The Best of 2014 - My Year in Books & Reviews.

It’s that time of the year when the Best-Of lists start popping out everywhere. I have actually never done that before and I’m really tempted to do that this year. What with this year being one of the most phenomenally productive year in terms of reading or writing – for me. Crossed the 60-mark this year and am well on my way to get to 65 before this year end. In terms of writing – I did some massive rewrites and ceaseless editing on my first book – got started with my second and third book as well. So hell yes, it’s been a satisfying year I guess.

Now onto some of the gems I discovered this year – both in terms of Books Published in 2014 and those published before which I just got around to. Funny actually two-thirds of the books I read in 2014 was published before! Most of my 2014 books are on my TBR list. I will get to that soon enough in my next post.

So in no particular order, the books that came out last year and which I managed to read up last year itself (click on the headlines for my reviews) which topped my list so far:

When Lord Grim Dark embarked on giving us a YA-Epic Fantasy featuring one of the most enigmatic boy-king hero in a world ruled by war and violence reminiscent of the Vikings, I was not convinced. But to-date, this book remains a highlight of my 2014-reading. Deliver he does and how. Blowing us away by this twisted dark coming-of-age story. Joe Abercrombie delivers yet another sucker-punch with this knock-out tale of a young man finding his groove in the land of Vikings.

This book was a late find for me – in spite of it hitting the stands way early in 2014. Only because I got an ARC for Golden Son due out in first week of Jan 2015, did I finally relent and get down to it. And bloodydamn, this book is a runaway winner all the way. I won’t be surprised if a movie comes out soon enough. With enough undue comparisons to the Hunger Games – Pierce Brown’s spectacular debut is an engrossing deeply satisfying read – Maybe in parts disturbing in its portrayal of a dystopian society in the middle of a melt-down. But it solidly delivers on all fronts. Be it the frenzied pacing, taut plotting or the realistic morally ambiguous characters led by an unforgettable hero vying for revenge, rebellion and redemption. Debut of the year possibly.

This is the one post-apocalyptic work of fiction that I would beg you to read. It has such a timeless ethereal quality to the writing that transcends the themes of mere survival – exploring relationships and human life. Original and bewitchingly beautiful. If you haven’t read this book, then trust me, you ARE missing out on something!

Brian Ruckley makes a huge return back to form with this one for me. Always maintained Ruckley is an underrated highly talented fantasy author – and with The Free – he delivers the goods in grand form. Pure fun, tons of high-stakes pitched battle scenes. The last company of honourable mercenaries in a world gone to the dogs making a last stand against everyone else. Get on that horse already. Heroic Fantasy like it ought to be done.

An under-dog really. One that came un-noticed and really stood up tall amidst all the big ticket releases of this year. A first-volume fantasy that would knock the socks off your feet for its sheer scope of imagination and boldness. Rebecca Levene has a way with words. Weaving magic in a lush compelling narrative filled with a smorgasbord of characters – deranged, extreme and flawed – all crammed into this wildly original setting, Smiler's Fair is the start to an exciting, gorgeously detailed series in Hollow Gods. As I said before, I am willing to bet on Hollow Gods to become the best ever running epic fantasy series in contention today.

I think the second debut that features on my best-list for 2014. An absolute riot of a read – a swashbuckling sword-and-sorcery adventure – it’s a good old fashioned tale, with just the right bit of action and humour to cheer you up and remind you of all the good things about this genre.

I saved the best for the last. This book is clearly the winner for me among the best books read this year. If there is one book you would pick up from the glut that came out in 2014, I would undoubtedly recommend only this book. It’s seriously mind-blowingly awesome.

So there's my top 7 books published and read in 2014. Out of the 21 in my total list of 65. The rest 44 have a few gems - and my next post will be about the Best Books Read in 2014 - not published in 2014. And the Big misses for me - which are piled up on my 2015-to-read list as well. So have great year ahead folks !! 


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