2013 Wrap-Up: Top Ten Books/Series I've Read

Top Ten Eleven Books/Series I've Read

I would like to extend my appeal from the previous 2013 wrap-up post to include fanfiction in this. Can I, pretty please? No? Fine. Maybe I could just make a separate post for fanfiction at a later date. Mind you, most of the fanfiction I've read this year was about Dragon Age. Yes, that high-fantasy role-playing video game series by Bioware. However, I am not here to squee about that game or the fanfiction that I've read - since I can't include them in this list - but to show my list of the Top Ten Books/Series I've Read this year. Which goes to say that I ABSOLUTELY RECOMMEND them to you.

1. Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson

It was one of those what-the-heck, I have nothing to do decisions. Typhoon Haiyan cut the power (and most basic necessities) so anything electronic to amuse you was out of commission. So you look through your TBR pile, you noticed that you recently got the third and final book to a series (even if you haven't read a book from that series but you absolutely had to get them) and you start reading the first book.

It was one of the best decisions I've made.
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2. Basara by Yumi Tamura

Hahahaha. Since fanfiction is out, I get to put in manga! And Basara is absolutely one of the best out there. It's not really that popular but reading this 27-volume manga did not disappoint. Basara is somewhat geared towards mature audiences. Uhm, no erotica here. It's just that there are "themes and languages that are not suitable for very young audiences". It covers almost anything you can think of - action, adventure, romance, betrayal, torture, journey, twists, girls-disguised-as-boys, rape, boys-disguised-as-exotic-dancers, Asagi's tongue, WTF-I-thought-he-was-the-real-villain, beaches, snowy mountains... you get the idea.

3. Katerina Trilogy by Robin Bridges
Historical fiction has always drawn me like moth to a flame. Stories about royal families also makes me want to pick them up. Who knows how many hours I consume branch-reading Wikipedia articles about historical figures, especially royal ones, and learning all about their dirty secrets. And Mother Russia has always been a mystery.

Bridges had done a good job of weaving fantasy and fact together into one cohesive story that lets you fall in that world and experience what its is to be part of Europe's elite.

4. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

I pegged this book as somewhat Graceling with a sprinkle of Poison Study. It hooks you in, makes you invested in characters but breaks your heart, in a good way, in the end. 

5. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was hard to get into. I got the book since everyone was talking about it. I know, I know, beware of hype, you may not like the book. And at first I did ask myself what all the hullabaloo about when I was a few chapters in. I couldn't wrap my head around the story that I set it aside. It was months after that I decided to give it a go again that I understood why it's so popular. The setting and world-building alone were unique, unique, unique.

6. The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe
It is not one of those books that explodes in your face, yelling: "Yes! This is it. This is the story. This is the plot. This is the action. The main character is now thrust into a world she didn't know existed but always a part of it. She is an all-powerful being, the One who would be the key to everything! Mwahahahaha!"

No, The Sweetest Dark is not that.

It's not that, yes, but the love triangle! I'm team Jesse. JESSE! Why did he have to go join the stars!?! 

7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

I don't even like aliens. And I like reading them less. Eff you, fellow bloggers, for recommending this. Eff you, Rick Yancey, for writing an absolutely amazing take on alien invasion. I commend how these aliens invaded - very logical, precise and thorough. At least they were not defeated (yet) by Slim Whitman's Indian Love Call.
8. The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

This story slowly unfolded so slow that you wonder if something was going to happen at all. But when you finally laid out a map of the place, were introduced to the important characters, and got the mission you were waiting for, then the ball started rolling and quite at steady pace.

I am happy to report that the romance was very well done. No instalove! Hurray! *throws confetti* Just as the story slowly built, so do the romance between Katharine and Lane. Unlike a number of stories we can all name, the book did not focus on these two sorry individuals, it focused on the story at hand. In fact, we can say that their romance was not yet fully realized in this book and I think it would continue to unfold in the next one which I would be happy to read.

9. The Grimm Chronicles Volume 2 by Ken Brosky

How many times must we read about re-interpretations of the Grimms' fairytales until we're satisfied?  We have Alice Goodenough battling the characters of the Grimm's stories before they become too evil and wreak havoc on the world. The first volume was okay but the second volume was where the action really got into place. Reminds me of another series though.

10. 45 Pounds by K.A. Barson

Thank you for this. Seriously. Thank you.

You've captured the struggles those of us who have weight issues. And with all the pressures and the fads running rampant in the world today, then the positive image you portrayed here is a big help.

Thanks for the inspiration.

ETA:

It's the last day of 2013 but I still have one book to add to this list since I finished reading it an hour before the start of the new year!

Burning Sky was love, love, love! I love its rich, fantastical world that was described and explained in this first book but left many things still unexplained; I love the main characters, their faults and vulnerabilities, their relationship, as yet to be solidly defined; and I love how the story was told. Eagerly anticipating the next book!
Ayanami Faerudo

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