Best and Worst of 2021
Ok, heres the post that may piss some people off. Yes, reading is subjective, but bad writing and/or bad characterization, plot etc... are not. Given that take this as you will.
Let's start things off on the positive shall we?
Best books of 2021. Or let's say Top 5. I read 28 books last year, which includes a few audible titles and some DNF books. I haven't really ranked which order these will go in except top #1.
In no particular order. Also potential spoilers for any of the books so beware.
Come With Me- Ronald Malfi. This book was an unexpected addition. I received an E-arc through NetGalley and am glad I did. I didn't get the scary vibes that I heard a lot of other people got, but it was written well and had a pretty good ending. I was impressed with the writing and the story left me wanting more. Definite Kudos
The Bone Shard Daughter- Most of you aren't aware but I am a very erratic reader. I'll pick up a book, then not necessarily cause the book is boring I'll pick up another book based on how im feeling that particular point in time. I'm almost always in the middle of 20+ books, so it takes me much longer to complete. This is something that I'm trying to change for 2022, but we'll see. Old habits die hard. Anyways, I digress. I finally finished The Bone Shard Daughter and very much enjoyed it. Jovis and Lin especially. I have barely started the sequel but definitely recommend this book especially due to the unique world-building and magic system.
The Cockroach King- What in all hell did I read with this one. It was only 65 pages or so but it brought a lot of clear and creepy visuals packed into those short pages. It was a great palate cleanser and a very unique story. I would definitely read a full length novel surrounding this particular beast so to speak.
The Pariah- What can I say about this one. This would have been my favorite book of the year if a sneaky swan didn't enter the playing field. I'm naturally a plot driven reader and a lot of Ryan's work is character driven, but his writing style and the world-building keep my interest. This one is very character driven as much of the time I was thinking where is this going, but I very much enjoyed it and will most definitely be grabbing book 2 this year. It should be a shame if an ARC of The Martyr was sent to me early, a real shame, Mr. Ryan.
My favorite book I read in 2021 was a latecomer to the game, but I am very glad I received a copy through NetGalley. Justice Of Kings by Andrew Swan. I plan on having a longer review up eventually but suffice it to say this book was great. It really didn't have all that much magic in spades but what it did have blended it perfectly into the story. This is a debut by Mr. Swan but it sure doesn't read like one. I would say it was definitely plot driven but the characters, all of them, were written so well. This one I actually read in like a week with few other interruptions, which is saying something. Highly recommend this book to any and every fantasy fan. Definitely got Anthony Ryan vibes with the writing but I may have had Pariah on my brain. Regardless, follow this author and read anything he puts out. So when is Book 2 out?
Honorable Mentions, Dreams of the Dying and To Green Angel Tower Part 2. Both great books, highly recommend them.
Now that we have gotten through the best books of 2021. Let's get to my least favorite books I read. A lot of reviewers will refuse to give anything less than three stars or post any negative reviews. This isn't fair to the genre and it isn't fair to the authors or readers. These books generally had a lot of issues and in most cases garnered very little interest.
The Fisherman- John Langan... It started off good, it started off intriguing, but what the hell... it went off road for the majority of the book with very little reason why. It then abruptly sends you back to the original plot line and the ending is just weird. It had a lot of promise but to me it failed to deliver. It wasn't scary nor was it cohesive. I barely finished it.
I'm a big fan of Wheel of Time, the books. The show is a whole different entity that really screwed the pooch, but I would be hard pressed to not include Crossroads of Twilight in the wrost book list. It is bad. If it was 300 pages ok it would be a better read, but jesus christ this book is rough, I really never want to read this one again.
The Last House on Needless Street- I have a review up on this book but suffice it to say that this was a big ole DNF. It had nothing good going for it. I don't have time to commit to reading something I have to struggle through. I heard such good things, but it was just bad. Don't have a religious conscious cat as a POV. Also the main POV just didn't vibe at all. Premise was good about 10 pages into it, but then whole chapters from the cats POV about getting adopted, gtfo. Hard Pass
Dragon Mage- I also have a review up on this book so I will be brief. This book had a lot of problems. It attempted to be inclusive but it fell flat, the plot was just trite and overused. None of the characters were engaging and that friendship was forced. In a nutshell this book was way too long and poorly written. Do not read.
The only other book I DNF this year was Of Blood and Fire. Like wtf... Extremely cliche, forced exposition. I struggled to get even 50 pages into it. Tried way too hard. The amount of positive reviews is flabergasting. I hear the series gets much better but not gonna waste my time finding out...
Dishonorable mention for bad books of 2021, The Only Good Indians.. It had promise, but never delivered. nothing happened for 90% of the book. I really wanna try his other books but this one fell flat.