Are you looking for a good sci-fi/fantasy book to start with but don’t know where to start? If you are, I have two perfect recommendations for you! If you’re new to the fantasy/sci-fi genre, it can be difficult to find a book that is a good starting place for getting into the genres. There are so many different fantasy and sci-fi books out there it can be overwhelming finding books that aren’t too complex or difficult to start out with. When reading about a whole new world in a book, it can be hard to follow along with the new terminology and follow along with the plot. I have read a lot of fantasy/sci-fi, for example The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, and The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.
The first book I want to recommend is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern for a good starting point in the fantasy genre. Erin Morgenstern only has two novels out currently (the other is The Starless Sea which I mentioned earlier) and I loved both. This book is an adult fiction/fantasy book that tells the story of two magicians competing against each other with their magic to outdo one another at the mysterious “night circus”. The book is an adult fantasy fiction book, so the writing is a little denser than a young adult, there’s more details and gives more freedom to the reader to interpret possible symbolism or meanings. There also isn’t any content that’s not suitable for any younger readers who would want to read this book.
The writing of this book is what really stands out to me and from looking at other reviews of the book, lots of other readers as well. The writing is extremely atmospheric and makes you feel as if you are truly there at the night circus in the story. The way the book makes you feel as if you are walking through the circus by describing the food you would smell, the lights of the attractions you would see, and the people you walk by as you would walk is amazing. This book is good for beginners because it is very easy to read and get into, the magic, world, characters, and the plot while all easy to follow are extremely interesting and fun to read.
The story often jumps around in time between the past, present, future until it all comes together in the end. Throughout following the main storyline of the two magicians you also get lots of mini stories of side characters. While normally having side stories about random characters isn’t something I really like, this book does an amazing job of making you invested and curious about all of the characters you meet throughout the story. Each character and plot has more to it than you realize at first, the book constantly surprises you and interweaves the plot together in a way that makes the book hard to put down. You’ll meet a character that at first seems like a random unimportant character, but as the book weaves and connects storylines you see how each character has an important part to play.
While this is a fantasy book there are lots of relatable themes and characters that people can relate too. There are older adult characters as well as young child characters, so there’s something for everybody. If you are looking for a fun, interesting and easy first start into the fantasy genre I would highly recommend Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. If you want to look at a more detailed review I would highly recommend this review:https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3771618356?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 of the book I found which perfectly encapsulates all my thoughts and feelings on the book, the review even specially recommends this book as a good choice for those wanting to give the fantasy genre a try!
The second book I want to recommend is Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. This book is a young-adult sci-fi book by one of the most popular fantasy/sci-fi writers. While this is a young-adult book, I believe any age could read this book and love it. The book follows a young girl named Spensa who wants to follow in her father’s foot footsteps to become a pilot. Humans in this book have been forced underground by a group of aliens and the only defense humans have against them is their pilots. Spensa goes into flight school in hopes to find a way to free the human race one day. This book was one of the first sci-fi books I have read, and I absolutely loved it. This book was so easy to get sucked into and I found it hard to put down.
I was scared there would be a lot of new difficult terminology to follow along with in the sci-fi world of this book, but I didn’t struggle with any of the terminology used in the book. Sandersons writing makes the world you are introduced to in this book easy to follow along with, which can be hard to find in a lot of sci-fi books. The book takes place in the future and there are references throughout the book of the character thinking of our present day as their history, which was really interesting to read. The world feels so real it feels like you are reading a book that depicts our future.
The characters are all very likable and fun, which makes you root for all of them. Seeing the main character Spensa struggle with wanting to achieve her dream of becoming a pilot is really realistic and makes her feel so real. When she shows up she expects to be the best due to all of her research and knowing her father was a famous pilot, but she quickly realizes there are people better than her and watching her journey and character develop through the story makes you feel for her so much you begin to feel the emotions she feels while reading. Reading about the relationship dynamics the characters form is very fun to read. The romance between Spensa and the captain of her flight crew is fun since they dislike each other so much and see each other as rivals, and the friendships between Spensa and her flight crew see super heartwarming and funny moments. If you are interested in knowing a more detailed review I would recommend this review:https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4344781536?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 of Skyward written by someone who read it as their first sci-fi book in two years and they loved it! If you are looking for a good start to sci-fi picking up Skyward will be a great intro into what you can look for in sci-fi books.
These are two books I would highly recommend for anyone new to the fantasy/sci-fi genre who don’t know where to start. If you don’t know which of these genres to pick in the first place, I recommend thinking of what you want in a book. If you’re looking for something more about space and futuristic technology I would go for sci-fi, if you’re looking more for renaissance era and magic, I would go for fantasy. However, both genres have unique worlds you can discover and dive into if you’re just looking for something different then a genre like fiction. I remember how overwhelming it can be not knowing what book to choose when there are so many options.
When I first started getting into sci-fi/fantasy I was scared I would pick a book that would be overwhelming to start with, these genres of books used to intimidate me. When you find a good starting point however, its super easy to just fall in love with sci-fi/fantasy. I would also recommend these to anyone who is looking to get into reading in general as both books are easy but fun and interesting reads to start with. If you want some more recommendations you can check out this beginner fantasy shelf I found on good reads that has 100+ recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/beginner-fantasy You can also check out Daniel Greene’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/DanielGreeneReviews whole channel is dedicated to fantasy/sci-fi books, so he has lots of good recommendations! I hope I was able to help put some recommendations out there for anyone who is new to fantasy-sci-fi as I remember how overwhelmed I was when I first started out.
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