It’s a new year, and before I kick of my 2018 tour, I wanted to share my top three reads of 2017 with you all. Goodreads says I’ve read 39 books in 2017. I didn’t quite hit my goal of triple last year (that would have been 42), but I’m still pretty happy with the rate at which I’m reading. This list was made without regard to publisher, format, or author.
How I did it: This time, I knew I’d be doing this list, so I kept track of books I liked and mentally compared one to the other. Without further delay, here’s my list.
#3 Flash Point by C.L. Schneider: You can find my review for that book here. I had this book ranked as high as second place for a while. I’m a fan of mystery in fantasy. I’m a huge fan of the Dresden Files, and (as I said in the review), this book did a lot to fill the gap left by no Dresden. This was the first book in a series, so I’m looking forward to more, though I may wait for the series to end, as I like binge reading a series. My heart can only handle so much waiting.
#2 Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson: Before you call me out. Yes, it just so happens that numbers two and three from this year are the same as numbers two and three from last year in terms of the authors. It’s not intentional. I just like who I like. I’m honestly surprised this book didn’t take the top spot, but I have some explanations for that I’m saving for a future blog post. Oathbringer was a fantastic edition to the Stormlight Archive. My review for it is here. This book is packed with fan rewards and easter eggs that have me more excited than ever about the Cosmere.
#1 Betrayer’s Bane by Michael G. Manning: You can find my review for this book here. This book was my first ever Book Cover of the Month winner. It’s currently in the Book Cover of the Year Bracket. I read the book and was simply awestruck. It’s so powerful and tragic. That book caused me to leap at every book Manning wrote. I simply can’t post all the reviews for it. Here’s the review for The Final Redemption, which will have most of the other books linked to it. The rest in the series are good, and I’m enjoying the follow-on books, but this book grabbed me by every emotion I have and didn’t let go.
So that’s my top three. What are yours? Why? Do you have a review you can link it to? I’d love to reblog it for you.
This is book five of the Mageborn saga. My review for book one can be found here. My review for book two can be found here. My review of book three can be found here. The review for book four is here.
Spoiler Free Summary: In The Final Redemption, Mordecai is in quite an awkward position because of what happened in book four (remember, I said no spoilers). He’s gained some horrific, destructive powers, and those powers have isolated him. The last dark god has set his sites on bringing the world to its knees, and Mort has to use his newfound power to take on someone many times more powerful than even himself. He has to do all of this without friends or family.
Character: Mort took center stage here. By taking everything from him, we were able to see him in a different light. His changes did a lot to set up not just the climax of this book, but the next era in the Mageborn universe. That said, all of our favorites are back for this final showdown with the big bad of the series.
Exposition: Manning was back at full strength here. I’m more certain that the heavy exposition I mentioned in book four was more because of the huge gap between books than anything else. Here, we get what we need when we need it. Sure, there’s some dialogue loosely hiding some exposition, but at least in that manner, we don’t feel force fed information.
Worldbuilding: This book wrapped up everything nicely. I love it when a series ending can tie up all the loose ends while still presenting an option for where the story could (and did) go forward. This book did a great job of connecting a lot of dots and hinting at the depth the universe. I said that right; he expanded his world building to include a universe. Here, we just catch a glimpse, but it’s there.
Dialogue: I love the interaction between Mort and the dragon (whose name escapes me at the moment). Some of the other conversations are great. James has a bit of time in the limelight as does his daughter, who steals a bit of the show. Their dialogue was crips and fun to read.
Description: This book doesn’t rely on description nearly as much, which is a relief to me as I’m not a big fan of it. It does a good job of highlighting what matters (and BOY does some of it matter). It helps create the visual tone and mood of the story. It’s visceral without bogging the story down.
Overall: There was one particular scene during which I wanted to cry. I HAVE cried while reading some books, but I didn’t cry during this scene. It was sad, and it was painful. I’m just trying to create a range so you know my emotional spectrum. This is a satisfying end to a great era in an even better universe. I still feel Tyrion’s era was the most satisfying so far, but I’m still a big fan of the story as a whole. This book puts a reader through a strong range of emotions. It puts a nice bow around all the plot points and teases the universe going forward. I think fans of epic fantasy will enjoy this series.