Thursday, December 29, 2022

Best Reads of 2022

This year has been a strange year for me. Everything started out fine, but about halfway through the year I found it harder and harder to focus on reading. Halfway through the year I lost all motivation. I couldn't bring myself to write reviews for the few books I did manage to read. And then things got even worse.  

Months went by where I didn't even pick up a single book. Reading wasn't fun anymore and blogging was out of the question. Combined with the worst load shedding South Africa has ever experienced I was at my darkest point (literally and emotionally). It took me a while to figure out that I was completely burned out and that the best thing I could do was to give myself time and space to recover.

It took much longer than expected, but I finally feel that I'm returning back to normal. I feel the burning urge to read again and my bookish excitement has returned with a vengeance. I want to read ALL the things. It's such a huge relief to have this essential part of me back again. I was afraid I was completely broken forever.

Load shedding is still an issue. It's strange what a huge impact only having a limited amount of hours of power has on your life. I'm still struggling with writing reviews and not having any power for long stretches aren't helping. Hopefully that gets better too.

Surprisingly, despite everything, I managed to read 50 books this year. As always it's difficult to choose my favourites. I've decided to exclude ongoing series this year, otherwise this list would be MUCH longer and completely dominated by Adrian Tchaikovsky's work. Go check out Bear Head (Dogs of War #2) and Eyes of the Void (The Final Architecture #2). They are both excellent and definitely worth picking up once you've read the first books in the series. 

Here are my top 3 reads of the year in no particular order:

The Long Winter Trilogy by A.G. Riddle

Cover for Winter World by A.G. Riddle

This is cheating a little, but I'm counting the entire trilogy as one. This was my first introduction to A.G. Riddle's work and I was blown away. There was never a dull moment, and Riddle manages to combine the pacing of a thriller with far-reaching and impactful ideas only good science fiction has to offer. The unexpected twist at the end broke both my heart and brain. The Long Winter trilogy far exceeded any of my expectations and A.G. Riddle has earned a place on my favourite authors list.

The Chimera Code by Wayne Santos

Cover for The Chimera Code

The Chimera Code is a high-octane adventure where cyberpunk meets magic and transforms itself into something majestic. The story kicks off with a bang and sweeps you up in a relentless, action-packed narrative with a conclusion that will leave you breathless and craving more. This was truly epic! I can't wait to see more of this world and its characters.

The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay

Cover for The Pallbearers Club

Tremblay takes a lesser known part of vampire mythology and gives it his own unique twist. The Pallbearers Club weaves a captivating narrative where you don't quite know what's real and what's not. This is a story that worms inside your mind and won't let you go until you've contemplated every possibility of its delicious ambiguity. Vampire or not? You decide.