Hey. How are ya’ll doing? I thought I’d ask before I got into my “Best of 2021” list because this has been another crazy year and sometimes it is nice to just do a little check-in. Even more so this year since the dumpster fire that is the current world plague shows no signs of letting up anytime soon and from what I can see on social media most of us seem to be coping but it’s getting on our last nerves. So yeah, I thought I’d just do a little check-in.
Well now that we’ve got that out of the way how about something positive? It’s that time again…the time when all the book bloggers are posting their year end, best reads of the year. I like to wait for the year to finish out before posting my list just in case a last minute read squeaks its way in. 2021 (like 2020 before it) sucked in so many ways, but for me it was still a good year for reading. As usual I enjoyed the vast majority of the books I read, and there were only a very few I didn’t. I still feel like we are experiencing that new golden age of science fiction and fantasy with so many great books to choose from both in traditional publishing or from indie/self-published authors and I hope it never ends.
So here it is, my top reads of 2021. Note, this is my list of top reads of 2021, meaning it is a list of my favorite books I read during the year, not necessarily my favorite books published in 2021. I’ve intentionally left off any #SPFBO finalists I may have already read as the competition is still undeway and the judging team I’m a part of has not posted any of our scores as of yet.
I managed to read 37 books this year (exceeding my Goodreads Challenge) and this list comprises those I rated as 4.5 Stars or 5 Stars and even includes a short story. I’ve arranged them mostly in order they were read by rating.
I’ve finally made it to the end of The Chronicles of The Bitch Queen. It’s been an emotional and intimate journey with Queen Talyien as she penned her story, and it would be an understatement to say I enjoyed it. Tali’s narrative has become a new favorite fantasy series, with a new favorite protagonist, and with K.S. Villoso as a new favorite author. If you’re looking for compelling and complex characters in an epic non-western fantasy setting I recommend you give this series a chance.
I’d hoped that this “What I’m Reading Post” would be a book review but alas it’s not. I had that hope because this book is scheduled to be released today in the U.S. and the publisher sent me an ARC, and I’ve had it a while, and I usually try to get reviews for ARCs posted before the book comes out if not weeks before it comes out. But I didn’t. Because I’m still reading it. Because I’m behind. Because life.
Anyway, the least I can do is get a What I’m Reading post put together to go live on the day the book releases. That’s something right? So what am I reading? Well…it’s The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng by K.S. Villoso.
Why? Why did I wait so long to read The Ikessar Falcon? Like, seriously why? I mean yeah I’ve got a lot of books on my TBR and this was just one among many. But I could have bumped it up the stack a bit. I should have bumped it up the stack a bit. I loved The Wolf of Oren-Yaro so why didn’t I read the follow-up right away? Why?
Look, here’s the takeaway you need from this review…you don’t even need to read the rest of it if you don’t want to…the one thing I want to get across if nothing else is this…
If you’re not already reading The Chronicles of The Bitch Queen, you should be because this series is just damn fantastic.
There. That’s it. That’s the whole point of anything else I might have to say about this book and this series. If you want a little more keep reading.
My fifth book of the year is one I’ve sat on since September. Orbit sent it to me at my own request and as is usual one thing after another came up and I’m just now getting to it. I might have put it off longer if it weren’t for a recent dust up on Twitter which I’ll discuss below.
So what am I reading? It’s The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso.
Today I want to welcome a special guest to the blog! K.S. Villoso is the author of the soon to be released The Wolf of Oren-Yaro from Orbit. Kay is an amazing author and The Wolf of Oren-Yaro is a fantastic book. If you haven’t put it on pre-order yet you really should. You can find out more about Villoso, and her book below, along with a link to my review. Continue reading
It’s been an age since I last posted about a book haul. Like…(checks calendar)…all the way back to June. I’d hoped to post about my new books a bit more often last year and didn’t do that. Obviously.
One of my blogging goals for 2020 will be to be more intentional about Book Haul posts. I’m aware that it’s possible nobody cares about the books I’ve bought or received, but I kinda like when bloggers post these because it not only puts new books in front of my eyeballs that I might not be aware of, but they also give me an idea of the blogger’s tastes. For my purposes a Book Haul post can include any book I’ve come to possess, not just those I buy, so arcs requested or just sent from publishers will be listed as well.
Today I have four books to show you from December. The first two I found on my doorstep recently, one I picked up after seeing it on Twitter, and the other I bought from the bookstore. Continue reading
It’s the last day of the year which means it’s time for my Best Reads of 2019 post! I’d hoped to write one more review before the end of the year but that isn’t gonna happen. That’s fine though because I have what I need for this list already. And while I didn’t read as many books as I’d hoped this year I did read some really good ones!
2019 was another great year for speculative fiction. I’ve heard it said by many readers that we are in a new golden age of spec fic. I think that’s true. Much of that has to do with some great new authors being published by traditional publishing houses, but a lot of that has to do with the rise of really great books coming out of the self-published/indie publishing realm.
What follows below are those books I read this year (regardless of publication date) that I rated a 4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars. There were a total of eight books to make the list. Of this group there was one self-published title, and two formerly self-published titles that were picked up by a major publisher, one of which hasn’t actually been published yet but I read the ARC. I’ll start with the 4.5 group, move to the 5.0 group, and finish with my favorite book of the year. Apart from the final book there is no particular order to this list other than the two main groupings. Continue reading
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and continued now by Tressa at Wishful Endings under the heading “Can’t Wait Wednesday” where readers and bloggers share and discuss books they are excited about reading and which have generally not yet been released. I’m sticking with “Waiting On Wednesday” just because I like the way it rolls off the tongue.
I haven’t made a Waiting On Wednesday post in an age. Like, I’m pretty sure the last one was in December. Hold on let me check…yep December. So what has me so excited that I’m posting one of these for the first time in seven months? Well, it’s because of a cover reveal I saw today. Feast your eyes on this… Continue reading