The Best Books I’ve Read this year (So Far)

As a result of, lack of sleep, a busy schedule, and slow going on the writing front, I’ve been feeling kind of down lately. So, in hopes of feeling more positive, I’ve decided to make a post about some of the more awesome books I’ve read lately. Here they are, broken down into categories to make things a little easier.

Fantastic Series Installments
The Bitter Kingdoms by Rae Carson- Finishing up a series is really tricky work. Not only do you need to raise the stakes from previous books, and tie up all of those dangling threads, but high expectations from fans can often work against you. This is why I’m so pleased that Rae Carson managed to finish off Elisa’s story so well, delivering challenges both personal and epic. I do hope she decides to return to this series and tell more stories, even if it’s with a whole new cast of characters, because it’s such a rich world with questions still left unanswered.

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson– This is both the fourth Mistborn book and the first in a new series. Sanderson travels several hundred years in the future in his Mistborn universe to tell a wild west inspired tale. This significantly shorter book may lack the epic feel of the original trilogy, but it pretty much knocks it out of the park when it comes to creating nail biting action sequences, and likable characters. I can’t wait to see where he’ll go with this series next.

Honorable Mentions: Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire, Wild Justice by Kelly Armstrong, and Shadowplay by Laura Lam

Sensation Stand Alones
Honululu by Alan Brennert- This is actually a re-read for a bookclub. I was quite impressed at how well this story of a Korean immigrant living in Honolulu (often through tumultous times) continued to connect to me as a reader. Not only is it an entertaining tale, but it’s filled with fascinating information about the history of Honolulu, as well as giving the reader a glimpse into the problems facing Korea at the time. A really enjoyable work of historical fiction.

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan- I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, which makes this book perfect for me, as it’s written almost like a thriller. This mix of memoir and medicine tells the story of a young reporter who’s life becomes chaos when she comes down with an autoimmune disease that turns her very brain against her. Both entertaining and informative.

Great Graphic Novels
X-23, Vol 1: Innocence Lost by Craig Kyle- X-23’s recent appearance in All New X-men has inspired me to go back and learn more about the characters beginnings, making this origin story a perfect fit. Innocence Lost tells about X-23’s conception at Weapon X and training to become a killer, successfully laying down the framework for her lifelong battle to prove that she’s more than just a weapon. Innocence Lost is also very friendly to new readers, which isn’t always the case with comics, even ones with #1s on their covers.

Alias, Vol 4: The Secret Origin of Jessica Jones by Brian Michael Bendis- The fourth and final volume in the Alias series is the best in the series. By learning Jessica’s whole story it really makes you understand the character so much better. Unlike Innocence Lost, this is not a stand alone novel at all, and I think it’s necessary to start at the beginning of Jessica’s story to really appreciate it.

Honorable Mentions: Alias, Vol 3: The Underneath by Brian Michael Bendis, and X-23, Vol 3: Target X by Craig Kyle.

Read anything good lately?

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