1) Golden Son by Pierce Brown
With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation.
Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.
A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a little bit bias when it comes to Pierce Brown, but I'm not the only one. Golden Son, the sequel to Red Rising, was chosen by the masses as the best sci-fi book for 2015. Red Rising was a strong debut novel on its own and Golden Son was even better. No sophomore slump for Pierce Brown! :D I am not usually a huge reader of sci-fi, but Red Rising and Golden Son went beyond my expectations. Definitely, a must-read trilogy. The last and final book of the trilogy, Morning Star, is set to release in February 2016.
2) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Laia is a slave.
Elias is a soldier.
Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
Definitely one of my favorite debut reads of this year. It was epic!!!!! With 5 exclamation marks! I haven't posted a review yet, but I am definitely going to pimp the hell out of this book. I read this book early this year and I'm still geeking out about it. The imagery, world building, characters, story line are amazing! This book is pretty thick, but once you get going, it's impossible to stop. I am sooo glad that there is going to be a sequel.
3) Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
On the Fives court, everyone is equal.
And everyone is dangerous.
Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.
Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.
In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.
If you've been following my tweets, I listened to this book on Overdrive and was blown away. Set in the land of Efea, a young girl's family is destroyed by ambition and her secure lifestyle becomes nonexistent. Jessamy has been waiting for her moment to shine as an adversary in the Fives. Despite her best intentions, she captures the eye of a very powerful lord. Jes is ordered to train and do her best in the next Fives to secure her family's future. This book tugs at your heartstrings with a cruel grip and doesn't let up for a second. I loved this book so much! I already pre-ordered the sequel and it doesn't even come out until August 2016.
4) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.
Leigh Bardugo is another author that I'm bias against. I loved her Grisha Trilogy and wasn't ready for it to end. I was so ecstatic when she announced a kinda-sorta spin-off series. This book most definitely has a bit of Ocean's Eleven feel to it. I love everything about this book. It takes place several years after the Ruin & Rising and features a brand new cast, but there are mentions of the previous cast members. The sequel, Crooked Kingdom, is set to publish in September 2016. Check out my review!
Last, but not least.
5) Amber to Ashes by Gail McHugh
They were a storm I never saw coming, an unforeseen heartbreak on the edge of a dangerous cliff.
Amber Moretti's life changes in the span of minutes. An orphaned outsider, she is desperate to start fresh the moment she walks onto campus. In the time it takes to cross the university’s dining hall, she meets two men who bring color, air, and light to her darkened world.
They became my addiction, each a needle to my next hit, my high.
Brock Cunningham’s appeal is dizzying, a potent force Amber can’t deny. A green-eyed smooth talker, he instantly attracts Amber. It doesn’t take long for him to consume her every thought, her every breath.
Ryder Ashcroft, a blue-eyed, tattooed, and pierced bad boy, turns Amber off immediately—that is, until he kisses her, stealing a piece of her heart, her soul.
They were as opposite as fire and ice, yet I ached for them equally.
Never knowing she could be broken down in so many unexpectedly beautiful yet petrifying ways, Amber finds herself falling for both men.
Immoral? Maybe. I say undeniable. Uncontained.
But one event changes everything, shattering each of their lives…and Amber isn’t sure she can come back from it.
This book is a trip. I read it in one sitting; forgo sleep to finish this book. This book centers around Amber, a college student who wants a fresh start from her shitty beginning. She meets Ryder and Brock and falls head first into the rabbit hole. The pair of hotties couldn't be more different, but both equally draw Amber's attention . One is light and the other is dark (in aura/spirit/personality). I loved this book despite the predictable best friend love triangle. Ends in a bit of a cliffy and a sequel has not been announced. Check out my review!
For residents of USA only. Starts January 1st 2016 and ends on January 7th 2016 PST.
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