Here’s the list of the best fiction I read in 2011, with just hours to go until the year officially ends. It should be noted that these are not books published in 2011, but the best of the books I happened to read in 2011. Just wanted to clear that up.
1. The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
2. Catching Fire
Okay, so I kind of cheated and included all of the books from a single series into the first three entries. But each book is good enough to stand on their own. I haven’t gotten so invested in a series as with this “dystopian-but-not-really” story. Masterfully told and with real literary depth.
4. Divergent (Veronica Roth)
Another great dystopian novel that combines solid prose, compelling narratives and insightful symbolic depth. I started reading it because I was reviewing it, but got completely caught up in the story.
5. The Dragon’s Tooth (N. D. Wilson)
Easily one of the best books of the year, with stellar prose, unbounded creativity and a story that refuses to relinquish you. One of my fiction highlights.
6. The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman)
A fantastic, haunting story of a boy raised by ghosts after his parents’ brutal murder, and hunted by the assassin Jack. The book is equal parts fairy tale, ghost story, and bildungsroman (coming of age tale), at times funny, charming, haunting, touching, sad and happy.
7. Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars (Nick James)
This debut sci-fi novel was eye-catching, with solid prose and a creative, relentless plot that refused to quit. James shows a lot of promise and I am anticipating the release of the second book in 2012.
8. Mistborn Trilogy (Brendan Sanderson)
This epic fantasy trilogy was a fantastic work of creativity on the scale of Dune. Sanderson created three M. Night Shayamalan narratives that all participate in one another. While I disagreed with the view of religion presented in the books, that didn’t stop me enjoying their narratives.
9. Troll Fell (Kathrine Langrish)
A charmingly good book in the tradition of classic fairy tales of greedy uncles and magical happenings, this time in the world of Norsemen. Looking forward to reading the other two in the set.
10. The Emerald Atlas (John Stephens)
A stunning time-traveling fantasy by (oddly enough) one of the staff writers of the Gilmore Girls. Stephens injects his story with dazzling prose and three orphan children of genuine personality. A great read, and an auspicious beginning to a YA series.