Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsIt’s the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in February 2015 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. And we’ve also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

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

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JOHN HULET (on FanLit's staff July 2007 -- March 2015) is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years.

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19 comments

  1. February was great month for reads, but the two that stand out for me are Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear and The Devil’s Detective by Simon Kurt Unsworth. Bear’s was definitely the most enjoyable read of the month, and one that I highly recommend, but Unsworth utterly fascinated me with the dark depths of his imagination, even if it’s a difficult (depressing even) book to enjoy.

  2. April /

    February was a decent month for reading, I had one five star read but it was romance so I’ll leave it off of this list. The rest are all four stars:

    The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas – an excellent start to a new middle grade series with a wonderful main character who is smart, clever, irreverent, honest and loyal. Cool kid. I’m listening to the audio version as terrifically read by Greg Steinbruner.

    The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale – I liked this one, I gave it four stars for having a character willing to think in ways that aren’t linear like most of the people she lives with. I didn’t like the character herself all that much or I’d have given the book five stars.

    Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan – a very good second book in a series, I actually liked this one a bit more than the first, surprisingly as many are saying that it isn’t as good and suffers from second book syndrome. I liked all the different elements that came together for this one.

    The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud – again, I liked this one much better than the first in the series, in part because he finally shows the drawbacks to having kids in positions of power because their short lives don’t offer up as much experience as those who have lived longer. And also because the secondary characters came into play much more this time around.

    Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan – in audio, Kate Reading does a fabulous job on this one and I will wait until I can get the third book in audio before I move on in the series. Lady Trent outdoes herself this time in worming her way into a different culture. Grubby fun.

    Silver Mirrors by A. A. Aguirre – this is the second book in a second world fantasy with the tones of urban fantasy and steampunk mixed in well. Fun and interesting magic, excellent characters and some crazy intricate plots.

    • Conal O'Neill /

      I agree with you about Tower Lord. I also enjoyed this one more than the first novel.

  3. I think California Bones by Greg van Eekhout was the best book I read in February.

  4. The Lion’s Game by Nelson DeMille. The second book in the series. The first one was good but this was much better.

  5. Two CULTURE books by Iain M. Banks: Use of Weapons and The Hydrogen Sonata.

  6. Trey /

    Agatha H and the Voice of the Castle by Phil and Kaja Foglio was the best genre book I read.

    The best period was Waiterrant by The Waiter. A keen eye for human strengths and weaknesses, combined with a great ability to turn a phrase.

  7. Barbara Elness /

    I loved Devon Monk’s House Immortal, as well as Clean by Alex Hughes. Both outstanding stories with fantastic characters.

  8. RedEyedGhost /

    The Wolf’s Hour by Robert McCammon – a great cross of werewolves and WWII.

  9. Melanie Goldmund /

    The best book I read in February was The Whitefire Crossing, by Courtney Schafer. The characters are well-rounded and engaging, the narrative zips along, and the author’s love of climbing really shines through and lends the book that extra something.

    Red Rising, by Pierce Brown, was darker, but also fascinating, another book that I hated to put down.

  10. susan emans /

    I read a lot of YA fantasy in February. Rosamund Hodge’s Cruel Beauty is a good twist on Beauty and the Beast, and Cat Hellisen’s Beastkeeper is a dark, twisty fairy tale. Colleen Vanderlinden started her new dark paranormal romance series with Shadow Witch Rising, a very good book about necessary evil.

  11. I read The King’s Deryni by Katherine Kurtz and loved it. She is probably the best author I know at depicting what feels like a historically accurate world. The way she describes things just feels REAL!! Amazing book….even if it is leading into some of the darkest times in that series.

  12. Conal O'Neill /

    I read a lot of military sci-fi in February and the one that stood above the rest was Terms of Enlistment by Marko Kloos. This one spurred good comparisons to both Heinlein and Scalzi and I rated at 5 stars.

  13. I read the Riyria Revelations from start to finish last month. It was great! First time reading MJS and was a big fan of his writing.

  14. Liat vd /

    There are two: Cybele’s Secret by Juliet Marillier that was wonderful, like any other book by Marillier that I read, and the other one is The Martian (finally!) by Andy Weir. It actually made me laugh out loud. And that rarely happens to me with a book.
    And an honorable mention, just because I came to this book with zero expectations and was very pleasantly surprised: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater was pretty awesome too.

  15. Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh. He consistently manages to pair fascinating near-future sci fi concepts with really engaging human stories. After reading Love Minus Eighty last year, he’s become a must read author for me.

  16. Bob, 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!

  17. Drew F /

    This month I read another amazing installment from Chip Bell in the Jake Sullivan series. One Particular Harbour is a superb political thriller with a well developed cast of characters and enough exciting twists and turns throughout to keep the book firmly glued to your hands. I lost a few nights sleep reading through that book. It’s one of those books and series that has everything. Conspiracy, corruption, suspense, unpredictable twists and a really good setting. Highly recommended reading for fans of thrillers and mystery. http://www.chipbellauthor.com

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