Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. They created the meme because they love lists. Who doesn’t love lists? They wanted to share these list with fellow book lovers and ask that we share in return to connect with our fellow book lovers. To learn more about participating in the challenge, stop by their page dedicated to it and dive in!

This week’s topic: Ten of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads

Even though I can be a bit generous with ratings, I don’t 5 star too many things, but I’ll make a list of speculative reads that I’ve given at least 4 stars recently.

DrownDrown by Esther Dalseno

4 of 5 stars.

It’s no secret that I have a huge soft spot for retellings of fairy tales, mythology, history, etc. I rang in the New Year with this beautifully tragic book which is a retelling of The Little Mermaid. It followed the Andersen version of the story rather than the Disney version which gave it darker connotations.

The Fifth SeasonThe Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

4.5 of 5 stars.

I’ve been a fan of Jemisin’s work since reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by her a few years back. She has a way with words than really tap into a reader’s emotions. The Fifth Season is no exception. This is a brilliant story that feels as if it really pushed Jemisin’s imagination and writing.

Gardens of the MoonGardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

4 of 5 stars.

I expected this book to end up on my DNF pile. Despite favorable reviews from friends, including my co-blogger Wendy, I was afraid that it was going to be much too confusing for me to handle. I was wrong. I loved how this story began, even starting in the heat of it all. It was an exciting story that mixed intrigue, fantasy, and magic together. This world has been a joy to explore.

b3736-writteninredWritten in Red by Anne Bishop

4 of 5 stars.

I’m not that connected to the main character and can definitely see why she made Mogsy’s list for characters everyone else loved but she didn’t. I didn’t hate Meg by a long shot, but how she was used for much of the story was a bit frustrating. However, overall, I loved this book. It was a fresh take on shifters with excellent world building. I highly recommend this one to Urban Fantasy fans.

Wild SeedWild Seed by Octavia Butler

4.5 of 5 stars

This is the first book I’ve read by Octavia Butler, and it packed a very powerful punch. I love my speculative fiction, but I’m bowled over when one seamlessly combines social commentary with its story. This is the kind of book I could see being used in a literature class.

CloudRoadsThe Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

5 of 5 stars.

Another book that offers a fresh take on shifters. The world of the Raksura never ceases to amaze me. I can see the books set in this world being reread by me throughout the years. I love this series for both its world-building and how it introduces the Raksuran culture through the eyes of someone who is just learning about the culture.

Death with InterruptionsDeath with Interruptions by José Saramago

4 of 5 stars.

Just as with Wild Seed, Death with Interruptions deals heavily in social commentary. Death stops taking the dead from one country, which sparks many religious, scientific, and philosophical debates. It also points toward how complicated issues can be even if the explanation behind them seems uncomplicated to its architect.

Casting ShadowsCasting Shadows by Jeanne Cavelos

4 of 5 stars.

Excellent Babylon 4 tie-in novel that focuses on the technomages who were focused on in the spin-off series. It follows Galen, a young mage as he and other apprentices become full-fledged technomages and begin to investigate an immense threat.

Dragon EatersHeroika 1: Dragon Eaters edited by Janet E. Morris

4 of 5 stars.

It’s rare for me to give an anthology more than 3 stars since I usually come out of the book only satisfied with a handful of stories. However, I enjoyed the premise of this one (people hunting dragons instead of the other way around) and I enjoyed quite a few of the stories in this book.

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What have been some of your recent top reads?


22 Comments on “Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads”

  1. This sounds like an epic list!

    I absolutely love The Others series! I’ve been wanting to read an N.K. Jemisin book and Steven Erikson book for ages, but I never seem to get around to it. Seeing them on this list makes me want to pick them up soon! I’ve never heard of Drown before but your description sounds fantastic. Another addition to the to-read list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Drown was such a random read for me. I think Goodreads recommended it to me at exactly the moment I went to the site to search books based on fairy tales. Gardens of the Moon is my first Erikson book. I enjoyed it, but some people find the first book to be a bit confusing and plot-less. I absolutely adore Jemisin, though. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is one of my all-time favorite books by her.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, good picks! I didn’t get on with The Gardens of the Moon (I never got attached to any of the characters, so it just felt very long for very little), but I loved The Cloud Roads and Wild Seed. Devastating stuff, so on your say-so I’ll keep my eye open for the Saramago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I liked Gardens of the Moon, but I understand the complaints. I thought it was ambitious on Erikson’s part, but I also felt like it was the type of book that probably becomes better for some in retrospect. It felt like the type of book that was planting many seeds, and as a reader progressed through the stories, the fog of war would be lifted from their eyes as things are revealed. With Saramago, I think most people tend to like his book Blindness better. I’m in that number too, so that’s another I recommend. thought Death with Interruptions was really great, as well. It was a very imaginative take on death. The only bad thing about his books is the never-ending paragraphs and lack of punctuation.


      • Ah, the paragraphs and punctuation I remember from my last encounter with him (The Elephant’s Journey). I think I can handle it, but I might keep tea handy.

        …and yes, you’re probably right about Erikson. I will watch with mild curiosity from the sidelines.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Somehow I missed your review of Drown when it posted… I’m looking for mermaid stories, so this sounds like something I’ll have to check out.

    I’m like you, Tiara. I don’t give out a lot of perfect / 5-star scores unless the story truly blows me away and I can’t find anything I’d do differently. But if I give something at least a 4, it means I loved or really enjoyed it regardless. 🙂

    I’m with you on The Fifth Season. Absolutely awesome book, and the strongest one I’ve read by N.K. Jemisin so far. (Which is only two books, but I’m working on that!) Here are the other 9 most recent books that I gave a rating of at least 4.5 out of 5:

    – Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
    – Walk On Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson
    – The Martian by Andy Weir
    – Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
    – The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
    – This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
    – The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
    – Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    – The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin


    • That’s okay. Better late than never. Drown has been one of my favorite reads for the year so far. I feel like it’ll end up being one of my favorite reads for this whole year. I read a mermaid short story recently that accompanies a longer novel. The short story was Men Who Wish to Drown by Elizabeth Fama, which is set before her main novel Monstrous Beauty (which I haven’t read yet). Those might be something to check out on mermaids. The short story can be read on Tor’s site.

      I think all the books you’ve listed except Carson’s book which I’m still eyeing I’ve either read or I’m trying to get around to. I just bought Six of Crows during Audible’s Daily Deal, so I should be getting around to that and if it hadn’t been for getting into The Raven Cycle books I would’ve started Laini Taylor’s book, but now I’m trying to get caught up on The Raven Cycle series since the next book is coming soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Monstrous Beauty is already on my list. 😉 And I just checked out Men Who Wish to Drown at Wow. That was very, very good.

        Funny you mention The Raven Cycle. I haven’t read that series yet, but I’m hoping to read my first Maggie Stiefvater book Lament in the next month or so. Maggie is going to stop by a local indie bookseller during her upcoming Raven King tour, so if I like Lament I might make a point of going to her event.

        Hope you enjoy Six of Crows and Daughter of Smoke & Bone! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The Fifth Season and The Others series are on my tbr shelf and I’m hoping to get to them soon! I haven’t had a single 5-star read this year so far – a few came close but nothing official yet. I ended up going with my most recent 5-star reads anyway but they’re all from last year LOL! Awesome picks^^ xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Fifth Season was amazing and Written in Red was such a surprise. I knew I’d probably like it, but I just figured it’d be like every other shifter story. I didn’t expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I did. I thought about digging through my pile for all my 5 star reads. Mine would’ve been from previous years, too. LOL.


  5. The Fifth Season is definitely a book I want to pick up. I’ve read such good things about it – all over the blogosphere. Why deny myself the pleasure of reading such a good book – well, apart from that funny old time restraint of course!
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I put it off for a while, too, even though I really love Jemisin’s books. When I did started reading it though, my whole day was spent doing that. I listened to it on audiobook, so I was at least able to get some cleaning done and pretend to see after my children. LOL.


  6. I’m very strict on giving out my 5 stars too 😉 I’d love to check out the Malazan series, but I honestly don’t see that happening any decade soon. From what I’ve read and heard, the general consensus seems to be that Gardens can be quite confusing

    Liked by 1 person

    • It can be, but I think it’s one of those books that will make much more sense in retrospect as you work through the series. I didn’t feel too lost, but it definitely throws you in without a life vest.


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