This is a post I’ve been meaning to get to for … oh, about a month … but the important thing isn’t WHEN we arrive, it’s THAT we arrive … eventually … right?
Or was it something about the journey being more important than the destination? Well, late or not, here are all of my 5-star reads for 2016:
My Top Reads of the Year:
While all of the books featured above are outstanding, there are a few that stuck with me long after their stories were concluded. Here are my favorite reads of the year, in no particular order, with a short blurb about why you should pick them up today. (Links will jump to my original review of the book rather than a place you can purchase them).
THE SILENCE by Tim Lebbon — Apocalyptic horror at its finest, I’ve quickly become a fan of pretty much anything Mr. Lebbon writes. You’ll find some of the most haunting scenes in fiction within this story. As close to perfection as you come with a novel.
WE EAT OUR OWN by Kea Wilson — One of the most audacious debuts I’ve read, this novel took so many risks and succeeded not in spite of, but because of them. A perfect example of what “literary horror” should be. I’m looking forward to what Miss Wilson produces next.
ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER by Norman Prentiss — Probably one of the greatest love stories I’ve ever read, disguised as a horror novel, this book has to go down as the one I’ve recommended the most to people this year. Intoxicating storytelling and a message that isn’t shoved down your face but delivered with subtlety and a quiet beauty. This one’s on my shelf of top reads ever, not just for the year.
BLISTER by Jeff Strand — This is another one that took me completely by surprise, with a story that’s as charming as it is twisted. By far two of my favorite characters of all the books I’ve read this year, Strand really nailed this one. I dare you not to fall in love with this unlikely couple.
END OF WATCH by Stephen King — The king of horror closes out his Bill Hodges series by tying the supernatural into a story line that had been alarmingly void of the other-wordly. Masterfully told, and with one of the most frightening villains King has come up with in some time, this was the perfect closure to this outstanding trilogy. (By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea …)
THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM by Victor LaValle — This is one of those books you just drink in, letting the story carry you pretty much wherever it decides to. Mesmerizing and unapologetic, this is proof that novellas can pack an amazingly strong punch.
DARK MATTER by Blake Crouch — Concept is king in Crouch’s latest speculative thriller. Pleased to hear he’s working on a screen adaptation, which is pretty much guaranteed to be one of the top films of whatever year it comes out. If Christopher Nolan and Michael Chrichton had collaborated, this book would likely have been the result.
BEFORE THE FALL by Noah Hawley — This one was all about the execution, and I’m not sure another author could have turned what was in essence a simple story into something so intricately complex. Another great example of what literary fiction should be.
THE GIRL ON THE GLIDER by Brian Keene — Another heart-wrenching, honest piece that completely surprised me in both its approach and deliverance. This one was magic, one of those books you secretly treasure and that feels written just for you.
A fond farewell to the many adventures of 2016, the new authors discovered, the new friendships formed, the new readers who may have stumbled upon my own work. And here’s looking forward to many adventures to come.