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Ghost Shadow

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Soul of the Desert

Best of 2017 – Book Discussion/Reviews

The list you’ve all been waiting for! 🙂 Well, you would have been waiting if you’d known it was coming!

Top Reads:

Sunbolt was an amazing read! Way over 5 stars! This is epic fantasy with wonderful characters in a unique world. The world building is just right–not long and boring infodumps. The details are shared sparingly, but enough to create a rich tapestry. The main AND secondary characters are vividly and fully developed. The plot is multi-layered and the pacing perfect. This one does have a couple of scenes that are dark, but I think the author handled them well and didn’t cross the line. While the main makes some choices that I would not make (and is rather stubborn about sticking to them even when they don’t make a lot of sense) the plot is cleverly woven around these ideals.

Sunbolt AND the second in the series, Memories of Ashes, not only make my 2017 best reads, they are on my all-time favorites list. If you read nothing else in the coming year, give this series a try!

Also at other retailers, including Kobo

IGNORE the misleading cover and title! Burn for Me was an action-packed UF filled with some awesome world building, powerful characters and a good mystery.  Of course there's romance and some great wit; Ilona Andrews always delivers on all fronts–intrigue, setting, characters, and plot.  A highly recommended 5 star read! I’m greatly looking forward to the next two in the series!

Also at Kobo and Google Play and other retailers.

The Flaw in All Magic was a delightful mix of fantasy and urban fantasy. As with most books I like, it was the characters that made the story. A very unique half-orc and a non-magic user were an interesting pair. Fun plot, fast paced and I'm hoping for a second in the series soon! I reviewed this earlier in the year–if you read it, chime in and tell me what you thought of it. For me, this was the most “fun” fantasy read of the year. I think it’s good for cozy fantasy readers and regular fantasy readers.

I’ve read the first 2 in this series, Alight and Arise–seriously fun UF reads with plenty of action, some unusual shifters and good plots. I’ve heard the third, Aflame, has more romance, but the first two only tease us with potential–the scenes are a little overdone or perhaps raw is a better word, but they are fleeting.  Can't wait to start book 3.

The audio books are available at Kobo, but not the ebooks.

I’ve read all of the books in Helen Harper’s Lazy Witch Series: Slouch Witch, Star Witch and Spirit Witch.  I heartily recommend all three! Excellent characters, fun situations, and for a lazy witch, Ivy gets a lot done (despite her attempts to get out of it!)  I loved Ivy’s sidekick (cat), just-right world building and well-plotted mysteries. 5 stars. Fast paced and fun.

The audio books are available at Kobo as well as Amazon.


Best Mystery – I didn’t read a lot of mysteries this year, but I did find this gem. This Doesn’t Happen in the Movies is a good old fashioned read with a main character who solves the case using his brain. The clues are logical and the trail of evidence comes together nicely with action throughout to keep things moving. Good, solid story telling with characters I enjoyed.

And what will you be reading this next week???

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Posted: December 25, 2017

9 Comments »

  1. For someone who says there aren’t any good books out there, you sure do have a nice list of excellent books you discovered this year! I’ve read all but the Aflame book (at least the first of each) and I’ll have to try Aflame soon since I liked all the others and some of the reviews for Aflame say it is ‘fun’, ‘funny’ and a ‘frolic’ three really good f words!

    Comment by April — December 25, 2017 @ 8:25 pm

  2. I have read them ALL!!! I hope that there are more good ones published this year or I’m sunk!!!

    Comment by Maria — December 26, 2017 @ 8:21 am

  3. There will be. There always are.

    Comment by April — December 26, 2017 @ 9:06 am

  4. Nope, nope. All the good ones have been read!

    Comment by Maria — December 26, 2017 @ 11:53 am

  5. Oh and since you didn’t ask and I’m always ready to tell; those Ilona Andrews books are so awesome, I read them despite the smarmy covers. I can’t remember who, but another author I follow on GoodReads said “read it even though you hate the cover” and I was very glad I listened. I really loved the main – her attitude and family were really fun to follow along with. I would have been glad to sit down to dinner with them, well, when they aren’t being attacked in the middle of the night by armed and magical thugs…

    Comment by April — December 27, 2017 @ 11:30 am

  6. Ilona Andrews is always a good read! This series in particular seems to have great family elements.

    Comment by Maria — December 27, 2017 @ 12:09 pm

  7. Finally stopped reading Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon. It was just kind of dull for me. So then I picked up Blameless, next in the Changeless series by Gail Carriger. I’ve been re-listening to these but this one I’m actually reading because the library no longer has the audio version. Still listening to Night Broken and The Ape Who Guards the Balance in my other re-listen series.

    Comment by April — December 29, 2017 @ 3:16 pm

  8. Remnant Population was kind of dull. I don’t think I finished it either.

    Comment by Maria — December 29, 2017 @ 4:38 pm

  9. The best book I read this year has to be “Garden Of Lamentations” by Deborah Crombie. She’s always a good read, but this book was exceptional, IMO. She wove together and resolved several long running, and seemingly unrelated, storylines, and opened up new possibilities for future books. This series (Duncan KinCaid/Gemma James) is more procedural than cozy, but there are a lot of cozy elements. I love their deepening relationship, expanding family, and personal and professional interactions with others. Crombie always manages to weave in an element of history into her stories, which I find especially interesting.

    Comment by Dee/dragons3 — December 30, 2017 @ 1:59 pm

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