Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Best Reads of 2013 – Fiction

This is the last in a series of post about the best books I have read this past year.  This post is definitely the least serious – it is about fiction books.

Fiction is my brain candy.  I read it before I crawl into bed.  It is a way for my mind to unwind.  And, as you see by my list, I am not necessarily reading what I would call Literature with a capital L.  These are fun books, many science fiction and fantasy, with a few others thrown in.

As you will notice, there are no Christian fiction books on this list.  Some of you might think that is shameful for a pastor.  I hate to say this, but there are only a handful of Christian writers – Lawhead, Windle, Rosenberg – that I enjoy.
Here are the best fiction books I read last year: (in no particular order)

Revelation by C. J. Sansom.  I don’t read too many mysteries, but C. J. Sansom’s books find their way into my reading pile regularly.  Revelation is part of the Shardlake mysteries, a series of historical mysteries set during the time of King Henry VIII and the English Reformation.  Great history and a great plot combined. 

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson.  This book is here not because it was a great book – it rather good and the ending was satisfying – but because it signals the end of an era.  I started reading the Eye of the World series in college (yep, that long ago….).  14 books later, it has survived the death of the original author Robert Jordan only to see Brandon Sanderson breathe new life into the series.  Although I almost gave them up about book #6 or #7, the later books recaptured some of the magic of book 1.
Mistborn, The Well of Ascension, and  The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson.  Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy is a great read.  Fabulous world, great plot, absorbing characters and fun ending.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson.  Having been impressed by Sanderson’s later work, I dug up his first book from a used book store.  It is a debut worth reading.  Again he has created a unique world filled with great characters, driven by a compelling story.
Legacies by L. E. Modesitt Jr.  Modesitt’s Corean Chronicles, book 1.  I am still reading this series and I am enjoying tremendously.  Legacies introduces you to Alucius, hero of books 1-3.

2nd Tier books (very good, but not great)

Magi’i of Cyador by L. E. Modesitt Jr.  (Magic of Recluse series)
Scion of Cyador by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (sequel to Magi’I of Cyador)
The Chaos Balance by L. E. Modesitt Jr.  (Magic of Recluse series)
Imager by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Imager Portfolio, book 1)
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas series, book 1, first Koontz book, looking forward to reading the rest of the series)
Darknesses by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Corean Chronicles, book 2)

3rd Tier books (I finished them, but they were on the disappointing side)

Acorna, the Unicorn Girl by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball.  (I generally love McCaffrey’s stuff, but this one underwhelmed me)
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (classic sci-fi, but again I was underwhelmed.  Hopefully the movie is better…)

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