We're getting to the end of 2017! Where did the time go? Today, Mary counts down her top ten reads of the year (and she read well over 100 books this year, so this wasn't easy!).
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme started on the Broke and the Bookish blog.
They set the topic, we make the lists. Visit their site to see more on this topic
1. Warcross – Marie Lu. Set in the near future, Warcross is about a destitute hacker girl who gets pulled into the worldwide Warcross (a virtual reality video game) Gaming Championships. She is tasked by the game’s creator to find the terrorists trying to destroy the championships, the game, and the game’s designers. This book has mystery, adventure, virtual reality, hacking, gaming, and great characters. I loved this book. It was my favorite of the year.
2. Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor. Lazlo Strange, orphan and junior librarian, has always been obsessed with the city of Weep, which one day just stopped interacting with the world… and then its name disappeared… from minds, books, and song… everywhere. When a caravan comes from Weep, Lazlo is finally able to visit the fabled city and try to figure out the mystery. This is a very slow starting book, but... definitely give it a chance, because.... WOW, what a book. What a wonderful story. This was my second favorite of the year.
3. All the Crooked Saints - Maggie Stiefvater. Stiefvater is known for writing “different” books. Her books are never what you expect and often have strange twisting plots, but they always give you something to think about. All the Crooked Saints is a modern fairy tale set in the 60's. It’s about a family of reluctant saints who can perform “miracles” on people who ask, but then those people have to figure out how to accept the consequences of that miracle and heal from it. I loved this story. It was just odd enough, fantastical enough, and heartbreakingly lovely enough to catch your heart strings. It will leave you thinking about the provenance of miracles... and what one must do to deserve them.
4. Breath of Fire - Amanda Bouchet. This is the second book in the Kingmaker Chronicles. In this epic fantasy (with a hint of romance), the gods, their descendants, and two kingdoms are in desperate need of a leadership change; Cat, a clairvoyant Kingmaker, and Griffin, a barbarian warlord, are the change the world needs… if only they can set aside their differences and embrace their destiny. Great characters, interesting plot, with a helping of romance thrown in makes for a fun, engaging read.
5. Etched in Bone – Anne Bishop. The fifth book in The Others series. In a world where the Others control most areas of Earth and uppity humans are sometimes hunted down as prey, the Others are trying to decide if Humans are worth keeping, just how much humanity they want to keep, and why one tiny human female prophet has made such a huge impact on their world. This is one of my all-time favorite series. I wait with bated-breath for each new installment. Every book in The Others series is a tightly plotted story with engaging characters, monsters who are not so monstrous, and a slow burning romance destined to keep the reader’s interest.
6. Volatile Bonds – Jaye Wells. This is the fourth book in the Prospero's War series. This series is an urban fantasy police procedural with its own take on magic. When a dirty magic explosion and dead body appear on Kath Prospero’s beat, she and her partner Morales need to look at the relationships between the dirty magic covens (mob/gangs), try to figure out who the new players are, and what exactly is going on. I really like the characters in this series and recommend starting at the first book Dirty Magic to get a good feel of what is going on.
7. Empty Grave – Jonathan Stroud. This is the fifth (and possibly final) book in the mid-grade series Lockwood & Co. Since only children can see ghosts, they are tasked with protecting the world from the violent spirits and Lockwood and his companions are very good at their job. But now they are on the hunt for where the ghost problem originated, and how Marissa Fittes (the first real ghost hunter) fits into the mystery. So they open up her tomb… only to find something they really did not expect. A fun horror story intended for preteens that can hold the interest of adults.
8. Shattered Court - M.J. Scott. The first book in the Four Arts series. This book came out in 2015 (which I missed), but popped onto my radar when the second book came out this year. Lady Sophia Kendall is thirty-second in line to the Anglion throne, a lady-in-waiting, and a potential royal witch. When the Anglion court is attacked, Sophia escapes with a royal guard trying to find a safe haven. This book is a super easy, quick, no-brainer, fun paranormal romance read with good characters and a location that is almost, but not quite, familiar.
9. Hardcore Twenty-Four – Janet Evanovich. The 24th book in the Stephanie Plum series. The Stephanie Plum series is my guilty-read mystery series. I’m not sure why I keep reading it, but I can’t keep my hands off of the series when a new one comes out. In Hardcore Twenty-Four, when inept bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, encounters zombies in New Jersey, inane acts, funny scenes, and car destruction ensues. If you are looking for a quick read – something short, fun, with moments of hysterical laughter (and, in book 24, it is literal potty/outhouse humor), then this series is for you.
10. Cuckoo’s Calling - Robert Galbraith (which is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling). This adult mystery was written in 2013, but I read it for the first time this year. Private detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide at the behest of her brother. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book and the two books that came after it. And, while there may have been too many characters, they were well written and engaging characters embroiled in an interesting and intriguing mystery. I really enjoyed it.
That’s it. Those are my top ten reads of the year. So, tell me what you’ve read this year or comment on how you liked my top ten of the year. Happy Holidays!