Frequent reader/commenter who never posts, hi nice to meet you. In an end-of-year last ditch effort to not get myself uninvited back next year I’m going to share some brief reviews of the absolute best books I’ve read this year – all highly recommended!
Five Stars – Romantic, disturbing, gorgeous, and utterly original Saga is one of the first comics I’ve ever read and this non-comic reader urges you to consider adding these (Vol 1 & 2) to your Christmas list. Inter-species and forboden romance in a space saga by way of David Lynch. Fantastic. Note: For mature readers only – There is the occasional X-rated visual in these books so if comic sex is a deal-breaker for you, best to steer clear. Also – there is a cat that says, “Liar” whenever anybody nearby attempts a fabrication. I desperately want to own this cat.
Five Stars – While nowhere near on par with Mrs. Julien or Malin, I read more romance novels than I would comfortably admit to in public. Most are fun and forgettable little truffles – if prompted I would have a hard time remembering what happened later and have been caught out re-buying books I’ve already read. Flowers From the Storm is not a forgettable truffle. Jervaulx is a reckless Duke who suffers a stroke leaving him painfully and humiliatingly vulnerable. Maddy is the stalwart Quaker who becomes his personal nurse. Their journey is painful and heartrending and fabulous. One of the best romance novels of all time.
Five Stars – The Dream Thieves is book #2 in Stiefvater’s Raven Boys series. The first book, Raven Boys, focuses largely group of prep school friends hunt for an ancient and mythical King Glendower who, if found, will grant you a wish. The second book expands the breadth of mysteries by getting more involved with the family of clairvoyants, the fay land of Cabeswater, and the Grey Man. None of this will mean anything to you and I hesitate to give even scant details because this is a book best approached with no foreknowledge. Stiefvater deftly juggles multiple characters and mysteries shrouded in a palpable sense of doom. I adore this series and am desperately counting the days until book #3 comes out.
Emperor of Thorns closes the chapter of King Jorg, one of the darkest most richly-drawn and unforgettable anti-heroes of all time. By this book, young Jorg has killed, clawed, and betrayed his way into his own Kingdom, barely pausing before continuing his quest to be Emperor. He’s got a new child on the way, is beset on all sides by enemies, is hunted by the Dead King, and is a downright vicious bastard. This complex series comes to a close with haunting brilliance. Start at the beginning – Prince of Thorns. You have to frankly, the author, brilliant Mark Lawrence, will spoon feed you nothing and assumes that you’ve got the cast of characters well in hand from the start. Spectacular read, well-deserving of a place on every “best of all time” fantasy list.
Five Stars – Fangirl is easily one of the most delightful books I’ve read all year – fantastic characters, engaging romance, and the fan fiction is so compelling I want her to write an entire series of Simon Snow slash fiction because I would devour them all. I can’t remember the last time a book made me smile as much as this one did. Best book of the year, hands down!