Today I am sharing my top ten favorite reads of 2017. It is important to note that these are books read and/or reviewed during the year, regardless of release date and that titles I listened to on Audio were not counted among them. You can see my audio choices here: Caffeinated Top 10 Audiobook Listens. Since I have an eclectic taste in books, Romantic Favorites will be shared tomorrow. Grab a chocolate mocha and discover new books for your TBR pile.
My favorite reads for 2017
by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #10
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy's bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she'll learn what it truly means to be alone...
Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...
Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise...
I loved this installment in the Mercy Thomson series from the Doctor Who references to the non-linear timeline that takes place in Europe. Mercy was on her own and battled some interesting supernatural creatures. You can check out my review of Silence Fallen and the rest of the Mercy Thompson series.
by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #12
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the twelfth installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series.
Ever since Reyes escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley accidently trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings—some corporeal, some not so much—as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up.
Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture—the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford—out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor sharp claws. Then again, her number one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question becomes, can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect?
Gads, my love for this series and characters knows no bounds! There is one book left in the Charley Davidson series and I am bouncing between wanting to read it and wondering what I will do when it ends. (At least until the spinoff with Beep begins) The Trouble with Twelfth Grave was nail-biting as Charley works to save her husband and the world. The characters are rich and colorful and even secondary characters are developed, cleverly woven into the tale and among my favorites. Right now I am doing a re-read with one audio a month as we prepare for the final book. See my fangirling review here: The Trouble with Twelfth Grave and the entire Charley Davidson series.
by Pam Jenoff
Genres: Historical Fiction
A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan's Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival
Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.
Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything
Come join the Circus Train during WWII in this historical fiction that will make you laugh and weep as we journey with survivalists and heroes. Beautifully written and steeped in historical details The Orphan’s Tale will stay with you long after the final page. Read my thoughts on The Orphan’s Tale.
by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…
Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.
As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.
Wild Fire is the third book and hopefully NOT final book in the Hidden Legacy series, Ilona Andrews brings us misfits, heroes, and danger in this action-packed, romance filled tale. I absolutely adore this superhero series and devoured these books, not even waiting for the audios. See my thoughts on Wild Fire and the rest of the Hidden Legacy Books.
by Mira Grant
Series: Rolling in the Deep #1
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy
New York Times bestselling author Mira Grant, author of the renowned Newsflesh series, returns with a novel that takes us to a new world of ancient mysteries and mythological dangers come to life.
Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a "mockumentary" bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.
Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they're not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life's work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.
Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.
But the secrets of the deep come with a price.
You will never look at Ariel the same again. Grant delighted me with her twisted tale Into the Drowning Deep. For those who don’t know Mira Grant is Seanan McGuire. I love this talented author, and her Newsflesh Trilogy remains one of my favorites. She is an author whose novels, novellas and collection I will buy without even reading the synopsis. I loved this murky tale that takes us to the Mariana Trench to reveal what is hidden below the surface. A mix of science fiction and horror you won’t be able to set this down. Read my gushings here: Into the Drowning Deep.
by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Casey Duncan #2
The follow-up to #1 NYT bestseller Kelley Armstrong’s acclaimed City of the Lost, Rockton town detective Casey Duncan makes a terrible—and dangerous—discovery in the woods outside of town.
When experienced homicide detective Casey Duncan first moved to the secret town of Rockton, she expected a safe haven for people like her, people running from their past misdeeds and past lives. She knew living in Rockton meant living off-the-grid completely: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. What she didn’t expect is that Rockton comes with its own set of secrets and dangers.
Now, in A Darkness Absolute, Casey and her fellow Rockton sheriff’s deputy Will chase a cabin-fevered resident into the woods, where they are stranded in a blizzard. Taking shelter in a cave, they discover a former resident who’s been held captive for over a year. When the bodies of two other women turn up, Casey and her colleagues must find out if it’s an outsider behind the killings or if the answer is more complicated than that...before another victim goes missing.
I was late to the game for the Casey Duncan series but you still have time to catch up before the release of This Fallen Prey in February 2018. Darkness Absolute is the second novel in the series. Action packed with suspense, danger and quirky characters you’ll want to visit Rockton but you won’t want to linger too long. Bad things happen here. Part thriller and part horror Armstrong delivered so many of the elements I love. Check out my review of Darkness Absolute and of book one, City of the Lost. Due to an overall ARC, you’ll want to read this series in order.
by Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #3
The unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone and Paper and Fire unite to save the Great Library of Alexandria from itself in this electrifying adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.
Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealously guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny....
Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule.
Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library....
I haven’t dipped my toes in YA Fantasy all that much lately, but Rachel Caine has me hooked with her Great Library series. From automations to a world where books and knowledge are banned I simply devour each new release. Ash and Quill was a compelling edition that took us from Philadelphia to London as Jess and his comrades fight to stay alive and save Great Library of Alexandria from itself. Vivid imagery fleshed out complex characters, and plenty of nail-biting action will keep you reading into the wee hours. Check out my thoughts on Ash and Quill as well as the rest of the Great Library series.
by Amanda Stevens
Series: Graveyard Queen #6
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Shush…lest she awaken…
My name is Amelia Gray, a cemetery restorer who lives with the dead. An anonymous donor has hired me to restore Woodbine Cemetery, a place where the rich and powerful bury their secrets. Forty years ago, a child disappeared without a trace and now her ghost has awakened, demanding that I find out the truth about her death. Only I know that she was murdered. Only I can bring her killer to justice. But the clues that I follow—a haunting melody and an unnamed baby's grave—lead me to a series of disturbing suspects.
For generations, The Devlins have been members of Charleston's elite. John Devlin once turned his back on the traditions and expectations that came with his birthright, but now he has seemingly accepted his rightful place. His family's secrets make him a questionable ally. When my investigation brings me to the gates of his family's palatial home, I have to wonder if he is about to become my mortal enemy
Do you find graveyards and old cemeteries fascinating? You’ll want to check out the Graveyard Queen series featuring protagonist Amelia Grey. The Awakening wrapped up the series (for now) and provided answers as we watch Amelia Gray face down her fears. Atmospheric and suspenseful I simply devoured this tale. I loved all of the historical tidbits, Charleston location and paranormal woo-woo. While I classify this as Urban Fantasy, a lot of fans call it paranormal. There are some romantic elements but the books follow the same protagonist. You can check out my thoughts here: The Awakening. I recommend reading the series in order due to ARC threads but trust me once you start you will be binge reading them. Check out all of my reviews of the Graveyard Queen series.
by Mark Lawrence
Series: Book of the Ancestor #1
I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.
But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.
Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…
Red Sister, now available in paperback is the first in the Book of the Ancestor series. The next book Grey Sister releases in April 2018. If you love dark fantasies and kick-ass heroines you’ll want to step into the world Lawrence has created. Come join the Covent and learn magic! Nona, an eight year old capable of felling a man three times her size. You will love this fierce, inquisitive novice. Read my thoughts here: Red Sister
by Kristi Charish
Series: The Adventures of Owl #3
Genres: Urban Fantasy
The third exciting novel starring the unforgettable antiquities thief Owl—a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world. From the pen of rising urban fantasy star Kristi Charish (Owl and the Japanese Circus) and for fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Jennifer Estep, Jenn Bennett, and fantasy lovers everywhere.
The International Archaeology Association (IAA) is responsible for keeping all things supernatural under wraps. They’re also responsible for ruining the promising archaeology career of Alix Hiboux, better known as Owl.
Needless to say, Owl’s still a little sore about that.
Just to keep Owl’s life lively, the IAA has opened a bounty on the two designers of World Quest, the online RPG that is much, much more than it seems. Owl needs to locate the notorious gaming duo before the other mercenaries do. But finding the gamers won’t be easy since every clue points to them hiding out in the legendary lost city of Shangri-La. Not to mention that the last time Owl and the game designers spoke, their conversation didn’t exactly end on the best note…
Meanwhile, undercurrents of supernatural politics are running amok in Tokyo, dragging Owl and her friends into a deadly game of wits with an opponent who calls himself the Electric Samurai. The cost of losing? All-out civil war between two powerful supernatural factions.
Owl And The Electric Samurai is the third book in the Adventures of Owl. An antiquities thief and her cat find themselves skittering danger as they work to collect treasure and stop evil. I love the characters and paranormal creatures we encounter in this series. Charish combines lure, myth, and snark to create fabulous stories that keep me flipping the pages. Owl, is a real hoot. (see what I did there?) Read my ramblings here: Owl And The Electric Samurai and check out the rest of the Adventures of Owl series.Caffeinated's Top Ten Favorite Reads of 2017 (Non-Romance). Come find a new book, author or series to add to your TBR pile. Click To Tweet
What were a few of your favorite reads in 2017?
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