Category Archives: Best Of

Top Reads of 2016! 4.5 Star Books

Throughout the month of February, I will posting various “best of” lists, ranging from  my top 5, 4.5 and 4 star reads of 2016!

Today, I am happy to announce my…

Top Reads of 2016! 4.5 Star Books


 4. In the Shadow of the Gods (Bound Gods #1) by Rachel Dunne

27064416

About the Book:

A breathtaking talent makes her debut with this first book in a dark epic fantasy trilogy, in which a mismatched band of mortals, led by violent, secretive man, must stand against a pair of resentful gods to save their world.

Eons ago, a pair of gods known as the “Twins” grew powerful in the world of Fiatera, until the Divine Mother and Almighty Father exiled them, binding them deep in the earth. But the price of keeping the fire-lands safe is steep. To prevent these young gods from rising again, all twins in the land must be killed at birth, a safeguard that has worked, until now.

Trapped for centuries, the Twins are gathering their latent powers to break free and destroy the Parents for their tyranny—a fight between two generations of gods for control of the world and the mortals who dwell in it.

When the gods make war, only one side can be victorious. Joros, a mysterious and cunning priest, has devised a dangerous plan to win. Over eight years, he gathers a team of disparate fighters—Scal, a lost and damaged swordsman from the North; Vatri, a scarred priestess who claims to see the future in her fires; Anddyr, a drug-addled mage wandering between sanity and madness; and Rora and Aro, a pair of twins who have secretly survived beyond the reach of the law.

These warriors must learn to stand together against the unfathomable power of vengeful gods, to stop them from tearing down the sun . . . and plunging their world into darkness.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Why You Should Read It: Multiple POVs and compelling characters; intertwining plots, story with a large scope; great prose, and a vast world with wonderful and creative world building. All the ingredient you need to make a epic fantasy trilogy that fans will devour.

Read My Review


3. Dragon Hunters (The Chronicles of the Exile #2) by Marc Turner

25659461

About the Book:

The sequel to When the Heavens Fall features gritty characters, deadly magic, and meddlesome gods

Once a year on Dragon Day the fabled Dragon Gate is raised to let a sea dragon pass into the Sabian Sea. There, it will be hunted by the Storm Lords, a fellowship of powerful water-mages who rule an empire called the Storm Isles.

Emira Imerle Polivar is coming to the end of her tenure as leader of the Storm Lords, but she has no intention of standing down graciously. As part of her plot to hold on to power, she instructs an order of priests known as the Chameleons to sabotage the Dragon Gate. There’s just one problem: that will require them to infiltrate an impregnable citadel that houses the gate’s mechanism — a feat that has never been accomplished before.

But Imerle is not the only one intent on destroying the Storm Lord dynasty. As the Storm Lords assemble in answer to a mysterious summons, they become the targets of assassins working for an unknown enemy. And when Imerle sets her scheme in motion, that enemy uses the ensuing chaos to play its hand.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Why You Should It:  I have yet to come across a book that has given the same feeling that A Game of Thrones did when I first read it, but Dragon Hunters is closest I have found.

I willing to bet that Marc Tuner will end up writing on hell of a series someday that will be on many “best of” lists for many years to come 😉

Read My Review


 2. The Republic of Thieves (Gentlemen Bastards Sequence #3) by Scott Lynch

887877

About the Book:

Men are more easily broken than myths.

Emperor Cynead has usurped command of the Memoridons—Tower-controlled memory witches—and consolidated his reign over the Syldoonian Empire. After escaping the capital city of Sunwrack, Captain Braylar Killcoin and his Jackal company evade pursuit across Urglovia, tasked with reaching deposed emperor Thumarr and helping him recapture the throne. Braylar’s sister, Soffjian, rejoins the Jackals and reveals that Commander Darzaak promised her freedom if she agreed to aid them in breaking Cynead’s grip on the other Memoridons and ousting him.

Imperial forces attempt to intercept Braylar’s company before they can reach Thumarr. The Jackals fight through Cynead’s battalions but find themselves trapped along the Godveil. Outmaneuvered and outnumbered, Braylar gambles on some obscure passages that Arki has translated and uses his cursed flail, Bloodsounder, to part the Godveil, leading the Jackals to the other side. There, they encounter the ruins of human civilization, but they also learn that the Deserters who abandoned humanity a millennium ago and created the Veil in their wake are still very much alive. But are they gods? Demons? Monsters?

What Braylar, Soffjian, Arki, and the Jackals discover beyond the Godveil will shake an empire, reshape a map, and irrevocably alter the course of history.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Why You Should It: I believe that the developed and arc of Salyard’s characters throughout the entire Bloodsounder’s Arc trilogy perfectly exemplifies how Salyar’s talent as a writer has improved.

A MUST-READ series from an up-and-coming author!

Read My Review


1. The Providence of Fire (Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne) by Brian Staveley

22055280-2

About the Book:

Brian Staveley’s The Providence of Fire, the second novel in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, a gripping new epic fantasy series.

The conspiracy to destroy the ruling family of the Annurian Empire is far from over.

Having learned the identity of her father’s assassin, Adare flees the Dawn Palace in search of allies to challenge the coup against her family. Few trust her, but when she is believed to be touched by Intarra, patron goddess of the empire, the people rally to help her retake the capital city. As armies prepare to clash, the threat of invasion from barbarian hordes compels the rival forces to unite against their common enemy.

Unknown to Adare, her brother Valyn, renegade member of the empire’s most elite fighting force, has allied with the invading nomads. The terrible choices each of them has made may make war between them inevitable.

Between Valyn and Adare is their brother Kaden, rightful heir to the Unhewn Throne, who has infiltrated the Annurian capital with the help of two strange companions. The knowledge they possess of the secret history that shapes these events could save Annur or destroy it.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Why You Should Read It: This was why I nominated Brian Staveley for the 2016 John W. Campbell Award

This novel was fast-paced! I could not put it down! Except for the time I damn near threw my book across the room! 😄

Read My Review

-DJ

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Top Reads of 2016! 4 Star Books

Throughout the months of February and March, I will posting various “best of” lists, ranging from  my top 5, 4.5 and 4 star reads of 2016, to the best quotes, and my favorite foodie quotes!

Today, I am happy to announce my…

Top Reads of 2016! 4 Star Books


 4. Scavenger: A.I. (Sand Divers #2) by Timothy C. Ward

30346788

About the Book:

Hundreds of years ago a nanotech virus nearly wiped out humanity. The kernel of that technology has been locked in a buried military and guarded from warlords and tyrants by a class of sentries. Divemaster Rushing Stenson and his wife Star thought their journey underground would lead to the discovery of the ancient city of Danvar. Instead, they resurrected a power perfect for the tyrant that put them there. He plans to use this self replicating technology to rebuild America and give life eternal to those loyal to his empire.

In Scavenger: A.I., Rush, Star and their crew of survivors see an opportunity to use this power to defend their new territory and rewrite the course of their lives and country in a way that would make their children proud. However, as they discover the oddities of this power, it may be too late to reverse the evolution they’ve seen within. And some aren’t interested even if they could. Even if what they’re becoming is too much like the tyrants they’re fighting.

As the nanotech and infusion of the power source they’ve uncovered changes Rush and Star, they are tempted with the chance of bringing their deceased newborn back to life. Will this child be the one they knew, and if not, how far into dangerous territory will they go to force what shouldn’t be?

Inspired by the world of Sand by Hugh Howey and written with his permission. This stand alone series takes the action of Mad Max: Fury Road and injects it into a hostile environment catered to fans of Alien.

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should Read It: Timothy C. Ward has talent for writing sympathetic characters and creating imaginative sci-fi technology.

Read My Review

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Authors to Watch Out For: 2017 Edition

Seeing as how MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape has shifted from book reviews to author interviews, it is very rare that I get write about books and authors that I have read recently (heck, I barely even get to read a book anymore).

Doing interviews with authors about their upcoming books in my way of helping spread the word, but I still feel that a review is more personal and can have a greater impact.

Because of this, I decided to do a “Authors to Watch Out For” list. It is one the same idea and many “Best Debut” lists, except this is going consist of authors that I have read since starting this blog (in 2014), up to now.

The only criteria is that their first novel be released somewhere between 2013 and 2016, or that they have finished their series somewhere in that time frame as well.

Without further ado, here is my list of Authors to Watch Out For!


Rachel Dunne

8339367 27064416-3

Rachel’s debut novel, In the Shadow of the Gods, was releasted in June of 2016; it was one of the best novels I read last year and was a novel that I personally thought had all the ingredients you need to make an epic fantasy trilogy that fans will devour.

Fun-fact: In the Shadow of the Gods, was a semi-finalist for the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and was then picked by Harper Voyager.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Tops 10 Reads of 2015! Short Fiction

Everybody is out here announcing their “best of 2016” lists – and I still haven’t finished tell everyone what I loved from 2015!!!

I got lazy earlier this year, and the started school, and here we are now, almost a full 12 months post 2015 X… Oops! 😄

Today, I am happy to announce my…

Top 10 Reads of 2015! Short Fiction


10. Fish Night (The Time Traveler’s Almanac) by Joe Lansdale

17910155

My Rating: 4/5

Why You Should It: You ever read a book, where the ending leaving stunned, mouth hanging open… and then you suddenly burst out laughing as tears roll down your face? Fish Night has that kind of ending 😄

Read My Review

.

.

.

.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Tops 5 Reads of 2015! 5 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 5 Reads of 2015! 5 Star Books


5. The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson

18490647-2

About the Book:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson’s epic Mistborn Trilogy continues with The Well of Ascension.

They did the impossible, deposing the godlike being whose brutal rule had lasted a thousand years. Now Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire.

They have barely begun when three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.

It may just be that killing the Lord Ruler was the easy part. Surviving the aftermath of his fall is going to be the real challenge.

My Rating: 5/5

Why You Should It: Do I really need to give you a reason to read this? How could you not want to continue on with the Mistborn trilogy after reading Mistborn: The Final Empire? Vin? Kelsier? Elend? C’mon people!

Read My Review

Continue reading

Top 16 Reads of 2015! 4.5 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 16 Reads of 2015! 4.5 Star Books

*Note: I would like to mention that since Goodreads does not have a “4.5” star rating, when I give a book a 4.5 rating, I will either round up to a “5” or down to a “4” when I rate it on Goodreads.

I have included all my 4.5 star books, having the GR 4 stars come before the GR 5 stars, and noted where the division happens.


(#16 – #12 are 4.5 stars I rounded down to a Goodreads 4 star)

16. Dark Eden by Chris Beckett

18166988-2

About the Book:

On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it.

The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say—and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.

But young John Redlantern will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. He will abandon the old ways, venture into the Dark…and discover the truth about their world.

Already remarkably acclaimed in the UK, Dark Eden is science fiction as literature; part parable, part powerful coming-of-age story, set in a truly original alien world of dark, sinister beauty–rendered in prose that is at once strikingly simple and stunningly inventive.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Why You Should It:  Beckett’s writing is smooth and easy to read, and this an amazing story all by itself, but when one looks deeper, there whole other level to story, exploring sociological and psychological issues.

Read My Review

Continue reading

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

18774002

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!

Continue reading

Tagged

Top 9 Published Books in 2015!

Throughout the month of January (more like February now, I guess), 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 9 Published Books in 2015!


9. Voyage of the Basilisk (Memoir by Lady Trent #3) by Marie Brennan

22238148

About the Book:

Devoted readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoirs, A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents, may believe themselves already acquainted with the particulars of her historic voyage aboard the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk, but the true story of that illuminating, harrowing, and scandalous journey has never been revealed—until now. Six years after her perilous exploits in Eriga, Isabella embarks on her most ambitious expedition yet: a two-year trip around the world to study all manner of dragons in every place they might be found. From feathered serpents sunning themselves in the ruins of a fallen civilization to the mighty sea serpents of the tropics, these creatures are a source of both endless fascination and frequent peril. Accompanying her is not only her young son, Jake, but a chivalrous foreign archaeologist whose interests converge with Isabella’s in ways both professional and personal.

Science is, of course, the primary objective of the voyage, but Isabella’s life is rarely so simple. She must cope with storms, shipwrecks, intrigue, and warfare, even as she makes a discovery that offers a revolutionary new insight into the ancient history of dragons.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Why You Should Read It: If you’re looking for a series with a strong female protagonist – look no further! This series is for you! Plus, DRAGONS.

Read My Review

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Best Books of 2014!

2014 was a pretty good year for me reading.

As of Dec 31, I have read 38 Books! (All-time best for me!)

Of those 38 books, 12 books were published in 2014.

I would like to highlight several of the ones that I really enjoyed and would recommend for people to check out.

And of ofcourse, my TOP 3 of the year!

Here we go….!

Continue reading