Next up on my Year’s End post spree, we have my list of favourites that I read in 2019, that didn’t come out in 2019. That will be the next post. Though some of these series did have books that came out this year, I’m just putting them under series for now.
Hold on, this is going to be a long one. I can’t pick just 10. And also this is in no particular order, because how am I supposed to pick and choose amongst my favourites?
Los Nefilim by T. Frohock
Angels vs. Demons in Spain just before the Spanish Civil War? Yes, please! While the setting and story are amazing, it is the characters I live for. It is so utterly pleasant to read a story about this family, Diago, his husband Miquel, and their son Rafael, even though the world around them is set to implode. So great.
I’m really late to the game for Hobb (though to be fair, I was only four when the first book came out), but I absolutely loved it. It. Destroyed. Me. The characters, even my idiotball Fitz, are my darlings. The world is amazing. The story is oh. my. god. brilliant. I only read the first three of five trilogies, but that’s because I was afraid of creating the Ocean of Keikii with my tears.
The Divine Cities trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett
I can’t believe it took me this long to read this series. It is a kind of secondary world/alt-ish history urban fantasy that takes place after a war, from the perspective of the victors. The Divinities have fallen, and the land is a mess, and there are mysteries to unravel. The worldbuilding was probably the best part of the series. Just amazing.
The Tarot Sequence by K.D. Edwards
Can I just say wow? My friends pushed me to read this, and I’m so glad. Tarot-inspired urban fantasy, with the best characters in the world. They’re my darlings. The world is awesome, and the story hurts my heart. It was instantly a favourite.
The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff
This is another my friends loved so I thought I would try, and found myself enjoying. Featuring a young woman who is on a path of revenge, a world with three suns that never set, and a snarky AF shadowcat. This series definitely isn’t for everyone, but give it a try.
Wayfarers by Becky Chambers
Three space operas that are at times entirely cute, at times utterly heartbreaking, and always amazing. Though each can be read alone, they’re connected by the characters inside creating a great cast of characters and several amazing stories.
Murderbot by Martha Wells
Murderbot is the best character ever, and so utterly relatable for a character who isn’t human. A SecUnit who hacked their governing device and dislikes humans, but likes the entertainment shows they produce so they sticks around doing they can continue watching shows. When Murderbot is found out, they go through a journey to figure out who they are and what they want to do.
Terra Ignota by Ada Palmer
I hated the first 80% of the first book. Why is this on the list? Because oh my god the series is a marvel. It is so incredibly well written, and despite hating most of the first book, I actually loved it by the end. It takes forever to introduce itself, it is confusing and convoluted. Yet it is so, so worth reading.
Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh
I read this late in the year, and the reviews are still trickling out, but I recommend you read the reviews even if you haven’t read the books – anything you learn by reading them will only serve to convince you to read the books.. It is a long series, but I felt it never really lost itself, only found itself. Plus there are many jumping off points, as the series broken into trilogies. It is highly political, with a truly alien race, and I adore it.
The Interdependency by John Scalzi
This is an amazing series about an absolutely terribly built society in space, who relies on trade to function because the people at the top refused to make each place independent. Only one of the colonies even exist on a planet. And their trade routes are about to disappear. I really loved the concept and at least some of the characters. I can’t wait for the third book in the series.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Amazing fairy tale retelling, featuring a strong woman who doesn’t fit and does the unexpected. I love the characters, and I love the creepy ass forest they fight throughout the book. I actually read it twice this year I liked it so much.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
This was a surprise read that turned out to be amazing. I picked it up from the library without even reading what it was about and absolutely loved it. It has that fantastical quality of “what is going on, and why do things go weird around Weylyn Grey?”. I really liked that wispy quality Lang wrote about Weylyn’s life.
Sourdough by Robin Sloan
I heard a lot about this, decided to try it, and loved it. It’s a programmer who really loves her sourdough. A sourdough that may or may not be magical. I loved it. Short and sweet.
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Evil vampires kidnapped Sunshine and stuck her in a room with another evil vampire, and then they escape together and become intrinsically tied together. Oh, and Sunshine is a baker. I really don’t know what more I could have wanted from this book except more books.
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
This is a book to read if you want your entire existence destroyed. You start the book knowing it is a tragedy, you read it hoping it isn’t one, and you end up slayed when it becomes one regardless. The journey of this priest… heartbreaking. There is a sequel but it doesn’t need to be read.
I read way more romance this year than I thought, and I reviewed none of it. So here Are some mini-reviews. And I don’t really like billionaire romance, no matter what this list looks like.
Roomhate by Penelope Ward
I went through a phase when I really wanted to read romances with babies produced within. This was the best of all of them. Second chance romance, these two are both bequeathed a summer house when Amelia’s grandmother died. Amelia ends up pregnant, though not by Justin, but Justin ends up helping her, despite not wanting children. It is adorable, and the point of the book is actually their relationship, his getting over his desire to not have children, and the child itself.
I’m not exactly over this phase, so if you have any good suggestions, I’m all ears.
Confess by Colleen Hoover
I surprised myself by liking this because I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. It wasn’t what I was looking for at the time I read it, but it was still a really good story. It’s a good story of two people finding what they’re looking for, but having to work to get it. Through pain, expectations, obligations, and some very nasty people. Good story, and it made me want to read more of Colleen Hoover’s works.
The Dark Light of Day by T.M. Frazier
I should not have liked this book as much as I did. Warnings for nonconsensual sex. This is a very dark romance, featuring a seventeen year old who ends up homeless, and the person who took her in when she didn’t have anywhere else to go and CPS was trying to take her in. He also just happens to be a hit man. It is very graphic, very troublesome, and surprisingly I really liked it.
Trade Me by Courtney Milan
This was very cute. Featuring a son of a rich billionaire tech tycoon who is stressed out about the expectations his father has placed on him and the daughter of two chinese immigrants – and they switch places (as much as they can). Very cute. Though there should be warnings for an eating disorder.
Act Like It by Lucy Parker
Mr. High-and-Mighty Grumpypants made the book, and Saint Lainie is his perfect match. This was cute, and it was amusing. I enjoyed it very much. Richard Troy is a very big actor, and he has a temper, and Lainie has been tasked as his fake girlfriend, to increase his public image. And then they fall in love. Perfect.
I reread a lot of series this year, but here are my top five of the year.
Theirs Not to Reason Why by Jean Johnson
I save this series to start on the first of January, because I love it so much I want to start the series with it. Every single year, I start the year absolutely fucking sobbing. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Elemental Legacy by Elizabeth Hunter
I reread this series earlier this year, and then Elizabeth Hunter blessed me with not one, but two new books in the series this year: Blood Apprentice and Night’s Reckoning, plus two novellas. I absolutely adore the characters in every way.
Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews
I have reread the first book in this series way too many times, and the second and third one, too. I have also read the one that released this year at least twice. The world Ilona Andrews has written is so fun and imaginative – and absolutely unbalanced in a most entertaining way. Don’t let the covers fool you, these books are amazing!
Grigori Legacy by Lydia M. Hawke
What can I say? I just love to be broken inside when I finish a series. Grigori Legacy takes what should be a sweet story about a main character finding out they’re a nephilim and are soul mated to an angel – and completely contorts it into a horrifyingly painful story.
Sirantha Jax by Ann Aguirre
This is one of those series where the friendship is better than the relationship. I wasn’t planning on rereading this series this year, but it called to me in the dead of night one day, and I answered. There is something so compelling about this series that I cannot rightfully explain.