Notable Books of 2022
Here we are on the second iteration of my notable books of 2022!
The reason why this is the second iteration, is because there I am, with a nicely completed list. I goes to save it and bam! My finger accidentally pressed discard.
My post went down the proverbial plughole.
My head went in to ohnoverdrive and there I was hoping that one of devices had saved my post, but as usual, the internet decides it's gunna work well and do exactly what my finger says. I mean how often does that happen? Normally I am putting my finger through the screen and it has eventually crumpled coz the bones in my finger can't stand the strain! And still I haven't moved off that bit of clickbait I 'accidentally' pressed that says 'Look what the cast of Cheers looks like now!'
So now I have to start again!
Well here goes!
Welcome everyone to my notable books of the year. I always tend to have a bit of a problem with these posts coz I never know how to frame them. Most notable? Best of? Top ten? Well,. it's a bit difficult innit coz there are those books that might think that they have been left out, so I want to say to all those books that I have read that even though you aren't on the list, I still enjoyed reading you. It's just that I have to pick a small sample of books otherwise I would be here till next Christmas.
Right! I was always going to love these three, there were no doubts about that. They were all my most anticipated books of 2022 and finishing off three different series that I adore.
The first one, Darkness Falls by Steve Gowland is the culmination of The Soul's Abyss trilogy. There is loads to like about this book, but I think for me I love the characters. They were a set of characters that I wanted to spend time with, and added to that the mixture of Star Wars and Epic fantasy, what's not to love.
Now, it's no secret Mike Shackle's books are my favourite. Along with the Timelessness series The Last War series has been elevated to that fluffy pillow award of comfort reads (well it should be renamed discomfort read, but there you go!). When I originally read We Are The Dead I proclaimed it as one of my favourite fantasy series of all time, and Until The Last cemented that feeling. If you haven't read The Last War series, then I strongly urge you to do so. It's a bloody, brutal and visceral war story that grips you by the balls all the way to the end.
Finally, it's Anamnesis by Susanna Imaginàrio. These books just fizzle and spark with their combination of snarky characters, sci Fi and mythology. Many times when I was reading these books I would scuttle off to research the mythology that is interwoven with the story of Psyche. I just love the passion for mythology that Susanna Imaginàrio has for her subject. And yes, the story and the large cast may get complex at times, but that is the beauty of it, the figuring out what the hell is going on! Amanesis is a cracking end to the Timelessness series.
With the fourth book coming out earlier this year I knew I had to burn through these books, and burn through them I did dear reader, using a combination of audio and ebook to devour the tale in about two weeks. The War for The Rose Throne is one of the best fantasy series I have ever read, peppered with some of the best characters in fantasy and a brilliant story, The War for The Rose Throne is a must read for fantasy fans.
With influences from iconic British TV series and the local legends of Robin Hood, Matthew Ward's supernatural thriller is a complete joy. I read this a couple of times this year and really enjoyed The Queen of Eventide.
And if you enjoyed the Legacy Series there are some crossovers from that world.
Caitlin Marceau' a debut Novella This is Where We Talk Things Out completely blew me away. At times it made me have that squirmy feeling as at times it is so uncomfortable. The story is about toxic motherhood in the extreme. From the very first page I was hooked with this novella and when it takes a right turn in the middle of the story I couldn't put it down until I had finished.
Catriona Ward is the queen of the uneasy. She carefully layers texture and atmosphere to her books till the story reaches its ending. Catriona Ward has an inimitable skill of blindsiding you at every turn and when you think you have a grip on the story she brings in elements that you never saw coming. Now beware in Sundial, the story contains the most dysfunctional family ever.
This book has crept in at the latter end of the year. I originally read the begining of this series last year and enjoyed it immensely. It's a cracking piece of swashbuckling action that gallops along at a supersonic pace and is just good fun. So, when I read that this one I was expecting much the same. However, The Swordsman's Descent is much more than the first book and against all odds is a better book than the first (especially as I gave the first book 5*)
I don't think I can get across how much I love this series. Every book is a joy to read. This is my cozy read and it's like putting on a warm snuggly blanket every time I read this. Whichever way you read this book, whether it's by the printed page or by the audiobook (and I have done both) it's brilliant. Set in the height of WW2, this is third installment of Faye Bright's (witch in training) adventures and this time Faye, Mrs Teach and Miss Charlotte join forces with the other witches of England to repel an attack from the occult German forces. It's a bit like The Darling Buds of May meets Dennis Wheatley with a bit of folk horror chucked in for good measure.
Everyone loves The Book Eaters and so do I. The story is about a race of people that eat books for sustenance. Now I know what you're thinking, what's so good about that? Well, the simple fact that Sunyi Dean's publishing debut is brilliant. It's a story about breaking free from the constraints that bind. Mixing elements of SF, fantasy and horror, The Book Eaters is at times grim, especially with the descriptions of how female book eaters are bartered like commodities and sold into slavery as breeders. With elements of Under the Skin, The Handmaid's tale and Wuthering Heights, The Book Eaters is a fantastic book.
This was definitely the quirkiest book of the year. The story revolves around Miscellaneous 'Lanie' Stones, daughter of a illustrious family of Royal Assassins. Unfortunately, Lanie has the unfortunate affliction of being allergic to death and violence. The story follows Laine as she tries to restore the family name as she loses the ancestral home and the job of Royal Assassin.
This book was so much fun. I was quite by this surprised to be honest coz when it comes to coming of age fantasy, I can take it or leave it. I know that a lot of fantasy revolves around coming of age stories but I have read enough of em and as a point of preference I don't tend to gravitate towards that particular style of story, so I was surprised at how much I liked this.
Well me actually, that's who! I loved this short novella by James Mordechai. The book is completely bonkers, but it was a breath of fresh air that I loved.
The second book The Skin is a dystopian fantasy set around a Selkie who loses her skin and becomes a piratical saviour of mythological creatures. I just adored the depth and imagination of this book.
The final book We Break Immortals is a brilliant fantasy book. Yes, it's dense but the combination of a brilliant plotline and a detailed fantasy world make this enjoyable. And it has one of my favourite covers of the year.
I need to read the next books but just haven't got there yet.
As a departure from the usual fantasy fare I enjoyed this one from Sue Bavey. There's not a shred of fantasy in this book. It's a memoir about Sue Bavey's grandfather, a seemingly ordinary man with an extraordinary life. He lived across three centuries, who besides becoming the oldest newspaper columnist in his nineties he lived to see some of the most notable events in British history. However, it also shows everyday life in England and how much the social landscape changed.
So there we go folks. I would have loved to shout out loud about all the books but I do have a finite amount of time, and if you are interested in any of the books here have a quick look around the site and see if there is anything that takes yer fancy.
And to all you books out there that I couldn't fit on this list - I love you all, you know who I mean!
Thank you very much for reading and supporting the site. I appreciate all those clicks so much, and the fact that so many of you find my little chats on the books entertaining.