Writer Tamago’s Favorite Books: 2016

And now…the end of the year list of my favorite books for 2016. Please remember, these are not necessarily books published this year, but rather my top picks from the books I read this year. Mind you, I cheat a little, because I count series a couple of kinds. Ready?

All the Peter Grant Mysteries by Ben Aaronovitch. Likeable detective Peter Grant is a member of a 2 person magical police force. Characters are engaging, humor is high, police procedure is very British, and the stories are easily told. If I had to pick a favorite, I’d probably pick Moon Over Soho, which is like a jazz set. Consider yourselves encouraged to go read.

Animosity by Marguerite Bennett and Rafael de LaTorre. A world in which animals gain sentience turns Sandhor the bloodhound and his girl Jesse’s life inside out. Amazing art and thought-provoking story telling, this horror comic is worth your time, and I hope for more after the initial mini-series.

One-Eyed Jack by Elizabeth Bear. Honestly, it was hard to pick between this book and Karen Memery, but One-Eyed Jack wins because it combines two of my favorite genres: Spy Fi and Fantasy. The derivative fiction in this piece is as good as the original story. I look forward to re-reading this book every once in a while.

Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond. I read two Lois Lane YAs this year, but Fallout stands out as the spunky Lois makes her way at a new school story. Add an on-line relationship with the mysterious Smallville Boy, and this reboot for teens has me all in for the next book.

The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu. I did mention that I like books that combine my two favorite genres: Spy Fi and Fantasy? Well, this one is Spy Fi and Sci Fi. It’s also a geek gets into shape/makes good story. So, I was a little slow to the party on this one, but on the plus side, I have a lot of awesome material to look forward to!

The Severed Streets by Paul Cornell. As gritty as Ben Aaronovitch is smooth, these British cops are interacting with a supernatural London only they can see, and the stakes for these people are high. I truly cannot tell you the amount of times this book made me gasp and argh in frustration. It’s a great, great book. The next one comes out in 2017, and I am there.

Limon, Martin. Nightmare Range. A great group of short stories, culturally authentic about two army police in post-Korean war South Korea solving murders. They don’t get more engaging than George Sueno and Ernie Bascom, and the Korean and army details are obviously written by someone who’s been there. I’m looking forward to reading the novels.

Liu, Ken. The Grace of Kings. So many people try to write something this mythological and epic, but so few succeed with such great success. Start this when you have some time, because you aren’t going to want to put this down. Part history lesson, part mythological tome, and full-on adventures of a questionable leader, this one satisfies on so many levels.

Morgenstern, Erin. The Midnight Circus. Amazing black and white story of the battle of two magicians set against the backdrop of an esoteric carnival. Moments of great poetry and beauty.

Urusawa, Naoki. Well, what can you do, but fall in love with the adventures of the clever SAS operative/underemployed archeologist/insurance investigator Taichi Keaton, as he moves through a series of interesting adventures and human stories? A couple more volumes are yet coming out next year.

Vernon, Ursula. Caste Hangnail. A breath of fresh air to end the year on, as we follow the adventures of Wicked Witch Molly as she becomes the Master of Castle Hangnail. I love hanging out in Ursula Vernon’s imagination.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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