Thursday, January 3, 2013

Top Twelve of 2012

This was a stellar year in terms of finding new authors and getting hooked on new series. Since word of mouth is my favorite way to learn about new books, let me tell you all about these.

Here are my top twelve reads of 2012 in no particular order. Some I loved, some I liked, some I took issue with, but they were still the best of what I read this year.

1. Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days) by Susan Ee. I loved this book. Great pacing, characters, and the spin on angels? It wowed me. I love the idea of angels, but I have never read an angel book and come away from it satisfied. This book changed that.

2. Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy) Robin Hobb – First off—my dad loves this series. He’s been after me to read them for years. I finally got the flu and was stuck in bed this past week and decided to give them a try. Such a rich, detailed world and fantastic characters. I love Burrich. He really holds the trilogy together for me.

3. First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson) by Darynda Jones – I put off reading this series because I had heard so many glowing reviews that I thought it could never live up to the hype. It was another of my Flu Reads, and I loved it. The author’s sense of humor meshed with mine, which rarely happens, and the story itself was refreshing. Great characters and a smoking hot hero? Sign me up for book two, please!

4. Poison Princess (Arcana Chronicles) by Kresley Cole – I don’t read a lot of YA. I tried to change that this year, so when Kresley Cole’s new series debuted, I snagged a copy. Let me say this…I didn’t read the blurb. I just saw “Kresley Cole” and bought it. About one-third in my mind was blown. Love, love, love the hero. Jack is my favorite hero of 2012. (I have a thing for Cajun accents. *swoon*)

5. Iced: A Dani O’Malley Novel – I’m a huge fan of Karen Moning’s. I actually credit her books with making me want to write my own. I found her through her Fever books, and I really loved the first two in that series. I feel like Iced is right up there with them. I was hesitant to read it because Dani was the narrator and, well, I didn’t know if I could handle an entire book told in her pov. She’s hyper and annoying at times, but you can see the character growing and evolving, and I dig that kind of thing. Plus this book had a very clear story arc that wrapped in a single book. Love that. I’m not a cliffhanger kind of girl. So even though I put off buying Iced, I’m on board for the rest of the Dani novels.

6. How to Drive a Dragon Crazy (Dragon Kin) G.A. Aiken – Dragon Kin books are a guilty pleasure of mine. They’re goofy and over the top, hot and funny. They’re feel good reads that I snap up on release day every time. This particular book dealt with a couple I have been anxious to see finally get together. As is often the case with highly anticipated couples/books, I felt a little let down in terms of the romance, but I really enjoyed this book overall.

7. Thirteen (Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong – I loved and hated this book. I am a huge fan of the Otherworld series. Bitten is the best werewolf novel I have ever read. I love these characters and that world, and Thirteen marked the end of that. While the book was fast-paced and the story gripping (this was another long awaited h/h pairing), it hurt to read that final page and realize war had broken out and the characters would be forever fighting a battle we could no longer witness.

8. Tricked (Iron Druid Chronicles) Kevin Hearne – I enjoy this series. What I love about it is the mythology you learn and the narrator’s druid skills. I love his dog too. What I don’t like is how thoughtless Atticus can be. There is a difference between doing great harm to save yourself and doing great harm because you can, or because the result would make your life easier. My mom loves this series, so I keep reading so she has someone to talk to about them. But I am waiting for some character growth to happen.

9. Death Blows: The Bloodhound Files by DD Barant – Angela James recommended this book on Twitter with enough enthusiasm that I picked up a copy. It was perfect. The pacing, the jokes, the action, all perfect. Flawless even. I really enjoyed it. Book two is solid, but book three made me decide this series was not for me. Still, the first book can be read and enjoyed as a standalone, I think.

10. Lothaire (IAD) Kresely Cole – Oh how I loved this book. At first the heroine made me go huh? But she grew on me and is a good match for Lothaire. She humanizes him in a way another heroine couldn’t have done. (Though it did have the side effect of making me say Do pizdy there for a while.) A solid addition to the IAD world and an introduction to KC’s other new series, the Dacians.

11. Heart Secret (Celta) by Robin Owens – The Celta books are favorites of mine. I am sad that the previous generation of heroes and heroines have been left behind in favor of following the younger generation, but honestly, there are so many Celta books now, that’s the path that makes the most sense. For me, I had rather follow up on the lives of the many children introduced in the first half of the series than on characters introduced solely for the purpose of continuing the series, ones that I have no emotional attachment to. The Celta world is so inventive, and I love the rules of their society. I definitely recommend this series to lovers of science fiction romance and fantasy romance.

12. Cold Days (Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher – I haven’t actually read this one yet, but it’s on my Kindle waiting for me. Dresden Files is my favorite urban fantasy series. When you read Harry, you feel how beat down and tired he is. How world weary and worn he is. But he rolls out of bed every day determined to make a difference in the world. He makes bad decisions, he does things even he doesn’t agree with, but it’s never done for a selfish purpose. If Harry does something, it’s to make the world a better place, and that’s why I admire him. His life could be so much easier if he were a different sort of wizard. I like that Harry takes the hard road. Every. Single. Time.

If you'd like a chance to win a title from my backlist, head over to Ex Libris before January fifth. Stella inspired my post today, and it was posted on her blog originally. The topic has given me so much to talk about with others, I felt inspired to share it again in the hopes new recommendations might come of it.

What was your favorite book of 2012? Or did you have more than one? Did you discover any new authors?

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