Best Books of 2017

Happy almost New Year everyone! It’s a fitting way to end the year with a list of my favorite books that were released this year. Most of the books I read this were less than noteworthy. There were a few that stood out as ones I’ll think of often.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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My favorite book of the year! It was not perfect, but I absolutely loved the way it showed that it is dangerous to make assumptions and to judge others. Read my review here.

Magic for Nothing by Seanan McGuire

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The best book in the series yet, and the first one featuring Antimony as a MC. I was surprised to like this as much as I did. The glimpses of Antimony from the other books didn’t make me look forward to being in her head. It all worked out for the best though.┬áRead my review here.

The Soul Eater series by Pippa DaCosta

The last three books in the series were released this year, and what a wild ride it was! It’s a blend of fantasy and urban fantasy. It’s not often that Egyptian mythology is featured in this type of story. It was great and completely original. All three received 5 stars from me. Read my reviews here and here.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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I’m not usually a fan of books with carnival themes, but this worked for me. I devoured this in three and a half hours. It was that damn good! Read my review here.

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

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The best book no one is reading. This had a few surprises, and it was YA that wasn’t obnoxious. I’m hoping for a sequel. Read my review here.

The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire

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As you may have noticed, I’m a bit of a Seanan McGuire fangirl. This is my favorite series ever! If you haven’t read it, please check it out. If you don’t like the first few books, keep reading. I promise it gets much better. Read my review here.

Double or Nothing by Craig Schaefer

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It’s dark UF with a slower pace. Nonetheless it is compelling read. I love this series! It always manages to surprise me with the way Daniel Faust gets himself out of impossible situations. Read my review here.

The Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews

Ignore the cheesy covers. This series is amazing! It’s UF, not romance. I waited a long time for these to be released, and they did not disappoint. Read my reviews here and here. I went to a book signing of theirs this summer. ICYMI here is the post I wrote about it.

The Awakening by Amanda Stevens

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I loved this series! It’s PNR with gothic mysteries. Definitely worth the read. Read my review here.

What were your favorite books from this year?

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The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

32667458Rating: 3 stars

Series: Iskari #1

Asha was the Iskari, the dragon slayer. That’s what irked me from the start. Dragons are awesome! I couldn’t get behind the MC killing them especially when they weren’t a threat. She went out of her way to hunt them down. They weren’t actively going after people.

Asha was very hard to like. Blinded by her own hatred, her view of the world was skewed. Her greatest pride was her ability to kill dragons. There were reasons for her desire to kill them, but it was clear she never looked deeply into the situation to see if there were more to the story. She genuinely believed that she was better than the people her people had enslaved. These are not qualities I want in a MC. Obviously things happened that began to change her views, but she was obstinate.

All of the side characters were one dimensional. Jarek was a power hungry evil bastard. Safire was cool, but there wasn’t a chance to learn much about her. Dax had a lot going on, but most of it happened off page. The details of what he was doing were nonexistent. Torwin was by far the most prominent side character. I liked him.

It was the romance between him and Asha that I couldn’t get behind. It wasn’t insta-love because Asha resisted for a long time. For half of the novel she referred to him as the slave. If that doesn’t say true love, then IDK what does. I would have been happy if he told her to fuck off. It was one of those relationships where they developed feelings for each other for no apparent reason. The second half of the book focused on their romance more which is why I didn’t like that part as much.

The Breathless by Tara Goedjen

Rating: 3 stars

A year after Ro’s death, the people who loved her were still deeply affected. Her younger sister Mae desperately wanted to know what happened when she died. Unexpectedly Ro’s boyfriend, Cage, showed up at their house wanting to know what happened to Ro which didn’t add up since he was there when she died. Mae was the only one who believed Cage didn’t kill Ro. The two of them tried to figure out what happened when Ro died.

Ro had secrets. Mae knew they had something to do with an old family book. It was filled with vague spells and cryptic writings. Some of the things Mae uncovered from the book and around the house were spooky. All the while she was meeting with Cage while he regained his memories of what happened a year before.

It was interesting at first. The things going on were eerie and mysterious. After a while it was boring because nothing of significance was happening. Although Ro was dead, her presence was strong because many of Mae and Cage’s thoughts were about her. She was a major obstacle in becoming deeply invested in the story. I didn’t like her. Two boys were in love with her and fought for her attention, and I couldn’t understand why. Ro was obnoxious. She used various methods to manipulate people, some of them cruel. She thought she was hot shit and flaunted it. The rest of the characters were one dimensional. I was never invested in their fates.

The ending was lackluster after all of the build up about magic. The key to completing the spell seemed quite obvious to me, so I didn’t get why it was shocking to the characters. There were a lot of little things that weren’t explained in the end. What was up with Fern seeming to be in the know? Why was Lance different after being away for a year? Why did Cage have severe headaches all of the time? The main thing that should have been explained and was not was what happened to Cage during the year he was missing. Leaving those things open ended would have been okay if this weren’t a standalone.