2 Book Lovers Reviews

January 12, 2015 

My Top 14 of 2014  

The new year is upon us; it's time for lists and resolutions and such.  After a great year of reading and blogging I have put together my top 14 of 2014.  If you start to do the math you will see that there are more than 14 books on my list, well it's my list and I can do what I want to. 

‚ÄčThese are the books that helped to make 2014 a fantastic year of reading.  I have some authors here that I have been reading for years and others that I only just discovered for myself this year.  As always, the list is in no particular order.  So enjoy and maybe you can discover a book that will be one of your favorites for 2015. 

Joe Hill - N0S4A2 

I have to say that this was the first Joe Hill book that I have ever read, and I was not disappointed.  N0S4A2 was one of those books that left me completely satisfied; there was nothing lacking.  Joe Hill created a group of characters so real and human, well except for Manx.  It's too easy to say, but it's true; if you like King, you will like Hill.

See my full review... 

Glyn Iliffe - The Oracles of Troy 

This is the fourth installment in the Adventures of Odysseus series, the first in the series was part on my top list for 2013.  Glyn Iliffe is retelling the stories from the Greek sack of Troy and the "rescue" of Helen from the evil clutches of Paris.  The Oracles of Troy deals with the part of the story between the Iliad and the Odyssey.  What I really enjoy about these stories is how Iliffe glosses over the famous heroes and focuses on the average soldiers who did all of the work. 

See my full review... 

Tracey Ward - The Survival Series 

I love a good zombie book, but I have to admit I was a little nervous embarking on a YA zombie romance.  Would it be too lovey dovey? Could an author focused on a young girl in love, handle the tensionof a zombie apocalypse?  Wow! Tracey Ward did all this and more.  One of my favorite Tracey Ward quotes isn't even from one of her books, it goes something like this, "I don't write romance, I write relationships."   And this is what makes the Survival Series work for a zombie lover like myself.  The Survival Series has a perfect balance of humor, tension and gore to bring back to that wall for more.  Tracey Ward creates a fantastic tension in her books, in my opinion she is the queen of the cliffhanger. 

See my full review (book 1)...   (book 2)    (book3) 

Jussi Adler-Olsen - Departement Q books 2 & 3 

I love a dark crime.  Jussi Adler Olsen has created one of my favorite series with Carl Morak and departement Q.  In 2013 I read The Keeper of Lost Causes and I was hooked.  I followed it up last year with The Absent One and A Conspiracy of Faith.  The series has continued with the same dark crimes complimented with the odd ball lead detective, Carl Morak and the rest of his team.  The author does an incredible job of balancing the darkness of the crimes with humor of the real personal interactions.  This is a fantastic series which continues to grow, develop and shock with each book. 

See my full review (The Absent One)...   (Conspiracy of Faith)  

Jason Brant - The Hunger Omnibus 

This series kicks off with Devoured, once I bit into the series I ate the whole thing up.  Lance York is my favorite fictional character of the year.  he is down and out, no job, his wife is ready to leave him, he is a country song just waiting for a tune.  The apocalypse breaths new life into Lance York, by loosing everything he finds himself and a dangerous woman with a battleaxe.  Cassie is the perfect compliment to Lance as the two battle their way through the Hunger Series the readers are drawn into their story.  Oh and the Vladdies are a pretty bad ass creation and an excellent hybrid created to bring something completely new to the apocalyptic genre. 

See my full review (Devoured)...   (Consumed)   (Ravaged)  

Anthony Riches - The Wolf's Gold /The Eagles Vengeance 

Every once in a while I fall into what I like to call a book funk.  You know those times when you read a book that just didn't quite work for you or left you feeling a little bit underwhelmed.  Well when I find myself in one of those funks, there is nothing quite like reading about Romans marching over blue-nosed barbarians to pull me out of that funk.  And no one writes about Romans marching over blue-nosed barbarians quite like Anthony Riches.  I read the fifth and sixth books in the Marcus Valerius Aquila series. 

See my full review (The Wolf's Gold)...   (The Eagle's Vengeance)  

Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson - Daybreak 

I love how certain websites will recommend a book to you based on other books that you've read or enjoyed.  Daybreak was suggested to me because of Jussi Adler Olsen.  OK, a crime author from Iceland, based on a crime author from Denmark.  While both are Scandinavian and both write dark crime, Ingolfsson is something completely different from Adler Olsen.  Daybreak is a truly dark crime book that will keep you guessing until the very end. 

See my full review...  

David Moody - Strangers 

My list this year would not be complete without David Moody.  The only real question is which book would it be?  From an author's point of view David moody has lived the dream; started out publishing indie on line, got picked up by a publisher, sold the movie rights...  All of this was done as a zombie / post apocalyptic author.  It takes a big set of boulders to do what David Moody has done, leave a safe, comfortable and familiar genre behind and embark on a new adventure.  That is Strangers, something new a completely different.  Strangers is a striptease of a horror novel; the story grips right from the start and then it slowly reveals the true horror found in Thussock. 

See my full review...  

Lisa Regan - Finding Claire Fletcher 

I love a great cat and mouse, what really sets Claire Fletcher apart above all else is the shock value of the crime.  Some author hold back while they write, they are afraid to offend.  The crime cannot be too horrible, the victim too young; it is the political correctness that has crept into every fiber of  our society.  Unfortunately, bad things do happen and the sometimes happen to young people who do not deserve it.  What make Finding Claire Fletcher great is the fearlessness of the author, Lisa Regan.  She has a story to tell and, It. Will. Be. Told.  In addition to this Lisa Regan's characters are so intricately done, we do not only know what the characters do we understand their motivation.  She brings us straight into the characters minds we understand their torment, frustration and envey their joy. 

See my full review...  

Joe Hill - Horns 

I read Horns with the intention of going to the movie when it came out in the theater.  Unfortunately, the way life played out, I  never did make it to the theater to see it.   But the story was incredible.  Horns hooked me and I was compelled to keep reading.  Joe Hill has mastered the art of taking something normal, ordinary and average, shocking it up with a little bit of WTF and presenting a masterpiece of a book.  I can not say enough about Horns, it is a must read. 

See my full review...  

The next three books are in a class of their own.  I am grouping them together into a "Wow! I cannot believe that this is their first book!"  So if you are looking for something different, by a new author who writes like a pro, check these books out. 

C. Michael Lorion - Totem Book 1: Scars 

It is easy to see the influences in C. Michael Lorion's writing.  He has created a well developed world, set during a blizzard in the late 1970's in Massachusetts.   Scars is the first part of what looks to be a fantastic series.  The book slowly builds around the lives of several individuals, we learn about their interweaving lives.  Scars leaves us with many unanswered questions and desire for the answers. 

See my full review...  

Scott Burtness - Wisconsin Vamp 

No list would be complete without a great comedy.  I had expected Wisconsin Vamp to be a good knee slapper, but Scott Burtness went above and beyond with all of the great levels of comdy.  Wisconsin Vamp goes from ridiculous to heartfelt.  Scott has created an excellent cast of characters for us to follow around town, from the church social, to the bowling alley and even the local titty bar. 

See my full review... 

Eva Vanrell - The Butterfly Crest 

There are still a few authors who love to pay homage to the great old stories of ancient Greek mythology.  Eva Vanrell is one such author, she has created an entirely new story based on the Greek gods.  In addition, she has pulled in the mythology of Japan along with a few touches from a couple of other pantheons.  She has mixed all of these stories together seamlessly.  But what use best of all is her gift of description,  she delves into every detail of the surroundings, allowing the reader to not only see the rolling hills, but also to smell the grass and feel the breeze as it blows.

See my full review... 

Gregor Xane - It Came From Hell and Smashed the Angels 

This book holds the distinction of Short of the Year.  I am generally not a huge fan of the short story.  I find that I do not have enough time to get to know the characters; I often find myself looking for something a little bit more.  Gregor Xane not only smashed the angels but he also smashed that impression I had.  It Came From Hell and Smashed the Angels was short story perfection.  I was pulled in from the start and I could not stop.  It was full and complete and nothing was lacking. 

See my full review... 

So those were my favorites from 2014.  I hope you enjoyed and maybe found a little something for yourself.