In my last two posts I introduced my TOP contemporary books and novellas, so now is time to take a look at my favourite genre – fantasy and sci-fi 🙂 It was hard to choose just 10 books because I read oh so many fantasy stories this year, hence, I decided to double that number and just fangirl over 20 books instead. Not to make this post too long, I will just in few words introduce each book and add picture and synopsis from Goodreads 😉 However, there is one rule that on this list can be only one book per series, so you will find my favourite book from each series here but no matter what synopsis will be from the first book just to avoid spoilers.
20. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson (4 stars) – an enchanting YA fantasy romance debut with magical and dangerous world of faeries.
A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.
Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
19. Sweet Reckoning (Sweet, #3) by Wendy Higgins (4 stars) – a dangerously sweet and a bit dark YA paranormal romance with angels, demons and their children playing their cruel jokes on unsuspecting humans. *Note. The synopsis is of the first book in this series.
Synopsis: Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1) by Wendy Higgins
Embrace the Forbidden
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
18. Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2) by Alexandra Bracken (4 stars) – an action packed YA dystopian romance. I would have gone with book 3 in this series but… I don’t want to think and talk about it, my heart was shattered and never restored, hence, this series isn’t higher on this list, just because my heart couldn’t take it. *Note. The synopsis is of the first book in this series.
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.
17. The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand (4 stars) – a light, fun and Christmasy YA retelling of ‘A Christmas Carol’ with smidgen of romance and magic. This one is so low on the list because I would have preferred a bit different ending.
On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.
And then she died.
Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge–as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.
Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable.
But this year, everything is about to change. . . .
16. Alienated (Alienated, #1) by Melissa Landers (4 stars) – a cute YA sci-fi romance with aliens and planetary travel.
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.
Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.
Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.
But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.
Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.
15. Pestilence (The Four Horsemen, #1) by Laura Thalassa (4 stars) – a bit twisted and angsty, steamy and slow-burn NA paranormal romance and an addictive guilty-pleasure read. *Note. Just look at that cover, one of the reasons I got this book, but sadly they have changed it.
They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.
When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn’s town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed.
Too bad no one told her Pestilence can’t be killed.
Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her … and hers towards him.
And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she’ll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.
14. The Queen’s Wing (The Queen’s Wing, #1) by by Jessica Thorne (4 stars) – an imaginative, action filled, and heart-breaking YA fantasy space opera. *Note. I received an ARC from NetGalley, which I’m happy about as I got a chance to read this beautiful debut.
‘I was born to fight,’ I used to say. But now I know it isn’t true. I was born to be a pawn in the great game of royal houses, married to someone – anyone – my family deems suitable…
Bel would do anything to spend her days alongside her best friend and childhood sweetheart Shae – training in the art of Vairian combat, hoping to some day live up to the legacy left by the mother she lost as a child.
But when a mysterious and deadly attack on the capital lands Bel’s father unexpectedly on the throne, her life is forever changed. In order to secure her father’s new empire, Bel is forced to travel to the distant land of Anthaeus to marry its recently widowed ruler, Conleith.
For any other young woman the chance to become royalty would be a dream come true, but for Bel, the rigidity of court life is like a prison sentence. And while Conleith is an unexpectedly intriguing – and attractive – puzzle… could she ever love him when it would mean turning her back on her feelings for Shae, her first love and last connection to home?
Then a brutal assassination attempt nearly takes her life, and Bel learns that there’s more on the line than just her happiness. Is it the same faceless enemy who attacked her homeland and, with dangers around every corner, who in the palace can she trust?
13. Everless (Everless, #1) by Sara Holland (4 stars) – an imaginative and intriguing YA fantasy debut. This was also the first book I read in 2018, so quite a successful beginning of my reading year it was.
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.
No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.
But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
12. Wicked (A Wicked Trilogy, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (4 stars) – an exciting and fun NA paranormal romance with fae and their hunters stalking those pages, with danger and secrets hiding in those pages, with love and friendships blossoming in those pages.
Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.
Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.
Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.
But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.
11. Poison Study (Study, #1) by Maria V. Snyder (4.75 stars) – a fascinating YA fantasy romance with magic and danger filled pages. *Note. It was a hard decision in placing this book as number 11 or 10. But it’s here because I read the series in summer, so my memory on it is less clear than on the next book that I read just recently. I should get a better memory maybe 😀
Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…
10. Bring Me Their Hearts (Bring Me Their Hearts, #1) by by Sara Wolf (4.75 stars) – a captivating, magical, dark and fun YA fantasy romance, and kind of a twisted take on fairy tale retelling.
Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.
Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.
Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.
So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.
Winner takes the loser’s heart.
9. Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) by Tahereh Mafi (5 stars) – a beautifully and exquisitely written, heart-shattering YA dystopian romance. *Note. Oh, I’m so team AAdam all the way because in my eyes Warner was not completely redeemed. Also the covers on these books are just a work of art.
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
8. The Darkest Star (Origin #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (5 stars) – a fun, addictive, intensive YA paranormal romance. *Note. This is a spin-off of Lux series, if you wan’t the best experience reading this book then read all of the books from the original series first.
When seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher is caught up in a raid at a notorious club known as one of the few places where humans and the surviving Luxen can mingle freely, she meets Luc, an unnaturally beautiful guy she initially assumes is a Luxen…but he is in fact something much more powerful. Her growing attraction for Luc will lead her deeper and deeper into a world she’d only heard about, a world where everything she thought she knew will be turned on its head…
#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the universe of the Lux in this brand new series, featuring beloved characters both new and old.
7. Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga (5 stars) – a cute, fast paced and entertaining YA fantasy romance debut, where mix of twisted fairy tales and mythology was entwined together with action, danger, romance and uniqueness of this magical world.
Princess Ivy has one goal—end the war against the Forces of Darkness.
Ivy’s magic is more powerful than any other Royal’s, but she needs a battle partner who can help her harness it. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword should make them an unstoppable pair—if only they could agree on…well, just about anything.
But Ivy’s magic can only fully unlock with Zach’s help, and he’s not exactly cooperating.
Zach believes Ivy’s magic is dangerous. Ivy believes they’ll never win the war without it. Two warriors, one goal, and the fate of their world on the line. But the more they argue, the more they fall for each other. And only one of them can be right…
6. A Pack of Blood and Lies (The Boulder Wolves #1) by Olivia Wildenstein (5 stars) – a fast pase, action induced, intriguing, intensive, swoon-worthy and sweet YA paranormal romance and the best werewolf book I have ever read. *Note. I received an ARC from NetGalley, and am I glad that I did, because I found this amazing book. All three books in this trilogy will be available in 2019. Expected publication of A Pack of Blood and Lies is April 18th 2019.
The primal rule of winning: don’t fall in love with the contender.
Three months shy of her eighteenth birthday, Ness is forced to return to Colorado. Even though it’s been six years, and the wolves of her all-male pack don’t recognize her, she recognizes them. People who shun others because of their gender are hard to forget.
Especially Liam Kolane—son of Heath, the crudest and cruelest Alpha to have ruled the Boulder Pack. Liam is as handsome as he is infuriating, as kind as he is punishing, and he makes Ness’s traitorous heart race, which isn’t good. After all, he’s a Kolane. Like father like son, right?
When Heath dies, Liam vies to become the new Alpha and no one dares challenge him.
Thus begins a treacherous game.
The rules: winner takes all…including loser’s life.
Fans of Kresley Cole and Cassandra Clare will devour A PACK OF BLOOD AND LIES.
* Contains Alpha males.
* Not suitable for children under 14.
5. Legendary (Caraval, #2) by Stephanie Garber (5 stars) – an exquisite, magical, intriguing and beautiful YA fantasy romance with lyrical writing, twists and turns, dangers and mysteries lurking behind those pages and a very enjoyable read. *Note. The synopsis is of the first book in this series.
Remember, it’s only a game…
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.
4. The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black (5 stars) – a cruel and twisted but also magical and beautiful YA fantasy where modern world and faerie lore meet in this whimsical, mesmerising and exciting way. And that ending… just the FEELS… 🙂
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
3. Origin (Lux, #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (5 stars) – an action packed, swoon-worthy, intensive, addictive, and steamy hot YA sci-fi romance with heart-stopping suspense and aliens sizzling throughout the pages. One of the most enjoyable guilty-pleasure reads. Expect to fall in love. *Note. This was one of my book hangover induced re-reads because this exciting and incredible world can get me out from deep under any reading slump or book hangover. The synopsis is of the first book in this series.
Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don’t kill him first, that is.
2. A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2) by by Sarah J. Maas (5 stars) – a steamy, incredible, swoon-worthy, wonderful and exciting NA fantasy romance filled with action, danger, magic, friendship and love. *Note. I fell in love with Rhysand in the first book and still loved him in this one as well. The synopsis is of the first book in this series.
Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
1. Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1) by Mary E. Pearson (5 stars) – an amazing, beautiful, captivating, exciting, refreshing, imaginative and swoon-worthy YA fantasy romance with secrets, danger, assassins, royals, villains, a legendary thief and the best male MC ever. Characters that won’t disappoint, romance that is slow-burning and sweet, and heart-stopping ending that will make you crave the next book as crazy. THE FEELSSSS… I LOVED it all. ‘Dance of Thieves receive the title of the best fantasy and sci-fi book 2018.
A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.
When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.
At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.
So here you go, this is my TOP 20 fantasy and sci-fi book list. From 125 books that I read in 2018 (yup, I had a great reading year), 45 were fantasy and sci-fi, even though I didn’t read as many FSF books as usual this year, it’s still my favourite genre, especially, Young Adult fantasy.
Which were your TOP fantasy and sci-fi books read in 2018? Have you read any of the books in this list? If yes, then what were your thoughts on them? If not, are you planning to?
Lady of Bookland