So far this year, I’ve managed to read through 30 books and I feel pretty good about that accomplishment. Sure, it’s week 33 but I had one story that just didn’t work for me (The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day) and another that I had to restart multiple times in order to figure out what was actually going on (yes The Gunslinger was a good book but I got lost quite a few times in the first 150 pages). With 30 books down, I’ve planned for another 18 before the end of the year, but I figure it’s a good time to take a look at my top reads so far.
- Elantris – Brandon Sanderson (2007)
- Gateway – Frederick Pohl (1977)
- The Three-Body Problem – Cixin Liu (2014)
- I, Robot – Isaac Asimov (1950)
- Mistborn: The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson (2009)
- Dune – Frank Herbert (1965)
- Beyond the Blue Event Horizon – Frederick Pohl (1980)
- Lock In – John Scalzi (2014)
- Heechee Rendezvous – Frederick Pohl (1985)
- Sleeping Giants – Sylvain Neuvel (2016)
Elantris makes the top of my list and I have to say it was a really enjoyable read. Here’s just part of the blurb from Publisher’s Weekly about the book…
The godlike inhabitants of Elantris, once the capital of the land of Arelon, have degenerated into powerless, tortured souls, unable to die, after the city’s magic inexplicably broke 10 years earlier. When the same curse strikes Prince Raoden of Arelon and he’s imprisoned in Elantris, he refuses to surrender to his grim fate and instead strives to create a society out of the fallen and to unlock the secret that will restore the city’s glory.
That’s enough of a story for an entire novel but for Sanderson and Elantris, that’s only one of three interlaced stories that seem to fit perfectly and result in my top rated book for the year so far.
I have to admit that while this is the first book from Sanderson that I’ve read (and the first he had published), I have been a big fan of his podcast, Writing Excuses for years.
What really makes this my favorite so far this year is the world building. The interplay of politics, religion, and economics is refreshing and unique to this world – you don’t see things pulled from the headlines like so many ‘stories’ today and I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen their like in any other fantasy novel I’ve read. The magic system is well thought out and the concept that the once powerful Elantrians lost their powers was a great idea to wrap this story around. Along with the world and the magic, the characters really drew me into the story. I was pulling for them and as the pace ebbed and flowed, I found myself reading longer than I planned each time I started up (actually though, I listened to the audio book).
The entire 500+ pages took me about 6 days to get through, but it was so enjoyable I was ready to start reading another Sanderson book right away.