Friday, December 31, 2010

Favourites of 2010

It is now 2011 and everyone seems to be putting down what they enjoyed reading most in 2010, so I thought I'd join the party.
Because I have two different streams of reading (general SFF stuff and the list of 100 Must-Read Fantasy Novels) I think it's only fair that there be 2 favourite lists. Yes, Travels Through Iest always going that extra mile for it's readers.

Please note: these didn't all come out in 2010.My budget doesn't always stretch to the hardcover or trade paperback of just released books. I'll include links to my original review as well.

This is going from 4 - 1. Maybe I'm a hard marker, but I could only find 4 books I though deserved to make the list.

4) Gil's All Fright Diner - A. Lee Martinez
This was my introduction to the marvelously versatile imagination of A. Lee Martinez and also his debut novel. It's not very long, but the few hours it takes to read is a fun time. The author takes the staples of Urban Fantasy: vampires, werewolves, zombies and ghosts, turns them on their head and adds in an evil teenage sorceress just to make things even crazier. My only real complain is that Mr Martinez has so far not written a sequel.

3) The Black Lung Captain: A Tale of the Ketty Jay - Chris Wooding
Chris Wooding's first tale of the Ketty Jay; Retribution Falls, was one of the buzz novels of 2009. Could lightning strike twice? Chris Wooding pulled it off with The Black Lung Captain, this hard to categorize second novel in the series was a thrill ride from start to finish and continued to flesh out his world and characters. The 3rd book in the series: The Iron Jackal, is one of my most hotly anticipated books for 2011.

2) Feed - Mira Grant
Mira Grant is the pseudonym of Seanan McGuire, author of the October Daye Urban Fantasy novels, and Feed is a zombie apocalypse novel mixed with political thriller. It sounds insane and it kind of is, but it's well written, cleverly realised with a remarkably believable future world. The personal relationships is what this book is all about and I came to care about the characters. Feed made me laugh and it made me cry. Very much looking forward to the 2nd book of the trilogy; Deadline, due out in May of 2011.

And drumroll please...Travels Through Iest's favourite SFF novel of 2010 is:

1) I Shall Wear Midnight - Terry Pratchett
I don't think Sir Terry Pratchett is capable of putting out a bad book. I Shall Wear Midnight is the 38th Discworld novel and it remains every bit as fresh and surprising as in 1983 when a naive tourist by the name of Twoflower teamed up with the inept wizard Rincewind in The Colour of Magic. A thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience and one I heartily recommend to everyone.

Now for the challenge favourites list. I could include a few, but I refuse to put anything I'm rereading in there, because I know what I'm going into when I pick the book up. I've also only got as far as the D's and read 23 of the 100 on the list. Of the 23 I've read without including the rereads the one I had the most fun reading was:

The Land of Laughs - Jonathan Carroll
I went into this expecting not to particularly like it and as I read first found myself getting wrapped up in the mystery of the reclusive and secretive author Marshall France and liking the central characters of Thomas Abbey and his quirky girlfriend Saxony Gardner. As the story went on it became less of a mystery and more of a fantasy novel. It deserves more attention than it's been given. A true classic of the genre.

As reading years went 2010 was a good one. Hoping for more of the same in 2011 and peeking at some of the releases planned it looks like being a great year for fantophiles.

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