Random (but not really)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Michelle’s Best Books of 2017: Historical Fantasy & YA

Historical

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent  (2013) Marie Brennan (8/10)

If I’d read this book when it came out, it’d certainly have made one of the best covers of the year. As it happens, I’m late to the game, but I do get to tell you how much I enjoyed the book now I finally read it. It’s more straight up fantasy than historical, except that it has a very strong feel of an historical, with dress and mores and discovery.

This is the first book in this series.


 

YA

Ghost Girl in the Corner (2016) Daniel José Older (8.5/10) – Shadowshaper Cypher novella

Shadowhouse Fall  (2017) Daniel José Older (8/10) – Shadowshaper Cypher book 2

One of the things Daniel José Older does extremely well is write female characters–especially teenagers. It’s obvious that not only does he have teenage girls somewhere in his life, but that he LISTENS to them. Not just their chatter, but what is important and the hassles they deal with every day.

The other reason I really like this series is that as a white woman from a rural area, I have no knowledge of what it’s like to be an person of color living in a big city–it’s just as foreign to me as being a Hobbit traveling through Mordor. But unlike Hobbits, teenagers of color exist. Hopefully this gives me a bit of understanding of something I can’t experience.

And the fantasy elements are MARVELOUS.

The first book in this series is Shadowshaper


Firebug (2014) Lish McBride (8/10)

This book is outside my normal window for the best books of the year, but I love Lish McBride’s writing and I only put off reading it because her books never go on sale, so I had to wait until someone bought it for me as a gift.

She writes stories where the fantastic is in our world, but most of us can’t see it, so these teenagers have to navigate both being teenagers and members of a world most people don’t know about–in this case the main character is a fire-starter and an orphan who has been raised by the past several years by a family friend, and is trying her hardest to remain outside of the supernatural cabal she had to choice but to join.


The Books of 2017

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