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My Top Reads of 2014

Happy New Year!! I’d put some crazy pictures of celebrations and fireworks up if I wasn’t so lazy.

I had an amazing reading year. I had some huge ups and some major disappointments. Books I thought I would be annoyed with became my favorites, and books I thought I would absolutely love fell very short. I’m going to break this down into two lists. The first will be my favorite books/series I read last year. The second will be a list of books I would take with me to a deserted island. I think it’s important to recognize the difference. Books I love are not necessarily books I want to read over and over and over. Some are entertaining beyond belief, but if it was all I had, I fear I would grow bored with them, while another book I might not have loved could challenge me a bit more. I hope that makes sense. This list is only focused around books I read in 2014.

 

We’ll start with books I loved. So, I’ll simply say that I’m a fan of series. If I’m in love with a character, I want as much time with them as possible. So, most of my top reads of last year are series. Here we go:

#1: Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence
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His books were beyond heartbreaking, they wrestled every damn emotion out of me, they made me think and reflect, and they haunted me for weeks. That’s a sign of an amazing book/series. I won’t recommend these books to just anyone. You have to like dark fantasy. I said it in my review: I would recommend this to my sister, but not my mother. The main character does some pretty heinous acts. He’s also the most complicated character I’ve read. So if you’re into darker fantasy, I cannot recommend these enough.
My Reviews:
Book 1
Book 2
Book 3

#2: Riyria Revelations by Michael J Sullivan
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These books blended epic fantasy that can boast high entertainment value and an ever darkening plot. As the series progressed, the characters were put through challenge after challenge, and guess what? They grew. The actually changed! I think in most series you can see characters slowly evolve over their journey and by the end, they’re a little different. In these books, some characters went through major changes. By the end, they were different people. Again, the author managed to make me cry and laugh, and I literally refused to leave my house for an entire weekend as I read this series. I couldn’t put it down. This series I would recommend to everyone!
My Reviews:
Book 1
Book 2
Book 3

#3: The Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan
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So this was a series I didn’t think I could get into because there were guns in my fantasy book. However, McClellan blended gun powder into sorcery in a way that just blew my mind. I found them extremely entertaining reads. Even more surprising was the fact that characters I really didn’t like in the beginning became some of my favorites in the end. If you are looking for a thought provoking reflection on life, this isn’t the read for you. But if you want just pure entertainment, some great characters, and damn fun magic, I highly recommend this series.
My Reviews:
Book 1
Book 2

#4: The Dresden Series by Jim Butcher
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So I’m a girl that likes sarcastic, dry, and literal humor. My favorite movie is Airplane, if that tells you anything. The Dresden Files make me laugh out loud, are full of cheese, cliche one liners, and a damn fun wizard. I didn’t think I would enjoy these. After all, urban fantasy isn’t my thing. I don’t like vampire and werewolf stories. I don’t generally like books set in current time. I live here, and I don’t much like what I see. So why read about it? Anyway, this series surprised the hell out of me. Even though the books contain vampires and werewolves, it’s not the focus of the story. Harry Dresden is the focus. Butcher is a genius at building up a higher plot that is dangled in front of me yet doesn’t drive me up the wall. Each book feels closed enough that I can read this series at my leisure while making me giddy every time I pick one up. Some books are darker than others, some slower than others, but I love them all so far. I’d recommend these but encourage any entering the Dresden world to read the second book before deciding to give up on them. Each one is monumentally better than the last.
My Reviews:
Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
Book 4
Book 5
Book 6

#5: Journey to Altmortis by Thaddeus White
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So White captured my attention when I read his book, Sir Edric’s Temple. It was a comedy fantasy, a genre I had never read before, but I became an instant fan of White. While I enjoyed Bane of Souls, Journey to Altmortis was simply captivating. I love White’s voice, so when I picked this up, it was no surprise I slipped away and forgot to everything until I finished it. The tension was built up wonderfully and the book was stuffed full of great characters. The world is set in the same one as Bane of Souls, but I don’t feel a person would need to read Bane of Souls to enjoy Journey to Altmortis. It can stand by itself. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy.
My Review:
Book 1

 

 

Now, how about those books I would want with me if I were ever to be stranded somewhere.

#1: The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence
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In case you haven’t guessed yet, I’m obsessed by these books. I could read these over and over. They made me think. They made me set them down so I could gather my composure. I’m pretty sure I would discover something new every time I read them.
My Reviews:
Book 1
Book 2
Book 3

#2: Resurrection Man by Sean Stewart
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Holy crap, this book is crazy. It was something totally different for me. This would be a book I would study. I would sit with it and examine each sentence for an hour. I would try to wrap my mind around it. I would find hidden meanings. I would discover just what the author was trying to convey. And I would push my imagination. This was an intense read. Sadly, it baffled me in the beginning and I would love the opportunity to spend quality time with it. Try it at your own risk, but I found it wholly intriguing.
My Review:
Book 1

#3: No Return by Zachary Jernigan
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This was another book that made my brain feel puny. I’d love to sit down with this and force myself to come up with some visualizations for the settings. I’d also like to dissect the characters a bit more. I’d like to slow down my reading. To be stuck with this book would be a great way to develop one’s imagination. I think I’ve grown as a reader since delving into Jernigan’s world, and I’m looking forward to his next book with eager trepidation. I want to be smarter and I hope my mind has grown enough to wrap around his work. I also look forward to a re-read of No Return before plunging into his next book. I don’t recommend this book to everyone, but I would recommend it to those who aren’t easily offended by language and sex. Sorry, Mom, but you’ll have to pass. Sister, have at it!
My Review:
Book 1

#4: Riyria Revelations by Michael J Sullivan
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I would bring these along not only as a break for my pathetic mind after examining all those heavy reads, but because I, shamefully, admit I skimmed some sections. I was so character obsessed that scenes without Royce were just not acceptable. I’m sure I missed a fair bit. And since I loved Royce and Hadrian so much, I doubt I could tire of them.
My Reviews:
Book 1
Book 2
Book 3

#5: Sadly, there would be none.

I would be grabbing for both the Powder Mage Trilogy and The Dresden Files at the same time and my boat would sink before I could make up my mind. Either that, or I’d drown because of my indecision. More than likely, my husband would just drag me out of the water and I would lose all the books. Sadly, he wouldn’t understand my devastation.

 

So that’s the end of my lists. I certainly hope you take time to check out some reads I’ve listed off here. I’m eagerly looking forward to 2015 and some of the books I have lined up. Hope everyone has a wonderful year!!

4 thoughts on “My Top Reads of 2014

  1. Leona says:

    Some of these will be in my 2015 list. I feel so behind, argh!

    Reply
    • booksbylkevans says:

      HA!I’m happy I could add to the chaos! My to-read list for this year is out of control, so I can sympathize!

      Reply
  2. Leona says:

    I’m in the middle of The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss and going to start on The Broken Empire as soon as I finish reading the next book, Slow Regard For Silent Things. And hope the book #3 of Kingkiller Chronicle will come out by the time I’m done reading The Black Company Chronicles :)

    Reply
    • booksbylkevans says:

      OOO…I have Black Company on my to-read list. I’m hoping to get to it this year as well as some Brent Weeks. Haven’t read him yet, but I’ve heard good things. I haven’t gotten around to Wise Man’s Fear. Like you, I’m anxiously awaiting book 3 and will probably binge read Rothfuss’s books once it comes out. I hope you enjoy the Broken Empire when you get around to it. It’s definitely a heck of a ride.

      Reply

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