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Best of 2014 Part 1a: Novels

This post is coming in at a slightly later time than I’d prefer, about two weeks late at least, but I guess I can’t really “complain” when the lateness is due to my own wedding which took place exactly two weeks ago on the 5th. It has certainly been a very busy and intense time, what with being engrossed in all the marriage stuff and then even after that there’s been one thing after another. Reading time has definitely suffered greatly, which makes me a little sad considering how much I love reading, but eh, all for a good cause really.

With half the year now over, it is time to do the first of my “Best of the Year” posts, for the period 1st January to 30th June. There’s been a ton of books that I’ve read in this period as usual, and I made a very strong effort to read more tie-in fiction than I usually do, so the list is most assuredly going to reflect that. Tie-in fiction is a very important part of the publishing industry I feel and it always deserves some recognition. Now if we could only get an award started that celebrated tie-in fiction and all would be alright with the world. Or so my thinking goes.

Let’s see what makes the cut and which comes close then!

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Justice League 3000 #6 (Comics Review)

Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis’ Justice League 3000 started off well-enough but somewhere along the way it has stopped being fun. Or had rather. The lack of story progression and the constant build-up of the different villains and the cascade of revelations meant that there was too much story packed into too little space and that it was all too much to take in. You couldn’t just enjoy the story per se, you had to slog through the 20 pages each time. With last month’s issue, I was pretty much prepared to throw-down with the series and stop reading it. I came so, so very close to doing just that this month.

But, I decided to soldier on with this past week’s Justice League 3000 #6 and I’m kind of glad that I did because I think this new issue corrects a lot of the failings of the previous issues, although it is still somewhat problematic in a few ways. Unlike last time, Howard Porter is back in the saddle with these characters as the artist, and that was also another big factor since Porter has been the artist here since the beginning. The story is still a bit iffy in that we are spending too much time on the revelations and not enough on moving the story forward, but this issue definitely goes a long way in fixing that.

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Best Debuts of 2012

This year has been an excellent year for debuts, whether it’s science fiction or fantasy or historical fiction or urban fantasy or noir or western or young adult or whatever. Some truly amazing authors have made themselves known, and many of these have gone on to impress with second novels also released this year. In this blog I take a look at the debut novels of the year that I just loved and would recommend far and wide to everybody.

I didn’t actually read that many debut novels this year (from 2012), so the list is going to be unfortunately small – only eight in total, which is why I’m going to do a straight list rather than a Top 6 and 6 Honourable Mentions as I had initially planned.

So let’s have at it, yeah?

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