2015 is coming to a close, which means it’s time to do our yearly wrap ups.
Check Out part one of this list here
Check out our top five movie list here
It’s time for the top five of the ten. These are the big guns, the heavy hitters, the life changers. The books that made 2015 bareble. These are the books that we didn’t shut up about. Well honestly we never shut up about books. Our collective friends and family have probably heard enough about every book that made this top ten list. That being said, I give you the last five books of 2015.
#5. Welcome to Night Vale: The Novel by: Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor
If you’re a fan of the podcast, this is more of the same and you’ll love it. If you’ve never heard the podcast you might have a hard time getting into the novel. Their style is very particular and feels like it is meant to be spoken. This can act as a barrier to those who have never experienced Night Vale before. That being said it may not be totally impossible. I would recommend listening to the first five or so episodes of the podcast just to get a feel of the podcast. After that there is not much in the book that’s going to be spoiling the podcast and vice versa. The show and the book are two separate entities.
Night Vale The Novel follows two women: Jackie Fierro and Dianne Crayton who’s paths will eventually cross as they try and come to the bottom of their own separate mysteries. Jackie is cursed with a paper with the words King City written on them. No matter what she does she cannot put the paper down. Meanwhile Dianne’s son Josh goes missing and she begins to search for him. What seems unrelated at first might just be the beginnings of something bigger.
In the novel you are introduced to new characters and you get to see some old familiar faces. You learn more about the town of Night Vale and honestly you can never learn enough about the weird little town. If you love the podcast, cosmic horror, weird or surrealist fiction or you just want to try something completely different than what you’re used too, check this one out. You can also watch our review of The Night Vale Novel here.
#4. The Martian by: Andy Weir
This is a book that came out a while ago. I can remember reading it’s praises on the website io9 and not following up on them. The Martian deals with one of my biggest fears, being confined to a space where the outside will kill you (think submarines, space ships etc).
After the announcement of the movie adaptation and the first trailer I decided to give the book a shot. I’m glad that I did.
The sarcastic humour that carries through the entire novel is a thing of beauty. Even though Whatney is trapped in a horrible situation, he still comes off as funny. At the same time you feel like you’re learning things because Whatney talks you through everything he is doing and he does it in such a way that you don’t get bogged down by all the techno babble. I’m officially adding Mark Whatney to my list of fictional crushes.
The one thing that really got to the both of us was just how uplifting The Martian was. In an age where all our fantasy is dark and all our science fiction is apocalyptic, The Martian focuses on the good in the world. This is a story about earth coming together to save one man. At the end of the book I felt like crying because I was so happy, I cried because joy. When does that happen anymore. Check out our review of this novel here. And go read it, seriously. Do it.
#3. Lair of Dreams by: Libba Bray
We waited so long for this book. Was it worth the wait? Yes.
Libba Bray’s Diviners series captures the world of the Roaring Twenties so completely, you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. You can tell just how much research Bray must have done to create such a vivid picture of the time period. The tone of the story is also worth mentioning. The first novel introduced us to the dark undertones that slowly grows, consuming the story. It’s the same in Lair of Dreams. The quiet horror of the main plot makes your skin crawl, but you’re unable to look away because you want to know how the story is going to end.
You fall in love with all of the characters. From fire cracker Evie to quiet Memphis. I found that I didn’t have a favourite. Even if I didn’t agree with certain character’s actions I didn’t want to skip their chapters to get to someone else’s, which is in itself a miracle.
If you liked Libba Bray’s previous period fiction The Gemma Doyle Trilogy, or even her contemporary stuff, then I recommend you pick up her Diviner Series. It’s dark and creepy, but totally worth your time. Also, check out our review of Lair of Dreams (with it’s awesome intro by guest Keith McNally) here.
#2. Alive by: Scott Sigler
This is a book that you need to go into blind. You should honestly stop reading this post right now and go pick it up. Seriously, the less you know the more fun you’re going to have with this story.
The most bare bone summary I can give without spoiling anything is this: a girl wakes up in a coffin. All she knows is that it’s her twelfth birthday. She doesn’t know where she is or how she got there. When she leaves the coffin she finds a few other people like her, but mostly bones and dust. It is up to this girl to figure out who she is and why she and the other children are where they are.
The book becomes this crazy Lord of the Flies science fiction adventure that tries to understand what it means to be human. It deals with other questions like what defines being a child and what is adulthood really?
I really don’t know how to talk about this without going into any more spoilers. This is a book that I have a feeling will fly under the radar. So go and give it a chance. It’s also the first book in a trilogy with the second book set to come out in spring of 2016. So get excited. Check out Chelsey’s review on Alive here. And stay tuned for our eventual coverage of the rest of the series!
#1. Vicious by: V.E. Schwab
I picked up Vicious because I loved Scwhab’s other novel A Darker Shade of Magic. Vicious is a superhero narrative and basically my kryptonite. There are two characters, one of them is a super hero and one of them is a super villain. They both have super powers but the question is. Who really is the bad guy?
Vicious follows Victor, a man who can control pain. He’s just gotten out of jail and plans to take revenge on his former best friend and roommate for landing him in there. Throughout the novel you get flashbacks about how the two characters got their super powers and what led up to the incident that killed their friendship.
The center of the book is Victor and Eli’s relationship. It’s not straight forward and instead encompasses every emotional tie one can form. They’re best friends verging on brothers, there are hints of a romantic attraction or perhaps it’s just obsession.
If you like superheroes and you like post modern superhero narratives, than I recommend you check this one out. Out of all the amazing novels I read this year, this is the one that stuck with me the most. Schwab recently announced that there will be a sequel and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Check out my text review of Vicious here.
So there you have it, our top reads of 2015. Overall it’s been a great reading year for us. What were your favourite books that you read this year? Tell us about them in the comments below. As for now, we’ll see you in 2016! happy Reading!