Yes, I know some Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry books made my list and I know I’m an author for Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry books. I just happened to get a chance to read a bunch of my publisher’s books this year so there you have it.
At any rate, here are my faves for the year.
I reviewed this book a few months ago and I said it was one of the best books of the year. It still is. I loved Holm’s first book DEAD HARVEST, but there was something special about this one. We get to see more into Sam Thornton’s dark past. (He’s Kadrey’s Sandman Slim, but, you know … he’s not a dick. He’s a good guy.)
We learn more about his dark bargain and the reasons why he is beholden to the guys downstairs. There’s demons addicted to skim – a bloody brilliant plot device that I wish I’d thought up. It’s one part road story, one part buddy movie and 100% entertaining throughout. If you haven’t read it, go out and buy it today. I haven’t cared this much about a protagonist since the first time I read a Harry Dresden novel.
I read this one wayyyyy back in January and I loved it. Yep, it’s chick-lit and yep, I’m a dude. Big deal. (I’m a dude who writes bad romance so I read chick lit. Whatever.)
What worked for me is the fact that this story is about a Canadianized East-Indian girl looking for love in big city Toronto. There’s a clash of cultures, sister-sister angst, an arranged marriage the protagonist is dead set against and a year-long voyage of self discovery that is funny as hell. It’s cleanly written, has larger than life characters and for all intents and purposes, should have a movie deal. Yo Hollywood – go buy the rights to this book. Trust me!
She is the most electrifying new character in dark fantasy today. Period. End of story. She is a train wreck. She is visceral. She is relentless. She is damaged goods. You get skin-on-skin contact with Miriam and she sees your death. It might be five minutes from now or five decades from now – you just never really know … but Miriam knows.
Chuck Wendig knows how to write. He’s been talking about writing for years over at his blog – Terrible Minds. It was a tossup between the first in the series, Blackbirds, and this one but in book two we see Miriam taking the whole idea of testing fate to insane levels. I am going to make a prediction – if there is no movie deal yet, there will be. Read this book.
Carrying on with the theme of damaged goods, Broken is heart wrenching take on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – but with a teen romance twist.
I read it as part of my ongoing attempts to write better romance, because the author is a bud of mine and because I was quite prepared to offer a blurb. There were a number of recurring themes throughout the book. Perhaps the most significant theme is that of loss – the concept of loss simply bleeds through the pages as you follow Em and Alex amid some seriously dark stuff going on in the background.
Hauntingly written with a plot that can choke up a cranky old fart like me, Broken is a must read for those who are tired of the same old teen paranormal romance stuff that’s been done to death.
I love Keren’s books. I read When I was Joe, the first in this series last year and it made my Top 5 list. Almost True is a continuation of Ty’s story – in book one, he had the misfortune of witnessing a murder and had to go into witness protection along with his mum. New name, new school, new life and someone on your tail. In book two, there’s the continuing threat to Ty and some secrets about the people Ty is hiding with that can be summed up with one word F-A-M-I-L-Y.
Keren does a remarkable job of making Ty sound masculine. No easy task when the author is the opposite gender – my protagonist in Poltergeeks is a girl – I had to make her sound genuine and that was hard work. It’s a fast-moving novel and in many ways, it’s kind of ground breaking as a series. There’s a culture of violence among many teen males and Keren explores this with poignancy and authenticity. It’s gritty, it’s got high drama and is a bit of a thrill ride. Don’t miss it!