Here is my Book of the Year for 2017, as well as the books I felt deserved special mention.
To see my complete book list for 2017 please click here.
|Book of the Year: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Special Mention: Borne by Jeff Vandermeer
Special Mention: The Silent Corner and The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz
2017 was an off year for me. I am not sure why. Though I read some great books in 2017, there were not a lot that grabbed me like the books of 2016 did. In 2017 I read 21 novels and listened to 3 for a total of 24. So a significant drop from 2016. I also did not read any non-fiction books. Of the 21 novels read, 8 were digital editions. There were 13 nominees for Book of the Year, 3 of which were audio books.
Book of the Year honors for 2017 go to Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
It starts with the old fantasy trope of children who end up in fantastic worlds, like a Narnia. Or places much darker. What happens to these children when they come back to this world, and coming back was not by their choice?
They end up at a home with other children trying to adjust to being back in the “real world”. Most are struggling, not so much with the adjustment, but with trying to understand why they were thrown out of the fantasy world they loved. Most try to figure out how to get back, even if it is to a fantasy world that is a dark, terrible place.
Though short, Seanan has packed a ton of story into Every Heart. I just loved this book. I also highly recommend the other books in the Wayward Children series, Down Among the Sticks and Bones and Beneath the Sugar Sky.
Special Mention: Borne by Jeff Vandermeer. From the author the Southern Reach Trilogy (also high recommended), Borne is about a woman in a post apocalyptic world. The world is the way it is due to scientific experiments going very wrong. She finds a lifeform and names it Borne. It is sentient. The story is about the evolving relationship between the women and Borne, while trying to survive a wasteland filled with deadly bio-modified animals. And other things.
One thing I do want to call out is something I think some reviewers did a disservice to. And that is the giant, bio-modified bear Mord. Mord is definitely the big bad in this. Some reviewers took the fact that Mord could fly as funny or satire. It really wasn’t. Mord being able to fly, which is a recent development in the book, is terrifying. It meant there was no easy way to get away from him. It also pointed out that the science that had mutated him was so messed up, such a violation, that he somehow developed the ability to fly. So don’t let the fact that there’s a flying bear wave you off this book. Mord will be in your nightmares.
Special Mention: The Silent Corner and The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz. These are books in a new series by Koontz and he is on the top of his game. These are more straight up thrillers than horror or supernatural, but both really good. Jane Hawk is a woman on the run. She is trying to take down the conspiracy that killed her husband and threatens her son. Jane is an awesome, kick ass character, and I don’t want to say too much due to spoilers. Definitely “airplane books”, meaning they will keep your attention and you’ll want to finish before you land. Even if you don’t read them on a flight, I highly recommend them.