As it seems to happen on most years, there were no novels which would really have captured my imagination. The nominees were a varied lot. There are two middle parts from longer series; one book which starts a new series and two standalone works. Personally I believe that other that the first parts of longer series should be some really special to be even nominated for the award, so “A Dance with Dragons” and “Deadline” are handicapped straight away. And neither of them has such uniqueness in them that I would had even nominated them. However, on the other hand, neither of them is really atrocious either – rather pretty readable - so they will be at least above the “no award”. In my opinion there is no question what is the best book of this lot: it is “Embassytown”. I didn’t like it as much I liked “The City and the City”, but there aren’t many books I liked more during recent years. There are some problems with it and it is somewhat too complicated, but there are a lot of extremely nice ideas in it. “Among Others” was also fairly nice, but there were some things I didn’t like it – but it was probably the second best of this lot. The last places are hard to decide: the worst volume (so far) of an (so far) excellent fantasy series, the second part of a fairly stupid but very readable zombie-trilogy or a first part of somewhat uneven zombie-horror-detective-space-opera.
I believe my voting order will be:
2. Among Others
3. A Dance with Dragons
4. Leviathan Wakes