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Thursday, February 11, 2016

GUEST POST: 2015's Ten Best Fantasy Novels (According to Me) by Charlotte McConaghy

Visit Charlotte McConaghy Website Here 
Find Limerence on Amazon Here

Fantasy Book Critic is excited to welcome Charlotte McConaghy to our blog. Charlotte is promoting her newly released novel Limerence: Episode 1. Limerence is a dystopian NA (New adult) novel that has the perfect mix of action and romance.

About Limerence

No injection can cure love. Only life can do that.

Deep in the darkest tunnels hide the last of the resistance fighters. Hunted by the savage Furies and the ruthless Bloods, they live in constant peril. The only means of survival is to seek strength in family and find courage in love. So what happens when love is cured, scoured away, leaving death in its place?

In the final battle for freedom, there are no lines that won't be crossed. And for Josi this means becoming the creature she fears most of all: the girl with a blood moon heart.

The gripping conclusion to the dystopian trilogy The Cure, Limerence is a love story for the monsters within.

Perfect for fans of Pierce Brown, Laini Taylor and Maggie Stiefvater.

Today, Charlotte has stopped by to talk about her favorite books from 2015. Please welcome her to Fantasy Book Critic! 


2015’s Ten Best Fantasy Novels
(only according to me, of course)

As we begin a new year I’ve been – unsurprisingly – reflecting on the last. While 2015 was a big output year for me as a writer, I realised that I couldn’t have written so much if I hadn’t been hugely inspired by the books I was lucky enough to be reading. So to celebrate the release of my own novel, Limerence, I’ve decided to share my ten favourite fantasy novels from 2015 in the hopes that they’ll inspire you, too!

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  1. Golden Son, by Pierce Brown
This is such a great series. Red Rising remains one of my favourite novels, so I was relieved when its sequel captivated me just as much. Though the set up isn’t quite as interesting as the first book’s – the war games challenge in Red Rising was exciting beyond belief – and though it took me a little longer to get into the story of this book, by the time I’d finished Golden Son I was deeply embroiled in the twisting plot and the struggles of the main character, Darrow. Pierce Brown has created a highly imaginative, action-packed world, but not only that, he’s created a wonderfully conflicted, loveable protagonist whose voice is undeniably charismatic. When I wasn’t gasping aloud I was swallowing the lump in my throat.

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  1. Magonia, by Maria Dahvana Headley
I was blown away by this book. I feel like I’ve been waiting for a story about a girl who was born in the sky, and whose life on earth was so unnatural it caused her to drown on the air. The rich poeticism of Headley’s prose is truly gorgeous, and such a treat to read, while the mix of real world and fantasy elements is elegantly handled and didn’t feel in any way jarring. Romantic, imaginative and poignant, my only complaint is that Magonia was over too quickly.  

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  1. Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
What a triumph of a novel! I can honestly say I was not interested in reading a book made up entirely of gathered files. I’ve tried others like this and they usually fall way flat. But Illuminae is the exception. I was astonished at how true and complex the characters felt from page one – they leapt off the page, and that’s no easy feat when you’re not telling the story from either of their perspectives. Kaufman and Kristoff have created a funny, emotional and savagely smart read – it’s a real page turner.

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  1. Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo
A fantastic read. Clever, suspenseful plotting, an intriguing world and the best part of all? Wonderful, beautifully drawn characters – several of them! The story of a team of criminals on a suicidal mission into enemy territory works mostly because of the dynamic between the characters, their individual complexities and the skillful way they interact with each other. Also, I must admit I was surprised at how well the prose was written. Can’t wait for the sequel!

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  1. The Accident Season, by Moira Fowley-Doyle
It’s so refreshing to find a mainstream novel not written by an American. Irish Fowley-Doyle has created a sweet, honest, magical world with The Accident Season, one that swept me away into my imagination but also kept me grounded in the real. Her main character is so engaging you can’t help but love her, and her forbidden romance in no way felt clich├ęd or tired, but true and gentle. Fowley-Doyle has dealt with a difficult subject matter by seamlessly – and sensitively – immersing it in a world of strange beauty. Well worth a read.

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  1. A Darker Shade Of Magic, by V.E. Schwab
This is another one that surprised me. I hadn’t read any of Schwab’s work before, and was pleased to find her writing engaging, fast-paced and a lot of fun. I read A Darker Shade Of Magic while living in London, so it was extra special for me, as the book takes place in three fantastic versions of London, each vastly different to the other. With two strong lead characters, you tumble through the hasty, imaginative events, through the skillful character arcs and their moving sacrifices, and are left wanting more.

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  1. The Darkest Part Of The Forest, by Holly Black
I’m a huge fan of Holly Black’s work, having come to it via the Curse Workers Trilogy, so I was extremely excited to discover her latest. It didn’t disappoint! Black has a wonderful knowledge of fairy lore and mythology, and this novel is rich with spine-tingling, swoon-worthy detail. The strangeness of the fey world makes up the heart of it, while the gorgeously odd characters navigate their way whimsically through it. You sort of get the sense that they shouldn’t tread too heavily, lest they wake the dark and dangerous creatures waiting in the forest, while at the same time knowing these characters are well and truly brave enough to deal with whatever they find.

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  1. Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
I think my favourite thing about this book is the fact that it’s about one hell of a female character, and she doesn’t rely on her romantic lead to guide or motivate the action – she spends the book making her own choices, following her instincts, plunging into danger alone and generally being pretty damn kickass. That said, I did totally adore her love interest – he was great too. Full of magic and adventure, Uprooted was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

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  1. Menagerie, by Rachel Vincent
I kept putting this book off, and I have no idea why – I really wish I didn’t because as soon as I started it I couldn’t put it down. What a wonderfully, weirdly imaginative world. I love monsters, and Menagerie is full of them. Though frightening or grotesque, Vincent has imbued her mythical creatures with true beauty and an undeniable kindness. My heart broke for each of them again and again, and I was so on board with the protagonist’s fury. At it’s heart, Menagerie is a poignant story about cruelty, compassion and the terrible treatment of those who are different.
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  1. The Infinite Sea, Rick Yancey
Although this book technically came out in late 2014, I didn’t get to it until last year, so I’m including – just because. The Infinite Sea’s prequel – The Fifth Wave – was such a fun read that I couldn’t wait for the second book. Not only is this dystopian world full of danger and excitement – and a whole lot of really cool action sequences – it’s also a heartfelt and insightful look at what it means to be human. I connected so deeply to the characters that the stakes rose even higher, and my nerves could hardly take the danger they were constantly shoved into. Get in quickly and give it a read before the film adaptation comes out this month.



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