As I described in my introduction this Best of list reflects my favorite Fantasy Novels I read in 2014. It is less an awards kinda thing, and more a distillation of my year of reading and a short list of recommendations. Here’s a link to all of my Best of 2014 lists.
Brandon Sanderson – Mistborn: The Final Empire
Huge complex introduction to a great epic fantasy series which never feels like heavy lifting. Sanderson manages to provide history, culture and magical exposition seamlessly throughout so you never feel overwhelmed.
Jim Butcher – Skin Game
The Dresden Files prove the axiom: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Each volume is strong and confident, but it isn’t until you step back and look at the series at a whole that you become staggered by the weight of the accomplishment. Dresden’s arc is nothing short of stunning, and Butcher seems to prove again and again how deep this sandbox is. This time we get a top notch, dirty dozen, heist adventure in this fun chapter of a brilliant ongoing series.
Richard Kadrey – Sandman Slim
Sandman Slim is a Gritty, violent, funny and outstanding anti-hero urban fantasy series. Starting as a basic revenge story and building into epic apocalyptic battle of gods and demons this series has it all. While the template might seem to tread familiar ground, the banter and swagger is uniquely Kadrey’s and he delivers.
Jodi Taylor – Just One Damned Thing After Another
Time travel fantasy with wry humor and strong female protagonist who would be the match of any other of urban fantasy’s rogues gallery. Max is a great character who seems often clueless but never out of her depth. This has to be one of my favorite narrator voices (both written and as performed in the audiobook) and as an adventure series it is a romp.
Diana Rowland – My Life as a White Trash Zombie
The audiobook version is a must listen. Allison McLemore’s interpretation of the marvelous Angel Crawford is perfection, and I honestly don’t know if I can separate the character from the performance, or want to. I love a good paranormal detective story and Diana Rowland has provided an unique voice and perspective into the genre.
Brian K. Vaughan – Saga, Volume 3, A weird space opera with the most honest characters and gorgeous artwork you are apt to find, Saga is the best graphic novel series running.
Richard Adams – Watership Down, A classic folk tale with empathy and charm.