Today's Top 5 Wednesday topic is my favorite science-fiction and fantasy books.
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes - I think this was her debut novel. After this one, her books got too violent for me. Zoo City is about a future Johannesburg where criminals are required to be attached to an animal to represent their crime. People with an attached animal are called Zoos and all live in one slummy area of town. Zinzi has a sloth, and is known for her ability to find lost things and people. She gets hired to find a missing pop star. It's a lot of money, and could be her ticket out of the slums.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - Kady broke up with her boyfriend, Ezra, hours before their little planet was attacked. They get onto a fleeing spaceship, but the AI on the spaceship is weird. The whole thing is told in government documents, text messages, etc, so it goes really fast. It's the first in a YA series that is great from start to finish.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - This is the obvious one. I love this book. The descriptions of the circus attractions are just astounding. I love the little old guy that follows the circus around and starts a fandom of people wearing black and red.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kimmerer - I have actually heard people say this didn't love this. I just do not understand! It's so great!! It is a Beauty and the Beast re-telling. The Beast is Prince Rhen who has been curse by a sorceress to turn into a beast at the end of each season until he can get a girl to fall in love with him. His Captain of the Guard, Gray, has to go through to another world, our world, to find a girl to bring back to the kingdom each season to see if the prince can get her to fall in love with him to break the curse. The beast changes form each season, but it is always violent and lethal to anyone in its path. In this last season, Gray brings back Harper. She is not beautiful and she walks with a limp because she has cerebral palsy. Her father disappeared or died owing money to the mob and her mother is dying of cancer. It's just amazing.
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin - This might not actually be fantasy, but I didn't know what else to call it. Alternative history? It's set just after World War II. The Axis powers won the war and divided up the world among them. Every year, there is a motorcycle race across Europe. Last year, a girl won, and Hitler danced with her at the ball at the end of the race. Yael was in a concentration camp and ended up being a test subject for some experiments conducted there. The result of those genetic manipulations is that she can now change her appearance to look like anyone else. She changes into the girl who won the race last year, so she can get close to Hitler and kill him.
I didn't mention Station Eleven again since it was on a list yesterday. But it is also a favorite.
What are your favorite sci-fi and fantasy novels?