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Saturday, 22 December 2012

Best books of 2012 - part 2

** Edit note: This post was slightly delayed due to me donning my superhero tights and making Cthulu my bitch in order to avert the apocalypse, and absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I forgot my password and couldn't publish the bloody thing. 

Let's jump straight back into this shall we - same rules as the first post: these are the best books I've read this past year, no matter their original publishing date.

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Ultracool resource of the week - check out the Why Authors are Crazy Tumblr. If you know anyone who writes, you'll end up giggling through these pages.

Richard Herley - The Penal Colony. A futuristic thriller set on an island turned prison. Bleak, dark, and powerful, with more than a touch of Lord of the Flies. The author has a number of books out, and all of them are good, but this one hits the possible genius level for me.

Allyson James - Storm Walker series. Paranormal/urban fantasy with some ultra-steamy scenes. Definitely not grandma safe, but the characters are fascinating and the world-building intoxicating. And the MC like bikes, tattoos, and shares her first name with me. I'm hooked.

Jason McIntyre - Everything. I started with the Night Walk Men a little over a year ago, and it's a deeply disturbing, beautiful little story. None of these are light or easy reading; and if you want something to flip through while your brain switches off this author isn't for you. If you want something that shakes you, with an occasional side of gore and violence, and makes you close the book when you're down feeling slightly stunned, then get everything you can. (Word of warning - if you write, you may find yourself whining at your keyboard afterwards and wondering what the hell you are doing wrong.)

Jason McKinney - Dog World. Still one of the most bleakly disturbing werewolf stories I've ever read. There are no happy endings here, and no cute or fluffy romantic escapades. This is a brutal, horrifying look at apocalypse via werewolf, with a good dose of black humour thrown in, and by far the most unique take on the genre I've read. I can't wait for the sequel.

Darynda Jones - Grim Reaper series. Hysterically funny paranormal romance series with a side order of steam - and the best t-shirt quotes I've ever come across. I hope this series continues for a long, long time.

Stacia Kane - Downside Ghosts series. An alternative future where ghosts are real, and very, very dangerous. Warning on this one - the MC is a junkie, and there is no brushing over the harsh realities of addiction in this series. For me, it's part of what makes for compelling reading. If you have issues reading about drugs, leave it alone. If you take the chance though, it's an extremely gritting, compelling series with a strong horror and romance element.

Lee Killough - Garreth Mikaelian series. Cop turned vampire series with an interesting take and some great characters.

Stephen King - 11.22.63. I preferred this to The Dome, which I struggled to get into. 11.22.63 reminded me strongly in places of The Dead Zone. It has that same sense of nice guy trying to make good in a strange situation, and for me it just rang all the bells.

Naomi Kramer - Deadish. This is one of the funniest shorts I've read in a long time. Lots of strong language, so if you don't like the F-bomb, avoid - but if you want to grab it, it's currently free on the kindle store. Paranormal Ghost humor.

Michael Langlois - Bad Radio. One of the strongest debut novels I've ever read, this is a great take on the immortality trope, with lots of action and very likeable characters. When someone can take a fantasy precept and ground it so strongly in reality it seems utterly plausible, they've got my attention.

Stant Litore - The Zombie Bible series. If you only read one zombie story in the next year, make it one of these. For my money, the first - Death Has Come Up Into Our Windows - is still the best, probably because it was such a unique concept - retelling biblical scenes and characters with zombies. And the ending is simply heart-breaking. That's the thing - these books aren't about the zombies so much as the people dealing with them and it's compelling, powerful story-stelling at its best.


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That's it for now folks - I'll post the 3rd and final list just before Christmas. In the meantime, happy reading!