Updated: Jun 29, 2021
It's been a funny old year and the outside world seems scary and overwhelming at the moment. But what's kept me going this year is some of the brilliant books I've managed to escape in ...
As readers, books are our best friends. They challenge us, comfort us, reassure us and nourish us. Here are three books that have done just that for me this year. I hope you love them just as much as I did!
I'm a real science fiction and fantasy fan (as you can probably tell!) so the books below fall into this category, but they also involve powerful female protagonists, adventure, excitement and plenty of magic!
“This was one of my reads of the year.”
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
I absolutely adored this book! Released at the end of 2020, it is a brilliant young adult urban fantasy adventure on a college campus. The main character, Bree, is beautifully constructed and really well realised. Intelligent, determined and hungry for answers, but stricken with grief, her personal journey is really compelling.
But the magical side of the story is excellent, too. When Bree witnesses a demon attack on her very first day at Early College, she ends up embroiled in a secret organisation of mages and fighting an invasion of hellish creatures! With all manner of twists and turns, an incredible use of real historical events and figures and strong, lovable characters, this was one of my reads of the year.
Legendborn is available on a range of platforms. You can find more info on Tracy Deonn's site, here.
“A great book to snuggle up under the covers with.”
Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin
This book was so beautifully written, it's definitely one I'll come back to again. It follows the story of twins, Mae and Rossa, as they spent two summers at a magical house. The witches that live inside it, though, turn out to be the least of their worries, because there is a terrible being lurking in the walls and the house itself is more than it seems.
The twins' journey was so carefully and sensitively managed, and I just completely fell in love with the characters, even the terrifying Sweet James! The ending was very cleverly managed and I got completely swept up in the whole story. Even though Sweet James was creepy and I spent a lot of time shouting "don't do it, Bevan!" at my kindle, it was a great book to snuggle up under the covers with.
Other Words for Smoke is available on Nook and Amazon. Sarah Maria Griffin's website is still under construction and unfortunately, I could not find it available on Kobo, Google Play or Apple Books. However, you can find print copies at Waterstones here.
The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
This was a brilliant adventure of open oceans, pirates, mermaids, witches, the redeeming power of love and the power of independence. The two main characters, pirate Flora/Florian and the young Lady Evelyn, are both lost souls cut adrift. Flora is acting the pirate in the hopes it will keep her and her brother safe. Evelyn is being shipped across the sea to a marriage she doesn't want and didn't agree to. And the pair fall in love. Together, they navigate a world of cutthroat pirates, captured mermaids and cruel nobles. The worldbuilding was enthralling and just pulled you in. Another great escapist book, but one that also explored themes of redemption, forgiveness and self-realisation. Highly recommended!
Of course, there are plenty of other brilliant books out there and these may not be for you, but I hope you'll give them a go. They were three of the books that helped me through 2020.