Top Ten Tuesday – Top New-to-Me Authors I Read in 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 Bookish Goals for 2023.  While this was an interesting topic, I have a slightly different Top Ten Tuesday schedule planned and instead I will be moving forward the official topic from next week and looking at New-to-Me Authors I discovered in 2022.  This is a list I have covered for the last couple of years (make sure to check out my 2019, 2020 and 2021 versions), and it is one that I always have fun doing.

Each year I am lucky enough to read a great number of awesome novels and this often includes some that were written by authors whose work I was previously unfamiliar with.  2022 was a particularly good example of this as there were an incredible collection of amazing novels written by authors who were completely new to me.  This included some debuting authors, as well as more established writers whose work I only got around to this year.  Many of these new-to-me authors produced some truly exceptional reads, some of which I consider to be some of the best books released in 2022, and I really feel the need to highlight them here.  As a result, this list may feature a bit of overlap with my top bookspre-2022 books and audiobooks lists of 2022 that I have previously published on this blog.

To appear on this list, the book had to be one I read last year and be written by an author who I was unfamiliar with before 2022.  If I had not read anything from this author before last year, it was eligible for this latest list, although I did exclude debut novels as I had another list prepared for them.  Despite this, I ended up with a massive list of potential inclusions on this list, as it appears that I read a ton of great new authors in the last year.  Despite my best efforts, I had a very hard time whittling this list down, so in the end I decided to face the inevitable and leave it as a top 20 list.  While I still had to exclude several great authors whose books I really liked, I think that I came up with a good overall list that represents which authors I am really glad that I decided to try out for the first time last year.

Top Twenty List:

Andy Clark – Steel Tread

Steel Tread Cover

One of the first new-to-me authors I check out in 2022 was Andy Clark, who immediately blew me away with his impressive writing skill in the Warhammer 40,000 novel, Steel Tread.  A gritty and character driven war story set in the close confines of a tank, Steel Tread was an exceptional read and one that I was instantly addicted to.  Easily one of the top Warhammer books of 2022, I loved Steel Tread so much and I will be diving back into Andy Clark’s catalogue of Warhammer novels when I get a chance.

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Sarah Barrie – Unforgiven and Retribution

Unforgiven Cover

I actually enjoyed two books from talented Australian crime fiction author Sarah Barrie this year, her 2021 book Unforgiven and the sequel Retribution.  Both were excellent dark crime thrillers that saw a damaged vigilante go after the very worst criminals Sydney had to offer.  I deeply enjoyed both books and their unique style has made Barrie a must-read Australian author from now on.

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Adrian Tchaikovsky – Day of Ascension

Day of Ascension Cover

It seems ridiculous that it took me until 2022 to finally read something from acclaimed science fiction and fantasy author Adrian Tchaikovsky, but that’s what happened.  While I have had the opportunity to read some of his other established series before, my first experience with Tchaikovsky’s writing was his debut Warhammer 40,000 novel Day of Ascension.  A complex and captivating read that sees a Genestealer Cult rise to overthrow a despotic government.  This was an outstanding book that combined Tchaikovsky’s unique writing style with the iconic Warhammer 40,000 setting.  I loved the gruesome and impressive story that resulted and I will have to make an effort to read more of Tchaikovsky’s books in the future.

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Boyd and Beth Morrison – The Lawless Land

The Lawless Land Cover

This was an interesting entry that actually features two new-to-me authors with the writing duo of thriller author Boyd Morrison and historian Beth Morrison.  Together these talented authors wrote one of my favourite books of 2022, The Lawless Land, an exciting and deeply entertaining historical epic that followed a fallen knight on a quest around war-torn Europe.  I had so much fun with The Lawless Land, which featured intrigue, betrayal, duels, jousts, war and so much more, and I ended up coming away a big fan of this brother/sister writing team.  There is a sequel to The Lawless Land coming out later this year, and I will make damn sure to get a copy of it when it comes out.

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Steve Lyons –Krieg

Warhammer 40,000 - Krieg Cover

Steve Lyons was a new-to-me author who particularly impressed me this year with his compelling and concise Warhammer 40,000 audiobook exclusive, Krieg.  Following one of the more iconic regiments of Imperial Guard in the franchise, the Death Korps of Krieg, Krieg is an excellent read that combines a harrowing modern war tale with an intriguing dive into the history of the planet Krieg and its deadly soldiers.  A tight and effective audiobook, Krieg comes highly recommended and I had an outstanding time listening to it.

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Dan Koboldt – Silver Queendom

Silver Queendom Cover

I was very lucky to enjoy the latest works from awesome fantasy author Dan Koboldt this year with Silver Queendom.  A deeply entertaining fantasy heist read, Silver Queendom was a lot of fun and I will be making a huge effort to read more of Koboldt’s work in the future, especially if he comes up with a sequel to this great book.

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Justin D. Hill – The Bookkeeper’s Skull

The Bookkeeper's Skull Cover

Justin D. Hill is a very well-known author in Warhammer circles, and I was very happy to finally read one of his books this year with the Warhammer Horror novel, The Bookkeeper’s Skull.  A compelling read that told a harrowing tale of murder and mutilation on a cursed farm, The Bookkeeper’s Skull was a great horror read centred around a clever mystery.  I was really impressed with the dark and tangible feeling of dread that hung over everything, and I think it really speaks to the author’s skill that he was able to tell such a compelling read in such a concise book.  I cannot wait to try out some of Hill’s other books in 2023, and I already know I am going to love them.

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Neil Gaiman – The Sandman

Sandman Act 1 Cover

I finally got around to reading something from epic author Neil Gaiman and boy was it a doozy of a tale.  I actually listened to the audiobook adaptation of his iconic The Sandman comic, which was such an incredible and dark story.  Following the immortal Dream, The Sandman features a complex and captivating tale all read out by an all-star cast.  Gaiman really showcases his incredible, if slightly insane, inventiveness in this comic and I loved how well this new format portrayed this fantastic story.

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Robert Rath – Assassinorum: Kingmaker

Assassinorum Kingmaker Cover

Few 2022 Warhammer books impressed me as much as the excellent and highly addictive Assassinorum: Kingmaker by new-to-me author Robert Rath.  A complex and action-packed tale of assassins, royal politics and mecha warfare, Assassinorum: Kingmaker is very over-the-top, even for a Warhammer 40,000 novel, and I loved every damn second of it.  The entire intense story came together perfectly and Robert Rath is definitely an author I will be reading more Warhammer books from in the future.

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Gillian McAllister – Wrong Place Wrong Time

Wrong Place Wrong Time Cover

Gillian McAllister had a brilliant year in 2022 when she released her compelling science fiction thriller, Wrong Place Wrong Time.  A twisty and complex novel that saw a mother forced back through time as she attempts to uncover the dark story behind the murder her son committed.  This was such a clever read and I have a feeling that McAllister is an author I am going to see a lot of in the future.

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Ben Counter – Van Horstmann

Van Horstmann Cover

A lucky find in a second-hand bookshop introduced me to the writings of Ben Counter when I grabbed a copy of his Warhammer Fantasy novel Van Horstmann.  An intense and entertaining read that followed a magical student’s quick slide into darkness, Van Horstmann was one of the better Warhammer Fantasy books I have ever had the pleasure of reading and I cannot wait to see what other delicious and impressive reads Counter has produced for the Black Library.

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Zoraida Cordova – Star Wars: Convergence

Star Wars - Convergence Cover

Outstanding new Star Wars author, Zoraida Cordova, ensured that the second phase of The High Republic sub-series started off in a big way with her amazing Star Wars novel Convergence.  An exciting and powerful novel that perfectly sets up future storylines while following several complex characters, Convergence was a brilliant read and one that really sets up Cordova as an author to watch out for.

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C. L. Werner – Runefang

Runefang Cover

Another new-to-me Warhammer Fantasy author I deeply enjoyed in 2022 was C. L. Werner, who wrote the gritty adventure novel Runefang.  An awesome book, Runefang followed a band of doomed heroes on a quest to recover a legendary sword to stop an undead horde, in a great, classic fantasy narrative.  Loaded with twists and surprise deaths, Runefang was an excellent read and Werner really shows off his talents with this great book.

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Justin Woolley – Catachan Devil

Catachan Devil Cover

I had to include Justin Woolley on this list, especially after I had such a fun time with his Warhammer 40,000 book, Catachan Devil.  A compelling and thoroughly entertaining story that completely explored the legendary Catachan Imperial Guards regiment, Catachan Devil was a brilliant, soldier-focused story that is really worth a read.  I look forward to seeing what other brilliant books Justin Woolley has coming out, especially if they are as good as Catachan Devil.

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Jon Hollins – Fool’s Gold

Fool's Gold Cover

One of the more entertaining new authors I tried out in 2022 was fantasy writer Jon Hollins (Jonathan Wood), as I started his epic Dragon Lords trilogy with Fool’s Gold.  A comedic and relentless fantasy heist book, Fool’s Gold followed a group of desperate adventurers as they attempt to steal a tyrannical dragons hoard.  However, when their plans go terribly wrong, they find the fate of the entire realm resting on their shoulders and must come up with an even more elaborate plan to survive.  A sharp and very, very fun book, Fool’s Gold was pretty damn awesome and I cannot wait to see what craziness Hollins featured in his other Dragon Lords novels.

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Graham McNeill – Storm of Iron

Storm of Iron Cover 2

One Warhammer author I am particularly glad I got the chance to read in 2022 was Graham McNeill with his awesome standalone novel, Storm of Iron.  A brutal and captivating siege tale that sees a giant army of Chaos Space Marines besiege an impregnable space fortress, Storm of Iron was a blast from start to finish and was near impossible to put down.  I always intended to read all of McNeill’s books at some point, but Storm of Iron ensured that I will be moving most of his novels to the very front of my to-read pile.

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M. L. Spencer – Dragon Mage

Dragon Mage Cover

I finally got around to reading M. L. Spencer’s Dragon Mage in 2022, a book I have had my mind on for a while.  Dragon Mage was an elaborate and classic fantasy tale about heroes and dragons which really showcased Spencer’s imagination and writing talent and took the reader on a complex, character-driven ride.  A great book from an exceptional author.

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Alec Worley – Dredge Runners and The Wraithbone Phoenix

The Wraithbone Phoenix Cover

Another exceptional new-to-me Warhammer author I read for the first time in 2022 was Alec Worley, who really impressed me with his outstanding work.  I actually read two things from Worley this year, the fun novella Dredge Runners and the exciting and compelling full novel The Wraithbone Phoenix.  Both books followed a unique duo of criminals in a futuristic Warhammer city as they engage in a series of bungled heists and cons against a range of outrageous foes.  Both of these entries were pretty damn exceptional, and Worley really showcased his amazing writing ability with them.  A very talented author who I am very glad I came across.

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Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland – Path of Deceit

Star Wars - Path of Deceit Cover

The cool team of Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland pulled out an awesome and solid young adult Star Wars book with Path of Deceit.  Serving as an outstanding prequel to the previous High Republic novels, Path of Deceit was an amazing novel from these authors, and I had a wonderful time reading some from this cool team for the first time.

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Edoardo Albert – Kasrkin

Warhammer 40,000 - Kasrkin Cover

I doubt anyone is too surprised that the final author on this list, Edoardo Albert is yet another writer of Warhammer fiction.  I was very happy to come across Albert’s latest novel in 2022, Kasrkin, which follows an elite unit of soldiers as they brave a desert planet, only to face off against a series of dangerous foes.  Tight, action-packed, and making excellent use of its Warhammer 40,000 elements, Kasrkin did a good job of highlighting Albert’s superb ability and I had an outstanding time with this great book. 

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Well, that’s the end of this latest Top Ten list.  I think it turned out rather well and it encapsulates some of the best new authors I checked out in 2022.  I look forward to reading more books from these authors in the future and I have no doubt they will produce more epic and incredible reads.  Make sure to let me know which new authors you enjoyed in 2022 in the comments below and make sure to check back next week for another exciting list.

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

Star Wars - Path of Deceit Cover

Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press (Audiobook – 4 October 2022)

Series: Star Wars: The High Republic – Phase Two

Length: 8 hours and 10 minutes

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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The second phase of The High Republic begins with an absolute banger as the team of Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland introduce Star Wars fans to a bold new young adult novel that ends up being epic in all the right ways with Path of Deceit.

For the last two years, Star Wars extended fiction has been firmly focused on the compelling multimedia project, The High Republic.  Set centuries before the prequel films, The High Republic takes readers to a whole new period of Star Wars history, where the Republic and the Jedi were at the absolute height of their power and influence.  However, not everything is perfect, and the Jedi characters are soon forced into conflict with dangerous forces bent on destroying them.  The first phase of The High Republic introduced readers to this new time period extremely well, while also setting up several fascinating characters, as well as the villainous Nihil, a group of space marauders who seek to destroy the order that the Republic represents.  I quickly fell in love with this cool new Star Wars subseries, and I enjoyed the massive range of different media present in this first phase, including comics, manga, children’s books, audio productions and a ton of novels.  The main story of this series is expertly told across the three main adult books, Light of the Jedi, The Rising Storm, and The Fallen Star, while other compelling, and often vital, stories take place in young adult books like Into the Dark, Out of the Shadows and Midnight Horizon, the associated comic series, as well as the audio production Tempest Runner.  This entire first phase came together extremely well, and I was really impressed with the range of stories they told, as well as the excellent new characters and elaborate new universe expansions that occurred.

After completing the first phase earlier this year, the various writers associated with The High Republic project, have just embarked on their ambitious second phase of High Republic fiction.  The second phase goes back even further into Star Wars history by being set 150 years before the events of the previous High Republic books.  The idea is that the second phase will act as a prequel to the first, showing how the Nihil were formed and the reasons behind their leader’s hatred for the Jedi.  These details will no doubt become extremely important for the third phase, while also helping the reader understand why the events of the first phase unfolded.  The first book in this second phase is Path of Deceit, written by the team of Star Wars fiction newcomer Tessa Gratton and established Star Wars writer Justina Ireland, who made a name for herself in the first phase with her young adult and middle school books.  Both authors really throw their heart into Path of Deceit, and the result in a fantastic and captivating read that presents Star Wars fans with something very epic indeed.

It is a time of exploration and discovery in the galaxy as the Republic enters an age of expansion.  Under the guidance of the Jedi, teams have been sent into the furthest corners of the Outer Rim, seeking out new planets, civilisations, and people to add to the delicate tapestry of life, diplomacy and trade that forms the basis for the Republic.  However, not all the discoveries being made are good, and many dangers lurk out in the far reaches of space.

Of these dangers, the most benign appear to be a small Force cult on the remote planet of Dalna.  Known as the Path of the Open Hand, this group believe that the Force should be free, and that no one should have the power to use and abuse it, including the Jedi.  Led by the charismatic Mother, the Path of the Open Hand is small, but features a fervent congregation of believers, including a hopeful young woman, Marda Ro.

Marda Ro always dreams of leaving Dalna to preach the message of the Path throughout the galaxy.  However, protected by her free-spirited cousin Yana Ro and held back by the Mother, Marda appears destined to remain always on Dalna.  That is until two Jedi, Jedi Knight Zallah Macri and her Padawan Kevmo Zink, arrive on Dalna, investigating the theft of several Force artifacts from surrounding systems.  Believing that the thefts are related to the Path, the two Jedi begin to investigate the group, and Marda and the young Kevmo soon form a tight bond as their connection grows.  However, not everything is as it seems on Dalna, and soon the Mother reveals a dark secret that will reverberate throughout the galaxy for centuries to come.

I have to admit that even before I started reading Path of Deceit, I kind of had some doubts about whether I was going to really enjoy it.  Not only was I surprised that this second phase of the High Republic was starting out with a young adult book, rather than the upcoming adult novel, Convergence, but I was also apprehensive about the reverse time skip between phases.  Setting this second phase 150 years before the events of the first phase was a bold choice, especially considering that The High Republic is a prequel series in itself.  However, if Path of Deceit is any indication of what is to come, then the entire second phase of The High Republic is going to be pretty damn impressive and fit into the wider High Republic extremely well.  The team of Gratton and Ireland did a remarkable job here, producing a slick, slow-burn Star Wars story that introduces many key elements of this new timeline while also giving some fantastic hints of what is to come.  I had an absolute blast getting through this book, and it is has definitely gotten me excited for the next round of High Republic fiction.

I was deeply, deeply impressed with the captivating story that the authors came up with for Path of Deceit.  Due to its position in this new High Republic phase, Gratton and Ireland had to achieve quite a lot during the narrative, not only introducing key characters and settings, but also tying them into the wider High Republic history.  However, I think they achieved this goal extremely well, and the subsequent story is very intriguing and intense.  I do need to warn people that the Path of Deceit does start of fairly slow and takes a long while for all its excellent storylines to pay off.

The book is primarily set on the planet of Dalna and follows three young central characters as they find themselves caught up in the actions of the mysterious Path of the Open Hand.  These central characters include Marda Ro, a devout member of the Path, her cousin Yana Ro, who leads the Path’s covert unit that steal Force artifacts, and Kevmo Zink, who arrives on the planet to investigate the Path and the recent thefts.  The first half of the book sees the various characters gradually get to know each other, while Marda and Kevmo grow closer, despite their different viewpoints of the Force.  As the story continues, you start to see some cracks in the serene appearance of the Path, with Yana growing more and more determined to leave as she begins to see the Mother for what she really is.  However, even with a few action scenes and a great flood sequence, the story is still moving at a gradual pace, with the authors laying down some subtle hints of what is to come.  All that changes in the last quarter of the novel, as everything comes together in a big and shocking way.  While the narrative appears to be heading in one certain direction, the authors suddenly unleash a pretty major twist that really surprised me.  This twist was extremely brilliant, not only because of how well set up it was but because its execution was very sudden and a major gamechanger.  The entire tone of the novel changes after that, with the characters taking on new roles, and you see just how well-connected Path of Deceit is to the books of Phase One.  This twist honestly makes you really appreciate the slow and careful pace of the rest of the book, and you realise just how cleverly they were setting everything up.  The entirety of Path of Deceit ends on an excellent and powerful note, and the reader is left eagerly looking forward to seeing how the rest of this second phase comes together.

The team of Gratton and Ireland set out this story in a very awesome way, and I felt that everything came together extremely well to enhance the fantastic narrative.  The split between the three main perspectives helped to produce a balanced and multifaceted narrative, and I liked seeing the distinctive alternate viewpoints of the cool events occurring.  While the pacing was initially a bit slow and there was a little less action than your typical Star Wars novel, Path of Deceit makes up for it by focusing more on the characters, setting up the new version of the universe, and featuring a great young adult story that will really appeal to the teenage audience.  The way that the characters interact and focus on their attractions is very typical of most young adult books, but I felt that it didn’t get too over-the-top.  Instead, it is just enough to help bring the younger reader in, while also still being intense and compelling enough to keep older readers still attached and entertained.  I personally deeply enjoyed how the story was presented, especially once the pace increased towards the end, and this entire novel was an absolute joy to read.

As I mentioned before, quite a lot of importance is attached to whether Path of Deceit did a good job featuring the relevant Star Wars and High Republic elements.  I say that Gratton and Ireland strongly succeeded, as they not only provided a great viewpoint of this new period of Star Wars fiction but they also provided some captivating and clever links to the first phase.  While most of the focus of Path of Deceit is primarily on one planet, so you don’t get the full galaxy view, I did like the initial glimpse of this universe.  There is a real Western frontier vibe to the entire setting, with explorers, settlers, pilgrims, and people looking for a fresh start interacting with new elements from the Outer Rim.  There are also some hints about how this version of the Republic and the Jedi are set up, and there is a very good mixture of elements that I think are going to come together very well in the future.  I also really enjoyed the mysterious and captivating Path of the Open Hand, who were introduced as an alternative Force cult who are completely opposed to the actions of the Jedi.  Their curious viewpoint of the Force, and their methods for preserving it, make for quite a fascinating group and I deeply enjoyed how they developed.  As for connections to the first High Republic phase, well let us say that Path of Deceit is a very key novel regarding this, as several key characters with connections to the future are brilliantly set up here.  So many key elements or organisations from the first phase are introduced in a completely different form here, and you will be surprised at the origins of some of the best bits from the established High Republic books.  I loved some of the impressive set up that Gratton and Ireland featured in Path of Deceit, and this young adult novel is a very key part of this phase of the High Republic, with story elements from it set to reverb through certain upcoming books all the way to the future in the third phase.

Now, one of the main questions I am sure many people are wondering is how much knowledge of the High Republic and wider Star Wars universe people need to enjoy Path of Deceit.  Naturally, as the introductory book in the second phase of an established Star Wars sub-series, people who have read the previous High Republic books are going to have a better time with Path of Deceit that readers who have not.  Not only do you have a better idea of what the earlier Star Wars period are going to look like, but you also will appreciate some of the revelations that appear in this book and have a better ability to make connections between this phase and the previous one.  As such I would strongly recommend checking out all the key previous High Republic content first (the three adult books at the very least), as you a really going to have a better time with Path of Deceit that way, especially as the big twist towards the end makes a lot more sense if you do.  However, this isn’t the absolute worst book to start the High Republic with, and maybe reading the prequel second phase first is a better way of enjoying these books.  Either way, Gratton and Ireland do a good job of making this book pretty accessible to new readers, and I think that anyone with a decent knowledge of Star Wars fiction will probably be able to enjoy and appreciate this book.

Path of Deceit contains a great group of central characters that the authors do an excellent job of introducing.  This includes three intriguing teenage protagonists who have a complex and fascinating narratives that see them engage with this new world in very different ways.  Marda Ro is the devoted adherent to the Path of the Open Hand, who believes in their mission and their leader with all her heart.  Marda has a deeply compelling and well-laid-out story arc in Path of Deceit that eventually sees her question her believes and connections to the Path once she meets Jedi Padawan Kevmo Zink.  Already feeling disconnected from the galaxy and people due to her species, which is renowned and reviled for unknown reasons, Marda was a real emotional tinderbox in this book, and her relationship with Kevmo only complicates this further.  However, the events of the book change her in a way no-one could really predict, even with the hints her name contain, and her metamorphosis from sweet character to something else is very clever and quite impactful.  I have a feeling that she is going to have one of the best character arcs in the entire second phase, and I look forward to seeing how her narrative completely unfolds.

I also like the storylines surrounding the main Jedi character, Padawan Kevmo Zink, and Marda’s cousin Yana Ro, both of whom have their own distinctive arcs that I was quite intrigued by.  Kevmo Zink is a great young Jedi character who is drawn by his own romantic urges and desire for connections as much by the Force.  Kevmo serves as a great newcomer character to Dalna and the Path of the Open Hand and provides a great alternate perspective to Marda’s strict commitment to their ways.  He also serves as an intriguing love interest to Marda, and the classic Star Wars relationship between a conflicted Jedi and a forbidden girl made for some great reading, without being too silly or over-the-top.  I had a lot of fun with Kevmo, and I liked his infectious humour and his extremely positive view of the universe.  His storyline also goes in some very surprising directions, and this ended up being a very intriguing character to follow.  Yana Ro on the other hand is a more wild and exciting addition to the cast, who acts extremely differently to her cousin Marda.  A less indoctrinated member of the Path, Yana knows that there is something rotten at their heart, and seeks a way out, mainly by stealing Force artifacts for the Mother.  Her journey is very emotionally rich, and a little bit tragic, and I had a wonderful time seeing her storyline come to fruition, especially as it puts her in a very exciting position for future entries in the series.  Yana’s realistic viewpoint of the Path, as well as her own species’ inclinations and reputation, stands in great contrast of that of Marda, and her more grounded and aggressive mindset also makes her stand out compared to Kevmo.  As such, there is a good balance of personalities in Path of Deceit amongst the point of view protagonists, and this helps to produce a fantastic and compelling read.

There are also several great side characters who add their own spice to the story.  The most prominent of these is Kevmo’s Jedi master, Zallah Macri, an extremely serious Jedi Knight who serves as Kevmo’s mentor and guide.  Zallah is a suitable cautionary figure throughout the book, trying to keep Kevmo focused on the Force and their investigation, despite his obsession with Marda.  The other side character I really want to focus on is the Mother, the Path of the Open Hand’s mysterious leader who has managed to take over the cult through to her apparent strong connection to the Force.  The Mother serves as a rather compelling antagonist throughout the book, especially as you spend most of the time wondering if she is really Force sensitive, or whether she is running a long con on her followers.  An aloof and secretive antagonist, it soon becomes very clear that the Mother has her own objectives and plans that run contrary to that of her followers, and the full extent of them proves to be very exciting and destructive.  I felt that the Mother was an excellent alternative character for Path of Deceit, especially as her plans have some major long-term impacts on the point-of-view characters, and she has some dark secrets that need to be explored further.  These, and other characters, really add to the overall strength on the novel and I deeply enjoyed the way that Gratton and Ireland introduced them and took them through a fascinating emotional ride.

As with most Star Wars novels, I chose to check out Path of Deceit’s audiobook format, which was a pleasurable and fun experience as always.  At just over eight hours, this was a relatively quick audiobook, and I managed to knock it out pretty quickly.  This format did an excellent job of presenting Path of Deceit’s compelling narrative, and I had fun having this book read out to me.  However, the real joy of a Star Wars audiobook always lies in the excellent extra production elements that have been added in.  The classic Star Wars sound effects are used very well throughout Path of Deceit’s audiobook, and hearing blasters, lightsabers and even the sounds of people in the crowds, helps to drag listeners into the story and its surrounding universe.  However, I am always more impressed with the fantastic use of the iconic Star Wars musical score that is threaded through multiple scenes in the audiobook.  Path of Deceit has a pretty cool selection of scores playing throughout it, and I liked how the music often reflected the more rural setting and the mystical elements it was exploring.  The various bits of music work extremely well at enhancing key scenes throughout the book, and there were several times when the careful application of these tunes enhanced the emotional impact of the entire book.

On top of the cool sound effects and powerful musical inclusions, much of my enjoyment of Path of Deceit’s audiobook lies in the excellent narrator who was telling the story.  Path of Deceit is narrated by actress Erin Yvette, who has done a lot of voice work recently in the video game space.  While Yvette hasn’t provided narration for too many Star Wars books yet, she did a great job here in Path of Deceit, and I loved how she read out the book.  Yvette’s voice fits the young adult tone of this Star Wars novel extremely well, and she ensures that the compelling tale is effectively shared out to the listener.  In addition, she also provides a range of excellent voices to the various characters featured throughout the book.  Each of her voices really fits the respective character, and you get a real sense of their nature, their bearing, and their emotional state as you hear Yvette narrate them.  Not only does she capture the youthful nature of characters like Kevmo Zink and Marda Ro well, but she also gets the proper Jedi character Zallah Macri, the more self-serving voice of Yana Ro, and the mystical, manipulative voice of the Mother, down perfectly.  This voice work is pretty damn impressive, and when combined with audiobook’s sound effects and outstanding Star Wars music, it helps to turn the Path of Deceit audiobook into an outstanding experience.  This was such an awesome way to enjoy this latest High Republic novel, and audiobook remains my absolute favourite way to enjoy a Star Wars tie-in book.

I am feeling a heck of a lot better about the second phase of the High Republic after powering through Path of Deceit.  The wonderful team of Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland produced an outstanding young adult Star Wars novel that did a lot of remarkable things.  Featuring a well-crafted story that slowly but surely hooks you and some fantastic characters, Path of Deceit charts its own course while also brilliant tying into the High Republic novels that have come before.  I can’t wait to see where this phase goes following this impressive story in Path of Deceit and I am planning to read the next High Republic book as soon as I can.

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WWW Wednesday – 9 November 2022

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

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

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

The Orphans by Fiona McIntosh (Trade Paperback)

The Orphans Cover

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Dragon Mage by M. L. Spencer (Audiobook)

Dragon Mage Cover

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What did you recently finish reading?

The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham (Trade Paperback)

The Boys from Biloxi Cover

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

Star Wars - Path of Deceit Cover

Amazon     Book Depository

 

Call of Empire by Peter Watt (Trade Paperback)

Call of Empire Cover

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What do you think you’ll read next?

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

Firefly - What Makes Us Mighty Cover

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

WWW Wednesday – 2 November 2022

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

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

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham (Trade Paperback)

The Boys from Biloxi Cover

Amazon     Book Depository

 

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

Star Wars - Path of Deceit Cover

Amazon     Book Depository

What did you recently finish reading?

Seventeen by John Brownlow (Trade Paperback)

Seventeen Cover

Amazon     Book Depository

 

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

The Wraithbone Phoenix Cover

Amazon     Book Depository

 

Desert Star by Michael Connelly

Desert Star Cover

Amazon     Book Depository

What do you think you’ll read next?

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

Firefly - What Makes Us Mighty Cover

Amazon     Book Depository

 

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

WWW Wednesday – 26 October 2022

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

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

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

Seventeen by John Brownlow (Trade Paperback)

Seventeen Cover

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

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

The Wraithbone Phoenix Cover

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

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What did you recently finish reading?

Fairy Tale by Stephen King (Trade Paperback)

Fairy Tale Cover

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

Amazon     Book Depository

 

In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan (Audiobook)

In the Shadow of Lightning Cover

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

Amazon     Book Depository

 

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

Dredge Runners

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

Amazon

What do you think you’ll read next?

Desert Star by Michael Connelly

Desert Star Cover

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

Amazon     Book Depository

 

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

Star Wars - Path of Deceit Cover

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

Amazon     Book Depository

 

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