Wow. It’s been a long, long time since I did a Best of the Bunch post. It’s actually kind of scary how quickly the time has gone by. Anyway. I’ve always enjoyed doing this post (difficult as it can be to select just two noteworthy books), so I wanted to highlight the two top books of 2013 so far. I decided not to include re-reads, as otherwise Melina Marchetta would easily win February!
Best of the Bunch in January 2013
I may read a lot of YA, but there’s just something about a MG novel done right that makes me fall in love with reading all over again. Ordinary Magic first came to my attention following a glowing review over at The Book Smugglers. Abby is the kind of heroine I love to read about, brave, compassionate, loyal and completely ordinary in a world where magic is normal. If you’re looking for a a bit of escapism full of magic and adventure, for a book that is charming and warmhearted with endearing characters, then you can’t go far wrong with this.
I’m not much of a vampire fan, but The Hallowed Ones completely won me over. This book is gruesome, with a plot that expertly builds up an eerie tension and features an intelligent, strong and capable heroine. By setting The Hallowed Ones in an Amish village, Bickle not only gives the reader a fascinating glimpse of a very different way of life, but creates an isolation that is totally complete. This is how you write a vampire book.
Best of the Bunch in February 2013
Any book that causes me to stay awake until 5am just to finish it deserves to win Best of the Bunch. Eona is the second book in a two part series, so I’m not going to give too much away here, except to say that Eona definitely holds it own against the brilliant Eon. Goodman has created a rich, vibrant world filled with complex characters whose motives are difficult to guess right up to the end. And there’s two pretty steamy romances to enjoy too. Definitely one of the best YA fantasy series out there.
Another fantasy – can you tell it’s my favourite genre? The Cadet of Tildor isn’t the strongest in it’s genre, it certainly doesn’t reach the heights of Melina Marchetta and Megan Whalen Turner, but The Cadet of Tildor is a page-turner with a lot going on and a great female protagonist. It also sets up some interesting relationships for the next book. I can’t wait for book two.
Book Reviews and posts for January and February
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Charmfall by Chloe Neill
The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp by Eva Rice
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
A Witch in Love by Ruth Warburton
What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang