2009 – Statistics and Year-End Favorites

Here’s my review statistics for 2009. These numbers include my reviews at Fantasy Debut.

  • 18 debuts read by Tia
  • 14 other novels read by Tia (not counting 3 not yet reviewed)
  • 4 debuts read by Raven
  • 3 other novels read by Raven
  • 1 debut read by Mulluane
  • 2 other novels read by Mulluane
  • 3 debuts read by Superwench
  • 2 other novels read by  Superwench
  • 26 total debuts read and reviewed
  • 48 total novels read and reviewed
  • 32 total novels read and reviewed by Tia
  • 8 total novels read and reviewed by Raven
  • 3 total novels read and reviewed by Mulluane
  • 5 total novels read and reviewed by Superwench

I realize these stats aren’t mind-blowingly impressive. Some reviewers read 100 novels in a year. Even if I were to read that many, there’s no way I’d be able to review them all unless I significantly degraded the style of my reviews. So yes, I only read 32 books last year. That’s not even four books a month. Heck, it’s not even three. This is why I bring in other reviewers.

And now, the favorites. I am only selecting novels that were published in the past year. Plus, these are my personal favorites only. Some categories, such as Urban Fantasy and Science Fiction, are missing because I didn’t read many novels in those genres. I’m super-picky with urban fantasy and only got through one, The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay, which was excellent.

All links are to my various reviews. Some titles may appear more than once, so be sure to read the whole thing!

Favorite Male Character

Arlen from The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett

Favorite Female Character

Tammy Jo from Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost

Favorite Fantasy Family

Hogan‘s family in Servant of a Dark God by John Brown

I loved Servant of a Dark God because the whole family is involved in the quest. Yes, there’s a young boy, but there’s also a young girl, and some full-grown adults in there as well. And they’re all working together, and they love each other (although they do quibble). I loved the idea of the whole family being drawn into the quest and I wish it was done more often. You don’t always have to get rid of the parents! The parents can kick ass too!

Funniest

Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost

Most Wonder-Filled

The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V. S. Redick

The ship. The ship is wonderful. Although this is a ship-based fantasy, it’s not a pirate fantasy. Most of it takes place aboard the IMS Chathrand, a huge sailing ship with a personality of its own. To add to the wonder, it is infested by the ixchel, a sort of wee folk, who are horrifyingly thought of as worse than rats.

Most Touching

Lamentation by Ken Scholes

How could I omit the wonderful servomechitor, Isaac, who is every bit (perhaps even more) as human as his companions? I loved him. Overall, Lamentation displayed great sensitivity on the part of the author as the characters grappled with terrible losses and challenges.

Best Debut Graduate

The Other Lands by David Anthony Durham

I loved my return to Mr. Durham’s world and once again, I can’t wait to read the next novel. Especially since The Other Lands took so many unexpected twists and turns!

Other Standouts

(Debuts not necessarily published the last year.)

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Slaves of the Shinar by Justin Allen

Zadayi Red by Caleb Fox

Best Epic Fantasy Debut

The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett

The Warded Man had some hard competition, as it was in the company of other excellent epic fantasy debuts such as Lamentation by Ken Scholes and The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V. S. Redick and Servant of a Dark God by John Brown. But as an overall favorite, I’d have to go with The Warded Man. I loved the concept, I loved the characters, I loved the pacing, I loved the sweeping scope and I loved the fight between good and evil.

Best Paranormal Romance Debut

Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost

Would-Be Witch was funny, touching and just an amazing start to a new series. I loved the love triangle she set up because I loved both men involved. When Kat at Fantasy Literature gave me the opportunity to read the second book, Barely Bewitched, I leaped at the chance and loved that book as well. I’ve since been recommending it to all my friends.

Congratulations to the above authors for writing such awesome novels!

9 thoughts on “2009 – Statistics and Year-End Favorites

  1. I think the stats are great. Quality vs quantity! And I have just written down a bunch of names from your “best of” list :-)

    Did you notice almost all the authors are male? I wonder why…

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  2. I loved Isaac the mechoservitor too. I still remember the first sentence that Isaac spoke to Rudolfo,the Lord of the Ninefold Forest: “Lla meht dellik ev’I”

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  3. Isaac was great. I’m reading the next book, but upcoming debuts keep crowding themselves ahead of it. Too many good books is a good thing!

    Thanks, Anne and Deborah! I think, Deborah, it’s because my favorite genre is epic fantasy, which is currently male-dominated, at least as far as debuts go. Wasn’t always the case, and perhaps things are already changing because I just received a review copy of an upcoming epic by a female author, and it looks QUITE exciting!

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  4. I agree. A list that includes books we haven’t heard of is a boon to readers. For instance, I discovered a writer named Jennifer Estep on this blog, and gave a book called Karma Girl to my wife for some event a couple of years back.

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  5. Also, Thanks Tia for including Slaves of the Shinar in your list. I am humbled.

    And by the way, writing 32 reviews in a year is not a small number. If you were a full-time reviewer for the New York Times Book Review you would be unlikely to do too many more. And you have more to do than just to read and write reviews! So be proud of all your work.

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    • You’re welcome, and thanks for putting this into perspective! Sometimes my fellow reviewers have me daunted by their output. Especially when they can manage quantity AND quality!

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