Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. For this latest Top Ten Tuesday the official topic involved listing your favourite memorable things that characters have said. However, I am going to do something a little different and instead I am going to list the top ten novels I want to read before the end of 2021.
This is a bit of a continuation of a list I did this time in 2019 and 2020, when there were only approximately 50 days left in the year and I was freaking out about all the books I still wanted to read. Well, once again the year is nearly over, and there are currently only just over 50 days left in it. While I am rather keen to escape 2021, I am very mindful of the big pile of novels from this year currently sitting on my table (and a couple of bookshelves, and the floor). So, with that in mind, I thought I would do another version of this list to inspire me to read these books and knock them out before this year comes to an end.
For this list I have had a look through my many book piles and reading lists to work out which novels I really need to read before the year ends. To focus this on the books that are cluttering up my house or my phone storage, I decided to exclude novels that I do not currently have copies of (such as Never by Ken Follett, which is hopefully on its way) or have not yet been released. I also decided to exclude novels that I am definitely going to read before the end of the year, as I have plans to review them for some Canberra Weekly holiday columns (such as Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson or Kill Your Brother by Jack Heath). I am also going to exclude some novels from the big haul I got on Saturday, as I am hoping to get to them soon, and I am excluding The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly, as I am currently reading it. Using these parameters, I was able to come up with a list of 10 books (with some honourable mentions), that I would really like to read before the year ends. This list includes an interesting range of novels, including some big 2021 releases and some other novels that came in under the radar. All 10 sound really good and I desperately hope I have time to read them all.
Red Wolves by Adam Hamdy
The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker
Cave Diver by Jake Avila
Top Ten List:
The first book on this list is the awesome and fantastic sounding Empire of the Vampire by Australian author Jay Kristoff. I have only just finished reading Kristoff’s awesome Aurora’s End (co-written by Amie Kaufman), and I am keen to read some more of his stuff. In particular, I really want to read his awesome adult novel, Empire of the Vampire, which came out a little while ago. Empire of the Vampire is set in a world with no sunlight and ruled by vampires, who are hunting down the remaining humans. I have heard some impressive things about this book, and I really hope I get a chance to read it. I currently have the audiobook loaded up on my phone, although the trick will be fitting it into my listening schedule as it has a pretty substantial run time.
I also really want to check out this cool young adult comic tie-in novel from Mackenzi Lee. I had a lot of fun with Lee’s previous novel, Loki: Where Mischief Lies, and her latest book has an intriguing story involving the two warring sisters, Gamora and Nebula. I am planning to grab a copy of this book when I can, and I am sure that I will have a great time with this interesting story.
Last year I had a lot of fun reading Wragg’s debut dark fantasy novel, The Black Hawks, which followed a rogue band of mercenaries on an impossible quest. I was really keen to read the sequel, The Righteous this year, but I haven’t had a chance to grab a copy yet. I am very curious to see what happens after the big cliff-hanger at the end of The Black Hawks, and I cannot wait to see what happens in this series next.
There is no way I can end 2021 without reading every single Star Wars tie-in novel that has been released, and at the moment the only one I haven’t had an opportunity to read is Star Wars: Ronin by Emma Mieko Candon. Ronin is a tie-in to the Star Wars: Visions anime series, and this book tells the tale of the Ronin character. I am hoping to get to this one in the next week or two, and I cannot wait to see what cool story Candon has come up with.
The Noise by James Patterson and J. D. Barker
I was recently lucky enough to receive the curious sounding novel, The Noise, written by James Patterson and J. D. Barker. The Noise has an interesting and compelling sounding story about Government conspiracies, mysterious explosions and an unexplained sound haunting the countryside. This one really caught my attention, and I really want to see what The Noise is about before the year ends.
2021 has been a great year for debut novels, and I have been lucky enough to enjoy several fantastic debuts that have really showcased the talents of some new authors. However, there are still a couple of debuts I want to read before the year is out, and the main one of these is Among Thieves by M. J. Kuhn. Among Thieves is a brilliant sounding fantasy book that follows several desperate characters as they attempt to undertake a daring heist. I have already heard some great things about this book, and I think it has loads of potential. I am actually planning to read this book next, and hopefully nothing will come up preventing that.
The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield
One of the more intriguing novels of 2021 that I have not had the chance to read is the cool science fiction thriller, The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield. The Apollo Murders is a science fiction epic set in 1973, that involves a secret and deadly mission to the moon during the height of the Cold War. I love the sound of this awesome book, and I am hoping to listen to its audiobook format later this week, especially as it is voiced by one of my favourite audiobook narrators, Ray Porter.
The Last Watch by J. S. Dewes
Another impressive sounding debut I have been meaning to check out is the science fiction epic The Last Watch by J. S. Dewes. I have been hearing some incredible things about The Last Watch from some other reviewers, and this has made me pretty curious. Set out in the depths of space, this book follows a small group of criminals and exiles as they attempt to save the galaxy. Based on the buzz around this book, I think I am going to have a great time reading it, and I really hope I get the chance to do so before the end of 2021.
Throughout 2021, I have seen innumerable reviews about The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman, a cool sounding fantasy novel with an intriguing plot to it. Most of these reviews have been pretty positive, and it seems like every fantasy reviewer I follow has managed to check this book out. As such, I am really keen to read The Blacktongue Thief before the end of the year, just to see what all the fuss is about. Unfortunately, I have not been able to fit it into my reading schedule, but I will try to do so before the end of the year so I can be ready for any upcoming sequels.
The final book on this list is probably the 2021 book that I regret not reading the most, The Maleficent Seven by Cameron Johnston. Johnston, who has previously written the awesome dark fantasy novels, The Traitor God and God of Broken Things, is a talented author, and I am very keen to see how his latest novel has turned out. The Maleficent Seven follows a group of former fantasy villains who reunite to defend a town from an evil army. Essentially a dark, magical version of The Magnificent Seven, I think this book has so much potential, and I am so annoyed with myself that I haven’t read it yet. Hopefully I will rectify this soon, and I already know I am going to love this book.
That’s the end of this week’s Top Ten list. I am extremely happy with how this list turned out as I am really keen to read each and every one of the novels listed above. All of them have an amazing amount of potential and I think several could end up being some of my favourite books of 2021. Make sure to check back in a few weeks to see if I have managed to get around to reading any of them yet. In the meantime, let me know which books you really want to read before the end of 2021 and best of luck getting through them.