Spells and Spaceships has the coolest content! I loved this roundup tag, especially since I’ve read so many amazing books this year. Here’s my take: let me know what you think!
1. The most kick butt character: Look at me, starting out by cheating. I’m naming not one, but three characters. I’m a rebel like that. Juniper, Beatrice, and Agnes from The Once and Future Witches kick all kinds of butt. They’re smart and strong, not just physically, but emotionally as well. I would not want to get on their bad sides.
2. The weirdest or most unique story: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is one of those books that I love but can’t describe. I’m not even sure I fully understand it, to be honest. It’s beautifully written, though. Susanna Clarke is now on my list of most creative authors.
3. The coolest world building: Dead Man in a Ditch by Luke Arnold is at the top of the list. This is the second book in the Fetch Phillips Archives and I am loving the everyday slum-meets-fantasy thing that he’s got going on. It’s gritty and so well described that I could see, hear, and even smell the setting (it doesn’t smell good).
4. The Best Fictional Animal: I really loved Mephi from The Bone Shard Daughter. He was such a nuanced little critter and, thanks to his presence, Jovis was able to grow and develop incredibly well, despite not having a human to interact with for large chunks of the book. There is also more to Mephi than I first assumed there was, which is pretty cool.
5. The Book You Just Couldn’t Put Down: The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton caused me to ignore pretty much everything else. It was excellent! Stuart Turton has rapidly become one of my favorite authors and I’m waiting with bated breath to see what he writes next. Both this book and his first novel, The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, are definitely worth reading.
6. A character you loved to spend time with: I loved the cockiness and odd sense of morality of Ardor in The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn by Tyler Whitesides. Oddly enough, he wasn’t my favorite character in the book when I read it, but he’s stuck with me. He was deceptively intelligent and able to roll with the punches, which I liked. I also think his character will do a lot of maturing in the rest of the series.
7. The one that hit you in the feels: The Archive by Dan Fitzgerald had me incredibly emotionally invested. I teared up a couple of times, which is not all that common for me. I loved it.
8. The villain you loved to hate: I was riveted by Crasedes from Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett. What a nuanced character! He more than earned the “big bad” moniker. His reasoning almost made sense, which made me appreciate him even more.
9. The 5 star read that you weren’t expecting: I was pretty excited for Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston, but I didn’t think I’d enjoy a middle-grade novel as much as I did. Amari is such a great character, and the storyline and world are just a blast. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I am not going to tag anyone, simply because it’s a busy time of year. If you do decide to do it, please link back to me so I can see your answers. Also, please give credit to the fantastic Spells and Spaceships.