Top Ten Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish,
and features weekly top-ten lists! This week it’s…

Top Ten Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books

Okay so I’m cheating a little, considering I’m including both Sci-Fi and Fantasy books in this Top Ten. Do I care? Not really! XD

Considering Sci-Fi and Fantasy are my favorite genres, I think it’s understandable that I might go a little overboard. Sci-Fi/Fantasy are also really strange genres to pin on some books. Many people think Sci-Fi mainly takes place in the future; and similarly, that Fantasy takes place in the “past” (or at least some kind of technologically un-advanced time period). But many Sci-Fi/Fantasy books end up not staying within those boundaries — which is when I get really excited.

Anyway, here’s a list of some of my favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Awesome books. If you haven’t checked these out yet, please, I beg you, put your life on hold and do so. You can thank me later. ;)


  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson: Epic Fantasy at its finest. Swords, magic, deliciously rich worldbuilding. (I’ve currently put my life on hold to read the sequel, which is blowing my mind with its feels and awesomeness.) Now, while this is definitely epic fantasy, it’s also a series that I find a little bit Sci-Fi (though not overtly). You have to look really closely, and do some research about the book to find out the details (Google “Cosmere”). But basically, the worldbuilding here includes universe-building and a character/s(?) who can freaking world-hop. Yes, like to different planets in this universe. (This is never explained in the book itself, but it isn’t a spoiler). That’s verging on Sci-Fi for me. And I freaking love everything about it.
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson: Again, epic fantasy. Ocean’s 11 meets Lord of the Rings. But as mentioned above, this is part of the Cosmere, so, universe-building! And though the first trilogy in this series (yes, first trilogy) is more fantasy, it’s going to eventually include an Urban Fantasy trilogy (sort of modern-day), and then a more Sci-Fi, Space-Opera-ish trilogy set in the future. I dare you to try and define the entire series as a whole. Other than “awesome”.
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: Okay, this is my idea of straight-up fantasy.There’s a wonderfully Russian-esque feel to the world (Tsarpunk!), but it’s not alternate history — it’s got the awesome magic-y stuff, freaky creatures, political intrigue, epic scale, and rich worldbuilding which is indicative of Fantasy. Woohoo!


  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld: It’s about genetically-engineered airships vs. steampunk-powered technology, which I consider solidly Sci-Fi… even though it’s also set in the past, during an alternate-history WWI.
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness: This one’s about a group of settlers who’ve traveled to a new planet to make a new civilization. But it’s also got this rustic, Western-ish feel…
  • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi: Sci-Fi! It’s got people living in pods and using “smart-eyes”/virtual reality! No, wait. There are also people with super cool abilities who live in tribes and are technologically un-advanced. Which always gave me a little bit of a Fantasy vibe. But sometimes they use the cool techy stuff, too…? I’m just gonna say this is the best of both worlds.
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer: Cyborgs! Androids! Spaceships! A Lunar colony that wants to take over Earth! Totally Sci-Fi. …Until I really consider that it’s a retelling of Cinderella, and for me, it totally retains that wonderful fairy-tale feel. But really, it’s totally Sci-Fi.

Modern-day Sci-Fi/Fantasy

This is where I have the most problems. Like I said, Fantasy is usually more “past” feeling, and Sci-Fi is more “future” stuff. What about books set now? I know a lot of these get dubbed “paranormal” or “supernatural”, but… Well, these are not those books.

  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab: For some reason, I have trouble categorizing this as Sci-Fi. But I would not categorize it as “Paranormal”, either. It’s set in the very near future, where superpowers can be developed by people who die (or almost die) and come back to life. The power you get depends on the person you are, how you die, and your mindset when you’re dying; and there’s something going on with adrenaline or something, too, if I’m remembering right. So, Sci-Fi, right? But as much as I try to justify that, it still feels weird. Maybe it’s just superheroes/supervillains/superpowers in general, that strike me as not particularly genre-dependent. If anything, I think Vicious is almost a revenge thriller. Whatever it is, I love it and everyone needs to read it immediately.
  • Legion by Brandon Sanderson (novella): One man and his retinue of hallucinations/multiple personalities search for a camera that can take pictures of the past. (Yes, it is as awesome as it sounds.) This one, I can live with the Sci-Fi designation. Time-traveling photography. It’s the multiple personalities that throw me off a little bit, though. Is that magic-y? The main character creates personalities to be “experts” in their fields — they do stuff like freaking learn entire languages for him, or know everything there is to know about weapons, or psychology… That’s not Sci-Fi, but it’s also not natural, and I wouldn’t say it’s “paranormal”… I don’t even know.
  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan: Greek gods in modern day! Or… idk, do Greek gods count as Fantasy, or is that more just mythology? Is mythology Fantasy? My brain. It hurts.


And now that I’ve started to hurt my brain thinking about how to classify all these books…

What genre did YOU choose for your Top Ten this week?

Let me know in the comments! And be sure to leave a link to your Top Ten post. I’d love to stop by!

PS. Be sure to check out my Blogiversary giveaways!

21 thoughts on “Top Ten Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books

  1. When I finish Mistborn, I know it will become an ultimate favorite of mine. (Yes, I will finish it! One day…hopefully soon. :P) I am seriously in love with Legion. I just need this full-length book now! RIGHT NOW. It’s everything I ever love. Why can’t we have it now?

    You always get me so pumped up about books. That’s a talent. <3

  2. I’m a huge Brandon Sanderson Fan. I recently finished Hero of Ages and I was grinning ear to ear while I read the whole thing haha
    I also love The Knife of Never Letting go and Cinder. Vicious is really high up on my to-read list, so now I’m even more excited to read it.

    • The Hero of Ages was a completely mindblowing experience, wasn’t it?! UGH, so good.

      And YES, Vicious is absolutely amazing. I hope you get to read it soon!!

  3. I also chose fantasy this week with a little sy-fy thrown in. Percy Jackson is my favourite book series ever! Everyone seems to be including Cinder this week unfourtantly as much as I love the Lunar Chronicles I forgot it this week! Blasphemy, I know!
    Great list!

  4. I’d say mythology is fantasy if it is modern like those books were. I’d maybe even include traditional mythology as fantasy. Hmmm… now my brain is hurting… ;)

  5. Ha ha, the main reason I didn’t do this TTT was because I was having a hard time deciding what genre each book was and trying to come up with 10 books I really enjoyed that are definitely in one genre (without going as broad as YA), but I think you handled this really well! Some of these books I need to read! I do love Cinder though, of course!

    • I very nearly skipped this week for the EXACT same reason, Amy! But then I was like, screw it, none of these books are EXCLUSIVELY one genre anyway, so I’m just gonna go for it, lol.

  6. Some fantasy & science fiction books are pretty easy to identify, but a LOT definitely blur those lines.
    I have *got* to read some Brandon Sanderson soon. NO MORE EXCUSES. Ah, the Lunar Chronicles and Chaos Walking! Some of my favorites!

    • NO MORE EXCUSES, OMG. Seriously, his books are just… ugh. You know how much of a YA fan I am, but apart from maybe 10% of YA I’ve read, his books (not YA) are the only ones that have EVERYTHING I want from a reading experience. Everything. They are my bookish air. I’m serious.

      Okay sorry I’ll stop now. (But seriously. Seriously.)

  7. Great list this week Nikki! Yay for all of the Brandon Sanderson featured here ;) (btw your comments while reading WoR is giving me life–goodness knows when I’ll be picking up the book and reading it *too many books on the to-read pile atm that needs to decrease, lol*

    My TTT

    • I couldn’t help it, he’s my FAAAAVORITE Sci-Fi/Fantasy author. Of COURSE three of the ten books are his, lol.

      Meanwhile SCREW THE TBR PILE JUST READ WoR!!! Seriously. I’ve basically put my reading/blogging life on hold for it, and I REGRET NOTHING. It’s so freaking amazing. I can’t even.

  8. Love these books! Shadow and Bone, along with Cinder would definitely top my lists of these genres, too. I’m in the middle of Siege and Storm now and completely loving it. I finished Cress the other day I’m in desperate need of Winter, much like everybody else I imagine :)

    I can’t say much about the other books as I haven’t read them, but I do have Vicious sitting on my shelves.

    I went a little historical with my TTT.

  9. I chose paranormal for my genre. There’s some overlap with fantasy/sci-fi, though.

    I’m not familiar with most of the books on your list. I’ve got Under the Never Sky in my TBR pile, and I recently read Cinder (though I didn’t like that one). I used to read more sci-fi than I do now; I was quite into it when I was a kid.

  10. Brandon Sanderson <3 *queue squeels* I LOVE his books! I still need to read Warbreaker and Elantris, but I'll wait for the next Mistborn Trilogy to be done before tackling that one. Words of Radiance was awesome. The Kaladin vs Szeth showdown. Speechless!

    Happy reading!

    • OH man, I’d definitely recommend reading at least Warbreaker before too much time passes… Something in that book makes an appearance at the end of WoR…! :O And yes, I can’t even comprehend how amazing those scenes with Kaladin and Szeth were. ALL of the characters interacting, really, were my favorite parts. It was all so perfect!! XD

  11. Soooooooo let’s see. I’ve only read FOUR of these?! (Cinder, Vicious, Under the Never Sky, Shadow and Bone) I am in the midst of reading both Mistborn and The Way of Kings, though. And I have Leviathan and the Chaos Walking series on my shelf, waiting to be read. I haven’t even investigated Legion too much, but I have no idea why. I think Sanderson just has way too many books for me to keep track of them all! (Have you read Elantris? My husband seemed really interested in that one last night at the event.)

    • KELLEY YOU HAVE TO GET THROUGH WoK AND MISTBORN!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Legion is wonderful(ly short), too, so I’d definitely recommend trying that one too.

      I did read Elantris! It was some time ago, and my details are fuzzy, but I remember really liking it. It was one of the first books Sanderson wrote, so it’s not quite as masterful as Mistborn or WoK/WoR, but it is still very good. Plus there’s a bit of crossover between ALL Sanderson’s adult books (except Legion), so I’d recommend reading it just based on that, lol. ;)

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