Monday, January 9, 2017

Best Books of 2016 – Fiction

My forays into fiction this year were a bit disappointing.  I did read some very good books. I read some fun books.  I discovered a few new authors and I finished a longtime series from one particular author, but very little that I read was truly outstanding.

Here are the best:

The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson.  Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite writers at the present time.  This book is the conclusion of a spin-off series set in the same world as his best-selling Mistborn books.  A good story driven by great characters who have an awesome, often hilarious, interplay with each other.

Lamentation by C. J. Sansom.  A year with a new C. J. Sansom book is a good year.  Lamentation stars Sansom’s long time hero, hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake, who seems to get into some of the murkiest corners of King Henry the 8th’s England.  As usual, great historical research and a fine story make this one of the best fiction books I read this year.

Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance, and Two Graves by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.  Preston and Child write fun mystery/adventure stories.  There is nothing too deep here, just lots of action and great story-telling.  Of course, it does not hurt that the stories center on FBI Agent Pendergast, a quirky, wonderful main character.  This trilogy of books focuses on Pendergast’s hunt to find the truth about his wife Helen.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.  Probably the best fiction book I read this year.  This is classic, epic fantasy with a twist – the legendary hero of the story does not appear to be what everyone thinks he is.  Book 2 – The Wise Man’s Fear - is almost as good.  I am eagerly awaiting book 3.

Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher.  Book 1 of the Codex Alera series, Butcher has created an intriguing world and interesting characters.  I hope to read more of this series in 2017 and I am curious as to where he will take his story.

2nd Tier Reads – very good, recommended (in no particular order):
Ordermaster  by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Recluse series)
Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan
The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan
The Revenant:  A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke
Cyador’s Heirs by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Recluse series)
Heritage of Cyador by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Recluse series)
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger
The Death of Chaos by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Recluse series)

3rd Tier Reads – okay, but somewhat disappointing:
The Wretched of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler
The Lincoln Letter by William Martin

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