like the first book in the series that much, I almost didn’t read this one. But Bruja Born was better in every way, and it’s probably the best YA book I’ve read so far this year. It’s more mature, it has more depth, it’s creepy in a way very few YA books manage to be, and I loved the lack of romance and the message.
I love stories about witches and stories about families, and I’m glad I can now say this series works for me.
3: A new release you haven’t read yet but really want to
…many of them. This year I’ve tried to prioritize anything but YA new releases, which means that my TBR is full of them.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi: I know. Everyone has already read it and most people who have read it loved it, but I always choose to read something else instead. Maybe because I usually don’t love long books. I don’t know, but I really want to read it this year.
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan: I have to be in the right mood for this – I don’t like sad books, I want to give this one a chance anyway but it’s the kind of book I have to read at the right time.
Furyborn by Claire Legrand: I’m not being that great with new YA fantasy releases. It was my favorite genre last year and now I’d rather read… literally anything else? But this one sounds so good! I want to give it a try, at least, before the year ends.
4: Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
The Descent of Monsters by JY Yang: the Tensorate series is my favorite novella series and I can’t wait to know what’s going to happen next in this beautiful sci-fantasy world.
Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore: I’ve loved every book I’ve read by this author so far and I’m sure this one will be no exception.
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan: a f/f fantasy story about Asian girls? And there’s court intrigue? (I think?) I don’t want to know much about it before getting into it, but everything about this looks like a great idea.
5: Biggest disappointment
I can’t choose. I had never seen a bad review of one of these three books before I wrote one myself, and when that happens I feel bad about it. But with these I just… don’t get the hype? Radio Silence was a too-long, slow-paced book in which I simply didn’t care about anyone. The Poppy War and Anger Is a Gift didn’t work for me for many different reasons, but I really need to remember I don’t like to read portrayals of real-life violence for entertainment, no matter how much hype they get.
6: Biggest surprise
Too Like the Lighting by Ada Palmer.
…I still don’t know how I feel about this. “Surprise” is an understatement, I’ve never been so conflicted about a book before. I could rate it one star just as easily as I could give it a five.
Anyway, if you want to read a story about the slow fall into chaos of a not-so-utopian utopia because of a heretical brothel, two deity children and a group of stabby celebrities, this may be for you! It’s at the same time one of the most disturbing and one of the most boring things I’ve ever read and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but I’ve also four-starred it because it’s great (it’s not. But it kind of is?)
7: Favorite New Author (Debut or new to you)
I have so many non-debut new favorite authors (Ann Leckie! Aliette de Bodard! Lara Elena Donnelly!) that I decided I was going to answer this with the best 2018 debut I’ve read so far, which is Witchmark by C.L. Polk.
This book is at the same time a very cute m/m romance, a decent murder mystery, and a surprisingly complex fantasy novel. I was surprised by how quickly I read it, because genre-bending books usually don’t flow the way this one did. (It’s fantasy, but it reads like a romance, and it’s not only a romance. It’s great.)
8: Newest fictional crush
I don’t have one. With Revenant Gun, I can say I kind of have a fictional crush on almost every single major character from the Machineries of Empire universe, but that’s hardly new.
Also not really new but will have to do: my reread of The Stars Are Legion confirmed that I love all the characters in the f/f/f love triangle, for different reasons. Zan is great, Jayd scares me but she falls in love with villains so we’re similar and I like her, and Rasida is a villainous lesbian so of course I love her.
9: Newest favorite character
Breq! My favorite spaceship who is trying to pass as human. Also Anaander Mianaai because every scene she’s in will turn into nonsense because she as a person makes no sense (that’s kind of the point of the series. In a way.) and I really, really like nonsense and villains.
10: A book that made you cry
I haven’t actually cried because of a book since the There Are No Firebirds In Leningrad chapter of Valente’s Deathless, but that was last year. But the prologue of The Library of Fates (if only the rest of the book had been that good) and some chapters of Space Opera made me tear up. If you get past the (very fun) nonsense, that book has its serious moments.
11: A book that made you happy
Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie is one – there was a point in which I was laughing so much my still too recent surgical scars hurt. Also, The Way You Make Me Feel didn’t make me laugh, not exactly, but it’s the kind of happy summer contemporary I love.
12/13. Favorite adaptation & favorite post you’ve written
I don’t have an answer for either – I haven’t seen a book to movie/TV adaptation this year and I don’t think I have a favorite post. Maybe the pride recommendations list? But I always love when I write top-not-five-wednesday lists, and that’s not the only one I made.
14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought or received this year:
My copy of Monstress Vol.2 translated into Italian. I like this cover even more than the US edition, and the art inside is just as beautiful. I don’t buy many physical books, but even if I had, I feel like this would have won anyway.
14. A book you want to read before the end of the year:
So many of them. It will be a topic of one of the next T5Ws, so I’ll talk more about that there, but two books I really want to get to in the next months are The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard and The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May.
How was the first half of 2018 for you?