Thoughtful Thursday: Best book you read in July 2013

fantasy and science fiction book reviews

It’s the first Thursday of the month, which means it’s time to report!

What is the best book you read in July 2013 and why did you love it? It doesn’t have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don’t forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from our stacks.

[Next week: A visit from Michael J. Sullivan.]

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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  1. Melanie Goldmund /

    My best new book was Blue Remembered Earth, by Alastair Reynolds. It was so incredibly readable, and yet so futuristic and creative without being inaccessible. Also, the questions really kept me turning the pages. Second place by a whisker was Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson, which was also a page-turner in a completely different way.

    My best re-read was The Iron Jackal, by Chris Wooding. I love the Ketty Jay books. The world-building, the characters, the interplay between them, the action, the adventure … everything is just excellent. I’m really looking forward to the next one in this series, The Ace of Skulls, coming out in September.

  2. I dove into The Broken Empire series from Mark Lawrence. The first book, Prince of Thorns, was definitely the highlight of the month. The sequel wasn’t bad, but left me with some issues, and I’ve just started the third book this week.

    Three from Jay Posey would be my runner-up.

  3. Franz Niklas Knoop /

    Last month all books I read there good, but none were worthy of getting 5 stars. The best book I read was “The Alloy of Law” by Brandon Sanderson, which I liked because of the characters and because of the combination of Allomancy and Feruchemy. I didn’t like it as much as the Mistborn trilogy but still it was extremly good.

  4. sandyg265 /

    The best book I read last month was Generation V by M.L. Brennan. I don’t read many vampire books anymore but this one had an interesting take on the vampire mythos.

  5. I’d have to say it was probably Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective by Christine Amsten. But I hated (loathed) the cover. And book 2…didn’t hold up for me. So I’m glad this thread is “Best book you read” and not “Highly recommend…”


  6. I didn’t read anything out of this World fantastic last month – but the best of the bunch was Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas.

  7. melissa /

    i spent almost the entire month working my way through the “unfettered” collection. there were some really terrific stories from some of my favorite authors, as well as some great stories from authors i hadn’t heard of before who are now on my “to-read” list.

  8. Sarah /

    Heir of Novron. I’ve been rationing myself on this series not wanting it to be done. Best Epic Fantasy I’ve read in a long time. Now I just have to wait patiently until Crown Tower shows up on my doorstep. Best Epic Fantasy I’ve read in a long time.

  9. Leland Eaves /

    By default Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie. I read a lot of short stories and graphic novels last month. Mostly Lovecraft.

  10. RedEyedGhost /

    Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis. Great book.

  11. CarolA /

    I read about a dozen books in July and the no 1 spot is taken by Laini Taylor’s Days of Blood and Starlight. Outstanding world building and characters. I have a hard time understanding why this trilogy is labelled YA, it may discourage people who don’t read YA and that would be such a pity.
    I bet that August’s best read will be Mark Lawrence’s Emperor of Thorns. I’m sooo looking forward to that one!

  12. Actually, I’ve quite enjoyed “Heaven” and “Hell” by Mur Lafferty. They’re self-pubbed, and I don’t remember where the recommendation came from, possibly even here. Though they have the “usual” problems with inadequate editing (missing or duplicate little words, noun/verb agreement problems, inconsistent names and numbers, etc.) the story is unusual, quirky and really quite gripping. Gripping enough for me not to be that bothered by the flaws. A bit like What Dreams May Come.

  13. The best book I read in July would have to be Nnedi Okorafor’s “Who Fears Death.” Freaking amazing novel, with so many layers to the story. This was my introduction to her writing, and it really just blew me away. Definitely a recommended read.

  14. April /

    July was a tough month for me so I read several ‘comfort reads’ which are definitely some of my five-star reads. Those were Guards! Guards! and The Truth by Terry Pratchet and Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs.

    I also discovered Timothy Zahn’s middle-grade series starting with Dragon and Thief which I’m loving so far – who wouldn’t love a dragon that could turn into a ‘tattoo’ on your skin instantly?? A fun and interesting read but with all sorts of moral ambiguities being chewed over by the two mains.

    And, my continuing enjoyment of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series on audio still, er, continues and I listened to Mirror Dance in July. Really good stuff. It may be scifi but I personally think anyone could enjoy it, whether they like genre fiction or not.

  15. Josh Garner /

    Unfettered was easily the best thing I read followed by the Writers of the Future collection.

  16. Kitten /

    The Disappeared, by Kristine Katherine Rusch. Great ideas. Characters I want to know better. Comfortable readable writing style. I’m doing the rest of the series now. The Big Idea is how do humans interact with alien species, many of them, legally? And what is just when mores, considerations of criminality, and legal processes differ? The disappeared are humans who disappear (think witness protection type disappearance) when their alien crime sentences are unsupportable.

    • The audiobook version of The Disappeared has been on my phone and ready to go for weeks but I keep getting diverted to something else. I will try to move it up!

  17. For July, I am going with Daniel Abraham’s Tyrant’s Law. I simply could not put this book down. In fact, I was so upset (and not in a bad way) about the ending, that I e-mailed Mr.Abraham demanding to know when book 4 would be out. BTW it should be out in January 2014 according to him.

  18. CarolA, 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!

  19. The Engineer trilogy by K.J Parker was by far the best books I have read this year. I went straight out afterwards and purchased blue and gold.

  20. De Peterson /

    Steadfast by Mercedes Lackey, the 9th Elemental Masters novel.
    It’s a fun series.

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