We are nearing the end of 2022 and there are still a few books I want to finish/read by year end. I’m nine behind on my Goodreads target, so I’m going to try and reach that goal if I can.
I’ve been a slow reader so far this year, however, December is always a good month because I take 2 weeks off work for Christmas – so here is my ambitious list for the final 6 weeks of the year!
If you’ve read any of them, let me know. My tastes usually focus on SFF, but I do like to read outside this genre and at Christmas I do enjoy a romance.
Barrow of Winter by H.M. Long
I am 60% through this and it’s AMAZING! The tension is being ramped up slowly, but oh, it’s so good. The writing is absolutely beautiful too. An absolute gem of a winter read, and full of gods, demi-gods and betrayal.
I’ll write a full review once I finish, but I’m expecting this to be a 5 star.
Of Blood and Fire by Ryan Cahill
I’m also about 40% through this and enjoying very much being engrossed in an old school epic fantasy. It feels a bit like Wheel of Time with the promise of dragons, but at 40% in, it’s also doing its own thing.
A big congrats to Ryan for writing this – and my finger shall be on the Broken Binding webpage when the special editions go live!
Howling Dark by Christopher Ruocchio
I’m only a few chapters into this, and I’ve already shed a tear or two😿 (if you know, you know).
This is a masterful sci-fi series and Empire of Silence was simply incredible. I’ve put Howling Dark down momentarily to complete my arc reads (purely because I feel this is a book that will require my undivided attention), but this will be picked up as soon as they are finished! And I will be continuing with the series next year.
New SFF reads
Shield Maiden by Sharon Emmerichs
Next up is this beautiful arc from Head of Zeus – which is out in February 2023. It sounds amazing!!
Firstly it’s about Beowulf! ✅
And it has a female protagonist ✅
Plus dragons ✅
If these don’t pique your interest, here’s a brief blurb!
Having grown up hearing tales of her uncle, the great King Beowulf, Fryda’s one desire is to become a shield maiden in her own right. Yet a terrible childhood accident has left Fryda disabled – thus, she believes, thwarting her dream of becoming a warrior-woman for good. But still, somehow, she feels an uncontrollable power begin to rise within herself.
Meanwhile, a great celebration of Beowulf’s reign is underway, and Fryda’s house is soon overrun with foreign kings and chieftains. Amidst the drunken revelry, a discovery is made that threatens the safety of Fryda’s entire clan – and her own life. Enraged, Fryda resolves to fight for her people, no matter the cost… and all the while, her powers seem only to grow stronger.
But she is not the only one to feel its effects. For, buried deep in her gilded lair, a dragon is drawn to Fryda’s untamed power, and is slowly awakening from a long, cursed sleep…
When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo
I read the first novella in this series (Empress of Salt and Fortune) earlier this year and devoured it in one sitting. I loved the retelling of how an exiled queen discovered her true worth and power. It was a tale wonderfully spun. I’m hoping for something equally powerful in the second book, which I believe is set in the same world.
Ascension by Nicholas Binge
I’ve known Nicholas for a wee while now and read some other work of his – which is insanely good.
This, however, is his next book to be published – and it’s causing quite a stir! The premise revolves around the sudden appearance of a mountain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean which I find very intriguing. Sometimes I think what lurks in our oceans is more frightening that what might exist in space.
Seeing as I already know this is a man of literary talents, I need to get up to speed and read this novel, which is due to hit the shelves in March 2023. My arc is downloaded and I’m ready to read. It sounds quite spooky and sinister… think I will need a nice glass of wine to hand while reading this one.
A Gamble of Gods by Mitriel Faywood
This is my indie pick for December and very excited by the Mission Impossible comparison. I’m hoping for something fast paced and action packed!
It promises to be both fantasy and sci-fi, although also appears to feature romance and thriller aspects. And given the fantastic reviews it’s received so far, I can’t wait to start.
Non Fantasy Picks
So, I meet Abby Jimenez on Critique Circle years ago. For those who don’t know, she’s an American bestselling romance author. I read her first two novels while we were on critique circle together (now known as The Friend Zone and The Happy Ever After Playlist) and I immediately adored them and Abby’s writing style.
When it comes to romance, I like it to feature real women who live in the real world. I’ve never been a fan of stories about rich heiresses and billionaire boyfriends. So, if you want to read about sassy ladies and their relatable romantic dilemmas, Abby is a must read author. She tackles big themes too. Fertility, genetic illnesses, love after grief – and yet there is always so much warmth and humour in her prose.
The Hacker by Daniel Scanlan
I do like a thriller. And when I read thrillers, I prefer to learn something.
Hacking. The dark web. These are things I know absolutely nothing about, but feel like I should.
Daniel Scanlan is something of an expert in this field, so I’m expecting to finish this book and either be completely freaked out or delighted that I know more about the internet than I currently do!
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
I asked my friends on Twitter what their favourite reads were in 2022.
Suna came back with this – and ooh, it sounds good. I am not a fan of the trends in fantasy romance atm – which to me quite often feature very problematic/abusive relationships (for me, this is NOT romantic).
This, however, seems to be exactly up my street! A bit more slice of life, perhaps? Anyway, I can’t wait!
So, there we go. That’s my list. Hopefully I get through them all, but if not, there is always January.
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