My top ten reads of 2019 (so far)
We’re at the halfway point of 2019, so I thought I would look back on some of my favourite reads of the year so far. Not all of these were released in 2019, but all were read this year.
In alphabetical order my top ten:
Children of Ruin – by Adrian Tchaikovsky
The much anticipated follow up to (the Arthur C. Clarke winning) Children of Time, which was one of my absolute favourite books of the last few years. Children of Ruin is set in the same universe, further exploring the Human, AI and Portid relationship, as well as introducing us to new sentient species.
I honestly don’t know how someone can come up with such convincing but thoroughly out-there world building and such relatable yet utterly alien characters.
Semiosis – By Sue Burke
With no way back, an idealistic group of settlers on a distant planet must learn to not only survive but coexist with a completely alien intelligence.
Another sweeping evolutionary sci-fi (a particular favourite genre of mine) but this time with smart, sentient plantlife(!).
The Croning – by Laird Barron
Beautifully written (if occasionally meandering) Cosmic Horror for fans of Lovecraft and weird fiction. Full of reimagined fairytale characters, pagan deities and well just general weirdness. This has been on my to-read list for years.
The Gone World – by Tom Sweterlitsch
Trippy, time-travel, nightmarish, sci-fi crime-procedural thriller that has been described as True Detective meets 12 Monkeys. If that description floats your boat (it did mine) I recommend you read it.
The Nest – by Gregory A Douglas
Classic ’80s pulp horror (ravenous, giant, mutant, killer-cockroaches, toxic waste etc, etc) brought to you by Paperbacks from Hell a limited series of five long-unavailable paperback horror gems from the ’70s and ’80s, chosen by Grady Hendrix and Will Errickson.
If you’re into this sort of thing, and really why wouldn’t you be? Check out Will Erricksons Blog (Too Much Horror Fiction) and Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction.
The Nightmare Girl – by Jonathan Janz
With shades of Rosemary’s Baby and The Wicker Man, family man Joe Crawford finds himself accidentally coming between a cult and its end purpose.
The Passage – by Justin Cronin
The Passage begins in the near future and details a post-apocalyptic world that is overrun by vampire-like beings.
Ok so I’m a bit late to the party with this one, possibly because I’m generally not that fussed about vampire novels, and at a whopping 1008 pages it really is a hell of a commitment. But I’ve heard consistently good things about it over the years, so took the plunge on a recent beach holiday. Reading an epic post-apocalypse, horror novel in the sun with a couple of margaritas. Literally, heaven.
The Rig – by Roger Levy
Humans have spread out across the depths of space, the concept of God has been abandoned, replaced by AfterLife, a social media platform that allows subscribers a chance at resurrection after death, based on the votes of other users. Tightly plotted, with interesting characters and concepts and excellent world building
Violets are Red – by Mylo Carbia
A Manhattan housewife who captures her husband’s young mistress and quietly keeps her prisoner in the basement of their Upper East Side townhome. Nuff said.
Vox by Christina Dalcher
Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more, and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins.
With shades of The Handmaids Tale, this thought-provoking dystopian novel of enforced silence, while not perfect (possibly a touch heavy-handed), the first part of the novel especially, is a thought-provoking meditation on the power of language, and the danger of keeping silent.