2011 sucked in so many ways, but for one area: new books to read! After getting a Kindle last Christmas, I began collecting more and more new books to read, since I no longer had to worry about shelf space. Here, in no particular order, are the four books of 2011 that stuck most with me. In no particular order, and with the warning that I probably forgot another gem or two along the way – my brain holds nothing – here are the most memorable books of 2011, followed by the most anticipated fantasy books of 2012! If you click on the book covers and purchase them through Amazon.com you also help me keep this site going!
The Dark Wife, by Sarah Diemer
"Three thousand years ago, a god told a lie. Now, only a goddess can tell the truth," begins the Amazon.com product description. This novel, by indie writer Sarah Diemer, was my first encounter with this fabulous, sparkly author.
The book retells the story of Persephone and Hades, with one vital 'correction': Hades was a goddess, not a god. Life as a goddess isn't all it's cracked up to be for Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, who is little more than a pawn in the power-plays of the Olympians. When she meets Hades, she decides that she has a choice on how to live her life. But will her choice set her free or destroy her love?
You have to read to find out!
I also highly recommend the other books by Sarah, which you can see at her website: oceanid.org.
The Gaia Wars, by Kenneth G. Bennett"Deadly secrets have been buried in the Cascade mountain wilderness for centuries. Hidden. Out of sight and out of mind.
The story follows Warren Wilkes, a young teen living in a Pacific Northwest town overlooking a lake and a nature preserve. An ill-advised prank on his part propels him into a series of events which lead to discoveries about the town, the park, and Warren's ancestry. Ancient cultures, otherworldly visitors, and terrifying monsters abound.
My favourite thing about this book was the seamless mix between fantasy, ancient American mythology, and science fiction. I can't wait to read the next book to see how the story ends (yes, it ends in a cliffhanger, but I would totally recommend buying both tomes at once to avoid the wait).
After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar, edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia BrayThis collection of short stories will appeal to readers of all points of the fantasy spectrum. It's got vikings, ancient gods, curses, and even zombies! I had to buy a paper copy for my dad, who loves that sort of thing. Gilgamesh even became a running NPC in our D&D games.
The stories take you through a historical romp which begins in ancient times, with an ale wife's attempt to transfer the gods' curse onto Gilgamesh, to the near future, when zombies have overrun the world. The collection is so varied that you're sure to find something you like!
The Princess and the Penis, by RJ SilverI had one more book to choose, and I've read so many awesome books this year, that picking just one more was driving me insane. I want to give props to all the awesome indie authors that have enriched my mind this year, but we would be here forever. So, this certainly counts as memorable, and I have nothing negative to say about The Princess and the Penis.
It's not your grade-school fairy tale, that's for sure! In this truly hilarious tale, the very sheltered Princess Amalia finds a lump under her mattress that she can't explain. The king, hoping to salvage his daughter's chastity and innocence, goes to hilarious lengths in order to deal with the 'intruder'. This short novelette has a happy ending, of course, but getting there will leave you in stitches!
Definitely not for your kids, though.
To everyone else who finished and published books in 2011, especially the brave souls who tackled self-publishing, GOOD JOB! You've brought me hours of entertainment, escape, and enlightenment. Here's to a successful 2012!
So 2012 is here, and with it, announcements of new books to be released in the fantasy genre. In no particular order, the 'OMG, is it out yet??' list.
Ragged: A Post-Apocalyptic Fairy Tale, by Sarah Diemer
All I know is, there's some sort of a faerie apocalypse, and one of the survivors gets to encounter a faerie who doesn't want to kill her. Having read most of Sarah's work so far, I don't really need to know much more than that and the release date.
RAGGED: A POST-APOCALYPTIC FAIRY TALE is a YA novel, coming January 24, 2012.
Add it on GoodReads!
Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris Book 1), by Jim C. Hines
I've seen the cover art for Libriomancer: (Magic Ex Libris Book 1), but I can't offhand find it on his website and Amazon doesn't have it yet. I can only infer that the version I saw was not completely ready for prime time? I can honestly say the cover art alone may have me buying a paper version of this book. The concept of Libriomancer, previously explored as a short story in Goblin Tales, is that a certain school of magic can make items from books appear in real life. So we have our main character accompanied by the fire-spider Smudge, whom he pulled from the pages of the Jig the Goblin novels written by Hines himself. The short story was very tongue-in-cheek self-referential, but it worked! Hines' sense of humour pulls it off. To say I look forward to this novel is an understatement.
These are just a couple of the books coming out this year. There are many more, but I think this is a good start. I will certainly mention others as they come along. Also, please let me know which books you've liked this year, and which you can't wait to read!