My Top 3 Favorite SFF Books of 2019

Hey y’all! I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy books in 2019, so I figured I’d whip up a list of my favorites for you guys in case you were in need a good new SFF read. Check out the list!

3.) The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

My Rating: 4/5

“The strongest aspect of the book is the structure of the plot. Without giving too much away, I can say that the plot is both linear and nonlinear in a very interesting way, due to the specific manner in which the main character, Dietz, experiences the various events.”

—Excerpt from MY REVIEW

Blurb: The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back…different. Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief—no matter what actually happens during combat.

Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don’t sync up with the platoon’s. And Dietz’s bad drops tell a story of the war that’s not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on.

Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? Trying to untangle memory from mission brief and survive with sanity intact, Dietz is ready to become a hero—or maybe a villain; in war it’s hard to tell the difference.

2.) A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

My Rating: 4/5

Based only on the thoughtfulness that went into the world-building, I would give this book four stars. But there’s more! The actual plot of the book is fairly strong, with Mahit playing an influential role in the empire’s politics during a time of rising political unrest. The book has generous helpings of action, drama, humor, and political intrigue, all wrapped up in a complex but believable story about the twilight of a emperor’s long and peaceful reign, and the ramifications that naturally emerge from an approaching shift of power.”

—Excerpt from MY REVIEW

Blurb: Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident—or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion—all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret—one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life—or rescue it from annihilation.

1.) Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

My Rating: 5/5

“Plot wise, the book is very nearly perfect. There’s a great mix of intense action, suspenseful lead-ups to major plot twists, quiet character moments chock-full of important development, and the list goes on. I don’t think there’s a single significant flaw in the overall narrative.”

—Excerpt from MY REVIEW

Blurb: Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving–and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way–Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

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