Novels worth reading, August 2015 edition

So far 2015 has been a very good year for genre reading. During my recent trip to Japan I read two novels which I highly recommend:

  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
  • Vermilion: The Adventures of Lou Merriwether, Psychopomp by Molly Tanzer

Murakami's novel is obviously amazing, being recognized as a modern classic. But it's also an insightful, beautifully written science fiction story which dazzled me all the way to a very disturbing yet perfect ending. Tanzer's novel is one of the best first fantasy novels I've read this year and a fun, captivating story with a main character I loved. I definitely want to read more adventures of Lou Merriwether, Psychopomp.

Earlier this year I read Ken Liu's The Grace of Kings, which I also really enjoyed and highly recommend. The novel is a dynamic epic fantasy which avoids the cliches and inanities plaguing most epic fantasies, which are usually far from being at all associated with the word "dynamic." Hell, most epic fantasies wish they had even a little of Liu's ability at dynamic writing.

Let me repeat that word. Dynamic. Always wanted to use the word "dynamic" multiple times in a review.

I also recently read Marko Kloos' Frontlines series (Terms of Enlistment, Lines of Departure and Angles of Attack) and found it to be a good addition to the space opera genre. I'll definitely read more of the series when new editions are available. This is also a series which improves with progressing novels, with this year's Angles of Attack being my favorite.

I'm also currently reading or about to read the following novels:

  • The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard
  • Red Girls: The Legend of the Akakuchibas by Kazuki Sakuraba
  • City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor

As a side note, I read Okorafor's Lagoon last year and really enjoyed it. I often dislike first-contact novels but Okorafor transcends that subgenre's usual cliches and melodrama by focusing instead on how human interactions would be challenged and changed by aliens. The novel was released last year in Europe but is only now available in the U.S. Highly recommended.

I'm also looking forward to a number of pending releases, including

  • Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
  • Empire Ascendant: Worldbreaker Saga #2 by Kameron Hurley

I'd love other recommendations of 2015 novels to read, or any good novels from previous years which I've missed. If you have any recs, let me know.

Update: I can't believe I forgot to mention Signal to Noise by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia. I really enjoyed the lyricism of this novel but had forgotten it came out this year, not in 2014. I also should have included The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi on my list of novels I'm currently reading or about to read.