Donna's Adventure / Science Fiction / Fantasy

  1. Seveneves by Neal Stephenson – 2015 When a large object hits the mon and breaks it into pieces, astronomers realize that within two years the fallout will literally trigger events that will destroy all life on earth.  World leaders must meet to determine what to do – fast!  Interesting combination of epic sci-fi, science and philosophy.
  2. The Cartographer of No Man’s Land by P. S. Duffy – 2013 Angus has a disapproving father, a distant wife and a son who needs guidance.  He enlists during WWI in the hopes of finding his wife’s missing brother, but nothing goes the way he hopes.  Even more challenging is dealing with the aftermath of his experiences.  An excellent debut novel.
  3. Amazonia by James Rollins – 2002.  A missing CIA agent emerges from the Amazon jungle and dies, but in very strange circumstances.  This triggers events which leads Nathan Rand to be recruited to join a team to find a mysterious substance and possibly discover why someone he loves disappeared.
  4. The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman – 2016.  Irene’s a professional spy for the Library, a secret organization that collects important works of fiction from all the different realitites.  Her boss gives her an assistant and sends them off on a mysterious mission.  Fun science fantasy romp that’s an excellent debut novel.
  5. The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones – 2006 (1996).  Everything you need to know for navigating the world of fantasy is in this funny dictionary, complete with official management terms.  A humorous tongue-in-cheek guide that Fantasy fans will appreciate – don’t miss the explanations of how things work (or don’t).
  6. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson – 1992. A highly imaginative sci-fi novel about Hiro Protagonist who in this world is a pizza delivery pro for the Mafia.  But in the Metavers he’s a sword-yielding warrior.  A new computer virus prompts him to team up with Y.T. and go after the bad guys.  Sardonic look at capitalism teeming with creativity.
  7. The Last One by Alexandra Olivia – 2016.  12 contestants participate in a realty show that will challenge their survival skills.  But isolation prevents them from knowing that something’s gone terribly wrong in the rest of the world.  This is a tense, sophisticated book that will keep you guessing and might find hard to put down.
  8. In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker – 1997.  The Company recruits orphans from the past to help save plants, animals and works of art that would otherwise become extinct.  Mendoza is one such recruit sent to Elizabethan England to select rare plants from Sir Iden’s garden.  Very well done debut novel with an absorbing story.
  9. Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman - 2015.  The author of this wonderful collection of short stories and poems claims in his introduction that “we each have our little triggers – things that wait for us in the dark corridors of our lives”.  One tale is about Sherlock Holmes solving an age-old mystery, one’s a companion piece to his novel The Ocean at The End of The Lane, there's an episode of Doctor Who, and many other great stories.
  10. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - 2011.  Black and white tents appear suddenly near a town and the circus is open - but only from dusk to dawn.  The shows are fabulous but the public is unaware of a mysterious struggle between two adversaries.  If you only have time for one book - this is it!
  11. Girl at War by Sara Nović – 2015.  Gripping tale of a young girl caught up in the Serb-Croatian war in 1991 and how she survived.  I liked the author’s use of past & present to give us her perspective before, during and after the war.
  12. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – 2013.  A man revisits his childhood home where he had met an unusual family as a boy.  Gaiman’s books are rarely in one genre and some have a fairytale feeling combined with mythology or fantasy.  His work is wonderful!  I also loved American GodsThe Anansi BoysStardust and all his short stories and graphic novels.
  13. The Alexandrite by Rick Lenz – 2015.  An out-of-work actor gets a strange gift and meets someone who convinces him he can time travel.  Should he go for it?  A fun combo of self-discovery and LA noir.
  14. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie – 2013.  On a remote, icy planet a soldier called Breq is trying to complete her quest.  As you figure out who Breq really is, you’ll be pulled into a great science fiction story.  This one won so many awards I almost ran out of fingers counting them.
  15. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – 2012.  An unemployed web designer takes a 3rd shift job at a bookstore and is consumed by curiosity at the strange events and customers.  A fun adventure story.