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TinaNoir

Tina's Reading Books

Genre fiction lover:  Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy

Best of 2014 - Part 1 - The Reliables

Magic Breaks - Ilona Andrews Whispers Under Ground - Ben Aaronovitch A London Season - Joan Wolf

My 2014 reading year was much better than my 2013 reading year.  Not in volume, because I read about the same number of books.  But In quality. 

 

In 2013 I  had a massive reading slump and was down 75% in my total reading for the year as compared to 2012.  Nothing seemed to work for me past a few strong installments in long running series and  couple of new-to-authors that came out strong.

 

In contrast, 2014 started out strong.  In January alone I read two of my top ten books.  And each month thereafter, I had a nice slew of really good books.

 

n.b. these are books I read in 2014 but not necessarily released in 2014.

 

The reliables are authors whose works I have enjoyed in the past and continue to either be favorites or rate very highly year after year.

 

 

This is an oldie.  A very oldie, obviously.  A Signet trad regency written by Joan Wolf.  I had this one a long time but for some reason never could get any enthusiasm to read it.   Now it is one of my very favorites of hers.  It is a hallmark of her style - spare, smart and romantic.  It is a small books but packs a wallop of a story.  And it features one of my new favorite heroines in romance.  I think in my review I called Jane 'Gangsta'. She really was.  Resolute, implacable and completely fab.  I re-read this about a month ago when a slew of Joan Wolf books got re-packaged a released in ebook format.  And it was just as good the second time around.

 

The Peter Grant series continues to delight.  Even better?  The audiobooks.  I love these books on audio.  The writing of course continues to be incisive and witty as hell.  This was a fantastic installment even better than the last.  And  the narrator, Kobna Holbrook-Smith, gives some added depth to the story and really draws you in.  The one place where this is most evident is the writer & narrator's treatment of the character of Leslie.  Both the story and of telling of it gets Peter's diffidence colored by slight shame and guilt re: Leslie just right. This is a perfect marriage of story and narrator.

 

 

The Kate Daniels series is operating at such a heady high right now, I am almost afraid that is just can't sustain this excellence.  I honestly did not feel that anything could top last year's Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6) - Ilona Andrews .  But this book did it and handily so.  Honestly, I do not think I read a more thrilling book this year.  It defied expectation and delivered such a reading high I don't think I came down for hours after.  For anyone who is thinking about starting the series, don't let the early books (which are the weakest and hardest to get through) slow you down.  This series is like a rollercoaster, the first couple of books are like that initial slow, hard climb but by the third book you get poised at the top of a very long, very thrilling drop.  And then the rest of the books are a hell of a ride.

 

Tomorrow I'll do Part 2 - The OverAchievers