Oh, hello. I’m just here, making a list. As I do. It’s the end of the year, y’all. I’m sure you’ve seen many Best Of lists on your timeline recently, but there’s always room for more.
I’m forever the Fantasy Chick™ but this was the year that I felt like I got back to reading a bit more broadly & diversely again.
I read many phenomenal books this year, folks. SO MANY! I rated a whopping 36 books 5 stars. FIVE FUCKING STARS! I know what I like, what can I say?!
Narrowing the glorious Best Of list down wasn’t an easy decision. I did simplify it by removing authors that had books appear multiple times by choosing my absolute favorite. Once again, because I have a slight rebellious streak, I counted the badass Seanan McGuire (also writing as Mira Grant) as two different entities. I DO WHAT I WANT!! For the astute meat suits among you, yes.. there are 26 books in the pile (the wee one between High School & Holy Sister without writing on the spine is Jedi Summer!) It wouldn’t be a Holly list if I didn’t include a sneaky bonus pick!
Without further ado, my top 2(6) books read in 2019! ::air punch:: Continue reading “Top 25 of 2019!”
Synopsis: A series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been “refrigerated”: comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or had their powers taken so that a male superhero’s storyline will progress. Continue reading “The Refrigerator Monologues – Catherynne M. Valente”
Synopsis: Still reeling from the events of The Raptor and the Wren, Miriam must confront two terrifying discoveries: the Trespasser now has the power to inhabit the living as well as the dead, and Miriam is pregnant.
Miriam knows her baby is fated to die, but Miriam is the Fatebreaker. And if the rules have changed for her nemesis, her own powers are changing as well. Miriam will do whatever it takes to break her curse and save her child. But as Miriam once again finds herself on the hunt for a serial killer and in need of an elusive physic, she can feel the threads of her past coming together—and the pattern they’re forming is deadly.
To end the Trespasser’s influence in her world, Miriam must face her demon a final time. And, this time, one of them must die. Continue reading “Vultures – Chuck Wendig”
Synopsis: It’s been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie, Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she’s lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she’s somehow found herself responsible for a girl with a strange clan power.
Then the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie’s door with the news that Kai and the youngest Goodacre, Caleb, have fallen in with a mysterious cult, led by a figure out of Navajo legend called the White Locust. The Goodacres are convinced that Kai’s a true believer, but Maggie suspects there’s more to Kai’s new faith than meets the eye. She vows to track down the White Locust, then rescue Kai and make things right between them.
Her search leads her beyond the Walls of Dinétah and straight into the horrors of the Big Water world outside. With the aid of a motley collection of allies, Maggie must battle body harvesters, newborn casino gods and, ultimately, the White Locust himself. But the cult leader is nothing like she suspected, and Kai might not need rescuing after all. When the full scope of the White Locust’s plans are revealed, Maggie’s burgeoning trust in her friends, and herself, will be pushed to the breaking point, and not everyone will survive. Continue reading “Storm of Locusts – Rebecca Roanhorse”
Synopsis: They said the war would turn us into light.
I wanted to be counted among the heroes who gave us this better world.
The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back…different. Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief—no matter what actually happens during combat.
Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don’t sync up with the platoon’s. And Dietz’s bad drops tell a story of the war that’s not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on.
Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? Trying to untangle memory from mission brief and survive with sanity intact, Dietz is ready to become a hero—or maybe a villain; in war it’s hard to tell the difference. Continue reading “The Light Brigade – Kameron Hurley”
Synopsis: While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.
Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last—and best—hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much larger and more terrifying than anything she could imagine.
Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel to the rez to unravel clues from ancient legends, trade favors with tricksters, and battle dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.
As Maggie discovers the truth behind the disappearances, she will have to confront her past—if she wants to survive.
Welcome to the Sixth World. Continue reading “Trail of Lightning – Rebecca Roanhorse”
Synopsis: Miriam Black, in lockstep with death, continues on her quest to control her own fate in The Raptor and the Wren, the brand-new fifth book in the Miriam Black series.
Having been desperate to rid herself of her psychic powers, Miriam now finds herself armed with the solution — a seemingly impossible one. But Miriam’s past is catching up to her, just as she’s trying to leave it behind. A copy-cat killer has caught the public’s attention. An old nemesis is back from the dead. And Louis, the ex she still loves, will commit an unforgivable act if she doesn’t change the future.
Miriam knows that only a great sacrifice is enough to counter fate. Can she save Louis, stop the killer, and survive?
Hunted and haunted, Miriam is coming to a crossroads, and nothing is going to stand in her way, not even the Trespasser. Continue reading “The Raptor & The Wren – Chuck Wendig”
Miriam just laughed, because, c’mon. Titmouse. Titmouse. The ranger just stood there, annoyed –blink, blink, blink–and Miriam of course explained because Miriam of course enjoys digging holes and jumping in them. She said, “Because first you imagine a mouse, a little squeaky mouse, and then you imagine a tit–a boob, a breast, a sweater monkey that has escaped its underwire cage–and now it’s attached to the mouse? Like, on its back? Or the top of its head? Flopping around like a damn Jell-O mold? Huh? Right? Oh, come on. That’s funny. That’s just… that’s just good humor, lady.”
Thunderbird is the fourth book in Chuck Wendig’s Miriam Black series. Just like the three books that came before it, this was fucking glorious! I devoured it within 24 hours, a major thing for me these days between life & writing. It’s one of my favorite series for a reason! I find it so easy to fall into this messed up, authentic world that Wendig has created. Continue reading “Thunderbird – Chuck Wendig”
He’s got the muscle tone of a crumpled jerk off tissue.
The Cormorant is the follow-up to the fantastically raucous Blackbirds & Mockingbird. Are you sensing the theme here? Yes, BIRDS! And we get to meet quite the bird in this instalment, Corie the cormorant. She is sassy & I adore her! And Jerry. The scenes with the two of them are top notch entertainment!
Miriam is on the move, making her way to Florida. She is now a killer.. but a killer that is trying to change the fate of innocent people who she sees die in her visions. Blood for blood. Her story from common thief to killer is quite the journey! Miriam doesn’t necessarily find this change in.. profession, an easy one. We get to know our girl Miriam on a deeper level in this novel. You should know by now that not everything is always so black & white with her, but with The Cormorant we get a closer look at her past, what she has gone through. We learn more about her mother. It is just a really tragic story. One that Wendig intersperses throughout.
Continue reading “The Cormorant – Chuck Wendig”
Of all the ways I could choose to die, being blown into hard vacuum by an explosive device was a long way from the top of the list.
Mike Brooks’ debut novel, Dark Run, is an unabashedly fun space-Western!
This book moves fast! It is a quick page-turner about a lovable crew of misfits aboard a spaceship. Their relationships; their pasts; their misadventures. Most of the crew is looking for a second chance. They are inherently good people that have gotten into bad situations previously. Working on the Keiko is a new beginning. Somewhere they can get their footing again & make something of a life for themselves. Mercenaries, smugglers, engineers, computer hackers.. this is a ragtag crew, indeed! Continue reading “Dark Run – Mike Brooks”