What’s on my New Year’s TBR? I’m anxiously waiting the arrival of the next Cassandra Clare novel, finally going to read The Maze Runner prequel, count down days to the final book of The Silver Trilogy by Kerstin Gier, and eventually finish The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, which shouldn’t be too hard, (I’m on book five of around twenty). New Year’s Resolutions can be a source of glee or great stress. When it comes to your TBR, it can be hard to decide just what should come first on your never ending list. With the New Year upon us, here’s eight resolutions for the ultimate sci-fi/fantasy fanatic to start with.
1. Recommend To A Friend
My friends and I often recommend new reads to each other. By recommend I mean, I get a box full of books in the mail of Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files. Another recommendation by the same friend is Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. As your first resolution, you should read a recommendation from a friend, as well as share a favorite of your own. If you’re reading a book no one else is and have no one to talk to, get a friend to read it and then you’ll have someone to go through an emotional roller coaster with.
2. Read A Fantasy Based On A Fairytale
Everywhere you look there’s an adaptation of a fairytale. How many Snow White stories can you name? This trend can be a tiring one, but it can also be fun, assuming you find a good retelling. If you’re looking for a good Alice story, try Chasing Rabbits by Erin Bedford, which is an adult version revolving around fairies and includes a seductive Cheshire. For a younger audience, try The Carver by Jacob Devlin, the first of a series about an adult Peter Pan and Pinocchio. It reads as a sequel to the famous stories.
3. Read A Book Set In A Past Time Period
For the New Year, try reading a historical book. CJ Archer is a lesser known author whose series often take place in England of the past. The Last Necromancer takes place in Victorian England and is about a girl named Charlie pretending to be a boy in order to survive the London slums. She also happens to have the gift of necromancy (being able to communicate with the dead), which everyone is after her for. This series straddles the line of fantasy and science fiction with spirits being raised from the dead, and nods to Frankenstein are made. To really enjoy older work, try reading old issues of Fantasy and Science Fiction which has seen a large variety of works in the genres over the years.
4. Go On A Dragon Reading Binge
Dragons are a big part of fantasy. So many novels contain dragons, whether they’re a main plot point or just one of the many fantastic beasts, they’re there. Novels to try are: Mark of the Dragon by J.W. Troemner, Penny White and the Temptation of Dragons by Chrys Cymri, or The Dragon in the Garden by Erika Gardner. Mark of the Dragon is a series of novellas following a homeless woman and her dragon protector who also happens to be a vigilante. Penny White is the quirky novel about a Doctor Who obsessed priest who ends up working as a liaison to another world. Erika Gardner’s novel has a wide variety of creatures, dragons, angels, demons, and even a Valkyrie.
5. Read Classic Science Fiction
Everyone’s heard of HG Wells, but not many have taken the time to sit down with The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, or War of the Worlds. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a classic everyone knows as the doctor who creates a monster. What people don’t know is that the monster is a studious creature that just wants to belong. Add these classics to your 2017 TBR. These are a must for any science fiction lover.
6. Read A Book By An Independent Author
The New Year is the perfect time to find more independent fantasy and science fiction authors. There are a lot of hidden gems out there that no one knows about, and they should! Start with The Crashers by Magen Cubed, and anything by C.E. Wilson. Crashers toes the line of fantasy, but it’s worth the read. C.E. Wilson’s novels are delightful and unique from the love affair between a human and an itty bitty shrunk girl, to Christmas elves who were rejected by Santa. Start with either Matchsticks and Candy Canes, or The Boy with Words, and work your way towards her Shakespeare retellings.
7. Try A Dystopian Novel
If you’re a fan of dystopian novels from the likes of James Dashner, and Veronica Roth, try Darkness Eternal by Leslie Lee Sanders, The Island by S. Usher Evans, or Daybreak Rising by Kiran Oliver. Note if you read Darkness Eternal, it’s the fifth book of the Refuge Inc series. It’s a standalone novel so it can be read without the others, but if you prefer, start with Before the Darkness. For other science fiction, I recommend reading issues of Fantasy and Science Fiction for fun stories.
8. Read A Translation
Translations aren’t easy to find. Kerstin Gier is a German author who has two trilogies which were translated into English. The Silver Trilogy is about a girl who discovers an ability to enter other people’s dreams. The second book, Dream On, was released in the United States in May of 2016 with the third set to be released in 2017. The Ruby Red Trilogy follows a second society of time travelers. Both trilogies are eccentric and humorous with Ruby Red even including the ghost of a snarky gargoyle. Another book originally in German, Transport by Philip P. Peterson, follows a group of inmates who are taken off death row in order to research spheres that allow travel to other planets.
Happy New Year! What are your reading goals for 2017?
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