At Pop Mythology, we are ardent devotees of what’s popularly known as genre fiction, particularly the areas of fantasy, sci-fi, mystery and horror. Our two chief book reviewers, Matt Hlinak and Andrea Sefler, read a ton of great titles from all of these categories this year and have put their heads together to come up with this list of favorites books of 2015.
10. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
A Darker Shade of Magic is a great adventure story with fully-realized characters in an intriguing world—or, more accurately, in intriguing worlds—where blood is the cost of magic.
9. Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman
This page-turning blend of adventure and ideas is an unpredictable, thought-provoking tale of exploration, heavy on both physics and philosophy.
8. The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton
Gods and philosophers pursue excellence amidst the ruins of a failed utopia in this brilliant sequel to 2014’s The Just City.
7. Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald
A western that just happens to take place on Earth’s moon in the 22nd Century, this is a classic empire story about rival families looking to out-compete—and out-fight—each other for control of the moon’s natural resources.
6. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin
Because we just can’t wait for The Winds of Winter! ‘Nuff said.
5. Bats of the Republic by Zachary Thomas Dodson
This “illuminated novel” is a remarkable physical object with gorgeous maps, illustrations and even a sealed envelope that holds the key to the novel’s conclusion. But Bats of the Republic is not gimmicky—the storytelling is every bit as strong as the visual layout.
4. Beauty’s Kingdom by Anne Rice
Anne Rice’s atypical style of eroticism in this revival of her groundbreaking Sleeping Beauty series, coupled with her classic romanticism (minus the usual angst of the romance genre), makes this novel a unique, erotic fantasy experience.
3. Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs
Kathy Reichs’ scientific credentials as a forensic anthropologist and professor of anthropology place her mystery stories in a class all of their own. At Pop Mythology, our annual “Bones” book fix is always a literary high point for the year.
2. Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Judd Trichter
Science fiction often explores themes relating to impacts of technology and resulting directional evolutions of morality. Trichter’s novel examines fascinating and thought-provoking philosophical complications of anthropomorphic androids.
1. The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
The Fifth Season is N.K. Jemisin’s most political work yet, but she doesn’t sacrifice storytelling in the service of a broader message in this enlightening and supremely entertaining novel.