Our favorite books of 2018

Here are our favorite books published in 2018. 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 2018. What did we miss? One commenter chooses a book from our stacks.


Jana: What sets the BANNERLESS SAGA apart from most other post-apocalyptic novels and series, for me, is Vaughn’s insistence that most of the people Enid comes across are generally good, even though Enid — in her official capacity of investigator — often has the misfortune of seeing them in their worst moments.



Bill: Chasing New Horizons is top notch non-fiction. It does what the best popular science should do — impart fascinating information but without leaving out the human passion driving all the numbers and data, teaching as it also inspires.

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  1. I wasn’t that impressed with Voyage of the Dogs. I’d also add Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire to my best of list.

  2. I loved Seanan McGuire’s Beneath The Sugar Sky! I’m also currently reading The Phoenix Empress and am loving it! Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Rusty Miller /

    What a great list. Here’s to hoping 2019 is even better.

  4. Ashley T. /

    I have a lot of these books on my “to read” list already! One book I really enjoyed this year (and the sequel is soon to be released for!) was Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre.

  5. Conal ONeill /

    A nice list with several of the books on my read and to be read list. I would have added The Calculating Stars (and the sequel The Fated Sky) by Mary Robinette Kowal to it if I was generating the list.

    • Conal, I just remembered that Terry asked me to put The Calculating Stars on the list and I forgot. I’ll fix that soon.

      • I can’t believe *I* forgot to add THE CALCULATING STARS.

      • I haven’t read The Calculating Stars yet! I’d suggested adding The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi, which I greatly enjoyed. I’ll write a review tomorrow if my bad cold lets me stay awake long enough.

        • Oh, that was it! Sorry for the mistake. I’ve been hosting 25 family members and their significant others for the past week. I’m a bit out of touch.

  6. Noneofyourbusiness /

    Molly Tanzer’s “Creatures of Want and Ruin” is a fine book that came out this year and I managed to snag a free copy of!

  7. John Smith /

    I have yet to read the Sylvain Neuvel books, but they sound like a series that I someday must read!

  8. I’ll say it again, “Vita Nostra” by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko is my favorite book of 2018! That being said, did you not get to read “Exit Strategy” by Martha Wells?

    Other than that your list is very interesting. Like everyone else, you read some books that either I’ve read, or I’ve not yet read. Looks like we all have a lot of catching up to do in 2019!

    • Lois Young /

      We’re missing a ton of the novellas that were released in 2018! “The Tensorate” series, “Binti: The Night Masquerade,” “The Black God’s Drums,” “Beneath the Sugar Sky,” “The Armored Saint,” “Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach,” and “The Tea Master and the Detective.”

      I saw “Trail of Lightning” in the comments. Has anyone read “Rosewater,” “The Poppy War,” and/or “Empire of Sand”?

      • Noneofyourbusiness /

        Oh, from the Goodreads synopsis, “The Tea Master and the Detective” must be the story Aliette de Bodard was talking about at this year’s World Fantasy Convention!

  9. The Distinguished Professor /

    Fire Dance by Ilana C. Myer, continuing her highly-rated series.

  10. Nice to see Circe, Shadowhouse Fall, and Guardian on this list! They’re among my favorites of 2018, too. I also really enjoyed Starless by Jacqueline Carey, Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, and Vengeful by V.E. Schwab.

  11. Paul Connelly /

    I’ll agree with Foundryside and Bloody Rose, and I would go along with City of Miracles except I’m pretty sure that was 2017. And, yes, of course, Murderbot!

    Would add Monstress (vol. 3), Melissa Caruso’s The Defiant Heir, Mark Lawrence’s Grey Sister, Half-Witch bu John Schoffstall, Kameron Hurley’s Apocalypse Nyx, and the one I just finished, The Monster Baru Cormorant (Seth Dickinson).

    If Maika Half-wolf (from Monstress) and Baru Cormorant could have a child together, it would explode the mainspring of the Doomsday Clock! Do not plan your next vacation for anywhere either them is going to be visiting.

  12. Lady Morar /

    Surely “Fire & Blood” by George Martin deserves a mention.

  13. As Lois pointed out, there was a startling number of excellent novellas this year.

  14. Paul Connelly /

    Almost missed the non-fiction picks. I haven’t finished it yet, but I think Bullshit Jobs (David Graeber) might deserve a place on that list.

  15. Elliott Blackwell /

    My favorite book this year was The Way Past Winter by Kiran Milwood Hargrave.

  16. Why not ask me to pick a favorite child! I realy did enjoy the Themis files this year.

  17. Finally reading Magic Triumphs right now, and it’s great! I made a list of my favorite reads of 2018, but they weren’t all 2018 releases. I really enjoyed The Hazel Wood, Wundersmith, and Wrath of the Dragon King were all excellent! Thanks for sharing :)

  18. Unfortunately didn’t get a lot of time to read in 2018. Currently in the middle of Assassin’s Apprentice for the first time. Thankful for this list so I have a good place to start next year.

  19. Aleshia Brandon /

    The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky, and The Seclusion

  20. Kristin /

    I did a lot of re-listening to a few of my well loved series: Green Rider by Kristen Britain, The Gentleman Bastards, and all of Cassandra Clare’s works but The Calculating Stars was the best – moving and fascinating!

  21. Just finished Kings of the Wyld and that was incredibly fun.

  22. Leland Eaves /

    Almost all of these are on my tbr pile. Only read The Outsider. While good I’m a little torn on HOW good I’d rate it. There are some anachronistic flaws in it that kind of take you out of the story a bit. I think that the issue is King loves the 70s and 80s and so it seems like the people in this book grew up to be adults in that time period.

  23. Sara Letourneau is our winner.

  24. Anne C /

    Adding a bunch to my To-Read list!


  1. Lavie Tidhar’s gripping thriller UNHOLY LAND appears on even more Best of the Year lists - Tachyon Publications - […] THE GUARDIAN, B&N SCI-FI & FANTASY BLOG, CRIME TIME, and THE SPECULATIVE SHELF, both FANTASY LITERATURE (without comment) and THE ENDLESS BOOKSHELF…

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