2018 has been another year filled with studying, change and all-round busy-ness. Which has left the fiction writing gathering dust, and the reading mostly confined to textbooks and journals. That being said, there’s still been enough fiction read to give you a best of 2018, so without further ado, let’s just talk about all the good words of the year.
1. Day 4 by Sarah Lotz
This book was so much fun, and I possibly enjoyed it even more than the first in the series. A stranded cruise ship, a murder, and a Medium – what more could you want. It’s the apocalypse on the sea. If you have any boat trips planned, probably save this book for after that. Or not – if you enjoy the creeping feeling of INTENSE HORROR OH MY GOD WHAT ARE WE DOING GET ME OFF THIS FLOATING HELL HOLE.
2. The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
I love Tremblay’s work, and this is no disappointment. I won’t say too much because it’s best to just dive in, but it’s a home invasion story with a touch of the fantastical and a lashing of horror that reaches beyond the physical and strikes at the heart of your own, personal fears. You can see my full review here, but suffice to know that it’s a book that still lives in my head, and works on levels that not many horror stories reach to. Read it, and then make sure you’ve got someone to sit with afterwards. Keep your loved ones close.
What can I say? I love a good zombie horror. Give me The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, Zombieland, The Girl with all the Gifts… I can’t get enough. I don’t know what it is, but if it’s zombies then I’m probably all in. And Grant never disappoints with these action packed romps through her zombie-ridden world of the Newsflesh series.
4. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
I read this without knowing too much of the background, and it was such an interesting take into alternative historical horror. It was a slow burn, with a lot of characters each giving something different to the story. I can only imagine how hard and horrific wagon trains were, and Katsu adds to that even more. There are so many levels to this story I can’t even begin to go into them here, but if you’re looking for something that explores the many, different facets of humanity under extreme stress then you could do far worse than getting into The Hunger.
5. The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh
This book is darkly poetic, with sinister threads taking you through what it is to grow up as a girl, the nature of control and the haunting loneliness of imposed isolation. You can check out my review here – if you’re looking for a subtle slow burn, an uncomfortable read, in all the best ways then pick this book up.
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Ok, so you can’t get this (yet), but all I’m gonna say is I got to read my Mom’s book this year which she’s been working on for a while and it is the best thing I’ve read for some time. It’s sci-fi, the world building is phenomenal and the characters kick some major ass. Yes, I might be biased, but she taught me everything I know and it was truly amazing to meet her (and her crazy fiction friends) in print.
[PS, Mom, if you’re reading this, you’d better be working on your synopsis and getting that beast of a book out there]
And that’s it for the 2018 wrap up – it has to be said there were a few misses this year, with some overly tropey victim-girl crime thrillers, and some books with just waaaayyyyy too much boob in (which makes, weirdly, for one of my favourite reviews I’ve written so far). But all in all, it’s been a good year. So what did you think? What’s the one book you read this year that you just can’t stop trying to get everyone else to read? I’m in a reading lull so need your suggestions.
I hope 2018 has treated you well, and I hope 2019 treats you even better.
Here’s to a bloody marvellous New Year, y’all.