Let me start by saying, I didn't read as many books as I would have liked this year. My Goodreads goal was 24 and I came in at 20. Pretty close, though. But of those 20, I do have a few favorites that stood out to me so I thought I would share them with you today. So, let's get into it, in no particular order and spoiler free, of course.
5. Origins by Dan Brown
I guess we'll start with the mainstream title. Ever since The DaVinci Code, the Robert Langdon books have been hit or miss with me. I didn't care too much for The Lost Symbol. Inferno was pretty entertaining but I felt as if these books were missing something the first two had. Angels & Demons and The DaVinci code made bold statements about religion and science. I felt that statement was lost on the others. Then enters Origin. I won't spoil anything about the ending but I will say Dan Brown explains religion and science in such a beautiful way which happens to mirror my own thoughts. Nothing might ever be as good as the first two but Origin sure as hell came close!
4. Brimstone Hustle by Robert McKinney
I discovered this book while browsing a self-publishing Sub-Reddit page. I'm glad I did. This book was a lot of fun to read. I won't sit here and tell you it was my favorite book of the year but it was a lot of fun. The plot centers around a woman who is able to "teleport" anywhere in the world she wants by taking shortcuts through Hell. The idea was original enough to catch my attention. Of course, she uses this power to get payback on an individual and I won't say much more than that. It's the first part in a series and I really should get down to reading the rest. My only complaint, which could be squashed with the sequels, is the power could be used for so much more than your regular thriller story. But still a fun read.
3. Glass Girl by Jessyca Thibault
Poetry is not something I normally read, however, I discovered Jessyca on Instagram a while back while she was doing a free promotion for her first book Doll Eyes. I found myself unable to stop reading and finished it in one sitting. Same with her follow up book Glass Girl. If you like poetry, you must give her series a try. I enjoyed them so much because it wasn't just a collection of poems but a window into the soul of another human being. It allowed me to take stock of things in my own life and try a new perspective. And with so many horrible things in this world and all the hate, opening your eyes to another person's experiences is something we need more of. And Jessyca does this well. She's a talented author with a bright future ahead of her!
2. The Ruins by Scott Smith
Although I didn't find this book as scary as many others have, I still enjoyed every second of it. A group of backpackers on a vacation in Mexico find themselves trapped on top of an ancient ruins site where the vines literally come to life and the locals won't let them leave. The book is dirty and visceral at times but for all the right reasons. I never looked at any character as heroic nor villainous. You could feel the desperation in every choice they made and you could almost feel the utter exhaustion they felt as well. A well crafted tale of horror.
1. The Resort by Bryce Gibson
It was a tough choice between this and Gibson's other thriller, The Reading Buddy. Both were excellent reads full of suspense and death. In the end, I had to give it to The Resort. There's not much I can say about this book without giving anything away. But I can tell you the main character Mackenzie Walker works on an island with his parents running a resort. When college students come for spring break and one of them winds up dead, Mackenzie gets pulled into a whirlwind of happenings and learns there's something terrible inhabiting the island. You'll have to read it for yourself to find out what it is. I promise, it's worth it.
Well, there you have it. My top 5 picks of the year. I definitely will be attempting to read more books next year than I did this time around. What were some of your favorite books? Have you read any on my list? Or do you plan to read any of these? Let me know in the comments below.
I'm giving you a reason to Fear the End of Year. My upcoming horror novel is now available for pre-order and its release date is 12-31-2018. That's right, New Year's Eve. You can bring in the new year right, with a good book. And there's a special promotion going on as well. The pre-order price is only .99. If pre-ordering isn't your thing, then pick it up the first week of January, the 1st thru the 7th, and you'll only pay $1.99! After that, the regular price will be $2.99. How can you pass up those deals? Pre-order now while you still can!
If you need help remembering what this book is about, check out the description below:
For Sasha, leaving her abusive husband was almost as hard as living with him. He drinks, beats, and apologizes every day. She was stuck in an endless loop of abuse and regret. Some days she thought about giving up and ending her own life. Though, she couldn’t leave her daughter with that monster.
One day, she left and took her daughter Tara to a small town in Maine called Carlisle. The locals seemed cherry, friendly, and helpful. A typical New England small town. The fresh air and change of environment would be exactly what she and her daughter would need to start a new life. That is until a murderer begins claiming lives and the town becomes suspicious of Sasha. Consumed with fear, the town takes matters into their own hands and Sasha finds herself in a struggle for her life and the life of her daughter. Welcome to Carlisle, Maine. Or Lands Whisper with the Echoes of the Past.
Evan Bond, author of To the Wolves and Death Can Wait, is a thriller/suspense author. When not writing, he can be found hiking or camping in the beautiful state of Florida.