Celeste’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2018 – July 31st, 2018)

Celeste’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2018 – July 31st, 2018)

So far, 2018 has been a wonderful reading year for me. I’ve found new favorite authors, and had the opportunity to read new work from authors I’ve loved for years. Of the 93 books I’ve read and reviewed this year, I gave 76 of those at least a 4 star rating on Goodreads. The books I’ve chosen have been overwhelmingly successful for me. When Petrik mentioned each doing a Top 10 from the books we’ve read so far this year, I jumped at the suggestion. But now, looking at the books I have to choose from, I’m regretting my decision. How on earth am I going to choose just ten out of the dozens of fantastic books I’ve read so far this year?! All I can do is my best, right?

To help narrow things down, I’m going to follow the same rules Petrik used for his list:

  • Rereads don’t count.
  • One book per author.
  • Not every book was published this year.
  • Other than the top spot, these are in the order I read them instead of any ranking.

Every book below is one I rated 5 complete stars. Links to my full Goodreads reviews will be provided within each mini-review. Without further ado, here are my favorite books of the year to date!

    • Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations, #5-6) by Michael J. Sullivan

This was the first book I read this year, and I totally started off with a bang. I deeply enjoyed the entire series, but this finale was just fantastic. It was everything I could’ve hoped for, and I will definitely be revisiting this series in the future. Full review here.

    • Tricked (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #4) by Kevin Hearne

I honestly couldn’t decide which installment of this series to include, because I loved all of them. Hearne created one of the most fun urban fantasy series I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, and I loved the variety of mythologies he included. Also, Oberon will always be my dream pet. Full review here.

    • Iron Gold (Red Rising, #4) by Pierce Brown

This was one of my most anticipated reads as well of one I was incredibly nervous about picking up. The original trilogy blew my mind, and I was afraid this followup wouldn’t live up to its predecessors. I was so incredibly wrong. Brown managed to produce something deep and different from the first three books, while still staying true to his story. It was marvelously done and I can’t wait to get my hands on Dark Age next year. Full review here.

    • Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories, #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal

Have you ever been reading a Jane Austen book and thought it needed more magic? Weirdly enough, I have. And that’s exactly what Kowal gives us in this book: Jane Austen was a magic system. I’m a sucker for Regency romance, especially those either written during that period or written to mimic those that were, and Kowal took the feel of a Regency era novel and imbued it with an absolutely lovely magic system. There are four more in the series, and I’m hoarding them for when I need something cozy to cheer me up. If you love Jane Austen and are also a fantasy fan, you seriously need to read this. Full review here.

    • One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2) by Rachel Aaron

As with Tricked above, I really wanted to include this entire series. Aaron is one of the brightest, happiest, cleanest voices I’ve come across in the fantasy genre, and I enjoyed every minute I spent reading these five books. That being said, this one was my favorite, packing an insane amount of character development into its pages. This is a series I can see myself revisiting when I’m sick or sad. Even when things seemed grim in this series, they never felt hopeless. The bright optimism of the main character undoubtedly sprung from his creator, and makes for a refreshing change of pace from much of the darker fantasy so popular today. Full review here.

    • Circe by Madeline Miller

I’m a sucker for Greek mythology, and Miller managed to present one of the most well known stories ever told in a new way from a fascinating perspective. The prose was lush and moving. It was a story to be savored, and savor it I did. Full review here.

    • My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1) by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton

I have never in my life laughed this hard or this frequently while reading a book. The irreverent twisting of history was expertly handled, and the humor was so much better than I was expecting. It was just…perfect. There isn’t a single thing I would change about it. I hope the authors continue writing books about famous Janes for years to come. Full review here.

    • Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts

I have loved Nora since I was in my early teens, and I think I always will. She’s a much better writer than many assume. Her way with words makes her books incredibly hard to put down, and this book was no exception. In recent years, Nora has begun tackling hard topics more often in her work, and I consider this to be among her best. It takes place during and after a mass shooting, and I thought she did a wonderful job presenting the pain and weight of being a survivor. It made me cry, which isn’t actually that common when it comes to books. Full review here.

    • The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

I have to admit that I was completely shocked by how much I loved this book. I didn’t think Meyer could succeed in the adult market as well as she has with her Twilight Saga, but I was proven so wrong. The Chemist was incredibly well written and researched, with a uniquely badass heroine. It was engaging and fast-paced and remarkably clean for an adult novel in this genre. I was really impressed, and I sincerely hope she writes more adult novels. Also, this in my Memaw’s favorite book of the year, which is adorable. Full review here.

    • City of Blades (The Divine Cities, #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

As of today, this book is tied with its predecessor, City of Stairs, for my favorite book of the year. The world Bennett has created in his Divine Cities trilogy is the most unique I’ve ever come across. His characters are incredibly well developed, his religious elements and mythos are fascinating, his prose is beautiful, and he packs an incredible amount of philosophical depth into each book. I’ve never read anything that so seamlessly blends so many genres. Epic Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Horror, and Mystery are all brilliantly represented. From what I’ve heard, the final book, City of Miracles, is even more amazing. I can easily see this becoming my all-time favorite trilogy. Full review here.

Honorable mentions go out to: The Family Tabor by Cherise Wolas, The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, Lake Silence by Anne Bishop, The Wonder by Emma Donoghue, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, and The Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson. These are all books that I enjoyed immensely and have already recommended to others, but couldn’t manage to squeeze into my top 10.

And that’s a wrap! Above are my ten favorite books of the 2018 up through the end of July. As well as the books I cheated and mentioned even though I didn’t have room in my top 10 for them. Every single one of the books I mentioned brought me immense joy to read, and I’m incredibly thankful to the authors who created them. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store, and how many of these books make the list of my absolute favorites of the year come December.

What are some of your favorite books of the year so far? Do we share any favorites? I’d love to see your list!

6 thoughts on “Celeste’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2018 – July 31st, 2018)

  1. I was a big fan of Shades of Milk & Honey, although I thought the latter books were better (I do still need to read the last book in the series).

  2. Fantastic list my darling! We do share a favorite: Heir of Novron!! <3 even though it was a re-read for me 😛

    1. I’m so glad I can now share a love of Riyria with you, darling. And what makes my copy even more special is that is was a gift from you!

  3. Nice list, mini reviews are great. Thank you for these.
    I haven’t compiled a list yet and I’m way behind on some great reads released last year. My TBR is huge. So far, in the past 12 months, my favorites AND any of their sequels have been:

    The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French
    Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft
    Draigon Weather by Paige L. Christie
    Paternus, Rise of Gods by Dyrk Ashton
    Where Loyalties Lie by Rob J Hayes

    I love a unique fantasy story with memorable characters. These aren’t light reads, but I will toss a what I call a relaxer in between really dark stuff, usually steampunk or urban fantasy or a well written romance blended into either of those sub genres. There have been a lot of very dark reads I enjoyed tremendously so far, but I have to take a breath of fresh air on occasion.

    1. I’m so glad you liked them, Lynn. Thank you! I’m way behind, too, but I’m glad that there are still so many wonderful books out there to read! I’ve only read two from your list so far (Senlin Ascends and and Where Loyalties Lie) but I really loved both of them. I haven’t heard of Draigon Weather, but The Grey Bastards and Patterns are on my TBR list, for sure.

      I have a hard time reading too many dark novels in a row, but some are among my absolute favorite books ever. I just started reading Malazan with Petrik and Haifa, and we’re all absolutely blown away so far. Since we’ve all heard that they just get better and better, we’re incredibly excited!

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