Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. The official topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday was Bookish Goals for 2023. While this was an interesting topic, I have a slightly different Top Ten Tuesday schedule planned and instead I will be moving forward the official topic from next week and looking at New-to-Me Authors I discovered in 2022. This is a list I have covered for the last couple of years (make sure to check out my 2019, 2020 and 2021 versions), and it is one that I always have fun doing.
Each year I am lucky enough to read a great number of awesome novels and this often includes some that were written by authors whose work I was previously unfamiliar with. 2022 was a particularly good example of this as there were an incredible collection of amazing novels written by authors who were completely new to me. This included some debuting authors, as well as more established writers whose work I only got around to this year. Many of these new-to-me authors produced some truly exceptional reads, some of which I consider to be some of the best books released in 2022, and I really feel the need to highlight them here. As a result, this list may feature a bit of overlap with my top books, pre-2022 books and audiobooks lists of 2022 that I have previously published on this blog.
To appear on this list, the book had to be one I read last year and be written by an author who I was unfamiliar with before 2022. If I had not read anything from this author before last year, it was eligible for this latest list, although I did exclude debut novels as I had another list prepared for them. Despite this, I ended up with a massive list of potential inclusions on this list, as it appears that I read a ton of great new authors in the last year. Despite my best efforts, I had a very hard time whittling this list down, so in the end I decided to face the inevitable and leave it as a top 20 list. While I still had to exclude several great authors whose books I really liked, I think that I came up with a good overall list that represents which authors I am really glad that I decided to try out for the first time last year.
Top Twenty List:
One of the first new-to-me authors I check out in 2022 was Andy Clark, who immediately blew me away with his impressive writing skill in the Warhammer 40,000 novel, Steel Tread. A gritty and character driven war story set in the close confines of a tank, Steel Tread was an exceptional read and one that I was instantly addicted to. Easily one of the top Warhammer books of 2022, I loved Steel Tread so much and I will be diving back into Andy Clark’s catalogue of Warhammer novels when I get a chance.
I actually enjoyed two books from talented Australian crime fiction author Sarah Barrie this year, her 2021 book Unforgiven and the sequel Retribution. Both were excellent dark crime thrillers that saw a damaged vigilante go after the very worst criminals Sydney had to offer. I deeply enjoyed both books and their unique style has made Barrie a must-read Australian author from now on.
It seems ridiculous that it took me until 2022 to finally read something from acclaimed science fiction and fantasy author Adrian Tchaikovsky, but that’s what happened. While I have had the opportunity to read some of his other established series before, my first experience with Tchaikovsky’s writing was his debut Warhammer 40,000 novel Day of Ascension. A complex and captivating read that sees a Genestealer Cult rise to overthrow a despotic government. This was an outstanding book that combined Tchaikovsky’s unique writing style with the iconic Warhammer 40,000 setting. I loved the gruesome and impressive story that resulted and I will have to make an effort to read more of Tchaikovsky’s books in the future.
This was an interesting entry that actually features two new-to-me authors with the writing duo of thriller author Boyd Morrison and historian Beth Morrison. Together these talented authors wrote one of my favourite books of 2022, The Lawless Land, an exciting and deeply entertaining historical epic that followed a fallen knight on a quest around war-torn Europe. I had so much fun with The Lawless Land, which featured intrigue, betrayal, duels, jousts, war and so much more, and I ended up coming away a big fan of this brother/sister writing team. There is a sequel to The Lawless Land coming out later this year, and I will make damn sure to get a copy of it when it comes out.
Steve Lyons was a new-to-me author who particularly impressed me this year with his compelling and concise Warhammer 40,000 audiobook exclusive, Krieg. Following one of the more iconic regiments of Imperial Guard in the franchise, the Death Korps of Krieg, Krieg is an excellent read that combines a harrowing modern war tale with an intriguing dive into the history of the planet Krieg and its deadly soldiers. A tight and effective audiobook, Krieg comes highly recommended and I had an outstanding time listening to it.
I was very lucky to enjoy the latest works from awesome fantasy author Dan Koboldt this year with Silver Queendom. A deeply entertaining fantasy heist read, Silver Queendom was a lot of fun and I will be making a huge effort to read more of Koboldt’s work in the future, especially if he comes up with a sequel to this great book.
Justin D. Hill is a very well-known author in Warhammer circles, and I was very happy to finally read one of his books this year with the Warhammer Horror novel, The Bookkeeper’s Skull. A compelling read that told a harrowing tale of murder and mutilation on a cursed farm, The Bookkeeper’s Skull was a great horror read centred around a clever mystery. I was really impressed with the dark and tangible feeling of dread that hung over everything, and I think it really speaks to the author’s skill that he was able to tell such a compelling read in such a concise book. I cannot wait to try out some of Hill’s other books in 2023, and I already know I am going to love them.
I finally got around to reading something from epic author Neil Gaiman and boy was it a doozy of a tale. I actually listened to the audiobook adaptation of his iconic The Sandman comic, which was such an incredible and dark story. Following the immortal Dream, The Sandman features a complex and captivating tale all read out by an all-star cast. Gaiman really showcases his incredible, if slightly insane, inventiveness in this comic and I loved how well this new format portrayed this fantastic story.
Few 2022 Warhammer books impressed me as much as the excellent and highly addictive Assassinorum: Kingmaker by new-to-me author Robert Rath. A complex and action-packed tale of assassins, royal politics and mecha warfare, Assassinorum: Kingmaker is very over-the-top, even for a Warhammer 40,000 novel, and I loved every damn second of it. The entire intense story came together perfectly and Robert Rath is definitely an author I will be reading more Warhammer books from in the future.
Gillian McAllister had a brilliant year in 2022 when she released her compelling science fiction thriller, Wrong Place Wrong Time. A twisty and complex novel that saw a mother forced back through time as she attempts to uncover the dark story behind the murder her son committed. This was such a clever read and I have a feeling that McAllister is an author I am going to see a lot of in the future.
A lucky find in a second-hand bookshop introduced me to the writings of Ben Counter when I grabbed a copy of his Warhammer Fantasy novel Van Horstmann. An intense and entertaining read that followed a magical student’s quick slide into darkness, Van Horstmann was one of the better Warhammer Fantasy books I have ever had the pleasure of reading and I cannot wait to see what other delicious and impressive reads Counter has produced for the Black Library.
Outstanding new Star Wars author, Zoraida Cordova, ensured that the second phase of The High Republic sub-series started off in a big way with her amazing Star Wars novel Convergence. An exciting and powerful novel that perfectly sets up future storylines while following several complex characters, Convergence was a brilliant read and one that really sets up Cordova as an author to watch out for.
Another new-to-me Warhammer Fantasy author I deeply enjoyed in 2022 was C. L. Werner, who wrote the gritty adventure novel Runefang. An awesome book, Runefang followed a band of doomed heroes on a quest to recover a legendary sword to stop an undead horde, in a great, classic fantasy narrative. Loaded with twists and surprise deaths, Runefang was an excellent read and Werner really shows off his talents with this great book.
I had to include Justin Woolley on this list, especially after I had such a fun time with his Warhammer 40,000 book, Catachan Devil. A compelling and thoroughly entertaining story that completely explored the legendary Catachan Imperial Guards regiment, Catachan Devil was a brilliant, soldier-focused story that is really worth a read. I look forward to seeing what other brilliant books Justin Woolley has coming out, especially if they are as good as Catachan Devil.
One of the more entertaining new authors I tried out in 2022 was fantasy writer Jon Hollins (Jonathan Wood), as I started his epic Dragon Lords trilogy with Fool’s Gold. A comedic and relentless fantasy heist book, Fool’s Gold followed a group of desperate adventurers as they attempt to steal a tyrannical dragons hoard. However, when their plans go terribly wrong, they find the fate of the entire realm resting on their shoulders and must come up with an even more elaborate plan to survive. A sharp and very, very fun book, Fool’s Gold was pretty damn awesome and I cannot wait to see what craziness Hollins featured in his other Dragon Lords novels.
One Warhammer author I am particularly glad I got the chance to read in 2022 was Graham McNeill with his awesome standalone novel, Storm of Iron. A brutal and captivating siege tale that sees a giant army of Chaos Space Marines besiege an impregnable space fortress, Storm of Iron was a blast from start to finish and was near impossible to put down. I always intended to read all of McNeill’s books at some point, but Storm of Iron ensured that I will be moving most of his novels to the very front of my to-read pile.
I finally got around to reading M. L. Spencer’s Dragon Mage in 2022, a book I have had my mind on for a while. Dragon Mage was an elaborate and classic fantasy tale about heroes and dragons which really showcased Spencer’s imagination and writing talent and took the reader on a complex, character-driven ride. A great book from an exceptional author.
Another exceptional new-to-me Warhammer author I read for the first time in 2022 was Alec Worley, who really impressed me with his outstanding work. I actually read two things from Worley this year, the fun novella Dredge Runners and the exciting and compelling full novel The Wraithbone Phoenix. Both books followed a unique duo of criminals in a futuristic Warhammer city as they engage in a series of bungled heists and cons against a range of outrageous foes. Both of these entries were pretty damn exceptional, and Worley really showcased his amazing writing ability with them. A very talented author who I am very glad I came across.
The cool team of Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland pulled out an awesome and solid young adult Star Wars book with Path of Deceit. Serving as an outstanding prequel to the previous High Republic novels, Path of Deceit was an amazing novel from these authors, and I had a wonderful time reading some from this cool team for the first time.
I doubt anyone is too surprised that the final author on this list, Edoardo Albert is yet another writer of Warhammer fiction. I was very happy to come across Albert’s latest novel in 2022, Kasrkin, which follows an elite unit of soldiers as they brave a desert planet, only to face off against a series of dangerous foes. Tight, action-packed, and making excellent use of its Warhammer 40,000 elements, Kasrkin did a good job of highlighting Albert’s superb ability and I had an outstanding time with this great book.
Well, that’s the end of this latest Top Ten list. I think it turned out rather well and it encapsulates some of the best new authors I checked out in 2022. I look forward to reading more books from these authors in the future and I have no doubt they will produce more epic and incredible reads. Make sure to let me know which new authors you enjoyed in 2022 in the comments below and make sure to check back next week for another exciting list.