Top Ten Tuesday – My Favourite Debuts of 2022

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 week’s Top Ten Tuesday participants were encouraged to list the top ten books on their winter/summer 2022-23 to-read list.  However, as I already did that a few weeks ago, I thought I would instead continue my foray into highlighting the absolute best books of 2022.  This is an end of year tradition I do annually with several Top Ten Tuesday Lists, and I started again this year with last week’s list about the best pre-2022 releases I read this year.  In a continuation of my end of year highlights, for this week’s list I have decided to look at my absolute favourite debut novels of the year.

I mentioned multiple times throughout the year that 2022 was a pretty awesome year for debuts and boy did I mean it.  There were an incredible number of new authors releasing some impressive and entertaining debut novels this year, and I was lucky enough to receive a huge bundle of them to review.  I always love checking out new authors as they produce their first book or take a foray into a whole new genre, and I was blown away with some of the talent this year.  As such, I am really glad that I can highlight some of the absolute best in this Top Ten list.

To be eligible for this list, the book had to be either the first novel from a new author released in 2022, or a novel that was extremely different from an author’s previous work (their debut in the genre).  I ended up reading a huge collection of debuts this year, so I had a bit of a hard time coming up with the list, as there were a lot of good options.  I was eventually able to whittle it down to a manageable list of 10, with my typical generous Honourable Mentions section.  The result was an excellent list that I feel perfectly captures my favourite debuts of the year and highlights them accordingly.  So, let us see what made the cut.

Honourable Mentions:

The Maid by Nita Prose

The Maid Cover

A wickedly clever thriller about an atypical maid who finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation.  Best enjoyed for its fantastic central character, Nita Prose really showed she’s got a lot of potential as a writer, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

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No Country for Girls by Emma Styles

No Country for Girls Cover

A classic and entertaining road-trip thriller set in the Western Australian outback.  Fun, compelling and intense, this was a great read that I had an awesome time reading.

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Black Drop by Leonora Nattrass

Black Drop Cover

A captivating and haunting murder mystery in late 18th century London, Black Drop combines fascinating historical political intrigue with a great mystery narrative.  Highly recommended!

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Black River by Matthew Spencer

Black River Cover

A dark murder mystery in the heart of Sydney, Black River was a captivating Australian thriller with some awesome twists to it.

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Top Ten List:

Her Perfect Twin by Sarah Bonner

Her Perfect Twin Cover

Few debuts impressed me in 2022 as much as Her Perfect Twin by outstanding new author Sarah Bonner.  A complex and highly clever thriller, Her Perfect Twin follows a repressed woman who finally snaps and kills her perfect twin sister.  Taking over her twin’s life to hide the murder, the protagonist decides to use this opportunity to escape her abusive husband.  However, the onset of COVID-19 keeps her trapped at home and forces her into a twisty battle of wits with her husband who knows way too much about what she’s done.  A fantastic and addictive thriller that will have you hooked all the way to the final twist, Her Perfect Twin was a particularly epic novel that I cannot rave about enough.

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The Unbelieved by Vikki Petraitis

The Unbelieved Cover

There were a ton of great Australian crime fiction debuts in 2022, but one of my absolute favourites was The Unbelieved by new author Vikki Petraitis.  Following a damaged cop as she attempts to find peace in small town Australia, the protagonist soon discovers that her new town is afflicted by several sexual predators and the women are afraid to speak out.  A powerful and deeply intense read that provides an exceptional commentary on the public perception of sexual violence in modern society, The Unbelieved was an extraordinary Australian debut that comes extremely highly recommended.

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The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan

The Justice of Kings Cover

One of the most popular debuts of 2022 is probably the cool fantasy book, The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan.  Swan’s first foray in fantasy fiction, The Justice of Kings is a brilliant and captivating read that follows a criminal investigation in a dark fantasy universe.  Combining distinctive fantasy elements with an excellent mystery storyline, The Justice of Kings got a lot of well-deserved love this year and is an outstanding book to check out.

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Wake by Shelley Burr

Wake Cover

The Australian crime fiction debut hits keep on coming, this time with the amazing and well-written outback thriller, Wake, by epic new author Shelley Burr.  Set years after an infamous disappearance of a young girl in a broken small town, Wake sees the victim’s sister and an ambitious private investigator with his own agenda team up to finally solve the mystery.  However, the answers they both seek cause far more harm than they ever imagined and result in a deep and amazing read.

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Blood Sugar by Sascha Rothchild

Blood Sugar Cover

Murder has never been more fun in the hilarious thriller debut, Blood Sugar.  Talented new author Sascha Rothchild presents a fantastic and outstanding character-driven read about a young woman who has an unfortunate habit of killing the worst people around her.  However, when someone close to her dies of natural causes, her entire life will be torn apart as the police try to pin it on her.  I had an exceptional time reading this clever and funny book, and you are guaranteed to love it.

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Only a Monster by Vanessa Len

Only a Monster Cover

One of the best fantasy debuts of 2022 had to be the exceptional young adult read, Only A Monster by Australian author Vanessa Len.  Following a young girl who discovers that she’s a life-sucking monster, the protagonist must learn to control her powers while also being hunted by her boyfriend, a ruthless and relentless monster hunter.  Impressively inventive and just a little heartbreaking, I had an exceptional time reading Only a Monster and Len clearly has a very bright future in fantasy fiction.

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Seventeen by John Brownlow

Seventeen Cover

If you are looking for a ton of action and a relentlessly entertaining protagonist, look no further than the exciting thriller debut, Seventeen by John Brownlow.  This book follows the world’s greatest assassin, Seventeen, who finds himself forced to go after the only person on the planet more deadly than himself, his retired predecessor Sixteen.  Featuring a high-octane battle of elite assassins, Seventeen is an outstanding read that I could not get enough of.

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Daughters of Eve by Nina D. Campbell

Daughters of Eve Cover

One of the first debuts I read in 2022 was one of the best with the outstanding Australian crime fiction read, Daughters of Eve by Nina D. Campbell.  After several despicable men are killed around Australia, the police are forced to investigate a mysterious group who are determined to get justice for women by any means necessary.  A clever mystery that also serves as a great examination of gender inequalities in Australia’s legal and criminal systems, Daughters of Eve was an exceptional read that had me hooked the entire way through.

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Essex Dogs by Dan Jones

Essex Dogs Cover

There was no way I could exclude the epic historical fiction debut, Essex Dogs by Dan Jones, from this list.  Following a loyal band of mercenary soldiers who get recruited for the English invasion of France at the start of the Hundred Years War, Essex Dogs is a powerful, character driven epic that I had so much fun with.  Loaded with cool battles and a ton of historical detail, Dan Jones really knocked his debut out the park, and I can’t wait to see how he follows it up.

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Dead Man’s Hand by James J. Butcher

Dead Man's Hand Cover

The final debut on this list is the compelling and awesome urban fantasy novel, Dead Man’s Hand.  Written by the son of legendary fantasy author Jim Butcher, James J. Butcher, Dead Man’s Hand is a wonderful and memorable read that sees a failed witch team up with a retired monster hunter to find a deadly killer.  Featuring an ultra-snarky protagonist, some cool magical elements, and an outstanding murder mystery, Dead Man’s Hand was a terrific debut and I look forward to seeing more from Butcher in the future.

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Well, that is the end of this list.  As you can, there were some incredible debut novels that came out this year and I had a blast getting through all of them.  Each of the above debuts are really worth checking out, and I had an amazing time exploring these talented authors’ first forays into fiction.  I am really excited to see what these authors produce next, and I have a feeling that quite a few are going to become major names in their genres.

WWW Wednesday – 2 November 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws):

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham (Trade Paperback)

The Boys from Biloxi Cover

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Star Wars: The High Republic: Path of Deceit by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland

Star Wars - Path of Deceit Cover

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What did you recently finish reading?

Seventeen by John Brownlow (Trade Paperback)

Seventeen Cover

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Warhammer 40,000: The Wraithbone Phoenix by Alec Worley (Audiobook)

The Wraithbone Phoenix Cover

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Desert Star by Michael Connelly

Desert Star Cover

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What do you think you’ll read next?

Firefly: What Makes Us Mighty by M. K. England

Firefly - What Makes Us Mighty Cover

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That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday to see what progress I’ve made on my reading and what books I’ll be looking at next.

Seventeen: Last Man Standing by John Brownlow

Seventeen Cover

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (Trade Paperback – 26 July 2022)

Series: Standalone/Book One

Length: 409 pages

My Rating: 4.5. out of 5 stars

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Acclaimed screenwriter John Brownlow presents one of the most entertaining and awesome debuts of 2022 with the compelling action thriller, Seventeen: Last Man Standing.

In the shadowy world of contract killers, assassins, and rogue operatives, the man at the top of the totem pole is simply known by a number.  For over 100 years, these elite assassins have kept the world in order by committing kills for every government, no questions asked.  Sixteen individuals have previously held the title as world’s greatest assassin during this time, and the current holder of the title is Seventeen.  Feared by every killer around the world, Seventeen knows that his career can end at any moment, as it only takes one mistake for an ambitious assassin to take his place and become Eighteen.

After completing a mysterious job in Berlin, Seventeen finds himself at a crossroads, concerned about his future and considering his past.  However, everything is put on hold when his handler gives him startling clues that hint that his predecessor, Sixteen, who had vanished without a trace, is still alive.  The only way for Seventeen to keep his position in the assassination hierarchy is to kill the man who held the title before him, and if he refuses every assassin in the world will be on his back. Tracking Sixteen to a location in the middle of nowhere, South Dakota, Seventeen finds his target hidden in a fortress, and must try to find a way to kill the only assassin the world who might be better than him.

As he plans for what might be his greatest kill, Seventeen finds himself caught between all manner of complications.  Not only is his target near perfectly protected, but he soon finds himself falling for a girl in the local town.  Worse, it appears that his latest job may have been a setup, and now Seventeen finds himself one of the most wanted men in the world.  Caught between his deadly predecessor and every assassin and government agency on the planet, can Seventeen once again prove that he’s the best in the world, or is someone about to take his title and become Eighteen?

Brownlow presents an exciting and captivating read with his debut novel, Seventeen (also titled Seventeen: Last Man Standing), which I had an amazing time reading.  Featuring an action-packed and incredibly fast-paced story, I ended up powering through Seventeen in a bit over a day, and I had a fantastic time doing so.

I absolutely loved Seventeen’s outstanding narrative, which pits rival assassins against each other in an entertaining and impressive fight for survival.  The story is primarily told from the perspective of Seventeen, who is recounting his adventures to the reader.  Starting off with a brutal mass assassination, you quickly get a handle on the protagonist, his skills and his quirky style, as he commits several murders, before getting involved in another job.  From there, he finds himself coerced into finally hunting down and killing his missing predecessor, Sixteen, to secure his reputation.  Forced to find a way around Sixteen’s elaborate security, Seventeen starts to grow close to a woman in the local town, while also considering his future and the potential fallout from his last mission.  At the same time, there are a ton of flashbacks to Seventeen’s tragic past, which show how he became a killer and his road to becoming the world’s top assassin.  Seventeen’s eventual attempt on Sixteen leads to a massive confrontation, where nothing goes the way you think it will.  There are some great confrontations in the second half of the book, and the fights between Sixteen and Seventeen are pretty damn epic.  Throw in some dangerous outside interference and a massive conspiracy, and you are left with an excellent and powerful narrative that you really struggle to put down, even if it is very, very late at night.

Brownlow did a wonderful job setting his story out, and it was designed to keep your constant attention.  I have already talked about how much I enjoyed the fast pace of this book, and there are literally no slow spots during this read as the protagonist is constantly recounting action, spycraft, fun interactions, character development or flashbacks to his tragic past, all of which proves to be extremely entertaining.  The author makes excellent use of a substantial number of shorter chapters, which really helps with the pacing, as you are more likely to decide to keep reading for another chapter when it is only a few pages away.  This, combined with the exceptionally written and highly detailed fight sequences, really keeps your eyes attached to the page.  There are a ton of highly cinematic action scenes in this book, including shootouts, car chases, hand-to-hand fights, and even a bad encounter with a bear, which were very fun to read.  I also loved the fantastic depictions of assassination tradecraft contained within this book, and Brownlow provides an intriguing look at the protagonist’s preparations, as well as the unique methods he uses to find his target.  There are some very fun moments featuring the protagonist’s attempts to get close to Sixteen, and Brownlow writes a very entertaining story around death and assassination.  All this action and quick-paced writing melds well with the author’s excellent sense of humour, and there a ton of great jokes, entertaining observations and unusual situations that add a good comedic edge to much of the book.  These elements, as well as an outstanding central protagonist, really increased my enjoyment of the narrative, and I cannot emphasise enough how quickly I was able to fly through this book.

Finally, I rather enjoyed the fantastic characters contained within this book, as Brownlow writes an excellent story around them.  Naturally, the attention is primarily on the titular Seventeen, who tells most of the story.  Seventeen is a very enjoyable character to follow and I grew attached to him very quickly.  As smooth and talented as any movie assassin or action hero you are likely to find, Brownlow adds in some interesting personality traits that worked really well.  Not only does he have a brilliant sense of humour, which really comes across in the first-person writing style, but there is also a notable bit of weariness at the assassination lifestyle deep within him, which starts to drag at him as the book continues.  Despite a successful life as a killer, he is starting to regret some of his more recent actions, and this change of mindset becomes a key part of his character arc, especially when other dangerous individuals start to sense it.  Brownlow also comes up with a suitably tragic and compelling backstory for Seventeen, which is slowly revealed to the reader as the novel continues.  This backstory was pretty deep and traumatic, and it helps you to bond even more with Seventeen, once you see all the terrible things that drove him into his current career, and these elements really help cement him as an amazing and flawed central protagonist.  Additional characters I need to highlight include Sixteen, who serves as a fantastic foil to Seventeen, especially as he has the veteran instincts and a much more defined sense of cynicism, while also being haunted by the ghosts of his past.  I also deeply enjoyed the female leads of Kat and Barb, who serve an interesting role in the book.  While they are primarily used as damsels in distress for most of the book, Brownlow does add in some fantastic backstory and gives them each their own defining moments, which I enjoyed.  Plus, both are the biggest critics of the two main assassins in this book, and their fun takes on their deadly rivalry are pretty entertaining.  These characters, and more, add a great deal to the plot, and I enjoyed getting to know them here.

Overall, Seventeen was a pretty awesome novel that I had an epic time reading.  John Brownlow’s outstanding debut had all the action, adventure and fun characters you could ask for, and I found Seventeen to be quite an addictive read.  I look forward to seeing what this intriguing new author presents in the future, and I have a feeling that Brownlow is going to be an exciting voice in thriller fiction for years to come.

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WWW Wednesday – 26 October 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws):

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

Seventeen by John Brownlow (Trade Paperback)

Seventeen Cover

I have just started reading the awesome and very fun thriller novel, Seventeen by new author John Brownlow.  A fast-paced read, Seventeen follows the world’s most lethal assassin who finds himself caught in the crossfire between his deadly predecessor and younger assassins wanting to take his place.  I sped through the first 60 pages of Seventeen in one go and I am already pretty hooked by this cool read.  I will probably knock this off in the next day or so and I think I’ll have a very enjoyable time doing so.

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Warhammer 40,000: The Wraithbone Phoenix by Alec Worley (Audiobook)

The Wraithbone Phoenix Cover

I have been having an absolute blast with my latest exploration of Warhammer 40,000 tie-in fiction, with The Wraithbone Phoenix by Alec Worley.  Part of the Warhammer Crime subseries, The Wraithbone Phoenix follows two criminal abhumans, a ratling and an ogryn, as they attempt to steal their big score, the mysterious missing artefact known as The Wraithbone Phoenix.  However, after a series of misfortunes, every criminal, assassin and treasure hunter on the planet knows what they are after, forcing them to fight through a horde of outrageous assailants.  Naturally, I am having a ton of fun with this impressive Warhammer audiobook, and I look forward to finding out who gets the prize, and which of the many distinctive supporting characters is going to suffer a gruesome death.

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What did you recently finish reading?

Fairy Tale by Stephen King (Trade Paperback)

Fairy Tale Cover

I finally managed to finish off the massive new Stephen King novel, Fairy Tale, and it proved to be quite an awesome read.  While a bit long, Fairy Tale had a unique and compelling story that saw a teenage protagonist descend to a fairytale realm, which has been overtaken by dark forces.  A classic adventure story with a compelling setting and Stephen King’s distinctive voice, Fairy Tale was an excellent read and I am glad I spent the time getting through it.

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In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan (Audiobook)

In the Shadow of Lightning Cover

I managed to knock off In the Shadow of Lightning a few days ago and boy did Brian McClellan outdo himself with this first book in an awesome new series.  Set in an inventive new fantasy world where all magic is associated with glass, In the Shadow of Lightning provides the reader with a complex and intriguing tale, rich with politics, espionage, action, betrayal and more.  I had such an outstanding time listening to this captivating book and this is easily one of my favourite fantasy books of 2022. Review to follow soon.

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Warhammer 40,000: Dredge Runners by Alec Worley (Audiobook)

Dredge Runners

I was in the mood for something short and sweet at the start of the week, so I quickly checked out the short Warhammer 40,000 audio drama, Dredge Runners.  The audio drama that introduces the protagonists of The Wraithbone Phoenix (which I am currently reading), Dredge Runners was an extremely clever and highly entertaining short that set the two rogues against criminals and corrupt law enforcement in a well-written and brilliantly paced read. Featuring an amazing voice cast, Dredge Runners was an exceptional audio drama that comes highly recommended.

Amazon

What do you think you’ll read next?

Desert Star by Michael Connelly

Desert Star Cover

I have got several awesome books to read at the moment, but I think I’ll dive into the new Michael Connelly crime fiction read, Desert Star, next. Once again bringing together two of Connelly’s impressive protagonists, Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch, Desert Star sees them dive into several intriguing cold cases, including a murder investigation Bosch has been obsessed about for years. I love Connelly’s amazing crime fiction books and this one has a lot of potential to be a great read.  I look forward to checking out in the next few days and I have very high hopes that Desert Star will end up being one of the better crime fiction novels of 2022.

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Star Wars: The High Republic: Path of Deceit by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland

Star Wars - Path of Deceit Cover

My plan after finishing The Wraithbone Phoenix is to start listening to the Path of Deceit audiobook, written by the intriguing team of Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland.  The first entry in the second phase of The High Republic sub-series of Star Wars fiction, Path of Deceit introduces the reader to yet another version of the High Republic, this time in a period of exploration and discovery.  I am quite intrigued to see what is happening at this point in the Star Wars universe and I can’t wait to find out what interesting story Gratton and Ireland have chosen to introduce it to us.

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That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday to see what progress I’ve made on my reading and what books I’ll be looking at next.

WWW Wednesday – 19 October 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws):

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

I didn’t make as much progress with my reading this week as I would have liked, mainly because the two books I was reading last Wednesday are so damn long, and it is taking me time to get through them.  Still, both are pretty exceptional, so I am happy enough taking my time reading them.

Fairy Tale by Stephen King (Trade Paperback)

Fairy Tale Cover

I am still going with the intriguing new Stephen King novel, Fairy Tale, which is so far proving to be quite an impressive read.  Fairy Tale is an intense coming of age story that follows a teenage protagonist and his dog as they venture into a dangerous and mysterious fairy realm.  I have really got caught up in this book, and while it is taking me a little while to get through it, Fairy Tale is an exceptional and captivating read that is really worth checking out.

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In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan (Audiobook)

In the Shadow of Lightning Cover

I am also still getting through In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan, and I am just a bit over halfway through the audiobook version of it at the moment.  I am really regretting not listening to this outstanding book sooner as it is proving to be quite an epic read.  While I knew I would probably have a great time with this novel, especially after how impressive his previous book, Promise of Blood turned out, I am still blown away by how compelling and addictive In the Shadow of Lightning is.  Set in a new fantasy realm where magic is contained in glass, In the Shadow of Lightning has a great blend of intrigue, politics, action and character development, and I am absolutely loving this book, especially with all the unique fantasy features McClellan has come up with.  I can’t wait to see how this book comes to an end, but this is already one of my top fantasy books of 2022.

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What did you recently finish reading?

Nothing to add in here, hopefully I’ll have a few books finished off by this time next week.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Seventeen by John Brownlow

Seventeen Cover

My plan, after I get through the massive brick that is Fairy Tale, is to dive into some of the intriguing thrillers I have sitting in my to-read pile.  The first one of these that I need to check out is the compelling debut, Seventeen by John Brownlow.  Set to feature a bunch of awesome assassin characters duking it out, Seventeen sounds pretty incredible and I look forward to seeing what happens in it.

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That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday to see what progress I’ve made on my reading and what books I’ll be looking at next.

WWW Wednesday – 12 October 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws):

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

Fairy Tale by Stephen King (Trade Paperback)

Fairy Tale Cover

I just started reading the new Stephen King novel, Fairy Tale, today, which is so far proving to be quite an impressive read.  An intense coming of age story that will see its teenage protagonist and his dog venture into a dangerous fairy realm, this book is pretty awesome so far and I am quite intrigued to see how this entire novel unfolds.

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In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan (Audiobook)

In the Shadow of Lightning Cover

I had several awesome audiobooks to start up this week, but in the end I went with In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan, mainly because of how much I enjoyed his previous book, Promise of Blood.  I have made a fair bit of progress on this audiobook already and it is proving to be just as epic as I thought it would be.  Set in a new fantasy realm where magic is contained in glass, In the Shadow of Lightning has a great blend of intrigue, politics, action and character development, and I am already very hooked.  I can’t wait to see how this book continues and at the rate I’m going with it, I’ll probably finish it off by this time next week.

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What did you recently finish reading?

Star Wars: The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis (Trade Paperback)

Star Wars - The Princess and the Scoundrel Cover

An excellent Star Wars novel that did a wonderful job capturing the romance between Han Solo and Princess Leia.  I deeply enjoyed this cool book and it ended up being quite an intriguing read.

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Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Iron by Graham McNeill (Audiobook)

Storm of Iron Cover

This has to have been one of the better Warhammer 40,000 novels I have read recently, especially as it had a brilliant and dark story to it.  Depicting a massive siege of formidable fortress, this was a very exciting book, and I loved the cool directions that McNeill took the story. I am hoping to get a review up for this soon in a Throwback Thursday article, but this is a must-read for all Warhammer fans. 

Amazon

What do you think you’ll read next?

Seventeen by John Brownlow

Seventeen Cover

My plan, after I get through the massive brick that is Fairy Tale, is to dive into some of the intriguing thrillers I have sitting in my to-read pile.  The first one of these that I need to check out is the compelling debut, Seventeen by John Brownlow.  Set to feature a bunch of awesome assassin characters duking it out, Seventeen sounds pretty incredible and I look forward to seeing what happens in it.

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That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday to see what progress I’ve made on my reading and what books I’ll be looking at next.

Book Haul – 4 July 2022

I have been having an absolutely fantastic couple of week for books, as I have been lucky enough to receive several incredible and amazing new novels from some of my local publishers.  These novels include some truly awesome new releases, several of which I have been eagerly awaiting for some time.  I am extremely keen to check out all of the books below and they should make for some amazing reads.

The Martyr by Anthony Ryan

The Martyr Cover

Lets start this haul off with one of my most anticipated fantasy releases of 2022, The Martyr by Anthony Ryan.  The sequel to one of my favourite books (and audiobooks) of 2021, The Pariah, The Martyr is an awesome fantasy novel which is sure to be one of the top books of the year.  Set to follow the protagonist of the first book as he continues to get caught up in the dangers and intrigues of his world, The Martyr sounds like an extremely epic read and I can’t wait to check it out.

 

Armored by Mark Greaney

Armored Cover (2)

I was also very happy to get a copy of Amored by Mark Greaney, one of the leading thriller authors of the day.  This new novel from Greaney is a standalone read which follows an armoured convey of mercenaries heading deep into Cartel country.  I have actually already read Armored and it was a very fun and exciting book loaded with so much action.  Review to follow to soon.

 

The Bladed Faith by David Dalglish

The Bladed Faith Cover

Another anticipated fantasy read I got was The Bladed Faith by David Dalglish, which I will hopefully check out soon.  The Bladed Faith is an epic read that will followed the deposed prince of a realm as he becomes a legendary assassin in order to get revenge on his kingdom’s conquerors.  A very cool sounding book that I will no doubt love.

Seventeen by John Brownlow

Seventeen Cover

A novel about a secret order of assassins and their internal fight for supremacy, oh yes please!  That is the incredibly epic plot of Seventeen, which will follow the deadliest assassin in the world as he attempts to kill his predecessor, while surviving the attentions of the next generation of killers.  I love the sound of this book so much and I will hopefully read it very soon.

 

The Gatekeeper by James Byrne

The Gatekeeper

Another amazing thriller novel I received is The Gatekeeper by James Byrne.  Following an infamous retired mercenary who finds himself dragged into a deadly conspiracy, The Gatekeeper sounds like another fast-paced and action-packed thriller that I am very keen to check out.

 

The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings

The Ballad of Perilous Graves Cover

Magical and musical mayhem seem to be the theme of the cool and unique new fantasy read, The Ballad of Perilous Graves, which should be a very intriguing novel.

 

The Lawless Land by Boyd and Beth Morrison

The Lawless Land Cover

An intense and powerful historical epic from the academic team of Boyd and Beth Morrison, The Lawless Land in an intriguing new historical fiction novel that I am really interested in reading.  Following a rogue knight during the plague as he attempts to save his lands and reputation, only to get dragged into a dark historical conspiracy.  I really like the sound of this impressive book and I look forward to checking this unique historical adventure out.

 

Illuminations by Alan Moore

Illuminations Cover

The final book I received was Illuminations from legendary comic book author Alan Moore.  Containing several of his unique short stories, most of which sound incredibly bonkers, if extremely intriguing, Illuminations is one of the more fascinating books I have recently gotten my hands on and I am very keen to see what fantastic tales are featured within.

 

Well that’s the end of this latest Book Haul post.  As you can see I have quite a bit of reading to do at the moment thanks to all these awesome books that have come in.  Let me know which of the above you are most interested in and make sure to check back in a few weeks to see my reviews of them.

Waiting on Wednesday – Seventeen by John Brownlow

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday I look at a very cool sounding upcoming thriller that I predict is going to be buckets of epic fun with Seventeen by John Brownlow.

Seventeen Cover

Here at the Unseen Library, I have developed a real appreciation for the most awesome and unique sounding thriller novels out there and I have just discovered one upcoming book that I think fits that description perfectly with Seventeen.  Also known as Seventeen: Last Man Standing, this book is the debut novel of John Brownlow, a screenwriter known for working on films like Sylvia and television series such as Fleming and The Miniaturist.  Well Brownlow appears ready to make a jump to the literary world here with Seventeen, and I am for one am very excited for it.

The intriguing and fun sounding Seventeen is currently set for release down here in Australia in July 2022, and I am deeply impressed with the amazing and entertaining synopsis.  Set in a world where a secretive group of hidden killers keep the world safe through their political assassinations, the novel follows an assassin, known simply as 17, who strives to become the best killer on the planet by killing the current top contender, 16.  However, another assassin, 18, is chasing the same goal, and will stop at nothing to hunt down and kill our protagonist.  This novel sounds so freaking awesome to me and I cannot wait to see how the intense and epic Seventeen turns out.

Synopsis:

YOU’LL NEVER KNOW MY NAME.
BUT YOU WON’T FORGET MY NUMBER.

Behind the events you know are the killers you don’t.
When diplomacy fails, we’re the ones who gear up.
Officially we don’t exist, but every government in the world uses our services.
We’ve been saving the world, and your ass, for 100 years.

Sixteen people have done this job before me.
I am 17. The most feared assassin in the world.
But to be the best you must beat the best.
My next target is 16, just as one day 18 will hunt me down.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world and it gets lonely at the top.
Nobody gets to stay for long.
But while we’re here, all that matters is that we win.

Visceral, cinematic and insanely addictive, 17 will keep you on the edge of your seat and live long in the memory. Until 18 comes along …