Thursday, January 4, 2018

Looking back at 2017: The five top reads

2017 was a strange year for me on the reading front. I started and threw out more books because I wasn't interested in finishing than ever before. On top of that, I focused a lot more attention on health matters and a lot less on reading books, so I just don't have the pool I might normally have for this list. But here are the titles I read in calendar year 2017 that I feel are worth a look by my able eyed readers.

Remember this list isn't necessarily of 2017 released books, just of book's I've read in 2017.

  1. Indigo by Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, Kelley Armstrong, Seanan McGuire, Tim Lebbon, Mark Morris, Jonathan Maberry, James A. Moore, Cherie Priest and Kat Richardson.

    I'm still not sure who did what on the ten writers that contributed to the first shared character novel. But the weird hodgepodge of superhero and urban fantasy that resulted was certainly a unique novel. While not as good as the Wild Cards series overall, I'm curious to see where a follow up might go for this one.

  2. Storm Front by Jim Butcher. 

    I might be a bit late to the Harry Dresden bandwagon, but I greatly enjoyed his first adventure, a fun mash-up of magic, urban fantasy and old school noir.

  3. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

    Not Gaiman's best work but I suspect that is due to the non-continuous narrative required of the project. He certainly did weave a unique look at the full cycle of the Norse gods, their worlds and their enemies. With a limited number of resources for Norse mythology not built around Marvel Comics or scholarly study of ancient manuscripts, it certainly will do a lot to expand the following for a mythology often dwarfed by Greek, Roman and Egyptian traditions.

  4. Black Pulp, edited by Tommy Hancock, Gary Phillips and Morgan Minor. 

    I'm still not the biggest fan of the title of Pro Se's anthology, but I cannot argue with the results. This one is packed with great and compelling stories from the likes of editors Phillips and Hancock, Ron Fortier, Joe Lansdale, Charles Saunders, Mel Odom, Derrick Ferguson and more. Outside one dreg of a story, this was a great and varied anthology worth a look by any fan of adventure, pulp and sci fi / fantasy.

  5. Blackthorn: Thunder on Mars, created and edited by Van Allen Plexico.

    It was a good year for anthologies. While Black Pulp succeeded at creating a wide range of stories, Blackthorn created a shared world and leads and ran wild with them. Creator Plexico's opening story may be the weakest of the bunch, with stories from Mark Bousquet, I. A. Watson, Bobby Nash and more really bringing the concept to life. Blackthorn exudes fun and excitement on nearly every page. Combining old school science fantasy with 80s cartoons tropes taken seriously made me jump for joy with this one.
I suspect 2018 will be a much more reading friendly year than last, but any of these books would be a great start to your own year. What was your favorite read of 2017?

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