I actually hit fifteen books this year. Super excited with the journey and all the characters I’ve come across this year. From giant dragons threatening the Multiverse, to powers of metallic-origins, to Inception-like worlds, to a drag queen sorceress, to paper-based magic, and so much more.
CHILDREN OF THE NAMELESS, BY BRANDON SANDERSON
First of four Magic: the Gathering stories released this year. I enjoyed it like I do most MtG things, so I definitely recommend, despite this story being (seemingly) unconnected to anything else that happened this year, excluding the introduction of Davriel. This happens to also be my first taste of Sanderson, though this work is nothing like anything else from him that I read this year.
THE WAY OF KINGS, BY BRANDON SANDERSON
My first REAL Sanderson story. This is the first book in the Stormlight Archive, and it did not dissappoint. I loved it! There are some slow parts (I think it’s an epic-fantasy thing), but overall? Maaaaannnn. I’m excited to get to the second book at some point. The “magic” system in this is neat, and the characters kept me coming back for more.
THE PAPER MAGICIAN, BY CHARLIE HOLMBERG
I… enjoyed it? But I’m not sure I recommend it. I do have a burning question that can only be answered by subsequent books, but I’m not sure if it’s enough to make me want to dive back into the world. I think I have to say that this is my least favorite book of 2019, despite not actually hating this story. The others were just better.
WAR OF THE SPARK: RAVNICA, BY GREG WEISMAN
Oh, man. This thing. I, personally, liked it, but I know the MtG fandom is up in arms about this (and the second one). It could have been better, yes. I do think I have some blinders, though, as I’m still technically new to Magic.
MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE, BY BRANDON SANDERSON
Second Sanderson story! And I LOVED this, too. I actually can’t tell if I like this or The Way of Kings more. The magic is so different in each and there’s so much world-building and so many questions left unanswered and… UGH. Sanderson. <3
THE STONE SKY, BY N.K. JEMISON
The ending of my favorites trilogy from last year. There’s just so much in here, and so many questions and plot points wrapped up. I learned so much about the characters I’d been reading about and… ugh. I’ll be suggesting this series for years, I just know it.
And it’s told in second person!?!? LIKE WHAT!?
A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, BY V.E. SCHWAB
I forgot why I picked this up; I feel like it had to have been the “alternate Londons” thing. (I’m a sucker for time travel, alternate worlds, etc.) This was super good! Not my favorite of the year, but I feel myself wanting to read more of what happens next.
THRONE OF ELDRAINE: THE WILDERED QUEST, BY KATE ELLIOT
Another Magic: the Gathering story. This was… ok? I feel like, with Ravnica, there was more blinding me to any faults in the story. I think because Eldraine is so new, none of that was there. Honestly, the best part of the story for me was the very beginning when we’re introduced to Oko and I instantly knew who he was talking to. I’d heard so much of Garruk and to finally “meet” him felt great. Overall, though, the story was nice.
FAHRENHEIT 451, BY RAY BRADBURY
I only read this because I stopped my mother from watching the movie around me so I could read the book first with no spoilers, lol. The story was actually pretty good, if only a little too “prosey.” And the author definitely predicated a few pieces of tech, so it was great to read about those once I realized they were just called something else today.
WARLOCK HOLMES: A STUDY IN BRIMSTONE, BY G.S. DENNING
I picked this up expecting one thing (one long story) and got another (a collection of connected stories, similar to how Sherlock Holmes was written), but was NOT disappointed. It’s so funny, so weird, so odd, so… satisfying. Watson is still our narrator, but he’s a little different from the one we know. And Sherlock – called Warlock here – is so… not Sherlock. PLEASE read. I’ve already picked up book two and WILL be partaking throughout the year, possibly in-between each book.
SAVE THE CAT! WRITES A NOVEL, BY JESSICA BRODY
The first non-fiction book I’ve read in quite some time. I wanted to read this to better prepare myself for NaNoWriMo, and it was definitely instrumental to some of my success. The outline I was able to create because of it was perfect (even if I didn’t finish the outline). I definitely recommend reading this.
THE GATHERING STORM, BY DJANGO WEXLER
This is actually a collection of chapters that were emailed to everyone. Oddly enough, they were done after the story they are supposed to be a prequel for, War of the Spark: Ravnica. Most of it was spoiled by the set itself and the book anyway, so whatever. But OH MY GOD. These short stories are EVERYTHING. They are actually much, much better than either War of the Spark novel. They feel like the previous short stories I’m used to, and I can see how people were upset at the novels. I love the way Wexler handles these characters. Kaya is my girl, and Ral is my boy, and they’re both queer!
SNAPSHOT, BY BRANDON SANDERSON
I needed something short to read before War of the Spark: Forsaken was released, so I decided to pick up another work by Sanderson that I’d run across a few times. This was such a great read, too, despite not feeling like Sanderson, either. Regardless, it was great. There are a few twists in here, some expected, some COMPLETELY unexpected.
WAR OF THE SPARK: FORSAKEN, BY GREG WEISMAN
The final MtG story of the year. I’m in love with Kaya and Teyo and Rat, so this was a joyous read, despite the problems many others felt. I do have some issues with the resolution of the actual plot of the story as… well, none of it was really resolved. I don’t want to spoil it, but nothing really happened. I’m interested in finding out how this affects the Multiverse, though.
(Side note: WHY THE HELL DON’T WE GET A NOVEL OR ANY STORY FOR THEROS!?!?!?!)
REVERIE, BY RYAN LA SALA
I was super excited for this once I read the description. It has a gay main character, a drag queen, magic, and memories! I was not disappointed. I don’t remember how I came across the author or his book, but I’m so glad I did. La Sala did a great job with this, and I’ll be expecting even greater things from him in the future.