The Year in Review – Part 3

My favourite books of 2007 – roughly in reading order:

** Patricia Briggs‘ “Blood Bound” (urban fantasy) – The second book in her Mercy series didn’t disappoint.  I’ve just finished the third (“Iron Kissed”) and can safely say this is one of my all-time favourite series.  It stands out from the hundred and one werewolf urban fantasy series out there.

** Elizabeth Peters‘ “The Falcon at the Portal” and “He Shall Thunder in the Sky” (mystery) – I loved the entire Amelia Peabody series, but these two books are my favourite because of the romance.  Rambling series review here.

** Kelley Armstrong‘s “No Humans Involved” (urban fantasy) – I love all her books and the seventh book in her Otherworld series is no exception.  Review here.  Her Nadia Armstrong book, “Exit Strategy”, nearly made it onto this list as well…

** Jacqueline Winspear‘s “Maisie Dobbs” (mystery) – Set in 1930s London, this is the first book in her Maisie Dobbs historical mystery series.  I love the post-WWI setting and all the period detail – Ms Winspear really brings the era to life.  Series review here.

** Jacqueline Carey‘s “Kushiel’s Justice” (dark fantasy) – This is the second book in her Imriel trilogy, but definitely doesn’t suffer from the “middle-child” syndrome.  I posted some thoughts about it here, but appear to have spent more space ranting about the spoiler on the copyright page than actually talking about the book.

** JK Rowling‘s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” (YA fantasy) – Well, this just had to be on my list!  I thought it wrapped up the series perfectly.

** Suzanne Brockmann‘s “Force of Nature” and “All Through the Night” (romantic suspense) – I’m a big Jules fan, and I’m glad he finally got his HEA.  Apart from that, I thought FoN was classic Brockmann, with a great ending.  Review of ATTN here.

** Eva Ibbotson‘s “The Secret Countess” and “The Morning Gift” (YA romance) – Jennie’s review inspired me to buy the former, and I’m so glad I did.  It’s the perfect feel-good story.  Review of “The Secret Countess” here.  “The Morning Gift” is just as good – I don’t think I could pick the one I like better (some initial thoughts on it here).

** Diana Gabaldon‘s “Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade” (historical mystery) – She’s one of my favourite authors, and Lord John’s one of her most fascinating characters.  I don’t think think anyone else out there writes the way she does.

** Nalini Singh‘s “Caressed by Ice” (paranormal romance) – Third in her Psy-Changeling series, this was the one that wowed me.  I don’t think I reviewed it (lazy me!), but I loved the romance and the world-building.

** Lisa Kleypas‘ “Mine Till Midnight” (historical romance) – Ms Kleypas is a relatively new-to-me author, but now one of my auto-buys.  I liked how Cam wasn’t a typical hero and loved his story.

** Sharon Shinn‘s “Reader and Raelynx” (fantasy) – Fourth in her Twelve Houses series.  I think I would read anything Ms Shinn writes.  Fangirl gush aside – I thought this wrapped up her Twelve Houses series very well… but I’m still hoping for one more.   

** Eloisa James‘ “An Affair Before Christmas” (historical romance) – I loved this one.  I haven’t yet done a review (am waaaaay behind), but I thought it was better than the first book (“Desperate Duchess”) in this series.  Loved the Georgian setting, her writing, the cast of characters… everything about this book really!

Previous posts:

  • Part 1 – Quick look at the first third of the year
  • Part 2 – I ramble on about reading stats for the year
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16 thoughts on “The Year in Review – Part 3

  1. Excellent list! We do have many of the same favorite authors. 🙂 Except I think you are a bit more into dark/urban fantasy than me. Though I’ve been thinking about trying Briggs, since a lot of people seem to really like them. But I’ve had the first Kushiel book and the Dark Jewels trilogy in my TBR forever — maybe I should get through those first.

    And I’ll be posting a review of another Ibbotson tonight. 😉

  2. Brotherhood of the Blade was right up there for me last year, and I have just finished reading Hand of Devils which was good too! I agree that there is no one out there who writes quite like Gabaldon! Love Elizabeth Peters too!

    As to the others, there are several that you listed there that are on my TBR list.

  3. Jennie – Since you like Kelley Armstrong, I think you would really like Patricia Briggs. The Kushiel / Black Jewels books are quite a bit darker, IIRC – I’m trying to think of authors we have in common that are comparable to Jacqueline Carey / Anne Bishop, but am coming up blank right now. They are great stories though – they’re the sort that stay in your mind for a few days after you’ve finished reading.

    Marg – I so *want* the Hand of Devils, but haven’t managed to justify that purchase (yet) because I’ve two of the three short stories already (though I can’t quite seem to find them at the moment…).

    Nicholas – I also love her older “straight” fantasy books. I’m sort of torn – on one hand, I want her to write as many urban fantasies as possible, but then, it would be nice to get another traditional fantasy one. I think her urban fantasy books draw a larger audience though.

  4. Just discovered your Blog and I have to say, your TBR pile is HUGE haha.

    I’ve just retaken a liking for reading (used to read a lot in middle and primary school but school had a really bad effect on my reading sickness, as it completely disgusted me of it). Got recently hooked by Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Series and currently reading Sebastian ^^ but I wanted to find other interesting fantasy books to read and found your blog. I can’t believe how many books you read ^^ but your personal comments are great help ^^ Keep it going ^^

    Once I finish Sebastian and Belladonna ( didn’t get hooked by Tir Alainn… Finished Pillars of the World but will probably read the rest in a few months…) and based on your comments I’m planning to read Sharon Shinn or Patricia Briggs.

    Which author do you think I should read first?

  5. My TBR pile is definitely out of control! I need to get serious about reducing it – or at least its rate of growth 🙂

    You’ve probably guessed I love Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels books – apart from the original trilogy, there’s “The Invisible Ring” and “Dreams Made Flesh” (collection of short stories) in case you haven’t come across them.

    Sharon Shinn v. Patricia Briggs – tough call! Can I say both? 🙂

    Okay, Sharon Shinn is more traditional fantasy – if you’re reading her, I love her Samaria series, which is fantasy with a twist. Read this one in order, because there’s lots of reveals in the latter books. “Archangel” is the first, I think. If you want a standalone, I rec “Summers at Castle Auburn”, which is YA fantasy. And oh, her other series I love is her latest, the Twelve Houses series. Again, read in order – this is more traditional sword-and-sorcery type fantasy.

    Patricia Briggs also writes fantasy, but her latest series is urban fantasy, so if you want a change of pace from Anne Bishop, maybe try her Mercy series. “Moon Called” is the first, and one of the best UF books out there, IMO!

    Okay, v long post, but you did ask about two of my fav authors 🙂 Let me know how you get on!

  6. Just saw your latest post – Sharon Shinn writes romantic fantasy, if there’s such a classification! All her books have a romance at the heart of it.

    Nalini Singh is also a fav, BUT I wasn’t blown away by her first Psy-Changeling book “Slave to Sensation”. It was the third in this series that completely worked for me. Lots of peeps loved SoS tho, so I may just be the odd one out.

  7. Thanks for your prompt reply ^^

    Actually when I ended writing these posts I went to read “Slave to Sensation” I’m actually half through it and expecting to finish it today or tomorrow along with Sebastian.
    Concerning “Slave to Sensation”, I keep telling myself “Why do you keep reading this?” but end up saying “I’ll stop at the next chapter” ^^ Pretty weird. I know each one is a stand alone, but I’d like to read the books in proper order… in order to reach the third one since you said it was the one which got you hooked ^^ But I don’t think you’re an odd one, I’m not blown away either.

    Thanks for your advice ^^

    I’ve read over the past two weeks(in order):

    -Princess Bride by William Goldman
    -Alanna, the first Adventure and In the hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce ( too rushed…)
    – The entire Black Jewels Trilogy as well as Dreams made Flesh and Pillars of the World ( Book 1 Tir Alainn Trilogy)==>

    … So yes I do need something a little fresher ^^
    I’ll go for “Moon Called” then ^^ I want to get away from the Black Jewels series, I got a tiny little bit over-obsessed 😛 ( and there’s still “Tangled Web”, “Invisible ring” and “Price” waiting for me ^^) Hmm… And I’ll go for the Samaria series after ^^ It’s exam period for me so I don’t know how I’ll manage… Maybe I shouldn’t take the risk of reading good books in this period…

    Thank You for the tip ^^ And Good Luck with your TBR pile ^^
    Again I love your reviews ^^ Now I know where to look at to choose what to read next ^^ I can’t believe how long I had stopped reading… How the hell did I manage to forget how good it feels to simply draw into a good book, lazily curled up in your cover, milk chocolate on your right, vanilla tea on your left… ahh That’s life!

  8. LOL. I think SoS is a perfectly decent paranormal romance, and I like the political intrigue, but it didn’t blow me out of the water (nor you by the sounds of it either!).

    Patricia Briggs’ books are shorter than Sharon Shinn’s (mostly), so may be a good decision! I hope you enjoy the books I’ve rec’d…

  9. Just finished “Slave to Sensation” and “Visions of Heat” and honestly… Well I didn’t like the first one, and I completely HATED the second. The fact is I love the background, but I found it a pity she dwells so much on the characters love relationships – which I honestly didn’t feel that way… More like desire than love to me… Too much sex as well bleh – instead of deepening the plot… Could have been awesome though…Well different persons different sensibility I guess… Can’t help ^^ But… I’m still having some hope for the last, I’m just a bit fed up with the whole beast stuff at the moment so I’ll leave “Caressed by Ice” for another time.

    So yep, taking a little break from studying… And choosing “Moon Called” ^^ Will tell you what I though after finishing it ^^ I’ve never read a single book by Patricia Briggs ^^

  10. Oh dear – sorry to hear that StS and VoH didn’t quite work for you! I think her books are def paranormal *romance* – emphasis on romance – as opposed to Anne Bishop’s or Patricia Briggs’ books, where romance is just one of the many threads running through the story.

    I will wait and see what you think of Moon Called 🙂

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