Since 2013 is now over, its time to do my second “Best of the Best” list, for the second half of the year from July-December. There were some really good reads in this period, and as always, picking the best has been a chore. I always try to keep these lists as diverse as I can and hopefully you agree.
You can check out my top-of-the-month lists on my Reading Awards page and this list is both an extension, and a continuation of what goes on there.
Let’s see what makes the cut and which comes close then! Read the rest of this entry →
Tags: Ace Books, Adventure Fantasy, Aliens, Alternate History, Apocalypse, Best Books, Best of 2013, Black Library, Black Magic, Blood Magic, Brimstone Angels, C Z Dunn, Chaos, Chaos Space Marines, Cold Steel, Courtney Schafer, Crash, Dark Angels, Death Guard, Demons, Devils, Dragon Apocalypse, Dragonborn, Dragons, Drasek Riven, Dune, Dune Chronicles, Dune: Messiah, Empire and Rebellion, Epic Fantasy, Erevis Cale, Erin M. Evans, Europe, Fantasy, Female Protagonists, Forgotten Realms, Frank Herbert, Galactic Empire, Games Workshop, Gods, Grey Knights, Guy Haley, Han Solo, Hellfire, Historical Fantasy, Hush, Ia, James Maxey, Jean Johnson, John Jackson Miller, Kate Elliott, Kenobi, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, Mages, magic, Martha Wells, Naval Combat, Near Future, Nurgle, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Orbit Books, Pandorax, Paul Muad'dib, Paul S. Kemp, Penguin Books, Plague Marines, Razor's Edge, Science Fiction, Shadovar, Shattered Sigil, Solaris Books, Sorcerers, Space Marines, Space Opera, Spice, Spiritwalker, Star Wars, Tatooine, The Adversary, The Godborn, The Sundering, The Tainted City, Theirs Not To Reason Why, Tie-In, tieflings, Top Books, Warhammer, Warhammer 40000, Warhammer 40k, Western, Wizards of the Coast
In a lot of ways, 2013 has been a fairly good year for debut novels, as much as 2012 was. There have been some really fantastic releases, and they have all continued an unofficial tradition of doing something different with the genres that they have been set in. I can say for certain that of all the debut novels I read this year, none of them have been quite what I expected. Some of these novels have been really, really good while a small handful have been disappointing.
I put together a list at the end of last year in which I ran through my top picks of all the debuts I’d read, and I found the experience to be quite rewarding, and a great help in figuring out just why these novels were so good beyond just writing up the reviews.
All in all, of the 20 debut novels I wanted to read this year as per my list (link), I read 18 of them. Here are the 8 books I consider to be the best of the bunch.
Tags: 2013 Debuts, 2013 Release, A Conspiracy of Alchemists, Alchemy, Aliens, Angry Robot, Angry Robot Books, Best Debuts, Between Two Thorns, Black Science, Brian McClellan, Chronicles of Light and Shadow, Debut Authors, Del Rey, Del Rey Books, Dire Earth Cycle, Fae, Fantasy, Gemsigns, Genetic Engineering, Gunpowder Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Irish Mythology, Jason M. Hough, Jo Fletcher Books, Julianna Scott, Liesel Schwarz, London, magic, Michael Martinez, Near Future, Nightshade Books, No Return, Noir, Orbit Books, Powder Mage, Promise of Blood, Random House, Random House Books, Regency Fantasy, science fantasy, Science Fiction, Skyhorse Publishing, Space Elevator, Space Opera, Split Worlds, Steampunk, Steampunk Fantasy, Stephanie Saulter, Strange Chemistry, Strange Chemistry Books, The Daedalus Incident, The Darwin Elevator, The Holders, Urban Fantasy, Zachary Jernigan
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?
Tags: 2012 Debuts, Adam Christopher, Alchemist of Souls, Alternate Reality, Amanda Carlson, Angry Robot Books, Anne Lyle, Artificial Intelligence, Blood and Feathers, Chris F. Holm, Cora Oglesby, Dead Harvest, Debut Authors, Debut Authors Guest Series, Empire State, Fantasy, Full Blooded, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Interviews, Jessica McClain, Laura Lam, Lee Collins, Lou Morgan, Magic Circus, Names, Names A New Perspective, Night's Masque, Noir, Orbit Books, Pantomime, Paranormal Fantasy, Particle Horizon, Poltergeeks, Science Fiction, Selso Xisto, Solaris Books, Space Opera, Strange Chemistry, The Collector, The Dead of Winter, The meaning of Names, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Werewolves, Western
Kicking off the fourth week of Names: A New Perspective is author Anne Lyle who has been making waves this year with her debut novel Alchemist of Souls, an awesome alternate history set in Elizabethan London in which explorers have discovered a race of magical beings, the Skraylings, inhabiting the Americas (my review). Like all the debut authors I’ve featured on the blog so far, she is another one to watch out for, one you can expect more awesomeness from. I do have an eARC of her second novel Merchant of Dreams sitting on the laptop waiting to be read and I’m looking forward to it, although it will be a while before I get around to it. Here’s what Anne has to say on the topic of names and characters in her novels.
Tags: Alchemist of Souls, Alternate History, Angry Robot Books, Anne Lyle, Dark Fantasy, Debut Authors Guest Series, Elizabethan England, Fantasy, Guest Post, Historical Fantasy, London, Maliverny Catlyn, Merchant of Dreams, Names, Names A New Perspective, Night's Masque, Skraylings, The meaning of Names
Everybody give a warm welcome to author and poet Helen Lowe, who is joining us all the way from Christchurch, New Zealand. Helen has worked on several books so far, and is the winner of the 2012 Morningstar Award as well which was given in recognition of her debut novel Heir of Night from last year. I read the novel back in August and loved it (my review) so much that I’ve marked her down as one of the most promising authors of the new generation. No mild exaggeration that. Helen was really excited about the topic for this post and as you will see down under, she is very passionate about it too. Here’s what she had to say.
Today’s guest on Names: A New Perspective is Teresa , author of the dark fantasy novel Miserere: An Autumn Tale (Review) and the upcoming historical fantasy The Garden. I read Miserere early this year and I was quite impressed with it, so much so that it made my April Reading Awards list as an honourable mention. It would have been higher on the list but I read a ton of awesome novels that month, so all good regardless. Thanks to Miserere and Nathan Long’s Jane Carver of Waar and a couple other titles Night Shade Books is quickly becoming one of my favourite publishers so thanks to Teresa for introducing me to them! When I asked her if she would like to contribute to the series, here’s what she had to say on the topic.