There's something about tracking your reading on Goodreads that is so satisfying to me. It's so much fun at the end of the ye...

Best Reads of 2018

There's something about tracking your reading on Goodreads that is so satisfying to me. It's so much fun at the end of the year to look back over all the titles I've read. And I'm a bit competitive in that I like to try and beat my goal from the year before. (Okay, okay, a LOT competitive.) 

I've read 130 books in 2018. Out of those, only seventeen were five star reads for me so it was actually rather easy to pick my top ten of the year. For me, five-star reads are books that 1) stay with me long after I've finished them and 2) books that I would have no problem picking up and rereading. Using those two qualifiers helps me to not get too star happy! It's actually pretty challenging for me to rate a book five stars. While I might really enjoy a book, most books are not something that I'd tuck away and reread on a rainy day.  

Here are the top ten that made the cut:

Sometimes urban fantasy feels like if you've read one, you've read them all. These four really stood out from the pack.

Blood Ghast Blues was such an uproariously fun read. Even though this is actually the second book in the series, the front blurb totes it as a "standalone ass whompin'". If that doesn't tell you a bit about what's inside the cover, I don't know what else will. Filled to the brim with great characters, constant action, unique world-building, and plenty of snark, this one was an easy pick. 
Read my full review here.

Death Be Blue is a police procedural urban fantasy. When you take out the massive world building that comes with most fantasy, and create your character on the mean city streets, you'd better have both a great MC and plot to help fill the holes. Death Be Blue does that and more. Terra Vane fights tooth and nail to establish herself as an Enforcer Field Agent; a human among paranormals. She's tough and yet vulnerable. With plenty of humor, action, and a wee bit of romantic tension, Katie Epstein is a UF author to follow. 
Read my review full here.

Hostile Takeover: I adore the PI trope of urban fantasy.  There's so much to love about it: the jaded, and edgier version of the detective, the film noir style narration, the blend of urban fantasy and the grit of noir. Jim Butcher's Dresden Files is one of my favorites. Hostile Takeover is another excellent example. This adventurous romp is fast-paced, complex, and just a lot of fun!
Read my full review here.

The Night Crossing is a historical fantasy set in Victorian London. While multiple P.O.V's are not usually my thing, I highly enjoyed this gothic tale. Following Bram Stoker, theater manager, Mina Harcourt, archeologist, and match girl, Lucinda,  The Night Crossing interweaves history and the magic of fantasy. Truly a story of the triumph over evil, this imagined backstory is the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. 
Read my review full here.

When it comes to horror reads, I want stories that will make me check under the bed and behind the shower curtain. I want the kind of stories that make me question what was that noise I just heard. I love horror that creeps me out. I'm also incredibly hard to spook which creates quite the conundrum. These three stayed with me long after I turned out the lights:

Creature: If I had to narrow down my top three out of 2018, this would definitely make the cut. Man, this book tore my heart out.  Hunter Shea usually does great creature features, but they are more like cheesy 80's horror. He unquestionably wrote from the heart on this one and it shows. Creature was unique for me in how immediately and completely I was invested in the characters. You don't expect a monster book to break your heart, but that's exactly what Creature does. 
Read my full review here. 

Into the Drowning Deep: I've always been a fan of Mira Grant and Into the Drowning Deep just solidifies that for me. She combines science and horror in such a way that you think maybe, just maybe, there's some truth to this. I know I've always had a respectful fear of deep water and whatever lies below. It's beautiful and terrifying all in the same breath. Only Mira Grant can write a book about killer mermaids and make it so horrifically fun. This is the only one on my list that I haven't done a review on. Maybe I need to reread it so I can write one. Oh darn. 
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The Haunting of Natalie Glasgow (now released as The Possession of Natalie Glasgow) is actually a short story so for it to make it into the list is pretty amazing. Hailey Piper does such a marvelous job at conveying fear that I found the hairs on my arms standing upright while reading this one. The tension in this novella grips you tightly from the very first pages and doesn't let go. This one is truly a gem and I can't wait to read more by her. 
Read my full review here.

The last three on my list were complete surprises to me. Outside of my typical genres of fantasy and horror, I didn't expect to enjoy them as much as I did!

The Silver Ninja: A Bitter Winter was my sleeper read of the year! I didn't expect much going into it, but, wow! It's easily one of my top three as well. This book is filled with well thought out technology and plenty of action. So much, in fact, that within the first 20 pages, I didn't want to put it down. Wilmar Luna pens an incredible story and MC that would appeal to fans not only of sci-fi— but of multiple other genres as well. 
Read my full review here.

Killing Adam is the only "true" sci-fi to make the list. While The Silver Ninja falls on the side of a superhero/crime fighter, Killing Adam takes a stark look at advanced technology and how our society might be using it in the future. The world building is superb and the technology isn't so far-fetched that it feels unbelievable. It's a dystopian look at the future of AI. 
Read my full review here.

The Frighteners is the only non-fiction to make the list. I love to learn, but I typically find most non-fiction boring and dry. Not so with The Frighteners. Written by Reverend Peter Law, it's an observant look into what draws us to the morbid and macabre. My own love of things that go bump in the night precipitated this read and I didn't once regret it. 
Read my full review here.

Well, that's it! 
My top 10 list of 2018!

I hope there might be one or two on the list that you might want to include in your own to-read pile for 2019! 

Happy Reading!