2015: What a year for books!
every year it gets harder and harder to split books out into what was the best (I never go near what was the worst), favorite series, favorite genre, best debut etc.. its all becoming too hard, the caliber every year seems to go up…. so i’ve changed it all a bit this year.
I’m amazed at how every book these authors raise their game and create such stunning plot lines and characters, be they long running series or new debutantes.
So anyone i have missed from my year of reviewing i apologize, if i could add every book i would, as many of you know i wont review a book i don’t like, so if your book is on the site, its because its truly excellent.
Historical Fiction : below are my 10 favorite books from Historical fiction this year (i couldn’t get it down from 10)
Paul Fraser Collard: The Lone Warrior
Conn Iggulden: Bloodlines
Christian Cameron: Salamis
Douglas Jackson Scourge of Rome
Toby Clements Broken Faith
Michael Arnold: Marston Moor
Nick Brown : Emperors Silver
Ben Kane Eagles at War
SJA Turney Pashas Tale
Anthony Riches Thunder of the Gods
Robert Fabbri Romes lost Son
My Favorite in genre goes to : SJA Turney Pashas Tale this wasn’t an easy pick because there are truly some fantastic moments in every book listed here. But Simon’s book a series-finisher had such a moving ending it just edged it.
Miles Cameron : Dread Wyrm
Bradley Beaulieu: Twelve Kings
Joe Abercrombie: Half a War
Mark Lawrence Liars Key
Sebastian De Castell Knights Shadow
My favorite book in fantasy genre 2015 goes to Miles Cameron: Dread Wyrm , as a fantasy series this one is right up there with the greatest in terms of imagination, complexity and world building. But with none of the need to mire the reader in the drudge of detail (its all there, but it just flows out with the story). Anyone looking for the new epic fantasy, to eclipse Game of Thrones or Lord of The Rings, seriously, this is what you’re looking for.
Chris Kuzneski : Prisoners Gold
Tom Harper: Black River
Rebecca Cantrell Chemistry of Death
Manda Scott Into the Fire
My favorite thriller of the year: Tom Harper: Black River this was a very very close run genre this year, Chris Kuzneski is amazing, his books are just a power house of thriller writing, , Rebecca Cantrell produces such amazing characters that i find myself lost in Joe Tesla’s world every book. Manda Scott is … well she is just an all round amazing writer and Into the Fire is sublime. But something about Black River just worked for me, i was hooked from start to finish.
Guy Saville: Madagaskar Plan
I didn’t dabble too much in this genre this year, but i wouldnt have to read much more than this one, Guy Saville has an amazing concept, and the books are so brilliantly written.
James Rollins / Rebecca Cantrell Blood Infernal
As a rule i don’t read this genre, but i cannot resist James Rollins books, his Sigma books are a secret reading pleasure, and Rebecca Cantrell adds an extra element to his writing. This book completes probably James Rollins best work and in some style.
Best Compilation/ Series
Christian Cameron: Tom Swan One of my all time favorite characters and books. A series that will i hope be on going for some time yet. Every (approx 100 page) serial adds new elements to the take of this young man and his exploits, but its the depth of effortless history that oozes from the pages that is astounding. (i say effortless, for the reader, clearly not for the writer, who must put in an immense amount of effort here). All of this is put together in such a way that the book rushes by and before you know it you are clamoring for the next episode…
So the over all awards for this year
My Favorite book of 2015
Sebastian De Castell Knights Shadow
How you might wonder does this book win over all book and not its own genre, in some way i wanted to recognize both books from that genre. But also because The writing and the concept of this book always just blows me away. The nostalgia element of the way this book reminds me of Dumas and his Three Musketeers, coupled with the originality of the Greatcoats and the witty, dry style of the authors writing. The book takes you through all emotions and provides entertainment of the highest quality… the next book is one of my most anticipated of 2016.
Christian Cameron: every year his productivity and his commitment to history is just astounding. His books each and every one are worthy of being in if not topping my charts, this probably makes me a harsher critic just to give others a chance (sorry).
Most Entertaining Author
Anthony Riches Thunder of the Gods This might seem an odd category, but it was the best title i could give it. Its for pure humour and fun, interesting, real characters, and also finally for the man himself, the writer. Anthony Riches himself is always great fun to his readers. Highly entertaining at any book tour/ talk, always hovering that sword above the neck of your favorite character with a wicked glint in his eye, and unlike so many authors perfectly willing to kill anyone in the story especially if it gets a rise out of you, he has a real connection with his audience through his books. Those books have something special in them, something i wish more authors would aspire too, he brings all of his characters to life, spends the time and effort on them all, so that when he does have to kill them you feel it. Its that ability to make you feel his story that makes him so entertaining as a writer.
I cannot end the review of 2015 without mentioning Ben Kane Eagles at War . Ben is firstly an amazing writer, and with every book deserves to be in anyone’s top 10 if not at the top of it..The reason for Ben’s special mention; he is utterly tireless and selfless in his pursuit of books, writing, and the charities he supports. Whenever i’m online i see Ben promoting another member of the HWA , another book or raising money for charity. I never fail to be impressed with his energy and pursuit of writing.
Coming soon….my look ahead at books to come in 2016…. and it looks to be yet another fantastic year