Our favorite books of 2017

Here are our favorite books published in 2017. Hover over the cover to see who recommends each book. Click on the cover to read our review.

Please keep in mind that we did not read every SFF book published this year, so we know we’ve missed some good ones! Please add your comments — we’d love to hear your opinions about our list and to know which were YOUR favorite books of 2017. What did we miss? One commenter chooses a book from our stacks.


Bill: A thoughtful, richly complex, humane work eloquently told and elegantly constructed, with an exciting start, a slower-paced middle to let the characters grow on us, and then a tense and action-filled end section.https://fantasyliterature.com/reviews/borne/Jana: ...lest you think that the entirety of the novel is caught up in philosophical and metaphysical ramblings, Fink and Cranor have also crammed it to the gills with clever wordplay, angels that absolutely do not exist no matter how many times you see them or give them money, and disappointing potatoes.Tim & Greg: Red Sister is a thoroughly gripping coming-of-age novel in the tradition of Patrick Rothfuss‘ The Name of the Wind and Anthony Ryan‘s Blood Song, comparable to but also distinct from both. Mr. Lawrence’s prose is bleakly lovely and his characterization on point. This shapeshifter fantasy set in a Bronze Age type of era is even better than the first book in this series, 2016's The Tiger and the Wolf. It has more complex plotting, some highly enjoyable twists, familiar characters who develop new depths, and some great new characters.


Bill, Jana, Kat: A beautifully drawn graphic steampunk tale by author/illustrator Alex Alice, whose artwork alone makes the book worth picking up for a middle-grade reader (or relatively advanced younger reader)



Bill: Superhero Comics doesn’t simply inform but makes ones think, even about topics one is generally familiar with.

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  1. Of the above listed favorites I’ve read only one (Sanctuary of Wings) and have only five on my to read list. I DNF’d at least four of the others though (or the first in their series) for various reasons.

    I mentioned my favorites of the year in the previous post, they were:
    Spirelli Paranormal Investigations: Episodes 1-3 by Kate Baray

    The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

    Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani

  2. mary henaghen /

    Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant aka Seanan McGuire. Scientifically plausable murdering mermaids…..what else could you want!! Original premise, and an awesome read.

  3. Melissa (My World...in words and pages) /

    I have a few of these books on my shelves to read.

    I think my absolute favorite, and sticks out strongly in my mind, is Terry Mixon’s Empire of Bones series. I’ve been listening to them on audiobook and I ABSOLUTELY LOOOOOVE this scifi series for so many reasons. All the reasons. lol. It has everything I want in one place and so well packaged! :D

    Here’s to another great year in books!

  4. Von Berry /

    I like your comments on several of the book in you list. Very nicely done.

  5. I read some of those! You guys do such a great job, love you!

  6. The Stone Sky and The Bear & The Nightingale are definitely among my favorites for 2017, so it’s great to see them on your list, too! (I also have The Girl In the Tower, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.) I also really liked Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology and Leigh Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns.

  7. Paul Connelly /

    Most of these I have not read–either never heard of them or the descriptions didn’t seem very appealing.

    City of Miracles was one I loved. Kings of the Wyld I liked as a one-off. Ruin of Angels I struggled with–too many viewpoint characters plus too frenetic a pace plus too black and white a division of good and bad causes the characters were committed to, all adding up to make me feel less involved with the characters and plot than I wanted to be. Six Wakes I felt kind of blah about–had a hard time believing in the characters and the situation they were in. Passing Strange was just too thin in terms of characters and story–both seemed barely sketched in.

    I have the two J. Y. Yang novellas and waiting for the Laini Taylor book to come out in paperback. The only other ones that I’m wondering “Should I read this?” are The Stone in the Skull and Red Sister. I liked Bear’s Dust/Chill/Grail trilogy pretty well, never read anything by Lawrence.

  8. John Smith /

    I own four or five of these, but have yet to read them because I’m a bad person. I enjoyed “The Dreadful Tale Of Prosper Redding,” which is a YA book but pretty sophisticated. Unfortunately, a sequel will continue (and complete?) the story, which is such a gyp! I don’t want to be left hanging!

  9. Seeing as you already have Kings of the Wyld, I’d go for The Court of Broken Knives bt Anna-Smith Spark. From the indie annals, Matt Larkin’s Days of Endless Night probably comes first.

  10. Sandyg265 /

    I liked Down Among the Sticks and Bones. Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant was also one of my favorites. I liked the different take on mermaids. I also liked Seanan McGuire’s The Brightest Fell, the latest in her October Daye series. Interesting that my three favorite reads were all by the same author.

  11. Decisions, decisions.
    City of Miracles I read and loved. Especially on rereading the series. Ruin of Angels I had to read twice to fully appreciate (And Max? If you’re reading this a list of characters would have helped a lot).
    Gates of Tagmeth was a lot of fun and a good return to form for Hodgell and Jaime.
    Harbors of the Sun by Martha Wells. A nice wrap to the Raksura series.
    Corporation Wars by Ken Macleod was a trilogy wrap and not quite the ending I expected.
    Null States by Malka Older takes her near utopia (at least for the participants) and begins to show the problems in the system. The upcoming one looks to be a killer.
    Then there was the Bobiverse series. That was a lot of light fun. I’m beginning to appreciate the pleasures of light hearted fun and books. Still a lot of fairly well thought out fun.

  12. Conal ONeill /

    Of those listed, I only read City of Miracles which was an enjoyable conclusion to a great series. I also have several more of these on the soon to be read list but they won’t make this year. 2017 books that I did read that are not on the list include Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan which was my favorite read of year along with Skullsworn by Brian Staveley, Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan and Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson.

  13. The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin, Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone and City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett were my favorite books this year. Glad to see them on the list. Three amazing series!

  14. Many of those books are on my favourites list!

    I would also add An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock, which has some of the most imaginative worldbuilding and twisty intrigue I’ve read in a while.

    But my top book of the year can be no other than Assassin’s Fate. It’s the first book where I’ve had to take a couple of days’ break in the middle because I was too emotionally shattered to continue. A perfect closure to a masterful series.

  15. This is a great list! It reminds me to read City of Miracles. Of those listed, my favourite by far is Amberlough; it is one of my top reads of 2017, and I literally cannot wait for its sequel to be released.

    Besides Amberlough, in 2017 I also thoroughly enjoyed Scythe by Neal Shusterman (the next book is out in January!), Uprooted by Naomi Novik, and Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab.

  16. Solid list–I have unfortunately only read Strange the Dreamer but liked it a lot!

    My favorite books of the year were: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas because it was heartfelt and heartbreakingly realistic, Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau because I love the premise and the characters, and Caraval by Stephanie Garber because I couldn’t predict the plot at all.

  17. Sharon Browning /

    I’ve read an even dozen of these, and have three more sitting on my Kindle waiting for their turn. I’m especially appreciative of including “The Wanderers” on your list, and I think it is a sublime book, and deserves far more accolades than what it has gottne. I salute you on your good taste!

    I maybe would have added “Landscape with Invisible Hand” by M. T. Anderson (possibly in the Young Adult category – that’s how it’s promoted, even though I think it transcends that labeling. Kameron Hurley’s “The Stars Are Legion” was a hard read, but a really intriguing one, truly unique and rewarding. “Raven Strategem” by Yoon Ha Lee was a marvelous follow up to his amazing “Nine Fox Gambit” and “Luna: Wolf Moon” was an equally wonderful second book in Ian McDonald’s Luna series. Elan Mastai’s “All Our Wrong Todays” had a mind bending take on time travel and parallel universes, and I’ll always be a sucker for anything John Scalzi writes, and “The Collapsing Empire” did nothing to tarnish his image for me.

    Can’t wait to see what 2018 holds!

    • Sharon Browning /

      And I apologize for all the spelling/grammatical errors in my prior post! I’m mortified, and it goes to show that one should always, always proofread, even when something else is vying for your attention!

  18. Sharon S. /

    I really enjoyed Six Wakes and Kings of the Wyld. I’m currently reading Assassin’s Fate. I look forward to reading more of the books on your list in 2018.

  19. I really liked Lincoln in the Bardo, but I didn’t think it deserved the amount of hype it got. It was interesting and enjoyable, but not anything mindblowing in my opinion.
    I have so many other books from this on my TBR list, but haven’t been able to get my hands on a lot of things.

  20. Just wanted to say the summary appearing when I’m hovering over the text is lovely;)

  21. Melissa, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

    • Melissa (My World...in words and pages) /

      Thank you!! I am in USA, so I’ll be emailing you shortly. Thank you!!

  22. Anne C /

    My to-read list is crying!

  23. Barbara McEwen /

    Looks like a pretty great list. I haven’t read them all either but I did enjoy the Spoonbenders audiobook a lot and you have tons of my TBR books on your list!

  24. Paul Connelly /

    I read the two JY Yang novellas and unfortunately was disappointed in them. Started with Black then went on to Red.

    They started off intriguingly (especially Black) but the plots kind of meandered around and the cast of characters was small, so it was hard to feel the reality of the world as seen through their eyes. Especially since the magical system felt arbitrary in spite of the years of training it was supposed to require. And a lot of the character relations seemed to be of the Insta-Love romance type, more what you expect in a YA.

    I wanted to see the characters show some emotional growth, and maybe that was starting to happen toward the end of Red, but just barely. Could be that the story was being overly compressed in the novella format, and that it would have felt fuller and more peopled with interesting characters as an expanded novel (expanded in the sense of more than just appending the two stories as written into one book).

  25. Nikki /

    The Stone Sky was one of my 2017 favorites, and an amazing conclusion to the trilogy. Also Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson <3 <3

  26. From your excellent list, I have read BORNE, SPOONBENDERS, THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE, THE BEAUTIFUL ONES and SIX WAKES. My favorite was BORNE; it was really weird, but had such amazing themes about love, forgiveness, growth and what it means to be “human.” Loved it!

  27. Some of these I’ve read. I agree with this list!


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