Friday, December 27, 2013

My favorite books of 2013

The list is made up of books that I've read in the past year, not just those that were published in 2013. Most are repeats that I've talked about in previous blog posts, but a couple are new. This was overall a fantastic reading year; here's hoping the next has just as many pleasant surprises.

I've complained on here before about how bored I get at all the fantasy novels where the world is constantly in danger of ending. Such frequent use of that danger takes away from the impact, in my opinion. So this book was a welcome change. It focuses on a society that is slightly feudal in design - one Master that rules over a section of land. But the Master has a council that he works with in order to channel the magic inherent in the land, and also to make more mundane ruling decisions. The training of the Master and his most important partner, the Chalice, should be a lifelong apprenticeship, but the most recent Master and Chalice of Willowlands were suddenly killed. And now the power of the Chalice has passed to Marisol, who has had no training, and no idea how to solve the increasing number of problems piling up at her door...

I loved this book because the story and the setting were unusual, but also because Marisol was such a complex, interesting character - as was the new Master she was paired with: a priest of Fire who was now more elemental than human. You should all definitely read this.

The one book on my list I can't really recommend to everyone, unfortunately. The violence content is kind of extreme, and there are some truly disturbing sections (in the first book of the series, there is a particular torture scene that I have yet to wipe from my brain - and I'm pretty tough where violence in books is concerned). Anyway, if you can handle that, Scott Lynch is an amazing writer and character builder, and it's incredible fun to watch Locke and Jean think their way out of the most convoluted of traps. 

Oh, and the other thing is that Scott Lynch writes the most creative swearing I have ever read. Have you ever read a book where the author says, "John swore colorfully, and Jane learned a few words she'd never heard before"? Well, if you ever wondered what those words might have been, just read this book or the one before it.

Or maybe I'm the only one ever bothered by that?

I talked about it more in this post.


More about what I thought of the Killing Moon here. I actually loved the sequel even more. The worldbuilding is a bit dense, but once I got all the terms straight, I loved the world that she built and the unique setting. Apparently she's done writing in this world for now, which is a shame, but I'm excited to see what she has coming next.

I love this series so hard. The Raven Boys was fantastic, but its sequel, The Dream Thieves, was beyond incredible. Why is the next book not out yet? Whyyyy?

Yeah, you already knew this was going to be on here. Say, have you seen the first poster for the movie yet?

And you knew these would be here too. Code Name Verity is still the most incredible book I've read for years (yes, even more than TFOIS), and certainly one of the very few that I constantly push on unsuspecting friends and relatives.

What were your favorite books of the year?

1 comment:

  1. I want you to know I'm reading Code Name Verity on audiobook at the moment and it's so amazingly beautiful I'm in awe. I am completely wrapped up in the story, and even if due to a fluke in life I go a week without listening, as soon as I turn the story back on (and back up 30 seconds just to reset my expectations for where I am) I am *rapt.* Unbelievably good. Oh my gosh.

    I have some books to add to my to-read shelf from here, but so glad to see someone else who loved Maggie Stiefvater's books as much as I did! Raven Boys blew me away.


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