My vote for the best book of 2015 went to Jasmine Warga’s My Heart and Other Black Holes, my early favorite for 2016 is The Serpent King. Jeff Zentner’s debut gives us a memorable cast of characters, each broken or vulnerable in one way or another, takes them to some dark psychological place and then brings them back to the light.

As I point out in my Goodreads review (5 stars), The Serpent King isn’t perfect, but the setting and characters are so realistic and relatable that I couldn’t give it less than 5 stars. I’d seen other reviewers who gave this book glowing reviews, but I was doubtful that I’d like it as much as they did. I was wrong.