My Top Reads of 2016

monthly-reads-roundup5I have been thinking of the best way to tackle this post, because the ordinary top ten just won’t cut it. There are some series that need to be included because every book is a 5* gem, but I don’t want to fill up my top ten spaces with books from the same series or spin off series, as this will push out other 5* books that deserve to be featured on my top ten. So, my list is as following:

In no particular order…

Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson: The Final Empire (book one), The Well of Ascension (book two).

Rise of the Sparrows by Sarina Langer

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The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine: Ink and Bone (book one), and Paper and Fire (book two).

The Promiscus Guardians Series, The Guardians in Love Series, and The Underground Guardians Series by Brianna West.

The Girl with all the Gifts  by M.R. Carey

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The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris

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The Making of Gabriel Davenport by Beverley Lee

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Colossus by Jette Harris

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Eleonore by Faith Rivens

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The Siblings by A. Morgan

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Although the above list is not in a particular order, I decided to pick my top read of 2016! Drum roll, please…

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And my top read of 2016 is actually a draw between Sanderson’s Mistborn: The Final Empire, and Carey’s The Girl with all the Gifts. I just can’t choose between the two, so why should I?

Thank you to everyone who has followed the reviews on my blog, Goodreads, and Instagram. Happy New Year!


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

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2nd Half of the Year Reads & Reviews

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Can you believe it is the end of 2016? Best not to dwell on how quickly time seems to be flying, and just offer everyone my best wishes for a healthy and productive 2017.

Back on July 1st, I did a 1/2 year post of my reads and added links to my reviews of each. I plan to do exactly the same for the 2nd half of the year too. You can check out my 1/2 year post: here.

Well, I smashed the target that I set myself for the Goodreads Reading Challenge 2016. I read 82 in total this year! Yep, I think I might do a little bookaholic, happy jig about now.

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Anyway, on to the good stuff- the reviews from July-December.

    1. Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine 5/5: Review.
    2. 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough 4/5: Review.
    3. The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon 4/5: Review.
    4. Demon Seed by Dean Koontz 3.5/5: Review.
    5. A Strange Little Place by Brennan 3/5: Review.
    6. Dancing in the Rain by Lynn Joseph 4/5: Review.
    7. Looking for Alaska by John Green 3.5/5: Review.
    8. Pavel by Brianna West 5/5: Review.
    9. Bury the Living by Jodi McIsaac 4.5/5: Review.
    10. Dead by Morning by Kayla Krantz 3.5/5: Review.
    11. Parallel by Shana Chartier 2.5/5: Review.
    12. The Aurora Stone by G.S.Tucker 3.5/5: Review.
    13. The Making of Gabriel Davenport by Beverley Lee 5/5: Review.
    14. Dark Secrets by Leah Taylor 3.5/5: Review.
    15. A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart 3.5/5: Review.
    16. Collective Ramblings by Various Authors 3/5: Review.
    17. When Time Comes (Novella) by Cat Nicolaou 3/5: Review.
    18. Mirror Mirror (Novella) by Anthony .M. 4/5: Review.
    19. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab 4/5: Review.
    20. Mad Woman by Kat Savage 4/5: Review.
    21. Germination by Jamie Thornton 5/5: Review.
    22. The Last Orphans by N.W.Harris 5/5: Review.
    23. Feyland by Anthea Sharp 2.5/5: Review.
    24. Grey by Kade Cook 3/5: Review.
    25. Burn the Dead: Quarantine by Steven Jenkins 4/5: Review.
    26. Thirst for the Hunt by A.C. Wentwood 2/5: Review.
    27. Nano Contestant by Leif Sterling 4/5: Review.
    28. Hollowland by Amanda Hocking 3.5/5: Review.
    29. Train to the Edge of the Moon by Asper Blurry 4/5: Review.
    30. Book of Birds by L.M.Bryski 4/5: Review.
    31. Untamed by PC.Cast & Kristin Cast 3/5: Review.
    32. Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige 3/5: Review.
    33. When Darkness Breaks by Brianna West 5/5: Review.
    34. Earth’s Knot by Katie Deann 2.5/5: Review.
    35. A Christmas Gift by Stella Wilkinson 4.5/5: Review.
    36. The Christmas Bake Off by Abby Clements 3.5/5: Review.
    37. Naughty or Nice Anthology by Various Authors 3/5: Review.
    38. Eleonore by Faith Rivens 5/5: Review.
    39. Christmas at Pebble Creek by Vannetta Chapman 3/5: Review.
    40. Make My Wish Come True by Jade Cooper 3/5: Review.
    41. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne 4/5: Review.
    42. Pastels and Jingle Bells by Christina. S. Feldman 5/5: Review.
    43. Stained by Kayla Krantz 3/5: (not reviewed on blog)
    44. Tough Love by Skye Warren 4/5: Review.
    45. Daughter of Llathe: A Tale of the Two Rings by Ben Cassidy 3.5/5: Review.
    46. Project Dodge by J.Lynne 3/5: Review.

Join me tomorrow to find out my top reads of 2016!!


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

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December Reads Round Up

MONTHLY READS ROUNDUP

Here is a recap of my December reads with links to the full reviews.

Christmas at Pebble Creek by Vannetta Chapman

15281997_1353031404748273_791359958_nFull Review: Christmas at Pebble Creek

I gave this book 3/5. I haven’t read the Pebble Creek series, so I would have liked a little more backstory to Grace in this short story. This read was pleasant. I neither loved nor disliked it. I have not read anything in the Amish genre, and now know it is not my reading cup of tea.

Make My Wish Come True by Jade Cooper

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I gave this book 3/5. A hot romance with a lot of steamy moments and an Alpha male love interest. Not enough conclusion for my liking. I want to know more about the ‘Christmas magic’, and what happens next. Perhaps another short story?

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

15415939_1361629633888450_1962512990_nFull Review: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

I gave this book 4/5. A re-read that still packs a punch. A thought provoking, tragic read told masterfully through the eyes of a child. If you haven’t read this book, then read it. If you have, read it again.

Pastels and Jingle Bells by Christina. S. Feldman

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I gave this book 5/5. An enjoyable Christmas read with well developed characters and back story. Sub characters played an important role in the life of the main character, and all had clear, distinct voices. A recommended Christmas romance novella.

Tough Love by Skye Warren

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I gave this book 4/5. A world of violence, power, and debauchery that draws you in from the start. A hero that is far from a saint, and a cliffhanger that leaves everyone’s fate in the balance.

 

 

Daughter of Llathe by Ben Cassidy

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I gave this book 3.5/5. Impressive world building and character development.Would have benefitted from being longer. A misleading cover that leans toward a younger target audience, but this is not a children’s book.

 

 

Project Dodge by J.Lynne

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I gave this book 3/5. An interesting glimpse from a zombie child’s perspective, but there was a lack of surprise for me. I would have preferred Caitlyn’s perspective throughout, and something shocking to hook me, whether in a unique plot twist or fresh writing style. Still, a well written zombie narrative.


 Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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Picture Prompt

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Picture Prompt:

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As the gates open, the colour green fills every inch of my vision. I hadn’t realised how much I have missed colour. Dirty browns and dusty yellows have been our lives for so long now, even the rusty red of blood seems to blend into the landscape because it has become such an ordinary sight to us. To see a fully developed eco system such as this in comparison to the hell outside, is probably the closest many of us will ever get to a heaven.

The head honcho, Fraser, gives us a minute to take it in. “Welcome to your new home. This is where you get to start again- humanity gets to start again. You will have two days to settle in, and then you will be assigned your new jobs. Everyone plays a part in this new world. I am sure you will find everyone very welcoming.”

There is a scream from behind, and instinctively, the whole group draw their weapons. Fraser waves his hands to calm us, and approaches little CeeCee at the back of the huddle.

“What is it?” she cries, as an animal curiously walks around her. I haven’t seen such an animal in about fifteen years. The sight of such vivid pinks and the majesty of its posture holds me transfixed. “Get it away. Mama, what is it?”

“Away, Gerald,” Fraser says, shooing the animal. He bends closer to CeeCee and her mother. “I bet you’ve never seen an animal, eh?” CeeCee shakes her head, tears spilling from her eyes. “Gerald is a flamingo, Sweetheart. He won’t hurt you.” Then, he turns to address us all. “We have over three hundred species of animal within our perimeters. This is about more than saving ourselves. It is about saving our world.”


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Review: Project Dodge by J.Lynne

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Project Dodge by J.Lynne 3/5

wp-1482935349401.jpgA deadly virus. One little girl. The world isn’t ready for what happens next.

Eight-year-old Caitlyn is a rambunctious girl who finds herself at the end of a dirt driveway, watching her mother speed away. Her antics land her at an old farmhouse in a quiet, rural area with her grandmother.

The old woman sends her to the kitchen to make cookies, and when Caitlyn needs her help, she discovers her grandmother in a dark room, staring at the television. Footage shows people frantically evacuating the cities and fleeing for their lives.

Danger lurks around every corner and this little girl learns, firsthand, what happens when you die.

I downloaded this novella for free from Amazon.

Review:

The zombie apocalypse hits the world whilst Caitlyn and her Gran are alone at the farmhouse. It doesn’t take long for the undead to get inside. Caitlyn dies, but by chance, she finds her way to a research facility where people are attempting to find some sort of cure.

The action starts pretty much straight away, and the premise draws you in. I wanted to be included in how the mind of a zombie works as there are not a lot of undead perspective books out there. Caitlyn acts pretty much how you’d expect, but the slight thought processes described were interesting.

The writing style is simplistic and this does lend itself to the ‘creature’s’ perspective, but not so much to the rest. As Caitlyn regains some sort of emotional footing, you see the split personality between the human and the zombie in her- another interesting dimension. I wonder if this novella would have benefitted from Caitlyn’s first person narrative throughout. The ending is sad *no spoilers*, but I think I was expecting more. I was never fully shocked and surprised, and I don’t necessarily mean in the gore sense. With so many zombie books available, and being a huge fan of the genre, I believe there has to be something more to offer, whether it be unique plot twists or a fresh writing style that stands out from the crowd.

In summary, if you can’t get enough of the zombie genre, this is one to try. Caitlyn’s perspective is interesting, but I wanted a little more surprise.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Merry Christmas!

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This is short post to wish those who celebrate a merry Christmas and New Year. The final indie book advent post went live this morning, and now I am taking a break to celebrate the holidays. I have posts scheduled for the 29th, 30th, and 31st, but I may not be replying to comments and messages until the New Year.

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Have a great day tomorrow; eat lots, laugh, love, and make memories. I’ll see you folks in 2017!


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

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Indie Book Advent #24

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Day 24 of my Indie Book Advent, and the last in this feature, is a special one for me. I would like to share my books with you: EVO Nation, EVO Shift, and Thrown to The Blue.

EVO Nation (EVO Nation Series book one) Blurb:

The government tortures her, her own kind use her, and she is learning the true meaning of ulterior motives. Teddie Leason has been dragged into the festering underbelly of the secretive world of EVO; a world about to be blown wide apart.

Now, the reclusive teenager who couldn’t get upset without her unruly ability causing destruction has to somehow embrace her gift to save her new friends and her new love.

Will the actions of one man fuel a suppressed, supremacist society’s thirst for war and vengeance, or will Teddie be strong enough to stop him?

EVO Shift (EVO Nation Series book two) blurb:

She killed him, but did it make a difference?

Her kind has been exposed, abused, and segregated, and now Teddie Leason is top of Britain’s most wanted list at just nineteen. Teddie has to decide whose side she is on, what she fights for, and whether it’s worth her life.

How can she protect the man she adores, the Uncle who has taken her under his wing, and her unfaltering friends, when she can barely take care of herself? Dealing with new power and a history that has long since been forgotten, has rendered the world’s most powerful EVO vulnerable and at risk.

When will she be dealt a winning hand? Could a clandestine, renegade group of EVO change not only her fate, but that of everyone affected by this unprecedented war? And how does Teddie fit in a world bracing for a shift of unfathomable magnitude?

Thrown to The Blue (Indigo Flames Series book one) Blurb:

Foretellings have no place for goodness, only greatness. Princess Ezrahli is far from good, but she is a great woman in a conventional Kingdom, followed by whispers and scorn. However, across the waters is un-convention, magic, and fable. Her existence has been foretold in the battle against dark magic, and destiny shall weave itself into her life because darkness cannot be fought with goodness, only greatness.

Smuggling and sorcery leads to adventure, and adventure leads to destiny. Reed is a prince of the streets, but what he lacks in title, he makes up for in skill; a skill that sets him on a path already written in fate. Can he be more than what is expected? Can he enable greatness in another and survive the process?

Vengeance is a motivator, but it can never be your friend. In the end, it will ask for sacrifice, and only the great will pay the fare.

Where to find me and my books:

Goodreads

Twitter

Amazon

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Indie Book Advent #23

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Day 23 of my Indie Book Advent features Nano Contestant by Leif Sterling.

02.jpgIn 2114, there’s no such thing as a fair trial. Roland’s father has just been sentenced to death in a sham case controlled by the all-powerful Pinnacle Corporation. He only has one chance to find out the truth: enter Pinnacle’s death-defying Tech Games and do everything he can to survive.

Roland must undergo a risky procedure to install the necessary extra-human tech enhancements. Success could mean a shot at a $100 million prize and the evidence he needs to clear his father’s name. If he fails, both of them will surely die…

Whatever It Takes is the first episode in the Nano Contestant series of sci-fi serials. If you like futuristic technology, evocative new worlds, and action-packed sci-fi, then you’ll love Leif Sterling’s incredible series

Where to find Sterling and his book:

Amazon

Goodreads

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Indie Book Advent #22

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Day 22 of my Indie Book Advent features Grey by Kade Cook.

 All the truths of her life were born from the promise of a lie. A lie that could change everything. Gabrian Shadwell studied hard and kept her nose to the grindstone in order to live the successful full-life most humans strive for. The problem is, she isn’t exactly human; she can see auras…and she yearns to devour them-she is comprised of the things nightmares are made of. With her eyes opened to the truth of her Borrower heritage, her chaotic journey of self-discovery takes her down a dangerous road when the tainted eyes of the self-righteous Elders in the Realm turn against her. With good and evil before her, she must choose which path she will walk upon and learn the biggest truth of her life. The only difference between a Borrower and a Vampire is hope.

Where to find Cook and her book:

Goodreads

Amazon

Twitter

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Obsessed by Books Best Urban Fantasy Author of 2016!!

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I was nominated by a lovely, author friend for the Best Urban Fantasy Author 2016 category in Obsessed by Books World Indie Book Awards 2016 for my EVO Nation series. Thank you to everyone of my readers who voted and supported me this last month… I did it!

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Yep, you are looking at Obsessed by Books Best Urban Fantasy Author 2016, and I am chuffed to bits. I’ve even get a shiny new badge to put on my book covers. I shall wear it with pride. However, this beauty shall be framed!!

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What a lovely way to end 2016. This has really pepped me up for 2017 and all it has to offer.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

GIF sourced from GIPHY.COM