Top 12 Reads of 2015! 4 Star Books

Throughout the month of January (more like February now, I guess) first few months of the 2016 year, I will posting various “best of” lists, ranging from the best books I read that were published in 2015, to my top 5 and 4 stars reads of 2015, to the best short fiction of 2015, and to my favorite foodie quotes!

Today, I am happy to announce my…

Top 12 Reads of 2015! 4 Star Boks

 12. Tale of Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean


About the Book:

From the author of the bestseller The Disappearing Spoon, tales of the brain and the history of neuroscience. 

Early studies of the functions of the human brain used a simple method: wait for misfortune to strike-strokes, seizures, infectious diseases, lobotomies, horrendous accidents-and see how the victim coped. In many cases survival was miraculous, and observers could only marvel at the transformations that took place afterward, altering victims’ personalities. An injury to one section can leave a person unable to recognize loved ones; some brain trauma can even make you a pathological gambler, pedophile, or liar. But a few scientists realized that these injuries were an opportunity for studying brain function at its extremes. With lucid explanations and incisive wit, Sam Kean explains the brain’s secret passageways while recounting forgotten stories of common people whose struggles, resiliency, and deep humanity made modern neuroscience possible.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should Read It: Besides neuroscience is awesome! And this books is packed full of fun stories about the progression of our knowledge of the brain.

Review coming soon!

11. Supersymmetry by David Walton


About the Book:

Ryan Oronzi is a paranoid, neurotic, and brilliant physicist who has developed a quantum military technology that could make soldiers nearly invincible in the field. The technology, however, gives power to the quantum creature known as the varcolac, which slowly begins to manipulate Dr. Oronzi and take over his mind. Oronzi eventually becomes the unwilling pawn of the varcolac in its bid to control the world.

The creature immediately starts attacking those responsible for defeating it fifteen years earlier, including Sandra and Alex Kelley—the two versions of Alessandra Kelley who are still living as separate people. The two young women must fight the varcolac, despite the fact that defeating it may mean resolving once again into a single person.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should It: More plot twists and thrilling action, but now, with time-travel! Just as good as Superposition (and some would say even better).

Read My Review

10. Superposition by David Walton


About the Book:

Jacob Kelley’s family is turned upside down when an old friend turns up, waving a gun and babbling about an alien quantum intelligence. The mystery deepens when the friend is found dead in an underground bunker…apparently murdered the night before he appeared at Jacob’s house. Jacob is arrested for the murder and put on trial.

As the details of the crime slowly come to light, the weave of reality becomes ever more tangled, twisted by a miraculous new technology and a quantum creature unconstrained by the normal limits of space and matter. With the help of his daughter, Alessandra, Jacob must find the true murderer before the creature destroys his family and everything he loves.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should It: If you like science fiction, this is for you. If like mysteries, this is for you. If you like thrillers, this is for you. It is an amazing blend of all those three genres, and the execution of Superposition is spot on!

Read My Review

9. The Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer #1) by Robin Hobb


About the Book:

Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father’s gruff stableman. He is treated as an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz’s blood runs the magic Skill—and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family.

As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should Read It: It would be an injustice to give this book anything less than a 4 star!

I believe this series is considered on the best fantasy series of all time. I haven’t read all the books yet, so I can’t say if that is true or not – but I can say that Hobb is an amazing character writer!

Read My Review

8. Veil of the Deserter (Bloodsounder’s Arc #2)by Jeff Salyards


About the Book:

History, Family and Memory… these are the seeds of destruction.

Bloodsounder’s Arc continues as Captain Braylar Killcoin and his retinue continue to sow chaos amongst the political elite of Alespell. Braylar is still poisoned by the memories of those slain by his unholy flail Bloodsounder, and attempts to counter this sickness have proven ineffectual.

The Syldoonian Emperor Cynead has solidified his power base in unprecedented ways, and demands loyalty from all operatives. Braylar and company are recalled to the capital to swear fealty. Braylar must decide if he can trust his sister, Soffjian, with the secret that is killing him. She has powerful memory magics that might be able to save him from Bloodsounder’s effects, but she has political allegiances that are not his own. Arki and others in the company try to get Soffjian and Braylar to trust one another, but politics in the capital prove to be far more complicated and dangerous than even Killcoin could predict.

Deposed emperor Thumarr plots to remove the repressive Cynead, and Braylar and his sister Soffjian lie at the heart of his plans. The distance between “favored shadow agent of the emperor” and “exiled traitor” is an unsurprisingly short road. But it is a road filled with blind twists and unexpected turns. Before the journey is over, Arki will chronicle the true intentions of Emperor Cynead and Soffjian. And old enemies in Alespell may prove to be surprising allies in a conflict no one could have foreseen.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should Read It: It’s plaguing fantastic sequel!

We all know Salyards writes some of the best fight scene out there, but here Salyards starts to show how talented all areas of his writing is.

Read My Review

7. The Death of Dulgath (The Riyria Chronicles #3) by Michael J. Sullivan


About the Book:

When the last member of the oldest noble family in Avryn is targeted for assassination, Riyria is hired to foil the plot. Three years have passed since the war-weary mercenary Hadrian and the cynical ex-assassin Royce joined forces to start life as rogues-for-hire. Things have gone well enough until they’re asked to help prevent a murder. Now they must venture into an ancient corner of the world to save a mysterious woman who knows more about Royce than is safe and cares less about herself than is sane.

From the best-selling author of The Riyria Revelations comes the third installment of The Riyria Chronicles. Although part of a series, it’s designed to thrill both new readers looking for fun, fast-paced fantasy and Riyria veterans wishing to reunite with old friends.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should Read It: It’s the last new adventure we are getting with Royce and Hadrian!

Review Coming Soon

6. The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower #2) by Stephen King


About the Book:

The second volume in Stephen King’s acclaimed, epic Dark Tower series.

After his confrontation with the man in black at the end of The Gunslinger, Roland awakes to find three doors on the beach of Mid-World’s Western Sea—each leading to New York City but at three different moments in time. Through these doors, Roland must “draw” three figures crucial to his quest for the Dark Tower. In 1987, he finds Eddie Dean, The Prisoner, a heroin addict. In 1964, he meets Odetta Holmes, the Lady of Shadows, a young African-American heiress who lost her lower legs in a subway accident and gained a second personality that rages within her. And in 1977, he encounters Jack mort, Death, a pusher responsible for cruelties beyond imagining. Has Roland found new companions to form the “Ka-tet” of his quest? Or has he unleashed something else entirely?

The stunning Plume edition features full-color illustrations by Phil Hale and is a collector’s item for years to come.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should Read It: After finishing The Gunslinger, I was left with many many questions, and I really didn’t know what to think or expect from the rest of the series… but that hesitance and bit of doubt proved moot; this book was awesome!

Read My Review

5. The Blade Itself (First Law #1) by Joe Abercrombie


About the Book:

Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian – leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman Captain Jezal dan Luthar, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.

Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glotka a whole lot more difficult.

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should Read It: If you’re looking for a novel with top-of-the-line character development, bloody fightings with gruesome gore and torture! Then look no further. This is the book for you.

Read My Review

4. The Crown Conspiracy (Ryria Revelations #1) by Michael J. Sullivan


About the Book:


The Crown Conspiracy is book one of the multi-book saga: The Riyria Revelations. The series is told through six novels conceived as a single epic tale. Across the entire chronicle, mysteries build, characters evolve, and plots thicken, but each is self-contained and can be read independent of one another.

In the first episode, the reader is introduced to Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, who make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles until they become the unwitting scapegoats in the murder of the king. Sentenced to death, they have only one way out…and so begins this epic tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should Read It: A fun and enticing story that had me turing page to page with ease! The is our first taste of the Riyria adventures, and there is no way you will not want more after reading this!

Read My Review

3. Before They Are Hanged (First Law #2) by Joe Abercrombie


About the Book:

Superior Glokta has a problem. How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace? It’s enough to make a torturer want to run – if he could even walk without a stick.

Northmen have spilled over the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country. Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win undying glory. There is only one problem – he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained, worst-led army in the world.

And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a perilous mission through the ruins of the past. The most hated woman in the South, the most feared man in the North, and the most selfish boy in the Union make a strange alliance, but a deadly one. They might even stand a chance of saving mankind from the Eaters-if they didn’t hate each other quite so much.

Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven – but not before they are hanged.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should Read It: I said this before, and I’ll say it again, these characters alone (and now the fighting for certain) makes these books worth reading. Honestly, I could care less what the story was about. As long I get these characters, there is now way I wouldn’t enjoy these books.

Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he’s one hell of character writer!

Read My Review

 2. Nyphron Rising (Ryria Revelations #3) by Michael J. Sullivan


About the Book:


War has come to Melengar and Princess Arista runs a desperate gamble when she defies her brother and hires Royce and Hadrian for a dangerous mission. As the power of the Nyphron Empire grows, so does Royce’s suspicion that the wizard Esrahaddon is using the thieves as pawns in his own game. To find the truth, he must unravel the secret of Hadrian’s past.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should Read It: I had a lot of (Riyria) revelations in this book that proved to me how great this story and how impressive Michael’s writing is!

Read My Review

 1. Avempratha (Ryria Revelations #2) by Michael J. Sullivan


About the Book:


When a destitute young woman hires two thieves to help save her remote village from nocturnal attacks, they are drawn into the schemes of the wizard Esrahaddon. While Royce struggles to breech the secrets of an ancient elven tower, Hadrian attempts to rally the villagers to defend themselves against the unseen killer. What begins with the simple theft of a sword places the two thieves at the center of a firestorm — that could change the future of Elan.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should Read It: 600+ pages have never gone by so fast!  There is no reason whatsoever for anyone to miss out on this story, because DAMN! did this have a good ending!

Read My Review



4 thoughts on “Top 12 Reads of 2015! 4 Star Books

  1. S. C. Flynn says:

    Good list. The Sullivan covers look great


  2. Love Hobb’s books! 🙂


  3. Ah, I still need to read Supersymmetry, but the fact it’s about the girls (and thus a whole new story with a seemingly whole new direction) has made me put it off. I have no doubt it will be good though, I remember your review and it sounds really interesting. I just need to find time to fit it in!


  4. @lynnsbooks says:

    Quite a few on here that I still need to make time for – particularly looking at those Abercrombies.
    Lynn 😀


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