2016 in books


Well, if I thought (cf. the previous article) that 2015 was bad for reading, well, 2016 clearly beat 2015 by a long shot :(

I planned reading a bit more than 2015 (goal was 48) and I managed… 30. A freaking disaster. I was mostly unable to read during the first half of 2016, too many issues at work and in my personal life.

See for yourself: the 2016 challenge

Anyway on to the books :)

Old books

Old Series

There we find series I started before 2016, like the “The Final Formula” or “The Secret Histories”.

  • I came back once again in Anne Bishop’s first world, The Black Jewels and re-re-re-read the original trilogy starting with Daughter of the Blood. Still one of my favourite dark fantasy series.
  • With Raptor and Soulblade I finished the now-named Dragon Blood series by Lindsay Buroker, there are now 7 books and two novellas in that wonderful universe.
  • Next was the long-awaited (one year exactly) entry in the The Others series, again by Anne Bishop. Urban fantasy at its best, with the usual set of Vampires, Shifters and stuff but also the Cassandra Sangue aka Blood Prophets. Still as gripping as usual. Next and last one is for March, 2017.
  • I added two more books in Ryk Brown’s The Frontier Saga Sci-Fi series. Still very light and fun to read.
  • I read a novella in Beth Cato Clockwork Dagger series called The Deepest Poison, explaining some of the earliest facts about Octavia and her powers.
  • Read also the second volume of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. It is on par with the first one, enjoyable although I hope the next ones will not be like the preceding two, it might get boring…
  • Finally got the next chapter of The Lightbringer series called The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks. It was awesome, like all the books in that series. It was supposed to be the last volume but Weeks decided to split it into two books and I agree that it will be for the best, although it means waiting one more year for the end…
  • Also read the next book in the Ambassador series by Patty Jansen called Coming Home. She keeps writing this series and I like it very much. The world is very interesting.

New Series (and authors)

  • After a long wait, got my hands on Sorcerer to the Crown, first of the Sorcerer Royal series by Zen Cho. Magic is disappearing from England and the new Sorcerer Royal is tasked to find why. Excellent read, looking forward to see the next one. I also read another standalone book called The Terracota Bride, set in Chinese afterlife, very nice.
  • I started the first series called Obsidian and Blood with Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard based on Magic in the Aztec world. It is really more a thriller than a fantasy story but magic there adds some spice and an insight into aztec culture & traditions :) — I also read a shorter novel called On a Red Station, Drifting, set in a Vietnamese culture (in space of course).
  • Following a blog post by the author that was relayed on Twitter, I came upon Miserere by Teresa Frohock, a Dark Fantasy story in a world inspired by Christian Mythology. Not at all a religious book. I liked it so much I bought her other series, Los Nefilim. I read the first one, In Midnight’s Silence.
  • As a change from my traditional Sci-Fi/Fantasy books, I have read two books in the Jake Grafton series by Stephen Coonts: Flight of the Intruder and The Intruders. These first two books are set during the Vietnam War and relates the adventures of Jack Grafton, a US Navy fighter pilot.
  • Trudi Canavan is not a new author for me as I have read her first trilogy, the Black Magician (I should read the others in the same universe) but the Millenum’s Rule series is :) — The world is a nice mix of 19th Century tech and magic and relates the adventure of a book thief which didn’t thought a book could be sentient… This is a trilogy and I have read Thief’s Magic and Angel of Storms, both very good.
  • The next series I started is The Laundry Files by Charles Stross called The Atrocity Archives. Stross is well known for this series and many other books (the Merchant Princes for example), mixing magic and the modern world, with plenty of geeky humour (maybe even too much; I have found many references to Usenet and many other things), not unlike the Secret Histories by Simon R. Green. He also has a nice blog.
  • I finally got around to read the first book in the acclaimed Imperial Radch series by Ann Leckie called Ancillary Justice. The ancillaries are humans more or less transformed into some kind of “hive mind” and used as both space ship crew and combat troops. They are communicating together and are not supposed to exist on their own till… This is a winner of both Hugo and Nebulla awards hence the hype. It was a bit difficult to get into the book (as many have already said) and am still not sure if I liked it or not. Mixed feelings here.
  • The last new series I read was The First Law by Joe Abercrombie with The Blade Itself and Before They Are Hanged. High Fantasy just like I love it, good characters, nice story and some twists.

French books

I managed to read a few books in French, by French authors:

  • Kappa16 by Neil Jomunsi, an interesting story about robots and conscience. Completely unlike Asimov’s Robots universe and without the Famous 3 laws, very well done.
  • two books by Olivier Saraja: Sanctum Corpus and Spores!, interesting takes on how society could evolve and a post-apocalyptic tale of survival. The former was a bit short for my taste (but very good) and the second one less enjoyable, I do not think I’m too much into post-apocalyptic stories.

Last words

2017 started much better than 2016 and although I have reduced my goal, I’m still on track. Buying a dedicated ebook reader was definitely the thing to do and am very happy with my Pocketbook Lux 3 (yeah I have changed my mind :)).