Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. This week’s challenge is to provide my top ten books that I loved with fewer than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads.
While in theory this sounds like an easy list to produce, I actually found that I had some real difficulty finding books with fewer than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads. Quite a few of my favourite books, series or comic books all had more than 2,000 Goodreads ratings, so I had to sadly exclude them. I was actually surprised at some of the books that had more than 2,000 ratings and I had to do quite a detailed search of my library and comic collection to come up with this list. In the end, I had to omit pretty much all my favourite fantasy and historical fiction series, as most of the books within them had been rated way more than 2,000 times. Still, I was able to come up with a very interesting top ten list that features a wide range of fantastic books I would definitely recommend.
Punisher Max, Vol. 1: In the Beginning by Garth Ennis and Lewis LaRosa – 1,652 ratings
Teen Titans, Vol. 2: Family Lost by Geoff Johns – 886 ratings
My List – In order of Goodreads Ratings:
Green Arrow, Vol. 3: The Archer’s Quest by Brad Meltzer, Ande Parks and Phile Hiester – 1,933 ratings
The Green Arrow series that begin in 2001, following the resurrection of the original Green Arrow, Oliver Queen, in Kevin Smith’s Quiver, has to be one of my favourite runs of Green Arrow. Not only did it feature some great storylines and some excellent characters both new and old but it also focused on a truly flawed DC superhero. Easily my favourite out of the stories featured in this series is the third volume, The Archer’s Quest, written by thriller and mystery writer Brad Meltzer. Meltzer has written several of my favourite DC comic books, including the incredible Identity Crisis (which unfortunately has over 18,000 ratings, or it would certainly be on this list). The Archer’s Quest is a fantastic story that sees Oliver attempting to come to terms with his resurrection by heading out on a road trip with his former sidekick, Roy Harper, in order to retrieve several items from his past that have deep emotional significance to him. What follows is a touching journey that sees the original Green Arrow interact with a number of characters from his past while also offering the reader several major character revelations. This is a classic Green Arrow tale that all fans of the character need to check out, and I am very glad it squeaks in at just below 2,000 ratings.
Usagi Yojimbo, Volume 2: Samurai by Stan Sakai – 1,410 ratings
I have mentioned on my blog before how much I love Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo series, and quite frankly I would award all 32 volumes five stars. However, the second volume of this series, Samurai, stands out as one of the best early volumes in this series, which sets out much of the protagonist’s backstory and establishes a number of future storylines and characters. It is also when Sakai hits his stride artistically with his character and environment, incorporating the designs that would be a fantastic hallmark of his future volumes. This is essential reading for those fans of this rabbit samurai, and a fantastic starting point for those interested in checking out the series.
Another outstanding debut from 2018, City of Lies was one of the best fantasy books I read last year. After the much-deserved hype it has received online I was surprised that it only had 870 ratings. With its iconic poison-based storyline, this was an incredible book that successfully introduces a fantasy series with a lot of potential.
The Pericles Commission by Gary Corby – 749 ratings
The Pericles Commission is the first book in the Athenian Mysteries series (also known as the Hellenic Mysteries series) by Australian author Gary Corby, which has to be one of my favourite historical crime series of all times. Released in 2010, The Pericles Commission is the best book in this series and it also served as an excellent introduction into this fun series. The Pericles Commission is a fantastic blend of historical fiction and murder mystery that also contains a huge amount of humour, mostly achieved through a series of modern actions that feel out of place in historical Athens. This is an outstanding book that I had a lot of fun reading and reviewing in The Canberra Times. I still chuckle at the fantastic court scene that Corby wrote near the end of the story.
This is the second book in one of my favourite new fantasy series, the Swords and Fire series. I found this second book to be an excellent addition to this fantastic series, which expands on the interesting new universe while also offering some incredible character development.
I have mentioned Deep Silence several times in the last few months, including on my Top Ten Reads of 2018 list. It is still one of the best new audiobooks of last year and is also the book that introduced me to the outstanding Joe Ledger series, which is one of my favourite series that I am reading at the moment. As the other two books in the Joe Ledger series that I have read, Patient Zero and The Dragon Factory, both have more than 2,000 ratings, Deep Silence was an easy inclusion for this list.
Planetside is one of my favourite debuts of 2018 and I am very happy to be able to feature it in this list. Mammay crafts an amazing story that blends together a great science fiction narrative with a first-rate investigate thriller storyline. Featuring one of the best story endings of the year, this is a book well worth checking out.
Teen Titans, Vol. 5: Life and Death by Geoff Johns – 624 ratings
Geoff Johns’s extended run on the 2003 series of Teen Titans was one of the first comic series I really got into and it remains as one of my favourite comic book series of all time. During this series, Johns completely re-imagined the classic superhero team of the Teen Titans by incorporating standout characters from the Young Justice series and teaming them up with an older generation of classic Titans for some incredible adventures. I had to include at least one volume of this series in this list, but this was the one I struggled with the most. With the first volume having too many ratings on Goodreads, I had to choose between Volumes 2, 4 and 5. While Volume 2: Family Lost, features an outstanding re-introduction of iconic DC character Raven, and Volume 4: The Future is Now, contains several amazing storylines, including a grim look into the future and a massive brawl between all the previous Teen Titans and Dr Light, I had to choose Volume 5: Life and Death in the end. Life and Death is a bit of a companion piece to DC’s massive Infinite Crisis crossover event and features an extended look at several storylines that make up the main Infinite Crisis story. While I enjoyed all the storylines featured within this volume, I am mainly choosing it because of the tragic fate of Superboy, who, after finally admitting his love to Wonder Girl, sacrifices himself to save the world. As it features one of my top comic book moments of all times, this volume of Teen Titans is a welcome addition to this list.
Without a doubt, Lindsey Davis’s Flavia Albia series is one of the best historical crime series running at the moment, and I am a huge fan of this amazing crimes series set deep within ancient Rome. While I have quite enjoyed all of the books in the series, my favourite has to be the sixth book, Pandora’s Boy. Pandora’s Boy featured an intriguing mystery that fully utilises the book’s classic Roman setting while also creating some extremely humorous moments.
I have been loving this Star Wars comic series over the last year, as Charles Soule and his creative team have been doing a superb job of reminding everyone why Darth Vader is one of modern fictions biggest badasses. The third volume, The Burning Seas, was my favourite volume of this series, and featured some exceptional storylines and marvellous artwork. A fantastic comic to round out this list, this volume is a perfect read for all Star Wars fans.