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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Favorite Books Read in 2014 (by Liviu Suciu)


While I keep extensive and continually updated lists of books on Goodreads including a list of top 25 books of 2014 as well as the corresponding lists of 2014 releases read and the books read in 2014, I thought of presenting a list with my favorite reads of 2014 as well as a few less so.

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Favorite Fantasy of 2014:



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Favorite SF of 2014:




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Favorite Literary SFF of 2014: 




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Favorite Literary Novel of 2014: 




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Favorite Historical Fiction of 2014: 




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Favorite Recent (2008-2013) Book First Read in 2014: 




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Favorite Older (pre-2007) Book First Read in 2014: 




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Favorite Non-English Language Book First Read in 2014:




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Favorite Reread of 2014:




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Worst Read 0f 2014:



Most Disappointing Novel of 2014



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Overall: 

Favorite Read of 2014: 



Favorite Book of 2014:




Monday, December 22, 2014

News: Ragnarok Publications acquires Angelic Knight Press as their horror imprint


Ragnarok Publications are a small press that have been releasing some high quality books. Helmed by J. M. Martin & Tim Marquitz, Ragnarok has been instrumental in unearthing terrific debuts by Seth Skorkowsky, Rob J. Hayes and Kenny Soward while also putting out wonderfully odd gems like Pretty Little Dead Girls by Mercedes M. Yardley.

This is what they announced a week ago:

Ragnarok Publications have acquired a new horror imprint, Angelic Knight Press (AKP). This acquisition will mark a new chapter in the evolution of the company’s structure, and Ragnarok founders J.M. Martin and Tim Marquitz couldn’t be more pleased to join forces with the talented people behind AKP.

Stacey Turner will be joining Ragnarok as the Managing Editor of the imprint, along with Danielle Day who will assist in the day-to-day operations. A select few Angelic Knight titles will transition over to Ragnarok, to include Kirk Dougal’s Dreams of Ivory and Gold, Aaron Gudmunson’s Snowglobe, Death’s Kiss by Kim Williams-Justesen, and a handful of anthologies including Lincoln Crisler’s That Hoodoo, Voodoo That You Do, Demon Rum edited by Stacey Turner and Clint Collins, No Place Like Home, and Fairly Wicked Tales

Alongside these great books, AKP’s first releases of 2015 will be Tuskers by Duncan McGeary and the fabulous foursome of Stacey Turner, Mercedes M. Yardley, C.W. LaSart, and Allison M. Dickson with Grimm Mistresses, a sordid collection of fairy tales gone horribly awry. 

“I’m thrilled to be working with Stacey and Danielle again, having partnered with them on several projects,” says Ragnarok’s Editor-in-Chief, Tim Marquitz. “They’re fabulous people with a ton of experience and talent, whose addition to Ragnarok is a great boon for us.” 

“I’m excited about this move for Angelic Knight,” says Managing Editor, Stacey Turner. “Ragnarok is every bit as committed to putting out quality work — both the author’s and the publisher’s — as we are, so the union is natural. I can’t wait to start reissuing some of our catalog through Ragnarok and finding new books to bring to our readers.” 

For Ragnarok, this is really a significant step and I'm excited to see the books they will come out with next. Checkout the covers below for their three upcoming titles:


Monday, December 8, 2014

"Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life" by P.J. Hoover (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)




Visit P.J. Hoover's Official Website Here

OVERVIEW: Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life is a funny, fast-paced novel for young readers by P.J. Hoover which chronicles the mischievous adventures of King Tut, now an immortal eighth-grader living in Washington, D.C..

You’d think it would be great being an Egyptian demigod, but if King Tut has to sit through eighth grade one more time, he’ll mummify himself.

Granted the gift of immortality by the gods—or is it a curse?—Tut has been stuck in middle school for ages. Even worse, evil General Horemheb, the man who killed Tut’s father and whom Tut imprisoned in a tomb for three thousand years, is out and after him. The general is in league with the Cult of Set, a bunch of guys who worship one of the scariest gods of the Egyptian pantheon—Set, the god of Chaos.

The General and the Cult of Set have plans for Tut… and if Tut doesn’t find a way to keep out of their clutches, he’ll never make it to the afterworld alive.

FORMAT: Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life is the first book in what is presumed to be a series. The story is mostly wrapped up in this novel, but there are elements that carry over into the other books.

It is a children's/YA novel that has action, adventure, and romance. It is based off of Egyptian mythology. It stands at 320 pages and was published by Starscape/Tor/Macmillan on September 16, 2014.

ANALYSIS: Percy Jackson, you have been warned. A new competitor has just entered the teen lit arena and he is sure to win over the hearts of teens and adults alike. Tut is sure to be a hit.

Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life follows the journey of King Tut. Readers are first introduced to him in Ancient Egypt. Tut's life is in jeopardy. He is running from his uncle, who is responsible for the murder of Tut's family and is now out to get Tut.

In his run in with his uncle, Tut is stabbed and about to die. In a last ditch attempt to live, he casts a spell that leads him to immortality. Unfortunately, it came with a price. Tut is doomed to spend the rest of his life as a 14 year old who must keep attending eighth grade over and over and over again.

The novel continues with Tut in present-day Washington D.C. where Tut is attending eighth grade all over again and living with his brother-like guardian Gil and Horus. Tut discovers that his uncle may not be dead (as he has found immortality too) and he is ready to get his revenge. This sparks a search for a knife that will help Tut kill his uncle.

Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life is everything that makes a great novel. It is fast paced, action packed, and is rather unique in its concept. Sure, Percy Jackson brought the well-known Gods to life, but this brings the often overlooked Egyptian gods to life.

Hoover does an amazing job of not info dumping, but incorporating the god's backstory into the novel. It might not be the most in-depth look at the Egyptian gods, but it is enough to spark people's interest which I hope will encourage them to read on their own.

One of the things I really liked was the way Hoover incorporated a parental figure into the story. When I read the blurb for this novel, I couldn't figure out how a 14 year old could just wander through life with no one questioning it. It appears it can be done when an older individual takes that 14 year old under their wing and acts like a parental figure.

Gil, the parental/brother-like figure, in the story wasn't just placed there as a wall decoration. He was developed, had emotions, and really played a role in the novel. Many times YA/children's novels tend to have adult/parental figures take a back seat, but not in this one.

Gil isn't the only character that is extremely developed. Hoover does an amazing job of quickly developing characters and making them relatable for the readers. The mortal characters were average, every day children that almost any reader could relate to instantly. Tut was likeable and funny. He was mature at times due to being alive so long, but there were times when he acted just like he was supposed to – a 14 year old boy.

A favorite part of mine was the shabtis that follow Tut around. They were responsible for helping keep the house clean, but also helped Tut out a lot with homework and other day-to-day chores. I just loved the interactions Tut had with them. It added a nice, humorous touch to the story without ruining to the tone of the book.

Overall, Hoover did an amazing job. Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life is an amazing start to a promising series. Hoover shows that it is possible to create a detailed, likeable story in approximately 300 pages. It will be interesting to see where this series is taken, what happens with the characters, and what is in store for Tut. I know I'll be waiting.
Monday, December 1, 2014

News & Update: The Heartstrikers series by Rachel Aaron


Official Author Website  
Order “Nice Dragons Finish LastHERE
Read the first three chapters HERE 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Nice Dragons Finish Last"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "The Spirit Thief
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of “The Spirit Rebellion” 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of “The Spirit Eater” & “Spirit’s Oath” 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of “The Spirit War” 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Spirit's End"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Fortune's Pawn"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Honor's Knight"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Heaven's Queen"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Interview with Rachel Aaron
Read Eli Monpress series completion interview with Rachel Aaron
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Interview with Rachel Bach

Nice Dragons Finish Last is Rachel Aaron's self-published debut. I reviewed it earlier this year and as you can read, I was completely bowled over by it. So I was even more pleased when I heard that Nice Dragons Finish Last was recently put out as an audiobook by Audible.

For those interested to hear a sample, you can check out a 30-min sample over here.


Also Rachel recently posted some news about the sequel One Good Dragon Deserves Another. The book is taking a bit longer to write for plot reasons and instead of being released around this time of the year. It will be released sometime in the first third of 2015. Hopefully Rachel will provide us with a blurb and some more details, but until then feast your eyes on this amazing cover prototype (see above). It's by Anna Steinbauer, the same artist who did the gorgeous cover for its predecessor.

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