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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

Mazarkis Williams author of The Emperor's Knife

Rob Ziegler author of Seed

Steven Gould author of 7th Sigma

Douglas Hulick author of Among Thieves (review here)

Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

Anthony Huso author of The Last Page (review here)

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

Ken Scholes author of Lamentation

Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded


The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Alif: The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Control Point by Myke Cole

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
My BlogCatalog BlogRank Wikio - Top Blogs - Literature

The 2014 Hattie Awards!!! Or the Best Book of 2014 (That I've Read)

2014 was a busy year for me with lots of challenges at work and plenty of travel. Even though this blog was dormant nearly all of the year it was probably still one of my highest word count years when counting all of the reread posts done for on The Way of Kings, a project I was proud to be part of and glad to have behind me. As many others out there know: Writing on a schedule is hard work, especially when you have other work to do.

I still managed to read quite a bit this year even though my overall numbers are still down. I miss reading 100+ books a year, but appreciate all the added time I spent with friends and family this year. Looking over my reading log I've read 81 stories though many this year are novellas and graphic novels. I've not counted most short stories unless I bought them for my Nook and there were only 2 or 3 like that, but the novella and novelette length really hit me hard this year with a dozen or so of those. There was just one anthology read being the all-star Dangerous Women. Here's how the numbers breakdown:

Graphic Novels: 12 (though I read many more and only list those I thought worth remembering)
Short Fiction (novellas, novelettes, short stories, etc.): 24ish (Not counting Dangerous Women)
Novels: 45

Now on to the Hattie Awards!

Best Fantasy

 Winner - City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
Runner-up - Smiler's Fair by Rebecca Levine
Honorable Hat Tips -The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley, The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman, and Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Bennett's latest stole the show as far as I am concerned though Smiler's Fair took me by surprise. Sanderson's WoR was what I hope it would be, but only time will tell if it will all payoff. My money's on yes. The Mirror Empire leveled up Hurley's game though there was some shakiness in the first quarter. I think Hurley's best is still to come in this series since some beautiful ground work has be laid.

Best Science Fiction

Winner - The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
Runner-up: The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (Translated by Ken Liu)
Honorable Hat Tips - Lock In by John Scalzi, Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi, and Red Rising by Pierce Brown, On A Red Station Drifting by Aliette de Bodard

Some will be surprised Andy Weir's The Martian isn't on this list somewhere. That's because I read it in 2013 with it winning in one category.  But North's story has stuck with me a long time and never wavered from being my favorite in this area though it is probably better labeled Science Fantasy it merits a top spot. The Three-Body Problem left me cold for the first half of the story to the point I almost put it down, but I'm glad I stuck with it as it is one of the most unique First Contact stories I've ever encountered. Lock-In is probably Scalzi's best novel since Android's Dream and I friggin loved AD. Koyanagi's Ascension hit me right in the Firefly spot while bringing a unique cast that I was just as quick to fall for. Red Rising is the real please-me-deal in the same way Ender's Game was only more brutal. de Bodard's novella lives up to the accolades to date and I look forward to delving into more into this universe.

Best Weird/Horror

Winner - The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey aka Mike Carey
Runner-up - Datura by Leena Krohn
Honorable Hat Tips - Truth and Fear by Peter Higgins, The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami, Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, and The End of the Sentence by Maria Dahvana Headley and Kat Howard

Datura is the stuff that eerie nightmares are made of. I know because it kept giving them to me. Truth and Fear feels very middle-bookish, but the writing has a stark beauty and strangeness that captivated me. I'm still trying to wrap my head about Murakami's odd little novella. The design by Chip Kidd was worth the price of admission all on it own. The End of the Sentence gave us a dark a slightly creepy American fairy tale well worth checking out.

Best Finish to a Series

Winner - The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman
Runner-up - Shadow Ops: Breach Zone by Myke Cole

Grossman left me amazed throughout his Magician's series and he was able to close it out quite poignantly. It will be a series well worth re-reading. Cole's finish to the first Shadow Ops arc executed all the goals I had for the series with big screen action on a small page.

Best Urban Fantasy

Winner -  California Bones by Greg van Eekhout
Runner-up - New Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko 
Honorable Hat Tips - Skin Game by Jim Butcher, and Falling Sky by Rajan Khanna

van Eekhout is back in UF after a 5 year absence with a new series that re-imagines California as if ruled by powerful magicians who eat other magicians. Not nearly as dark as it sounds since van Eekhout plays to the lighter side of things more times than not and plays up the thief angle quite well. Who knew Lukyanenko wasn't done with the Night Watch series? At first I thought this was going to stretch a series too fair as the fourth book really did close most threads off well, but the author managed to dig up a story that is as good as the rest.

Best Other

Winner - Tigerman by Nick Harkaway

I wasn't sure where to put Harkaway's latest, but I knew it needed to be mentioned. The story involves a a superhero of sorts, an island scheduled for demolition, and a bevy of most likely disreputable men. Though it meanders as Harkaway works tend to do that's the joy of the story. And that twist at the end! OMG, Harkaway is truly l33t.

Best Overall Book of the Year - You guys have got to read this!

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

Considering Bennett nabbed this spot in 2012 for The Troupe this shouldn't come as too much of a shock. Now who do I have to talk to about the sequel City of Blades getting in my hands ASAP? Don't make me send Sigrud... The Girl With All the Gifts and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August have also stuck with me. These three books are also the ones I keep giving or recommending to friends depending on how their tastes bend.

Best Books Published before 2014 (That I read this year)

This year a third of the novels I read were not necessarily published this year. It is hard to rank them so here are a few of my favorites: Foundation by Isaac Asimov (re-read and deservedly in print for more than sixty years), American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett (Bennett has to be the love child of Bradbury. Has to be!), Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire (Toby just stole my heart from Dresden), The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu (Action/Adventure with Aliens FTW), and The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig (Badass/drugs are bad/also blue apparently).

So what were some of your favorites this year?

You Might Also Like:
The 2013 Hattie Awards!!! Or the Best of 2013 (That I've Read)
The 2012 Hattie Awards!!! Or the Best of 2012 (That I've Read)
The 2011 Hattie Awards!!! Or the Best of 2011 (That I've Read)
Best Books of 2010 (That I've read)
Best Books of 2009 (That I've read)


Tammy Sparks said...

I'm really glad to see California Bones on someone else's list, it was fantastic! I also loved The Girl with All the Gifts and City of Stairs. Great list! Come see my Top Ten.