Best Urban Fantasy
Considering it's one of my favorites, I've read several good books in this genre this year. It was hard to narrow it down, but there are three that stand above the rest.
City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane
I loved this series. It's dark, gritty and so unlike anything else out there. I have to say I love all the books, but the third blew me away. Bathroom scene, need I say more? There were so many emotional moments for me with this book. I chewed a few nails, I laughed, I teared up and when it was over I wanted to read it again. Ms. Kane's story-telling skills and characterization are superb and it really shows in this book.
Double Cross by Carolyn Crane
I'm not even sure what I can say about this book that would do it justice. It was such an emotional roller-coaster and so clever. Ms. Crane has given us such a unique and unusual world. The brilliance of the characterization, the idea of flaws being powers and the tension make it a huge win for me. The ending of this book about killed me, but you can bet I'll be first in line for the next one when it finally comes out.
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
This series is my crack. I can fully admit it. And this installment? There aren't enough words. Curran alone was enough to send me into serious book-high. I love the Andrews team's writing. The voice speaks to me in a way few others do, but it's the world-building that really grabs me. As far as I'm concerned, it's unmatched.
This is a book that stood so far above the rest I couldn't recall the other books I read in this genre this year. Again, the world-building was fantastic. The relationship between Cerise and William was full of tension, emotion, action...you name it, this couple had it. I fell in love with this book.
Creepy and engrossing, this was heads above the rest in the horror genre for me. I simply love Joe Hill's writing style and can't wait to read more of his books.
Rise Again by Ben Tripp
For a book I almost gave up on, it ended up being my favorite zombie read of the year. It starts a little slow, but once it picks up momentum, it never stops. Full of apocalyptic goodness and zombie gore, I loved it. The protagonist, Dani, is an unusual character, flawed and at times selfish, I loved her to pieces. I'm anxious to read more from Mr. Tripp. He's an amazing and talented addition to this genre.
Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne
I can't say enough about this book. Written in journal form, it drew me in from the first page. It's raw, gritty and full of everything I love about this genre.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I adore The Hunger Games trilogy, but this book hit me in a way the others didn't. Don't get me wrong, I loved the first two. But Mockingjay twisted me up, turned me inside out and left me in awe. Suzanne Collins has a gift for telling a tragic story. Despite how many were disappointed with the third book, I wouldn't have it end any other way.
Matched by Ally Condie
I know, another dystopian on my list. What can I say? I have a soft spot for certain genres. This book is reminiscent of others that have come before it, but Ms. Condie was able to put enough of herself into it to make it stand on its own. This was one of those books that when I finished it, I wanted to tell everyone about how great it was. It's going to kill me to have to wait for the next one.
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Zombie books are like candy for me and this one is no exception. The world Mr. Maberry created with Rot & Ruin speaks of his unbelievable talent. Post-apocalyptic with an Old West feel, zombies, action and heart, I loved every word!
Willing Victim by Cara McKenna
Raw, gritty and unlike anything in this category, Willing Victim was by far my favorite read in this genre. Ms. McKenna took a huge risk with this book and it paid off in a big way for me. After I read it, I went and bought her entire backlist.
Best Alternative Romance
Comfort Object by Annabel Joseph
Ms. Joseph's voice and writing style just do it for me. This particular book was so good I read it twice. The characters have a realism despite the unreal situation Ms. Joseph created for them. Jeremy is the kind of D-type that is very difficult to write. He's selfish, harsh and quite cold at times. He delivers swift and sadistic punishments that are as cruel as they are titillating. Ms. Joseph pulled it off with flare and style. Very few BDSM books can compete with this one.
Stay tuned for more later this week!