Happy Saturday book friends! And Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates! I hope Santa left lots of bookish gifts under the tree for you. This year, I’ve been participating in the SFF Badge Collection: a year-long challenge in which you read a book, and collect badges along the way!
I am notoriously bad at completing challenges. I’m too much of a mood reader to participate in week, or even month-long reading challenges. So the fact that this one spanned a whole year was perfect. I could just mood read my way through it! Each badge is connected to a prompt, and when you read a book that fit that prompt, you collect the badge and add it to your wallet. Some badges were easy collecting, and others forced me to broaden my horizons a bit, so that was fun. It was hosted by Spells and Spaceships so don’t forget to check out their blog!
Below I’ll tell you which book I read for each badge and tell you a little about them! Though I have so much to say, I decided to split this post in two. Part one will cover badges 1 through 11, and part two will cover badges 12 through 21. So keep your eye out for that!
P.S: If you’re reading this on your phone, this post will look a lot better in landscape mode!
The Artificial Intelligence Badge
All Systems Red
By Martha Wells
The Artificial Intelligence Badge speaks for itself: read a book featuring AI. I’d had the Murderbot Diaries on my TBR for a while, and now was obviously a good time to finally start the series. I haven’t continued with the other books yet, but I greatly enjoyed All Systems Red. These books are all pretty short, so they can be easily read in an afternoon. Maybe I should squeeze in a couple more of the Murderbot books before the end of the year.
The First Contact Badge
Touched by an Alien
By Gini Koch
I mentioned before that I had been rereading this series, but I only found out after three books or so that this series also fit the First Contact badge really well. Granted, some humans were already aware of the existence of extraterrestrial life, but the MC wasn’t. So I think it counts. Especially because like 99% of the human population isn’t aware either. I’ve now reread the first five books in the series, but there are many more. I never got past book 11, and the plot got really thick, so it’s honestly a good thing for me to reread these books.
The Space Opera Badge
By Rebecca Coffindaffer
You know, for someone who claims to love space opera I read very little space opera. To me, space opera isn’t just a book set in space. It should also border on absurd. I felt like Crownchasers really fit the requirements for me. I loved everything about this book: the plot, the characters, the witty banter. Crownchasers is essentially a big space race. I’ve now also read Thronebreakers, which was a hell of a lot darker than Crownchasers, but still amazing. Highly recommend this duology.
The Epic Fantasy Badge
The Shadow of What Was Lost
By James Islington
I’ve read multiple epic fantasies this year, but this one is probably the most epic of all. In fact, I think it mayhaps went a little too hard. This book was enjoyable in the end, and I am definitely continuing the series, but it was also a lot. Lots of world building, lots of lore, lots of tropes. This first book was pretty run of the mill, but this also seems like the type of series that gets better with each book. I have book 2 on my shelves, so next year I will give it a go!
The Non-Human Badge
Empire of the Vampire
By Jay Kristoff
Don’t you think it’s weird that I at first thought I would have difficulties obtaining this badge? Like, almost half of the books I read feature non-human protagonists. Sometimes I wonder how I completed university… Anyway, what better fit for this prompt than Empire of the Vampire? It’s probably the best vampire book I’ve ever read. I love how brutal and bloody the whole story was, even though it hurt my feelings quite a bit. I seriously can’t wait for the sequel.
The African Inspiration Badge
Son of the Storm
By Suyi Davies Okungbowa
I was able to read Son of the Storm early thanks to NetGalley, and immediately claimed this badge. This was definitely a fun read, but it did start off a little slow. Danso is a great character who doesn’t necessarily fit the mold of your typical epic-fantasy protagonist. He reminded me a little of Lazlo, from Strange the Dreamer. Both characters are incredibly curious, which gets them into trouble more often than not. Hopefully the next book will be a little more plot focused, though.
The Monster Badge
By Erin A. Craig
This badge was also fun the complete. Many things can be a monster, after all. In the end I chose to collect my badge by reading Small Favors. This creepy book was perfect to read in September/October. Craig is really good at completely drawing the reader into the world, and even though it’s been months, I can still see the scenes in my head like I was there. I loved the subtle build up to the finale, which to me was totally unexpected. A great book for people who love creepy vibes, but don’t want to sleep with the lights on.
The Debut Badge
Legacy of Ash
By Matthew Ward
I’ve actually read quite some debuts this year, but this one is probably my favorite. It doesn’t even read like a debut. To be fair, Ward isn’t a strange to writing, but this is his first full novel. I had put it on my TBR when The Story Graph recommend it to me, and when I saw it in the bookstore I just took it home. I normally have some trouble with adult epic fantasies because they can be quite dense, but I had no problems here. The book is quite hefty, and yet I read it within a week.
The SPFBO Badge
Shadow of a Dead God
By Patrick Samphire
The SPFBO Badge is probably the only one in this challenge that’s a little more limited. After all, you can only read a book that made it to the SPFBO finale, past or present. I originally had a different book scheduled for this badge, but I couldn’t really get into the story. Then I realized that Shadow of a Dead God also made it to the finale in the past. This book had been sitting on my e-reader after The Story Graph recommended it to me. A nice coincidence there. Anyway, really enjoyed this book and I will probably post a review of it sometime next week.
The Big Battle Badge
Legacy of Steel
By Matthew Ward
Yes, this is indeed the sequel to Legacy of Ash. You know I like a series a lot, when I read the sequel to the first book within reasonable time. The Goodreads ratings for this one are better than for Legacy of Ash, but in all honesty, I liked Legacy of Ash better. It has a lot more political scheming, which is more my thing. Legacy of Steel had a lot more real battlefield fighting, which is why it does fit this badge prompt really well. Legacy of Light will probably feature even bigger, and more significant battles. I wish the paperback would come out sooner…
The New Release Badge
A Court of Silver Flames
By Sarah J. Maas
This badge was very easy to get; just read a book released in 2021! If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I didn’t really read that many of my most anticipated 2021 releases, but one if enough for this badge, so. Obviously I could pick any of those to fit the prompt, but I went for A Court of Silver Flames in this case because it’s my fav. Or at least, it’s a fav that I haven’t already used for a different prompt lol. I am very excited for the next book, but first I get to enjoy House of Sky and Breath when it comes out in two (two!!) months.