Vampire Book Club’s Best Books of 2017


VBC's Best Books of 2017Crafting the year-end favorites list is always an arduous task. This year brought us brilliant books from new authors and long-time favorites. Lots of gritty worldbuilding, sexy vampires, and even understanding into how the world could be torn apart.

We’ve tried several formats over the years. Sometimes a straight top 10 (this was easier when they were all Chelsea’s picks 😉 ) and sometimes a top five from each of our reviewers. This year we split the difference. Below you’ll find the Top 20 Books of 2017 as chosen by the VBC reviewing staff.

Every book on this list is one we’d give a big thumbs-up to, and that you should definitely read.

Top 20 Books of 2017

The Stone Sky by NK Jemisin // VBC

1. The Stone Sky (Broken Earth #3)
by N.K. Jemisin
Get It at Amazon

Chelsea: As each volume in this trilogy was released, I found myself recommending it to more and more people. The first book The Fifth Season is remarkable. The Obelisk Gate build on that. Now we reached the conclusion with The Stone Sky, and given the twists and character arcs of the previous books, wondered how Jemisin would pull it all together and give us answers in a single book. She did, and the entire journey ties together beautifully. If you haven’t already picked up this book (or the earlier ones), make it a priority. Brilliant writing, engaging characters, and completely un-put-downable.

Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh // VBC2. Archangel’s Viper (Guild Hunter #10)
Nalini Singh
Get It at Amazon

Amy: Venom is by far my favorite of the Seven. I’ve been highly anticipating his book since Nalini Singh decided to break away from Elena and Raphael and give the Seven their own stories. Archangel’s Viper doesn’t disappoint and Holly (aka Sorrow) is truly his perfect match. The back-and-forth between these two is to die for.

Chelsea: This is on my top list for the year, too. The enemies-to-lovers trope always snags me, but Holly and Venom’s chemistry was perfection. (Read Chelsea’s VBC review)

3. This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1)
Emily Suvada
Get It at Amazon

Beth: This book blew me away, especially as a debut. It’s a kick-ass ride, with some fascinating science as an integral part of the story. With a strong female lead, excellent characters, and great storytelling, it snuck up into my No. 1 spot for the year!

4. White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2)
Ilona Andrews
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Amy: As long as Ilona Andrews keeps publishing books, I will always put them on my Best Of list. After a near three-year hiatus, Ilona Andrews returned with not one but two books in this series! (Shout-out to Wildfire!) An Andrews read is always guaranteed to be filled with humor, fantastic plots, interesting magic, and some romance. This one also has the added advantage of one Mad Rogan. (Read Amy’s VBC review)

Margaret: White Hot proved to be worth the (much longer than usual) wait. I loved learning more about the Baylors and the rest of the supporting cast. I love the magic and the house politics. And I love the Hidden Legacy world.

5. Spectacle (Menagerie #2)
Rachel Vincent
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Jo: When Delilah & co. end up in the clutches of a private collector, things go from horrendous to horrific pretty dang quick. The clinical and psychological feel to this installment really ramped up horror factor. There are also some super badass character moments, with Vincent’s writing reminding me once again why she is an auto-buy for me. I love the complex dynamic between Delilah and Gallagher; it’s messy, and confusing, and completely dedicated. Can’t wait for more. (Read Amy’s VBC review)

Blade Bound by Chloe Neill // VBC6. Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampires #13)
Chloe Neill
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Amy: The final adventure featuring Merit and Ethan, our favorite Sentinel and her Master vampire. Blade Bound was a fitting send-off for one of our favorite series, plus it left us anxiously anticipating spinoff Wild Hunger—but that’s a title for a different list I suppose 😉 (Read Margaret’s VBC review)

7. The Brightest Embers (Broken Destiny #3)
Jeaniene Frost
Get It at Amazon

Chelsea: I kind of gushed on this one when I reviewed it. The Broken Destiny series has built over each book, and The Brightest Embers is my favorite of the trilogy. The plot snapped and the chemistry sizzled. Plus, it made me think of a super sexy Supernatural, and that is not a bad thing!

8. Winter of the Gods (Olympus Bound #2)
Jordanna Max Brodsky
Get It at Amazon

Jo: Winter of the Gods reads like a New York Da Vinci Code-style scavenger hunt for murderous gods stuffed to the hilt with Greco-Roman mythology. The sheer amount of backstory can be overwhelming at times, but the payoff is a richly layered mystery that made me feel like I actually learned a lot at the same time. I loved how complicated Selena and Theo’s relationship is, with a boat-load of issues springing up between them—as you might expect between an ancient goddess and a mortal! (Read Jo’s VBC review)

9. The Wicked Vampire (The Last True Vampire #6)
Kate Baxter
Get It at Amazon

Chelsea: Kate Baxter knows how to write books that hit all my buttons. The Wicked Vampire has mega hero/heroine chemistry with well-developed arcs. Bonus points for watching these two fall in love. If you liked Archangel’s Viper and need a next read, this is it. (Read Amy’s VBC review)

10. Ride the Storm (Cassie Palmer #8)
Karen Chance
Get It at Amazon

Margaret: This book was batshit! But in a good way. Non-stop action, questions answered, and something we’ve been waiting for years to happen finally happens. (Read Margaret’s VBC review)

A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab // VBC11. A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)
V.E. Schwab
Get It at Amazon

Amy: With this series V.E. Schwab created a magical world that I’d love to visit. It perfectly melds adventure, romance, heartbreak, loss, strength and determination, friendship and family. Conjuring is the cherry on top of this story arc (in case you missed it, there will be more books set in this world!) and you would be remiss if you let this one slip away without reading. (Read Amy’s VBC review)

12. Godsgrave (Nevernight #2)
Jay Kristoff
Get It at Amazon

Beth: With a literal ass-kicking (and killing) female and a story that kicks into gear from the first few paragraphs and does not stop moving, Godsgrave is insanity put to paper. The ending literally had me thinking “WTF?!” and the rest of the book isn’t much different. (Read Beth’s VBC review)

13. Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6)
Sarah J. Maas
Get It at Amazon

Jo: It was a bold move on Maas part to step away from Celena’s storyline with only one book to go (and that damn cliffhanger ending to Empire of Storms), and instead focus of Chaol. For me, it totally paid off—I feel like we got Chaol back, just in time for the final battle. Expanding the world and mythology to an epic level, Maas also took the time to make this a character driven book, tying up loose ends and giving characters the full arc they deserve. After this I feel like I’m fully prepared to see how this all ends. (Read Jo’s VBC review)

14. Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)
Laini Taylor
Get It at Amazon

Beth: I hadn’t read any of Laini Taylor’s books before, but the writing was so amazing that I went back to read them after finishing Strange the Dreamer. This still blew them all out of the water. The story is unique and fascinating, and definitely has me anxiously waiting for book two! (Read Beth’s VBC review)

15. Borrowed Souls (Soul Charmer #1)
Chelsea Mueller
Get It at Amazon

Jo: Okay, so I know this one is written by our fearless Editor-in-Chief here at VBC, but I couldn’t not put this on my list—it’s so bloody good. Borrowed Souls delves into the seedy world of renting souls, where main character Callie must make a deal to save her brother. If you like your urban fantasy dark and morally complex you need to pick this one up. Plus you need Derek in your life—trust me. *makes grabby hands for book 2*

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel // VBC 16. Waking Gods (Themis Files #2)
Sylvain Neuvel
Get It at Amazon

Chelsea: When I listed to the first Themis Files book, Sleeping Giants, on audio I was captivated. The sit-in-the-driveway-to-finish-the-chapter kind of captivated. The science fiction mystery element was so strong, I worried that the second book couldn’t have the same kind of magic with me. Oh, but Waking Gods sucked me in. There was this joy in discovering what was happening, how it was going to be solved, and how the characters would change with each new revelation. If you like stories where humans question how the world works and the possibilities of aliens while trying to save the world and using alien tech to fight robots, I mean, this is for you.

Basically, if you wished there was an intellectual version of Pacific Rim, this is for you.

Also: I only did these on audio, and highly recommend that format. It’s a full-cast recording, and top-notch.

17. Godblind (The Godblind Trilogy #1)
Anna Stephens
Get It at Amazon

Jo: This debut high fantasy kind of came out of nowhere for me, but I absolutely loved it. Following a whole plethora of characters, Godblind is a fast-paced, not-over-complicated, thoroughly entertaining, diving into a classic God vs. Evil story… with all the grey areas in between. Throw in some pretty shocking twists and some seriously badass female characters and it’s easy to see why this one has made my list. Be warned though, this is gore city with epic amounts of violence (including sexual violence). (Read Jo’s VBC review)

18. The Girl in the Tower (Winternight #2)
Katherine Arden
Get It at Amazon

Beth: This is the second in the Winternight series following The Bear and the Nightingale, and the writing remains as beautiful as the first. Another strong female character, a gorgeous story revolving around Russian folktales, and a third book to come!

The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire // VBC Review19. The Brightest Fell (October Daye #11)
Seanan McGuire
Get It at Amazon

Amy: Revisiting many of Toby’s past heroic adventures makes The Brightest Fell read like seeing an old friend again. But the new depth we get on some of the characters (I’m looking at you Simon) is, at times, both fantastic and a little heartbreaking. The Brightest Fell is definitely setting up for more interesting adventures for Toby. (Read Amy’s VBC review)

20. The Waking Land
Callie Bates
Get It at Amazon

Beth: Magic with a Celtic flair, and yet another strong female character made this book another favorite. This was one I initially hesitated over, but the story and characters kept it flowing. There is a sequel coming, and it is already on my TBR list! (Read Beth’s VBC review)

Did we miss your favorite book of 2017? It happens. There are so many awesome books that were released this year. Add your favorites in the comments.

4 Responses to “Vampire Book Club’s Best Books of 2017”

  1. Mel says:

    You missed nearly all of my favorite books of the year. My top five are as follows: Wicked Abyss by Kresley Cole, Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost, Blind Tiger by Rachel Vincent, and both White Hot and Wildfire by Ilona Andrews.

  2. Shannon says:

    Great list! Strange the Dreamer and Wild Hot were my top two with The Brightest Fell a close third.

  3. Tina says:

    I’m surprised Feversong by KMM isn’t in your list. It’s my top one. I agree with Ilona Andrews.

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