Well, what a year 2018 was. I read so many amazing books, it’s hard to pick favourites, let alone only three of them! However, I’ve managed to narrow down my list and select a trio of finalists. Unsurprisingly, for a year in which actual reality has been something of a disappointment, my favourite books were all stories set in alternate worlds or realities.
The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer E Nielsen
Let’s start with The Traitor’s Game – Book One by Jennifer A. Nielsen. The fantasy genre has always been a bit of a fave of mine ever since I was a kid, so I’m very much here for a world with swords and sorcery, derring-do and adventure. The Traitor’s Game is inventive and original, hits all the right notes in terms of paying homage to the vast canon of the genre that came before it, while still doing something different and breaking some new ground. A great way to introduce teens to the fantasy genre (if they dipped their toes into Middle Earth and got a bit of a taste for it… or even if they haven’t, this could be a good gateway book).
Good fun all round. Read my review.
Next up,let’s take a look at Scythe by Neal Shusterman. This one has certainly generated quite a bit of buzz, with some hailing it as the natural successor toThe Hunger Games (high praise indeed!). You can’t swing a cat around in the YA section of a bookstore without hitting at least seven books describing a dystopian future, but what about a future that’s pure utopia? What happens in a world where there is no more war, famine or disease… or death? If humanity realised its dream of overcoming death… how do we fulfil the need to die? Scythe asks these questions and delivers a timely story that packs a powerful punch. The next book in the series, Thunderhead, is out now.
A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos
My final pick for the best of 2018 would have to be A Winter’s Promise – The Mirror Visitor, Book 1 by Christelle Dabos. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again –this book weaves a spell that is so compelling that it’s simply impossible to put it down. Translated from the French language it’s hard to imagine a book more exquisitely written, a story so meticulously and beautifully crafted, characters so memorable and wonderful that by the end of the book you feel as though you have known them your whole life… A Winter’s Promise is such a book, and it’s one that truly deserves the epithet of “instant classic”. Very keenly awaiting book two – I cannot wait to dive into this world again. Read my review.
Here’s to more amazing books and many hours well-spent reading in 2019!