Before I start I will confess that I had a bit of a reading dry spell for most of this year. It’s ok, it wasn’t serious and I’m certain that I’m over it now and will be taking measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
What I have read this year has mainly been within the last 3 months, I’ve got back into a natural rhythm for devouring books. A few of these have been lucky finds on Kindle (kept me going while travelling) and others have been sitting on my shelf most of the year waiting to be read.
Here are the books that cured my reading slump:
Sol.Terra – The Leap by C.A. Harland
This was a nice light novel to pick up and get back into reading again. It’s kinda like a detective story set in space – our main characters, Pia the waitress and Cal the government bounty hunter, meet on Earth (Sol.Terra) and journey through the universe together catching otherwordly criminals and trying to piece together clues that may lead to something larger. It’s fast paced, sometimes leaping ahead so far it almost feels rushed in parts, but that can be forgiven since there is enough to spark the imagination in the form of strange planets and new alien species.
It has a sequel – Sol.Terra, The Originals – but it works just as well as a standalone. Both are available on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback.
Nod by Adrian Barnes
An ‘end of the world’ tale with a different angle. What if suddenly you couldn’t sleep anymore? This answers that question with a somewhat plausable scenario. Following a protagonist who is one of the few still able to sleep we are shown the slow break down of the every day that quickly descends into hysteria. It’s well thought out, somewhat follows facts, and adds in a surprising adversary who keeps our protagonist on his toes. I’ve read a lot of apocalyptic themed books and after a while they can become a tad ‘samey’, however this one was a welcome change with interesting ideas and a very clever ending.
End of the World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker
Another world-ending scenario. We’re introduced to Ed, he’s pretty lazy and a bit of an arse, oh and it’s up to him to change his ways and do the right thing for him and his family to get through the end of days. It’s a tough journey and there are many obstacles – it’s now a dog-eat-dog world out there – this isn’t so much a story of survival as it is personal growth. Be prepared to shed some tears though as this one finds ways to pull at the heartstrings.
The Survivors Club by J. Carson Black
This is a change from my usual selection of genre. A mystery/thriller following a sheriff with an exceptional memory as she investigates the murder of a former cop. There are several suspects and some extremely curious crimes along the way that have you swapping suspicion like pass-the-parcel and just when you think you know who-dunnit the plot twists again. It’s intriguing enough although it is slow in places and there are elements that seemed redundant to the plot, but maybe that’s just another clever device to keep us off the scent of the killer.
Day Four by Sarah Lotz
What better way to spend New Years Eve than on a luxury cruise in the Caribbean. This book is less dream holiday and more nightmare vacation however. Each chapter – named similar to tarot cards “The Angel of Mercy””The Witch’s Assistant” etc.- sees the events unfold from a different character’s perspective as their ship undergoes a bermuda-esque experience. The suspense is incredible, I read this in a night as I couldn’t put it down, it draws you in until you are as stuck on the ship as its passengers. This is not a sequel to Lotz’s first novel – The Three, but it does take place in the same story universe with our unlucky few recalling its events and characters. While it leaves more questions asked than answered (as did The Three) theres a chance that some may still be given as both books are going to be given the tv series treatment.
So there they are. Those are the best books I have read this year. If I hadn’t gone through my non-reading phase there would probably be more – some of these may not have even made it onto this post. I do know that this time next year I’ll have a much harder time deciding my favourite reads as I have a huge stack of books to get through – I may not have been reading but that didn’t stop me from accumulating more books. I’m still a bibliophile.
Happy reading and Happy New Year!