2020 was an interesting year for the reading community from what I’ve seen. I’ve heard a lot of readers getting twice as many books read than their typical year, and I’ve heard others saying they read a lot less. I’ve fallen into the lot less category, but I still read a decent amount, so considering how this year has been I put together two top picks lists for my reading year. This first one is dedicated solely to books that came out this year, and the next will be picks for what I read regardless of release dates. With me rereading, and getting to some series that have been around for a while I figured this was the only way to properly give a top picks list.
- Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
- I figured this one would be an easy to guess, so why not start with it? I’ve always loved getting the latest Cassandra Clare book, and this series doesn’t look like it will let me down, so the addiction will for sure continue. Chain of Gold takes us back to Will Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Jem Carstairs, but now Tessa and Will’s children are now fully grown, and of course getting into their own trouble. Cordelia was an instant favorite since we mostly follow her, but Matthew Fairchild was definitely doing his best to steal the show from her. This one left me with a startling and torturous cliffhanger, but we all know I’ve already preordered Chain of Iron, so I guess it’ll get worked out in March 2021.
- Empire of Gold by SA Chakraborty
- The book that I think should’ve won Goodread’s Fantasy award. Yes, I’m going to say that. I loved House of Earth and Blood, but S.A. Chakraborty, while not as widely known created an amazingly transportable series with this being the epic finale. There was love, betrayal, a big evil, and so much action in this series. If you haven’t picked this one up, and are interested in magic, fantasy, and djinn then this one should be right up your alley. It’s got more of a political angle than action at times, but this series was easy to fall into, and got me back into adult Fantasy again.
- Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
- I got into a magical mood around the end of summer, and into Fall, so this preorder was a must in the end. This was her debut novel, and it was good. There wasn’t a huge world to this, but I think that actually helped as we realize this place that our protagonist, Kallia has been so fixated on was so close, and then the city itself closing off to the world becomes that much more mysterious given that information. The magic wasn’t super complex, but I loved the characters, and the dark mysteriousness that seemed to just grow as we got further into the book. I’ve already marked the second book for preorder next year.
- The Memory of Babel by Christelle Dabos
- Are you surprised? I fell in love with the first two books of the Mirror Visitor quartet last year, and questioned how I would make it to the release of book three. Now, I’m doing the same waiting on book four. This novel did have some questionable word choices (translation error?), but it continued to build on an already unique and expansive world with the promise of even more in the finale. I want to say more, but of course that would be spoiler territory. I’ll end this one by saying that this book, and the series have definitely been an exciting ride, and well worth a try if you’ve been on the fence with it.
- Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
- I read the Stalking Jack the Ripper series last year, or rather binge read it like a crazy and fell in love. These are darker books, but I loved the Sherlock and Watson vibes the characters gave off, and the mystery this author built into her stories, so her releasing another series about demons and witches? Sure, I’m on board! This book needed some more world building/description, but what it lacked in that it made up for with its characters and addictiveness. I just couldn’t put this one down, and I’m only too excited for the next book to do the same to me.
What were some of your favorite 2020 releases? What series are you excited to continue in the new year? Let me know in the comments below!