Esme’s Top Ten of 2017!

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This won’t be a list of just Fantasy books, I read a lot of genres so it’ll be a mix of everything I’ve read this year. The numbers are arbitrary, I couldn’t ‘rank’ these if I tried, they’re all so different from one another.

  1. What Animals Think and Feel by Carl Safina – This was an absolutely beautiful book written by someone with a passion for his subject matter. My degree from college is in Ethology, which is Animal Behavior, this book was not only fascinating but it was gorgeous. Often times non-fiction science books can be dry and somewhat boring, but this was anything but that. It’s also very accessible, you do not have to have any background in science to enjoy this. I absolutely recommend it for anyone with the vaguest interest in animals, biology, and elephants. FULL REVIEW
  2. Where Loyalties Lie by Rob J Hayes – I was wary picking this up because I’m not that into pirates, but my god this book blew me away. It’s indie published but felt entirely polished and professional. Engaging characters, amazing world building, with a very realistic feel to it. Darker, grittier, a must read! FULL REVIEW
  3. Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson – This is my favorite Sanderson book so far, I read Sanderson for his world building and unique magic systems, but this book managed to kick me in the feels as well – which is a new thing for me and Sanderson. Some of the characters I struggled with turned into favorites, and the background for some of my favorites left me stunned. FULL REVIEW
  4. Faithless by Graham Austin King – I knew nothing going into this book and was in love with almost immediately. A very unique religion and world, the Forge Father is the god in this realm, and the two POV’s were fascinating. There were twists at the end that left me very excited for the next instalment.  FULL REVIEW
  5. Heart of Stone by Ben Galley – I loved this book to pieces. I adore non-human POV’s and this is one of the best. A Golem has been enslaved into wars he wants nothing to do with for the last 400 years. He’s depressed and wants to die, and his story was amazing. It’s multi POV, militaristic, and a superb read. FULL REVIEW
  6. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer – I’ve lost a lot of people to cancer, and suffered from cancer myself a few years back. This book was eye opening and heart breaking, it details the first experiments with chemotherapy and the people lost and saved through the process. Easily accessible and truly enlightening, I recommend this to everyone. FULL REVIEW
  7. Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence – I knew this was in the same world as Prince of Thorns, and absolutely loved this story and the characters. I think it was the sense of humor sprinkled throughout that really sold me – I’m always down for comedy especially when paired with great characters and world building. Snorri for life. FULL REVIEW
  8. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson – A couple years ago I realized I knew more about fantasy history than I do about real world history… so I started reading a ton of biographies and history books. Walter Isaacson has some amazing biographies out, I’ve read all of them I think, but this one is the one that fascinated me the most. Franklin lived a life that would make people call him a Mary Sue in a novel, he was great at everything and had HUGE impacts wherever he went, reading about him was truly awe inspiring. FULL REVIEW
  9. Construct by Luke Matthews – Another non-human POV, Samuel is a “Construct”, which is a golem like character. He wakes up after having his memory wiped, with two men hell bent on killing him. He has to figure out why they want him dead, who built him and why. He’s on the run and the two hunting him are leaving a trail of dead bodies in their wake. I loved Samuel from chapter 1 and only wanted the best for him, I was sucked into the book very quickly. FULL REVIEW
  10. Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron – I picked up the audiobook for this not having high expectations, and I was in love! I’ve listened to this audiobook several times over the year if I needed some cheering up, it’s a light hearted and funny book set in the near future. Julius is a defective dragon who was born ‘too nice’, he doesn’t want to fight or kill anyone, he just wants everyone to get along. His mother has given him an ultimatum – figure your shit out and be a real dragon, or die. He has to prove to his clan that he’s deserves to live before it’s too late. FULL REVIEW 

Honorable Mentions:   If this list was just Scifi/Fantasy books, these would have been included

The Half Killed by Quenby Olsen: A victorian fantasy I actually totally enjoyed – I thought that was an impossible feat, but it’s not! Immersive and beautiful writing, I thoroughly enjoyed this paranormal fantasy. If you like Victorian Fantasy this is an absolutely MUST read. FULL REVIEW

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers: The first book, A Long Way To a Small Angry Planet was one of my favorite reads a few years back. This book can stand on it’s own without having read the first one, but I highly recommend both. The characters like the first book were superb. Becky Chambers excels at characters and even though the plot is lighter I find myself turning pages into the wee hours to get more of my favorite people. This book takes a look at how an AI designed to be installed in a ship would fair in a human body – the perspective of an AI was done so well, it was SO creative I loved this book so much. FULL REVIEW (I just now realized I didn’t review Closed and Common, so this link is to the first book, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet)

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames – This book was the most fun I’ve had this year reading. The characters are all older, they used to kill monsters together back in the day but have since retired. The group is coming out of retirement to help save one of the members daughters. It’s a hilarious book, full of action and fun. Moog is my favorite new character of the year, he’s ridiculous and absurd and my most favorite wizard <3 FULL REVIEW



  1. I’ve read two interesting biology books lately: Bird Sense by Tim Birkhead (what it is like to be a bird) and Being a Beast by Charles Foster (a deeply odd book by a guy who tries out certain animals’s life styles).

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