Blog Archives

Best Debuts of 2013

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.

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NANP: A Rose By Any Other Name

As we move into the final stretch of the first wave of guest posts for Names: A New Perspective, today’s guest is Elspeth Cooper, author of the two Wild Hunt books Songs of The Earth and Trinity Rising, all of them published by Gollancz. I’d been meaning to read the first book (my review) for quite a while, as part of my sort of unofficial 2012 Morningstar reading challenge, and I got the chance to read the book in August. It was a fantastic read, with some decidedly new takes on some of the old tropes of epic fantasy, very much in line with a lot of the “modern” epic fantasy I’ve been reading of late. Elspeth is definitely in my top tier of modern authors and I have a firm hope that Trinity Rising will be just as great a novel as Songs of The Earth. Here’s what Elspeth had to say about how she uses names in her novels.

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NANP: What’s In A Name?

Dropping by on the blog today is Stina Leicht, author of the Fey And The Fallen series, and is a 2012 Campbell Award nominee. She is one of the new-generation of Night Shade Books authors, alongside Teresa Frohock, Courtney Schafer and Jeff Salyards among others, who’ve all been featured on the blog previously. I read her first novel, Of Blood And Honey, in August of this year and was suitably impressed with it to get the sequel, And Blue Skies From Pain. Stina is a fantastic author and I’m looking forward to some great things from her in the future. Here’s what she had to say on the topic of names and their significance in her writing.