My guide of the best books for that geek in your life this Christmas. Sincere thanks and gratitude to all the publishers and authors who have provided me with review materials this year and I look forward to working with you all in 2014.
Hugh Howey’s Wool Trilogy (Random House)
Hugh Howey’s Wool is a riveting experience from start to finish. I had the honour of being one of the first people to read and review the final chapter, Dust this year and it did not disappoint. Finely crafted characters inhabit an intricately-built post-apocalyptic world with more twists and turns than an Irish country road. To read it is to love it.
There was much kerfuffle in the Stephen King fan camp when he announced this sequel to The Shining. Happily he’s proved the naysayers wrong with Doctor Sleep. We meet up once again Danny Torrance, the young protagonist from The Shining as he copes with his past through adulthood and uncovers a new supernatural threat. King is back on form with a masterful story, as nostalgic as it is terrifying.
Wick Omnibus – Michael Bunker & Chris Awalt (Amazon)
Chronicling the downfall of the United States following an all-out attack, Wick is a brilliantly clever story initially following the journey of one man and later expanding into a sprawling epic as he accidentally discovers a terrible secret that will change his life (and everyone else’s) forever.
The Shining Girls – Lauren Beukes (Harper Collins)
Lauren Beukes’ time-travelling serial killer is one of the most chilling creations in this genre for many years. Coupled with an equally fiendish storyline, The Shining Girls is a stunning example of how to catch a reader by the scruff of the neck and drag them kicking and screaming through a horrific gruesome rollercoaster and still have them coming out smiling at the end. Not for the queasy.
Nighthawks At The Mission – Forbes West (Amazon)
Another diamond in the self-publishing rough, Nighthawks At The Mission is a cleverly conceived sci-fi satire of Y.A. fiction following the mostly downhill fortunes of a wayward teenager relocating to another planet where everything is not as it seems. It’s an oddball, but a great one!
The Last Policeman / Countdown City – Ben H. Winters(Quirk Books)
A slick, witty pre-apocalyptic whodunit with a lot of heart, The Last Policeman introduces us to one of the most interesting protagonists in many years in rookie detective Hank Palace as we follow his adventures through a society crumbling under the threat of almost certain destruction. Unmissable.
Princesses Behaving Badly – Linda Rodriguez-McRobbie (Quirk Books)
Linda Rodriguez-McRobbie’s wonderful book of true tales spills the historical beans on the outrageous exploits of princesses throughout history. Not a happy ending in sight, it’s a rip-roaring subversive eye-opener that will leave you shocked, yet strangely educated!
100 Ghosts – Doogie Horner (Quirk Books)
The Geeks’ Guide To Dating – Eric Smith (Quirk Books)
Eric Smith’s indispensable guide to romance in the digital age is brimming with practical advice, pop culture references and gorgeous 8-bit graphics and will steer even the most clueless of nerds in the right direction.
Nick & Tesla’s High Voltage Danger Lab – “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith. (Quirk Books)
Science fun for middle schoolers with the intrepid brother and sister team Nick and Tesla using their genius to solve a mystery using practical science experiments that the reader can recreate. Electrifying fun from “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith.
The Tiny Book Of Tiny Stories – Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Harper Collins)
This series from actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is based on contributions to his online collaborative production company hitRECord.org and is compiled from art and tiny stories of just a few lines submitted to the site. The concept works wonderfully and you’ll be amazed at how much of a story a few lines can tell and how moving they can be.