Monday, December 31, 2018

Best Reads of 2018

I thought 2017 was a tough year, but 2018 raised the bar and turned out to be a year where things just went from bad to worse. My PC died, work stress went through the roof and the world, well we all know the state of the world... Thankfully the year is finally at an end, and I will be glad at its demise.

I hoped to get to 40 books this year, but it soon became clear that there would be no way that I'd reach that, so I had to adjust my goal downwards to 25 books. I barely managed to scrape past that number and ended up reading 21 novels, 2 novellas and 2 graphic novels.

Here, in no particular order, are my best reads for 2018.

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence


I loved the Prince of Thorns series, but Mark Lawrence has definitely grown in the craft since his debut and Red Sister must be his best work so far. I loved the fantasy setting with hints of a long forgotten technological age. Plus nothing beats deadly assassin nuns!

The Soldier by Neal Asher


Neal Asher never disappoints and The Soldier is a mind-blowing start to a new trilogy set in the Polity universe. He manages to weave the most awe-inspiring elements of his universe together into an amazing narrative brimming with awesome technology, vast space battles, gigantic explosions and intricate machinations that are terrifying in their scope. This simply tops everything that has come before.

Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell


An amazing space opera where the sentient warship just steals the show. Trouble Dog has attitude in spades and her quest for redemption is just plain heartwarming. Add a diverse crew of feisty, flawed characters and you have the groundwork for something special.

The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson


I'm very late to this party, but I've finally started reading Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive. The first two books in the series, The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, were simply amazing. I fell in love with the vast, intricate world-building and how Sanderson manages to slowly unveil new facets to an already fascinating world. While their length can seem daunting these are tomes you can become completely lost in. Time just slips away and before you know it, you are at the last page craving more.

Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman


Dark Orbit is a fascinating exploration of how our limited sensory perceptions shape how we perceive each other, the world and the universe at large. A cast of captivating characters and a truly remarkable premise makes this a must-read. The story is dizzying in both scope and implication and will have you re-evaluating how you look at the world. My only regret is that it was far too short.

Boy's Life by Robert McCammon


A magical coming of age story. A Boy's Life is beautifully written; funny, sad, and profound, with keen observations about what it means to grow up. There's a touch of the supernatural thrown in, but it just adds an extra bit of magic to a story that will have you yearning for your own lost childhood.

Super Sons Vol 1: When I Grow Up by Peter J. Tomasi


This year I've started delving into comics and Super Sons just blew me away. It's an absolute blast of wholesome fun featuring Superboy (aka Jonathan Kent) and Robin (aka Damian Wayne) as they try to follow in their superhero fathers' footsteps while trying not to kill each other. The rivalry and banter between the two boys are bound to put a smile on your face. Best of all you can jump straight in without having to know anything about the Superman or Batman universe.

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Here's to a wonderful 2019. May we all find enough time to read and take care of ourselves!


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