Top 5 Books of the Year So Far...

So we’ve past the halfway point of 2019 and I’ve read a fair few books so far. Not as many as some but more than I did last year. I thought it would be good fun to have a look through all the books I’ve read so far and choose my 5 favourites. If you haven’t read the following 5 books then I recommend you go grab a copy!

5. The Girl Next Door - Jack Ketchum

This is a horror book and it’s not for the faint hearted. It’s pretty up there in terms of… well horror. It’s a nasty book. If you have a look at some of the reviews this book has then you’ll see how strongly some people feel about the content in this book.

I cam across this book during a time when I was wondering exactly where the line was for horror. For me anyway. I found that line in this book. I wouldn’t want to read a book that went beyond this.

A teenage girl and her sister lose their parents and they are taken in by a woman and her teenage sons. The woman is not all there, to say the least. She and her sons, as well as some other boys from the neighbourhood, take the girl prisoner and keep her tied up in the basement. She is then sunjected to various kinds of torture and the book jsut grows progressively more horrible.

This books is certianly not for everyone and if you don’t like hardcore horror then steer well clear of it. Don’t worry the rest of the books on this list are all a lot nicer!

4. Grimm - Shayne Silvers

This book is part of the Nate Temple series. This is the third book in the series so I’d recommend you start with book 1. Nate is a wizard/maker (you’ll have to read it to find out what that is) who lives in St Louis.

I’ll have to tell you about this book without giving much away or I’ll ruin the books that come before it. The Brothers Grimm have excaped from a prison realm and want to resume their quest to kill everything superntural they come across. Starting with Nate Temple.

It’s an exciting read that is action-packed and rund at about 1000mph. It didn’t take me long to burn through this book. The whole Templeverse is a thrilling creation that spans across 12 books and has 2 spin-off series too. If you like urban fantasy I sugest you go and get book 1 now!

3. Kill Creek - Scott Thomas

This is another horror and it’s a cracker of a read! It’s a haunted house story that’s succesfully avoided becoming a cliche of the genre. The story follows 4 authors who have all been lured there with a promise of publicity and a lot of money.

The author does a great job of building hte characters up so they come alive perfectly in your head. The first half of the book is focused on character building and psychological things going on in the house. The second hosue is when the author cranks up the horror.

I’d say it was kind of a cross between The Shining and The House on Haunted Hill.

If you like horror then you need to read this.

2. Summer Knight - Jim Butcher

If you like urban fantasy then you already know what this book is all about because you’ve heard of the Dresden Files.

This is as far as I’ve read in this series and I’ll be honest, the first 3 books in the series were a bit meh. I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. This book changed that. This is the best one I’ve read so far. It was amazing.

Harry Dresden, a wizard living in Chicago, has gotten himself right in the middle of a brewing war between the summer fay and the winter fay. He has to figure out who killed the Summer Knight before the fay go to war with each other. Oh, and if he fails his own people would probably kill him.

This was the second best book I’ve read so far this year and I’ve finally started to see hwat all the other fans see in the Dresden Files.

If you haven’t already then go and start this series.

1. Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo

Here it is — the best book I’ve read this year so far. This is a young adult fantasy novel set in a fictional world that seems to be based on Europe.

The worldbuilding is on point and the characters are fleshed out to perfection. Kaz Brekker is such a fascinating character that he has become one of my favourite fictional characters.

It has mutliple viewpoints (six - clue in the title) and focuses on a task given to them. They are hired to break into one of the most secure fortresses in the world and break out a prisoner who has the potential to change the world of magic for forever.

It’s kind of like Game of Thrones meets Oceans Eleven. It’s a fantastic heist story set in a fantasy world. I don’t think any book will beat this in the second half of 2019, that’s how amazing it was. I’m now palnning on reading all of the books set in this world.

2019 Projects

After thinking about it over the last few weeks, I’ve decided on 3 main projects this year. I’d like to do more than 3, but we’ll see how it goes. I don’t want to commit to doing things that I can’t deliver, like I have done in the past. Be warned there are spoilers from Dead Warlock if you read on.

  1. Horror Story

    This is my first horror project since the short stories I wrote back in 2015. This will be a home invasion novel. An author goes on a writing retreat in a secluded village, where he hopes to escape from his best friend who is now in a relationship with the girl he’s in love with, as well finding the inspiration to write a book that will rescue his almost dead career. Unfortunately, his best friend is also an author and he goes on the retreat too. And he takes his girlfriend. To make matters even worse the house they are all staying in is targeted by a sadistic serial killer.

  2. New Urban Fantasy

    This will be a novel set in a completely new universe. New characters, new setting, new rules. I’m really looking forward to this project becasue I love creating things from scratch. I haven’t come up with many of the details for this project yet. The main characer is called Jacob, he doesn’t yet have a surname. He’s either a wizard, or a necromancer. He’s a bit of a snob and likes to think he’s quite classy. Like Eddie, he’s not a hero, and is more out for himself than anyone else. That’s all I’ve really got to share about that one right now.

  3. Arcane Inc. 6

    The Arcane Inc. series was suposed to be finished, but I’ve reaslied in order to bring Eddie back there needs to be one more book to bridge the gap between the old series and the new. So I guess it’s kind of a middle book. Eddie is dead, and with him Arcane Inc. died too. This book will be about where he ended up after his death. Eddie knows there is a spirit realm, or a realm of the dead, he’s communicated with enough ghosts in the past, but he doesn’t know much about the afterlife. That’s going to change when he finds himself in the underworld, ruled over by Lucifer. And Lucifer is very keen to meet Eddie Lancaster. A bit of clarification, Eddie is not in hell. In this story Lucifer reigns over all the dead lands. Lucifer decides whether Eddie can go to the place of punishment, or the place of bliss. But Lucifer wants something from Eddie first.

    These are all very early ideas and it’s all open to change. The story might not work, in which case I’ll scrap it. If it turns out Eddie’s story is finished, then the Arcane Universe will find itself a new leading character to take the reins from the late Eddie Lancaster. I have a good feeling about it though. And hopefully there will be more Shirley in this one!

  4. Warlock In Hiding

    I know I said there were 3 projects, but this one isn’t a major one. This is a prequel novella that I’m working on. This will tell the story of where Eddie was before he came to Maidstone, before he set up Arcane Inc. and how he came to set it up. Rachel will be mentioned in it, but I’m not planning on having her appear. This book will be given free to everybody subscribed to my newsletter. So make sure you’re signed up to get a copy.

Let me know what you think of these projects. Which are you most excited for? Is there anything you’re not too keen on? Let me know in the comments.