Best of 2015 @ Smorgasbord Fantasia

It’s been a hectic year for me – what with my debut, Faith of the Nine hitting the markets in November – since October my reading has really hit a slump. For the first time ever, since I started setting a goal for myself, I didn’t hit my strides and missed the goal this year.
Wanted to finish at least 70 books this year – I knew it was a stretch ( compared to last year’s 55 – where I actually surpassed it and hit 65!) but I was pretty confident, being ahead of my goals by the mid-year. Sadly for me, the last three months were really pretty off – derailed with all marketing and post-publication activities for my book and as of date, the tally read a total of 60 books.  Missed by 10. Still a round figure of 60 ain’t bad huh?

Well, the good news is that I did read a lot of good ones from which I am going to select my best-reads. No real number, just the ones I REALLY liked in 2015. In no particular order:



Gemini Cell by Myke Cole: Myke Cole continues to blaze his path through this new sub-genre of “Military fantasy – and Gemini Cell is definitely his best effort till date. This time, it’s far more brutal and pacier, bone-crunching action, some rich human drama – star crossed lovers! And lots of mayhem and magic. Trust me, you’re going to love Jim Schweitzer. Can’t wait for Javelin Rain. Zombie Military Fantasy anyone?




Half a War by Joe Abercrombie. I will be frank with you guys. My list is not complete without this giant on it. And this year – he had two books come out back to back completing the YA series, the Shattered Seas – a stunning conclusion in Half a War reuniting us with Father Yarvi and his motley crew. I won’t go to say this is his best yet ( I actually read Red Country this year but it technically came out earlier!) but hey, its Abercrombie back at the top of his game. You don’t want to miss this series.








Beyond Redemption by Michael R Fletcher Few books this year left such an indelible impression on me like Michael Fletcher’s grimmer than grimdark effort that featured mad psychosomatic characters who are so original that they really shone for me. It’s a book that dared to be different. And really will tear through your guards. You’re forewarned.



The Builders by Daniel Polansky He’s the latest ambassador of grim-dark that really topped the game for me with this short novella that featured anthropomorphic animals in a bleak western setting – out for revenge. It’s a rip-roaring fur-ball of a story. One of the best this year, from Tor.com new publishing calendar focused on shorter stories.






Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (Song of the shattered sands, #1) is a strong start to possibly one of the game changers in this genre. Set in a pseudo-arabic setting giving us one of the most remarkable heroines in Fantasy, Bradley Beaulieu continues to throw the genre wide open with this immersive and richly detailed desert world fantasy.





Golden Son ( Red Rising # 2) Probably stratospheric in terms of the expectations, Pierce Brown really knows how to spin a story and keep you hanging on. The revolution on Mars is picking up frenetic pace. We don’t know whether Darrow’s alive. The third book comes out early this year. Easily one of the best books I read in 2015.





Honorable mentions for 2015 includes Alice by Christina Henry – a twisted harrowing tale down the rabbit-hole and The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley brings things in the chronicles of the unhewn throne to an interesting boil.


So that rounds up my best reads the last year – look forward to another glorious year for speculative fiction, adding more to that smorgasbord of fantasia. 

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