V. E. Schwab, Kevin Hearne, and Katherine Arden know a little something about excellent writing.
We turned to them for suggestions on which newcomers to the fantasy and science fiction field should be put at the top of everyone's TBR pile as we start the new year, and here are their enthusiastic suggestions.
(Fun fact: Katherine Arden herself was recommended last year by Terry Brooks as a newcomer not to miss.)
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai was one of the best books I’ve read in ages. It’s a time-traveling, mind-bending, neurotic romp centered on the idea that the world we’re living in is the result of one young man’s monumental f— up. When Tom Barren messes up a trip to the past, he ends up erasing the idyllic, technological world he knows and landing himself in our 2016. Mastai’s writing is a delight, and his debut was by turns funny, suspenseful, and authentic. I can’t wait to see what Mastai writes next.
V. E. Schwab is the author of the bestselling Shades of Magic fantasy series. She also writes under the name Victoria Schwab.
The City of Brass is a gorgeous epic as rich in its language as it is in characterization, and I can't recommend it highly enough. If, like me, you're often looking for epics set in other times/places than an analogue of medieval Europe, S.A. Chakraborty's story of Nahri and Ali will transport you to a wonderful world thick with cultural details. There's palace intrigue, simmering passions, plenty of magic, and a fascinating bestiary. Simply one of the best debuts I've read, and I'm very much looking forward to continuing the adventure.
I discovered Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids the old-fashioned way—by wandering around a bookstore and picking up the gorgeous, neon-colored hardcover. As a former preteen fan of both Nancy Drew and Scooby-Doo, I was delighted to open this novel and discover a mashup of kid-detective tropes with elements of real horror, plus serious questions woven through the fun about growing up, about what happens when childhood problems give way to adult ones, and about the way the past can affect the present. In short, I loved it. Cantero uses language unconventionally—he makes up words, uses bursts of figurative language that are, sometimes too much and other times perfect. Either way, he keeps you reading. For sheer fun, and for clever playing on familiar tropes, this book can be compared to Stranger Things: a fantastic mix of fresh and nostalgic.
Amazon named Katherine Arden's The Bear and the Nightingale as the best science fiction and fantasy book of 2017—and Arden herself was a newcomer to the field last year. Her most recent book, The Girl in the Tower, continues her Winternight trilogy.
You might also like:
- New Year, New Authors: 4 Science Fiction Writers Recommend New Authors You Shouldn't Miss
- Djinn and Dark Secrets Make "The City of Brass" Our #1 Debut of November
- The best science fiction and fantasy of 2017
Sign up for the Amazon Book Review: Best books of the month * author interviews * the reading life * and more