2016 in Review – Best Reads

2016 Reading Stats

Goal for 2016: 25

Number of books read: 45

Number of books reviewed: 44

Best Books of 2016:

1st place goes to:

They Mostly Come Out at Night (5 Stars)

Patrick, Benedict – They Mostly Come Out at Night (Fantasy) (Review) (Amazon)

Here is why: This book absolutely blew me away. It was one of those books that start out completely innocuous and by the time you realize it is amazing, it floors you. It rocked my world – I couldn’t stop talking about it for days and have recommended it countless people. It is a fairytale that the Grimm brothers would be proud of – this is a must read for all adults who like fantasy.

FYI the second one is out (not a sequal just the same world) and I am STOCKED to read it!

2nd place goes to:

Proving

Brosky, Ken – The Proving (YA Sci-Fi) (Review) (Amazon)

Here is why: This book is heads and shoulders above all of the other sci-fi’s I read this year. Some were great, don’t get me wrong, but this one took my socks off. I love the characters, loved the concept, loved the writing, and the overall plot was excellent. It is a little scary for middle schoolers but anyone 14+ who likes Sci-fi needs to read this book. I find myself recommending it all the time.

3rd place goes to:

Jurassic Park

Crichton, Michael – Jurassic Park (Urban Sci-Fi) (Review) (Amazon)

I love Michael Crichton. He is one of my go to authors. I really enjoyed reading Jurassic Park and it really amazed me to read this and compare differences with the movies and the books. I’ve wanted to read this for years and it is really a book everyone should read as adults. If you love the movies, the first book is a must read!

Best Crime (Mystery/Suspense):

Cover

Mayer, Dale – Tuesday’s Child (Mystery) (Review) (Amazon)

Loved this mystery. For sure a darker one but great!

Best Erotica:

Eronica

Vaughn, Scarlett – Eronica Unbound (Erotica) (Review)

There is a plot…silly…but the steamy scenes are impressive!

Best Fantasy:

They Mostly Come Out at Night (5 Stars)

Patrick, Benedict – They Mostly Come Out at Night (Fantasy) (Review) (Amazon)

Just yes.

Best Romance:

hart-broken

Arcane, Annie – Hart Broken (Contemporary Romance) (Review) (Amazon)

Very realistic romance. Hits you in the feels!

Best Sci-Fi:

the-martian

Weir, Andy – The Martian (Sci-fi) (Review) (Amazon)

Hilarious and educational.

 

 

Best Short Story:

Spinnings

Thorpe, Marian L. – Spinnings (Short Story – Fantasy) (Review) (Amazon)

I loved this collection of stories. Very fascinating!

Best Urban (anything):

Jurassic Park

Crichton, Michael – Jurassic Park (Urban Sci-Fi) (Review) (Amazon)

A must read for the dinosaur lover.

Best Young Adult:

Proving

Brosky, Ken – The Proving (YA Sci-Fi) (Review) (Amazon)

Really for all ages but amazing. If this could win two categories it would win for sci-fi too.

Best Wattpad:

Some Like it Ruthless (Book Review)

Some Like it Ruthless by Megan Bryce (Review) (Amazon)

I love Megan Bryce. Period.

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Winter is coming…and NaNoWriMo is here!

Winter is coming…nope it is already here in the form of RAIN!

Reviews

Here is what is pending in order of my plan to read/review for my next few books:

  • The Faraway North by Ian Cumpstey – Finished ,need to write a review
  • The Martian by Andy Weir – Finished, need to write a review
  • The Golden Spider (The Elemental Web Chronicles, Book One) by Anne Renwick – Finished reading today, need to write a review
  • A Sense of Discovery by Martin Perks – Just started reading this
  • Confronting Destiny (Aetherheart Book 1) by A.L. Tesh – I’m reading this book on my iPad as I have time
  • Two Heirs (The Marmoros Trilogy: Book 1) by Peter Kenson – Being read by a guest reviewer
  • Above the Ether by Yemisi Aremu Otasanya – Next book up in my queue

I am really behind in writing reviews. I had a tough one that I was waffling on the star rating for and it put me behind. Tomorrow I hope to get back on track and get two posted over the weekend!

Writing

I’m over 40,000 words into the final book in my trilogy. I am still calling it ‘The Last Gate’ right now but it may change to ‘The Final Gate’ or something similar. The Sixth Gate now has a release date of July 7, 2017. Woot, woot!

I’ve also started a super secret project. Mwahahahaha. It is a Supernatural Crime Novel set in dun-dun-dun, Alaska. When I dad reads this he is going to freak out because he has been asking me to do something set in Alaska for YEARS. I only have 4,000 words written but I’m still forming the full outline and idea…and I’m finishing up my trilogy so I’m sure this will start rolling out!

NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month has started! My goal is 30,000 words, same as last year…and I’m failing already. I was hoping to get half way by this point and I’m just not there. I breached 10,000 words today (yay!) but I’m still about 4,000 behind on where I wanted to be. I’m not too worried about it, but I really want to hit that 30,000 word goal because that will get me really close to finishing The Last Gate.

Movies: Dr. Strange and The Accountant

If you like movies, like I do, I have been very lucky this month. The Accountant is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year! Basically the Bourne series meets Usual Suspects. I was blown away, and I’ve decided best Ben Affleck movie ever. If you like action movies that make you think and have plot twists, this movie is a masterpiece!

I saw Dr. Strange last night and laughed…a lot. This movie was witty and dark, all at the same time. I absolutely loved it. Among the superhero movies as of late, this one really stands apart. It has a different feel to it and well worth the watch. I think it was because the main characters were so different, so flawed, but reaching for goodness…eventually.

 

 

 

Xan and Ink by Zak Zyz

Summary

Banished from their homeland, two disgraced brothers, a fanatical priest and an escaped slave who venture into the foreboding Kalparcimex, an uncharted jungle teeming with an incredible variety of wondrous and murderous insects. When the legendary ranger Xan refuses to help the adventurers on their quest for redemption, they enter into an ill-advised pact with Ink, a cursed sorceress who stains everything she touches. Caught in the conflict between the two powerful figures, the four banished heroes must confront their darkest desires to escape the Kalparcimex!

Characters

Super unique characters. Just from the dialogue you could pick out who was who. Each is likable and not in their own way. I personally loved the story between Ink and Xan better. Like two superpowers fighting but it was more a battle of wills. However, the hapless 4 were just as interesting – the brothers very well tied together. Sandros with all his flaws a force to be reckoned with. Something to be aware of is the shift in POV – it is a little jerky and unexpected at times.

Plot

Let me start by saying, this is a weird book. Weird but oddly good. Very unique – particularly the Kalparcimex. Although some of the plot felt inevitable and predictable, it was not all predictable. Sometimes I wasn’t 100% sure what was going to happen, and one story line I didn’t see coming at all. This is for sure an adult book, from the language, to the violence and gore, to the explicit scenes.

Overall

Despite its weirdness, adult content, and a somewhat non-ending ending, it was very good. The writing was very easy to follow, and if you weren’t interested in getting to know the characters until later, perfect. There is lots of action with character development peppered throughout the book. This is like a fine wine, some people will love it, some will hate it but it is still worth trying. The Kalparcimex is awesome – giant insects!

It starts off a little rocky, there are parts that leave one wanting, but once Ink enters I really started to love the book. The sorceress adds a complexity to all the characters – from Xan to Sandros. Once she enters that is when things get really interesting! There are a few plot twists – some of which are hinted out subtly and some a little more openly. Also some well written sex scenes.

Despite everything I liked about this book there was something missing. It took me a while to put my finger on it. I thought it was the non-ending at first because I only like books that stand alone – as stated on my review policy and this was pitched to me as standalone – but that wasn’t the only problem. There was something else that was making me just not love it. I realized the author keeps too much hidden about the characters. The reason I liked Ink so much was because we get information about her – she is unique and we get some history on her so we can connect with her. I get having mysterious characters, but there is a fine line between mysterious and flat.

Rating

4 Stars

I liked it! Unique story, great actions scenes, but this does not stand alone and it needs a little more character development. Don’t get me wrong, love the characters! I’m actually more upset at how much is left unanswered and kept hidden, which makes this book feel incomplete. Beware of an ambiguous ending but worth the read!