A detained review of the best science fiction books of 2013.
Science fiction is a wonderful portal to futuristic dreamscapes and captivating adventure. But in addition to the genre’s escapist appeal, science fiction serves as an apt vehicle for examining the ideas and issues most pertinent to the human condition. Sci-fi authors use unfamiliar settings and extreme situations to facilitate objective analysis and predictive speculation.
Build your reading list for the new year with the help of this list of the best science fiction books of 2013.
Part 15 of the Morganville Vampires series. Daylighters examines the concept of religious persecution through a supernatural tale. It mirrors historical and modern-day crimes falsely committed in the name of faith or humanistic ideals. In fictional Morganville, a group known as “Daylighters” perform a series of cruel experiments on vampires in an effort to improve society. The novel reflects atrocities like the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials and the Holocaust. Daylighters demonstrates that even as society progresses, there are groups that are willing to harm anyone in order to further their perverse agenda.
#4. The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore
Part four of the Lorien Legacies. An engaging and moving story about a theme that’s quite common in the real world: a group or orphans, with no family apart from one another, trying to survive. Granted, the group of orphans in The Fall of Five are fighting a race of aliens that destroyed their entire planet. But behind the sci-fi, the novel is an empowering story about young people overcoming abusive situations. The Fall of Five leaves you with feelings of hope and upliftment.
#3. The People’s Will by Jasper Kent
Part four of the Danilov Quintet. The People’s Will is a historically-inspired novel based on events that occurred in 19th Century Russia. It follows the movements of the People’s Will, an organization that arose in 1881 in objection to the abuses of the ruling Czar. This incredible novel highlights moments in history and gives them a supernatural twist. Jasper Kent is amazing. He weaves history and fiction together perfectly, highlighting the depths of one’s character and the ramifications of revenge. How far is one willing to go for revenge? To the point of no return? To the point of destroying one’s soul? The People’s Will is a riveting novel about selfishness and self-sacrifice. Whereas historical figures are often represented as bad guys or good guys, this novel shows that maybe many were neither. Maybe they were just humans who wanted too much and feared change. The book leads you to consider who the real monsters are: those who hide in the dark or those that stand in broad daylight.
#2. The School for Good and Evil by Jasper Kent
A children’s book not only for children. This novel is magnificent. It examines the line that separates Good and Evil. Not everything in the world is clear-cut good or evil, and this novel deals with that true concept in a very fun way. The School for Good and Evil address all the fairy tales archetypes and the meaning of evil. Kent challenges the idea that a definitive boundary exists between right and wrong. He asserts that people decide who they are and the moral path they follow.
#1. Control by Lydia Kang
Control came out late in the year, but is by far the best sci-fi novel of the 2013. It takes place in the not-too-distant future and explores what it means to play God. The book can be appreciated for the fact that it deals with genetic manipulation and very real issues like Doctors doing unethical things with a woman’s uterus and embryo. Kang addresses the ethical consequences of scientific advances. As the novel progresses, it touches issues like abuse and the sex trade. Control captures the horrors that runaway or abandoned children face in a world where they are not accepted. It really makes a reader take a look at how harsh and cold society can be to those who are different, to those who feel like they have no place to go. A mature, creative exploration of such relevant themes makes Control our science fiction pick of 2013.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best science fiction books of 2013. Comment to let us know what you think about the above titles, or what other books should be on the list.