Norse Mythology

by Neil Gaiman

A retelling of the Norse legends. I’m always up for talented storytellers taking a turn at mythology (see also Stephen Fry’s Mythos for Greek mythology). Get up to speed before you read The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul or American Gods.

Elder Race

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke

That’s the premise for this book in a nutshell. A brave princess from a medieval town travels to an ancient wizard’s tower for help stopping a demon that threatens her land. But it’s vastly advanced technology, not magic or monsters. Good read.

Jack Four

by Neal Asher

I love Neal Asher’s Polity Universe and I’ll read anything set in it. This one started with an interesting premise: Jack Four is an AI sub-mind cut off from its “parent” so he’s faced with true independence. It kept me turning the pages, but possibly for the first time I felt pretty meh about a Neal Asher novel. Recommended for Polity completionists who want to know more about the Prador king and the Spatterjay virus. Not recommended for anyone new to the Polity Universe. (Start with something like The Technician.)

The Warded Man

by Peter V. Brett

Demons rise from the Core every night to hunt humans. Humans are few and scattered, and survive only by warding their homes and villages. One boy figures out wards work if you draw them on your skin, and learns to fight back. It’s very magic-system-y, but it works—especially in this first book.

(I started this series in 2010 but I saw that all the books were out and I decided to finish it.)

Season of Storms

by Andrzej Sapkowski

I’m a completionist, and this is a Witcher prequel of sorts, from when Geralt was just a Witcher, not the Witcher. Honestly I liked it better than anything after book 3 of the core series. It was just a good fantasy adventure.