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Top Ten SF/F Books I Apparently MUST Read

Top Ten Tuesday

Thanks to the gals of The Broke and The Bookish for hosting this meme every week!

A list of sci-fi and fantasy books that everyone has been telling me that I need to read could honestly probably consist of about 100 books >.>. I have lots of nerdy friends and as soon as I tell new people that I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, their favorite books come up and I usually haven’t read them (there are a lot of sci-fi and fantasy books okay??), which then of course leads to a statement very similar to today’s topic ;-). I love getting recommendations for books from friends though, so I actually have a list dedicated to it called “recommended” where I save recommendations for books I haven’t heard of from people whose opinion I trust quite a lot. For today though, I decided to limit myself to books that I own that I’ve heard lots and lots of good things about, since I’m kind of hoping to actually get to reading them one of these days! Prepare to be completely shocked by the books I haven’t read hehe.

Fantastic Fantasy

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder The Archived by Victoria Schwab Incarnate by Jodi Meadows Crown of Midnight The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

  1. Falling Kingdoms – I bought this book as soon as it came out and I even own the sequel because I found a beautiful hardcover used and couldn’t resist. I know with complete confidence that I will love these books, but I just can’t seem to get them higher up on the TBR pile these days.
  2. Poison Study – I grabbed a used copy of this when I was first reading the Healer books from Snyder. I didn’t love those books, but I’ve heard a lot that the Study books are better, so I’m definitely going to give them a try! I also grabbed Storm Glass, the first in another series of hers because the magic sounded cool ;-).
  3. The Archived – I have it on good authority that this book will knock my socks off! I also have already bought the second, because I want to make my opinion that the series should be continued quite clear even though I have started it yet >.>.
  4. Incarnate – Man, I heard there were dragons in addition to the cool reincarnation of souls premise. The complete trilogy is beckoning to me from the shelf as we speak!
  5. Crown of Midnight – So I have to admit that I didn’t love Throne of Glass as much as I was supposed to. I wanted more of the cool fantasy world with dying magic and fewer dresses and romances all over. But, I’ve heard from many people that Crown of Midnight will be just what I want, so I’m going to catch up before Sarah stops by my town for her Heir of Fire tour; I’m determined!
  6. The Cloud Roads – I was so excited for this one when it came out and then as usual failed to find time to read the copy I bought ever. However, even just from the cover, I’m pretty sure I’ll love it when I do read it.
  7. Rosemary and Rue – I went through an urban fantasy phase sparked by greats like Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs. However, then I got burned by a couple less good series, and stopped feeling adventurous in that genre. I have heard that the October Daye books are excellent though, so I have a copy patiently waiting for me. It did just occur to me to ask though, is the audiobook of these any good?

Stupendous Sci-fi

Not a Drop to Drink by Mandy McGinnis Pivot Point by Kasie West All Our Yesterdays by Christin Terrill

  1.  Not a Drop to Drink – Yes yes, you can all be shocked and horrified that I missed this top book of 2013. I own it though, that’s a start right?? I honestly haven’t been in the right mood for something really intense, so I think that’s why I’ve been putting it off. I have it ready though for when I need a book to destroy my emotions ;-).
  2. Pivot Point – Everyone just remember to breathe, I told you there would be shocking revelations! I have heard from soooooooo many people how amazing this book and Split Second are, so they are definitely glaring at me from the shelves. Anyone feel like throwing some word soup together to give me an idea of the feel of this one though? Will it destroy me or be light and fun?
  3. All Our Yesterdays – I made a deal with Kel of Booked ‘Til Tuesday that we’d swap recommendations and hold each other to reading the recommended book. I own All Our Yesterdays so that is of course a good first step. I’m also super geeked by how happy everyone seems to be with how the time travel is handled, so yet again another book I really really want to read.

I think I need to reserve the next Bout of Books for reading these ten books or something >.>. Like I said, this is only the tip of the iceberg of the books that I really want to read from my shelves and that I still want to buy to make it more likely that I will read said books. I fortunately have not hit the point where the number of books to read has exceeded my estimated life span though! There is still hope :D.

What books have you been told you absolutely must read?? Do you agree with these ten recommendations?

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I know what you mean, there are so many good books out there that people keep telling me I’d like. I haven’t read any on your list either. Throne of Glass near the top of my list though. I hope you find the time to get to some of these.

    • From talking to people about Throne of Glass, I will warn you that apparently book one is only so so and then book two is amazing ;)

  2. I can easily and eagerly endorse three of the books in this post, as they are among some of my favorite/top reads! I’m a huge fan of Incarnate and the rest of the trilogy, as I loved the creative world + compelling storytelling Jodi Meadows employs. I’m also a big fan of All Our Yesterdays, a sci-fi book that really caught me off guard and had me frantically flipping pages. And, biggest declaration of all, I’m a Throne of Glass fangirl (I nominate myself as Empress of the fan club, lol), so I think you should most definitely continue on with that series!
    Alexa S. recently posted…Alexa & Judith’s Epic Summer Read-along || Meet the FamilyMy Profile

    • I think any time I’m not feeling inclined to read anything, I’ll just open up the comments on this post because they make me so so so excited to read these books again :D

  3. YES ANY YOU MUST READ CoM!! I loved ToG but wasn’t blown away by it. Not the way CoM and then HoF blew me away. Oh and the magic and all the fun stuff comes on full swing in HoF. That and the pretty dresses go bye bye ;-) As for the rest of your picks here well I haven’t read any of them either so I can’t say with authority that you *must* read them…although I do own Poison Study and the Archived…and Incarnate and Falling Kingdoms are both on my wishlist/tbr.
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  4. I hope I know you enough to do some expectation-setting:
    2) Okay, so I love the first Healer books but that series got sort of not good and I hear she has a problem with that, but also the Study series is supposedly best so I HOPE THEY ARE GOOD, since I bought them all post Healer #1.
    5) Yessss. There’s way more fantasy in book two I would say and more assassining. The world building is actually, if anything, too busy because holy crap there is a lot going on.
    2) Okay, so I love Pivot Point and Split Second, but they’re definitely more character-based than plot/worldbuilding-based, which I thiiiiink is your favorite thing, so a warning. There are definitely some dangling plot threads around and about.
    3) I actually didn’t really like the time travel handling, but I’m also terrible at science so maybe I’m wrong?
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    • HAHA, I think you probably do ;-)

      2. We shall have to dive into the Study books together! No going back now :D
      5. Mmmmmm too busy world-building is like crack to me!
      2. Haha, fair given the above statement >.>
      3. Science! *ahem* Well now I just need to find out for myself ha

  5. Aidan Brack says:

    I do enjoy the October Daye series, particularly the earlier titles, though UF really isn’t usually my thing. Some neat ideas and worlds created. If you do end up reading (or listening) to them I hope you enjoy – I’d be curious to read your thoughts on them! :)

    • Yey, I’m excited to read these now since so many people have recommended the audiobooks :D I really like UF with interesting worlds, so I think it’s going to be a win ;-)

  6. Falling Kingdoms – It’s worth reading. Definitely stands up to the Game of Thrones comparisons.

    Poison Study – Yes, yes! Assassins! So good.

    Rosemary and Rue – Not the best first book. I liked it but felt there needed to be a prequel to explain the first part of the book. Most of the story was good though, and I’ve heard later books are better. The audiobook version is worth trying. I really liked the narration voice and style.

    All Our Yesterdays – It’s a good example of time travel done right. There is some predictable behaviour, but it’s still a good journey.
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  7. NOT A DROP TO DRINK and PIVOT POINT! *foams” I’m a pusher, I push people, Anya!! READ THEM!
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    • HAHA push away! Whenever I’m on Twitter mentioning I’m reading something else, you’re welcome to push ;-). Oo or remember this for when I can’t decide what to read next :D

  8. I have the same problem with Falling Kingdoms. I’m sure I’ll love them, but they never get anywhere near the top of my TBR pile.

  9. There really are so many fantasy & sci-fi books out there – it’s impossible to read them all! I haven’t read a single book on your list, but also own Crown of Midnight and The Archived. So hopefully I’ll get to them soon. I fully intend to read Crown of Midnight in time for Heir of Fire’s release :)
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…Scent of a White Rose by Tish Thawer | #COYER Audio ReviewMy Profile

    • But I must try!!!!! Is it weird that I’m looking forward to retirement because it will mean I can sit around and read all day? >.>

  10. I’ve only read one of those books myself, so I’m just as behind as you are, it seems. *lol* Absolutely loved “Poison Study”! I read it earlier this year and finished it in 3 days, which is fast for me. Got completely engrossed in Yelena’s storyline and how she has to overcome the challenges in this story in order to move on from her past.

    • Hehe, glad I’m not the only one ;-). That’s awesome to hear about Poison Study though, it definitely seems to be a favorite :D

  11. R&R I didn’t love but the audio was good! The last quarter made me curious about the rest of the series. I have it on good authority that R&R is the weakest in the series.

  12. You’ve got a great list, Anya. I have some of the same books which I also haven’t read…LOL. I haven’t read Crown of Midnight either. I read the first, but haven’t gotten to the second. I also read Pivot Point and liked it, but haven’t read Split Second. I think I might have read Poison Study, but not any of the others. I see a pattern–read the first and then forget about the others. I do like the October Daye series, however.

  13. Adelynne Chang says:

    The Archived was really good, and The Unbound was even better! I also thought that Throne of Glass wasn’t that great. Let me know what you think of Crown of Midnight! Poison Study is something I’m looking forward to also. :D

  14. You really should read The Archived!!! I was unsure of reading it because of all the hype surrounding it, but am so glad that I decided to see for myself if it would be a worthwhile read! It was perhaps one of the most interesting series I’ve read and I’m crossing my fingers that a third book will come out one day.

    As for Crown of Midnight, the only other book listed that I’ve read, read IT!!! So good and definitely has me excited for Heir of Fire. =)
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  15. Of all your books e only one I read is Poison Study. I enjoyed it, but it would never make a top 10 list for me. I’ve heard wonderful things about Cloud Roads, really want to read that (one of these days)
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    • Hehe, fair enough! I love fantasy enough that run of the mill enjoyable is usually just fine for me too, but I’ll try to get to Cloud Roads first ;-)

  16. Crown of Midnight is 10x better than Throne of Glass – much more assassiny stuff and less of the Hunger Games-esque battles.
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  17. Yes to Poison Study, no the rest of the series. It doesn’t exist. Put up blinders.

    I didn’t super like Incarnate because while the world was rich and interesting, it was romance driven and I wasn’t prepared for sappy.

    Seanan McGuire is the best thing since sliced bread. I’d fight a war for her. Get on that series and all the other series she has written, oh my god yes.

    • HAHA, advice noted! Fortunately I only own the first anyway!

      Hmm, I think I did already know that there was a strong romance in Incarnate, but I sometimes do get in the mood for sappy so I’ll just save it for then ;-) and in the mean time read Rosemary and Rue :D

  18. Poison Study is on my list this week, too. Falling Kingdoms is on my TBR list, but no one actually recommended it to me. I just saw the sequel in the bookstore and thought it looked cool.
    My TTT
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    • Haha, jinx! ;-) Agreed that Falling Kingdoms and Rebel Spring just look awesome, I’m so excited to buy the third book just because the cover is pretty ;-)

  19. ZOMG! Poison Study is one of my favorite books ever! I think you’ll enjoy it! The Archived is amazing as well!
    Jessie H. recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling Me That I MUST ReadMy Profile

  20. I so badly want to read Pivot Point as well. I heard it was actually a good time travel novel, so I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO READING IT!
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  21. Benni @ Benni's Bookbiters says:

    I was pleasantly surprised with Pivot Point–not just an interesting concept, but really well-executed with believable romances! Not a Drop to Drink is on my to-read list.

  22. OOOOOOH how I love Maria V. Snyder’s books! Her Healer books were definitely different than her Study and Glass books but I loved them all! Although the Study books are probably my fave because they were her first ones! You definitely need to read the Study books before the Glass books because those take place after the events of the Study ones. And some people didn’t quite like how the Glass books ended, just to warn ya, but I liked it!

    And ooohhh once you read Falling Kingdoms you’ll be happy you have Rebel Spring at the ready! I was when I read them earlier this year and had to endure the entire year and still am, filled with misery and woe for my needing to wait until December for the next one!

    Here’s my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)
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  23. I’ve seen really positive things about Not a Drop to Drink…the premise sounds a bit too apocalyptic for my typical taste, but given all the good reviews I might actually check it out at some point. I own Pivot Point and need to crack it open and start reading! Also, Poison Study is definitely worth the read — it’s got a plot full of intrigue and some excellent characters.
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    • Yeah, Not a Drop to Drink sounds really really intense, so I’m a bit afraid, but I do enjoy intense books once I start them usually, haha.

  24. Another person who hasn’t read The Archived, Not a Drop to Drink, or Pivot Point, but means to? Yay, I’m no longer alone!

    I’m starting to think we should have put a deadline on that recommendation swap, though, since we’re both notorious procrastinators. ;)
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  25. I’m, um, actually not a fan of several of the fantasy books you mentioned, but I won’t say which ones, because GO! READ! ENJOY!

    But those sci-fis? YESSSSSSS. NaDTD? Yes. Post-apocalyptic starkness, yo. And AOY? YOUR HEART WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.
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  26. Crown of Midnight was incredible! TOG was a 3.5 out of 5 kind of book for me, but I thought the sequel was outstanding.

    Great top ten :)
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    • Excellent to hear! I was sad when I didn’t love Throne of Glass as much as everyone else, but I guess if book two is way better, then I understand hehe.

  27. Incarnate was such a great one! I’ve been meaning to read Falling Kingdoms and I really need to read Throne of Glass! Sarah J. Maas is coming to my local book festival next year so I’ll be forced to read it really soon!! Pivot Point is another that I’ve heard is amazing. Not A Drop to Drink is SO SO good! It was my favorite book of last year. Great list, Anya! :)

    • That is the exact same reason why I simply must catch up on the Throne of Glass series, I don’t want to be the only one in the crowd who hasn’t read Heir of Fire!

  28. You must read Rosemary & Rue! Seanan McGuire is tied with Patricia Briggs for my most anticipated author. (Although I haven’t gotten into her Mira Grant stuff, I like everything else immensely.) I agree there is a glut of Urban Fantasy currently, but SM and PB set the standard.

    • Awesome to hear that about Rosemary and Rue! I’m always happy to fall in love with a new urban fantasy series once I know that it is worth my time ;-)

  29. Poison Study is one of my favorite fantasy novels! Hopefully you’ll be very glad to meet Yelena because she’s awesome.

    All Our Yesterdays was fantastic. Not all time travel books are great because they can get a little confusing, but not with this one. It was supposed to have a sequel for a while, but it was just announced that it’s not going to happen. :(
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    • I’m so glad to hear that :D

      Aw, I’m sorry about All Our Yesterdays’ sequel, though I’m a little relieved to have a stand alone to read with all the series I’m behind on these days ;-)

  30. I have pulled Rosemary and Hue out of the library several times and still not read it. Just never seem to be in the mood for UF these days, I am sure it will swing back around.
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  31. As you said, as soon as you say you read some genre, recommendations start. And somehow we usually didn’t read most of them.
    From your list I have read Crown of Midnight and Cloud Rouds only.
    COM – Better than Throne of Glass, more world-building, more action, more dark… Definitely better.
    CR – Amazing series. Descriptions are out of this world. Characters are non-humanoid. Matriarchal society… Very original.
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    • I usually haven’t heard of most of them! I’m always happy when I at least have passing knowledge about a book, hehe.

      Yup, that’s what I keep hearing about CoM and that’s exactly what I want, mwahahaha! And yey more excitement for Cloud Roads :D

  32. Lots of great books on this list! I’m most shocked that you’ve not read Crown of Midnight! I think you’ll grow to appreciate the series as it goes. I felt that HoF has been the strongest yet :-) great list and I’m eager to hear what you think of these

  33. I have read the Poison Study series and simply loved it, I definitely recommend it. As for Falling Kingdoms that is one I have to read myself! Admittedly most of the others I have not read either, but we’ll have to see at some point I might get around to reading them.

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