Honourable Mentions of 2012

Books read and to be published in 2013

Pantomime by Laura Lam

Fantasy-steampunk with slight elements of magic, which may grow into a main theme in the next book. This really seems like a stand-alone, I had to look up whether there would be more or not. Another one of those books where the girl pretends to be a guy, but it’s damn well done.

Books read and published in 2012

Adaption by Malinda Lo

Well written YA with quite a different plot to anything else I’ve read recently. Deals with same-sex relationships in a very, very good way – something that should be more prevalent in YA in general. Dystopian, and seemingly realistic also. Terrorism, young love, and ‘I can’t believe that just happened’ plot lines.

The Army of Dr Moreau (Sherlock Holmes) by Guy Adams

Yes, it’s another Sherlock Holmes book but this one really seems like it’s written by our beloved ACD. A clash of many other classics such as The Island of Dr. Moreau and A Journey to the Centre of the Earth, with crisp writing, quick-witted and amusing dialogue.

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

Historical-fantasy with a clash of fairytales. A tale within a tale within a tale, that all link up in the end. Fanatically written, a hard slog to get through that’s intriguing, fascinating, and very much worth your time.

Fated by Benedict Jacka

Set in London, urban-fantasy. We meet Alex Verus, a mage who’s mostly ignored by his kind, as his powers aren’t that varied; he can’t teleport himself and can’t control fire, but what he can do is foresee the future. His magic is handled damn well, making him seem not a gary-sue, but able to achieve much in a believable way.

John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk

A historical fiction set in 1625 and beyond, following the life of John Sandall. It begins when he’s a child, soon to be on the run as a small, religious town accesses his mother of witchcraft. She dies during the winter, and John is sent to a manor to work in the kitchens. From there, John becomes one of the greatest cooks of the time, impressing even the King. A wonderful tale.

The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes

A fun romp that tells the story of Loch on a quest for revenge, and with her she takes her best friend, an illusionist, a unicorn, a death priestess (who used to be a love priestess), a talking warhammer (who used to be a king), a cracker, a gymnast, and an unsuspecting lad with a certain birthmark. What could possibly go wrong?

Pure by Julianna Baggott

A futuristic dystopian, told through multiple points of view in a beautiful yet slightly disturbing way. It tells the tale of a world after The Detonations. A Dome was created, but not everyone was allowed in. Those who were left outside are marked by permanent burns and disfigurations; fused with plastic, metal – whatever they were too close to when the Detonations went off. Slow to start, but gets damn good.

The Return Man by V. M. Zito

A dystopian adventure set in America in the year 2018. Zombies have taken claim to half of America, leaving the East safe and a stronghold. No one, not even though ‘un-infected’ are allowed in. We meet Henry Marco, a man who has remained out in the Evacuated States instead of obeying the call to retreat – he makes his living by taking requests from the grieving to track down their loved ones and serve their second death. Fantastically done.

The Uninvited by Liz Jensen

A mix of a psychological thriller dystopian that will leave you with a fear of salt. Or more specifically, fear of yourself when you crave salt. It starts when a seven-year-old girl puts a nail-gun to her grandmother’s neck and fires, but quickly continues to many more acts of murder and grievous bodily harm – always committed by a child. Freaky, well done, and stays with you.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

A girl who’s always been able to speak to a boy in her head, someone she thinks is her invisible friend. However, one day they bump into each other. A lovely read, with a kick-ass, strong female lead. A plot-line that could have been done so poorly yet surprisingly engaging and enjoyable.

Books read in 2012 (yet published earlier)

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

I’m still confused as to the title seeing as his sister-in-law’s name is Katherine, but anyhoo, a very enjoyable book that’s easily read in a day, but not as engaging as The Fault in our Stars. Probably because I’m not really into maths or fastfood.

The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

Bit odd, yet very lovely at the same time. Slow start, and slow parts through the book, but perhaps there to make you focus on the words – which are beautiful. Shaw’s way with words is simply beautiful. The book is as the title says, and it somehow makes it seem realistic.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Couldn’t put this book down, however, I failed to see or feel Alaska’s awesome – something that would have been part of her charisma – and I wish that had been conveyed. Really worth a read, just like everything John Green writes.

Naked in Death by J. D. Robb

Yes, the author also writes by the name but this is surprisingly good. It’s very easy reading, female cop who gets lots of hot sex, but what makes this book awesome is the futuristic science blended within. Who doesn’t want the perfect shower? Perfect temp, perfect force, yes, please!

Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht

Very different to anything I’ve read recently or at all. Historical fiction set in Ireland in the 1970s – very brutal, wars of the people and the church, but with paranormal entities thrown in. Another book that makes you glad that life is better now, for some.

Paper Towns by John Green

Another book by John Green from the point of view of a male who practically worships the ground a female (bitchy and unworthy) walks on. He does a fantastic job at viewpoint, in seeing the main character how others would see him while he remains oblivious – I just wish the female had a few more redeeming qualities. It needs to be said though – there’s not much really wrong with her, only with the main characters perception of her, which is cleverly done. I couldn’t put this book down either.

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

I have to admit, I’m damn surprised how much I enjoyed this. Another book that does same-sex relationships very well. Werewolves and generic engineering down well.

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Basically Pride and Prejudice with magic, incredibly detailed, beautifully written magic.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

An odd short book, where you’re not really sure what happened before the story began – the author leaves it up to your own decision. Fairly dark, fairly engrossing. A dark family a town hates, but is too scared of to do much to – most of the time, at least.

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