Monday, December 12, 2016

MY top three of 2016

Damn, that's a seriously hard list. I mean that. I haven't read nearly as much as I wanted to this year, but still, what I have read has been a whole lot of good books. I started a few lemons, too, but i set them aside, because life is too short for the bad books.

I used to make myself read them. I felt an obligation. Not any more. that stuff goes to the wayside very quickly these days.

So here they are in no particular order:

I'm a sucker for high tension suspense. I thrive on horror that creeps in and chills you without necessarily getting all kinds of gory. I love a good time travel story. the Obsidian Heart series has all three and that's just in the first book. I have the other two short-listed in my TBR pile. You know, along with about a hundred others.

2) Christopher Golden's DEAD RINGERS
I love a good mystery. I love a good ghost story. I love a tale that mingles both and DEAD RINGERS is flawless at it. Golden continues to challenge himself with his characters and continues to be up to the challenge. An added bonus for me is that I now live in Massachusetts and when visiting Boston recently I could actually see some of the places listed in the book. Damned fine read.

3) Jonathan Maberry's KILL SWITCH
I enjoy a good series as much as the next person. I love a great series. The JOE LEDGER series by Maberry is one of the best. I'd put it up there with F.Paul Wilson's REPAIRMAN JACK series and that one is my all time favorite. In this tale Echo Team goes south, as into Antarctica, and encounters the sort of nightmarish creations that leave a chill which has noting to do with the weather. Great subplots, loads of action. I loved it.

Honorable mentions: E.J. Stevens' HUNTING IN BRUGES is the first in a spin off series (Spinning off from the Ivy Granger Series) and it's a fun ride. Lots of action, a solid mystery and a healthy heaping of snark. Dennis Lehane's A DRINK BEFORE THE WAR. I'm behind the times when it comes to reading Lehane, but, damn, he's good! I just read the first two books in the series and I'll be reading the rest in short order. Joe Hill's THE FIREMAN. I'm not even going to try to explain the book properly. It's amazing, it's different, it's fun. Highly recommended. Thomas Sneigoski's SAVAGE is a book that lives up to its name. Nature strikes back and strikes hard. Bracken Mcleod's STRANDED is a hard, brutal and utterly delightful read. It might seem like he's coming out of nowhere, but the author has earned his chops.  Lastly, Hillary Monahan's series BLOODY MARY: THE SUMMONING and BLOODY MARY: UNLEASHED are delightful YA stories that merge proper horror and local folklore to potent affect. Gruesome, scary and everything that a tale of a vengeful ghost should be.

Okay. Ten instead of three. I said it was a good year for reading and I meant it. I could go on and name more, like the latest from Tim Lebbon, or Wesley Chu, or Paul Tremblay, but I think you get the idea.

I hope 2017 brings you endless good books to read, folks.

Bracken Mcleod reading from his novel STRANDED at the release party.