Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mary's Favorite 2015 Reads (so far)

My favorite reads of 2015 (so far…)

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson. (Nonfiction - 2003). An older book I read for my book club... and loved. Devil in the White City is two different stories wrapped in one - the Chicago 1893 world fair and H. H. Holmes, America's first serial killer. Very informative, yet interesting and engaging. I highly enjoyed it.

Information Doesn’t Want to be Free by Cory Doctorow. (Nonfiction - 2014)  How is our world dealing with copyright infringement, digital piracy, freedom of information, privacy, etc.? The answer is: not well, and this slim volume explains it all. A very intelligent conversation on a topic that doesn’t seem like it should affect us, but does with every book we read, song we listen to, or movie we watch.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. (Fairy Tale Retelling - 2014) Nix has been betrothed to the Demon Prince since her birth, but her father and his friends expect her to kill him the first time the opportunity arises. This retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story is a little darker and more mature than one might expect, and it is just different enough to make it a fun and engaging read.

Storyspinner by Becky Wallace. (Fantasy - 2015) A dead king, missing princess, a failing country boundary which threatens the kingdom with invasion from the outside,... and a gypsy-like storyteller who is the key to everything. One of my favorite reads of 2015.

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep. (YA Fantasy - 2015) Lila is an orphan, surviving by stealing and using her magic “gift.” When she accidently saves a boy (from one of the elite, gang-like, magic wielding crime families) from assassination, Lila becomes the boy's bodyguard. However, since none of his bodyguards have lasted longer than a year, she has her job cut out for her. This is an action-packed adventure story with a little magic thrown in for spice.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu. (YA Fantasy - 2014) People who survived the fever changed... physically, mentally, and with new psychic powers. These Elites are discriminated against and hated... so they band together for protection and power. Adelina, Teren, and Enzo are three such elites and this story demonstrates how one can quest for power, another for peace and acceptance, and one for revenge… and how one can get started on the road to becoming evil –step-by-slow-step.

A Call to Duty by David Weber & Timothy Zahn. (Sci-fi - 2014) Travis Uriah Long has enlisted in the Manticoran space navy. How will rule-bound Travis be able to survive the constantly changing and politically active Manticoran Navy? Very well, if he is given the chance. What a story! A really well-written story about an everyman who has moments of brilliance. Highly recommended.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. (Fairy Tale Retelling - 2015) While hunting, Feyre kills a shapeshifted elf. In recompense, Tamlin, the elf's ruler decides to take Feyre back to his lands as payment. This story is a very different, yet relatable retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Great characters. Intriguing and fleshed-out world building. Good pacing. A truly good story. One of my favorite reads of the year.

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews. (Paranormal Romance - 2014) Nevada Baylor is a private investigator who has been given an impossible task – bring in a rogue mage who wants to burn the city to the ground. Mad Rogan is also looking for the mage, so they team up against Nevada’s better judgement. I love Ilona Andrews' writing style and every one of their (husband and wife writing team) books are awesome. Great read. Definitely one of my favorites of the year. (I have already reread it twice.)

The Kraken King by Meljean Brook. (Steampunk - 2014)  Zenobia Fox is traveling by airship when it is attacked by pirates. Ariq, the Kraken King, is trying to stop the pirates. When Zenobia flees the doomed airship, she meets up with Ariq, the Kraken King, and begins an adventure right out of an adventure serial. Great story – foreign lands, giant man-eating worms, pirates, and empire destroying robots abound in this steampunk paranormal romance. Thoroughly enjoyable.   

Those are my favorites so far. What are your favorite reads so far this year?

~Mary P.

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