Rosalind Faires' Top 10 Fiction Books of 2019
Here’s to a year of rollicking adventures, laughing, weeping, and rooting for those crazy kids to wind up together in the end
Here's to a year of rollicking adventures, laughing out loud, weeping over beauty and kindness and pain, and rooting for those crazy kids to wind up together in the end.
1) GIDEON THE NINTH (Tor.com) The bone-dry humor, the bonkers imagination, the enemies-to-allies-to-heartache of it all – there's nothing quite like Tamsyn Muir's tale of a lesbian space necromancer and her sunglasses-wearing, dirty-mag-reading cavalier.
2) RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE (Griffin) Casey McQuiston's rom-com about the president's son falling for an English prince is a true heartthrob of a book; there's across-the-board appeal, and you get pudding-mouthed trying to capture everything great about it. Key-smash in the group chat about its humor, heart, and hard-won belief in a kinder future.
3) THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE THE TIME WAR (Gallery/Saga Press) Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone's episolatory novella about women on opposite sides of the titular conflict sweeps you off your feet and makes queer love both earth-shaking and human.
4) FLEISHMAN IS IN TROUBLE (Random House) Taffy Brodesser-Akner's novel about divorce, friendship, and parenthood has a keen eye, devastating sense of humor, and red-hot heart that lays you flat. Reading passages aloud to friends is highly recommended.
5) EMPRESS OF FOREVER (Tor Books) It's easier said than done to create characters that you'd follow to the ends of the galaxy, but Max Gladstone achieves just that in a space opera that balances pure invention and profound hope.
6) DAISY JONES & THE SIX (Ballantine Books) This faux oral history about a Seventies rock group is fiction, but you'll Google to double-check just the same – the way Taylor Jenkins Reid plays with music journalism tropes and establishes character voices is that skillful. For everyone who thinks "Silver Springs" deserved to be on Rumours.
7) GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW (Del Rey) Lush doesn't begin to cover the timelessness, yearning, and total envelopment that Silvia Moreno-Garcia's fantasy about a 1920s girl embroiled with Mayan gods offers.
8) WOMEN TALKING (Bloomsbury Publishing) Miriam Toews' fictionalized account of a community of Mennonite women reckoning with sexual assaults is piercing, compassionate, and lights a fire under you as it wrestles with issues of faith and justice.
9) THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE (Bloomsbury Publishing) Longing for a brick of a fantasy novel but one where women are, uh, people? Look no further than Samantha Shannon's hearty 848 pages of complicated heroes, awe-inspiring dragons, and world-building you can sink your teeth into.
10) SILVER IN THE WOOD (Tor.com) Few things are more enchanting than Emily Tesh's novella about the protector of a forest, his new landlord, and the green magic that surrounds them. You'll wish you could crawl into an acorn cup and make a home there.
MOSTLY DEAD THINGS by Kristen Arnett
THE SECRETS WE KEPT by Lara Prescott
THE BIRD BOYS by Lisa Sandlin