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Fantasy and Sci-fi Book Recommendations

For book lovers, this is a joyous month. What makes a better present or stocking-stuffer than a book? Or a trilogy? Or a seven-volume series?
| Dec 6, 2016 | 5 comments |

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” as the song goes. *cue animated snowman scooting through the snow while singing*

Even if it’s not looking like Christmas where you live, the craziness of December has descended upon us. For book lovers, this is a joyous month. What makes a better present or stocking-stuffer than a book? Or a trilogy? Or a seven-volume series?

Answer: all the above…combined.

i-lived-in-books-neil-gaiman-quoteYou may need to shop for a bookish friend or family member. Perhaps you’re looking for the perfect spec-fic novel to round out your list.

Here are some excellent fantasy and sci-fi books you should check out.

1. The Stormlight Archive (Brandon Sanderson)

Why you should read it

  • Incredible depth, creativity, and originality in the worldbuilding
  • An intricate, believable magic system
  • Relatable, well-developed characters with powerful backstories and intriguing character arcs
  • Humor galore
  • An assortment of fascinating creatures
  • A breathtaking plot
  • All the trappings of a sprawling epic fantasy without the tired clichés
  • Examination of deep questions

kings-folly-cover2. The Kinsman Chronicles (Jill Williamson)

Why you should read it

  • A unique fantasy world (think Africa)
  • Memorable characters who throb with life
  • Impending doom that puts a new twist on the fantasy formula
  • A dark world ripe for redemptive light to shine in

3. The Storm Siren Trilogy (Mary Weber)

Why you should read it (I’ve only read the first book)

  • A sympathetic heroine
  • A fascinating magic system
  • Mind-rocking surprise (but of course, I won’t tell you when)
  • Tasteful romance

4. The Reckoners’ Series (Brandon Sanderson)

Why you should read it (I’ve read the first two books)

  • People have powers and they’re all evil (someone, give this book an award for originality)
  • A passionate, headstrong hero
  • Awesomesauce powers and neat tech
  • A dystopian setting that lacks a feisty teenage female lead, a love triangle, or a corrupt government *gasp, what is this madness?*
  • A breakneck pace that refuses to let you go

all-covers-ig-st5. The Out of Time Series (Nadine Brandes)

Why you should read it

  • Clocks that tell characters when they’ll die (is that not the coolest thing in, like…EVER?!)
  • A determined heroine and well-rounded supporting cast
  • Trial after conflict after hardship
  • Another original dystopian setting with some of the most imaginative inventions I’ve seen
  • A cruel cliffhanger that will make you weep

6. Mistborn (Brandon Sanderson…apparently, he’s the man)

Why you should read it (I’ve only read the fantasy trilogy)

  • A unique, developed magic system that’s flat out fun to read (are you sensing the Sanderson pattern?)
  • Shocking twists on classic fantasy clichés
  • A crueler cliffhanger that will gnaw at your bookish soul until you read the next book
  • Epic battles, love, loyalty, sacrifice

What are some of your fantasy and sci-fi book recommendations?

Zachary Totah writes speculative fiction stories. This allows him to roam through his imagination, where he has illegal amounts of fun creating worlds and characters to populate them. When not working on stories or wading through schoolwork, he enjoys playing sports, hanging out with his family and friends, watching movies, and reading. He lives in Colorado and doesn't drink coffee. He loves connecting with other readers and writers. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Goodreads, and at his website.

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Paul Lee

All I want for Christmas is infinite time to read all those books. There’s a reason Chronos is the devil in the Marvel movies.


Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay, Breeder by KB Hoyle, and The Retrieval Artist Series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. My favorite science fiction and fantasy reads of the year

Brie Donning
Brie Donning

I can say from experience that half those books are great.
My recommendation is the Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight. A half blood who isn’t sure he has a soul, a young woman trained to serve an emperor who will kill her for not serving his gods, unique fantasy races, and family conflict. Not to mention a snarky prince, dragons, and side story reminiscent of Robin Hood.

Kessie Carroll

For sci-fi fans, I recommend at least the first Expanse book, Leviathan Wakes. It’s kind of tropey, but it’s edge of your seat space opera, detailing what happens once humanity has populated the solar system … and then somebody finds an alien microbe that starts going all Evolution on people. The second book, Caliban’s War, is really the best of the series, IMO. The alien microbe was just so perfectly, horrifyingly alien. That’s my favorite part about sci-fi.

Audie Thacker

If you’re curious about Warhammer 40K stories, a good place to start in my opinion would be the Eisenhorn trilogy.

If you might be interested in manga, here’re some recommendations.

World Trigger–Earth is invaded by creatures from other dimensions, and a defensive force is set up to both combat the invaders and explore these other worlds. So far, there hasn’t been much exploring, but the story has been building up to it. Lots of combat training and real combat, though the mechanics of how the story handles the combat makes actually injuries a rare thing.

My Hero Academia–Set in the modern day, but in a world where a majority of the population has genetic gifts or mutations, called quirks. Some people use their quirks to commit crimes, so there is the need for superheroes to fight them. The story focuses mostly on one boy and his schoolmates as they learn to take on the role of heroes. Lots of fighting, and the fights get pretty intense at times, too.