fiction, reading

Review Retrospective on 2013

Reader in the sun In 2013, I set out to read more. I love reading, but had gotten so busy with work and school I no longer felt like I could justify the time for pleasure-reading. My head being the strange, messed-up place that it is, I convinced myself to justify the reading by starting to do book reviews on my blog. I have focussed on Indie Authors, but have no limited myself to that, nor solely to fiction. Below is a list of what I read, with a recommendation (or not!) and I do plan to continue with a weekly review this year, which means there will be more than fifty at the end of 2014 to compile, whew! Only 31 this year, as I didn’t start doing regular reviews until part-way through the year.

So my top pick of the year? I have to pick just one? Never!

Mostly Murder, a review more of an author, than the book, since the book I read is OOP and collectible.

Vegetarian Wild Game Cookbook, an off-beat cookbook that struck my funny bone.

Strange Trails, a Weird West anthology I wasn’t quite sure what to make of. Then again, Lovecraftian horror is always on the verge of WTH? for me.

A Triple Header week, reviewing an Allan Quartermain novel, a much-awaited and enjoyed third book in the April space opera series by Mackey Chandler, and the collection of Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs, delicious and fun.

Mistress of the Waves, by George Phillies, highly recommended. Looking forward to the sequel.

The Sky Suspended, by Laura Montgomery. If you like big books, and books about the birth of space colonization, and legal procedurals, then this will be a good fit for you.

The Last Flight from Queensland Station, by Mike Weatherford. Solid space opera read, goes right in with Drake, Weber, and the classics.

The Black Goats, by Pam Uphoff. This is the middle book to a series. Don’t let that put you off. Go to the first one, Outcasts and Gods, and be prepared to have a long, happy read. It’s a science fiction/fantasy fusion, and although the early books are a little rough, it evens out and is a heckuva a ride, with nine books and counting in the series, and they are all good. I reviewed The Dark Lady earlier in the series, here.

Aeviturnus Adventures, by Teresa Perin, this was the book that almost stopped me doing reviews. I can’t recommend it, and it was hard to read, and I didn’t want to post a negative review, and…  Yeah. I decided after this, that I would always go for honesty, but I hope I don’t have one like this in 2014.

H. Beam Piper, not a review, but an order. His collection is only $0.99 at Amazon. Just buy it, ok? And then read it.

Double the Books, double the pleasure. Noah’s Boy, by Sarah Hoyt, and Spellbound, by Larry Correia, both are excellent and very different fantasy reads.

Walls, Wires, Bars, and Souls, by Peter Grant, is an excellent memoir of his service as a prison chaplain. Taking you inside the world where few are allowed in, and none out without permission, it is a riveting read. I highly recommend it.

Wings, by Sarah Hoyt, is a far-spanning collection of diverse tales, perfect for the busy reader who wants a little, not to be sucked into a novel for hours.

Shadow Hands, by David Pascoe, is an intriguing debut of an urban fantasy world, and new writer.

Riders of the Winds, by Robert Deburgh, is aviation historical fiction, yay! and a touch of paranormal, which gave me mixed feelings.

Snow Angel, a science fiction novella by my friend Stryder Dancewolffe, is a cerebral look at the future on a convict colony world.

Sharper Security, by Thomas Sewell, is a fun read, highly recommend both this short story and the near-future action novel it sets the stage for.

Two for the price of one, Well-traveled Rhodes by Gina-Marie Wylie, and Terms of Enlistment by Marko Kloos. I highly recommend the first, and the second with reservations, for a scene where two officers are doing “fraternizing,” on duty on the spaceship, one of those moments where the book would have hit the wall, the kindle was too expensive to replace.

Two modern Westerns, Truckee’s Trail by Celia Hayes is a wonderfully well-done historical novel of the pioneers on their way to California. Three Ways From Sunday by Kai Starr I can only describe as Sin City meets the Old West. Very gritty and dark.

Take the Star Road, by Peter Grant, is a space opera coming-of-age story that harks back to the Golden age of SF, and Heinlein’s juveniles. I recommend it for all ages, but good reads for teen boys are hard to find, and this would be perfect.

The Redneck Manifesto by Jim Goad, equal parts memoir and rant,  is earthy, vulgar, and fascinating. I read it for a cultural anthropology paper and I think it’s worth the read.

A Few Good Men, and Sarah Hoyt, very short review, and an anti-review where I talk about how and why I review.

Monster Hunter Legion, by Larry Correia, a series I love, and I got something wrong in the review, and was corrected by the author, in a very funny way!

ConSensual, by Kate Paulk, prepare to laugh yourself silly over this fantasy poke at fandom. Also, it was my first post of 2013. Bringing it full-circle!