Sci-Fi Month

Sci-Fi Month 2015: My Top 10 Science Fiction Novels of the Year

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This post is part of Sci-Fi Month 2015, a month long event to celebrate science fiction hosted by myself and Over the Effing Rainbow. You can view the schedule here, follow the event on Twitter via the official @SciFiMonth Twitter account, or the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.

I feel this has to be a part of Sci-Fi Month every year: my favourite science fiction novels read this year. These are the ten novels that impressed me the most, listed in no particular order because I find it so difficult to order books… I just love them all too much. If you enjoyed any of these, let me know!

Steelheart & Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson Firefight

Both Steelheart and Firefight were extraordinary books. I have really enjoyed everything by Brandon Sanderson that I’ve read so far, but these two are written in a very different style to everything else, and are aimed at younger audiences. However, if you’re not a Young Adult fan, this series still comes really highly recommended – particularly if you like the superhero genre.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury & Tracer by Rob Boffard

Fahrenheit 451 Tracer

Reading Fahrenheit 451 meant making progress with my Definitive Science Fiction Reads challenge, created for Sci-Fi Month 2013. It is a haunting tale; the thought of a world where books are banned absolutely terrifies me, and many others I’m sure. Tracer was a Netgalley find, chosen for my post-The 100 needs. It is so action-packed and fast, and I can remember the opening scene really well as it was so vivid.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North & Armada by Ernest Cline

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August Armada

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is a more ‘subtle’ science fiction book, in that whilst time travel (of a sort) is the central concept of the book, it actually takes a backseat. How Harry time travels/is reborn is less important than what he does with his many lives. It is definitely the sort of science fiction book that would appeal to those who do not consider themselves big fans of the genre. Armada, on the other hand, is definitely one that will appeal to a certain group of people: video game fans. The story of a teenager who gets caught up in an alien invasion that seems inspired by the online game he plays, it is Ernest Cline’s second novel. I couldn’t wait to read it after Ready Player One, and whilst I did not enjoy it much as his first novel, I still rated it five stars because it was just so fun.

Time Salvager by Wesley Chu & The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

Time Salvager The Girl With All The Gifts

Time Salvager was one of those books that I had high expectations for, but it still managed to utterly blow me away. As I said in my review, it is the type of science fiction that I have been yearning for for a while. The Girl With All The Gifts is a very different type of book, but equally fantastic. A sort-of-zombie dystopian novel, unlike other books of the same ilk, the reader sees the zombies from a more ‘personal’ viewpoint.

Way Down Dark by James Smythe & Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid

Way Down Dark Catalyst

Way Down Dark was another wonderful Netgalley find, that I partly took a chance on just because of the cool cover. This felt like a breath of fresh air compared to the whole host of science fiction/dystopian Young Adult novels that have recently been released. Unfortunately as it has been labelled as ‘for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent, I fear this will put many people off the book who actively avoid those series or those similar. Ignore that! Catalyst is the final book in the Insignia series, and was a really great ending. It follows young teens training for the military, and somehow often feels simultaneously tense and light-hearted.

Have you read any of these, or are you planning to? What are your thoughts?

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25 thoughts on “Sci-Fi Month 2015: My Top 10 Science Fiction Novels of the Year”

  1. So many of these are on my TBR! I still haven’t read any Ernest Cline – something I’d really like to change soon – and I still haven’t read any Brandon Sanderson, though one of my friends and I are planning to read the Mistborn trilogy together. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August sounds like my kind of sci-fi, so I think I’ll probably end up checking that out at some point.

    There’s a book I really recommend you read. It’s not sci-fi, but it is magical realism and it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year, if not ever. It’s called Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and it’s set in Mexico City in the ’80s where a teenager discovers she can do magic with vinyl records. It’s just so good, and I think you’d enjoy it! πŸ™‚

    1. Read Ready Player One asap! And definitely start reading some Sanderson – all of his work that I’ve read so far has just been FANTASTIC.

      Oh that sounds so cool, like some kind of X-Men power or something! Going to add that one to my list now.

  2. I read Time Salvager earlier this year, after seeing your review, and I’m glad I did! I’m excited that there will be a sequel. I also read Armada, which was fun but a bit on the silly side. Steelheart and Firefight are definitely at the top of my list to read. πŸ™‚

      1. It did! I’d never even heard of it before your review, and then I saw another positive review the next day, so I immediately put it on hold at the library. πŸ˜€

  3. I was a big fan of time Salvager as well. I’m glad there is a sequel coming. The cover art is what drew me to it initially, after seeing it somewhere, but the story was so fun. This is a great list, even though I’m participating in SciFi Month I don’t feel like I’ve read enough sci fi this year! Need to do something about that… πŸ™‚

    1. Ah I didn’t realise there was! I think at the time of my reading it, it hadn’t been confirmed… unless I’m remembering that wrong. The cover drew me too.

      Go fix that lack of sci-fi πŸ˜‰

  4. This year I have read and reviewed…

    Armada – I read this before Ready Player One (which I read after and loved) and it was just incredible, totally blew my mind.

    Girl with all the Gifts – This book gave me so many feels and they are making it in to a film – they had better no mess it up!

    Tracer – This book was so fast, it was constantly moving in a way I have never read in a book before, I can’t wait for the next book.

    As for your others, well of course I am going to check them out especially Brandon Sanderson and I have Fahrenheit 451 at home with no excuse for not having read it yet!

    1. Did you prefer Armada or RPO? RPO is definitely my fave of the two.

      Aahh I didn’t know they are making a film of The Girl… How exciting! I actually ordered this when I was outside the UK, by the time I got back my dad had actually read my copy and was like ‘READ THIS NOW!’ πŸ˜›

  5. The Steelheart series is great, and doesn’t feel like YA to me. Fahrenheit 451 is one of my favorites. I haven’t read the others you mention, but Armada is on my Kindle so I hope to get to that this month (but running out of time). I also just picked up Scott Westerfeld’s new book Zeroes from the library, I’m hoping that will be good. I love Westerfeld but didn’t care for his last book.

    1. No it doesn’t really, but it definitely feels different to Sanderson’s other writing.

      I was about to say ‘Oh I just read Zeroes’ but then I realised I’ve just read Chuck Wendig’s Zeroes – it’s really confusing me having two releases quite close together with the same title and theme! Which of Westerfeld’s books did you not enjoy?

    1. Do it! I don’t know if you’ve read Ender’s Game, but it’s quite similar, although a little more light-hearted. I always thought Ender was very serious.

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