Reading: my best of 2018

With 2018 nearing its end, I decided to look back at my reading in 2018 and highlight books that became memorable for me.

Before I get to that, some quick facts: so far, I’ve read 30 books including three re-reads (and 31st book as a fourth re-read is in progress). I started the year with a re-read of World of Warcraft: Illidan and my last “new” read was the book ‘The Lies of Locke Lamora’.

And now, to my personal ‘winners’. I’ll style this like awards, just for laughs.

Most anticipated:
Crusade by Daniel M. Ford

A no-brainer for me. I’ve loved the first book when I came across it in 2016. I was just as happy with the second book in 2017. I had the third book pre-ordered several months in advance and started reading it the day it came out (hooray for e-books and no delivery time). The whole trilogy is something that hit my tastes perfectly. It depicts a war-torn land with all its perils while still managing a good sense of humor. It was way too easy for me to give it 95% (review). I know I’ll be returning to this series every few years.

Mixed feelings:
Wolf of the North trilogy by Duncan M. Hamilton

I’ve read this series (around 1050 total pages) in mere 8 days, which says something about how gripping it was. Yet, because of its narrative style (something I eventually gave a separate post), the ending lacked surprise and was, in a way, quite disappointing (aided even more by the ending itself). It was easy to relate to Wulfric but the series had issues including the narrative or the very frequent PoV shifts in the second book. Reviews for book one / two / three.

The only one:
Drakin by James Harrington

At the moment I was checking the post for errors, Goodreads said I am the only user who read this book. Of course, that does not mean no one else read it, but they either don’t use Goodreads or did not list their read date yet. Anyway, it makes me feel like an adventurer treading into uncharted lands. And what a nice adventure it was! A combination of Sci-Fi and dragon fantasy sounded like a strange idea but worked well, at least for me. (review)

The most twists:
Chronicles of the Black Gate by Phil Tucker

This five-book series starts simply – two sides in a war caused by religion and old hatreds and a barbaric enemy waiting for his time. As it goes down, powerful artifacts, godlike beings, and forgotten secrets make their way to the surface. Most of the main cast had their own stories to tell and were shown from different sides, meaning that my opinion on many of them changed a lot over the course of this series. What I can say about it? By the end, there’s little still standing of the world as it was by the beginning. (reviews: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5)

The lighthearted: Dragon Fate and Dragon Blade by J.D. Hallowell

This could also get the highlight for the simplest cover. Anyway, these two books (as the two follow-ups as well) are a lighthearted take on dragon fantasy, managing to tell what’s usually a tale thousands of pages long in much less while still keeping true to the genre and mixing the seriousness of great threat and necessary control to wield great power with a lively writing and sense of humor. (review of #1 and #2)

The step into the unknown:
Recall by M. Van

My first taste of self-published sci-fi was taken with this short but interesting book. An action-packed story set on post-apocalyptic Earth where one of the most powerful living men schemes to save himself and his chosen at the cost of everyone else. It’s left to a small group of rebels to uncover and stop this. Yet, they have internal struggles between them – which help to make them relatable. (review of Recall and the #2, Resist).


So, this is my look back at 2018 reading. I might do one more post focused on highlights I made and turn it into a show of the best lines from those books, whether they are funny, wise, or memorably in any other way.

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