Tag Archives: Max Gladstone

Tough Traveling: MONSTERS


Hey, this is my first time participating in Tough Traveling, a weekly event created and hosted by Nathan from the Fantasy Review Barn! I’m finally joining the party this week, because the theme is “Monsters,” and I tend to read lots of books with monsters in them.

Nathan’s idea for Tough Traveling is to follow along with Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, which is a funny and irreverent send-up all of the fantasy clichés and tropes you can think of. Each week, Nathan picks one of those tropes, and bloggers are encouraged to come up with a list of books that fit the category.

This week, we’re talking about MONSTERS:

MONSTERS are likely to lie in waste areas, caves, and old ruined cities. You can usually detect their presence by smell.

If I didn’t limit myself, this list could seriously get out of control! So I selected the first six books with great examples of monsters that popped into my head:

City of Stairs

Urav from City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett. Urav was one of my favorite things about this book, even though he only plays a small role in the story. Urav is a many-tentacled sea monster that devastates the city of Bulikov. Scary yes, but I sure loved him!

The Blue Blazes

Gobbos (goblins), Vollraths, Trogbodies, Snakefaces and more from The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig. This was one of my favorite books last year, and is a great example of a creative use of monsters. In The Blue Blazes, the underground world of New York City is alive with monsters, because of a hole that leads straight into Hell. The kicker—you can only see them if you take a drug called Blue Blazes.

Full Fathom Five

Penitents from Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone. Max’s Craft Sequence books all have monsters in them, but I particularly liked the Penitents from this book. Penitents are huge creatures made out of rock that act as prisons for humans who break the law. These unfortunate people are trapped inside the body of a Penitent and must go after other law-breakers, in order to force them into the same horrific situation. It’s an extremely painful process for those unfortunate enough to be caught.

The Shotgun Arcana

Gerta from The Shotgun Arcana by R.S. Belcher. I haven’t posted my review of this book yet, but it has one of the most interesting monsters I’ve run across: a Frankenstein-like creation. Auggie’s dead wife Gerta’s head has been kept “alive” by mad scientist Clay since the first book in the series, The Six-Gun Tarot, and you won’t believe what happens to Gerta in this follow-up book!


The Weir from Three by Jay Posey. Weir are humanoid-like creatures with glowing blue eyes that live in the desolate Strand, a dangerous place where humans are prey. If you are caught by a Weir, you may become one yourself.

The Scar

The Remade and more from The Scar by China Miéville. It’s been YEARS since I read this book, so my memory is a bit hazy. But Miéville is one of the grandmasters of monsters. Just about every character in this book has some monstrous quality or other. The Remade are slaves who have had their bodies physically altered. This book also has grindylows (like the ones in Harry Potter!), sea creatures who drown their victims in the ocean. I know I’m forgetting a bunch of other great examples from this book, but like I said, I read this a really long time ago.  Just READ THIS BOOK if you haven’t already.

That was fun! I’d love to hear from you. I’m sure I missed many great examples of monsters:-) Thanks to Nathan for hosting! Check out the link above if you’d like to join in the fun.


Filed under Tough Traveling

Waiting on Wednesday (119) LAST FIRST SNOW (Craft Sequence #4) by Max Gladstone

WOW 2014 copy

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and is a fun way to share upcoming books you’re “waiting on” with other bloggers and readers. Oh you guys, I’m so excited about this week’s WoW pick:

Last First Snow

Last First Snow (Craft Sequence #4) by Max Gladstone. Releases from Tor Books in July 2015. So, those of you who have been following this blog for a while know I’m a huge fan of Max Gladstone, and that I love his Craft Sequence books! The cover for Book #4 is so new that it doesn’t even have a cover blurb yet, so I can’t even tell you much about the story. However, I did snag a bit of information directly from Max’s website, which gives us a small taste of what we’re in store for:

Just between us, I’m really excited for this book.  It’s the most intense of them all by far.  Also I’m focusing on older characters for the most part, folks like Temoc, Ms. Kevarian, and the King in Red, people carting around more history.   And there’s this really cool bit where—Aaaaaah I can’t wait to for y’all to read this.  Maybe I’ll write an early trailer for you.


When the author is excited about his book, you know it’s going to be awesome:-) Thanks, Max!

Feast you eyes on the lovely covers of books 1-3:

Are you also a fan of the series? Let me know!


Filed under Waiting on Wednesday

Book Review Giveaway! July 2014

Book review giveaway button 2014 copy

It’s time for another Book Review Giveaway…have you been keeping up? If not, you can read my reviews from July and think about which book sounds the best to you. It was a very slow month for me, due to all sorts of things (work, mostly) that kept me away from blogging, so I only posted six reviews last month. But, there are some great ones to choose from, and like most months, there is a mix of adult and young adult. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I guess I’ll go with California Bones, which just made me so happy to read:-) This giveaway is International, provided the Book Depository ships to your country.

Also, I want to congratulation last month’s winner, Josh Atkins!

Here are the books you can choose from if your name is randomly selected (click the book titles below to read my reviews):

five stars
California Bones by Greg van Eekhout

five stars
Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone

four and a half
Blightborn by Chuck Wendig

four stars
Irredeemable by Jason Sizemore

four stars
Rebel Nation by Shaunta Grimes

three stars
Invisible Beasts by Sharona Muir

You can grab the giveaway button here:

Books, Bones & Buffy
<div align="center"><a href="http://wp.me/p1GQyK-3Lf" title="Books, Bones & Buffy" target="_blank"><img src="//booksbonesbuffy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/book-review-giveaway-button-2014-200.jpg" alt="Books, Bones & Buffy" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Ready to enter? Simply click the Rafflecopter button below:

Raffle button


Filed under Book Review Giveaway, Giveaways

Over-Booked (8) – A Book Haul Post

Over booked banner

Welcome to Over-Booked, my book haul post where I link up with Stacking the Shelves and The Sunday Post. Head on over to link up your own book haul post, or jump around and see what everyone’s got!  I have a smallish haul this week, which is good after my Comic Con haul last week, and I’m very excited about these books:

8-9 overbooked

The Golden City and The Seat of Magic by J. Kathleen Cheney. I was so excited when I found out I had won these beauties from The Bibliosanctum! This is one series I’ve heard nothing but good things about, and I’m anxious to start reading them. Thanks, Mogsy and Wendy!

Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone. I loved this third entry in Max’s series, and Tor was kind enough to send me a finished hardcover. Thanks Tor!

The Apex Book of World SF3 edited by Lavie Tidhar. I’ll be reading this anthology this month. Apex has never let me down, and I’m excited to read some diverse stories from all over the world. Thanks Apex!

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. I don’t usually read middle grade, but this looks like fun, and it’s pretty short. Thank you, Scholastic Press!

Edelweiss/NetGalley review titles:

Into Darkness (Night Prowler #6) by J.T. Geissinger. If you’ve been reading this blog at all, you know I’m one of J.T.’s biggest fans. This is the final book in her Night Prowler series—boo!! I know the author is probably ready to move on to something else, but I’m not! Big thanks to Montlake Press.

Black Dog by Caitlin Kittredge. Right after I featured this book on Waiting on Wednesday, I realized it was an Edelweiss title, and I was thrilled to be quickly approved. Thank you Harper Voyager!

Indie review titles:


Rewinder by Brett Battles. Yeah, I know. I don’t review indies any more. But Brett and I, well, we go waaay back. And when he told me his latest is a suspense/time travel story, of course I said I would read it! I love his books, and he’s one indie writer that really knows how to do things right. I mean, check out the cover! It looks professional, right? (And it is. He does everything professionally.) I may not be able to squeeze this in this month, but next month for sure. Thanks Brett:-) And put this up on Goodreads, will ya?

That’s it for me. Let me know what goodies you acquired this week!


Filed under Over-Booked

Guest Post with Max Gladstone + Enter to Win a Copy of FULL FATHOM FIVE!

Author Guest Post

I’m so excited to have the extremely talented Max Gladstone visiting Books, Bones & Buffy today. I had originally asked Max to write a post about the role that gods and idols play in his books. But what I got back was something much more interesting, an endorsement, if you will, from a character who’s been to the island of Kavekana (from Full Fathom Five) and has partaken in their particular trade. He’s going to explain what’s going on there, and why sacrifice isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…(and keep reading, because there’s a giveaway at the end of this post!)

Max Gladstone

Sacrifice is rough on a business.

Let’s be realistic about it for a second: there are gods all over the world, and wherever there isn’t a god it’s because something godlike took its place.  What’s the practical difference between a voice speaking out of the wilderness demanding you bleed out a dozen aurochs (aurochses? auroxen?) on a particular stone and a necromancer in a pinstriped suit stretching out his skeletal hand for a cut of what’s yours?  The distinctions are cosmetic.  They both want something.

It used to be reasonable!  People didn’t travel as much, and if they did it was an event, you know, long caravans and legions of guards, so big they seemed like cities on wheels or water.  A merchant might have to sacrifice to a few local gods on the way for protection, but most of the business was done at origin and destination.  Serving two masters sucks, but it’s manageable.

These days, though.

I mean, don’t get me started.  Let’s say we have a concern that makes something really simple—paper, maybe.  It’s cheaper to grow trees in one part of the world, mill them in another, and of course we want to sell paper everywhere.  We can’t settle for making paper to serve one city, or even ten.  It’s a business of scale.  We want school-age kids in the Shining Empire taking notes for their high-stakes tests on paper with our watermark.  We want the Dread Lord of Zur signing treaties with steppe-lords on high-bond You And Me brand extra strength eggshell white, now imbued with real griffin blood!  (Which means, shit, we have to go find griffins, which are native to the highlands in the Southern Gleb, so that’s another set of gods we’ll have to deal with.)

Every place we go, every place we sell, someone wants a sacrifice. How can you live like that?  Let alone do business.

This is where godhavens come in.  See, gods have a good thing going—they respect one another, more or less, and now the God Wars are over, while they might not actually trust or like human wizards, there’s at least some grudging tolerance between the sides.  Or whatever it is you call that wavy truce you get between two bare-knucks boxers trying to catch their breath in round 37.  Gods don’t ask other gods’ priests to sacrifice to them.

Yes, I know, you don’t want to get ordained.  I mean, the whole idea here is to give you fewer obligations, right?  Seems priesthood would be the last thing you might want.

You would think that.

See, what if you could be a priest of something that just looked a lot like a god?  No faith, no distortion of behavior, no precepts or confession.  Just a sort of bloodless obligation that meant you never had to sacrifice anything again.

Check out these guys.  Kavekana’s a little island in the Skeld Archipelago, sent their gods to the Wars and they never came back.  They just—vanished.  Shit like that happened a lot back then.  Gods’ disappearance, as I’m sure you can imagine, puts the local priesthood in a tizzy.  What’s a priest to do without gods?  They started celebrating ancestor spirits at first, as a kind of stopgap—then they got good at building rituals, telling consistent myths, praying to stuff they’d never prayed to before.  And somewhere along the line, a bright kid saw the future.

Idols made to order, for folk like you and me.  Salt of the earth, engines of trade, just trying to enjoy our profits and prophets both without bad guys taking them from us.  Go to Kavekana.  Talk with a priest about your problems.  Hang out on the beach sipping those little, whatchyacallm’s, drinks with umbrellas in, sorta pink.  They’ll give you a few prayers to say, some salt you and your employees have to scatter before bed or whatever, and bam.  Some goddess wants her cut?  Tough.  You’ve got a Lord and Master already.  Convenient for you he only, you know, sort of exists.

I’ve done it a couple times.  Lots of people in our line of work do.  It’s not just sacrifice avoidance, either—it’s easier to operate this way, less paperwork, fewer demon uprisings.  Really good for estate planning, too, if you ever intend to die.

Trust me.  You’ll love it.

Find Max: Author Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Read my reviews: Three Parts Dead | Two Serpents Rise | Full Fathom Five

About Full Fathom Five:

The third novel set in the addictive and compelling fantasy world ofThree Parts Dead.

On the island of Kavekana, Kai builds gods to order, then hands them to others to maintain. Her creations aren’t conscious and lack their own wills and voices, but they accept sacrifices, and protect their worshippers from other gods—perfect vehicles for Craftsmen and Craftswomen operating in the divinely controlled Old World. When Kai sees one of her creations dying and tries to save her, she’s grievously injured—then sidelined from the business entirely, her near-suicidal rescue attempt offered up as proof of her instability. But when Kai gets tired of hearing her boss, her coworkers, and her ex-boyfriend call her crazy, and starts digging into the reasons her creations die, she uncovers a conspiracy of silence and fear—which will crush her, if Kai can’t stop it first.

Thanks to Tor Books, I have one finished copy of Full Fathom Five to giveaway to a U.S. winner (with apologies to my international friends!) All you need to do to enter is fill out the form below. One entry per person, please! A winner will be randomly selected on July 31st. Good luck!

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Filed under Author Guest Post, Giveaways

Grrrl Power: FULL FATHOM FIVE by Max Gladstone – Review

Full Fathom Five 3D

Full Fathom Five (Craft Sequence #3) by Max Gladstone
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Release date: July 15 2014
Source: ARC from publisher
Pages: 368

five stars

The nitty-gritty:  A world that shimmers with magic, female characters that do wonderful and impossible things, and a layered story that will keep you riveted.

They fell through space and worlds, following that unseen beacon. They did not slip from realm to realm so much as burst through. The color of the sea changed, wine-red and spreading. Constellations danced and transformed.

The volcano’s mouth approached. At its bottom, pinhead small but growing larger, lay the pool, another sky into which they could fall forever. The size of a cherry now, a fig, lemon orange apple pineapple watermelon—

She braced herself for impact, too late.

This is the third book in Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence, and as much as I loved the last two books, I think this may be his best yet. Each book in this series can easily stand on its own, so reading the first two books first isn’t necessary—but why would you want to miss out on them? Gladstone’s world is full of gods and idols, sea monsters and Craftswomen, nightmares and pools where you can remake yourself. Each detail is painstakingly melded into the story so that you feel as if you are right there with the characters. Things that we are all too familiar with—job security, market shares, salesman-client relationships—are cheekily disguised as fantasy elements, which makes them much more interesting.

In Full Fathom Five, idols are molded and created by the Order for pilgrims. But when Kai, a priest with the Order, witnesses the death of an idol named Seven Alpha, she makes a risky decision to jump into the pool to try to save her. But Kai nearly dies in the rescue attempt and is later fired by her boss for attempting something so risky. It is only after she meets a street kid named Izza and a poet named Margot that Kai realizes Seven Alpha’s death is only part of a much bigger scheme. With her friends, new and old, to help out, Kai must get to the bottom of what’s really happening to the idols, keep her distance from the murderous Penitents, and try to get her old job back, before anyone else dies.

The biggest surprise for me this time around was the fact that most of the main characters in Full Fathom Five are women. In fact, just about every male in the story is a side character or a bad guy. Not that I don’t love me some strong male characters, too, mind you, but it was a nice change of pace to see a male writer taking the time to create such interesting, strong and utterly human female characters, who are all flawed in one way or another, yet possess the strength to rise above those flaws. I think my favorite character was Izza, a fifteen-year-old thief who is distraught when her goddess the Blue Lady dies. Izza takes care of a rag-tag group of street kids who look up to her to tell them stories about the Blue Lady and restore their faith in the world—much like Wendy Darling telling tales to the Lost Boys.

I also loved Kai, who nearly dies from trying to save Alpha Seven, yet never gives up hope that she will figure out the truth of what’s going on. We also have two characters who make a return appearance from Three Parts Dead, Mrs. Kevarian and Cat (who along with vampire Raz was my favorite character of that book). Unfortunately, Raz is nowhere to be found in this story, but that’s ok, because all the other characters are so amazing. Each woman goes through pain (and sometimes torture), loss and disappointment, yet never do they lose their faith in the gods and idols they worship.

Gladstone’s brilliant writing skills are hard at work, as usual. His lush and poetic prose is one of the things that keeps drawing me back to his books, and it just gets better and better. And as far as the world-building goes, you don’t get much better than this. The island city of Kavekana (think Honolulu, Hawaii) is completely different from ours, yet there are moments of odd familiarity, like when Kai stops at a corner store to buy frozen yogurt. At its heart, this is a mystery story, as Kai tries to figure out who is killing the island’s idols. The pace is not the rip-roaring action-packed sort, but rather the slow-building kind that surprises you when you realize you’re in the middle of some desperate action and you can’t pinpoint exactly when you got there.

The scary monsters this time around are the Penitents, gigantic human-shaped creatures made of stone that patrol the city and keep order. The kicker, however, is that their bodies act as prisons for the city’s criminals, humans who have been caught and placed inside a Penitent, where their bodies and wills are bent to perform the duties of a Penitent, until their sentence is over and they are released. What a truly terrifying way to be punished!

The ending was perfect, and I wasn’t expecting to tear up like I did. But Gladstone hit all the right notes, both emotional and plot-wise, and I couldn’t imagine a better ending. Whether or not another Craft Sequence book is in the works remains to be seen, but I for one certainly hope Max isn’t done with this fabulous world.

Many thanks to Tor Books for providing a review copy. I was not compensated in any way and all opinions in this review are mine and mine alone. The above quote was taken from an uncorrected proof and may differ in the final version of the book.

Check back later this week, because Max himself will be stopping by with a guest post!

Catch the rest of the series:

You can find Full Fathom Five here:

amazon button2b&n buttonThe book depository button Indiebound buttonGoodreads icon



Filed under 5 stars, Reviews

What’s On My Plate – July 2014

On My Plate

Welcome to another thrilling What’s On My Plate post! It’s July already, people! I can’t believe it’s finally San Diego Comic Con month! In a few weeks I’ll be in San Diego, running from book event to book event, and trying to squeeze in some TV and movie panels as well. If you’re going this year, let me know!

I’m frightfully behind in my reading, as usual, but I do see a light at the end of the tunnel, as I’ve stopped requesting books from Edelweiss and NetGalley (until further notice, or until something pops up that I can’t say no to). This month I’ve got a handful of digital ARCs to review, a couple of small press releases, and two blog tours. Here’s what I’ve got scheduled:

From NetGalley/Edelweiss:

The Buried Life by Carrie Patel. Releases this month from Angry Robot.

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne. Releases this month from Disney-Hyperion.

Invisible Beasts by Sharona Muir. Releases this month from Bellevue Literary Press

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. Releases this month from Henry Holt.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow  by Thomas Sweterlitsch. Releases this month from Putnam Adult.

From Small Presses:

Irredeemable by Jason Sizemore. This short story collection by Apex editor Jason Sizemore is published by Seventh Star Press, and in addition to reviewing the book, Jason is visiting the blog next week with a guest post. Be sure to stop by!

Midnight by Mari Adkins. This is an Apex Publications book, and I’m always pleasantly surprised by their titles. It’s hard to tell what this one is about from the blurb, but I’ll be reading it soon and I’ll let you know as soon as I find out.

Blog Tours:

I am really, seriously going to stop doing blog tours (for the most part), but I do have a few more on the calendar. Rebel Nation by Shaunta Grimes is this Friday, you can stop by for my review and a giveaway. And I’m featuring Max Gladstone (Full Fathom Five) here on July 17th. I’m pretty damn excited about that! This is one of my favorite series, and I’ll have a guest post from Max as well.


                                     Angry Robot200    comic con small

I just got word yesterday that Angry Robot will be celebrating five years of publishing amazing science fiction and fantasy, and I’ll be part of the celebration this Friday! Join me as I host author Andy Remic, who will be talking about his Top Five Indie Films. Angry Robot is also giving away FIVE copies of Andy’s book, Kell’s Legend. Don’t miss it!

Yep, it’s finally here! San Diego Comic Con is July 23-27th, and I’ll be there all five days! I’m taking both my kids this year, and they’ve already started working on their costumes. They don’t release the schedule until about two weeks before the event, so I still don’t know what I’ll be doing. Ahh, the anticipation! Stay tuned for a recap when I get back!

I’ve also been working on an updated blog design, which I hope will go live this weekend…I’ve been changing my mind a lot about the color scheme, so I haven’t finalized it yet. Hopefully with the long weekend coming up (Independence Day) I’ll be able to make some decisions. Stay tuned…

So, what’s on your plate this month?


Filed under What's On My Plate

Tammy’s Top Ten: My 2014 Summer Must Reads

Top Ten Tuesday 2014 copy

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish! This week we’re listing the top ten books on our summer TBR list. Everyone has a slightly different definition of what this means, but for me, these are my top ten most anticipated books that will be released this summer (in June, July and August—which are the summer months, at least here in America!) I don’t know if I’ll actually read them all during the summer, but here’s hoping! And I promise, I did not choose this group of books because most of them have blue covers, LOL! Here they are, in order of release date. (Click on the titles to go to Goodreads)

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne. I know I’ve been talking about this a lot, but I’m seriously excited! Release date: July 8th.

Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone. The third book in Max’s Craft Sequence, he just gets better and better. Release date: July 15th.

Blightborn by Chuck Wendig. Ooh, pretty cover. Ooh, creepy corn that can kill you and do other weird stuff… Release date: July 29th.

Free Agent by J.C. Nelson.  This sounds like so much fun! Release date: July 29th.

Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee. A lovely cover, and a fantastic-sounding story. Release date: August 5th.

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco. “Dexter meets The Grudge.” Just, yes please! Release date: August 5th.

The Godless by Ben Peek. Girl on the cover with a flaming sword? Yes! Release date: August 19th.

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas. This isn’t genre fiction, but I’ve heard amazing things, so yes, I am going to find time to read this. Release date: August 19th.

Feral by Holly Schindler. Love the cover, and I hear this has lots of cool twists. Release date: August 26th.

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley. I haven’t read her other books, but this girl has writing chops. She’s been nominated for all the big awards, like the Hugo, the Nebula and the Arthur C. Clarke Award, to name a few. Release date: August 26th.

What are your top ten summer books? Link me up and I’ll stop by!


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Over-Booked (2) – A Book Haul Post

Over booked banner copy

Welcome to Overbooked, where I’m happy to be linking up with Stacking the Shelves over at Tynga’s Reviews and The Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer! Check out their links and you can visit other blogger’s book haul posts as well. As behind as I am with my review books, I’ve still managed to wrangle some wonderful new reads from publishers. And since I’ve started working full-time, it seems I never have time to spend the money I’m making! But I have a whole bunch of books on my wish list that I’m going to buy this weekend, so look out Barnes & Noble! (Just sayin’ “NO!” to Amazon right now, have you heard all the commotion about that?)

So, here are my latest and greatest:

Full Fathom Five (Craft Sequence #3) by Max Gladstone. Releasing in July from Tor Books. This series gets better and better, and I’m sure this third book will be amazeballs! I’ll also be welcoming Max to the blog in July to help promote his book!

The Buried Life by Carrie Patel. Releases in July from Angry Robot. I’m really excited to read this one. Underground city, people! That’s all you need to know…

The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan. Releases in August from Angry Robot. You’ll have to click the Goodreads link and read this blurb for yourself. It sounds crazy good!

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. Releases in June from Orbit. Scary, freaky little girl? Sounds like my kind of book…

Mirror Irredeemable

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley. Releases in September from Angry Robot. I’m loving this generic AR ARC cover…the real cover is just awesome, but I’m enjoying this one too.

Irredeemable by Jason Sizemore. Now available from Seventh Star Press. If you don’t know, Jason runs the really wonderful Apex Publishing, which includes not only books but Apex Magazine, which is full of short stories and other genre-bending goodies. This collection of his own short stories looks like fun!

Big thanks to Tor Books, Angry Robot, Orbit and Seventh Star Press! Let me know what goodies you received this week.


Filed under Over-Booked

Tammy’s Top Ten Books of 2013 – ADULT

Best of 2013 banner copy

It’s the end of the year, which means lots of top ten lists! Selecting my top ten favorite books of 2013 is extremely hard, because I read so many amazing books this year.  Like many bloggers, I find it nearly impossible to select only ten books that I loved for the entire year! So this year, I’ll be doing at least two Top Ten lists, and I may add others if I’m in the mood:) First up: my Top Ten best adult books of the year! I will always remember 2013 as the year I discovered Chuck Wendig and Victoria Schwab. Both of these authors made my Top Ten Adult and my Top Ten Young Adult lists, which I think is pretty amazing. To be fair, I’ve arranged my list in alphabetical order, by the title of the book. I’ve also awarded each book a *special* designation, because hey, I wanted to shake up the boring top ten list! (Clicking on the covers will take you to Goodreads.)

Best Characters

The Blue Blazes

1. The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig. Chuck, Chuck. What can I say? I love Chuck. This book truly changed the way I evaluate books, and from now on, each book I read will unfortunately be compared to this one. In my opinion, this book is perfect. And it’s the first in a series! Bloody Bride, Book #2, will be released, well, I don’t think there’s a date yet, but you can bet that whenever it comes out, life will come to a screeching halt while I read it:) Read my review of The Blue Blazes here.

best twist

Gone Girl

2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Even though Gone Girl was released in 2012, I didn’t get to read it until this year. I’m happy to say that, at least for me, it lived up to all its hype. Even though I saw some of the twists coming, I still loved Flynn’s portrayal of an extremely unhealthy marriage. I can’t wait to go back and read her other books. You can read my discussion of Gone Girl here.

most heartwrenching


3. Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff. Stormdancer made my top ten list last year, so it’s no surprise that Kristoff delivered once more. His gorgeous descriptions were over-the-top at times, but they brought this story to life. Thrilling and heartbreaking, I swear I could hear a Wagner opera playing as I read Kinslayer. Some people stick Kristoff’s series in the Young Adult category, but I’m throwing it in with Adult because it’s not published by a YA imprint, and it isn’t priced as YA.  You can read my review here.

most evocative writing

Mad Scientist's Daughter

4. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke. The moody cover doesn’t prepare you for this truly original science fiction story. Clarke’s beautiful writing brings the painful relationships of this story to life, and I can’t wait to read more from this talented author. Read my review here.

Best Ending


5. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. A book about books and bookstores? Yes! The story behind this mostly unassuming cover was unexpected, magical, and full of emotion. And yes, that ending. Brilliant. You can read my review here.

scariest future


6. Plastic Jesus by Wayne Simmons. I’m pretty sure this book is mostly unknown here in the United States, but I’d love to change that. Simmons is a force to be reckoned with. His writing is sharp and his vision of the future is highly original. I’m looking forward to reading more of his books. You can read my review here.

Best World Building


7. Three by Jay Posey. I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. Usually covers with big hulking men carrying nasty weapons scream VIDEO GAME to me, and I don’t normally enjoy those types of stories. But I was entranced by Posey’s world. It was so hard to get back to my real life when I finished this book, which to me is a good indication that the world-building is superb. My review of Three.

Most Creative Use of Magic


8. Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone.  The first book in this series, Three Parts Dead, made my top ten list last year. Max is just that good. I honestly could have awarded this book “Best World-Building” or “Best Characters” but I decided to go with “Most Creative Use of Magic.” The Craft Series is unlike anything else I’ve read, and for urban fantasy fans, these books shouldn’t be missed. My review of Two Serpents Rise.

Best Collection banner

Vampires in the Lemon Grove

9. Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell.  I read many really good short story collections this year, but this was my favorite. Each story spoke to me in some way. Russell is so creative and original, that I’m gleefully awaiting her next book. My review of Vampires in the Lemon Grove.

Best Story Construction


10. Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Last but certainly not least, Vicious was so brilliantly written that I still can’t figure out how Schwab pulled it off. You really have to read the book to understand what I’m talking about. Vicious has so many layers, so many surprises, and so many wonderfully diabolical characters, that I can’t imagine how Schwab will top this book. But I’ve no doubt she will! My review of Vicious.

I also want to mention these books, which all received 4 ½ or 5 stars, but didn’t make it into the top ten. I love you all as well! The Lives of Tao & The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu, Rapture’s Edge and Edge of Darkness by J.T. Geissinger, The Kings and Queens of Roam by Daniel Wallace, Revenge by Yoko Ogawa, The Miniature Wife by Manuel Gonzales, Appalachian Undead edited by Jason Sizemore, Stoker’s Manuscript by Royce Prouty, Plow the Bones by Douglas F. Warrick, What Makes You Die by Tom Piccirilli  Sea Change by S.M. Wheeler, The Descent by Alma Katsu and The Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher.

Did you make an Adult Top Ten List? Check out my Top Ten Young Adult Books of 2013 here!


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