The best science fiction and fantasy books with a hint of mystery

L. Dean Boswell Author Of T.A.G. …We’re it!
By L. Dean Boswell

Who am I?

I'm a writer with a passion for telling a story. My passions for characters in a novel are anything that circumvents my ADD, and holds my attention. I don’t consider myself to be a very complex person, however, since my retirement from retail management I now not only have more time to enjoy the works of other authors, but pursue my own works as well. As an author of a sci/fi-fantasy, I’ve discovered that I not only enjoy works in my own genre, but favor those that have an air of mystery about them as well. I've thoroughly enjoyed the Avery Nolan Adventure series, Game of Thrones, and the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.


I wrote...

T.A.G. …We’re it!

By L. Dean Boswell,

Book cover of T.A.G. …We’re it!

What is my book about?

Have you ever looked up into the night sky at all the beautiful stars, and wondered if we're all alone, or if there's actually someone, or something intelligent out there? Or maybe…just maybe, someone out there was asking the exact same question about us?

My book starts with a local radio talk show host who's shocked when he's approached by three lifelong friends, Kristopher Travis Donnelly, Elky Two Bears, and Gaileyne Boone, and asked to read on the air, a journal style codex of epic proportions that they discovered near their hometown. The three inadvertently discover an alien presence near their community. Not wanting to be discovered, this presence scrubs their memories of the encounter. As adults, their memories are awakened when triggered by the U.S. Navy during an investigation.

The books I picked & why

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Swift As A Shadow

By M.L. Hamilton,

Book cover of Swift As A Shadow

Why this book?

The Avery Nolan Adventures series was recommended to me by my cousin, who said that she really enjoyed reading them. I believe this author to be extremely talented. I found her stories to be adventurous, mind-provoking fantasies, very much to my liking. Her characters are well defined, her stories well developed, and I find them totally relatable to my kind of genre. Hamilton’s stories reminded me of a cross between Game of Thrones and an old Irish or Scottish fairy tale set in Northern California's modern-day Lake Tahoe area. They are filled not only with adventure, but intrigue, laughter, romance, and heart-filled compassion. I loved the series and am truly looking forward to finding out if she plans to continue Avery Nolan’s adventures. Hamilton has also written a series of mysteries that are worth taking a look at.  

Swift As A Shadow

By M.L. Hamilton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Swift As A Shadow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Avery Nolan has a secret. A secret she guards fiercely.

But everyone has secrets. Her mother who draws pictures of nightmarish creatures. Her grandmother with her padlocked shed. Her student with the pale eyes and brooding father.

Leaving Sacramento after her divorce, Avery retreats to Tahoe with her golden retriever, Basil, looking for change, but as her grandmother always told her, “Be careful what you wish for.” After Basil discovers a hidden clearing with three standing stones, everything that Avery thinks she knows is suddenly upended.

Each move she makes brings her closer to a world imagined only in fairytales…


Mistborn: The Final Empire

By Brandon Sanderson,

Book cover of Mistborn: The Final Empire

Why this book?

The Mistborn series was recommended to me by a friend who knew the genres I enjoyed reading. And I must say that it didn’t disappoint. The characters were complex yet easy to follow, and it wasn’t hard to spot the protagonists Kelsier, the leader of a rebel group known as the Skaa, and his mentee Vin, who he recruited to help him overthrow the Lord Ruler. I began cheering for them both from the very beginning. The entire cast of characters, including those with mystical abilities, track through the entire series and kept me on the edge of my seat.  

Mistborn: The Final Empire

By Brandon Sanderson,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Mistborn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brandon Sanderson - the international phenomenon who finished the Wheel of Time sequence - introduces a fantasy trilogy which overturns the expectations of readers and goes on to tell the epic story of evil overturned in a richly imagined world.

A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. The sun shines fitfully under clouds of ash that float down endlessly from the constant eruption of volcanoes. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk are condemned to lives in servitude, sold as goods, labouring in the ash…


A Game of Thrones

By George R.R. Martin,

Book cover of A Game of Thrones

Why this book?

This author dances about in the realms of fantasy, kissing on the edge of a reality in an age of the ancients. There are battles between the various Houses and Kingdoms, in an effort to be the one remaining King, or Queen. The tale follows family against family and realm against realms with some guided by Magic, some by a raven, and some guided by dragons. The characters as well as the stories are very well developed, and allow the reader to lose themselves in a different world and a different time. I highly recommend this series.

A Game of Thrones

By George R.R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked A Game of Thrones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HBO's hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin's internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series.

'Completely immersive' Guardian

'When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground'

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

From the fertile south, where heat breeds conspiracy, to the vast and savage eastern lands, all the way to the frozen…


The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Book cover of The Lord of the Rings

Why this book?

Whether you are reading this book, or you’ve sneaked a peek at the movie, the author’s attention to detail of each character is amazing. The story of the hobbits Samwise Gamgee, and Frodo on their trek through middle earth as they discover the immortal elves, the dwarves, and of course reconnect with Gandalf the great wizard. All of whom shared their travails of middle earth. And of course, we can’t forget the dragon. This book series tells an epic story that you will completely lose your thoughts in as you read, and let your imagination take you to another place, and another time.

The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

46 authors picked The Lord of the Rings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of…


The Chronicles of Narnia

By C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Book cover of The Chronicles of Narnia

Why this book?

I chose this author because, his sense of good and evil, right and wrong, seem to parallel my own, as my main characters seek their place in a topsy turvy world. Lewis is a master of fantasy as he takes four children to a land where obvious impossibility is quite possible. Through a bizarre happenstance triggered by the character Lucy, during a hide and seek game, she enters a wardrobe closet and stumbles through a portal into a world where imaginations seem to have no limits. After her return the story unpacks, as her three siblings, Peter, Susan, and Edmond join her through the same portal into Narnia, where castles and queens and animal things seem to unfold, upon one another, as Lewis captivates us with a spin on ethics in a world of parallels. Who are the good guys, and who are the bad, and who is really the king? Aslan knows, and eventually so does everyone else. A must-read series in my opinion.

The Chronicles of Narnia

By C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Chronicles of Narnia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don’t miss one of America’s top 100 most-loved novels, selected by PBS’s The Great American Read.

Experience all seven tales of C. S. Lewis's classic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia, in one impressive paperback volume!

Epic battles between good and evil, fantastic creatures, betrayals, heroic deeds, and friendships won and lost all come together in this unforgettable world, which has been enchanting readers of all ages for over sixty years.

This edition presents the seven books—The Magician's Nephew; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in good and evil, magic-supernatural, and fairy tales?

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