If Naomi Novik‘s novels are the Napoleonic Wars with dragons, Jo Walton’s Among Others is English girls’ school with fairies. This is a strange, unclassifiable novel. Is it adult or young-adult? Is it literary fiction or fantasy, or magical realism, or …? Whatever it is, it’s wonderful. The voice of the 15-year-old protagonist, who is writing in her diary, is compelling, lovable, fascinating even when she’s just listing the books she’s read. That bit reminded me of how I read even Lizbeth Salander’s trip to Ikea and the unpacking of her purchases in her new apartment with absolute riveted attention. Mori is a protege, who doesn’t know it, a matter-of-fact magician, whose mother is a witch. I’d put her up against any female heroine in fantasy/sci fi literature for bravery, appeal and precocious wisdom. If you love books, read this one.
17. The Stalker Chronicles, Carley Moore
16. Among Others, Jo Walton!
15. Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor
14. The Mysterious Benedict Society, Trenton Lee Stewart
13. The Baker’s Daughter, Sarah McCoy
12. Hank Hung the Moon, and Warmed Our Cold, Cold Hearts, Rheta Grimsley Johnson
11. Wonder, RJ Palacio
10. 1Q84,Haruki Murakami
4-9. His Majesty’s Dragon, Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, Tongues of Serpents, Naomi Novik
3. The World that Made New Orleans, Ned Sublette
2. Where Things Come Back, John Corey Whaley
1. Legend, Marie Lu
1-2. Phineas Redux, The Prime Minister, Anthony Trollope