Our favorite books of 2015

Here are our favorite books published in 2015. Hover over the cover to see who recommends each book. Click on the cover to read our review.

Please keep in mind that we did not read every SFF book published this year, 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 2015. What did we miss?

ADULT SFF

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MIDDLE GRADE / YOUNG ADULT SFF

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ANTHOLOGIES / NON-FICTION

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HONORABLE MENTIONS: FAVORITE NEWLY RELEASED ON AUDIO IN 2015:

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35 comments

  1. Matt Owen /

    Court of Fives, for sure! Incredible work by Kate!

  2. 1a – The Liar’s Key by Mark Lawrence

    1b – Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher

    2 – Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley

    3- Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

    4- Half a War/Half the World by Joe Abercrombie

    5- Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp

    This was a great year for books!

  3. For books published this year:

    Kate Elliott, Black Wolves
    Ann Leckie, Ancillary Mercy
    Martha Wells, Stories of the Raksura II
    Melissa Scott and Jo Graham, Wind Raker and Oathbound

    Books published in previous years:
    Jo Walton, My Real Children

    New author discovery: Melissa McShane (fantasy romances)

  4. These are all awesome picks! I had The Fifth Season, Rolling in the Deep, Uprooted and Ink and Bone on my list as well. I bought Speakeasy but haven’t had time to read it yet. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Ooo! There are so many good ones up there! Dreamfire, Red Queen, Damage Done, Zodiac Legacy, and This Monstrous Thing were all fantastic!

  6. The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson and Bone Gap by Laura Ruby are bothe astonishing.

  7. dr susan /

    So many wonderful books! Rachel Vincent’s Menagerie was disturbing and amazing. Grace Draven’s Radiance is fantastic. Seanan McGuire’s Red-Rose Chain continued the amazing Toby Daye series. Magic Shifts was a great addition to the Kate Daniels series. M.L. Brennan’s Dark Ascension was a fitting but sad end for a very different vampire series.There are so many more, but I can’t list all of them, can I??

  8. Melanie Goldmund /

    I’ll be getting some 2015 books for Christmas, but at this point, my absolute favourites are Uprooted, by Naomi Novak, and Court of Fives, by Kate Elliott.

    Also really liked Foxglove Summer, by Ben Aaronovitch.

    I also enjoyed Martha Wells’ Stories of the Raksura Volume Two: The Dead City and The Dark Earth Below. My only problem with that book was that the stories weren’t full length novels. I’m too greedy, I just plain want more. However, I understand a new Raksura novel will be coming out next year — can’t wait!

    My favourite middle grade book was The Arctic Code, by Matthew Kirby.

  9. My favorite book of 2015 was Fool’s Quest, but I didn’t read many books published this year. Thanks for the list and reviews!

    Library at Mount Char, Bell Weather and Watchmaker of Filigree Street sound really intriguing; added to the TBR pile.

  10. Christina /

    It wasn’t published this year but I think it was made available in English this year: – The Three Body Problem. Second book was just made available. Can’t wait to read it!

  11. Gina Wojcik /

    All these books look amazing. A lot are on my tbr pile! Esp six of crows. I would love to win sleeper n spindle. I love to blog and do reviews

  12. Breanne /

    Absolutely loved Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb. She’s one of my favorite authors. So if something comes out by her, it is always one of my favorites for that year!

  13. Breanne /

    Absolutely loved Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Quest. She is one of my favorite authors, so if she writes something, that will always be one of my favorites for the year!

  14. Your list wins! Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell was one of the two highlights of my reading year, and this is the only year’s best list I’ve seen that includes it. The Greatcoats series is important for fantasy as a genre. I don’t know why there isn’t more buzz about it.

    The other highlight of my reading year just came out on November 13th, so I hasn’t built up the name recognition to show up on a lot of lists yet. The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson has taken off like crazy in the few weeks since its release. It’s the story of a Daoist exorcist in 1898 in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Every bit of its buzz is well-deserved.

  15. Din to ready Uprroted and Golden Son, I can’t believe I haven’t gotten to them yet!

  16. My favourite book of the year was definitely Golden Son, incredible from the first page to the last! My housemate lent me her copy and kept nagging at me to read it and now I’m really glad she did!

  17. Arcanist Lupus /

    Loved Uprooted, as well as Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews and Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson.

    I find in interesting, though, that you have placed Uprooted in Adult SFF, while Goodreads put it in their YA Fantasy section.

    • Yeah, Uprooted totally isn’t YA! I think a mature YA reader could enjoy it, certainly, but it’s an adult book. I think the confusion may come from the cover art? That’s not a knock on the art–it’s gorgeous!–but I thought it was YA when I first saw the cover too, so maybe there’s something about it that’s more characteristic of YA covers.

    • At least to me it isn’t YA? I don’t know! :)

      • It’s not YA, I think the cover art, while gorgeous, did cause some confusion. I also think the relative youth of the female MC led some to that conclusion.

        • Yep. And she does do the ol’ coming of age thing, but there’s a lot more to the plot too. I thought the sex and violence level were higher than I’d expect from a YA, though I’d totally have read it when I was 16 or 17 if it had existed then.

  18. Deadjack /

    Didn’t read anything that was published this year. I read some old school Sci fi in Downbelow Station and Honor of the Queen. Read further in Wild Cards. Read a TON of graphic novels and Lovecraft’ and Lovecraftian shorts. And went REALLY old school with Tarzan…plus some others. Really enjoyed the Wild Cards for what it’s worth.

    • Deadjack:

      I failed to add my comic book favorites to the this list as I should have. I’d love to see your list of comic book favorites here in this comments section if you have the time! And if you do, I’ll add on my favorites. But I’d

    • Deadjack:

      I failed to add my comic book favorites to the this list as I should have. I’d love to see your list of comic book favorites here in this comments section if you have the time! And if you do, I’ll add on my favorites.

  19. Knights shadow and fools quest stood out for me this year :)

  20. I always seem to spend the year reading all the books I missed out on in years past rather than anything that came out that year. Out of the 2015 books I read, my favorites were Golden Son by Pierce Brown, Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley, and Grace of Kings by Ken Liu.

    Other favorites from years past: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Three, and The Goblin Emperor.

  21. N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season should be at the top of every list, in my opinion.

    Grace of Kings by Ken Liu was wonderful, as was The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin, although I didn’t like the translation as well as I liked that of The Three-body Problem.

    Uprooted, by Naomi Novik was delightful, and a book similar in tone that I loved was Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown.

    Ancillary Mercy, of course, and The Traitor Baru Cormorant.

    I actually read ALL of Tor.com’s novellas in 2015, and that was fun. My favorites were Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson, The Builders by Daniel Polansky, Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter, and Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell, but there were so many great titles in the series. I loved most of them and can’t wait to read more Tor.com novellas in 2016.

    Catherynne Valente published 2 books in 2015 that were new to me: Radiance and Speak Easy. Both are excellent, as is the new edition of Six-Gun Snow White.

    It was just an amazing year for sci-fi and fantasy, really.

  22. Here is a selection of my five star books that were published in 2015:
    The League of Beastly Dreadfuls, Grant, Holly
    The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Butcher, Jim
    Fearless, James, Elliott
    Magic Shifts, Andrews, Ilona
    The Price of Valor, Wexler, Django
    A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans,Yep, Laurence
    Karen Memory, Bear, Elizabeth
    Dead Heat, Briggs, Patricia
    Pocket Apocalypse, McGuire, Seanan
    Ghost Shadow, Schneider, Maria E.

  23. Dino Mascolo /

    I read very few books published this year, even though I did read more than fifty. Yesterday I just finished Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald and I loved it. Gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.

  24. Sarah Avery, 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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