Picking out my favorite reads of each year is easy for me. The challenge is narrowing that list down to something reasonable. I read over 125 books this year! So I think “top 37 reads” is reasonable, but I guess that’s maybe a bit much…
I’ve painstakingly narrowed my list down to 10 favorites I read in 2018 – most of which were also released in 2018. I highly recommend all of these and I hope something sparks your interest!
The 5 Worlds Series by Mark & Alexis Siegel
Volume 1 (The Sand Warrior) and 2 (The Cobalt Prince) are out and they are fantastic! If you’re looking for some middle-grade sci-fi with a magical fantasy twist, you really need to check these comics out! The color palettes are gorgeous and the characters are as diverse as the creators! There are plant people and sand-wielding mages and sentient AI bots and even cat-gods! I’m desperate for volume 3 but it doesn’t release until May (hello birthday present to self!) Read my review here.
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson & Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
This is another middle-grade recommendation (probably my favorite age group and one I think is under-appreciated by older readers!) First of all, the book is beautifully designed and Yelchin’s illustrations are fantastically quirky. Part of the novel is told through the illustrations and for a book about the war between elves and goblins, there’s a surprising amount of social commentary and positive messages about understanding each other’s differences. I also found it quite funny. Read my review here.
Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames
Naturally, you need to read the first book, Kings of the Wyld. These books are adult fantasy heavily inspired by ’70s and ’80s bands. Is rock-and-roll fantasy a genre? Because it should be. The characters are diverse, there is LGBT rep and a surprising amount of feels layered under the violence, action and badassery. If you’re a fan of mercenary bands, musical references, mythical creatures, epic battles, sarcasm, and shedding some tears, you need these books in your life right now. Read my review here.
Motor Crush by Brendan Fletcher, Babs Tarr & Cameron Stewart
There are currently two volumes of this sexy, action-packed sci-fi comic about the worlds of legal and illegal street racing and the illicit substance racers are constantly vying to get their hands on. The lead character, Domino, is my latest girl crush and I would give anything to look half as cool as she does (seriously, her fashion is amazing). This is yet another comic with some LGBT rep, which is awesome, and it also has biker gangs, magical substances and plenty of drama and action.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I don’t read a lot of books set in “old Hollywood” but the hype around this book and the whole ‘seven husbands’ thing had me intrigued. What I found was not only worth the hype, but gave me way more feels than I ever expected! This book has glamour, drama, LGBT rep, and a touch of mystery. I branched out of my usual genres for this and don’t regret it! I would consider this a blend of contemporary and historical fiction and if you like books set in that era, this is definitely something you should check out. There are a few nice design details snuck in too, like newspaper clippings. Read my review here.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Greek mythology/fiction is another genre I don’t read much of, though I do enjoy. The story focuses on the title character, Circe, and her struggle to fit in among the other gods and the life she carves out on her own little island. This is yet another tale that was more moving than expected. If you’re looking for a character-focused Greek tale, this is the book for you. Read my review here.
The Tangled Lands by Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias S. Buckell
Bacigalupi has been a favorite of mine for a while now and this short story/novella collection he created with Buckell didn’t disappoint! If you like fantasy with a fairytale feel and rich characters, this collection is for you. It was incredibly atmospheric and each story left me craving more! They’re all linked together, though they can be enjoyed separately. I really hope these two put out more collections or a full-length novel set in Khaim! Read my review here.
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
I don’t read a lot of YA, but when I had the opportunity to read a review copy about a girl who brings her friend back from the dead after her mysterious death, I had to give it a shot. Yet again, breaking out of my comfort zone paid off! Mila, the main character, is sassy and stubborn and totally likable. This is a comedic and touching look at what could happen if a modern-day witch brought her friend back from the dead – along with a few enemies. Read my review here.
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
Grant is my sci-fi queen and it’s clear a lot of research went into this book about the creepy, hungry creatures living in the dark depths of the Mariana Trench. Bloodthirsty, flesh-eating mermaids are my new favorite horror monster and I can’t get enough of them. They were my favorite part of this tale, though there are a variety of characters to enjoy as well. Grant is definitely one who brings a lot of different representation to the characters, with a focus on strong females. If you like mermaids and being totally creeped out, I recommend this one! Read my review here.
Flotsam by R.J. Theodore
Oh, hmm, another book with mermaids! Only these ones live in the sky! What could be more horrifying than flying, flesh-eating merms!? This book has more than freaky merms though – it also has sky pirates and crazy technology, aliens and powerful gods. Theodore pulls off a blend of sci-fi, fantasy and steampunk-like I’ve never seen before. I can’t wait for the sequel! Read my review here.
It was a hard choice, but there you have it – my top 10 reads! Anything you think my list is missing?