Top Ten Tuesday – Books I was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read (Waiting on Wednesday list)

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, participants are required to list their favourite books that the were excited to get but still haven’t had a chance to read.  There is also a side requirement to list the length of time since you’ve received or heard about the book, which adds some interesting complexity to the list.

Now, one of the saddest things about being a reviewer is that there are always far too many books coming out every year to keep up with.  Despite my best efforts, at the end of each year there are always multiple books that I am extremely sad that I never got the chance to read.  These books have built up over the years, and I currently have an extended list of awesome sounding novels sitting around waiting to be read.  Many of these have been captured in my weekly Waiting on Wednesday posts, and I am quite ashamed to say that quite a substantial number of novels I previously highlighted in these posts haven’t been read.  As such, I thought I might slightly alter the underlying basis of this list slightly by looking at the ten oldest Waiting on Wednesday posts I have where I never actually got around to reading the book.

This ended up being a rather interesting list to pull together as I have highlighted quite a few great novels over the years.  However, it was fairly easy to find the ten oldest Waiting on Wednesday posts on my blog where I haven’t read the book, and I added them to this list in descending order.  I did have to make a few exclusions for a couple of books which still haven’t been released yet, and I also had to filter out some posts where I failed to review a book after reading it.  Still, this left me with a rather interesting top ten list of cool books that I really need to check out.  So let us see which are the ten books I have been waiting the longest to check out.

Top Ten List (Descending by Date of Waiting on Wednesday Article)

10. The Shadow Saint by Gareth Ryder – Hanrahan -6 November 2019

The Shadow Saint Cover

The sequel to one of the more intriguing debuts of 2019, The Gutter Prayer, The Shadow Saint is a fantastic sounding grimdark fantasy novel that I really need to take off the shelf and read.

 

9. Anyone by Charles Soule – 31 October 2019

Anyone Cover

An awesome sounding standalone science fiction novels from one of my favourite Star Wars authors, Charles Soule (author of Light of the Jedi, and several awesome comic series).  Anyone is an interesting thriller set around a future where people can transfer their consciousness into other bodies.  I love the sound of this concept and I hope I can make time to read it at some point.

 

8. The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso – 15 August 2019

The Obsidian Tower Cover

Easily one of the books I most regret not reading is The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso.  The first book in the Rooks and Ruins series, which serves as a sequel to her impressive debut Swords and Fire trilogy (made up of The Tethered Mage, The Defiant Heir and The Unbound Empire), this book has been high on my to-read list for ages, but I can never seem to find the time to read it.  This is a real shame, as I have heard that this is an exceptional novel, and I am sure the following books in the Rooks and Ruins series are going to be really incredible as well.

 

7. #Murderfunding by Gretchen McNeil – 3 July 2019

#MurderFunding Cover

A fun and deadly young adult thriller, #MurderFunding is the sequel to the great 2018 read, #MurderTrending, and it is one I have been hoping to read for a while.  This delay is because I unfortunately didn’t get a copy of this when it first came out.  While I did eventually grab a copy a few months ago, I still haven’t had the chance to read it, even after reading the great prequel novel #NoEscape.  I honestly need to sit down and try to read this at some point, as I will probably just power through it and finish it off in a day.

 

6. Grave Importance by Vivian Shaw – 19 June 2019

Grave Importance Cover

The third book in the Dr. Greta Helsing series, Grave Importance is an excellent book about a doctor who specialises in helping the undead, and who finds herself wrapped up in a mystery involving mummies.  I loved the first two books in this series, Strange Practice and Dreadful Company, and I really regret having not seen how the series continued.  This is another mistake I really should try to rectify, especially as my copy of Grave Importance is constantly judging me from a nearby bookshelf.

 

5. The Institute by Stephen King – 9 May 2019

The Institute Cover 1

I loved the sound of this unique and interesting Stephen King novel when I heard about it in 2019, however, I didn’t get a chance to read The Institute when it first came out.  Despite hearing some amazing things about it, I have never gone back to check it out, even after having a blast with King’s two 2021 novels, Later and Billy Summers.  I will have to carve some time out for The Institute at some point, although there are also many, many other Stephen King books I also want to read.

 

4. Salvation Lost by Peter F. Hamilton – 1 May 2019

Salvation Lost Cover

Another book that I deeply regret not reading, Salvation Lost is the fantastic sounding sequel to the great 2018 read, Salvation by science fiction master Peter F. Hamilton.  I absolutely loved Salvation when it came out, and I honestly cannot fathom why I keep failing to read Salvation Lost, it is completely mind boggling.

 

3. The Andromeda Evolution by Daniel H. Wilson – 13 March 2019

The Andromeda Evolution Cover

The recently released sequel to Michael Chrichton’s iconic technothriller, The Andromeda Strain.  I was very interested to see what they did in this sequel, written 50 years after the release of the first book, however, I was never able to fit it into my reading schedule.

 

2. The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling – 16 January 2019

the luminous dead cover

An interesting and compelling sounding science fiction horror novel that caught my eye a few years ago.  I failed to even get a copy of this book when it came out, although it is still on my radar to read.  Hopefully I will get a chance at some point, but it may be a while.

 

1. Alien: Echo by Mira Grant – 19 December 2019

Alien Echo Cover

The final entry (and oldest post) on this list is Alien: Echo, which I have so many regrets about not reading.  An amazing Alien tie-in novel from one of the best authors of horror fiction, the talented Mira Grant (Into the Drowning Deep is still one of my favourite horror novels), I have no idea why I never tried to read this, but I am constantly berating myself for not checking it out, especially as I know I am going to love it.  Hopefully I pull myself together at some point to read it, so we’ll see how that goes.

 

 

Well, that’s the end of this latest list.  As you can see, there are several awesome novels that I really need to try and read at some point, especially as I have been thinking about most of them for multiple years now.  All 10 books above sound extremely cool, and I desperately need to carve some time out to read them.  In the meantime, let me know which books you most regret not reading, and if you’ve enjoyed any of the entries on this list, I would love to hear what you thought about them.

Nine Lives by Peter Swanson

Nine Lives Cover

Publisher: Faber (Trade Paperback – 29 March 2022)

Series: Standalone

Length: 321 pages

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Prepare yourself for an engrossing and captivating mystery from the talented Peter Swanson, with the standalone read Nine Lives.

Back in 2020 I was lucky enough to receive a very cool book called Rules for Perfect Murders (also released as Eight Perfect Murders), written by a new-to-me author, Peter Swanson.  This fantastic novel focused on a bookshop owner who discovers that a blog list he wrote about the most perfect murders in crime fiction was being used as inspiration by a serial killer.  I deeply enjoyed this awesome concept, not only because it was very unique read that served as a fantastic love letter to multiple classic crime fiction authors/novels, but also because the idea of a killer using a blog post to plan their crimes appealed to me as a blogger (think of all the Star Wars themed murders you could plan if you used my lists as a basis for crime).  I ended up having a great time reading Rules for Perfect Murders and have been interested in reading more stuff from Swanson ever since.  I recently got the chance when I received a copy of his latest novel, Nine Lives, a few weeks ago, and I quickly jumped at the chance to read it, especially as it had another unique plot.

On a seemingly normal day, nine random strangers receive a mysterious envelope at their homes.  Each unmarked envelope is unremarkable except for its contents: a single sheet of paper with nine names typed upon it.  None of the recipients recognise any of the names upon the sheets, except their own, and are baffled by the seemingly random piece of mail.  Most assume it to be an advertisement scam or a silly prank and start to go about their day, forgetting about the strange letter they received.  However, one of the recipients, an old man in Maine, is brutally killed the moment he receives his letter.

As the local police and FBI agent Jessica Winslow, who herself received one of these letters, attempt to investigate and discover the connection between the names, another person on the list is killed, this time in Massachusetts.  Quickly determining that the others on the list are at risk, the FBI jumps in and tries to protect the potential victims, but they soon discover they are facing off against an extremely clever murderer capable of killing their victims in elaborate ways.  But why is he targeting these specific people?

Desperate to find the identity of the killer before everyone on the list ends up dead, the investigators and the potential victims each attempt to find the connection between themselves.  However, it appears that they have nothing in common, as they live across the country from each other and have a range of jobs and backgrounds.  The truth behind the killings lies in a dark place, and the lengths the killer will go to for their revenge will rock everyone to their core.

This was a great murder mystery novel from Swanson, who really amped up the twists and turns to create a compelling and intriguing read.  Nine Live’s story starts off with the various characters each receiving the relevant list with their names on it in several short chapters told from their relevant perspectives, and I found this interesting introduction to be good way to grab the reader’s attention.  From there you start to get to know the characters in some detail, except for a couple of people on the list who are efficiently and systematically killed off.  This serves as a pretty good basis for this story, and I loved getting to know the various characters, as well as seeing the cool and clever investigation angle that forms around it as the FBI attempt to find the killer.  Swanson sets the entire narrative/mystery up extremely well, and there are some very clever moments at the start as important clues and hints are laid down for the observant reader.

The first few kills come quick to set the rest of the characters into a panic, and once you get to the third or fourth person on the list you start to have an idea of what the killer is after.  I felt that the novel started to get really good towards its centre, as there are some big surprises as certain events really did not turn out the way I expected.  Once a particularly massive and game-changing twist occurred, I was absolutely hooked and I honestly powered through the remainder of the novel extremely quickly.  The following plot falls into place extremely well, and I loved seeing the entire mystery unfold, especially as Swanson keeps the twists coming as more of the characters you get to know are targeted by the killer.  While I was able to see elements of the solution from a distance, I was pleasantly surprised by several reveals towards the end, and I really appreciated how well Swanson set everything up throughout the novel.  The book comes to an excellent end reminiscent of a certain classic crime novel, and readers will come away very satisfied with how this standalone read turned out.  I did think that Swanson went a twist too far, as a big reveal in the last four pages was completely unnecessary and the book would have honestly been better if the author had just left it out.  Still, this was a really impressive and fun mystery, and I had an absolutely brilliant time getting through it.

There are a lot of fun elements to this book that really help enhance the story and turn Nine Lives into an excellent read.  However, my favourite is probably the way that Swanson turns it into a massive homage to a specific classic murder mystery novel.  While I won’t reveal which one, I will say that Swanson did an extremely good job of utilising its iconic elements throughout Nine Lives.  Just like he did in Rules for Perfect Murders, Swanson provides a detailed examination of this classic novel through his character’s eyes, especially once they themselves start to realise the similarities between it and their own situation.  These similarities are slightly more subtle at the start of the book, but by the time you get to the end the homages are very striking and cleverly tie into some of Nine Lives’ big moments.  These intriguing connections and clever recycling of story and writing elements from this iconic crime fiction novel worked really well in Nine Lives, and I felt that it complemented the rest of Swanson’s story perfectly, helping to turn it into a particularly great read.  Swanson also throws in some references and discussions about similar notable mystery novels at various parts of Nine Lives to throw the author around and to highlight his passion for the classics.  I love how the author takes the time to reference his personal favourites in his own works, and hardcore crime fiction fans and aficionados of classic murder mystery novels will no doubt have a blast seeing how Swanson utilises parts from a famous novel throughout Nine Lives.

I also loved the fantastic characters contained within Nine Lives, and Swanson achieves quite a lot with them.  Even though there are 10 or more point of view protagonists in a relatively short novel, Swanson ensures that each character stands out.  I felt that each protagonist was set up extremely well and they have their own quirks and back stories.  You swiftly get to know all the main characters as the book progresses, even with the quick changes between perspectives, and once you have made a good dent into the book, the reader finds themselves getting attached to several of them.  There are some great character arcs featured throughout the novel, and I liked how these distinctive characters came together and interacted.  The focus on FBI agent Jessica Winslow, herself a person on the list, works to set up the investigative angle of the novel, and her storyline goes in some very interesting directions.  I also quite enjoyed the intriguing storyline around Ethan Dart and Caroline Geddes, who meet because of the list and form a moving, if inevitably tragic, relationship.  The antagonist is also set up brilliantly throughout the novel and I found their motivations and methods to be expertly portrayed and explored as the narrative continues.  None of these characters are perfect or particularly have their life together, and it fascinating to see how a random list of names can change this for better, or more likely, for worse.  Swanson really does some great character work in Nine Lives, just don’t get too attached as your favourites may not survive.

Peter Swanson continues his entertaining and unique blend of crime fiction with the extremely clever and highly addictive Nine Lives.  Featuring a compelling, wide-ranging mystery and some brilliant references to classic murder mysteries, Nine Lives proves to be highly entertaining and memorable read, and I really had fun getting through it.  A great novel to fulfil all your murder mystery needs, Nine Lives comes highly recommended and will not disappoint.

Top Ten Tuesday – My Favourite MCU Shows (Disney+) Ranked (2022)

I mentioned in my previous Top Ten Tuesday list that I really had Marvel on the mind at the moment.  While this is mostly because of the recent Doctor Strange movie, a lot of it also has to do with the recent finale of the Moon Knight television show on Disney+.  This, and other brilliant television additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), have been incredibly fun, and served as an excellent compliment to the continued movies.  As such, I thought I would do a double Marvel feature this Top Ten Tuesday and have a go at ranking the MCU television shows from my least favourite to most.  I will be excluding some previous shows like Agents of Shield, various Netflix series, and other shows like Runaways from this list, as they aren’t considered canon, and I will instead focus my efforts on the shows released on Disney+, which tie directly into the films.  This proved to be another fun listing exercise for me, and it was interesting to see how some of these shows compared to each other.  Just like with the movie MCU list, all entries on this list, even those on the bottom, are leaps and bounds above some other television shows out there and are all really worth checking out.

 

Spoiler warning below

List (Ranked – Reverse Order):

6. What If…?

What If Poster

The first entry on this list is the animated series What If…?  Based on a classic Marvel comic that envisions unique scenarios within the universe if key details were changed.  This concept is unleashed upon the MCU with dramatic results, with nine unique stories coming to light.  The awesome and unique stories include one where Peggy Carter becoming Captain Britain, Black Panther become Star Lord instead of Peter Quill, an alternate history for Killmonger, Party Thor, Marvel Zombies and more, resulting in amazing episodes, and there is even a compelling ongoing storyline contained throughout the series.  Featuring most of the key MCU actors returning to their roles (as well as a few stand-ins), and introducing Jeffrey Wright as the Watcher, this is a brilliantly voiced series with some impressive animation.  I deeply enjoyed some of the great stories contained within, especially as they range between horror and humour from week to week.  All bring something different to the table, such as a poignant final performance by Chadwick Boseman, a terrifying zombie tale, and the incredibly tragic Doctor Strange episode that sees a corrupted Doctor Strange trapped in a broken universe by himself.  All nine episodes were really good, and elements from them were recently featured in the new Doctor Strange movie, and will no doubt be referenced again in the future.  A second season is on its way this year, and I am looking forward to more unique stories, as well as a conclusion to some of the existing tales.

 

5. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Poster

The first live-action entry on this list is the exciting spy thriller story, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which sees Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan return to their iconic MCU roles.  With Captain America gone, these two characters, and more, try to step into his shadow while dealing with the threat of the anarchist Flagsmashers.  I had a lot of fun with the high-concept action scenes, the great chemistry between its leads, the return of Baron Zemo, and the final reveal of Mackie’s new Captain America persona.  However, despite all the potential going in, this show fell short in several places.  It was far shorter than it needed to be (an annoying trend with the Disney+ shows), and the final episodes felt extremely rushed as a result.  This series needed two or three additional episodes to tell this story properly, and the hurried finale ended the series on a poor note, doing away much of the good of the preceding five episodes.  In addition, I really didn’t care about the return of Emily VanCamp’s Sharon Carter, and the reveal about her being the Power Broker was pretty weak.  Despite this, Erin Kellyman does serve as a great antagonist, and Wyatt Russell’s John Walker was a brilliant addition, especially as you see his slow slip into darkness.  Daniel Brühl was finally able to do Baron Zemo some justice in this show, potentially leading to some fun appearances in the future.  However, they really need to scrap Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s character now, as her two appearances don’t seem to be leading anywhere fast.  While this was a good show, I ended up being a little disappointed with how it turned out, as it could have been so much better.

 

4. Hawkeye

Hawkeye Poster

The witty and compelling Hawkeye finally puts a spotlight on the only original Avenger not to have their own movie.  Jeremy Renner returns as a beat-up and mostly retired Hawkeye, who is forced to deal with the fallout of his Ronin persona from Endgame when Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop discovers his old costume.  Chased by the mob and several dangerous killers, Barton and Bishop need to work together while Bishop begins her training to become the new Hawkeye.  Strongly based on one of the better recent Hawkeye comic series, this was an incredibly fun show that was played for humour, while also featuring plenty of action, epic trick-arrow scenes, and some great emotional moments.  Renner is his usual excellent self here, and it was great to see Hawkeye living in regret for his various mistakes in Endgame.  Steinfeld is easily the star of the show, though, serving as a Hawkeye fan who meets her hero and becomes his protégé.  Steinfeld brings some fantastic energy to the role, and her excellent introduction and great humour ensures she’ll be a welcome fixture in the MCU for several years.  Her scenes with Florence Pugh’s Yelena are easily some of the highlights of the show, with the two playing off each other perfectly, and I demand that these two characters get their own show or movie as soon as possible.  Pugh also has some deep moments with Renner, and I loved the scene where the two characters confront each other over the dead Black Widow.  The rest of the cast is pretty good as well, with Alaqua Cox, Vera Farmiga and Fra Fee all having great moments within the series.  However, I have to say that they absolutely wasted Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin in this show.  While the hints about his appearance were great, he ended up being substantially underutilised, and it seems a shame that he went down so easily in the one episode he appeared in.  Hawkeye also felt a little rushed towards the end (less than The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but still noticeable), and it really needed at least one additional episode to tell a much more complete story.

 

3. Moon Knight

Moon Knight Poster

The latest MCU television offering is the exceedingly clever and distinctive Moon Knight.  Featuring the impressive Oscar Isaac as the titular Moon Knight, this series follows a man with multiple personalities who becomes a champion of vengeance for an ancient Egyptian god.  Containing a taut and impressive story that does a great job introducing new elements to the MCU, Moon Knight is a really cool series that proves to be quite addictive.  With some awesome and clever elements, including a look at contemporary Egypt and its culture, this show has one of the more distinctive feels, especially with some of that cool Egyptian music that was played throughout the show.  The real joy is easily the brilliant Oscar Isaac, who portrays various distinctive personalities as his character suffers from dissociative identity disorder.  Isaac masterfully morphs between personas and voices as the show continues, and it is so much fun seeing him act against himself.  The rest of the cast is pretty small, with May Calamawy serving as the female lead, playing second fiddle to three separate versions of Oscar Isaac (still she becomes the MCU’s resident Egyptian superhero).  Ethan Hawke is a pretty sinister villain, while F Murray Abraham has an outstanding go at voicing the possessing Egyptian god.  This show has so much going for it, it was a shame that the sixth episode was again rushed, with a chaotic battle thrown in for dramatic effect, which really altered the pacing of the whole series.  While I liked some of the twists, especially in the post-credit scene, I really think this show could have benefitted from at least one more episode to really wrap the story up perfectly.  Still, it sets up future Moon Knight appearances really well and I can’t wait for another season or a feature film soon.

 

2. Loki

Loki Poster

Beating Moon Knight into second place by only a hair is Loki, and that is mainly because of the incredible performance from the titular character.  Tom Hiddleston is back in the role he made his own, and this time he’s not alone.  Captured by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) for crimes against the timeline, Loki is drafted into finding a rogue version of himself who is hunting down TVA agents.  This eventually brings him into conflict with the being at the centre of the TVA, who is keeping time trapped for their own nefarious purposes.  Hiddleston absolutely shines in this role again, and it was so much fun to have a Loki focused story, especially as you get some major and noticeable character growth from him.  He is joined by outstanding actor Sophia Di Martino who plays a female, alternate version of Loki, known as Sylvie.  These two Lokis play off each other extremely well, and the unique relationship that forms between them is awesome (although somewhat disturbing if you stop to think about it).  Throw in an exceptional performance from Owen Wilson, several distinctive and utterly hilarious alternate versions of Loki, as well as your first look at the Phase’s big-bad villain, Jonathan Majors’ Kang/He Who Remains, and you have quite an excellent show.  While this one did fit better into its six-episode spread, the introduction of Jonathan Majors’ character in the final episode was a tad rushed, but it leads into the upcoming second season really well, as well as heralding a ton of cool multiverse elements.  I am deeply excited for the next season of Loki, and it is going to be pretty damn epic.

 

1. WandaVision

WandaVision Poster

Easily taking out the top spot is the incredible and exceedingly entertaining WandaVision.  I must admit, when they announced the initial slate for the MCU television shows, the one I was least interested in was WandaVision.  Not only did the entire concept sound weird but Wanda and Vision had been two of the least impressive Avengers at that point and I was uncertain that a show around them would work.  Well, boy was I wrong as WandaVision turned out to be one of the best pieces of media associated with the MCU.  Starting off as a clever and fun homage to classic American sitcoms, the show slowly gets darker and darker as you begin to realise just how messed up the situation is.  Watching the mental decline of Wanda and the Vision’s growing realisation that everything about his current life is a lie is so damn captivating, and the entire story comes together beautifully, especially as the creative team gave it a full nine-episode run that allowed them to tell a rich and powerful story.  However, it’s the cast that really make this special, with leads Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany giving their best performances in the MCU with their complex and damaged characters.  The rest of the cast is pretty exceptional, with Kat Dennings, Teyonan Parris, Randall Park and even a brilliantly returned Evan Peters doing an amazing job here.  However, the star supporting character is the talented Kathryn Hahn as the delightfully sinister Agatha Harkness, an evil witch who turns out to be one of the most entertaining villains in the entire MCU (she definitely has the best theme song).  This show was an incredible first entry into this phase of MCU television, and it not only perfectly followed up Wanda and Vision’s story from Avengers: Endgame but it also serves as a great lead into their future appearances, such as in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.  An exceptional show that highlights just how awesome and exceptional a comic book television series can be.

 

 

Well, that’s the end of this list.  As you can see, I’ve had a lot of fun with all the above television series, and I am really pleased with how the current slate of MCU shows have turned out, even if most of them could have used a couple of extra episodes each.  I am pretty happy with how the above list turned out, and I think it is an accurate representation about my current rankings for the show.  This will be another list I will probably come back to in a year or so, especially as there are multiple cool new shows coming out on Disney+ soon, as well as new seasons of Loki and What If…?.  I am particularly keen for She-Hulk, which not only has a great cast, but will also have a full 10 episode run time.  Secret Invasion, Ironheart, Echo, Agatha: House of Harkness, and Armor Wars all sound like they have a ton of potential and should turn out to be excellent shows that I will deeply enjoy.  I am a tad less keen on the upcoming Ms. Marvel show, but I am willing to be pleasantly surprised by it.  Let me know what you think of my rankings and let me know which one of the above shows are your favourites in the comments below.

Top Ten Tuesday – The Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies (Ranked – May 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.  The official task for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday was for participants to talk about their favourite Bookish Characters.  While this was an interesting and unique topic, I was in a real Marvel mood (I’m sure most people can work out why) and I decided to do instead update a list from last year.

I am sure that it will come to now surprise to anyone who has read some of my posts that I am a major fan of all things comic related, which includes the fabulous works coming out of Marvel.  I have an outstanding amount of love for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney’s juggernaut film franchise that brings some of the most iconic Marvel Comics characters to life in their own distinctive universe.  As such, last year I spent a significant amount of time ranking all the MCU movies from my least to most favourite.  This was a pretty interesting experience, especially considering the overall quality of the franchise, and it proved surprisingly hard to figure out which ones I liked more than others.  Nonetheless, I endured and ended up with a massive list that fit my then current views of the MCU.

Since that first list, a few more MCU movies have been released, including an absolute ripper of a Spider-Man film, as well as a trippy new Doctor Strange movie just out last week.  I had a lot of fun watching all of them, and I thought that this would be a good time to redo the list and chuck in the new films.  Naturally, this was a much easier experience than the original list, especially as most of the films stayed in the same position that they were last time.  I was able to slot the new films in fairly easily (new films highlighted in red), and I already had a pretty good idea of where they needed to go.  I also chose to make a couple of minor adjustments to the existing list, mainly because I have re-evaluated my opinions about one or two films and moved them around a little.  This hasn’t impacted the overall list too much, but I think it fits my current thoughts on the entire franchise a lot better.  So, let’s have a look and see how the current 28 films in this franchise currently stack up.

Spoiler warning below

List (Ranked – Reverse Order):

28. The Incredible Hulk

The_Incredible_Hulk

I want to make something clear: The Incredible Hulk is not a bad movie. It is actually pretty watchable, with an interesting cast, some decent graphics and an enjoyable story about the origins of the Hulk and his conflict with the military.  Despite this, it is probably the least enjoyable MCU film, and for that reason many people skip it or try to ignore it when doing an MCU marathon.  Edward Norton, while a fine actor, does not really click as Bruce Banner, and the later re-casting with Mark Ruffalo really highlights that.  In addition, he does not have any chemistry with Liv Tyler’s Betty Ross, who was a borderline damsel in distress (especially when compared to the strong women that dominated the early MCU films).  A pre-Modern Family Ty Burrell is underutilised as Doc Samson, a character that was never featured to its full potential (I want a raging, muscle-bound Ty Burrell with flowing green locks, dammit).  I liked Tim Roth as the villain (before he was CGI’d), and William Hurt (RIP) is a great Thunderbolt Ross.  While the movie starts off strong, I think it lost its way towards the end, and the CGI fight between the Hulk and the Abomination is sloppy, especially compared to most other MCU entries.  Still a solid comic film, but, unfortunately, something must take out the last spot.  My opinion of this might change in the future, especially with the upcoming She-Hulk series apparently going to be taking a lot from this early film.

27. Thor: The Dark World

Thor-_The_Dark_World_poster

I must admit that the only reason that this did not score lower than The Incredible Hulk was purely because of Tom Hiddleston’s performance, as he was at his Loki best.  Still, in comparison the rest of the MCU, this movie is not great, especially as it compounds many of the faults of the preceding Thor movie.  It has a weak story, and I am not a major fan of the portrayal of Asgard in this one (I laughed in scorn when the flying boat ships starting fighting the Dark Elves).  The cast, with the notable exception of Hiddleston, is also not amazing here.  Chris Hemsworth, while a better actor in this second film, is still playing Thor way too seriously, and he still lacks any great chemistry with a pregnant Natalie Portman, who was obviously unhappy to be involved at all.  While Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård and Idris Elba do bring some flair and thespian backbone, the film is very much let down by its villain.  Malekith is one of the worst villains in the MCU and is constantly overshadowed by Loki.  Despite this, The Dark World is still a fun film and has some great moments in it.  The death of Frigga is pretty heartbreaking, and the final fight sequence, while a bit random at times, is very entertaining, combining great visuals with some excellent comedy.  Let us also not forget that this was the first time Infinity Stones are mentioned, making Thor: The Dark World an important entry in the franchise, and one I can re-watch very easily.

26. Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man_and_the_Wasp_Complete_Poster

I was very disappointed by Ant-Man and the Wasp, as it should have been so much better than it was, and it ended up being another weak entry in the franchise.  Most of the comedy, character development and style are recycled from the first film without anything new being added.  In addition, the villains are extremely weak, with Hannah John-Kamen not bringing any strength to the character of Ghost, and Walton Goggins’s Sonny Burch is a very odd, if amusing, secondary antagonist.  This film does have its strengths.  It is visually beautiful, the main cast is great, with Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas keeping the amazing chemistry they had in the first film, and I especially loved Lilly’s expanded use in this film as The Wasp.  Michael Peña still shines as Luis, whose riffing long stories are so much fun to see.  While this is a fun movie, it suffers from being released less than three months after Infinity War.  The sheer expectations that people had going into Ant-Man and the Wasp really altered people’s perception, and I know I was hoping for a whole lot more, especially when the “snap” happened.  Still, the post credit scenes were great, and that clever question mark struck surprisingly hard.

25. Iron Man 2

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People were hoping for a film that could stand up to the first Iron Man, and unfortunately, Iron Man 2 just did not deliver.  Despite very strong performances from Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, and a newly cast Don Cheadle, this film was not as good as the first, relying too much on CGI and not enough on story.  Mickey Rourke’s villainous Whiplash was ok, if a bit overacted, but he was nothing to really write home about.  Still, this film has a lot of fun parts to it.  Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer was extremely zany and, as always, it was so much fun to see him perform (I am really hoping he comes back for Armor Wars).  In addition, this was also the film that gave us Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, a role she performed perfectly, especially with that epic corridor scene, although the character does develop into something better later.  An extremely fun action romp that I am actually pretty fond of, Iron Man 2 just does not live up to some of the other films out there, so it has a lower spot on this list.

24. Thor

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Thor is a fun movie that serves as a great introduction to some of the best characters in the MCU.  Unfortunately, it is a little rough compared to some of the later entries, which knocks it down a bit.  The film is a little too serious for its own good, perhaps thanks to director Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespearean approach, and while it has an amazing fish out of water story to it the scenes set in Asgard are over the top, and I am not the biggest fan of the way they turned the Asgardians into a science fiction race rather than a mythological one.  Still, the cast is very good, and it introduced Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston to a wider audience.  While an unnaturally blond Hemsworth was still finding his feet in this film, Hiddleston lays some great groundwork with Loki, setting him up perfectly and ensuring he would be a memorable and exceptional villain.  Natalie Portman fills the role as love interest well, although her chemistry with Hemsworth is a bit off.  Overall, this is a great film defined by the new Thor and Loki.

23. Eternals

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In 2021, Marvel tried to produce the next Guardians of the Galaxy-esque hit by adapting another relatively obscure comic team into a film with Eternals.  This new film saw a team of cosmic immortals, known as Eternals, attempt to guide humanity and save them from attacks by the rampaging Deviants.  An interesting concept with some unique ideas that introduce MCU fans to some of the weirder and wilder elements of the more cosmic Marvel comics, Eternals ended up being a pretty solid hit that I had a lot of fun with.  It has a great story that did a surprisingly good job of compressing a lot of complex ideas into a single film, while also massively expanding the universe in some fun ways.  Featuring a massive cast, this ended up being a big character-driven epic, and stars such as Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie and even the newly jacked and always hilarious Kumail Nanjiani gave great performances.  However, they were probably a bit too ambitious here, with way too many main characters complicating the narrative a bit.  Despite this, the story held together extremely well for most of its run, with several great twists around the Celestials and Ikaris.  The story did fall apart a bit towards the end, and I felt that it lacked a particularly great antagonist, even with the villain turn towards the end.  Still, it sets up a few great storyline and there was a pretty stacked set of post-credit scenes, including the first appearance of the new Blade.

22. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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Prepare to get your kung-fu on as Marvel brings its mega tribute to Chinese culture with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.  Another great recent film that seeks to introduce some fun new characters, Shang-Chi is a fast-paced action film that tells a great story about the titular Shang-Chi, a kung-fu master on the run from his powered crime-lord father who is suddenly brought back into the world he turned away from.  Featuring many, many references to Chinese culture and classic kung-fu films, Shang-Chi starts off fast with the iconic bus scene, before taking its fun characters into a great adventure story.  A guaranteed fun trip, I did think that the narrative was a bit too derivative of most other MCU films and there were honestly no big surprises or twists anyway through it.  However, the excellent cast of Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang and Tony Leung do wonders here, and I had so much fun seeing Ben Kingsley again.  I particularly loved the amusing chemistry between Liu and Awkwafina, and they served as a great buddy team, with a refreshing lack of forced romance (at least in this film).  The graphics are pretty cool throughout Shang-Chi (although the final battle could have been better lit), and I loved the great kung-fu fight scenes (although it needed a few more).  An overall great film, I think it gets a bit overrated by some MCU fans, but it’s one I would rewatch quite a few times.

21. Captain Marvel

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Though it is ranked a little lower, Captain Marvel is still an outstanding comic film.  The first Marvel film to feature a female superhero lead, this film needed to do a lot, while also being one of the unfortunate films to be released between Infinity War and Endgame.  Despite this pressure, it definitely delivered providing a well written, entertaining and clever film.  I deeply enjoyed the cool 1990s setting and the creative team do a great job bringing some fun nostalgia to the film, especially with the great music.  The twists about the Skrulls was also pretty clever, setting up some interesting stories for the future, and I liked how it tied into the origins of the Avengers team.  In addition, I reckon you will have a hard time finding anyone who was not moved by the Stan Lee tribute in the opening credits.  Brie Larson does a great job in the titular role, although I look forward to seeing her relax into it a bit more in future films.  Samuel L. Jackson was great as ever as Nick Fury, and the de-aging worked surprisingly well.  Ben Mendelsohn, Lashana Lynch and Annette Bening are all pretty awesome in this film, although I think Jude Law particularly shone as eventual villain Yon-Rogg.  Overall, the visuals and acting turn this into a good film, and the only reason it is lower on this list is the incredible competition from the future entries.

20. Doctor Strange

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Doctor Strange is an awesome movie with many cool features to it.  This includes the first-rate cast, with Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams and Tilda Swinton doing some fantastic work in this film, although Benedict Wong was a particular stand out for me.  I did think that Mads Mikkelsen’s villain, Kaecillius, was a bit under defined, and it seemed a bit of a waste chucking an actor of Mikkelsen’s calibre into such a role.  I also felt that Strange could have gone through a little more character development, as he keeps up his arrogant persona well after this film ends.  The story is also a tad unpolished, and I particularly thought that the rift between Strange and Baron Mordo was a little forced.  Despite all this, Doctor Strange is visually spectacular, and viewers are treated to a kaleidoscope of colour and movement every time magic is used.  This visual work really enhances the entire film and I think this was a pretty strong comic film.

19. Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Next we have the second Avengers ensemble movie.  Age of Ultron was another MCU film that had many expectations surrounding it before its release, especially after the success of the original Avengers film.  Director and writer Joss Whedon had to do a lot in this film, including introducing new characters, continuing existing storylines, and setting up future films.  Unfortunately, this proved just a little too much to pull off.  It is still a very good movie, with the all-star cast doing an outstanding job bringing their iconic characters to life, especially the veterans from the first Avengers film.  James Spader brings some real malevolence and humour to Ultron, although the villain’s use of a disposable CGI army was a bit unoriginal.  Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen both debut their characters extremely well, and while they are not as strong as they later proved to be in WandaVision, they are an interesting inclusion.  Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver is a little less impressive, especially as Evan Peters absolutely killed it as the same character in an X-Men film less than a year before.  The story is pretty fantastic, although it definitely suffers from the creative team trying to fit way too much into it, making it a weak or derivative in places.  In addition, it has one of the most pointless post-credits scenes in the entire series.  I did think the action sequences were very good, especially Hulk vs Iron Man, although I did think they spent a little too much time trying to recreate the feel of the original film.  Still, this an excellent film, and it serves as a major part of the franchise, even if it is outshined by every other Avengers film.

18. Black Widow

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I will admit that I did go into Black Widow with some slightly higher expectations brought on by a two-year drought in MCU films.  However, I still deeply enjoyed this movie, which finally gave Scarlett Johansson her own solo outing.  Anchored by a great cast, Black Widow was an exceptional film which did a great job highlighting the character’s mysterious origins and finally telling her story.  I was pretty hooked after its strong opening, especially after a sequence featuring a beautifully slowed down Smells Like Teen Spirit.  Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz are all outstanding, and I loved the unique family dynamic created between these main characters.  Despite this strong start, I did feel that the ending was rushed, and there is a certain two-week gap in the story that is still bugging me.  I was also not blown away by the villains, with Taskmaster and Dreykov being a little underwhelming.  Still, this was a great film, and I was just super glad that it finally came out.  If nothing else, this served as a brilliant introduction for Florence Pugh’s Yelena to the MCU, and I look forward to seeing more from her in the future, especially after her great performance in Hawkeye.

17. Captain America: The First Avenger

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Captain America is an excellent film that takes the MCU wackiness right into the centre of WWII.  This film features an impressive origin story that does the classic comics proud while also making use of a great cast of characters.  Chris Evans shines as Steven Rogers in this film, and I loved the transition from a weakling with a strong heart to the ultimate symbol of strength, goodness and freedom.  At the same time, you have an outstandingly evil Red Skull in Hugo Weaving, which I think perfectly balanced the entire film.  Add in the great supporting cast in Sebastian Stan, Hayley Atwell, Dominic Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci and Toby jones, and you have a pretty exceptional group of actors in the film (Richard Armitage, Jenna Coleman and Natalie Dormer also have small roles).  The story is very strong, and there are very few flaws or plot holes for it to stumble upon.  An overall outstanding film, this was one of the better entries in the early days of the MCU.

16. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

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The very latest film to drop, the second Doctor Strange film, directed by the weird and talented Sam Raimi, is one hell of a trip that will keep you guessing.  Featuring Strange as he explores Marvel’s current obsession, the multiverse, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness serves as a major entry in Phase Four that will no doubt be one of the key starting points to the next big story arc.  This awesome film has a trippy and intense narrative that sees the Scarlet Witch finally snap and try to take control of the multiverse, forcing Strange into several alternate universes to find help.  This story goes to some dark places, and there are some brilliant moments scattered throughout the film, including some visually stunning fight scenes and examples of magic.  Raimi also brilliantly taps into his horror repertoire to create some shocking and scary scenes, with several freaky moments really sticking in the mind.  Benedict Cumberbatch has another great outing here as a slightly arrogant Doctor Strange who is still living with the regret of his decisions, while the returning Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams all have excellent parts to play in the film.  However, the real star is Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, who absolutely blows the audience away with her intensity, her tragic story perfectly carried over from the awesome WandaVision, and some insane amount of power.  Throw in some excellent cameos from the multiverse, several of which hint at a bold future for the MCU, and you have a great film that is pretty damn epic, even if it didn’t live up to its entire potential.

15. Black Panther

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Featuring one of the best African American casts of all time, Black Panther was an exceptional film that combined a great character-driven story with some awesome visuals.  This film did a brilliant job bringing the nation of Wakanda to life, and I had a wonderful time exploring its advanced technology and compelling past.  The late great Chadwick Boseman is an outstanding Black Panther, continuing the great work he did in Civil War.  He is joined by the fantastic Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright and Winston Duke, who all bring their new amazing characters to life in a distinctive way.  Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis both make fantastic secondary appearances in this film, and I like the manic energy Serkis brings to the role of Ulysses Klaue.  One of the most noticeable stars of the film is Michael B Jordan as Killmonger, one of the best and most complex villains in the entire MCU.  All these wonderful performances are wrapped up in a fantastic story, with some amazing visual scenes.  The entire sequence in Busan is beautiful, and the final fight is pretty epic.  If I were to make a criticism of the film, it would be around the CGI rhinos; whose presence I think was just a little too ridiculous.  An overall exceptional film, you will be shouting “Wakanda forever” until you run out of breath.

14. Iron Man 3

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Director Shane Black had a lot of pressure to deliver the third and ultimately final Iron Man film immediately after the success of The Avengers.  Luckily, Iron Man 3 is pretty epic, and ends up being a very different film than some of the previous Iron Man movies, as Black presents a gritty, well-written tale around a traumatised Tony Stark.  This was a very clever techno-thriller, which plays off the damaged protagonist perfectly.  Downey Jr is once again exceptional in this film, and you get to see the Tony Stark beneath the snark and sarcasm.  With the usual great cast of supporting characters, as well as a couple of fun villains, this was a pretty cool film.  I personally enjoyed the twist with the Mandarin, and thought it was extremely clever and funny, although it was a controversial choice (I really hope Ben Kingsley has some sort of cameo in Shang-Chi).  While there is more of a focus on the story, there are still some outstanding action sequences, including the assault on the Stark Mansion and the final epic confrontation between the various suits and the Extremis soldiers.  I also very much liked the inclusion of the scenes were Stark has to use more low-tech methods to beat his enemies, and the multi-part suits add a lot of fun to the overall story.  An overall incredible film, I will admit I did not like this one too much when I first saw it, but several re-watches have really enhanced my opinion of it, pushing it above some of the great entries above.

13. Spider-Man: Far From Home

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This second Spider-Man film faced the daunting prospect of being released less than three months after Endgame.  However, despite all that pressure, Far From Home was an incredible film that continues to highlight one of the best portrayals of Spider-Man ever.  While not as good as Homecoming, Far From Home boasts an amazing narrative loaded with feels.  Featuring an uncertain Peter Parker still reeling from the death of his mentor and the legacy left behind, this story takes the protagonist on a whirlwind adventure in Europe.  Thanks to an outstandingly talented Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio, this film is loaded with great twists and false leads, and I loved how we were punked into believing this would be the start of the multiverse.  Tom Holland continues to shine as Spider-Man and I loved the boyish enthusiasm he brings to the role, as well as his sense of fun and duty.  Samuel L Jackson serves as a harsh, but intriguing mentor figure as Nick Fury, backed up by Cobie Smulders.  The recurring cast from the previous Spider-Man movie are still a lot of fun, with Zendaya serving as a great love interest, Jacob Batalon playing a romantically distracted Ned, Jon Favreau as a fun Happy Hogan, and you have to love Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson.  Another spectacular and amazing film, the epic post-credit scene sets up the third Spider-Man film beautifully.

12. Ant-Man

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What is it with Marvel casting comedic actors as fantastic action stars?  Paul Rudd was a surprising choice to play Ant-Man, but he ended up knocking the role out of the park, and Ant-Man was one of the funniest MCU movies ever.  I have a lot of love for this movie, from the great characters, wicked humour, intriguing origin tale, and the fact that this movie is essentially a super-powered heist story.  It features a fantastic cast, each of whom add so much to the tale, from Rudd’s excellent comedy, Evangeline Lilly’s badass Hope van Dyne, Michael Douglas’s take on iconic comic character Hank Pym, and Michael Peña’s hilarious Luis.  The real strength of this film is the outstanding size shifting, as Rudd and Corey Stoll’s villainous Yellowjacket shrink and grow throughout the film.  I was blown away by the really cool graphics surrounding the shrinking, and you have to laugh as a variety of items are shrunk and grown throughout the final climatic battle.  There was also a great appearance from Anthony Mackie as Falcon, and it is one of the more entertaining hero-on-hero fights out there.  An impressive and hilarious thrill ride that will have you chuckling the entire time.

11. Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2

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One of the most re-watchable films in the entire series is Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2.  This sequel is pure fun, bringing back the amazing elements that made people love the first film.  Featuring an outstanding cast, an unbelievably catchy musical score and another fantastic story, you are in for a lot of excitement.  The returning cast continue to seamlessly inhabit the roles they played in the first film, and it is impossible not to fall in love with Baby Groot.  Kurt Russell serves as a particularly good villain (just ignore the de-aging in the first scene), and I loved the eventual reveal of his true nature.  This movie is exciting from start to finish, with a bonkers finale that culminates in two godlike beings fighting with a range of creations, including Pacman.  However, the most memorable and touching part of the movie is the death of Michael Rooker’s Yondu Udonta, a scene guaranteed to make you cry, especially at the funeral with Father & Son playing.  Other highlights include five post-credit scenes, a unique and catchy credit song and one of the best David Hasselhoff cameos ever.  I honestly enjoyed this one just as much as the first, but due to a slightly weaker story and some lost character development, I have it slightly lower on the list.

10. Guardians of the Galaxy

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From the sequel to the original, the first Guardians of the Galaxy film clocks in at number nine.  While now an established part of the MCU and wider Marvel Comics, Guardians of the Galaxy was originally a bit of a gamble, as it featured a somewhat obscure group of Marvel characters.  Luckily, the gamble paid off, as director James Gunn produced an outstanding and memorable film, with its own unique style and humour.  Bringing together five excellent actors in the central roles, and expanding the borders of the MCU into space, there is so much going on in this epic movie.  The epic music gives the entire movie a touch of nostalgia, and several great acting careers were made thanks to this film.  A beloved and exceptional entry in this amazing franchise.

9. Spider-Man: Homecoming

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There have been many attempts to start a Spider-Man franchise over the years, but the most recent might be the most successful.  Following on from Civil War, Tom Holland brings Spider-Man to his own movie in Homecoming, which takes the character back to his roots as a high school student turned crime-fighter.  This is a sweet and compelling film that shows an eager Spider-Man attempting to rise to his potential.  Holland perfectly inhabits the character in a way few others have, and it was great to have a younger, fresher face to the iconic role.  This movie has a great story to it, and I loved the combination of wider conspiracy and the adventures of a teenage hero.  Michael Keaton is at his best as the Vulture, giving the character a very sinister edge, especially in that menacing car scene.  MCU newcomers Zendaya, Jacob Batalon and Tony Revolori all add so much to the movie’s humour, from Zendaya playing the snarky girl who is totally not watching Peter, to Batalon playing Ned, Peter’s guy in the chair.  I also love the use of Robert Downey Jr and Jon Favreau in this film, particularly as they start the fun tradition of having another hero mentoring Parker in one of the films.  A great and memorable film.

8. The Avengers

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Next we have the film that proved that a joint superhero franchise could work, The AvengersThe Avengers is possibly one of the most significant films in the entire MCU, due to the way it brought together the stars of the various introductory movies and forged a cohesive, team-based narrative around them.  Already established MCU stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L Jackson all perfectly bring their respective characters back and the various larger-than-life personalities have a wonderful time interacting with each other.  Hiddleston shines as the villainous Loki, adding more depth and madness to his already great character, crafting one of the best villains of all time.  In addition, the newly cast Mark Ruffalo proved it was possible for someone to do a good Hulk.  All these actors, characters and existing storylines come together perfectly and viewers are left with a sensational film with some amazing sequences to it.  While the front half of the movie is great, it really picks up steam in the second half, especially after one of the most tragic MCU moments (Coulson, nooooooo!!!).  The battle of New York was one of the most epic moments in film up at that point, and I loved director Joss Whedon’s use of continuous shots.  A perfect first introduction of The Avengers, this series could only go up from here.

7. Captain America: Civil War

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Sixth spot is given to the amazing third Captain America movie, Civil War.  Loosely based on the Marvel crossover comic of the same name, this film serves as a mini-Avengers movie, bringing in all the characters who appeared in Age of Ultron, as well as Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Winter Soldier and Black Panther.  Serving as a perfect introduction to several amazing characters (Spider-Man and Black Panther really shine here), there is such a good story behind this movie, especially as Captain America and Iron Man are manipulated into fighting each other.  Featuring several epic scenes, including that unbelievably awesome airport fight, and the final emotional battle between two former friends, you cannot leave Civil War without having your pulse raised to the max, especially in that iconic moment when Iron Man’s repulsor beam hits Cap’s shield.  The directors really focus on characters here, and there is so much amazing drama and development.  I do think that the villain, played by Daniel Brühl, was a little understated, but the rivalry between the two main heroes more than makes up for it.  Easily one of the most iconic films in the franchise.

6. Iron Man

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At number six, we go back to where this series started, with the first film, Iron Man.  This outstanding film completely revolutionised the superhero genre.  Featuring a perfectly cast Robert Downey Jr in the lead role, as well as a great group of supporting characters, this film captures the transition from playboy to a selfless hero.  With a tight, powerful story, this movie perfectly combines action, drama, and comedy to make an exceptional film.  The graphics are amazing and still hold up to this day, and there is a great gradual visual evolution of the Iron Man armour.  Despite there being no guarantee that this movie would succeed, the creative team manages to tell a great solo story, while also laying much of the groundwork for the wider MCU to come.  Not only did a surprise Samuel L Jackson cameo popularise the current trend of post-credit scenes, but there are several great references to characters and locations that would be used for years to come.  One of the best films in the franchise to focus on one superhero character, this is the film an entire franchise was built on, and boy did they chose an outstanding foundation stone.

5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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When Captain America: The Winter Soldier was announced, I do not think any of us were prepared for just how incredible this film would be.  In their first MCU film, the Russo brothers created one of the most thrilling espionage films in the entire franchise, with twist after twist layered into its captivating narrative.  Chris Evans reaches a whole new level in this film, and his usually naïve and wholesome Captain America is forced to get down into the dirt to defeat his enemies.  Making great use of franchise regulars Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L Jackson and Cobie Smulders, as well as a returning Sebastian Stan, this was an incredibly well cast movie.  I loved the introduction of Anthony Mackie’s Falcon, and it is always great to go back and see where the future Captain America’s journey begins.  Legendary actor Robert Redford is a pretty sinister villain, and I loved the change of pace for this great actor.  However, I must really highlight Stan’s turn as the Winter Soldier.  While I knew who would be behind the mask, it was still a fantastic portrayal of this great character, and you will be moved by his tragic plight.  There are so many epic moments to this movie, and I loved the big twist about Hydra and SHIELD that would change everything about this franchise (it was so good, it turned Agents of SHIELD into a completely different show).  A powerful and captivating film that is one of the absolute classics.

4. Thor: Ragnarok

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Now we have the formerly third ranked film, the fantastically hilarious Thor: Ragnarok.  I know many people, myself included, were unimpressed when they announced that they were doing a new Thor movie.  However, the moment the first trailer came out, I knew that this would be something different.  The brilliant, if insane, Taika Waititi used all his substantial creativity to produce a wild and crazy thrill ride which takes Thor on a bonkers adventure of self-discovery.  Killing off many of the worst elements of the first two films (sometimes literally; goodbye Warriors Three), and adding in more humour, fantastic actors and an outstanding story, Ragnarok instantly stood out from the other films in the franchise.  Waititi let Hemsworth unleash his full comedic potential in this film, ensuring that fans were laughing along with every sentence.  Cate Blanchett was a fantastically evil villain, while Tessa Thompson brought a drunken anger to the new character of Valkyrie, plus you cannot ignore the hilarious Korg.  Add in a returning Hulk, a teleporting Dr Strange, and the madness personified that is Jeff Goldblum, and you have a cast that is capable of outshining even Tom Hiddleston’s excellent Loki, although Hiddleston is still a hilarious treat with some of the best lines.  Despite this mainly being a comedy, Waititi adds in enough drama and some spectacular drama to hit the feels button, and you run the full range of emotions in this film.  Beautiful filmmaking at its best, you will spend this film laughing your head off at all the awesome jokes.

3. Spider-Man: No Way Home

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The final new entry on this list is easily one of the best films in the entire MCU, with Spider-Man: No Way Home.  I knew going in that I was going to love it, but even so I was blown away by how incredible it turned out to be.  One of the brightest parts of 2021, No Way Home serves as the ultimate homage to Spider-Man in film, while also starting the MCU’s slide towards the multiverse.  Following on from the exceptional post-credit scene in Far From Home, No Way Home sees Spider-Man’s secret identity revealed, forcing him to turn to Doctor Strange for help.  Their spell instead brings forth Spider-Man’s villains from alternate universes (previous Sony franchises), as well as a familiar couple of web-heads in Andrew Garfield and Toby Maguire in a particularly epic scene.  This entire movie is pretty damn perfect, with a brilliant, intense and emotionally rich narrative that sees the current Peter Parker face his darkest days and greatest challenges.  Everything, including the absolute wreck of the characters’ personal lives at the start, the unbelievable and unexpected turn of May taking on Uncle Ben’s role, the return of the iconic phrase “with great power, there must also come great responsibility”, and the emotional removal of everyone’s memories, is designed to move you, especially with the amazing team of assembled actors.  Not only does it feature an amazing cast of reoccurring baddies, including exceptional work from the always awesome Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina, but the supporting case of Zendaya, Jacob Batalon and Marisa Tomei shines like never before.  However, this movie belongs to the Spider-Men, with Tom Holland giving his best performance in the MCU, and the returning Garfield and Maguire able to give final justice to their most iconic characters.  The real joy of the film lays in the deep dive into all things Spider-Man, with so many references, call-backs, and jokes about the proceeding films.  This is emphasised when all three Spider-Men are on screen at the same time, with the jokes flying thick, while the three actors bring forth their best moments of their characters.  There are so many cool moments here in this film, and it was great to finally see all the lose ends and unresolved storylines come full circle (Garfield’s Spider-Man catching MJ for example).  The packed cinema I was in kept bursting into applause for good reason, and this was truly a brilliant film, even beating the exceptional Ragnarok out of third place.

2. Avengers: Endgame

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Topping No Way Home on this list is a pretty tall order, so let us bring in the highest grossing film of all time and the utter culmination of 11 years and 22 films, with Avengers: Endgame.  Following on from the epic conclusion of Infinity War, Endgame is set in a universe where half the universe has been turned to dust, including some of your favourite characters.  When an opportunity to reverse this is presented, the remaining heroes jump at the chance and find themselves facing the biggest battle of their lives.  There is so much that is epic and awesome about this film, from the continued use of the amazing extended MCU cast, to the sheer tragic sadness that inhabits the world after so much loss and defeat.  Each of the surviving characters is caught up in their grief and helplessness, resulting in many different forms, including Ronin Hawkeye and fat Thor (a brilliant comedic choice that is just so hilarious and unexpected).  This film has literally every major hero from the franchise, and more, come together, and the amazing Russo brothers manage to ensure every single one of them gets their moment and no-one is overlooked.  There is an amazing story to this film, raging from time travel adventure to epic battle for survival, with several characters’ journey in the MCU coming to an end.  I challenge anyone not to react during the two big scenes at the end (He is Worthy, and Avengers Assemble), and you will leave this film breathless and in utter joy and happiness.  A worthy and exceptional film that nearly topped the entire list.

1. Avengers: Infinity War

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That leaves only one film left at the top, and for me the absolute best film in the entire MCU film series is Avengers: Infinity War.  This was a hard choice to make, and while I could have easily moved up Endgame due to shear epicness, I felt Infinity War was the stronger movie.  Not only does it bring together the events of the previous MCU films perfectly, showing fun new character interactions and fights, but it has an incredible and powerful story backed up with an exceptional cast and some amazing visuals.  There are so many cool moments to this film, and very few things you could criticize.  In addition to the outstanding and massive returning cast of characters, James Brolin absolutely shined as Thanos, and this film cemented him as one of the greatest film villains of all time.  Viewers knew that they were going to experience some heartbreak with this film, but nothing quite prepared you for seeing the tragic deaths of several characters, especially Gamora.  Top it off with that memorable and heart-breaking ending, where the villain actually wins and your favourite characters are dusted right before your eyes.  I think every single person left this movie in shock and awe, and there was no way that I could place any other film higher on this list.

Well, that is the end of that list.  I think that I chose pretty wisely when it came to updating my rankings, and this is how I would truly rate each and every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Now, I know that not everyone is going to agree with my ratings (heck I would be extremely surprised if anyone else had the exact same order I do), so feel free to share your feelings in the comments below, and I look forward to seeing which films you enjoyed.  I will probably revisit this list again next year, especially with the new MCU films coming out between now and then, and it will be extremely interesting to see where the upcoming MCU films end up ranking.  I am particularly keen for Thor: Love and Thunder, which has the potential to be even better than the impressive Ragnarok and will probably be the best film of 2022.  Of the next batch coming out, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has immeasurable potential, while Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will probably be another fun romp with major, multiverse implications.  I am a little uncertain how Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will turn out without Chadwick Boseman, and The Marvels isn’t exactly wowing me yet, although that might change after the upcoming Ms. Marvel show comes still.  No matter what though, I am excited for the upcoming films, and I can’t wait to see how they rank on this list.

Top Ten Tuesday – My Favourite Star Wars Novels (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.  The official topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday was to provide one-word reviews the last 10 books I have read.  While this was a rather interesting topic, I have done something a little different and instead decided to focus on something more Star Wars orientated.

As many of you may be aware, this week contains the annual celebration of all things Star Wars with May the Fourth, better known as Star Wars day.  I am a pretty massive fan of the Star Wars franchise (just check out my extended Star Wars category on the side of this page), and in recent years have really fallen in love with the various aspects of its extended universe, including the films, television shows, animated series, comics and of course the tie-in novels.  Each year multiple cool and complex novels are released with impressive connections to the extended Star Wars universe covering various periods of the canon and beyond.  I have had an absolute brilliant time reading some of the very best of these tie-in novels over the years and there are some excellent and powerful adventures featured in these awesome books.  Due to how much I enjoy these books, I have decided to celebrate May the Fourth this year by once again highlighting my top ten favourite Star Wars novels.  This is a continuation of several lists I have done in recent years, including two I did last year about Star Wars novels and Star Wars comics.

To pull this list together I looked at all the Star Wars novels I have read (or listened to in its audiobook format) over the years and tried to determine what my absolute favourites were.  I slightly cheated in places by featuring whole trilogies, particularly those with really well-connected storylines, as a single entry, although I don’t feel too guilty about that.  This allowed me to pull together quite a comprehensive list, as well as my typical generous Honourable Mentions section.  I am pretty happy with how this list came together, especially as there are some interesting changes from my previous entries, and I think that this list fully highlights my absolute favourite Star Wars tie-in novels.  So let us see what makes the cut.

Honourable Mentions:

Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber

deathtrooperscover

A fun and terrifying Star Wars horror novel that features zombies chasing after Han and Chewie.  An entertaining read best enjoyed in its audiobook format, which has some very disturbing sound effects.

 

Doctor Aphra by Sarah Kuhn

Doctor Aphra Audio Cover

A captivating and well-produced full cast audio production that looks at the unique and always amusing character of Doctor Chelli Aphra, the rogue space archaeologist and conwoman.  An audio reproduction of storylines from the Darth Vader (2015) comic (see my reviews for Volume 1: Vader, Volume 2: Shadows and Secrets, and the Vader Down limited series), Doctor Aphra perfectly captures the titular character in all her conniving glory and it is an extremely amusing listen.

 

Maul: Lockdown by Joe Schreiber

Star Wars - Maul - Lockdown Cover

A brutal and action-packed prison story featuring a young Darth Maul involved in broadcast death fights.  What is there not to love?

 

The High Republic: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule

Star Wars - Light of the Jedi Cover

A brilliant and powerful introduction to the new High Republic sub-series, set hundreds of years before the Skywalker Saga.  This was an excellent novel and a must read for anyone interested in checking out the current focus of the Star Wars extended universe.

Top Ten List:

Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn

Thrawn Trilogy

Let’s start this list off with the epic trilogy of books that follow one of the best characters in the Star Wars extended canon, the Thrawn trilogy.  Made up of Thrawn, Alliances and Treason, these amazing books follow the Imperial career of Grand Admiral Thrawn in the current Disney canon.  Written by the legendary Timothy Zahn, who reinvents his greatest fictional creation for a new age, this series featured a brilliant central character, impressive storylines, and some intense and well-written space battle sequences.  It is so much fun to see the ultimate tactician go against the very worst the galaxy has to throw at him, and this ended up being a particularly awesome trilogy.

 

Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy by Timothy Zahn

Thrawn Ascendancy Trilogy Covers

Zahn followed up this initial Thrawn trilogy in a big way with the epic Thrawn Ascendancy prequel trilogy.  Featuring three great books, Chaos Rising, Greater Good and Lesser Evil, the Thrawn Ascendancy novels showcase a younger Thrawn as he battles to save his home system from a relentless and multi-pronged alien invasion.  Containing all the best elements of the Thrawn trilogy, as well as some intensive and detailed universe building that bears noticeable connections to the author’s previous work in the Legends extended universe, this is another exceptional trilogy that is well worth reading.

 

Alphabet Squadron trilogy by Alexander Freed

Alphabet Squadron Cover

Alexander Freed recently wrote one of the strongest and most emotionally charged Star Wars trilogies with his exceptional Alphabet Squadron books.  Made up of Alphabet Squadron, Shadow Fall and Victory’s Price, this incredible trilogy followed five unique New Republic fighter pilots in the aftermath of Return of the Jedi, as they attempt to finish off the Imperial remnant.  This trilogy perfectly follows its five damaged and despairing central characters, as well as several morally grey Imperial characters, as they all seek redemption and deliverance in their own unique way.  Featuring some blistering and epic fighter combat sequences, as well as some of the best Star Wars character development you are ever likely to see, the Alphabet Squadron novels are extremely good, with Victory’s Price (one of my favourite books and audiobooks of 2021) serving as an intense and unbeatable finale.

 

Dark Disciple by Christie Golden

Star Wars Dark Disciple Cover

Prepare to dive into the Dark Side of the Force with the excellent Dark Disciple from tie-in fiction extraordinaire Christie Golden.  Serving as a follow-up to The Clone Wars animated series (it is based on several unproduced episodes), this novel follows two fan-favourite characters from the extended universe, Quinlan Vos and Asajj Ventress, as they attempt to assassinate Count Dooku.  Containing an intense character-driven narrative that sees both protagonists at their very worst, Dark Disciple provides some intriguing closure to fans of The Clone Wars, as well as an exceptional story.

 

Kenobi by John Jackson Miller

Star Wars - Kenobi Cover

An intriguing and unique Star Wars Legends novel that is probably going to get some more attention in the next few weeks, Kenobi is a new addition to this list, but one that is very well deserved.  Written by the insanely talented John Jackson Miller, Kenobi follows the titular character in the immediate aftermath of Revenge of the Sith, as he attempts to settled down on Tatooine.  However, trouble is always around the corner for this former Jedi, and Kenobi soon finds himself involved in a brewing war between the Tuscan Raiders and local farmers.  Containing a great, outside look as this iconic character during his darkest days, Kenobi is an impressive read that may serve as an influence for the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi show.

 

The High Republic: The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott

Star Wars - The Rising Storm Cover

While Light of the Jedi serves as a great introduction to the High Republic books, I think that the current best entry in this fantastic sub-series is the intense and captivating The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott.  Continuing many great storylines from the first book, The Rising Storm sees the villainous Nihil raid the high-profile Republic Fair in a brazen public attack.  Containing scenes of utter chaos, as well as some outstanding character development, The Rising Storm serves as a perfect middle novel for the first High Republic phase and was a deeply captivating and powerful read.

 

Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp

Lords of the Sith Cover

An indisputable fact about the Star Wars universe is that some of the very best stories are all about the franchise’s amazing villains, and Lords of the Sith is an impressive example of this.  Following the characters of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, Lords of the Sith pits these legendary Dark Side users against rebels, monsters and traitors, all of whom are set on killing them.  Featuring an addictive story and some entertaining depictions of the Sith Lord’s destructive powers, skills and malevolence, Lords of the Sith is a brilliant read that will try to tempt you to the Dark Side.

 

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Star Wars Scoundrels Cover

While Zahn is best known for his epics around Thrawn, he has also written some thrilling standalone novels, such as the excellent Star Wars Legends novel Scoundrels.  Essentially a Star Wars heist novel, Scoundrels sees Han, Chewie, Lando and several of their villainous compatriots attempt to pull off the ultimate theft, while also facing gangsters, Imperial agents and multiple betrayals from within.  An outstanding novel that showcases just how good a crime fiction novel in the Star Wars universe can be, this is an exceptional read I cannot praise enough.

 

Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray

Master & Apprentice Cover

I am a major fan of this awesome novel from a few years ago by Claudia Gray.  Master & Apprentice tells a powerful story of the early relationship between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi as they investigate strange occurrences around an upcoming coronation.  Providing a deep dive into both these key characters, this was a moving and intense novel that is really worth checking out.

 

Darth Plagueis by James Luceno

Star Wars - Darth Plagueis Cover

The final entry on this list is the intriguing and comprehensive Star Wars Legends novel, Darth Plagueis.  Written by the talented James Luceno, Darth Plagueis tells the entire story of the mysterious Darth Plagueis the Wise, including his complex relationship with his ambitious apprentice, Darth Sidious.  A clever novel that connects to multiple parts of the now defunct Legends canon, Darth Plagueis is a must read for all hardcore fans who love detailed Star Wars lore, and a potential source of great inspiration for anyone attempting to bring Plagueis to life in the future.

 

 

This latest version of the list looking at my favourite Star Wars tie-in novels contains some fantastic reads and really covers the full spectrum of what a Star Wars story can achieve or contain.  All the entries above are very epic reads and come highly recommended to anyone who wants to get into the Star Wars genre.  This will probably be a list I come back to this time next year and it will be interesting to see how much it changes in the meantime.  There are some outstanding Star Wars books coming out in the next few months (Brotherhood and Shadow of the Sith, for example), as well as some other great Star Wars books from this year I am yet to check out, all of which I could easily see being added to this list next year.  There are also a ton of older Star Wars novels I need to read as I have heard some epic stuff about some of them (Battlefront: Twilight Company, A New Dawn, Outbound Flight, Razor’s Edge and Honor Among Thieves are all high on my to-read list).  I could honestly see this list expanding out to a top 20 list in the future, which is a whole lot of Star Wars books.  Let me know which Star Wars tie-in novel is your favourite in the comments below and as always, May the Fourth be with you!

Top Ten Tuesday – My Favourite Books with Dragons on the Cover

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 are tasked with listing their top books that have covers with a specific design element chosen by the blogger, for example books with certain colours, items or animals on their cover.  I thought that this was a pretty clever idea for a topic and I decided to go big with it and choose book covers that have the ultimate animal for my list, dragons.

Let’s face it, we all love dragons!  They are some of the coolest creatures in mythology, with multiple cultures having their own version or alteration of the dragon in their storytelling traditions.  Due to how iconic there are, the use of dragons in storytelling naturally transferred itself across to the world of fantasy fiction, becoming one of the most classic and well utilised monsters or companion creatures in books and movies, such as The Hobbit and the A Song of Ice and Fire series.  As such there are multiple book covers out there that feature dragons to some degree and I was curious to see which ones amongst them were my favourite.

To pull this list together, I had a think about all the best books that featured cool dragon-related cover art.  There were quite a few of these awesome, dragon-covered novels so I decided to limit myself to only using books that I have actually read.  In addition, because dragon-centric series tend to use images of the creatures across multiple entries, I will limit myself to one novel from each franchise, just to create a bit of variety.  This still leaves me with a pretty impressive collection of novels to choose from and I had to do some severe cutting to get it down to a top ten list with my typical honourable mentions section.  I think the list turned out pretty well as there are some great novels below with awesome dragon imagery on their covers.

I will quickly note that I did have a couple of issues finding good quality pictures of some of the relevant covers I wanted to feature here, particularly for some of the older novels, but I have still tried to feature them as best I can.  Apologies in advance if some of them don’t turn out perfect.

Honourable Mentions

The Voyage of the Forgotten by Nick Martell

The Voyage of the Forgotten Cover 2

I love the cover but chose to only feature this as an honourable mention as the book hasn’t come out yet.

 

A Darkness at Sethanon by Raymond E. Feist

A Darkness at Sethanon Cover

A couple of the alternate covers for this great book feature dragons on them, but this was the best looking one of them.

 

She Who Became the Sun by Shelly Parker Chan

She Who Became the Sun Cover

 

Usagi Yojimbo: The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy by Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy

A great use of a dragon in the cover, even if the dragon in the title is more of a metaphor for firearms.

Top Ten List:

The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne

The Shadow of the Gods Cover

An incredible novel with an incredible cover.  Easily one of the best uses of dragons in cover art that you are likely to ever see.

 

Dragonslayer by William King

Dragonslayer Cover Combined

This fantastic Warhammer tie-in novel is spoiled for choice when it comes to dragons on its various covers.

 

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Guards! Guards! Cover 2

One of the best Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, I love how well the dragon is used, both in this original cover, and in the novel’s exceedingly clever mystery.

 

Black Leviathan by Bern Perplies

Black Leviathan Cover

An extremely epic and distinctive cover for a fun action fantasy novel.  Black Leviathan, which is the English edition of Perplies’s original, German novel, The Dragon Hunter, actually has two fantastic cover variants with dragons on them, although I think the one the English version shown above is a lot more visually impressive.

Black Leviathan alternate cover

 

The Bone Ships by R. J. Barker

The Bone Ships Cover

All three books in Barker’s The Tide Child trilogy featured iconography of the series’ water-dragons, but I think the first entry, The Bone Ships, looks the best.

 

Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Eldest Cover

You can’t have a dragon-based list without featuring an entry from Paoloini’s Inheritance Cycle.  All four novels in this series featured dragons on their cover, although I think that this cover from Eldest was the most striking.

 

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree Cover

A very beautiful cover for this complex and intricate fantasy novel.

 

Warcraft: Day of the Dragons by Richard A. Knaak

Warcraft - Day of the Dragon Cover

Several great Warcraft and World of Warcraft tie-in novels feature dragons on their covers, but my favourite of these is Day of the Dragons by Richard A. Knaak, which was an awesome story.

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Cover

Was there ever a chance I wasn’t going to feature this classic cover on this list? Of course not.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Cover 2

 

Dragonclaw by Kate Forsyth

Dragonclaw Cover

The original cover of the first entry in Australian author Kate Forsyth’s The Witches of Eileanan series, Dragonclaw, had a great dragon picture on it, and it serves as an excellent first impression of an amazing fantasy book.

 

 

Well, that’s my list.  As you can see there are some incredible books out there that make great uses of dragons on their covers.  All the above novels are really good, and you will have an incredible time reading them, while also appreciating their stunning, dragon-filled covers.  I had a lot of fun coming up with this list, and I will have to think about replicating it with another creature, item or colour in the future.  In the meantime, let me know what your favourite books with dragons on the cover are in the comments below.

Top Ten Tuesday – Favourite Films/Film Series Based on Books

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 is Bookish Merchandise I’d love to Own, which does sound fun, although I have no idea what I would put up as my choices.  As such, I thought I’d take this opportunity to finally post a list that I have been thinking about for a few weeks, looking at my top ten favourite films or film series that are based on books.

Adapting bestselling novels and books into movies is something Hollywood has been doing for decades, often with great success.  While some adaptations that failed, either due to the original source material or general problems with production, many have turned out to be exceedingly epic films that I have deeply enjoyed.  This is something I have been thinking of a lot lately, not only because some great books have film adaptations coming out soon (Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka and The Gray Man by Mark Greaney for examples), but also because I just saw the latest Fantastic Beasts film.  So, as I tend to when my mind wanders along this track, I started researching and listing all the various films that are based on books and tried to work out what my absolute favourites were.  This turned out to be such a fun list to pull together that I just had to share it up on the blog.

To appear on this list, the relevant film or series needs to be based on a book in some shape or form.  In trying to work out what are my absolute favourites I am looking at a few things, general quality of the film, how much I enjoyed it as well as whether it is a good adaptation of the source material.  In a few cases, I may not have read the books the films are adapted from, but I have still included them here due to the quality of the film.  I decided to exclude films based off comics from this list as I already have a few lists for this (an MCU list, a DC Comics movie list, and an animated comic movie list).  Despite this, I still ended up with a ton of potential entries for this list and I had to do a ton of cutting to get it down to 10 with my usual generous honourable mentions section.  The end result is pretty interesting and I think that it does a good job reflecting which film adaptions are my favourite.

Honourable Mentions:

The Hobbit trilogy

The Hobbit Poster

While this series does have some issues, and probably shouldn’t have been broken up into a trilogy, I had fun with it and there are some good moments throughout these movies.  I think that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug were really well done, its just a shame that The Battle of Five Armies didn’t live up to its full potential and really dragged the whole trilogy down.

 

Hannibal Lector trilogy

The Silence of the Lambs Poster

I had to mention these dark thrillers somewhere on this list as they are pretty damn iconic and cool.  Based on the works of Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon are pretty awesome films with some brilliant performances from Anthony Hopkins and others (Ralph Fiennes in Red Dragon is extremely good).  Also, mad props to the Hannibal television show, if I do a list about television shows based on books, that will make the cut for sure.

 

James Bond films

Tomorrow Never Dies Poster

I have already mentioned in a previous list how much I loved the James Bond films, but I had to include them here as well.  Based on the novels by Ian Flemming, this whole series is very fun, and there are some truly impressive and iconic films here.

 

A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind Poster

I have a lot of love for this excellent bio film, based on the book by Sylvia Nasar.  Filled with a great cast, this Russell Crowe led film is moving and clever, and contains a fantastic twist halfway through, especially if you don’t know too much about the person it is based on.

Top Ten List:

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

The Return of the King Cover

I don’t need to do a lot of selling for this first entry.  If you are reading this blog than you probably know that The Lord of the Rings trilogy is easily the best and most epic adaptation of a novel ether done.  All three films are pretty damn incredible with a perfect cast and will leave you breathless at every turn.  Also, do yourself a favour and check out the extended editions at some point, it may be long, but it is very much worth it.

 

Harry Potter series

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Poster

Who doesn’t love it when their favourite childhood series is turned into an impressive movie series?  The Harry Potter films are extremely good films by themselves, and they also serve as outstanding adaptations of their source materials.  Filled with a great combination of new actors and some of the best British actors of all time, these films were an absolute institution for very good reasons and are so much fun to watch.

 

The Hunger Games series

The Hunger Games Poster

Another young adult series I had to include, The Hunger Games films are some of my favourite dystopian movies to watch and they were done so perfectly.  Serving as brilliant and powerful films with an excellent story of survival and revolution, The Hunger Games films are excellent adaptations of the original novels, while also adding some original touches and perspectives.  All four films are unique in their own way (Catching Fire was my favourite), and I personally think that the creators made the right decision breaking Mockinjay into two separate movies.  I have rewatched these films multiple times and with an adaptation of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes also on the way, this appears to be a series that will keep on giving.

 

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride Poster

Not including The Princess Bride on this list, INCONCEIVABLE!!!  Based on the novel of the same name by William Goldman, this was an incredible film, and I can still remember the first time I watched it.  This was mainly because I was a stupid teenager who thought that a movie called The Princess Bride wasn’t going to be manly enough for me.  Well just like the kid in the movie, I quickly got extremely attached to its brilliant and hilarious story, as well as the unique and powerful cast it contained.  This film has some of the most iconic and impressive lines and moments in film history: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father.  Prepare to die”.  It also has in my opinion, one of the best swordfights in film history, which is just so damn epic.  This is an incredible and distinctive film adaptation and is a much watch for pretty much everyone.

 

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park Poster

I probably would have been eaten by vengeful dinosaurs (and their fans) if I hadn’t included Jurassic Park on this list, and for good reason.  Based on the novel of the same name by Michael Crichton, this film is awesomeness personified thanks to its outstanding graphics and very clever story, both of which have more than stood the test of time.  This film essentially ensured an entire generation and beyond fell in love with dinosaurs and is easily one of my favourite films of all times.

 

The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption Poster

Get busy living or get busy dying, but make sure you watch this iconic film at least once in your life.  Probably the best adaptation of a Stephen King book ever made (ok technically a novella, but who’s counting), The Shawshank Redemption is an insanely moving and powerful film about life in a prison.  Easily one of the most recognisable films of the 1990s, this outstanding film has more than stood the test of time and is a brilliant and utterly addictive adaptation.

 

The Great Escape

The Great Escape Poster

From one film about prison life to the greatest escape story ever, we have the classic 1963 film, The Great Escape.  Based on the 1950 book of the same name by Paul Brickhill, The Great Escape is a stirring and outstanding World War II film that tells the tale of a mass escape from a German POW camp.  Starring some truly brilliant actors, like Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson and so many more, this film quickly grabs your attention with its catchy music and entertaining plot.  Inspiration and moving in equal measures, this film will keep you entertained right up to its dark end is a must watch for all fans of a classic war movie.

 

Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump Poster

If you’ve seen the Forrest Gump film, you already know why its on this list.  The surprising and heart-warming tale of a remarkable man in 20th century America, this is a film like no other that features Tom Hanks at his very best.  While the plot does differentiate significantly from its source book by Winston Groom, this is such a brilliant film that gets a ton of love from me.

 

Die Hard

Die Hard Poster

Another film that wildly differed from its original source material but still turned out great is my favourite Christmas film, Die Hard.  Loosely based on Roderick Thorp’s novel Nothing Lasts Forever, Die Hard is easily one of the greatest action films of all-time, launching the action career of Bruce Willis and introducing the world to Alan Rickman (before throwing him off a tower).  There are so many awesome and cool moments throughout this film, many of which are taken in part from the novel, and I will automatically start watching Die Hard any time it is on.

 

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire Poster

The final book on this list is the fantastic, feel-good film Slumdog Millionaire.  I have always really loved this touching film which is loosely based on the novel Q&A by Indian author Vikas Swarup.  Combining a tragic life story with an iconic game show (the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? for the film version), this is a touching and very captivating character-driven film featuring an excellent cast of Indian actors.  This is such an incredible film to watch, and I cannot recommend it enough.

 

 

Well, that is the end of this latest list.  As you can see, there are some brilliant film adaptations of great books out there, and I think that the above does a great job of reflecting my personal favourites.  This is probably a list I will come back to in the future, especially as there are more and more film adaptations of novels coming out every year.  In the meantime, let me know what your favourite films based on books are in the comments below.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To

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 are tasked with listing the top 10 authors that they haven’t read but which they really want to.  This was a pretty interesting topic as there are actually quite a few authors out there that I want to read, but I haven’t had a chance to.  As such, I had a bit of fun looking at some of the big authors I have been meaning to read for some time and coming up with the absolute top authors I have neglected from my reading this.  This resulted in a very interesting list with some great names on it (including my usual honourable mentions section), all of whom have produced some brilliant novels I really want to read.  So, let us see who made the cut.

Honourable Mentions:

James Rollins

The Starless Crown Cover

Ok, so I am technically cheating with this first honourable mention, James Rollins, as I have read a couple of his books before.  However, that was a fairly long time ago when I was pretty young, so I decided to include him as an honourable mention.  I really do want to go back and check out all his Sigma Force novels though, which sound like bonkers fun, and I have been meaning to read his latest fantasy release, The Starless Crown, for a couple of months now.

 

Julian Stockwin

Thunderer Cover

An acclaimed historical fiction author, I have been trying to read one of Stockwin’s Thomas Kydd novels for years but just never get the chance to.  Set during the Napoleonic Wars, the Thomas Kydd books are awesome sounding naval historical fiction books that sound so very cool

 

Daniel Abraham

Age of Ash Cover

While I have enjoyed Abraham’s writing with Ty Franck as the due behind The Expanse novels, I have never had the opportunity to read any of his solo fantasy works.  Not only do I want to check out his most recent book, Age of Ash, but several of his existing series, such as The Dagger and the Coin and The Long Price Quartet, sound particularly awesome.

 

Neil Gaiman

The Sandman

A major author whose works I have somehow failed to read for a while, I need to check out some of the quirky Neil Gaiman books, as well as the cool Sandman comics (or their recent audiobook adaptations).

Top Ten List:

Glen Cook

The Black Company Cover

First on this list is acclaimed fantasy author Glen Cook, who I have been meaning to read for years.  Known for various series, including his Garrett P. I. novels, I mostly want to read Cook’s The Black Company novels, which are I have heard are pretty exceptional pieces of dark epic fantasy.  Following an elite group of mercenaries as they fight for and against a legendary evil sorceress, this series sounds so cool and I really hope I get a chance to read it at some point.

 

Gav Thorpe

Last Chancers - Armageddon Saint Cover

Next up we have one of the leading voices of the Warhammer extended universe, Gav Thorpe.  A talented author and game designer, Gav Thorpe has written multiple intriguing novels in the Warhammer universe, which I have been really getting into lately.  There are multiple Thorpe books I want to check out, although the one I will probably try first is the Last Chancers series, which is essentially The Dirty Dozen in space.  I cannot wait to read some of Thorpe’s awesome Warhammer novels and I know I am going to have an amazing time doing so.

 

Victor Milán

Dinosaur lords_rev1_MM.indd

Another talented fantasy author I want to try and get into is the late Victor Milán, who has written some fantastic sounding stuff over the years.  Also know by the pen names Richard Austin, Robert Baron, S. L. Hunter and Alex Archer, Milán wrote multiple intriguing series, including the Rogue Angel, Guardians and Stormrider series.  However, I mostly want to read his last trilogy, The Dinosaur Lords series, which is set in a world where knights fight atop the back of dinosaurs.  This sounds so freaking awesome to me, and I am very excited to see what sort of whacky and epic story Milán wrote around these dinosaur knights.

 

Sandy Mitchell

Ciaphas Cain Cover

Another great author known for their Warhammer novels, Sandy Mitchell (real name Alex Stewart), is a fantastic sounding writer who has added several key entries into the wider Warhammer 40,000 universe.  While I really want to read all of Mitchell’s Warhammer novels at some point, I mostly want to check out his iconic Ciaphas Cain books.  Following a reluctant war hero whose attempts to avoid combat always lead him to the most danger, the Ciaphas Cain books are widely considered on of the best pieces of Warhammer 40,000 fiction out there and I am very excited to try them out.

 

Pierce Brown

Red Rising Cover

I must admit that science fiction is a genre I have only really started getting into in recent years, so there are some serious gaps in my reading knowledge.  However, the one science fiction author I most regretting not checking out is Pierce Brown.  Best known for his iconic Red Rising novels, Brown is an exceedingly talented author and I really need to try to check out his epic main series.

 

John Connolly

Every Dead Thing Cover

There are so many impressive crime fiction authors whose works I have yet to experience out there, but the one that intrigues me the most is probably John Connolly.  A major crime fiction veteran, Connolly is best known for his long-running Charlie Parker series, which follows a tortured private investigator as he dives into a series of disturbing and shocking cases.  I have been hearing some impressive things about Connolly for years, especially from one of my more crime-fiction savvy review colleagues, and I think I will have to try and read some of his stuff when I get a chance.

 

James Swallow

Blood Angels Cover

While this list seems to be getting full of authors of tie-in fiction, I had to include the talented James Swallow as well.  While Swallow has written some great original work, including the recent Marc Dane thrillers, most people will be familiar with his fantastic novels that tie into many different fandoms, including Stargate, 2000AD, 24 and Doctor Who.  However, his most significant work has been in the Warhammer 40,000 and Star Trek fandoms, where he has contributed multiple novels.  I love the sound of several of his fantastic books and I will be reading several of them soon.

 

Peter V. Brett

The Core Cover

I have heard some brilliant things about Peter V. Brett’s Demon Cycle series over the years and I think I need to make a real effort to check them out soon, especially with the follow-up Nightfall Saga series currently doing so well.

 

Guy Haley

Flesh and Steel Cover

I had to slip in another tie-in fiction author here with Guy Haley, who has been writing some truly awesome sounding books lately.  While he has some other cool series out, I am deeply intrigued by some of the cool and unique Warhammer books he has come up with.  Not only did he devise the major Dark Imperium trilogy and contribute to the massive Horus Heresy series, but he has also written some intriguing Warhammer crime fiction novels, such as the fascinating sounding Flesh and Steel.  I have several of his books currently queued up to listen to and I will probably start enjoying this interesting author by the end of 2022.  

 

Jenn Lyons

The Ruin of Kings Cover

The final author on this list is the wildly talented Jenn Lyons, who has produced some impressive fantasy novels over the years.  Lyons has written some excellent stuff over the years, although the main reason I want to check her out is because of her current epic fantasy series, the A Chorus of Dragons books.  Following a prophesied destroyer as he gets dragged into world shattering events, I have been trying to get into the A Chorus of Dragons series since 2019.  I have most of this series currently sitting on my shelf at the moment, and I really need to make an effort to try and read them.

 

 

That’s the end of this latest list.  As you can see, there are some excellent and talented authors out there that I really want to start reading.  While this list may be a little heavy with Warhammer fiction authors (its one of my current obsessions), I am pretty happy with how it turned out and I think it reflects the current authors I would love to become a fan of.  Let me know what you think about my entries in the comments below, and also let me know which author you really want to try and start reading.

Top Ten Tuesday – Books With an Adjective in the Title

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 are tasked with listing their top books that have an adjective in the title.  This sounded like a very interesting topic to do so I had a look through all my favourite or recent reads to see which ones had fantastic adjectives in the title.

When I was pulling this list together I decided to make myself a little harder for myself by excluding titles whose adjectives were colours.  This is because I have already done a Top Ten Tuesday list that focused on colours in titles, and I didn’t want to double up on that.   Despite this limitation I was still able to pull together a great list with a ton of entries in it.  I ended up with a massive selection of potential book titles, so I had to do some substantial culling to get it down to 10 (with my usual honourable mentions section).  This resulted in a pretty good list and I was surprised with how many of my favourite novels had adjectives in their title.  I did try and limit how many of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels I featured in the list, although a few still did make it in.  Overall, I was pretty happy with how things turned out, so let us see what made the cut.

Honourable Mentions:

Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

Interesting Times Cover

 

Firefly: The Magnificent Nine by James Lovegrove

Firefly The Magnificent Nine Cover

I could have also used the other James Lovegrove Firefly novel, Big Damn Hero but I love the homage to The Magnificent Seven that this title had.

 

Hollow Empire by Sam Hawke

Hollow Empire Cover 2

 

Song of the Risen Gods by R. A. Salvatore

Song of the Risen God Cover

Top Ten Tuesday:

Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett

Moving Pictures Cover

 

The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly

The Dark Hours Cover 2

I also had the option to use Connelly’s other Ballard and Bosch novel, Dark Sacred Night, but I liked The Dark Hours a little more.

 

Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by K. J. Parker

Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City Cover

 

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra: Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon

Doctor Aphra Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon

There are technically a couple of adjectives in this one, including Unspeakable and Super (in Superweapon) so I had to include this excellent comic.

 

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

Small Gods Cover

 

The Burning Road by Harry Sidebottom

The Burning Road Cover

 

A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie

A Little Hatred Cover

 

Deep Silence by Jonathan Maberry

Deep Silence Cover

 

Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil by Timothy Zahn

Star Wars - Thrawn Ascendancy - Lesser Evil Cover

I was also tempted to use the preceding novel, Greater Good, but I think Lesser Evil was the best entry in the Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy so it’s my choice here.

 

Cold Iron by Miles Cameron

Cold Iron Cover 1

The sequel Dark Forge is also really good and could have easily been used here.

 

 

Well, that’s the end of this latest list.  I had a lot of fun coming up with 10 awesome books with adjectives in their title and I liked how everything came together.  Let me know which of the above novels are your favourites in the comments below and I look forward to see what novels with adjectives in the titles you enjoy.

Top Ten Tuesday – Longest Audiobooks That I Have Listened To – Part III

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, I’m veering away from the official topic (this week it was Top Ten Books with your Favourite Trope/Theme), and instead I chose to revisit and update a fun post I last looked at nearly two years ago.

As readers of this blog will be aware, I am a massive fan of audiobooks, and it is often the best way to enjoy a good book.  I have been lucky enough to listen to an impressive collection of audiobooks over the years, with some of them being extremely long, often taking me weeks to get through.  Back in 2019, I got curious about all the audiobooks I had listened to, and I wanted to know which were the longest ones that I had ever listened to.  As a result, I sat down and worked out which ones had the longest run time.  This turned into such an interesting endeavour that I ended up posting on my blog here, with the longest 20 books featured.  I had such an amazing time doing this that a year later I had a go at updating it, adding in a few additional reads.

Well, it has been nearly two years since I last updated this list and I always intended to keep coming back to this list to see how the recent long audiobooks I have listened to stacked up against the books already on this list.  Since the last update in 2020 I have managed to listen to quite a few new audiobooks, several of which had an excellent run time.  As I just reviewed one of these yesterday, I thought this would be a good time to update the list again and see what differences have been made in the last year.  The list below is similar to the list I posted a couple of years ago, with several new additions added in (see the highlighted posts).  I ended up extending the list to 25 entries, mainly to fit a couple of extra recent audiobooks in, so prepare for even more awesome covers.

List:

1. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, narrated by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading – 45 hours and 48 minutes

WAY OF KINGS MM REV FINAL.indd

 

2. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, narrated by Nick Podehl – 42 hours and 55 minutes

The Wise Mans Fear Cover

 

3. Magician by Raymond E. Feist, narrated by Peter Joyce – 36 hours and 14 minutes

Magician Cover

 

4. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, narrated by Roy Dotrice – 33 hours and 45 minutes

A Game of Thrones Cover

 

5. Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurst, narrated by Tania Rodrigues – 32 hours and 1 minutes

Mistress of the Empire Cover

 

6. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, narrated by Gerrard Doyle – 31 hours and 29 minutes

Inheritance Cover

 

7. Servant of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurst, narrated by Tania Rodrigues – 30 hours and 42 minutes

Servant of the Empire Cover

 

8. The Ember Blade by Chris Wooding, narrated by Simon Bubb – 30 hours and 40 minutes

the ember blade cover

 

9. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini, narrated by Gerrard Doyle – 29 hours and 34 minutes

Brisingr Cover

 

10. Howling Dark by Christopher Ruocchio, narrated by Samuel Roukin – 28 hours and 3 minutes

Howling Dark Cover

 

11. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, narrated by Nick Podehl – 27 hours and 55 minutes

The Name of the Wind Cover

 

12. House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas, narrated by Elizabeth Evans – 27 hours and 50 minutes

House of Earth and Blood Cover

 

13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale – 27 hours and 2 minutes

The Order of the Phoenix Cover

 

14. Red Seas under Red Skies by Scott Lynch, narrated by Michael Page – 25 hours and 34 minutes

Red Seas Under Red Skies

 

15. The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, narrated by Michael Page – 23 hours and 43 minutes

The Republic of Thieves Cover

 

16. The Wisdom of Crowds by Joe Abercrombie, narrated by Steven Pacey – 23 hours and 36 minutes

The Wisdom of Crowds Cover

The longest book I am adding to this list is the epic dark fantasy novel, The Wisdom of Crowds by Joe Abercrombie.  This incredible book, which was one of the best novels and audiobooks of 2021, ends Abercrombie’s Age of Madness trilogy on a very high note.  Containing a brilliant story, some incredible characters, and some major twists, this is an essential read for all fantasy fans.  At nearly 24 hours in length, this is a pretty hefty audiobook, although once you get caught up in the epic story, you will power through it.

 

17. Eldest by Christopher Paolini, narrated by Gerrard Doyle – 23 hours and 29 minutes

Eldest Cover

 

18. Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil by Timothy Zahn, narrated by Marc Thompson and The Mask of Mirrors by M. A. Carrick, narrated by Nikki Massoud, 23 hours and 13 minutes

Lesser Evil and The Mask of Mirrors Covers

I was very surprised to find myself with a tie for the number 18 position, especially as both were audiobooks I only recently listened to.  These two awesome audiobooks, which come in at 23 hours and 13 minutes each, are the third book in the epic Thrawn Ascendancy Star Wars trilogy, Lesser Evil by Timothy Zahn, and the excellent fantasy epic The Mask of Mirrors by M. A. Carrick.  Both novels were impressive 2021 releases, with Lesser Evil perfectly wrapping up the Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy (which included Chaos Rising and Greater Good), while The Mask of Mirror ended up being one of the best debuts of 2021.  Both audiobooks were very good, with Lesser Evil featuring legendary narrator Marc Thompson, while The Mask of Mirrors was expertly told by Nikki Massoud (loved her various accents).  Both outstanding performances really helped me to enjoy these great books and I powered through them in no time.

 

19. Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie, narrated by Steven Pacey – 22 hours and 38 minutes

Before they are Hanged Cover

 

20. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie, narrated by Steven Pacey – 22 hours and 15 minutes

The Blade Itself

 

21. Engines of Empire by R. S. Ford, narrated by various – 22 hours and 3 minutes

Engines of Empire Cover

The most recent book on this list that I have listened to, Engines of Empire was an epic fantasy novel that introduced readers to an excellent new world.  Filled with intrigue, action and magic, I had a lot of fun with this audiobook, and I particularly liked how it featured several separate narrators.  This impressive team of narrators ensured that Engines of Empire turned out to be a pretty awesome audiobook, and it was one that I had a lot fun getting through.

 

22. The Trouble With Peace by Joe Abercrombie, narrated by Steven Pacey– 21 hours and 56 minutes

The Trouble with Peace Cover

Wow, this list is just loaded with Joe Abercrombie’s epic novels, as another book from his Age of Madness trilogy is featured here.  The Trouble with Peace is the second entry in the series, and it perfectly follows up the first book, A Little Hatred.  I deeply enjoyed this cool book, especially as it once again featured the cool narration of Steven Pacey, and this was easily one of the best books and audiobooks of 2020.  Easy to power through thanks to the incredible story and brilliant characters, this near 22-hour long audiobook will just fly by.

 

23. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, narrated by Michael Page – 21 hours and 59 minutes

The Lies of Locke Lamora Cover

 

24. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale – 21 hours and 36 minutes

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Cover

 

25. Altered Realms: Ascension by B. F. Rockriver, narrated by Maximillian Breed – 21 Hours and 26 minutes

Altered Realms Cover 2

The final new audiobook on this list is the interesting novel, Altered Realms: Ascension by B. F. Rockriver.  An intense and clever LITRPG novel, Ascension featured an NPC who is given the powers of a player and must adventure through his world with a whole new set of eyes.  Not only was this a great novel (one of the best debuts of 2020), but the audiobook version of it was a lot of fun, especially as narrator Maximillian Breed perfectly captures the computer-generated voice anyone who has played an RPG will be familiar with.  A cool audiobook that is worth the substantial time investment.

 

Well, those are some pretty cool new additions to this list.  I am probably being a little over generous moving it up to 25 entries, but I think it turned out alright.  I am a little disappointed that none of my recent books got anywhere the top ten, so I think I will have to work on listening to some longer audiobooks this year.  I will hopefully have another go at updating this list in a year or so, but in the meantime let me know what the longest audiobook you have listened to is in the comments below.