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 June 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.

We’ve got a couple of giveaways still current. Find those here!

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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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21 comments

  1. The Liar’s Key (Mark Lawrence) was great, but best read of the month has to go to Michael R. Fletcher for Beyond Redemption. Wow, what a mad, dark, epic piece of storytelling. So much horrible fun.

  2. Trey Palmer /

    Uprooted by Naomi Novik.

    I enjoyed this one. Why? It read like a memoir from a character in a fairy tale. Which I guess it is. Anyway, its about Agnieszka as she is chosen to serve the Dragon, a sorcerer that protects her valley and village. The story goes from the Dragon’s tower to the evil enchanted Woods and the capitol of Polnya, involving Agnieszka in royal and sorcerous politics.

    I liked Agnieszka. In her own way, she’s as prickly as the Dragon.

    I also liked Uprooted’s obvious fairy tale roots. They were neat, but became oddly mundane after a while. I’m not sure if its a flaw or good writing there.

    Of all the characters, I wish we had a viewpoint from Kasia, Agnieszka’s friend – who is introduced as Disney princess wannabe. She goes through an arc I found interesting and wish we could see from her side.

    The one I wanted to know more about is the Woods, or Queen of the Woods. Why? Because we don’t learn anything about her/it’s motives until near the end and even then, there are questions still. And like any good book, it leaves you wanting more.

  3. Margo Hurwicz /

    I finally took the time to read Kameron Hurley’s Mirror Empire. I’m glad I did. The world building is successfully inventive, and it *is* possible to remember who all the characters are (if you don’t put the book down for days at a time as I was doing earlier).
    The ideas about relationships – many genders, marriages and touching, sentient plants and people (bipedal himanoids) – are all worth the time it takes to think about them.
    And the plot (& it’s twists) is good so far. This is a trilogy, so you don’t get the whole story in the first book. Nonetheless I recommend it. Because, at the end, you want to read more.

  4. Margo Hurwicz /

    Err, humanoids. I wonder what himanoids would be.

  5. I finally got around to reading Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb, mostly because I kept hearing about how good it was on this and other review sites. I’m glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more about Fitz, the Fool, and all the other wonderful characters.

  6. April /

    The two best reads for me last month was a middle-grade audiobook and a western America steampunk, both five stars from me.

    The League of Very Nearly Honorable Pirates by Caroline Carlson was fun and irreverent and silly just like it should be. The voice actor was terrific too.

    Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear was a terrific piece centered around a main character with an excellent voice. A fun and interesting adventure with touches of steampunk and a well-rounded cast of characters.

    Honorable mentions for the month go to:
    The Exile by CT Adams which is the first book of a new UF series about the fae. Good stuff with wonderful characters and world-building, hints of romance.

    Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edgehill which is either the start of a new series or a stand alone American steampunk adventure with zombies and good characters.

  7. Ben /

    My favorite book I read this month was Abaddon’s Gate, the third book in the Expanse series. I really enjoyed the first two in the series, but this was the first one that I loved. Corey does such a good job building emotional investment in even the most minor of characters, and the new POV characters in this entry are particularly great (including one who is irredeemably horrible).

    It’s fun as hell, action-filled space opera, that’s also very well written and has great characters. If any of those things appeals to you, you should be reading this series.

  8. Matt W /

    The Goblin Emperor – a simply delightful comedy of manners.

  9. THE EMPEROR’S BLADES by Brian Staveley. I had bought this book about a year ago, but just sat down to it last month. Why? I don’t have a clue, but I was kicking my but because of it! IT WAS SO GOOD! I’m picking up Providence of Fire – which I hear is amazing – later this month, and I can’t wait for final book to come out later next year.

  10. I read Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty and The Midnight Hour (review forthcoming). It was long overdue on my TBR pile. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I probably would have 10 years ago. The explosion in popularity of Urban Fantasy and my habit of reading them turned out to be a bit of a buzz kill for a story that for many other reasons a great fun little book.

  11. RedEyedGhost /

    Nemesis Games was the best, but I also really enjoy Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz.

  12. Melanie Goldmund /

    The best book I read in June was A Natural History of Dragons, by Marie Brennan.

    The best YA book I read was The Arctic Code, by Matthew J Kirby. The thing I like most about Matthew Kirby is that, although he ostensibly writes for kids, I can read and enjoy his books as an adult, too.

  13. Uprooted for me.

  14. Matt W, 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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