So 2013. Not a banner year for me. I had a massive reading slump this year. My books completed was down 40% from previous years and my DNF total was close to 50 books. That is up 125% from previous years.
But still, there were some stand out books that were really wonderful. I don't put them in any particular order but grouped them somewhat thematically and am breaking down my list in four parts.
Part 1 - Long running series that really delivered.
Not only are these series still killing it, the books released this year represent, arguably, some of the best storytelling happening in in their respective storylines.
In Heart of Obsidian, we finally get Kaleb’s story. So much anticipation could have worked against it and made the story fall flat like it did with Sienna and Hawke’s story in Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling Series) - Nalini Singh (that was a bit of a let down). But no. Singh totally brung it with Kaleb’s book. I was giddy with how much this book worked for me. So much so, that I went back and started the whole series all over again. And was tickled by all the clues and bits and pieces of Kaleb’s history she’d sprinkled in the earlier books only to bring it all home in this one. Most gratifyingly, I don’t feel that she compromised on Kaleb’s character to mold him into a typical hero. He remained an anti-hero that you could accept in lieu of a hero.
Magic Rises did three very smart things.
1. It relocated the major players and put them in a completely new environment. Hence it at once fused the familiar with the new and neatly side-stepped the trap of the series feeling stagnant.
2. It introduced some very interesting and immediately dynamic new characters
3. at the end it created what I felt was a small seismic shift in the ongoing arc. You got the sense that this was a …if not game changer… at least a major step forward in Kate’s private war.
Besides all that the book was ridiculously entertaining!
After a somewhat relaxed, almost reflective 6th book that felt uncharacteristically tame for this series, Briggs came roaring back with the relentless, action-packed Frost Burned. This book began with a bang and never looked back. I read it in one sitting and was exhausted and exhilarated by the end. Damn what a ride!
None of the subsequent three installments in the Charley Davison series quite measured up to the ridiculous awesomeness that was the first book . Until this one. It was with this one that I think the author hit her stride…hard…with this series. For the first time I think all the different elements that make up the fabric of these stories…the humor, the dead people, the mystery, Reyes and the romance…fit together just right for me. And like any good series, 5 books in, it isn't just treading water here. I get a sense that she putting her foot on the gas just a bit and we're getting some more forward momentum in the overarching story arc.
Next up is Best Books of 2013 part 2 - Authors who kicked it up a notch.