My top books of 2012
Well, I’ve held off writing my ‘best of’ list for as long as I can. I keep thinking I might just read one more book that turns out to be so awesome it would need to go on here but I’ve decided enough already and just pick your top ten. So here they are, in no particular order
- King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. Last year Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence was also on my top 10 list and at that point I couldn’t imagine how he could top that novel. This year King of Thorns was released and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I was even nervous before I started reading (why I was nervous I haven’t the first notion – it’s not like I’m the author!). As it happens my case of the nerves was completely unwarranted. King of Thorns was absolutely amazing. It surpassed my own expectations and raised the bar yet even higher for the third novel (no pressure there then!) Seriously, I couldn’t love this book any more even it I tried.
- Summer Knight by Jim Butcher. The Dresden Files are my new No.1 fantasy series. Harry Dresden is very easy to read about and it’s easy to see why he’s gained such a large and loyal following. The series is a great combination of all sorts of paranormal thrown together with a little magic, a little mystery, a little romance, some scary moments, wit and a good dose of sarcasm and occasional bad language. What’s not to love?
- The Troupe by Robert J Bennett. The Troupe is a brilliant read and one that I will definitely read again. Robert Bennett is one of those unusual authors who seems to defy any sort of genre and who also manages to come up with a different style of book every time he sets pen to paper. On the back of reading this I also read Mr Shivers and The Company Man which are also great reads. I can’t wait for his next book to see where he will take us next.
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I don’t think this book needs any introduction. It’s a masterpiece and this year I’ve read such a lot of Neil Gaiman that I actually think I may be in danger of falling in love with the man! Seriously, I don’t know where he’s been hiding all my life but I’m so glad I’ve finally discovered his books. Lots of fangirl gushing could actually have happened right about now…. but, I’ve decided to exercise restraint.
- The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint. Charles de Lint is another author that I’ve only recently discovered. Blue Girl was a lovely introduction and I already have a few more of his books based in Newford waiting to be read. A lovely story teller.
- The Sisters Brothers by Patrick de Witt. Out of all the books I read last year I can genuinely say that The Sisters Brothers was the biggest surprise for me. Its a western and completely out of my comfort zone. I picked it up and read it on the strength of a recommendation from one of my longest known book buddies. What can I say, this is harsh, funny, dark, brutal and very entertaining to read. The dialogue is top class. All I can say is it was a must read.
- Shadows by Ilsa Bick. Shadows is the second in this trilogy which started with Ashes and will apparently conclude autumn next year with Monsters. I can’t wait for the conclusion. This is a very dark and frankly quite brutal read. It’s not for the squeamish. Set in a post apocalyptic world, telling the story of the survivors battling against terrible odds – not least of all the zombie types that seem to be taking over.
- The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M Valente. I think that Catherynne Valente could become one of those authors where I sit tapping my foot impatiently waiting for the latest release. Fortunately I have a little catching up before I reach that stage! The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland looks deceptively like a children’s story book but don’t be deterred. Appearances can be misleading and this novel quite effortlessly spans all ages with a lovely blend of fairytale reminiscent of Victorian classics and yet with a more modern bearing. The story telling is charming, quirky, fun and imaginative. Apparently there are to be five novels in this series so still so much to look forward to.
- Wolfsbane by Gillian Philip. This is the third in the Rebel Angel series which burst onto the book scene with Firebrand. This is about the fey. No soft and fluffy fairies these. Rough and tough. Living beyond the mortal world and separated by a veil that seems to be rather more fragile than some of them would wish and that others would desire be removed altogether. The series is full of conflict and blends this strange, beautiful and dark other world with the world in which we live. Not to mention this brings to us the creation of Seth. And, lets face it – a thing of beauty is a joy forever (how right you were John Keats). Okay, Seth is a rather lovely hunk of delicious mind candy and I don’t mind admitting it!
- Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig. Just literally read this days ago and was blown away. I didn’t read the first book and actually hadn’t particularly planned on reading this series but picked this book up quite by accident. I’m glad I did. After a little bit of a shaky start I literally couldn’t put this down. Very entertaining indeed.
I feel I should also mention Scott Lynch’s Red Seas Under Red Skies – which isn’t on the list because even though I did read it this year this wasn’t for the first time. I do love that series though so wanted to give it a special mention. So excited about Republic of Thieves.