Friday, June 26, 2015

Best of 2015 (So Far!)

It's hard to believe that June is almost at an end and 2015 is almost halfway done. Where'd the time go? Actually, I do know the answer to that question, at least in my case: books and the internet. (And school, for the first four months of the year, but let's be honest: mostly books and the internet.) In terms of reading material, this year is looking like one of my best! I've read so many awesome, amazing books, some of which just came out and others which I've only just finally read. Anyway, because I want to save myself stress at the end of the year, I thought I'd list the best new-to-me books I've read this year.

Best New-to-Me Books of 2015 (So Far)

1. Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson
I know. I'm probably the last person in the world to read this. (Actually, I'm not. My mom hasn't read it either. But she has an excuse, seeing as she has a lot of other stuff she has to do.) I guess I was scared of what might happen and also a little worried that it might not live up to my expectations. The former was a justified fear- I definitely understand now why so many of my friends cried over this book! I did not cry, but I did yell so much that my sister knocked on my door and asked what was wrong . . . three or four times. The latter fear, on the other hand, was utterly ridiculous because Warden and the Wolf King was amazing and beautiful and the best book in the series.

2. Firefight by Brandon Sanderson.  
This is another book that caused yelling- though not quite as much as Warden and the Wolf King. Admittedly, that might've been because there were people in the room most of the time while I was reading Firefight. I got about three quarters of the way through and had three different suspicions of how the story might go and I wasn't sure which one terrified me more. (If I recall correctly what my suspicions were, I was right about the one that hurt the most and half-right about the one that gave me a sort of evil, author-ish glee in addition to scaring me.) Besides the heartache, though, Firefight was awesome. David is such an awesomely nerdy guy, Megan is amazing, and I loved seeing a new crew and a new city.

3. Omega Dragon by Bryan Davis. 
I still can't believe that this series is over after it's been going for so long . . . but at least it got an amazing ending. Davis brought back a lot of old friends we hadn't heard from in a long time and wrapped up all the loose ends in a thoroughly satisfying conclusion, preceded by a battle at least as epic as the one at the end of Bones of Makaidos. It was a bit darker than most of the other books in the multi-series, but considering that we're dealing with the end of the world, that's hardly surprising.

4. The Ryn and The Remedy by Serena Chase
So . . . this is technically two books, but as they're very closely connected and about equal in awesomeness, we're counting them as one. Epic Christian fantasy with a hint of fairy-tale retelling (a not-as-well-known fairy tale to boot)? Sounds wonderful to me . . . and it very much is! The characters are thoroughly lovable (those we're supposed to like, anyway), the Christian themes are powerful, and the romance . . . the romance is adorable. My only complaint is that I saw a fair number of the plot twists coming, and I do like to be surprised. But this is still an excellent series, and I look forward to reading the next in line, The Seahorse Legacy.

5. Jackaby by William Ritter
Oh, oh, oh! Where do I start? There's so much to love about this book, from the perfect blend of mystery and fantasy to the characters (particularly Jackaby and Abigail, though they're all excellent) to the setting (19th century New England; not a common locale for my books to take place in!) to the slightly Sherlock Holmes-esque feel to the use of traditional (and not especially well known) folklore. Honestly, the only thing I didn't like about this book is that it's over so quickly!

6. Resistance by Jaye L. Knight.
 So. I'm really not sure what to say about this that hasn't been said a hundred times by about half the people who read this blog, but Resistance was awesome. I liked the characters, particularly Kaden, Trask, and Daniel, and the plot is pretty uncommon in fantasy novels- more like something I'd expect from a historical fiction or maybe dystopian novel. (I say that in a good way.) I also need to reread this book sometime, because I want to refresh my memory of it before I read The King's Scrolls. (Which, yes, has been out since February, but Barnes and Noble didn't have it when I was buying books.)

7. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
This one is probably for the 16 and up crowd (just because there's a little more mention of certain things than there were in other books, though there's nothing explicit), but it was definitely awesome. Of course, from an author such as Brandon Sanderson, I expect no less. I especially loved Lightsong (who's funny but rather noble and who reminds me of both Wit and Howl Pendragon in some ways) and Vasher (who's mysterious and has a talking sword)- and, of course, the thoroughly twisty plot. Admittedly, Warbreaker isn't on par with Mistborn or The Stormlight Archive, but it's still well worth reading . . . if you're sixteen or up.

8. Orphan's Song by Gillian Bronte Adams
I feel like I'm overusing the word "awesome", so I'll find another word for this book: wonderful. As is often the case, the characters were the best part, particularly Amos. His accent, his history, his determination to protect Birdie . . . they all add up into one of those characters I really want to be real. Also, there's a griffin, which makes me enormously happy. 
9. Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
Over the past six months, I've been reading a lot of Discworld. It's a series that I've heard quite a bit about, but wasn't quite sure if I should take the plunge into until Anne Elisabeth Stengl recommended Guards! Guards! on her blog. So, I gave it a try . . . and I'm very glad I did. I've loved all the City Watch novels (of which this is the first), as well as the Tiffany Aching books and assorted others, but I have to say: this is my favorite. It's funny and sarcastic and pokes fun at fantasy cliches, but it doesn't sacrifice characters or plot to do so. One caveat: like Warbreaker, I'd pin this as a sixteen-and-up book.
10. The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
I wasn't sure how much I'd like this book, since I'd heard it would focus jump forward several years and focus mostly on Batty- and while I like Batty, I also like Skye and Jane quite a bit. As it turned out, I loved The Penderwicks in Spring and devoured it in a day. Several parts, surprisingly, made me come close to tears (something not a lot of books can do- I tend to yell, as has been previously noted), but other parts made those sad parts just so worth it. 
What are your favorite books that you've read so far this year? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
 -Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)   


  1. Warden and the Wolf King! My need to read this book has gotten to the point where I am getting a little squirrely. And still my library does not have it in stock! (Mreaaaagh!)

    Perhaps I should just up and buy it- but I already spent so much on books this year.

    I wonder if my library has any of these other books. Oh I hope so! Thank you for the recommendations!

    1. Ouch! It is well worth buying, in my opinion, but I understand the struggle- if I bought all the books I wanted, my wallet would be empty. >.<

      I hope you can find them! Happy reading!

    2. I found Jackaby and Warbreaker! Thanks again for the recommendations!

    3. I have been reading the Wingfeather Saga lately. I'm on 'Monster in the Hollows', but since none of my libraries seem to have the series I've resolved to by it for my own shelves. I love it! They're so darkly funny, and then desperately sad a second later. Artham Wingfeather is my favorite character... and one of the best ones in any book I've seen in a long time. ^_^


I'd love to hear your thoughts! But remember: it pays to be polite to dragons.