Another year gone, another chunk of my TBR entirely ignored while a read an entire set of books that were new to me (for the most part).
From finishing the inaugural Indie Ink Awards at the start of the year, to my first year with BBNYA and SFINCS, I’ve pretty much counted anything I wrote an actual review for. From novelettes, novellas and novels. And of course focusing much of my year on indie reads.
I finished the year off with 155 reads. 83 of which were indie reads. Not bad at all as this is my best year yet! I tend to read a physical, a digital, and a audiobook at the same time, so I’m always finishing something.
Without further adieu,
My 2023 top 10 reads
(In no particular order)
One hell of a fantasy debut, filled with heart, anger, and tackling troubling themes with tact. A climax with one of my favorite book endings of the years. Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
A banger of a sequel in the Bonds of Kin series. This fantasy novel is bigger, better, and faster than the first and delivers an explosive climax. Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
A horror novel that blends different time periods and POVs in a bendy tale that defies genres. Short chapters kept things concise and sharp. A page turner. Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
A last minute Indie Ink Awards read for me, this was my first experience with the author and my first experience with this kind of read. While pretty impossible to dial down, this Gaslamp fantasy-esque story features grief and longing in its basest, barest form. You will be destroyed. Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
A true fantasy/scifi blend in this novel of found family and adventure. Great characters and truly a pleasure to read. Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
A fantastic blend of fantasy and horror. To some, this would perhaps be what they’d refer to as Dark fantasy, with its entirely made up world of vampires and other creatures of the night. This one was right up my alley and incredibly unique. Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
Definitely an underrated indie out there right now, this is a new dragon rider story with a new take on linked elemental magic and an ‘un-chosen-one’ plot line. Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
From the incredible cover, to the incredible writing inside, this was one of the best debuts I think I’ve ever read. Grimdark fantasy with tons of heart underneath. This chonky sucker will have you looking for more. Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
This superhero sci-fi-fantasy will have you laughing, pumping your first, and rooting for the fantastic main character Rohan. With tasty treats and Russian space bears. Click here to read my full review on Goodreads
This sci-fi/horror blend has the most harrowing pace out of any series I’ve ever read. Just nonstop action, kills, deaths, and blood pumping suspense. Great narrator too! Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
Now I feel like I would be remiss if I did not point out a huge series that I knocked out this year. The Meg series starts out with a scientific heavy pull to its sci-fi, in an almost-possible sort of way. The series pretty much goes absolutely insane after book 2 (and entirely off the rails in book 5), where the antics of the main characters, and the megalodons, just get unbelievably insane. While not without its issues, including some rather obvious misogyny from the author (something that nearly pushed me to the brink of stopping several times, and is prevalent in my reviews), the one thing that is for sure is that the writing knocks the fast-paced ocean horror creature-feature out of the water.
Here are 5 honorable mentions that so very nearly missed pushing some others out of my top 10.
This author was one of the first people to offer me a review copy and make a personal connection with me. I often credit him with starting me off on my journey of supporting indie authors. This little prequel novella very nearly unseated many much longer efforts. Fantasy with intrigue and historical feels. Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
Child star turned memoir writer, this was an incredibly surprising and deeply revealing dissection of motherly control, conditional love, and the trauma that follows. Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
A short story collection that features the darkness of the human mind and where it can take you. Featuring darkness in many forms, not just through the lens of horror. Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
This chonky sci-fi-fantasy is a real commitment and will take you through the gamut of emotions. An incredibly visceral look into warfare and the damage it can cause. Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
Out of all my holiday reads this year, this one is the most prepared to keep you up at night with a Christmas song and a look over your shoulder (with the lights on). Fun, gruesome, and oh-so right. Click here to read my full review on GoodReads
Bring on 2024! A thank you to anyone that has offered me a review copy, sent me one, re-shared a review, liked a photo, or enjoyed my writing.
2024 ASAP Hopefuls
Frankly I’m behiiiind on an ARC and feel terrible. And it looks so dang good!
Mark is a beast of a writer and I’m really excited for his 2024.