Off The TBR’s Best Reads of 2018

Well it’s time for another best of list. You didn’t think the year would end before having to read mine did you? You could skip it I guess…but that would make you a sucky person and you’re not a sucky person right? I mean if you’re really tired of these then go ahead and skip it, but I’m taking the time to compile it so yeah I’d love for you to at least skim for the results and pics.

This was another great year for speculative fiction. Unfortunately for me I didn’t get to read as many as I would have liked and I reviewed even less. You’ve read all my rants and moans about my schedule this year so I won’t rehash it, but I’m disappointed I didn’t get more reviews posted. That being said here’s my “Best Of” list for 2018. This isn’t strictly a best of books published in 2018, but rather the my best reads for the year regardless of publication date.

If I’ve kept an accurate count I read 40+ books so far this year. One was a Beta read that I can’t talk about yet. The first five books in this list are my five star reviews that I actually wrote up. The last six are books that either were a 4.5 – 5.0 most of which were read during a time I didn’t have the bandwidth to post a review. Finally I have a couple of short-stories I fell in love with that I have no choice but to add to my best of list.

And as you scroll down notice how many self-pub/indie books made the list. Yep…I’ve become a fan. Continue reading

Bloody Rose Review

My Post

Author: Nicholas Eames
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date:  August 28, 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 512 (minus “extras”)

I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher.

Kings Of The Wyld was my favorite book of 2017. Hell it was my favorite fantasy book to come along in years. That meant I had really high expectations for Bloody Rose. In fact my expectations were so high that I’d decided it would be impossible Eames could meet them and produce something that would equal my love and excitement for KoTW. I was wrong. He freaking did it…and let me tell you…Bloody Rose is even better! Continue reading

Month In Review: July 2018

Month In Review2

Well another month has come and gone!

Things are looking up here at Off The TBR. The really crazy hectic period at work came and went, and we hired another person in our department to help pick up some of the load which means I should be working less on the weekends which means MORE TIME FOR BLOGGING! This has already played out this month just in terms of reviews. I went from no reviews at all in June to posting two in July, and if it weren’t for a weekend long power outage across practically the whole city I might have posted a third.

So here’s what happened this month… Continue reading

Waiting On Wednesday: Bloody Rose

Waiting On Wednesday

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.


Author: Nicholas Eames
Publisher: Orbit
Series: The Band (Book 2)
Length: 510 pages (plus some extras)
Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

This week’s Waiting On Wednesday selection is Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames. And OK, I’m not really waiting on it as you can tell from the pic because I have it…but you should be waiting on it. I have to go ahead and thank Orbit now for sending me a copy. It came in the mail by surprise on Monday and I’m not gonna lie I squealed like a little girl. My boys thought I might have finally lost it.

Why all the excitement you ask? Well, as you can tell from my review of Kings Of The Wyld I absolutely loved book one of the series. In fact it went down as my favorite read of 2017 and one of my favorite fantasy books of all time. There was a lot of love going around last year for Kings Of The Wyld and it recently won two Gemmell Awards, the Morningstar Award for best fantasy debut and the Ravenheart Award for best cover art/design. And why not? It had great characters – characters who are old like me, it had heart, it was funny as hell, it paid homage to countless hours of D&D growing up, it had a 70’s rock band theme…and it even had a soundtrack. I could keep going. Oh…and I love those covers by Richard Anderson!

Eames picks up the story with a new generation of characters including the daughter of one of the original Band members from KoTW. Eames is keeping the rock band theme going but with a new generation we’ve moved on to 80’s rock and a whole new soundtrack you can find on Spotify. Bloody Rose has been my most eagerly anticipated book of 2018 and I can’t wait to dive in.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon and from the book cover:

“A band of fabled mercenaries, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, tour a wild fantasy landscape, battling monsters in arenas in front of thousands of adoring fans, but a secret and dangerous gig ushers them to the frozen north, and the band is never one to waste a shot at glory . . . even if it means almost certain death.

Live fast, die young.
Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.

When the biggest mercenary band of all, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, rolls into town, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.

It’s time to take a walk on the wyld side.

Did you notice that bit about the POV character? She’s gonna sign on as the bard…and you know what always happens to bard’s in the Wyld…well it’s like drummers for Spinal Tap. Life on the road is bound to be rough for our new friend Tam.

If you haven’t read KoTW yet I recommend you go out and get a copy today. Do it. Trust me. Read it. Then put in an order for Bloody Rose as soon as you can. If this is anywhere near as good as its predecessor you’re not gonna want to miss it. Don’t be the last one of your friends to read this series. Don’t be that guy! (or girl). Then let’s all gush all about it and sing together in classic girl punk fashion…

“Girls just want to have fun”

Best Books Of 2017

It feels a little strange to be writing this post today. I started 2017 with a goal of trying to see just how many books I could read in the year. There was no set amount, I was just going to note a few words about them as I went and post pictures to facebook and twitter with pictures of my bedside bookshelf as it filled up with each read. By the end of the year I was blogging and writing reviews. So who knows what I’ll be doing this time in 2018.

Last night I took a look back at my list. I read 47 books in 2017. I’ve discovered that’s not a lot compared to some of you but I feel pretty good about it. I’ve put the full list at the bottom of this post. There’s some really good books in that list. I didn’t get to read as many works published in 2017 as I would have liked and there were a lot of great books to come out in the SFF world this year. I wish I could have got to more of them.

Anyway, for this post I’ve listed the seven books that I either gave a five star review on the blog, or that I would have given a five star review had I been blogging at the time I read it. Four of the seven are debuts! Not all of them fall into the speculative fiction focus of the blog but I do read a wider selection. You’ll even notice some history books at the bottom where I’ve listed all the reads of the year. So here you go…my best of 2017 in the order I read them. Continue reading