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Month in review

Reviews
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
Allie, First at Last by Angela Cervantes
Avatar: The Last Airbender - North and South, Part One by Gene Luen Yang
Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schröder
Cat vs Human: Another Dose of Catnip by Yasmine Surovec
Catty Jane Who Hated the Rain by Valeri Gorbachev
Click Here to Start by Denis Markell
A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
Darned if You Do by Monica Ferris
The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon
Framed! by James Ponti
Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom by Booki Vivat
How Lunchbox Jones Saved Me from Robots, Traitors, and Missy the Cruel by Jennifer Brown
The Journey of the Penguin by Emiliano Ponzi
Just My Luck by Cammie McGovern
Kiki and Jacques by Susan Ross
A Long Pitch Home by Natalie Dias Lorenzi
Lost Cat by Caroline Paul
Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs by Cylin Busby
OCDaniel by Wesley King
The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde by Shannon Hale
Ratpunzel by Ursula Vernon
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle by Laura DiSilverio
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
Sticks & Stones by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins
The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems
Two Naomis by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Valley of Kings by Michael Northrop
You Are a Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoo

Miscellaneous
Favorite books of 2016 by month
Favorite Own Voices read in 2016
Favorite series read in 2016
Favorite Science Fiction and Fantasy read in 2016

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Favorite Science Fiction and Fantasy read in 2016: 12/21/16

Favorite books

As with my own voices and series lists, this fantasy and science fiction list is made up of books I read in 2016. They aren't necessarily recently published but they are all readily available for purchase or through a public library. The oldest book on this list is The End of Mr. Y which was published in 2006.

For the purist who would prefer I split out the genres, I have decided to put them together for the simple reason that I didn't read that many of either genre. My reading time this year was divided almost evenly between preparing for the CYBILS (meaning middle grade fiction) and my road narrative research.

 

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Twelve: The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente
Review

This is the final volume in the Fairyland series which began when a girl left the washing up to fly on the back of the Green Wind. Over the course of five books and one short story, we see the ebb and flow of a fantasy world as it is melded by its latest conquerer. Fairyland shares a lot in common with Oz except that its creation and exploration is a more personal one and not driven by the author's desire to give something to all of his most ardent fans.

 

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Eleven: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Review coming

The Sword of Summer is the start of the current Rick Riordan middle grade fantasy series. This one is unusual in that it's main character is homeless and mortal — so mortal that he dies at the end of the first chapter. What makes this story stand out for me though are two of Magnus's companions: Hearthstone and Blitzen. Frankly I would read a series with just these two — as they are adults who have experienced some awful things but survived. They are the sum of their experiences, a journey that Magnus has only just begun. I know it's a kids' book but these are the two most interesting adult characters that Riordan has included in any of his children's books.

 

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Ten: The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas
Review coming

Earlier in the year I read PopCo and was completely smitten with it. A friend of mine recommended that I try The End of Mr. Y next. While PopCo is a lot like Burn Notice in tone, though from the point of view of a burned out British cryptologist who has found herself working for a toy company. The End of Mr. Y reads like a Haruki Murakami novel but set in England and drawing from Victorian fiction tropes.

 

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The Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki
Review coming

I don't know why I haven't read all his books. I adore his horror. The Ghost of Graylock is a supernatural mystery that does what all good horror stories should: bring the worst actions of mankind into cold focus. Are the ghosts the monsters or are the living? Then take the question and set it against the landscape of an abandoned sanitarium and you have an instant page turner.

 

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Eight: Steal the Sky by Megan E. O'Keefe
Review

Steal the Sky has the honor of being my favorite book read in January. There's derring-do, shape changing, heists gone bad, and general mayhem that could lead to a full on revolution.

 

 

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Seven: The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon
Review

I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. My father until recently was an antiques dealer. I grew up in a house full of things older than any of us. These weren't things we had inherited, they were things he either was planning to sell but didn't have space for yet or couldn't sell. Some of them, like his phonograph collection, were machines he had purchased for fun.

So like Ottoline of Chris Riddel's series, I grew up in an ever changing house, filled with collections. Our road trips always involved at least one trip to a house turned museum where we would look at old things in situ or we'd go to barns turned into antiques malls.

Archer lives in a house full of his grandparents' treasures. They have long since gone missing. He and his over protective parents live in the house and it has essentially become his prison, save for being let out to go to school. He wants nothing more than to go on an adventure to find his grandparents. He and a neighbor, who has a tragic back story involving a ballet accident, hatch a plan to escape during a field trip. But weird things happen.

 

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Six: The Inn Between by Marina Cohen
Review

Just outside the California border, things start going weird. Even cars need time to cool down. An over worked car and an over tired driver is a terrible combination. At the point where no one feels they can go any further, they spot an old hotel (think the house behind the Bates Motel) cleverly, although not so subtly, named the Inn Between.

 

 

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Five: The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Review

After books and books and books of urban fantasy rehashing the Celtic folklore of the Seelie and Unseelie courts going to war and dragging humanity into the fray, Shadowshaper was a breath of fresh air. This book draws on Latin American and Afro Caribbean stories.

 

 

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Four: Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
Review

After books and books and books of urban fantasy rehashing the Celtic folklore of the Seelie and Unseelie courts going to war and dragging humanity into the fray, Shadowshaper was a breath of fresh air. This book draws on Latin American and Afro Caribbean stories.

 

 

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Three: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Review

Bone Gap I read originally for my road narrative project. It's an urban fantasy / horror involving a kidnapped woman. The boy who saw her taken is face blind and can't give a good enough description to the police. So no one believes that she's been taken. He decides to find her himself and ends up learning about a terror living on the edge of their town.

 

 

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Two: The Lost Compass by Joel N. Ross Review

The Lost Compass ends the adventure that began in The Fog Diver. It involves a treasure hunt through the nanobot created fog. There are air pirates, cities on the ruins of old skyscrapers, and tons of derring-do. I really hope there are other adventures in this dystopian world.

 

 

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One: The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett
Review

The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett is the 41st and final Discworld book. Pratchett's daughter has stated many times that no one else will be given the opportunity to write books set in Discworld. After having now read the closing book I can see why she is so adamant. This book is the perfect closing for an epic series spanning 30 years.

 

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