Our favorite books of 2014

Here are our favorite books published in 2014. Hover over the cover to see who recommends each book and what they say about it. Please keep in mind that we did not read every SFF book published in 2014, so we know we’ve missed some good ones! Please add your comments — we’d love to hear your opinions about our list and to know which were YOUR favorite books of 2014. What did we miss? One commenter will win a book from our stacks.

ADULT SFF

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MIDDLE GRADE / YOUNG ADULT SFF

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ANTHOLOGIES / COLLECTIONS / MAGAZINES / UNTOLD HISTORIES

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NEWLY RELEASED ON AUDIO IN 2014:

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17 comments

  1. 2015 will have to go a ways to top the books that came out last year. I was astounded at what a good year it was for speculative fiction in all areas; YA, adult SFF, short fiction and longer works.

  2. Margo Hurwicz /

    This is a good list! I’d add Kameron Hurley’s Mirror Empire, Jo Walton’s My Real Children & Emmi Itaranta’s Memory of Water – although the last is SF, not Fantasy.
    I also highly recommend Stephen Deas’ recent Zafir books: Dragon Queen (2013) and Splinteted Gods (2014). There’s a new one coming out this year. They’re really good but haven’t gotten much notice. I’m hoping some one with a following will read & like & signal boost them!

  3. Conal O'Neill /

    Lots of good stuff there already (The Crimson Campaign was probably my favorite of the year) but I would add the Martian by Andy Weir to this list as it was awesome. Others I enjoyed from this year include The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson and A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller,

  4. City of Stairs was my favorite of the year.
    I enjoyed The Causal Angel, but it wasn’t my favorite of the year. It did provide a satisfying wrap up to the Flambeur sequence. Then there was Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone. The second place winner hands down. And it needs to be on the best of the year list. ThatThe Martian was a strong contender and it should be on the list. Jala’s Mask was a blast – it reminded me of Keyes’ Blackgod and Child of the River. That was a very good book – I’d put it in third place for books of the year and it should be on the YA category list.

    For much lighter fare there was Slabscape: Dammit. Sneak. Surprisingly one that wasn’t published in 2014 also made it vN. It made me laugh, think and feel. Dammit, Ms. Ashby, now I want to see what happens next!

  5. Favorite 2014 release: The Magician’s Land was the perfect finale to one of the best fantasy series ever. Hands down favorite of the year.

    Favorite 2014 release not included in your list: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August.

    Favorite non-2014 release: A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge. What a wonderful gorgeous book.

  6. susan emans /

    Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, and Seanan McGuire continue to turn out consistently great stories. Rachel Bach’s Paradox series is high on my list. E.K. Johnston’s The Story of Owen deserves more praise; the book blew me away. Anne Bishop’s Murder of Crows continued to combine innocence, humor, and horror in an absolutely fascinating world. I have quite a few impressive indie authors, as well, A.F.Dery, Maer Wilson, Grace Draven…. I need to stop checking out these lists; my TBR pile is frightening.

  7. Breana M. /

    Nice list. There are a lot of books I haven’t read, but the one I did read was City of Stairs, which I absolutely loved. And my favorite release not on your list is Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep.

  8. RedEyedGhost /

    Some books from 2014 that I really loved not on this list are:

    1. By Blood We Live by Glen Duncan – concluding volume in the best werewolf fiction I’ve ever read.

    2. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Clair North – I love timeloop stories and this one completely lived up to its wonderful five line introduction:
    I’m writing this for you.
    My enemy.
    My friend.
    You know, already, you must know.
    You have lost.

    3. Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch – maybe my favorite book in one of my favorite ongoing contemporary fantasy series.

    4. Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick – just an excellent middle book of a trilogy.

  9. Melanie Goldmund /

    I haven’t had the chance to read many of the books on your list, though I do agree with Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance.

    Some of my favourites from 2014 include:

    A Turn of Light, by Julie Czerneda
    The Shotgun Arcana, by R.S. Belcher
    The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter, by Rod Duncan
    Jackaby, by William Ritter
    Dust and Light, by Carol Berg

  10. I didn’t get as much reading done this past year as I wanted to thanks to my twins, but I did really enjoy the graphic novel collection of Kelly Sue Deconnick and Emma Rios’s Pretty Deadly – and City of Stairs is definitely on my to-read list, too.

  11. April /

    I had a very good year for reading in 2014.

    After removing books in the same series from the list of five stars, I only got it down to 22 so I won’t give you the whole list. Just the ones that either I thought were especially good in some way or aren’t on your list or hasn’t been mentioned in the comments. Now we are down to 20. This isn’t working! I’ll just name a few that I think should be read by more people or are by lesser known authors:

    The Young World by Chris Weitz – post apocalyptic, everyone past puberty dies so the populace is very young. I thought it would be a bit trite. I was very pleasantly surprised.

    All the Turns of Light by Frank Tuttle – I truly love the characters he created for this one (his Markhat characters are also excellent) and even though this second in the series puts his characters through some tough times, it is still loads of fun.

    Just One Damned Thing after Another by Jodi Taylor – if you enjoyed Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog you will probably like this one.

    DragonKin by Maria Schneider – I’ll admit, I’m partial to dragons. This one includes baby dragons too! Plus adventure and mystery and a woman with very interesting trees.

    Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron – excellent post-apocalyptic urban fantasy. With scheming dragon families who mix (not very well) in with the human populace.

    And in the YA and MG world:
    Airborn by Matt Cruse – I listened to the audiobook of this steampunk YA. I actually listened to the entire series almost back to back because they were that good.

    Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers – another audiobook that I adored. Theodosia is the kind of female protagonist I like. She’s smart AND clever and is quite willing to accept honest help when offered or to find help when she knows she needs it but she can certainly stand alone if need be.

    Ok, that is a long enough list. Hopefully more people will find and adore these books.

  12. There’s quite a few there that I haven’t read, but I agree with the ones I have so I’ll be sure to look into the rest. Thanks for the great list!

  13. And one I forgot Echopraxia by Peter Watts. It’s a side-quel to Blindsight. It’s a excellent piece of work and goes into “What was happening on Earth while Theseus was out in the far Oort?” The answer is intriguing and thoughtful. It also has the hard SF that Watts can deliver and asks some uncomfortable deep and big questions.

  14. fatma /

    I’d love to win Station Eleven :3

  15. uh oh /

    oops. I missed most of this year’s list. But I read a lot of reviews. Does that count? d8-(
    (Sorry, writers/editors/publishers)
    Sometimes life interferes.

  16. Haley Scully /

    This is a great list, and I agree with many of the choices in it. I loved The Magician’s Land, Lock In, and Maplecroft. These were all great titles that I really enjoyed reading, so I’m glad that they received some recognition. Thanks for the chance to win! :)

  17. Breana M, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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