The past three years or so I have really enjoyed reading Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction books. There’s something about becoming lost in a completely different world other than your own, that keeps you wanting more. I’ve barely hit the surface with my reading of Fantasy and Science Fiction books, but I wanted to share with you all what books you need to put on your TBR immediately!
This will be split into two parts. Part One containing only stand alone novels. Part Two will talk about book series.
Elantris – Brandon Sanderson
Elantris, as of right now, is a stand alone book. However, you’re going to wish that Sanderson would put down other project to write another book in this world. Elantris follows three characters: a prince, a princess, and a priest. The princess is set to marry prince when he becomes ill and dies. The priest now feels this is his moment to take control of Elantris, but the princess has her own plans. Alas! Come to find out, the prince was infected with a disease that made him appear dead, but is not. Now he has a personal mission to get back to Elantris and take control. This book focuses on the power of government and religion, and how those two influence each other. The magic system in Elantris is made of Aons, which are very precise characters you draw in the air, and play a very important aspect in this story. There is a glossary with some of the Aons in the back of the book which is a nice touch. This is Sanderson’s first book, and for some people his weakest, but I believe this is a good introduction to Sanderson and how he story tells. Having only three main characters helps keep the story centralized and not intimidating.
Fuzzy Nation – John Scalzi
If you like courtroom dramas, outer space, new species, and humor, this is the book for you. This title may seem familiar to you because it is based off the novel Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper. Fuzzy Nation is about a man named Jack Halloway who is very self absorbed, and will only do something if it benefits him. He is on a planet many light years away from Earth called Zara XXIII prospecting and surveying to find very rare jewels called sunstones. One day, Jack hits the jackpot. (Pun, anyone?) He has to go through legal issues to try to get claim of his findings, but when comes home one day, he finds some creatures in his home. Jack describes them as catlike, but he knows this is a completely new species that has yet to be discovered. He lovingly calls them Fuzzies. It is quickly realized that the Fuzzies are VERY intelligent creatures. The rest of the book is about finding out if these creatures are sapient (human). If they are, how does this affect the big corporation that runs the planet and the environment Zara XXIII? This book has great humor, great pacing, and just enough drama to have something for everyone. There’s just enough tech talk to make you feel like you understand what is happening and not get lost. It also does have some great commentary about what humans do to an environment/ecosystem to fatten their wallets.
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
This book is so much fun. If you want a book that mixes adventure with science fiction, dystopia, and gaming, this is the book for you. Cline has built an awesome world here. The setting is 2044 and Earth is something left to be desired. Everyone hates living on Earth now, and spends all their time in an alternate virtual life, including Wade.This virtual world is called the OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation). Years ago, the creator, James Halliday, of the OASIS passed away, but he left the ultimate Easter Egg in the OASIS. Whoever was to find this Easter Egg will inherit all of Halliday’s wealth and control of the OASIS. It’s been years since anyone has made a breakthrough on the OASIS Easter Egg, until one day Wade makes a discovery and changes his life. If you are into videos games, you will want to live in this world Cline has made. I’m not a gamer, but I had no problem getting sucked in and wanting to get in on the action. Also, if you love the 80s, this book is for you! Halliday was obsessed wtih the 80s, so there are references galore to make your heart happy. Seriously, this book is so much fun, and I highly recommend it.
The Diamond Age – Neal Stephenson
This is the most complex of the four books shown here. Stephenson is not afraid to give you many story lines and complex ideas. The Diamond Age is essentially about nanotechnology. A huge chunk of this book is about Nell, a young girl. Her brother gets his hands on a stolen Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer – an interactive book that helps girls lead more exciting lives. The primer is a form of artificial intelligence; it gets to know and guide its owner. Diamond Age follows Nell’s journey with the book and all the good and bad that comes with her owning this stolen primer. This novel goes into a lot of themes such as social class, drugs, government, artificial intelligence, and technology. A little FYI about Diamond Age is that it is said that it influenced the Kindle. The Kindle was actually going to be named Fiona, after the character who’s primer was stolen. This book can get very graphic, so if you are not a fan of that, don’t pick this up. If that doesn’t bother you, and you love technology, this will be a good choice for you.