Sci-fi is a genre that I don’t often reach for, although I have enjoyed most of the books that I’ve read. I’m much more likely to pick up a fantasy book, and looking ahead at my TBR on Goodreads, I have quite a few fantasy books and series that I’m interested in trying. Here are five sci-fi and fantasy books that I really enjoyed.
Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and the official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.
1) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
It would be very, very easy to put the entire Harry Potter series on this list. This was the first major fantasy series that I completed, and it has always stood out to me as one of the strongest that I’ve read. If I had to choose just one book as my favourite (as difficult as that is!), I would go for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. As I said, I thoroughly enjoyed every book in the series but somehow, this one always stood out to me a bit more than the others. It may have been because this was the first book that diverged a bit from the “pattern” established in the previous two, or maybe just because I loved Lupin, Sirius Black, and the amazing Shrieking Shack scene.
2) The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
If Harry Potter was the first series that got me into reading fantasy, this was the first fantasy book that I can remember loving. As of right now, I have not completed the whole series, but this is still one of my all-time favourites. I was first exposed to this book when I was in elementary school, when it was read out loud to my class. I immediately fell in love with the story, and couldn’t wait for the next lesson to find out what happened next. I loved the idea of being able to travel through a seemingly ordinary household item, and end up in a magical world. I especially loved Aslan!
3) The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
It took me a ridiculously long time to come up with this when I was making my selection for this list. Although I loved the book as soon as I picked it up, for some strange reason, I didn’t classify it as fantasy. This book is a beautiful love story between Clare and Henry, a man who spontaneously travels through time. I absolutely loved how the author built the relationship between Clare and Henry over their many encounters at various points in Clare’s life. It’s always confused me that people complain that the love story in this book doesn’t seem realistic given that it’s a fantasy book.
4) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In most cases, when I do read sci-fi, I tend to read dystopian books. This book is actually classified on Goodreads as both fantasy and sci-fi, so I’m not entirely sure where it fits in. This was a series I avoided reading for a long time because it was so overhyped, but when I finally started it, I was immediately hooked! I thought Katniss was a very strong, compelling protagonist, and the world-building was very interesting. I especially enjoyed the author’s writing style, and how she brought something as dark and violent as the games to life without being overly graphic or gory. I thought the political system built into the world was well crafted and seemed scarily realistic.
5) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
To be fair, I don’t necessarily classify this book as a favourite in quite the same way as the others on the list. It is not necessarily a book that I would be compelled to re-read over and over, but it is a very strong and haunting story. I decided to include it because it is one of the few sci-fi books that I really felt strongly about. I’ve known the basic story of Frankenstein for a long time, but only read the original story two years ago. I loved the biology and morality, and especially the whole “nature vs. nurture” concept. I found it really interesting how the “monster” tried to interact with humans, and how his interactions eventually shaped his life. It is definitely a classic that is worth reading.