Just like last year, I'll be re-visiting my favorite books of the past year in each of the following four categories. Last year, I fielded four categories. This year, due to the nature of what I read, I will not be holding a "Miscellaneous Speculative Category", narrowing the fields to Middle Grade, Sci-fi, and Fantasy.
Another change for this year is that winners of categories will be receiving an unofficially official award--the Book Hound Blogiversary Bone!
Alea Harper of Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings created the awesome award button at the right. Be sure to check out her blog!
To qualify for the "Blogiversary Bone" award, the book must be considered "Christian" (not just clean), be rated 4 stars or higher, and it must be a book that can stand alone or is the first in a series. Books that were given to me for free in exchange for a review may still be considered; status as a "free" book has no bearing on the award. Likewise, my membership in any fan clubs, street teams, or other organizations associated with contestants has no bearing on their ratings or statuses.
Contestants from this year were reviewed from June of 2016 through April of 2017. Each category will have my top three picks listed, as well as any other books that I felt deserved to be mentioned..
But, before we kick off this year's awards, I'd like to take one last look at last year's winners. (Even though there wasn't an official award then. I'm not even sure it qualifies as an official award at this point, so we'll still call them winners).
2016 Middle Grade Fiction Winner:Dreamtreaders, by Wayne Thomas Batson.
A teenager has the remarkable ability to control the world of his dreams, but he also has the responsibility to protect it from encroaching evil.
The unique worldbuilding, lovable characters, and quick action propelled this fantasy/worldtravelling story for middle grade readers out of the doghouse and into first place.
A Star Curiously Singing, by Kerry Nietz.
In the future, the world is maintained by slaves. With chips planted in their heads, they have nearly unlimited control over technology--but their masters also have ultimate control over them.
The main character's wit and dry sense of humor landed this dystopian, futuristic sci-fi novel on the top of the dog pile.
A Cast of Stones, by Patrick W. Carr.
The village drunk discovers he has the God-given ability to tell the future at a time when the kingdom is at stake.
A refreshing view of the faithful as flawed, fresh worldbuilding, and tight writing combined to allow this book to edge out a win in the competitive fantasy category.
2016 Miscellaneous Speculative Winner:
A Time to Die, by Nadine Brandes
In a world where everyone knows when they're going to die, a young woman resolves to make a difference in the little time she has left.
This dystopian novel brought a much-needed sense of hope to a depressing genre, along with a beautiful balance of faith and plot. It definitely won "the best in show" of the miscellaneous category!
I'll see you tomorrow to kick off the 2017 celebration!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?