Review — Books of 2016 (290)

My New Year’s resolution of 2016 was to read at least fifty books, and as of ten minutes prior to writing this, I hit that goal. So I’ll be doing a quick rating system of one to ten (compared to everything else I read) of each book based on how much I think any person could pick this book (or series as the case may be) up and enjoy them. Note: Some of these were read for classes, so while the order is a simplified chronology of when I read them, I’m separating that from the rest of the fiction I read ‘just because’. I’ll just be listing them because they weren’t read for fun.

But before I get into it, I’d just like to apologize in advance for the length of this post. I don’t expect anyone to read through this entire thing. I’d imagine several people will just scan through to see if I’ve read a certain series and to read my thoughts on it. I’ll also include links to my other posts if I’ve given detailed reviews about that specific book or series!

1-3. The Old Kingdom Series — 6/10
It has lots of cool death magic, but everything is a little predictable if you’re an avid reader. There will be a fourth book, but I don’t plan to read it.

4. Bands of Mourning (Mistborn Era 2, Book 3) — 7/10
This is the third book in a sequel epic fantasy trilogy. Don’t pick it up unless you’ve already read everything prior. This singular book didn’t blow me out of the water, but I do expect the last book in this series to!

5-7. The Reckoners Series — 10/10
Definitely the best series I read this year. Flawlessly combines superheroes (villains?) with a post-apocalypse world, and is a super fun read. Can’t wait for the spinoff trilogy!

8. Ring of Solomon (The Bartimaeus Sequence) — 5/10
The prequel to a YA trilogy about demons in (almost) modern England. Good YA read, but this one wasn’t nearly as fun to read as the first three. Could be because I read this one as an adult, or it could be because this takes place thousands of years in the past and makes everything that happens feel very distant.

9. Elantris — 7.5/10
Elantris
was the first book Brandon Sanderson published, and it does show. The sequels will be coming in a few years. It’s a good read! Lots of cool history and worldbuilding and whatnot.

10. Emperor’s Soul — 9/10
Emperor’s Soul isn’t really a sequel to Elantris, but it is set on the same planet. It’s pretty short, but compared to the other Sanderson magic systems, this one is probably my favorite. It involves rewriting the past of inanimate objects to change their present, and I just love that concept. I also quite enjoyed the characters!

11. Warbreaker — 8/10
Warbreaker is a nice standalone piece. A sequel is planned, but not anytime soon. It introduces some cool concepts, and one of my favorite character is a god that doesn’t believe in himself. I realize that makes no sense. You’d just have to read it.

12. Dangerous Women — 3.5/10
Anthology of stories where the main characters are all very strong female leads. These are written by all of today’s famous sci-fi and fantasy writers, but most of the stories didn’t interest me all that much.

13-16. Lockwood & Co. Series — 9/10
Good series about a bunch of kids running a business handling ghostly dealings. Really cool world, and I can’t wait for the fifth one.

17-20. The Wheel of Time Series — 4/10
I don’t know how this is one of the most famous book series. I put down the fifth book when I realized I didn’t care about a single character. It’s obviously got some huge world and good plots, but it reads too formally for me to enjoy.

21-25. John Cleaver Series — 8.5/10
Awesome series about a sociopath kid fighting demons. He has a hard time dealing with his emotions, and he tries to solve murders because it gives him some release.

26. The Colour of Magic — 6/10
Not bad, all things considered. The Discworld universe definitely isn’t my cup of tea. Everything is too silly for my taste, but I did find it quite amusing and a nice reprieve from all the epic fantasy I’ve read this year.

27. A Night of Blacker Darkness — 9.5/10
Incredible blend of macabre and humor. This book doesn’t take itself seriously, and I loved it start to finish. But the best part is, the silliness isn’t the world, it’s the people. This is a believable world (ours, in a manner of speaking,) and its the dialogue and situations that are funny.

28-29. The Stormlight Archive — 9/10
Great first two books to a series that may as well never be finished with how long it will take Sanderson to write. Many people will probably find the world too big, since there are mostly irrelevant interlude chapters, but I love pretty much everything about it so far.

30-32. The Partials Sequence — 7/10
Dystopia series about people fighting against a war of perfect humans. Humans can no longer reproduce, and as the series goes on, the conspiracies as to what’s really going on get thicker and thicker.

33. The Fellowship of the Ring — 6.5/10
Obviously, this is a classic. It reads far too much like literature for my taste, though, which is the same problem I had with the Wheel of Time. I do plan on finishing it some day, but these books put me right to sleep whenever I try to read them.

34-36. The Gentlemen Bastard Series — 8/10
I’ve heard mixed reviews from various people. I personally really enjoyed it, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series when it comes out, but it does have its flaws. I’d peg this as “adult fantasy” because of all the language and sex in it. The world and overarching story is pretty neat, though.

37. The Rithmatist — 7.5/10
Probably the least exciting Sanderson book I’ve read this year, but it still scores pretty high because he’s famous for a reason. This specific story isn’t particularly outstanding, but the ending left me excited to read the sequel! One day.

38. Ghost Talkers — 7/10
I don’t really read alternate history, but this one wasn’t bad. My qualms with it mostly include the fact that the main character feels like “generic strong female lead”. If you’re into alternate history, this one is a paranormal one set in World War I and is quite well written.

39-42. Alcatraz Series — 5/10
Middle grade series about evil librarians trying to take over the world. It’s kind of a secret history if you want to get technical, but its mostly a fantasy series that breaks all the rules of conventional writing. Mostly I’m not a huge fan because everything is too silly for my tastes. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason, and “because it’s silly” isn’t good enough justification for me to call it out on its contradictions. Great series for middle-grade readers, I would say, and I do plan on finishing the series when all the books are out, but I don’t enjoy it as much as pretty much anything else I read this year.

43. The Postmortal.

44. “They Say/ I say”.

45. Hope Leslie.

46. The Blithedale Romance.

47. Moby Dick.

48. Inanna: Queen of Heaven & Earth.

49. Gilgamesh.

50. The English Patient.

3 thoughts on “Review — Books of 2016 (290)

  1. Reckoners was your 10/10, eh? I personally find it far closer to the Alcatraz series than I do than Stormlight. While I definitely enjoyed it, I found it far more of a “Transformers Blow Stuff Up” sort of book versus Stormlight’s more Lord of the Ring movie. I feel this is perhaps the worst analogy I have given in a long time, since I’m extremely tired of the Transformers movies and, like I said, I enjoyed Reckoners, and look forward to its spinoff sequels.

    Thinking about it, bet it’s similar to how I feel about the anime Eureka Seven. I honestly don’t think it’s *that* great of an anime, but it is one of my favorites regardless. It likely has something to do with my mental state at the time of watching and other psychological whatsits, y’know?

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      1. Heh, see that’s why I like Wax & Wayne, or Stormlight with Lopen, Rock, or Lift. They provide a large chunk of fun when everything else gets to be serious. Well and also Hoid. There’s lots!

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