Happy holidays! It has been quite the year for FanFiaddict and we’re enjoying bringing you our favourite reads of 2023.
I’ve read the most books I’ve ever read this year, well over 100 if you count all the books I read with my little one. I’m not counting those here, though.
“Well then, Tom, what are you counting, beardface?” I hear you cry.
Settle down my literary chum. I’m counting my top reads of 2023. Stick around for a list of honourable mentions too. Get these books in your TBR if you missed any of ’em.
World Running Down by Al Hess
This book. This frickin’ book. It’s so wonderful. I love books that give an accessible and touching LGBTQ+ story and World Running Down went out of the way to bring me this. Its characters are bumbling and awkward and I loved them so much. I am an absolute sucker for a post-apocalyptic road trip. This is so, so good.
Seeds of War by João Silva (The Smokesmiths #1)
A ridiculously strong debut from João Silva saw not one, not two, but three protagonists. It was a bold move for a new title but the gamble really paid off. All three characters on their own would have made this a kickass book. The fact we get three narratives that intertwine together is such a bonus.
With a novel magic system that comes with huge consequences to its wielders and it’s hero vs antihero plot, Seeds of War is a triumph.
The Ten Percent Thief by Lavanya Lakshminarayan
A modern day Orwellian Sci Fi dystopia. Also a debut. How is it even possible to unleash such a dark and bleak debut that is so utterly brilliant? Better ask Lavanya Lakshminarayan. Or better yet, read The Ten Percent Thief. A series of vignettes that study a worryingly plausible nightmarish future. Read it.
The Eye of the Bedlam Bride by Matt Dinniman [Dungeon Crawler Carl #6]
To even to attempt to explain Dungeon Crawler Carl is a frivolous task at this point. This series is completely unhinged. I don’t even know why I like it anymore. I’m disgusted. Mongo is appalled. I’m addicted. I love it. This latest instalment underlines Dinniman as the king of LitRPG and this time brings deck-building to the table. As always, Jeff Hays gives a wonderful performance in the audiobook.
Earth Retrograde by R.W.W. Greene [The First Planets #2]
Wait, Tom, your book of the year is a sequel?
Yes, you’re dang right it is. Greene’s first instalment, Mercury Rising, just missed top spot in 2022 and now he’s gone one better in 2023. You must read The First Planets duology. Every single character is given centre stage and they all leap from the page. The precision and the grace of this alt history Sci Fi novel is rivalled only by its Pearl Jam and Prince soundtrack. Crack open a hazy IPA, stick on Space Girl Video Game Lofi music and book off a few days from work. You deserve this.
Top five just feels like it ain’t enough. Here’s some more unmissable titles from 2023.
New Yesterday by Frasier Armitage
Super timesplitter Sci Fi romp told at breakneck speed.
The Return of the Knights by Gregory Kontaxis [A Dance of Light #1]
Strong indie debut with a real bastard of a bad guy and well-written fight scenes.
Mystic Reborn by Jeff Speight [Archives of Evelium #2]
Speight slams back into Evelium to deliver a celestial upgrade to Paladin Unbound.
Chinese Myths by Xueting Ni
An enjoyable tour of all things mythological. Legends, old wives’ tales, dragons and other Chinese stories make this a perfect coffee table book.
Callus & Crow by DB Rook [The Wayward World Chronicles #1]
Grimdark and weird west collide. Hatchet-happy clusterbomb of a fantasy novel.
The Hero Interviews by Andi Ewington
A welcome throwback to the days of Pratchett. Footnote fantasy that will leave you smiling.