Top Ten Tuesday: Required Reading For SFF Lovers

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Hello fellow book lovers!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jamie @ The Broke and the Bookish.

Time for another Top Ten Tuesday and this week’s theme is “Back To School” which can be anything from books you read in school or books you think should be required reading etc. So I decided to go with books I feel are required reading for any Sci-fi and Fantasy lovers out there!

I do have full reviews for each of these titles (which I am not going to link this time around) if you’d like to check them out!

These are also in no particular order and there are equal amounts of sci-fi and fantasy books here!

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10.) A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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This book is simply amazing and definitely something you should check out if you’re a fantasy lover! Schwab weaves together some incredible world building and an action-packed plot focusing on a main character who has the magical ability to travel between the 4 parallel versions of London.

9.) The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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This is technically sci-fi but while reading you don’t get very many vibes of this except for the alien type creatures and some plot information you receive later on. It’s sci-fi though trust me! This is about a boy living in a town of men who can all hear everyone’s thoughts and when he learns a secret about said town he must flee for his life.

Very heartbreaking story but so, so good.

8.) Vicious by V. E. Schwab

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Yes, another Schwab book! Basically if you’re a lover of SFF then just check her out period! This book is probably my favorite of hers and it involves morally ambiguous characters and super powers, what more could you ask for? It’s definitely a page turner!

7.) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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This is one of those books that may not be for everyone but with the super unique formatting and the literal non-stop action I can’t help but recommend it for all sci-fi lovers. It has everything from a self-aware AI to creepy space viruses! There really is never a dull moment.

6.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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 I honestly recommend this book ALL the damn time but here I am again with it! This book has such creative world building and the characters were amazing too, tons of plot twists, and plenty of action as well. All around amazing fantasy book with all of the fantasy elements I personally look for. Who doesn’t love talking animal companions?

5.) Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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Another fantasy book I recommend all the time which is also very underrated, it has some very unique world building along with four different retellings weaved into the plot as well (Hua Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Jane Austen’s Emma). It’s got some very heart warming and heart breaking moments for sure, overall amazing story though!

4.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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This is sci-fi but the political intrigue and plots are very reminiscent of fantasy as well, the pacing is insanely fast and there’s non stop plot twists and action! You’ll also love the complete badass main character, Nemesis, who pretty much just kicks ass the entire book. She’s one tough cookie!

3.) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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If I were going to sum up why this should be required reading it’d just be me screaming because of how awesome this book is.

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There are so many wonderful characters and it’s like a much more brutal and violent version of the Hunger Games except in space….well Mars but you get what I mean.

2.) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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The world building is very Ancient Roman inspired, there’s loads of action,  fantastic characters, and plenty of shock worthy plot twists. This has all of the wonderful fantasy elements most of us look for and is extremely entertaining!

1.) Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

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Very short, sweet, and to the point this book is magical and actually has some great world building for how short the story is. It’s about a home for “chosen one” children who have been kicked out of their magical worlds and must learn how to cope back in reality.

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Have you read any of these books as well? What did you think?

Do you think these should be required reading for SFF fans?

What are some books you’d consider required reading for SFF lovers?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy


Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite YA Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Top Ten Tuesday(1)

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and created by Lainey @ Ginger Reads Lainey. You can check out the group’s Goodreads page for this month’s topics!

This week’s topic is favorite fantasy and science fiction books in collaboration with BooktubeSFF Awards! I decided to do both genres but in only Young Adult. I have read and reviewed all of these books so I’ll attach my review links to the titles if you want to read more of my thoughts on each of these!

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5.) Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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I’ve said this countless times but it’s so true: this book is a hidden gem! Not only did I find the world building very good but also the fact that it had it’s own plot going on along with four sort of “mini stories” and each is a fairy tale retelling (Mulan, Emma, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella). I loved all of the characters as well and actually grew very attached, I didn’t even mind the romance either!

4.) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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The romance in this one did have some problems but I still really enjoyed it, the characters, and the world building was AMAZING! Also Laini Taylor has THE most gorgeous writing I’ve ever come across, seriously I’d read the woman’s grocery list. Overall the story is just so engaging and I really recommend reading it.

3.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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Let’s see here: actual badass main character, lots of action and plot twists, plenty of “court intrigue” with plotting and revenge, and a romance I could actually ship. Not to mention it’s all in space! If you’re looking for a fast paced space adventure than this is definitely a book I recommend reading, it’s one of my new favorite sci-fi books of all time!

2.) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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I think you’ve all heard about “Illuminae” but in case you haven’t…..its yet another super fast-paced, action-packed, space opera! Complete with crazy AIs, mutating space viruses, and hella plot twists. Plus there’s that unique formatting that is to die for! If you’re looking for an awesome YA sci-fi book look no further.

1.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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While I do acknowledge that this book is very problematic (as seems to be the case with a lot of Kristoff’s books) I still consider it to be one of my all time favorite fantasy books. It’s got fantastic world building (some of the best I’ve seen) and mythology and great characters that I grew very attached too! Plus there’s a bit of steampunk in it as well, they have chainsaw katanas!

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What are some of your favorite YA fantasy or sci-fi books?

Have you read any of these on my list? What did you think?

Let me know in the comments and feel free to link up your T5W as well!

The Sassy

Book Review: The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S.J. Kincaid



Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The girl who has grown up by her side and who is as much as sister as a master. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…


I just KNEW I was going to adore this book although at first I was skeptical, “The Diabolic” managed to 100% win me over though with it’s utter perfection (or really it just contained everything I look for in a book and did it awesomely).

I really don’t have to much to complain about and thus will spend this review trying to convince YOU to read this book!


Also just one little side note here! This book WAS supposed to just be a standalone and apparently it is now a trilogy which is a little upsetting to me since I thought it was all wrapped up 100% and I’m not sure I’ll like it having more books now since the ending was completely satisfying. I’d also love to hear YOUR thoughts on this too so leave some comments down below!

Now before I start gushing about how amazing this book is I will start with saying this book takes a little patience at the beginning! When I first started reading I was thinking to myself “Wait, I thought I was going to love this book? Why does everyone else love this book? Am I even reading the same book?”. Turns out I just needed to push my way through the beginning of the book to get to all of the awesomeness! So the beginning is a little slow to start and actually a teeny bit boring honestly but I understand that it was needed to set the stage for all of the cool stuff that happens later.

As I said the beginning is a little slow paced but once it gets going it really gets going! The rest of the story is very fast paced and action packed without any dull moments or lulls. And the  plot twists are BRUTAL by which I mean they’re pretty jaw-dropping, there’s conspiracies, politics, mind games, betrayals, and revenge! How could you ever get bored?

One thing I really thought was interesting was the setting and world building for this story. The galaxy (universe? space in general?) is run by an Imperial Court/Senate type of thing with the ruling figurehead being an Emperor. So this had a very Roman feel to it mixed in with the futuristic/space-y atmosphere. How is that NOT awesome?

I also thought that the world building was just minimal enough to keep you interested and not confused especially since this book was SUPPOSEDLY a standalone when I read it. It was just enough and it was perfect, however, now that this is a trilogy I’m sure they can (and should) expand way more on the world building.


Let’s just say the characters are pretty amazing in this story especially the main character and her love interest I thought the development and complexity was spot on.

Nemesis is our main character and she is a badass, vicious, and ruthless…..I loved her. Her sole purpose in life is to protect Sidonia (who is her charge basically) and she will do this at all costs even if it means sacrificing herself. Her personality is very robotic and animalistic she doesn’t exactly have feelings or experiences like humans, however, she does care for Sidonia and Sidonia cares greatly for her as well and insists Nemesis is human too. Thus we see a lot of conflicting emotions inside Nemesis as she develops throughout the story as she tries to deal with her nature and her growing human feelings. SO MUCH COMPLEXITY, IT IS AMAZING!

Then there’s Tyrus. Holy crap I absolutely loved his character so much, I thought only Nemesis was complex and developed but Tyrus is right up there as well. He’s so clever and when I say clever I mean so unbelievably smart and devious with all of the plot-hatching and mind games. He’s just awesome, okay?

The secondary characters were also pretty great, they had JUST enough development to keep them interesting although overall they paled in comparison to Nemesis and Tyrus. Everyone had their own agendas and additions to the story. Plus the villains are so VICIOUS and cold-hearted that you just loved to hate their guts.


Let me describe this with a gif:

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I rarely love YA romances and especially not this much! I adored the romance in this book to little bits and pieces, it had a kind of “forbidden love” feel to it and there were definitely NO tropes or cliches with it either this was a complete slow burn romance. I think that Nemesis and Tyrus fit so well together because they’re both ruthless but also with a strong underlying goodness to them.

Also without naming whos or whats there is a bit of a LGTB romance in here toooooooo!

in conclusion

I very much loved “The Diabolic” it was all kinds of vicious and trope-free and just really unique! There weren’t really a whole lot of things I DIDN’T like about it thus giving it the 5 star rating.

What I Liked:

  • Ruthless, vicious characters
  • A badass main character
  • The romance was so freaking cute and I ship it so hard!
  • The setting and world building were interesting
  • The plot is fast-paced and there’s constant action
  • Space politics and mind games!

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The beginning was hard to get into (the pacing was slow to start)
  • The fact that this went from a standalone to a trilogy even though the ending was perfect for a standalone!


Most definitely I recommend giving “The Diabolic” a read! Especially if you’re into YA sci-fi, vicious/badass characters, and you like a little politics in your plots! Also if you like action because there are things constantly happening!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy