It's that time of year when everyone is writing the lists of their favourite books. As with two years ago (I wasn't around last year to do this) I shall divide my list into two and post half today and half tomorrow. I had a bit of difficulty this year in choosing some of the books for the categories because I realised that I have read A LOT of fantasy books. Lots and lots in fact and not too many of other genres. This means I've swapped the categories around a bit by removing horror (I only read 3 horror short stories) and adding YA instead because I read a few of them. It also means that some books in the categories are fantasy and another genre - you'll see what I mean. All the books in my list were read during 2011 but may not have been published this year.
Let's get on with it, shall we?
Reverb by Jet Mykles
This book had one of my favourite themes of famous characters, but looked at the darker side of the music industry as well as touching on the highs and lows of fame. The troubled relationship between the heroes was compelling and I could hardly put the book down. Review HERE.
The Boystown Series by Marshall Thornton
This eighties set detective series has been compulsive reading for me. I guarantee once you start the series you'll want to read through the rest. Nick Nowak is a cynical and promiscuous narrator whose sexual exploits leave a bitter taste with the emerging AIDS virus starting to affect the gay community. Review HERE, HERE & HERE.
Scorpion by Aleksandr Voinov
Amazing and far reaching story of a mercenary soldier whose loyalty to the band of soldiers to which he belongs leads him to many adventures. This was almost my book of the year and I can't recommend it highly enough. Review HERE.
Out of the Woods by Syd McGinley
I know this hasn't been to everyone's taste, but I loved the character of Tarin who is a mix of child-like emotions and canny intelligence. The D/s relationship he has with his captor 'Beak nose' was at times amusing and very touching. Review HERE.
The Usual Apocalypse by Christine Price
I loved the pairing of the workaholic Matthew with the gregarious and charismatic Brennan. The mystery story worked well alongside the paranormal elements, and the incidental details in the world building made this a gripping and entertaining read. Review HERE.
The Evolution of Ethan Poe by Robin Reardon
I don't often read YA books but this year I have a few on my reading list. This was by far the best and tells of Ethan whose small town becomes embroiled in a debate around teaching Intelligent Design in science lessons. The beauty for me though was in the blossoming self awareness of Ethan. Highly recommended.
Lucan from Dark Heart by Thom Lane
This has been a difficult one for me this year because it's become less and less the case where we get stories containing true Alpha Heroes. Often the characters are on more of an equal level in terms of personalities and preferences in bed. In the end my choice is taken from a series of slave/master fantasy books I've discovered and liked this year. Lucan's actions are very much in keeping with the setting of the book. He's a hard master to poor Tam at times, but I liked to see the growing affection he develops for Tam as the book progresses.
Daniel Halstrom from Anchored: Belonging by Rachel Haimowitz
This is a contentious choice because I know the book divided readers between those who loved it and those who hated it. I really, really liked the character of Daniel and thought he stayed strong despite the terrible things that happen to him. Review HERE.
So there you go, my books of the year so far. Do you agree with me?
Call back tomorrow to see the second part of the list including my overall book of the year.