Saturday, January 4, 2014

Best of 2013: Adult Fiction (+ Giveaway)



Hi, and welcome to my second Best of 2013 post! Today I'm sharing with you my favorite adult reads of 2013, and let me tell you, there were so many amazing books this year! Although the number of adult books I've read is significantly smaller than the number of my YA reads, it was still extremely difficult to choose which 10 to point out.  
I hope you'll all find something new and interesting to add to your tbr.

1. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The Bone Season was actually marketed as YA, but I tend to disagree. As I pointed out in my review, The Bone Season is intricate and richly imaginative, one of the very few titles completely worthy of the hype. All the relationships in this book, and especially that of the protagonist and her keeper, Arcturus, are extraordinarily well done. The Bone Season is, hands down, my favorite adult release in 2013 and in my top 3 books overall. 
If you have yet to aquire a copy, I highly recommend the audio version. With her superb narration, Alana Kerr turned The Bone Season into what is surely one of the best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to.

2. Written in Red by Anne Bishop
Written in Red is yet another audiobook that completely blew me away last year. Bishop is a master storyteller. It should be mentioned that Written in Red leans more towards the fantasy part of urban fantasy. In fact, if we take the strictest definition, it’s not urban fantasy at all. In Written in Red, we familiarize ourselves with Thasia and its inhabitants. In Thasia, Others live in compounds where they govern themselves and human laws don’t apply. Their contact with humans is extremely limited, which is for the best. Any human who breaks a law of the Others ends up eaten or worse. This is a fascinatingly dark world built by an experienced and talented author.


3. Bronze Gods by Ann and Andres Aguirre
Bronze Gods gave me everything I could ever want from steampunk: a well-defined world, age-appropriate language and more than a few creative gadgets. This, my friends, is steampunk noir at its best, with fantastic worldbuilding, characters I fell in love with almost instantly, crime scenes worthy of Patricia Cornwell, clockwork, LOTS of sexual tension and a heart-stopping conclusion. All in a single book!
Although I don't usually organize blog tours nor do I aspire to do so in the future, when Ann (and Andres) asked me to put together a tour for this beauty (well, actually, I offered), I was more than happy to do it. I would, once again, like to thank my friends for helping me turn the tour into a huge success.


4. Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
Gameboard of the Gods  is a definite step up for Richelle Mead. It is her most ambitious project in terms of worldbuilding and structure, though perhaps not the plot. Mead’s futuristic world is divided between two great forces: RUNA (Republic of the United North America) and EA (Eastern Alliance). Everything else are the provinces, barbaric in comparison, technologically and culturally inferior. Mead could never be accused of lack of imagination, but with Gameboard of the Gods, she outdid herself in more ways than one, and for the most part, she held a tight control over all the bits and pieces. It was only at moments that the worldbuilding became too big for her and confusing for the reader. There is nothing more important to me than character development, and Mead’s thorough approach to it left me in awe. While Gameboard of the Gods could prove to be a bit challenging for less patient readers, it was a great read according to my taste and a promising start to an exciting new series.


5. Parasite  by Mira Grant
After the Newsflesh trilogy, which just happens to be my favorite trilogy of all time, it's safe to say I expected a lot from Mira Grant's new project. While Parasite doesn't come close to being as brilliant and emotionally demanding as Feed, it is still the work of a great author. Grant takes so many risks with her prose, and far more often than not, those risks pay off. This is a book about tapewarms and as such, it can be hard to swallow at times, but if you can handle a tapeworm here and there, run out and get your copy right now. This science fiction medical thriller is not to be missed.



6. Wrong Ways Down by Stacia Kane
It’s safe to say that Wrong Ways Down is the best thing that happened to urban fantasy in a very long time. With this long-awaited, anxiously anticipated and rather longish novella told from Terrible’s POV, Stacia Kane gave her readers exactly what they desperately needed – a glimpse into the complicated psyche of a well-beloved character. If you know anything about Stacia’s books, you might have noticed that she doesn’t have almost-fans or lukewarm readers. People either hate or love her books, but for those who have loved the previous five novels, Wrong Ways Down will seem like a gift from heaven. Not only do we get to see the inner workings of Terrible’s mind, but we get to see Chess through his eyes: a beautiful, confident and well-put-together version of her.
Wrong Ways Down is actually the length of a short novel, and brilliant to boot so if $3.99 seems like a lot to pay for a novella, trust me, it's not.


7. Perdition  by Ann Aguirre 
Perdition is another brilliant adult release but one of my favorite authors, pitched as Prison Break in space. It's a spin-off of her Siranhta Jax series but it can be read entirely independently. This book is full of violence and mayhem, Ann Aguirre-style, and set in space to boot. What more could one possibly wish for?! Excellent, well-rounded characters? Romance? Well, there's all that, too, and more. Space station known as Perdition houses only the most hardened of criminals. The people imprisoned there are no small-time thieves, rapists or murderers. It takes a truly heinous crime (or hundreds of them) to get someone a one-way ticket to Perdition from the Conglomerate. ‘Innocent’ is not a word that gets thrown around often, not even for our heroine, Dresdemona “Dred” Devos.



8. Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs 
Frost Burned is the long-awaited 7th installment in her #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson series. In Frost Burned, Patty introduced Adam's perspective for the first time - a risky move that certainly paid off in the end. She proved, yet again, why she's one of the best urban fantasy writers out there and that she can handle just about anything her characters ask of her.
Patty was here in October to talk about body language, at my suggestion. She explained why body language matters so much with werewolves and where the idea and the knowledge came from.



9. Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones
Fifth Grave needs very little in terms of publicity and/or explanations. She is a superstar, and so is our Charley - rightfully so. Fifth Grave brings significant changes to the series through Charley's boyfriend and everyone's favorite hunk of burning love, Reyes Farrow. I always thought Reyes was too otherworldly and untouchable to serve as a proper book boyfriend, but in Fifth Grave, Darynda really took him a step further. She took him well past his usual glowering and threatening and added humor and just a touch of vulnerability. The end result is a more human, approachable Reyes, finally Charley’s match not just in otherworldly matters (and, ummm, in bed), but in day to day things as well.

10. Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett
All my favorite urban fantasy series have a strong couple at the center: Kate and Curran, Mercy and Adam, Charley and Reyes, and of course, Cady and Lon. To make things even better, there's Jupe, Lon's pre-teen and absolutely hilarious son.
This is a series that surprises me with each new installment, one I never saw coming. Jenn Bennett is a fabulous author who knows her characters (and her readers) extremely well.
If you have yet to read this series, hurry up and do it. Maybe you'll win a copy here. :)


Aaaand that's all folks! I hope you see something you like.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Enter to win one of these pretties from The Book Depository. If you're interested in starting a series from this list, you can always choose to win the first installment (or any installment, really). Just enter the Rafflecopter and keep your fingers crossed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

73 comments:

  1. I really loved The Bone Season as well!!

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  2. How sad is it that I have only read one of the books from your list? Clearly I need to squeeze the others in. ;)

    Great giveaway!

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  3. For my fave read it's a toss between Parasite and Fifth Grave Past the Light!
    Both are extremely different books, but both I loved!

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  4. I haven't read much Adult fiction but Gameboard of the Gods would definitely be on my list too! I still want to read Parasite and The Bone Season since I've heard so much about it. :D
    Valentine's Day Giveaway Hop Sign Ups

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  5. That would be Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. :)

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  6. The Firebird by Susanna Kearsely is very good. I'd love to read Gameboard of the Gods, though!

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  7. Frost Burned, The Bone Season, Written in Red, Wrong Ways Down, and Bronze Gods were all fantastic. I'm looking forward to picking up the third Arcadia Bell novel soon as well. Once again, great pics, Maja - I couldn't agree with you more!

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  8. I haven't read many adult releases this year. Out of your list, it was just The Bone Season, which I really enjoyed. I'm really keen on reading Written in Red and Gameboard of the Gods though. I've heard such great things about it and Mead is a genius. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  9. Definitely Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer. :) Thank you for the giveaway!

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  10. Impossible to pick just one. Their were so many adult books I've read this year that I absolutely loved, most of which are on your list. Perdition however was the one that surprised me the most. I knew I'd enjoy it but I ended up absolutely loving it and desperate for the next one.

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  11. I loved The kingdom by Amanda Stevens :)
    Ohhh need Bone season!

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  12. I mostly read YA but I did love Gameboard of the Gods. Anything by Richelle Mead is genius. I'm dying to read Bronze Gods now after what you said about it!

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  13. Three of these books are presently fermenting in my shelves. Whelp. Great giveaway, Maja!

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  14. i haven't read any of your suggession so far but i would love bronze gold
    now to answer your question i think i must said seanan mcguire incriptid series book 2

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  15. My favorite adult fiction in 2013 is Frost Burned and Magic Rises. Great giveaway!

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  16. I loved Frost Burned & Fifth Grave Past the Light, the most this year, I mean past year. :-)

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  17. Hyde by Laura Deluca was a good read

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  18. I loved The Bone Season and The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling - this book was published in Slovakia in 2013, not in 2012 as in original, English language - so I read it last year in Slovak and it was one of my best adult reads :)

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  19. Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones

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  20. Didn't Bloomsbury market TBS as adult not YA? Either way, to me it felt like a cross-over. It was my idea of 'NA' not YA, but not quite adult fiction either.

    I can't wait for the sequel!

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  21. The Bone Season was awesome. Definitely one of the top 2013 books for me.

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  22. I really liked Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas.

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  23. I'm still upset that I forgot Bronze Gods on my list lol *hangs head in shame*

    I loved Binding the Shadows and of course Written in Red. I still haven't read Wrong Ways Down - but I need to.

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  24. I AM CRAZY ABOUT CADY AND LON (BINDING THE SHADOWS) and Written In Red was AWESOME!!

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  25. There were three books I was super happy to have in 2013: Frost Burned, Chimes at Midnight, and Republic of Thieves. None of them let me down, and I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite between them.

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  26. I have read a few adult fiction but i dont have any that are my favorites.. There is a bunch of them,though, that is on my wish list to get!!!!!

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  27. I liked The Bone Season and Written In Red and thanks to your recommendations, I started reading the Downside Ghosts and Mercy Thompson series and LOVED THEM. Thanks for the giveaway, Maja! And Happy 2014 :D

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  28. Well, I have quite a few favorites, but the first that jumps to mind is Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead. I love your selection of favorites. All of them are great choices! Thank you for this giveaway!!
    Angie Edwards @ Books4Tomorrow

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  29. My favorite adults are Fifth grave past the light, A Cursed embrace.. Many of your choices I either loved or they are on my TBR

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  30. I loved Parasite :) Such a good world-building and interesting concept! The bone season was also pretty good, but I don't think it's a favourite of mine. The story was a little too confusing and draggy. I'm currently reading Flame of Seven waters and I'm loving it <3

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  31. I really enjoyed The Bone Season!

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  32. I read and loved half of it but I have almost the other half and I really need to read it. Like you I loved the darynda and Jenn Bennet novels! So good!

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  33. I loved Ever After by Kim Harrison. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  34. The best I read (at least recently) was Cuckoo's Calling.

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  35. Mine is one that was released in Australia (I'm Australian) called Black Sun Light My Way by Jo Spurrier.

    Thanks for sharing your list and for the awesome giveaway.

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  36. Fifth Grave Past the Light, I love me some Charley Davidson

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  37. I loved Gameboard of the Gods as well, Maja! I'll probably have to do a re-read or listen to the audio before the 2nd book comes out to refresh my memory, though because it was more of a complicated plot. I still want to get to Written in Red, and I was thinking of listening to the audio of Parasite. I'll have to listen to a sample of the narrator first. I also need to catch up on Mercy Thompson, didn't know Adam had his own POV! I'm more excited now. I just finished Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett over my break and LOVED it so I desperately need to pick up her Arcadia Bell series. Charley Davidson is another book that's great in audio version, same narrator of Mercy Thompson: Lorelei King, and she's amazing, IMO! I'm still intimidated by The Bone Season. I have a mental block about that book.

    Great picks here, Maja! :)

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  38. Eeeek, sorry for the long comment! :)

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  39. Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews!
    Written in Red was really good and The Bone Season fascinating. I can't wait to read the sequels.

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  40. I read Dear Mr. Knightley on New Year's Eve....loved it!
    Dede

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  41. Can never go wrong with me when it comes to Darynda Jones, love her books. The Bone Season looks awesome, waiting to get that one.

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  42. Your list totally rocks, and yes Bone Season is YA based on protagonist's age, yada ,yada. I like it in YA since it raises the bar and hopefully we will see more books with this depth. Who says only adult books can have this caliber of depth and world building :) A few of yours made my honorable mention..like Parasite which I totally loved and Briggs always rocks :)

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  43. I'm glad you cleared up what age The Bone Season fits. I had thought it was adult but then someone had it on their favorite YA list and it confused me. I think I'll keep it in my head as adult. I do believe it's not in the YA section at the bookstore... but they might not have it. I do HAVE to read it! Like yesterday.
    Written in Red is what I'm listening to now. I was a little unsure of the narrator (I think I said that before) but I'm really loving her now. I'm almost done with the first section (the pieces broke up into downloads) and I kind of want to listen all the time!

    I need to pick up Gameboard of the Gods again. I started it, but I had so much on my plate I had to set it aside. I think it's one I need to work on reading a little each day. Once I finish Iced anyway.

    I'm not sure what my favorite that was released in 2013 was. But I managed to easily find ten that went on my list!

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  44. It's so hard to choose a favorite, especially since many of the books are so different and special in their own way. I'd say it's a toss up between Perdition and Bronze Gods, Ann Aguirre is a definite auto buy author for me. And Binding Shadows and Jennifer Estep's Heart of Venom are a toss up for second place. :D

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  45. I don't know how to choose a fave because there were several. Thanks :)

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  46. LOVE the first two on this list pretty equally. I'm afraid of Parasite and I'd like to read the Patricia Briggs series one of these days! I'm hoping to start reading more adult books this year, because I too enjoyed many of them in 2013.

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  47. my favorite is Fifth Grave Past the light by Darynda Jones!

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  48. Cady and Lon are definitely up there in my top 3 favourites, I love these 2 and can't wait for the next instalment. I keep hearing loads about Written in Red, so its one I need to put on my tbr pile.

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  49. Crud! I put in the wrong share link. Here's the actual one :) http://kellisamberlee.tumblr.com/post/72460532802/the-nocturnal-library-best-of-2013-adult-fiction

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  50. I haven't really read any adult fiction this year, I got stuck in a ton of YA. :P

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  51. The Darynda Jones and Jenn Bennett books were a couple of my favorites too. Such good solid installments, I can't wait for more. :) Still eager to get around to Bronze Gods and Written in Red, hopefully this year.

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  52. Hey Maja! It's been so long since I've gotten a chance to chat with you. Hope everything's well! I've been working on finishing up Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax series (I've read both Killbox and Aftermath over the last week), and I can't wait to read more from her! Thanks so much for your initial recommendation--I've had her on my to-read list since I first read your reviews. I've definitely a huge fan now! I'm also looking forward to reading Written in Red and Parasite. Both sound awesome!

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  53. What a great roundup! I've read and loved a few of these, and have a few more waiting on my shelf, but I'm thrilled to see some recommendations on here that I need to add to my list. I trust your UF judgment implicitly and given the company Binding the Shadows and Wrong Ways Down keep on this list, I know I need to check out those series asap. Thanks for sharing!

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  54. I haven't read any adult fiction in 2013..:( Have my eye on The Bone Season for a long time now.

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  55. Sever (The Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefano.
    That's my favorite book of science fiction.

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  56. My favorite is No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean. Thank you for the giveaway :)

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  57. Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews was one of my favorites of 2013. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  58. This is a hard choice! Had so many...Kim Harrison's, Ilona Andrews, JR Ward! Karen Marie Moning!!! I can't do it!

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  59. I love all books from Dark Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon,but Acheron,Styxx and Seize the night are my favorites :)

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  60. I haven't had the chance to read any of the ones you have listed, so I would have to say The Driven Trilogy by Bromberg, K.

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  61. Written in Red was my favorite this year, along with Dr. Sleep and NOS4A2. I'm so glad to see Written in Red on another list. I was beginning to think I was the only person who truly appreciated Anne Bishop's wonderful talent. I loved this book so much and have been waiting anxiously for the sequel. Great list you have here!

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  62. I love Mercedes, and can't wait for Frost Burned.

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  63. I haven't read that many 2013 adult books this year but I loved Joyland by Stephen King

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  64. Besides The Bone Season, my favorite was Omens by Kelley Armstrong. Thanks for a giveaway! :)

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  65. One of my favorites of 2013 was Promise of Blood

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  66. Maja -- I have not read a single one of these *hangs head in shame* at least I have a bundle to add to my TBR. I love seeing your faves. I think from these I am going to try the Mira Grant one and The Bone Season first

    x Nomes

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