The Obsessive Bookseller's top ten reads from 2016I love looking back at the end of the year and picking out a handful of books that really rocked my world. I read almost 60 books this year, and there were so many good ones that it was hard to narrow it down to just 10.

“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: fantasy

Brandon Sanderson is one of my top authors for his epic world building, amazing characters, and great writing. I’ve read (and loved) almost everything he has published, and “Shadows for Silence” was just as good. I loved it because it had a perfect mix of characterization, setting, story, pacing, action, and resolution, all wrapped up into one neat little package. It felt like a snippet out of a fully developed novel but was self-contained enough to stand completely on its own. I highly recommend it to Sanderson fans and lovers of the genre in general. [Read Full Review]

“Morning Star” by Pierce Brown

Genre: science fiction

As the conclusion to the Red Rising trilogy, “Morning Star” was my favorite of the series. Not only did all the moving parts converge for one epic finish but it also provided more depth of character and had its fair share of heart-wrenching moments. This series is one of the most unique I’ve ever read, even though it’s composed of many elements I loved from other top series. A next-generation continuation of the series (“Iron Gold”) is coming out August 2017, which is really exciting! [Read Full Review]

“The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin

Genre: fantasy

This series is an experience and one of the most unique I’ve ever read. The world building is ridiculously creative, and the characters are nothing if not atypical. The real brilliance lies in the writing, though. Jemisin weaves her story through three different perspectives, the most compelling of which is told in second person (which utilizes the “you” pronoun — “You walk to the edge of the cliff. You don’t much like heights.”), which is a writing style you don’t see very often because it’s difficult to pull off. This is one of those books I’ll reread. [Read Full Review]

“Blood Song” by Anthony Ryan

Genre: fantasy

It has been a while since I’ve read a new fantasy that I liked as much as “Blood Song.” Even though the last two books in the trilogy take on a different direction, I still am really glad I read this series. The first one is easily the best of the three. It’s a compelling coming-of-age story that reminded me of the school setting and camaraderie of “Harry Potter” while being told with the same atmosphere and grit that made “Game of Thrones” so good. That might be overselling it a bit, but if you like fantasy, “Blood Song” is a must for your list! [Read Full Review]

“Uprooted” by Naomi Novik

Genre: fantasy

“Uprooted” was a fun story about a girl apprenticed (against her will) to the stuffy local wizard. The two main characters had an awesome dynamic and really made the book special. This is the first book I’ve read by Naomi Novik, and I liked it so much that it definitely won’t be the last. This stand-alone novel was incredibly well written. [Read Full Review]

“Elite” by Mercedes Lackey

Genre: teen post-apocalyptic

I love it when high fantasy authors take on young adult literature. “Elite” is the second book in Mercedes Lackey’s Hunter, series and it’s shaping up to be one of the best YA’s I’ve read yet. The first book takes a couple of chapters to get going, but after that it boasts smart characters, excellent pacing, and lots of action. This is definitely a great series to pick up if you’re still suffering from a “Hunger Games” hangover. [Read Full Review]

“The Fixer” by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Genre: teen fiction

Imagine if ABC’s “Scandal” was re-envisioned as a young adult series and you’d have “The Fixer.” It has a ton of political intrigue, interesting (if a little over the top) characters, and great writing. Jennifer Lynn Barnes is responsible for my all-time favorite series (The Naturals, which I think is absolute perfection), and “The Fixer” is just as good. It takes a few chapters to get going, but once it does, it doesn’t let up! [Read Full Review]

“Bands of Mourning” by Brandon Sanderson

MistbornGenre: fantasy

Yet another Sanderson to make my list, “Bands of Mourning” is book six in the Mistborn saga, three in the four-book “Wax and Wayne” series. It brought ties from the first trilogy into play and was packed with lots of humor, adventure, and excitement. I know it’s going to be a while before the author has a chance to finish off this branch of the saga, but I can’t wait to see what he has in store next. [Read Full Review]

“No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished” by Rachel Aaron

Genre: urban fantasy

I love this series because it is truly a hybrid of genres: It reads like an urban fantasy, but the inclusion of dragons gives it a very low-fantasy story line. And the characters and overall presentation are so fun and accessible that it could also fit in the YA genre. “No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished” is the third book in the series and my favorite so far because of how deeply it dives into some of the most interesting characters. I loved every moment and highly recommend this author as often as I can. [Read Full Review]

“Magic Strikes” by Ilona Andrews

Genre: urban fantasy

This is a recent read for me as I just finished it a couple of days ago. It’s a book three in the Kate Daniels series, and I have to admit that I thought book one was fairly average and didn’t have a lot of positive things to say about it. Fortunately, my Goodreads friends urged me to keep reading, and I am oh so glad I did. It is shaping up to be one of my favorite urban fantasies: It’s fun, creative, and so funny on occasion that I actually laugh out loud. If Harry Dresden had a female counterpart, I feel like Kate Daniels would be it. I’m very new to this series, but things are looking good.

There you have it: my best books of 2016! Did any of my titles make your top 10 list?

Articles related to “The Obsessive Bookseller’s top ten reads from 2016”

The Obsessive Bookseller Reviews: The Heartstrikers series (so far) by Rachel Aaron

The Obsessive Bookseller Reviews: “Winter Halo” by Keri Arthur

The Obsessive Bookseller Reviews: The Raven’s Shadow Trilogy by Anthony Ryan