#RRSciFiMonth: Mogsy’s Top 10 Sci-Fi Reads of 2016

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As Sci-Fi November comes to a close, I hope everyone has enjoyed the science fiction related goodies we’ve featured at The BiblioSanctum this month. I also want to take this opportunity to thank Rinn Reads and Over The Effing Rainbow for running such a successful event this year, and  we hope to keep participating in this annual tradition.

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Anyway, as today is Top Ten Tuesday and the theme is a Holiday Gift Guide freebie, I thought, what better way to wrap things up than with a Top 10 list of the best Science Fiction novels I’ve read in 2016? It was certainly a tough choice narrowing it down, but these are the books that really stood out for me and I would recommend any of them for the sci-fi fan in your life.

After AtlasAfter Atlas by Emma Newman

While After Atlas takes place in the same cosmos as Planetfall, it is more accurate to call it a companion novel than a true sequel which means it can be read as a standalone. While it is as far as you can get from the mysticism and colonization sci-fi we saw from the first book, fans of mysteries or police procedurals will be very happy with the plot and I think you should even start with this book if you like those kinds of stories. Hands down this is my favorite novel by Emma Newman that I’ve read so far, and I like how it was such a departure from her other work and the way it got under my skin. (Read my full review…)

GeminaGemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Following in the tradition of the first book Illuminae, Gemina is also presented in an epistolary format as a collection of transcripts, journal entries, communication reports and the like. The variety of documents used to tell the story is again what makes this sequel so fantastic. Kaufman and Kristoff use them to great effect, ensuring there’s never a dull moment. Two books later, I still can’t get over how clever and unique this series is. I highly recommend this series to YA and adult sci-fi readers alike. (Read my full review…)

Dark MatterDark Matter by Blake Crouch

If nothing else, this novel gets high marks from me because of how unbelievably addictive it was. This is definitely one of those “the less you know going in, the better” kind of novels. It’s enough to say that I was hooked from the first page, and the story’s premise was both intriguing and a punch in the gut. This story was both thrilling and terrifying. If you’re looking for a fast-paced and exhilarating read, look no further than Dark Matter, a blend of science fiction, mystery, and thrilling suspense. (Read my full review…)

Company TownCompany Town by Madeline Ashby

With Company Town, Madeline Ashby delivers a whole other level of storytelling genius. I enjoyed everything about this novel, from the phenomenal world-building to the irresistible mystery surrounding the plot. The suspense was what kept me reading long into the night. I also found the characters likeable, especially the magnetic personality of the protagonist. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this novel to fans of futuristic sci-fi; a fascinating setting along with an amazing cast made  an unforgettable read. (Read my full review…)

BloodlineStar Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray

I fell in love with Claudia Gray’s Star Wars: Lost Stars last year, and so you can imagine my excitement when I learned that she would be penning a second book in the new canon, this time an adult novel about Princess Leia herself. With Star Wars: Bloodline, Gray has established herself as a new powerhouse author in the world of Star Wars fiction and become one of my favorite tie-in writers. This was another brilliant book in the new canon, and the story gave me so many feels. Recommended for all Star Wars fans. (Read my full review…)

ArkwrightArkwright by Allen Steele

Arkwright is the story of how one man’s dream became a reality, a truly inspirational saga spanning generations amidst familial crises, political roadblocks, technological limitations and many other seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Throughout it all, one family’s conviction endures, its members steadfastly facing down every single kind of challenge in the course of the many centuries it takes to achieve their goal. The ending even left me a bit teary-eyed. What a total gem of a sci-fi novel, an incredibly touching and inspirational story about humankind’s journey to reach for the stars. (Read my full review…)

AdmiralAdmiral by Sean Danker

Admiral could be the most entertaining military science fiction novel I read all year. Delivering an enticing combination of mystery and suspense, Sean Danker’s debut is an intensely action-packed and fast-paced survival adventure that’s sure to appeal to both sci-fi veterans and newcomers to the genre alike. I could easily go on and on with my praise for this novel, but because so much of my enjoyment was from learning its secrets, it’s probably best to leave the rest a mystery for readers to discover. This one hooked me from the start with its nail-biting suspense, hitting a lot of the sci-fi and space disaster themes that make this genre so popular while still teasing plenty of uniqueness and more to come for the rest of this series. (Read my full review…)

Dark DiscipleStar Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden

Based off of an unproduced script for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this epic tale of action-adventure and romance got its second chance in Star Wars: Dark Disciple penned by one of my favorite media tie-in novelists Christie Golden. Honestly, between Golden and Claudia Gray, the two of them may have just ruined me forever with Star Wars novels, because I doubt I’ll ever be able to read one again without measuring it up to their work. Certainly Dark Disciple has become one of my favorite Star Wars books ever. It is up there among what I feel are the most worthwhile novels in the new canon, and one of the best in terms of character development and giving the reader an impactful emotional experience. (Read my full review…)

BiteBite by K.S. Merbeth

The publisher description for Bite is pretty vague, but I actually think this works in favor of the novel. When you pick up a book set in a post-nuclear apocalypse wasteland and speculate on what the story might be about, probably a whole slew of other things will enter your mind before you think, “cannibals”. But it does make a lot of sense, doesn’t it? The character development is excellent in this novel, and I guess it really had to be in order to convince us that these people and their abhorrent dietary preferences are worthy of our time and attention. Merbeth succeeded marvelously, creating a cast of engaging characters that I just couldn’t help but cheer for. This book delivered exactly what I was expecting: a fast, fun, explosive adventure. (Read my full review…)

Arabella of MarsArabella of Mars by David D. Levine

I’ve never read anything by the author before this, but I can see the reason for all his accolades and why his short fiction is so widely praised. David D. Levine is an excellent world-builder, and it is also impossible not to be drawn to his characters. I loved Arabella of Mars and I couldn’t have asked for a more fun and exciting genre-bending tale. With its intriguing mix of steampunk, fantasy, science fiction and alternate history, readers of every persuasion will likely find something for them in this wonderful, action-packed coming-of-age adventure. (Read my full review…)

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43 Comments on “#RRSciFiMonth: Mogsy’s Top 10 Sci-Fi Reads of 2016

  1. I’ve only read two science fiction stories this year. O_O But they were both good ones: Andy Weir’s The Martian, and Emily Skrutskie’s The Abyss Surrounds Us. I think you’ve read the former, but not the latter…? If you haven’t, I think you’d enjoy TASU. Especially because SEA MONSTERS.

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  2. I hope to start Illuminae sometime soon. I went ahead and put it in my Christmas list as I checked it out from the library once and never got to it. I love reading on my Kindle, but know this is one book I really need the physical format for. I STILL need to read Dark Matter – so sad!

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  3. This is a fantastic list! There are several books on here that I need to read, like Bite and Arkwright, and I heartily agree with your choices of Dark Matter and After Atlas!

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  4. I actually haven’t read any of these! I did win After Atlas this SFM, so I’ll read that soon. But otherwise, looks like I’ve got some catching up to do 😉

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  5. Great post i loved Company Town, ahhh. The of course I now need to read Illuminae. I’ve had to put Morning Star down for a couple of days as I had my SPFBO book (which I’ve now finished) and also my two readalong books which I just realised I needed to start. Pity I couldn’t have finished that before the end of the SciFiMonth but even so. I managed three books for this so that’s quite mammoth for me!
    Lynn 😀

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    • Yeah, haha, I’ve got myself down to read an SPFBO book next month. And just when I think I’ve cleared my schedule a bit, I’m remembering the Closed and Common Orbit readalong now too. Not that I mind getting to it, I’ve been so excited to read it 🙂

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  6. Super excited because I will get After Atlas for Christmas!! Loved Planetfall so much<3 Also hoping to get Gemina!
    Ohhh yes Arkwright was great! But I was a little bit disappointed by the end ^^'
    And now I guess I really want to real all these others!! The cover of Company Town is super pretty!

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  7. You’re the second person to put Dark Matter on my radar this week! I’m very intrigued…
    (and how beautiful is the cover for Arkwright? I could stare at that all night).

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  8. Enjoyed the ones I;ve read of these (Arkwright, Dark Matter, Bite), and a few more I really need to read!

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  9. I don’t read as much scifi as I’d like (Too many great fantasy novels out there right now), but I definitely enjoyed ARABELLA OF MARS and DARK DISCIPLE. Both these novels fun reads, as you eloquently explain in your fabulous reviews.

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  10. Yippeeee! A Best Of list! I think this might be my first except maybe Amazon’s. Anyhoo, it is very disappointing that I’ve not read any of these though I am usually behind the times so that’s okay. I can then just let you add the best to my TBR! I think of the above the ones that grab my interest the most are: the two star wars novels, Dark Matter and After Atlas (because you indicate that they both include a number of mystery elements) and of course Arabella of Mars because how can Regency Era England and Space not go together? Thanks Mogsy!

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    • Hooray! I love giving Star Wars fiction more attention. I think there’s still a stigma surrounding media tie-in novels and a general impression that they suck – but nothing can be further than the truth! As Claudia Gray and Christie Golden have proven, there are some really good books out there 🙂

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  11. I own GEMINA and plan on reading it ASAP – I can’t wait to be caught up and compare it to IIluminae 😀 I definitely want to read After Atlas, Dark Matter, Bloodline and Company Town!

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  12. Some great looking reads here! I need to get to gemina and dark Matter both, and I liked Bloodline a lot. Claudia Gray can keep writing Star Wars books as far as I’m concernd. Admiral has me curious as well.

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    • “Claudia Gray can keep writing Star Wars books as far as I’m concernd.” <- a million times this! I'm even curious about her other YA books now. But yeah, if she writes any more SW books down the line, I'll happily read them all.

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  13. Pingback: Mogsy: Best of 2016 and the Year in Review | The BiblioSanctum

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