Top 5 Reads of 2009

December 29, 2009 at 2:46 pm 19 comments

Coming up with a long list of great reads from 2009 was easy. Narrowing it down to just a few was really, really hard.

Here is my short list for 2009:

Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong

Not only did this anthology give me new insight into one of my favorite series, it also was excellent as a stand alone novel. Clay’s and Jeremy’s stories were great peeks into characters that usually serve as foils to the women of the Otherworld.

Clay’s voice, especially was wonderful, and gave me insight into why he is the scary, sexy misfit he is in the Otherworld series.

See my post about Men of the Otherworld here.

Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale

The book was a wonderful surprise. It included a highly original world, a heartbreaking protagonist, and beautiful prose.

Belimai and Captain Harper are unique characters, and I love the combination of mystery, fantasy, and romance in Wicked Gentlemen. Also, Blind Eye Books did a wonderful job with the production and artwork. I

So much was fit into the 2 novellas that make this beautiful, slim volume. Read my review here.

Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh

This was a world and a story that stayed with me for days. The beautiful imagery and original story line made Angels’ Blood a page turner for me. The angels, vampires and hunters were fascinating.

I loved how the Archangels had such an edge of danger to them. Raphael was appropriately powerful and scary, yet I loved how as the story progresses, his feelings for Elena become clear.

This book was labeled and “urban fantasy romance”, and it’s clearly grittier than a typical paranormal romance, but still has more focus on relationships than a strict urban fantasy.

Read my comments about Angels’ Blood in my Top 5 Paranormal Romances post.

Scandal by Carolyn Jewel

This was one of those books that I wanted to tell everyone about. Prose, character development and a moving storyline completely entranced me.

I loved how Banallt has already reformed his rakish ways before the book opens. The drama centers on his efforts to convince Sophie that he has truly changed, and how she sloooowly comes to trust and believe in him—and trust in her own judgement.

This was the first book I read by Carolyn Jewel, but she has now become one of my favorite authors, both for her historicals and her paranormals.

Read my review of Scandal here.

The Dark TideThe Dark Tide by Josh Lanyon

An amazing conclusion to one of my favorite series. I’m still thinking about this books, which I just finished reading last week. In fact, last week I did something I never do: as soon as I finished reading The Dark Tide, I turned to the first page and started reading it all over again.

I LOVE that Josh Lanyon was able to provide a compelling story arc that extended through the 5 books in the series, and wrap it up in The Dark Tide in such a satisfying way, while at the same time providing an interesting and suspenseful mystery. Adrien’s and Jake’s relationship was never smooth, but in the final book they achieve a resolution to their relationship that is oh-so-rewarding for the reader. All the things that needed to happen at the conclusion of this series, did.

Bravo, Josh Lanyon.

Now, there are too many books that deserve a mention, but didn’t make my Top 5. Some didn’t make this list because, even though I first read them in 2009, they were released more than 12 months ago. Also, there are a number of books or series I really enjoyed that were excellent, but were in the top 10 or 15. Given that I read over 225 books in 2009 (not including re-reads) it was really difficult to narrow my list down to even a top 15. In an upcoming post, I’ll visit some other great reads from 2009, as well as some reading discoveries I made this year.

What were your Top 5 for 2009?

Entry filed under: 2009 reads, Top 5. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Holiday recap and reading challenges (current and future) 21 Author discoveries in 2009 (well, at least they’re new to me)

19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. LesleyW  |  December 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Absolutely loved Wicked Gentlemen. And you’ve just reminded me that somewhere on my TBR pile is the Men of the Otherworld anthology. I think I read most of the stories as they went up on the website but I really must get round to reading the book.

    Reply
  • 2. Chris  |  December 29, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I’m sort of avoiding thinking about picking a Top 5. How will I ever do it?!

    Reply
  • 3. Carolyn Crane  |  December 29, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    What a fabulous and well-rounded list, and wasn’t this just a great year of reading? Must get that Nalini Singh.

    Reply
  • 4. Renee  |  December 29, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    LesleyW: I think you’ll really love Clay’s voice in MotO! KA really pulls all the threads together in the anthology.

    Chris: It was murder! That’s why I’m having a 2nd post with other great books. There were just too many I left out.

    CC/CJ: Thanks! Yes, it sure was. Angels’ Blood=awesome.

    Reply
  • 5. Mandi  |  December 29, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    The Dark Tide – perfect ending to that series…and it was sooo anticipated by myself I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to it..but of course it did. That series will get MANY rereads out of me :)

    I just ordered Wicked Gentlemen!!

    Reply
  • 6. orannia  |  December 29, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    I too enjoyed Men of the Otherworld. As for my top five books…hmmm. I think Melusine, The Virtu and The Mirador would all be there *grin* So would Wicked Gentlemen and Heir to Sevenwaters (Juliet Marillier). Just outside the top five would be Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey and Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Miller’s Kill series.

    I can’t wait to read the Adrian English books!

    Reply
  • 7. Leslie  |  December 29, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Wow – 225 books! I’m impressed. I can’t imagine trying to narrow that number down to 5.

    Sadly, I’ve only read Nalini’s. But I do have Scandal on the tbr pile. :)

    Reply
  • 8. bookdaze  |  December 30, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Ack, I’ve only read The Dark Tide out of your Top 5.

    I have Men of the Otherworld, but it’s sort of half-started – don’t think I was in the right mood for it. Angel’s Blood is also sitting in my TBR pile – need to get on with reading it.

    I wish BEB would release Wicked Gentlement in e-format, but I do want to read it. And I’ve never read anything by Carolyn Jewel… I guess I’m missing out!

    Li

    Reply
  • 9. Amy C  |  December 30, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    I haven’t read any of your top 5.

    I don’t know if I could narrow it down to five. That’s such a small number and I only read about half of what you did for the year :). I feel like I read so many amazing books this year. I just decided to narrow my favorites by the month. I listed everything, and then just picked a few from each month :).

    Reply
  • 10. Hilcia  |  December 30, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Renee! You were able to cut it down to 5? I had a tough time cutting down to 10! I loved Nalini’s Angel’s Blood, and you know Wicked Gentlemen made it to my top reads as well. :) I’m saving Lanyon’s AE mysteries for 2010.

    Reply
  • 11. nath  |  December 31, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    225 books?!? That’s awesome!! LOL :)

    I’m glad that Men of the Otherworld made it to your top 5 :D It was a great book! I loved reading about Clay and Jeremy.

    Sigh, narrowing it down to 5? Will have to work on that in the next few days…

    Reply
  • 12. Memory  |  January 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I’ve been hearing so many good things about WICKED GENTLEMEN lately! I’m going to have to get my hands on it.

    My top five were THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS by Caleb Carr, CORAMBIS by Sarah Monette, THE SECRET HISTORY by Donna Tartt, THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY by Michael Chabon and THE ANGEL’S CUT by Elizabeth Knox.

    Reply
  • 13. Sarah  |  January 2, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Some awesome books in your list. I loved Wicked Gentlemen and Josh Lanyon is an auto buy for me. :) I’ve not read the other world book though. Have most of her others.

    Reply
  • 14. Renee  |  January 4, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Thanks, everyone for letting me know what your top reads are. I see more than a few are books I really loved, too.

    Happy New Year! :-D

    Reply
  • 15. Sayuri_x  |  January 9, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    I loved THE DARK TIDE soooo much. Wasn’t it just wonderful? I still haven’t really written anything about it cause the squee just won’t go away…

    And I also LOVE the Psycop series too. Vic is so great. I am desperate for another one. For me though, BRANDED BY FIRE was my fav Nalini book this year.

    Reply
  • […] Jewel’s Scandal and sent me her copy. Not only did I enjoy it, but it also became one of my Top 5 reads of 2009. (My review is here). I raved about Scandal to Carolyn (The Thrillionth Page) and told her I would […]

    Reply
  • 17. Justin  |  February 7, 2010 at 5:02 am

    It bums me out that the Adrien English series has ended. But at the same time I’m glad he pumped out (over a nine year time period) five absolutely wonderful books. And I understand that it would be unrealistic that homicides would just keep falling out of the sky (or coming up through the floorboards) and landing in Adrien’s way.

    The constantly changing relationship between Jake and Adrien was cause for a lot of “GOD DAMMIT”‘s and punching the desk as i read it at my computer. When it seemed as if Adrien was going to get back together with Mel I nearly had a coronary. In the back of my mind I knew that Jake and Adrien would end up together. And I’m glad that Josh didn’t make it easy for them.

    I’m going to reread them as soon as I get the time.

    Reply
    • 18. Renee  |  February 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      Exactly! As much as I’ll miss new AE books, I really like the way TDT wrapped things up.

      lol. Yes, I always thought the same about Miss Marple. How can 1 person have such (bad) luck?

      Adrien’s and Jake’s long road to love sure did make for a satisfying conclusion at the end, and Jake has the BEST declaration of love in TDT.

      I SO enjoyed my re-read of books 1-4 before I read TDT.

      Thanks for stopping by! :-)

      Reply
  • 19. boom222  |  September 11, 2014 at 4:03 am

    ผม ไม่ บวก สถานที่ คุณ ข้อมูล , แต่ ดี หัวข้อ ฉัน ต้อง
    ใช้เวลา เวลา ศึกษา มาก หรือ ทำงานออก เพิ่มเติม ขอบคุณ ขอบคุณ เพื่อ ที่ยอดเยี่ยม ข้อมูล ผม ค้นหา นี้ ข้อมูล สำหรับภารกิจ ของฉัน
    .

    Reply

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